Day 1 – I started my journey a little early and last night read the first 14 chapters of Genesis. I found somethng interesting in chap 5 & 6. Gen 5:22, 24, says that Enoch walked with God thus God took him (not through death but actually translated to Heaven) and in Gen 6:8 says Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord and in v 24, it tells us why – Noah was a just man and Noah walked with God. I would love for my obituary to say “and Laurie walked with God.” What does it take to be considered “walking with God?” I plan to find out during this 21 Day journey! Won’t you come along with me? You can start right now!

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 Day 2 – More reading! I was reading in Genesis about Abram, when God came to him in a vision (Gen 15) and said “Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your exceedingly great reward.” What does it mean to you for God to be your shield? for God to say He is your shield, He is telling you, “I will be your protection. I will prevent the arrows of Satan from piercing you. I am you covering.” But a shield is only good if you utilize it. Several times throughout this story, it says “and Abram called on the name of the Lord”. I believe this is how Abram utilized his shield. A simple inquiring of the Lord.

After God visited Abram in a vision, Gen 15:6 says “And he believed in the Lord and He accounted it to him for righteousness.” God added up everything that Abraham’s belief meant to Him and determined that it was equal to righteousness. After all, Abraham believed some pretty far-fetched things! But he believed them because God said them!

If we simply believed because God said, I believe He would account it to us as righteousness!

When we will learn to take God at His Word? To simply believe? Maybe when we call upon the name of the Lord on a regular basis! Maybe when we fellowship with God continuously! Maybe when we get self out of the way and stop over-analyzing everything God tells us!

Do you know what God did after Abram asked “How shall I know that I will inherit it?” God cut covenant with Abram – covenant is an everlasting bond that cannot be broken!! This covenant means that what God has is now Abram’s. That God will protect Abram. This is an everlasting covenant. And this covenant was not just for Abram but for all of the seed of Abraham! Now this should excite you! Because that means you and me are included in that covenant! God has made covenant with you and me – an unbreakable covenant! He is our shield. He is our provision. He takes on our liabilities. He is our exceedingly great reward!

(to learn more about the Blood Covenant – read “The Miracle of the Scarlet Thread” by Richard Booker)

Let me know how your journey is going! Let’s encourage each other as we walk this out!

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Day 3 – Went to work today so not much else going on thus far. Very tired. After I eat some supper I will try to read some. I suggest you get Lysa Terkeurst’s book “Made to Crave” even if you don’t have an issue with food. It is applicable to anything you place first in your life other than God. I know it is a hard truth to come by but whatever you spend the most time and finances on is your idol. Some people make their children #1, some their job, some a hobby and some food! Whatever takes first place in your heart and mind is your idol.

God wants to fill that place! Everything else will be blessed if you make relationship with God #1. Yesterday I was reading about Abraham, when God instructed him to take Isaac, go to the mountain and sacrifice him. Abraham didn’t hesitate because he understood covenant! Because God had made covenant with Abraham, he knew that what God promised would have to come to pass. You see covenant is an unbreakable bond! The punishment for breaking covenant is death! So, therefore, when God asked Abraham for his son, Isaac – Abraham didn’t question, didn’t quarrel, nor did he quiver! No fear was found in his heart. He knew that if God said it – it was done! He told his men, wait here and me and Lad will return. No question! Covenant relationship is the strongest bond there is!

Do you believe God in such a way that you trust his every command? Or do you question or quarrel with God? Do you quiver with fright when He asks more of you than you want to give? Throughout this process, I hope to begin my journey to complete faith, belief, and ultimately obedience to Father God! I know I will never be perfect because I’m human. But I also know I have a long way to go! I am pursuing relationship with all I know to do and fully expect to find it! With relationship comes faith! You can’t trust someone you don’t know!

Come along on the journey – it’s not too late.

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 Day 4 –  Finished reading the book of Genesis last night.  Now that’s a good book for all you readers.  The book ends with the story of Joseph.  I wonder how many people would have made the same decisions as he did when confronted with his brothers so many years after they sold him into slavery.  He had all the authority in the country to have them killed but instead he treated them kindly, supplied them with food, livestock and land.  Because Joseph had submitted to the maturing process that God allowed, he was in the spiritual postion to forgive.  He even recognized that it was God who sent him to that country.  He states in Gen 50:20, “But as for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good…”  I think that statement could have ended with, but God

Do you have a – but God… story to tell?  “Satan meant to kill me in a car accident, but God…”  Satan meant to take my Dad after heart surgery, but God…”   Satan meant to severely injure my sister and nephew in a car accident, but God…”    i could go on and on with my “but God” stories!  It pays to be in  relationship with the one and only true God – the covenant keeping God!

As you realize that all God is waiting on is us  – then we can move towards Him and reap what our covenant partner has sown!  That’s the way covenant works – what’s  your’s is mine and what’s mine is your’s!  What a good deal for us fleshly humans.  All we have to offer our covenant partner is “us”.  The good news is – that’s all He wants! –  Relationship with “us”!! Relationship with God is the highest reward we could ever obtain – all the other is just icing on the cake!

Tell me your ‘but God…” story!   I should be dead right now, but God…

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 Day 5 – Friday! Had a rotten day at work but then did I really think that this first week of my 21 days was going to go smooth? Nah! You know one of those days when everybody irritated the life out of you? Yeah, one of those days! But then I got to go to church! yay!

I’ve begun reading Exodus – I’m on the story of Moses! This is a great story! I love that when the King commanded the midwives to kill the male Hebrew children that they would not do so because they feared God more than they feared the King (Ex 1:17). The fear of the Lord is a powerful thing! This is not fear as in being scared – this is fear as in reverence and awe! Psalm 111:10 says “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom”. If you have a proper reverential fear of the Lord, you will seek His wisdom in your daily life. You will seek relationship with this awe inspiring Father! You will realize that without Him, you can do nothing!

Again, the point of this 21 Day Journey is to pursue closer, more intimate relationship – the kind of intimacy where you are close enough to hear a whisper. The kind of relationship where you continually commune with one another! Constant fellowship = constant guidance = wisdom!

Have a great weekend!

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Day 6 – Saturday! Yay – I will spending the day with my husband and 2 daughters! Family time – #2 and #3 of my relationship goals! We are going to the movies later this afternoon! I ate lunch with my 2 girls and my oldest sister and my Mama – #4 of my list! Relationships – it’s what we are made for!

I just read a blog article reviewing a book called “Why You Do the Things You Do” by Tim Clinton & Gary Sibcy about relationships. This is an excerpt of the review:

“Clinton and Sibcy then turn to an evaluation of these relationship styles as they play out in the three major relationships in an individual’s life—relationship with God, spouse, and children. They explicitly reiterate what was implied in the first half of the book, positing God as a safe haven even when there is no other. One’s relationship with God should be primary, and a secure relationship with God will help foster secure relationships with other people even amidst tragedy. This relationship will not come naturally and must be longed for and worked at, but it represents the foundation for all other relationships and must therefore be secure in order to provide support for the others.
They key to working towards a secure relationship will come through evaluating one’s past and understanding the need for healing. Then, by reframing the story into its proper perspective, healing can begin. When one realizes one’s worth as a child of God, it should provide the necessary sense of self-worth to allow the repair of other relationships. To do this requires empathizing with others and seeing the world from their perspective. The secret to healthy relationships ultimately lies in the Biblical advice to love one’s neighbor as oneself.”
(http://www.thechristiancritic.net/2011/01/14/why-you-do-the-things-you-do-tim-clinton-gary-sibcy/)

Ultimately, placing relationship with God as #1 paves the way for other successful and meaningful relationships. You can’t love until you realize the love of God. You can’t give until you receive. Relationship with God deposits within you the necessary ingredients to properly and effectively love others. So as you focus on your relationship with God, the other relationships in your life will improve as natural by-products of your pursuit!

As I spend the day with my family, I will be sharing the love of God. The love He placed in me for my husband and my daughters. Have a great weekend! And share it with those you love.

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Day 7 – Sunday!  And on the 7th Day…I rested!… from all the work which I had done.  Then God blessed the 7th day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work… There’s something about resting in God that can’t be matched!

Today, my family got up and went to Christ Chapel.  So great to hear the Word of the Lord.  When I first found out that  the Pastor wasn’t there, I admit I was a little disappointed but when the Associate Pastor spoke… disappointment faded!  What a great picture she (Beth White) painted!  She talked about camping…in the camps of Desperation, Fear, Obedience, and Repentance!  I could relate because I’ve been in all of those camps!

I’ve been at the place where I thought, I’m going to die no matter what I do so I might as well do something – and the something turned out to be just what I needed to bring me out of that desperate place!  I’ve faced things that looked so big and unconquerable that I had to allow God to guide the stone to my giants head and just did it afraid!  I’ve been in so many camps where God told me to do something that sounded a little ridiculous and I was sure I could come up with a better plan (and told God so…) but followed God’s plan and Wow…the walls fell, just as He said they would!  I’ve been in the place where I had done something that I swore I would never do…and then had to face my Lord and He called me friend…anyway!

Isn’t it good to be in relationship with such a loving, merciful God?  A God that will lead us into safety, will fight our battles for us, will give us direction for the future, and will love us unconditionally!!  That’s the God I serve!  Perhaps you don’t know my God!  Let me introduce you!

My God’s name is Yahweh – how do I know His name?  Because I am in covenant with Him and he has revealed it to me, just like He did to Moses. ( Ex 3:13-15, 6:2,3)  Moses asked God, “Who can I say sent me” and God answered and said, “You shall say YHWH (Yahweh) has sent me. This is My name forever and this is My memorial to all generations. (6:2,3) – And God spoke to Moses and said to him: “I am YHWH (Yahweh).  I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob as God Almighty, but by My name Yahweh, I was not known to them.”

How awesome to be in covenant with the Lord God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and thus can call Him by His covenant name forever!  He proved Himself to be a covenant keeping God to Moses, when He reestablished His covenant with him by making it personal and saying, “Call Me by My name.”

If you find yourself camped out in any of those camps, know one thing…Yahweh is there.  He will never leave you nor forsake you!  He is there!  Just call Him by His name and see!

 On this 7th day – I have rested (literally…I took a nap!) and I’ve used this day to rest in knowing my covenant partner!  No “work” today.  I’m not “doing” things so that God will look favorably on me.  I am simply allowing His love to envelope me.  Just “being”…

I think at this point in my 21 Day journey, I will add one thing to my fast.  Actually, I have already added it but just haven’t made it known publicly – no fried foods!  No fried shrimp, no french fries, no kettle cooked chips (YUM), no fried chicken…  I’m not being legalistic about any of this, I’m not seeking to make this difficult, so I’m not asking waiters how is this cooked?  If I would rather have fried shrimp, I’m not getting it…  Simple!  Again, I am not focusing on the things I can’t have…I’m focusing on relationship!  So if I find out that something I ate has a piece of fried food in it, or has some sugar in it, I’m not considering it a failure!  Nothing legalistic about my journey…  For me, this is different from past “21 Day Daniel” fasts.  I am approaching it totally different, my focus is totally different, and I expect totally different results!

Let me know how your journey is going!  How has your focus changed?  How are you approaching your journey?  Share with us…someone else may benefit from it!

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