Bethany's BlogWords of Encouragement

Naming God




Then she called the name of the Lord who spoke to her. "You are God Who Sees", for she said, "Have I not even here [in the wilderness] remained alive after seeing Him [who sees me with understanding and compassion]? Therefore the well was called Beer-lahai-roi (Well of the Living One Who Sees Me); it is between Kadesh and Bared. So Hagar gave birth to Abram's son; and Abram named his son, to whom Hagar gave birth, Ishmael (God hears.) Genesis 16:13-15

Recently, I read a book by Rachel Held Evens. I read it because Rachel was a proactive Christian for women and a very progressive thinker.  Sadly, she has died at the young age of 37, but the impact she left behind has been insurmountable.

In her book, Inspired, she tells the story of Hagar from a first person account.  I loved reading it. I loved it because of all the times I've read this story, I didn't think about the fact that Hagar is the ONLY one in the Bible that actually named God. She had an amazing encounter with God after running away from her mistress, who treated her harshly and humiliated her. Hagar retreated to the wilderness where an Angel of the Lord found her by a spring of water on the road to Shur.  

The Angel said to her, "Go back to your mistress, and submit humbly to her." He continued by saying, "I will greatly multiply your descendants so that they will be too many to count."  The Angel then told her that she was pregnant and that she would have a son.  He instructed her to name her son Ishmael (God hears.)

Hagar then called the name of the Lord who spoke to her "You are God Who Sees. Have I not even remained alive after seeing Him [Who sees me with understanding and compassion.]?"

Hagar returned to her mistress and she did give birth to a son and she named him Ishmael.

Hagar was a servant girl, powerless. Yet, God saw her completely different. He had his eye on her from the beginning, and He never stopped seeing her. He gave her power through her womb, and she became a mother of a nation. She heard the voice and she believed it to be true, she rose up and she obeyed. For a young women that had only been used and overlooked, God saw her, and she named Him for it.

God is talking to you as well. He sees you. He hears you. Maybe there's something else that touches your heart in the way that He is there for you. What would you name God?

For me,  He is the God that speaks. When all else is silent and I have no idea what to do or where to turn, God speaks. I've been told that I'm not good enough to hear that voice of God, but I know that God isn't measuring me by the standards of what I've done or not done, He sees my heart and He speaks to me. I only need to listen.

The God Who Speaks!

The Family Promise

Praise the Lord! Blessed [fortunate, prosperous, and favored by God] is the man who fears the Lord [with awe inspired reverence and worships Him with obedience], who delights greatly in His commandments. His descendants will be mighty on earth; the generation of the upright will be blessed. Wealth and riches are in his house, and his righteousness endures forever. Light arises in the darkness for the upright; he is gracious and compassionate and righteous (upright-in right standing with God).

Psalms 112:1-4

The Psalms are packed with beautiful promises, I especially love Psalms 112.  We have five children and this chapter tells me that they will be mighty on this earth because my husband and I have humbly gone before them to our God with inspired reverence and worship and obedience.  Our generations will be blessed. They will have an uncommon wealth and richness within their homes, and a light that shines through all darkness. They will be in right standing with our God.

The chapter continues on:

He conducts his affairs with justice

He will not fear bad news, his heart is steadfast, trusting in the Lord

He gives freely to the poor

His horn will be exalted in honor

The horn is a symbol of power. When a righteous person used the horn in old testament times it meant prominence and a lasting sense of worth in his or her life. Isn't this exactly what all parents want for their legacy? When our children have the power of God in their lives they have prominence within the community.  When they have the power of God they know exactly who they are and how much they are valued.  

Being a parent is hard work. When we first started having children over 30 years ago we consciously decided that we would raise them as Christians in a learning environment.  We both knew that we had a lot to learn and many old patterns from our family history that needed to be broken.  God raised our children through us and has kept his promises.  He is good all the time.  He has blessed them and blessed us with a lasting legacy of love. I am so grateful.

Delight yourself in the Lord today, worship him and obey.  He will create a legacy that prospers for generations with light and hope.

God's Highway



A voice of one is calling out, "Clear the way for the Lord in the wilderness [remove the obstacles]; make straight and smooth in the desert a highway for our God. "Every valley shall be raised, and every mountain and hill made low; and let the rough ground become a plain, and the rugged places a broad valley. and the glory and majesty and splendor of the Lord will be revealed, and all humanity shall see it together; for the mouth of the Lord has spoken it."

Isaiah 40:3-4

Have you had times in your life when you feel like you are living in a wilderness? Life is a daily wandering of thoughts and tasks, and you are not sure how to get to your intended purpose?  I have felt this way.  I have been the voice calling out in the wilderness for the Lord to clear away the obstacles within me.  I love to envision that within my heart and mind there resides a highway, smooth and straight, for God.  When I allow Him to travel there, He carries me through every valley. Some valleys are very dark, damp, and despairing, but when He is there carrying me through on His highway, I am able to persevere.  The mountains I face can appear impossible, yet He paves a way and lowers their impact. I don't have to conquer the mountain, when God has already built His highway through them.  I only need believe that He will show me a way. He will bring me to wide open spaces, broad valleys, and show me His glory through the journey. God will be praised by all peoples through the redemption of our highways, yours and mine. He knows the way every time! 

What are the obstacles that hold you back, the mountains that feel impossible to climb? Are you ready to call out to Him to bring you into the broad valley? Do you believe He will?

In my own life I ask Him to remove all obstacles on the path in front of me, and in front of my family. I declare His promise of a smooth and straight highway for Him to work in my life, and I envision him bringing me to broad open spaces.  This is who God is and how much He loves me. 

This is how He loves you too!

The Big Cover Up




Blessed and Happy and Favored are those whose lawless acts have been forgiven, and whose sins have been covered up and completely buried.

Romans 4:7 (Amplified)

Recently, I received a big cozy blanket from a friend. It has quickly become a favorite of mine. I like to wrap in it, completely covered, warm, and cozy. It's a beautiful red color, with white on the inside, and it's very soft. It reminds me of a dream I had several years ago where I was standing in an open field with snow all around me. Jesus came walking out of the forest and walked up behind me and covered me with a beautiful red coat. He then came to the front of me and put big white wooly boots on my feet, then he gently took my hand and led me down the path.  It was a very significant and incredible dream for me.  I felt Blessed, Happy, and Favored. This is an amazing feeling when one has been burdened with lawless acts. 

Jesus is our Cover.  From the very beginning of time, He has been tenderly bringing the big cover up to our lives.  When Adam and Eve indulged in the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, they felt immediate shame over their sinful actions.  They felt so horrible about what they had done, they hid.  Suddenly, they could see more and their nakedness was embarrassing to them. Before they met up with God that evening, they tried to make clothes for themselves out of leaves. When God saw them, he had compassion on them, and he made clothes for them himself. In Genesis 3:21 it says "The Lord made tunics of [animal] skins for adam and his wife and clothed them."  He COVERED them.

Much later, when the Israelites were wandering through the desert, God sent a cloud cover to lead them. "The [presence of the] Lord was going before them by day in a pillar (column) of cloud to lead them along the way, and in a pillar of fire by night to give them light, so that they could travel by day and by night." Genesis 13:21

Just like the warmth and safety of my red blanket covering me up, God does this in a much bigger way.  His covering buries my flaws and sins and leads me day and night into His righteousness! This is a big sigh of relief, because I cannot cover myself, I cannot bury my lawless acts, only God does this.  

Are you walking under the Big Cover Up today? Do you know how forgiven you are? Let him cover you and know his blessings, happiness and favor today!

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