A Yielded Heart


Last November happened to be one of those times in life when I struggled with something God was wanting me to do. A new friend suddenly needed housing, and after about a week of praying God would provide, I sensed the Lord saying we were to be His provision. I’d just met her so didn’t know her well, and the thought of inviting a near stranger to live with us made me more than a bit nervous. So instead of taking it to Gary right away, I decided to sit on it a few days and continue to pray God would provide – somewhere else. Strange though, every time I prayed, I sensed the Lord say (inaudibly), “I already gave her a home. Deal with it.”

Finally after sharing my thoughts with Gary and both praying on it a few more days, with trepidation we invited her to move in. It’s been almost 4 months now, and she has been an absolute delight. After she moved in, Gary went on extended hours at work, and L was here to keep me company. We’ve recently had some extremely stressful times with one of our sons, and L has been a huge comfort.

I’ve once again been thinking about Genesis 4, the story of Cain and Abel, and have come to see Cain’s struggle regarding his unacceptable offering to God as a matter of intimacy. Read on to see why…

Now Abel kept flocks, and Cain worked the soil. In the course of time Cain brought some of the fruits of the soil as an offering to the Lord. And Abel also brought an offering—fat portions from some of the firstborn of his flock. The Lord looked with favor on Abel and his offering, but on Cain and his offering he did not look with favor. So Cain was very angry, and his face was downcast.

Then the Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it.”

Now Cain said to his brother Abel, “Let’s go out to the field.” While they were in the field, Cain attacked his brother Abel and killed him. (To read the entire conversation in Genesis 4:2-11, click here.)

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The passage says Abel gave “the first” of his flock. It states Cain only gave “some” of his produce.

  • Later in the Old Testament we read that God required the first of the produce or flocks as an offering every year (Deuteronomy 26:1-11). This was so God’s people would annually be reminded He was their provider, and to give them an opportunity to exhibit trust in His ability to provide well for them throughout the rest of the year. (Our tithe is to to the same.)
  • Every offering had to come from the best the giver could give (Malachi 1:8). Doing anything else would mean the giver was saving the best for themselves showing the intents of their hearts to be less than fully devoted to God the true giver. (Our offerings do the same.)

From this passage, I learn:

  • God isn’t being cruel when he corrects me, His love is offering me a way of growth and greater intimacy with Him as I experience His personal provision and care.
  • His warnings are only to protect me from harm.
  • My enemy, the devil, will always distort God’s instructions to mean God is either insecure or too demanding and therefore unfair.
  • When I listen to God’s warnings in His Word and the prompting of His Spirit, I can be assured He’s pointing me to greater intimacy with Him which offers me the greatest freedom because of how He made us.

What do my actions and attitudes say? Like Cain, is pride more important than intimacy? Are my things or maintaining control more important?

What do these ‘more important’ things say about my heart toward God? Does my heart show a yieldedness that longs for intimacy with Him; or does my heart show greater loves?

I want to know [in the Greek this word is the same used for sexual intimacy – a personal knowing] Christ—yes, to know [same word] the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11 and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead. Phil 3:10-11 (NIV)

I long for intimacy with God, and so lately these are questions I’m asking myself.

Which are you?

These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.

Matthew 15:8

“Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,” declares the LORD, “and will bring you back from captivity. I will gather you from all the nations and places where I have banished you,” declares the LORD, “and will bring you back to the place from which I carried you into exile.”

Jeremiah 29:12-14 NIV

Lord, may I seek you with all my heart, not allowing anything separate me from intimacy with You. In Jesus’ name, amen

With much love,

Robin <3

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Wisdom for Conquering Jealousy

Wisdom in Dealing with Jealousy

  • The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure. 1 Corinthians 10:13
  • “If someone is leaving you behind, and you are becoming jealous and embittered, keep praying that he may have success in the very matter where he is awakening your envy; and whether he is helped or not, one thing is sure, that your own soul will be cleansed and ennobled.” – William Law
  • The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. 2 Corinthians 10:4-5

Read more: https://www.christianquotes.info/quotes-by-topic/quotes-about-jealousy/#ixzz590FINy3e https://www.christianquotes.info/quotes-by-topic/quotes-about-jealousy/#ixzz590Ingo00

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With love,


When I Fear the Opinion of Others

Fear of how others view mesays more about me than them.How others treat me flows from their heartwhile my fear flows from mine.The only remedy is a changeof heart. (1)

The only remedy for fear of how others view me is to refocus on those whose opinions of me matter most:

God created me. His views trump all others. (Psalm 139:13-18)

Jesus died for my salvation. His views trump all others. (Romans 5:6-11)

In Christ, the Holy Spirit dwells within me. His views trump all others. (Romans 5:15)

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A Remedy for Jealousy

It's so easy to forget God wants us to compare ourselves with no one, but to see ourselves and our gifts through His eyes alone (2)

My blogging journey has been anything but easy. I love to write and love all I’m learning, but my older years haven’t made it easy for me to learn new tricks and so gaining followers has been an uphill climb. Recently, as I perused my social media feeds, my eyes locked onto an Instagram post from a fellow blogger who was sharing a recent blessing from a follower. She’s young and talented and frankly God wanted her to know she had encouraged someone along their journey. Instantly I found myself struggling with jealousy because of God’s blessing and encouragement. Fortunately, God’s blessing of conviction followed on the heals of my temptation. “Robin, you should be glad for her. You know how hard it can sometimes be to write!”

Had not God’s Spirit invaded my thoughts in that moment, jealousy could have poisoned my heart and mind. These days, it would be easy to blame social media for my emotions, but I can’t. Jealousy has been around since the fall – remember Cain and Abel?

Now Abel kept flocks, and Cain worked the soil. In the course of time Cain brought some of the fruits of the soil as an offering to the Lord. And Abel also brought an offering—fat portions from some of the firstborn of his flock. The Lord looked with favor on Abel and his offering, but on Cain and his offering he did not look with favor. So Cain was very angry, and his face was downcast.

Then the Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it.”

Now Cain said to his brother Abel, “Let’s go out to the field. While they were in the field, Cain attacked his brother Abel and killed him.

Then the Lord said to Cain, “Where is your brother Abel?”

“I don’t know,” he replied. “Am I my brother’s keeper?”

What should Cain have avoided, and what should we avoid to quell jealousy?

  • In pride, Cain elevated his own way over God’s, producing anger at not getting what he felt entitled to receive.
  • Cain rejected God’s admonition to control his hurt pride and anger, and instead fed his sense of entitlement.
  • Cain gave full vent to his anger, adding to it deceit and murder.
  • Instead of confessing his sin when confronted, he brushed it off, hardening his heart further.
If left unchecked jealousy damages us within so that we no longer value relationships with God and man as God intended. Click To Tweet

My thoughts that day weren’t any where near murderous, and most of us will never go that far. But left unchecked, jealousy can bear such fruit as bitterness, anger, and hatred. Scripture gives us strong warnings about allowing such emotions to take control:

Look after each other so that none of you fails to receive the grace of God. Watch out that no poisonous root of bitterness grows up to trouble you, corrupting many. Hebrews 12:15 (NLT)

“You have heard that our ancestors were told, ‘You must not murder. If you commit murder, you are subject to judgment.’ But I say, if you are even angry with someone, you are subject to judgment [a necessity to stand before God’s court]! Matthew 5:22 (NLT)

Anyone who hates another brother or sister is really a murderer at heart. And you know that murderers don’t have eternal life within them. 1 John 3:15 (NLT)

If left unchecked jealousy damages us within so that we no longer value relationships with God and man as God intended
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What are our alternatives?

  • Remember God has a unique plan for us that won’t look like anyone else’s plan. When God’s plan for the moment seems as though he’s comparing us to someone else, remember He’s not.
It's so easy to forget God wants us to compare ourselves with no one, but to see ourselves and our gifts through His eyes alone. Click To Tweet
  • When God advises us to make a different choice, listen – He’s only warning us for our good. God sees the outcome as well as our current circumstances. Listen well.
  • We are called to take control of our emotions rather than allowing our emotions to control us.

We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.

2 Corinthians 10:5

Above all, God longs for us to experience the full measure of gifts found in relationship with both him and our fellow man. Jealousy destroys relationship. Get rid of it quickly!

Lord, thank you for dealing with my thoughts quickly. Thank you for strengthening me to listen and yield to your tender admonitions rather than giving into jealousy. Help us to see the dangers of allowing jealousy full sway, and choose your way instead. In Jesus’ name, amen.

With love,

Robin <3

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Do I Willingly Cover Another’s Shame?


As I consider Christ's sacrifice to cover and eradicate my shame, it makes me ponder: am I willing to cover the shame of another? Click To Tweet

Post 5, 2018

I was at a meeting a couple of weeks ago where I knew no one. Most of us at the meeting were strangers, so as the meeting commenced, we each went around the room and shared a bit about ourselves. It wasn’t long before a particular individual stood out as someone wanting to control every aspect of the conversation. With almost every introduction, this person had something crucial to say about this or that and so interrupted almost everyone as they spoke. Even after the introductions, she dominated the discussion, oblivious to the facial expressions and body language of the other participants indicating frustration at her monopoly.

I began to rile inside with the inability to stop her interruptions, and longed for the moderator to step in. As the evening progressed, I realized I needed to check my own body language so as not to come across as rude and indifferent, yet am not certain how well I accomplished grace. I was really ticked off.

Once alone, and again the next morning, my emotions were still unsettled and a bit miffed. As I remembered the previous evening, I began to pray, “Lord, would you please convict the hearts of those moderating so this doesn’t happen every week? Would you let them realize they must gain some control of the situation?”

love covers

Then the inaudible voice of the Holy Spirit began to speak and convict me, “Robin, what if instead you prayed I convict her of her need to control all conversations? What if you asked me to free her from her bondage to needing control? What if you prayed my Spirit move within the meeting each week and moderate all conversation toward building one another up in Christ?

Then without warning, the Spirit began to hone in on my own heart….What if you saw your own need to control and show grace? And what if you considered maybe why she may have this tendency?

What if I checked my own heart and loved in a way so as not to add to another's wounds by my own frustration toward them? Click To Tweet

Covering shame.

God’s love through me sacrificing my comfort to cover her shame. Or as the Apostle Paul put it:

LOVE... (1)
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Truth. Life. Transforming me, then transforming others through me.

Lord, forgive me for thinking not of her need, but only of my own discomfort. Forgive me for looking only on the outward appearance of things, and thank you for reminding me of someone’s bruised heart. Forgive me for wanting to take this into my own hands and forgetting your Spirit is able to move and work in a grand way to free each of us. Please use this time to show each of us our need, and may your Spirit love lavishly through us as we meet.

So all can experience having their shame covered.

For your honor, and our good.

In Jesus’ name, amen.

You may also wish to look at the previous post, “A Love that Covers Shame

With gratitude for God’s love covering my shame,

Robin <3

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To Trust or Worry?

Part Two of a Series which began last week with ‘God’s Abundance or My Scarcity

trustPart Two in a series running through December

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Over the course of four weeks, I’ve been thinking a lot on whether I live in God’s abundance or cling to my scarcity. It all began with a sermon posing this question:

Do I recognize and embrace God’s abundant gifts; or do I instead choose to live on my scarce resources?

As I’ve pondered this question,  it’s made me consider the last seven months as my husband was off work with an injury. I’ve never had to deal with anything like this as an adult, and so making decisions regarding money has been a bit of a challenge for me.

There were times during these months when we both felt compelled by the Holy Spirit to make certain choices trusting God to provide. When Gary was injured in April, and we realized his recovery would be long, we both felt I was to stay home and write rather than quickly look for work. Because of this decision, I was able to attend Mary DeMuth’s Writer’s Intensive in July. I wasn’t planning on attending the conference when Gary was injured, nor did we expect one week before leaving for the conference Gary would end up in the ER with a one week’s hospital stay. But when the conference came to my attention, we both felt very strongly I’d miss out on something God wanted to do if I didn’t attend. The conference changed my life, and possibly our future.

There were times those seven months I didn’t know what to do in regards to our finances, and so made decisions I still question.

There were times I made downright foolish decisions and spent money I shouldn’t have for one reason and another.

But isn’t that life?

We all have moments as believers when we sense God calling us to step out into something new and a bit frightening. Doing so doesn’t mean every decision we make during that time will be perfect. Some decisions will end up successful. Some decisions will be failures. 

No matter what, embrace God's abundance. Click To Tweet

I recently read in Suzanne Eller’s book Come With Me,

“Jesus never promised Simon or any of his disciples that following him was a one-time, no-risk-involved, feel-safe-and-comfortable-always venture. In fact, he often assured them of the opposite. We are asked to push out deeper a second, third, fourth time. What is God asking you to do? Have you resisted? Has the focus been on the results or on the obstacles over the joy of walking with Jesus?”

Let’s take a moment to re-read what God’s Word says:

…His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence. 2 Peter 1:3 (NASB)

And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus. Phil. 4:19 (NLT)

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My need isn’t always what I think it is. Maybe God’s abundance for me right now is:

  • Providing His peace that passes all understanding to guard my heart and mind in Christ Jesus as I step out in faith. (Phil. 4:7)
  • Granting humility so I quickly run to Him for wisdom rather than making quick decisions based on my own desires. (James 1:5)
  • Strengthening me to can ask Him to Him to search my heart, know my thoughts, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. So any failures draw me to Him rather than away from Him. (Psalm 139:23).

My only other option is to worry. And unfortunately, other things tag along when worry becomes our choice.

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Worry is white noise that distracts me from hearing God's gentle voice clearly. Click To Tweet

Worry is a barrier to receiving God's abundance. Click To Tweet

Worry is the grasping for my scarcity because I'm afraid God may be as overwhelmed as I am. Click To Tweet 

What’s going on in your world? Where do you need to trust in God’s abundance for this moment? If you’d like me to pray, please send a message. We can pray for each other, as I too constantly must work through this myself.

With love,

Robin <3

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In the Meantime, [Don’t] Give Up

When life gets tough, and despair seeps deeply into our bones, giving up seems only natural.  Yet, God offers us so much more.

The last month has been difficult.  Discouragement.  Weariness.  Grief.  I’d lost a friend and felt helpless to minister to the family. My son seemed to be falling apart at the seams and I’d so hoped we were past all this. Discouragement hounded my thoughts and spirit until I felt like I was beginning….to………d r o w n.

Through the course of the last two weeks, knowing I couldn’t rise above the crashing waves alone, God sent life preservers in the form of thoughts, scripture, sermons, and people.

Below are some of those precious life preservers I’ve held onto:

My choice is to believe God's word or my feelings. God says he is with me and won't let go. His love is too great to allow anything to crush me victoriously! Click To Tweet

“…Jesus loves us. I’m absolutely convinced that nothing—nothing living or dead, angelic or demonic, today or tomorrow, high or low, thinkable or unthinkable—absolutely nothing can get between us and God’s love because of the way that Jesus our Master has embraced us.” Romans 8:38-39 (MSG)

I'm not fighting a battle of emotions alone; I'm fighting an enemy who cunningly knows how to use my emotions and circumstances for his purposes! I must fight rather than give in. Click To Tweet

This is not a wrestling match against a human opponent. We are wrestling with rulers, authorities, the powers who govern this world of darkness, and spiritual forces that control evil in the heavenly world. 13 For this reason, take up all the armor that God supplies. Then you will be able to take a stand during these evil days. Once you have overcome all obstacles, you will be able to stand your ground. Ephesians 6:12-13 (GW) 

“So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” James 4:8 (NLT)

My inclination is to doubt God and give in. But I must choose instead to worship, even if tentatively. Click To Tweet

I found as I made worship a focus, despair began to crumble in the presence of the proclamation of truth.  

“…3-4 for you are holy.  The praises of our fathers surrounded your throne; they trusted you and you delivered them. You heard their cries for help and saved them; they were never disappointed when they sought your aid.” Psalm 22:3-5 (TLB)

Finally, last week’s sermon entitled “In the Meantime” struck at the core of my heart, infusing me with strength, becoming the final blow to despair.  The passage’s main scriptures were I Corinthians 13:12 (NLT) and Mark 6:45-53 (NKJV).  Below are the main points from the sermon notes.

Immediately He made His disciples get into the boat and go before Him to the other side, to Bethsaida, while He sent the multitude away. And when He had sent them away, He departed to the mountain to pray. Now when evening came, the boat was in the middle of the sea; and He was alone on the land. Then He saw them straining at rowing, for the wind was against them. Now about the fourth watch of the night He came to them, walking on the sea, and would have passed them by. And when they saw Him walking on the sea, they supposed it was a ghost, and cried out; for they all saw Him and were troubled. But immediately He talked with them and said to them, “Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid.” Then He went up into the boat to them, and the wind ceased. (A portion of the Mark passage)

  1. Just because God is silent, doesn’t mean God is absent. (Isaiah 55:8-9, NLT)
  2. Just because it doesn’t go according to your plan, doesn’t mean it isn’t according to God’s purpose. (Joshua 14:6-12, NLT and Proverbs 19:21, NLT)
  3. STAY IN THE BOAT (Romans 8:28, NIV)

Between the time the disciples strained at the oars in fear of their lives, and the time Jesus entered the boat and calmed the storm must have felt something like I have the last 3-4 weeks.

Yet the storm, and their feelings of fear weren’t the total reality. The unseen truth at the moment was:  “Even though it seemed the storm held sway over their lives, Jesus was master over the storm.  His power over the storm and their lives was a reality before they experienced it.  The storm was subject to Jesus whether or not he calmed it.

Our fear is, “Will he choose to calm the storm, or will he let me drown?”

Yet the truth, even in the midst of the storm, is:

The storm will never be master over me, no matter how much it rages.  Jesus is Master and it must bow at his feet. Even if I drown.  

Because, if I drown, Jesus has the power to either revive me or take me home. Either way, Jesus, rather than the storm has the greater power, and he is the one who chooses the outcome.  The storm is never the deciding factor when Jesus is in the equation.

With Jesus, the storm never wins.

With love and prayers,

Robin <3

p.s. I will be vacationing and attending a writer’s intensive in a couple of weeks, but will be preparing next week.  Because of this, I may not be able to post.  I will miss you, but am excited about the possibilities coming from this training!  God Bless!