Gleanings from Psalm 119

This morning I was doing a bible lesson on Psalm 119. It’s a very long chapter so I was assigned to break down just the first 88 verses! LOL! Anyway, from all the things I gleaned from that passage, the most significant to me was this…. Obedience is all about the heart. It’s not about checking things off your ‘religious list’ or your ‘good deeds lists.’ No, God wants a loving and personal relationship with each of us. He wants to spend time with us. He wants our heart more than anything. He loves us so much. And when I trust Him to know what’s best for me, I wholeheartedly obey. (Often though, my pride, selfishness or disbelief gets in the way!) Here are just a few of the observations I jotted down in my journal from Psalm 119…..


May I add that my trust or understanding in the Lord’s love for me is only possible by the power and grace of the Holy Spirit through Christ. I can’t know God the Father apart from the saving power of His Son, Jesus Christ.

The more I embrace His loving grace, the more I want to seek His face!

So, how do I sum up Psalm 119:1-88? In a nutshell, “LEARNING, LOVING AND LIVING OUT GOD’S WORD!”

Hanukkah: Preparing the Way to Christmas!

hanukkahWell, the eighth day of lighting the Hanukkiah was tonight. What a rich time of learning it has been! I think that it’s amazing that Hanukkah proceeds Christmas on our calendars, just as it did more than 2,000 years ago! See, the rededication of the Temple had to occur BEFORE  Jesus, the Lord of the Temple, entered the world and came to us! In a sense, Hanukkah helped prepare the way for that first Christmas, the time we celebrate the birth of our King!

And just as the physical Temple first needed to be cleansed and rededicated, our body (the new temple of God) also needs to be cleansed from sin and rededicated to God.

I Corinthians 6:19

‘Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? ‘

The parable of the 10 Virgins is a great lesson for how we are (and are not) to live…

Matthew 25:1-13

“At that time the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish and five were wise. The foolish ones took their lamps but did not take any oil with them. The wise ones, however, took oil in jars along with their lamps. The bridegroom was a long time in coming, and they all became drowsy and fell asleep.

“At midnight the cry rang out: ‘Here’s the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!’

“Then all the virgins woke up and trimmed their lamps. The foolish ones said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil; our lamps are going out.’ “‘No,’ they replied, ‘there may not be enough for both us and you. Instead, go to those who sell oil and buy some for yourselves.’

“But while they were on their way to buy the oil, the bridegroom arrived. The virgins who were ready went in with him to the wedding banquet. And the door was shut.

“Later the others also came. ‘Lord, Lord,’ they said, ‘open the door for us!’ “But he replied, ‘Truly I tell you, I don’t know you.’ “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour.

First of all, the message teaches us to not be just an ‘outwardly professing’ Christian (represented by the five foolish virgins who ran out of time to get more oil).

In Matthew 15:8-9, Jesus says,

‘These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. They worship me in vain; their teachings are merely human rules.”

Then in the book of Titus, it says,

They profess to know God, but by their deeds they deny Him, being detestable and disobedient and worthless for any good deed. (Titus 1:16)

The limited supply of oil may appear to get them through this life, but their light will eventually go out upon death. And if they don’t prepare ahead of time, they will miss out for all eternity! The door to eternal life with the King of Kings will permanently be closed.

Secondly, we are, in contrast, to be like the five wise virgins who brought enough oil with them to make their way through the dark and dangerous journey.  This is one who is a true believer inwardly. One that is born-again and saved by faith through grace; is forgiven of sin; has experienced true repentance; lives obediently (this doesn’t mean perfectly); praises and worships the Father through His Son, Jesus Christ; and desires the Bridegroom’s Return!

The third lesson we learn from the 10 Virgins parable is that we are to remember to keep our wicks trimmed so that our light (good deeds) shines brightly to illuminate the love of Christ in the darkness of this world until the day of His Great Return!

Matthew 5:14-15

“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”

(Isaiah 9:1-3, 6)

‘The people walking in darkness have seen a great light;
on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned.
You have enlarged the nation
and increased their joy;
they rejoice before you as people rejoice at the harvest,…For to us a child is born, to us a son is given,
and the government will be on his shoulders. 
And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Heavenly Father, thank you for sending your One and Only Son, Jesus, to us that wondrous day. Your Bride eagerly awaits your next visit to come bring us home!

Know Jesus and Make Him Known during this joyful season of holidays! Happy Hanukkah and Merry Christmas!


For more information about Hanukkah, please check out these articles:


Holy Bootcamp, Robin!

I believe every blogger probably begins with a burning in their soul to share with the world something that is precious to them. What compels our souls to speak out? So much so, that we know if we don’t, the rocks will shout out? Well, I know what it is for me….

In 20-plus years of knowing my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, I have stood upon tall mountaintops and have crawled through dark valleys. But in the past five or so years of my walk, complacency began taking a toll on me. I believe God put me through a month-long spiritual bootcamp recently to get me back into proper shape. He needed to 11017670-young-woman-hiking-at-the-forestbring me to a deeper trust in Him so I could battle through any future life terrain with more strength, endurance and dependence on Him.  This ‘bootcamp’ period had followed a long and painful season of trials and emotional fallout. And what preceded that time, was a season of loneliness. I spiraled downward. My marriage was struggling, as well as my relationships with my kids, neighbors and others. I was just discouraged and angry all the time. I was plain lost. I think I actually forgot where I was going. But it didn’t happen all at once. See, once Satan got my eyes off Jesus, my Hiking Guide,  just long enough, I started experiencing spiritual vertigo. I couldn’t make sense of direction anymore. My new comfort was hiding my head under my backpack, hoping I could just sit there for awhile…..

Reality set in regarding how off course I really was. It was time to get face to face with the depth of my lostness. And how could I deal with this, while at the same time, I was seeing the fearful holiness of God peaking out behind that mountain? It was almost too much to © Copyright 2012 CorbisCorporationbear. I wanted to run. But where would I go? I wanted Jesus. But I didn’t know if I could trust that He’d still be there to lead me. I was the one who left Him.  I know what you’re thinking…. “Why did you doubt God’s character? He’s forgiving. Why wouldn’t He accept you back this time?” Believe me, I asked myself those questions many times! I had told thousands of people over the years of God’s amazing grace through Jesus Christ. Would He not extend it to me once again, as well? But my hang-up was not really with God. It was with me. I felt hypocritical and I had to trust that His love for me was still more than my own depravity. I didn’t doubt my eternal salvation in Him, but could I really ever get back to where I was before I got lost?

This is where the character of God blows me away. See, I do think God needed me to go to the edge of that mountain just to get a peak at my lostness on that big mountain. Not so I would fall, but to see things the way He saw them. I do know, as scary as it was, God was gripping me tight. And I promise you, I was clinging to Him with all my might! I hated what I saw in my inner being. I hated how I stopped trusting His leadership in my life and willingly turned and went my own way. But all I could do at this point was trust that greater was He that was in me than the sin that so easily entangled me! He knew my heart. He knew my sin, whether in thought or deed. He knew my desperation to get right with Him again. I just had to trust Him.

God knows how I struggle! I am not under any delusion about the ‘potential’ of my sinful nature. God keeps me in check every day about that. No, He doesn’t throw it in my face. It’s just that now I better understand the depth of His Amazing Grace and how absolutely necessary it is for me to never lose sight of my Heavenly Guide!

One more important step I needed to take was to put down my burdensome backpack that was filled with expectations, bitterness, trials and disappointment. Jesus said in Matthew 11:28-30, ‘Come to me, all of you who are tired and are carrying heavy loads. I will give you rest. Become my servants and learn from me. I am gentle and free of pride. You will find rest for your souls.  Serving me is easy, and my load is light.’ The Apostle Paul says in Ephesians 4:31,  ‘Get rid of all hard feelings, anger and rage. Stop all fighting and lying. Put away every form of hatred. 32 Be kind and tender to one another. Forgive each other, just as God forgave you because of what Christ has done.’

I will end by saying that God did not bring me back to that place I was before my trials set in. No, He launched me up that mountain to a better place than I could ever imagine! God proved that no matter how big my downfall seems to be, He is always BIGGER!!! ‘You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done…’ (Genesis 50:20)

I am so incredibly thankful that He loved me enough to forgive me and refresh me with a bottle of Living Water at that point of spiritual dehydration. So it’s time to climb some more…but in His strength and power, not mine!


‘ I can do all this through him who gives me strength.’ (Philippians 4:13)

‘Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.’ (Ephesians 3:20-21)