Welcome to Heartsprings, where I share what springs forth from my heart for God and His people. I pray that what you find here blesses you and draws you nearer to your Heavenly Father who loves you like no other.

In His love,
Brenda :-)

Friday, July 29, 2011


Judges 6:15 NASB

In Judges 6:15, Gideon refers to God's authority in his usage of the Hebrew word for Lord, "adonay", pronounced "ad-o-noy'". The root word "adon" means "one possessed of absolute control". The Message actually uses the term "my Master" in this passage. The word most familiar to us is "adonai". Adonai is the old plural form of this Hebrew word, and was the way the Jews pronounced it when reading their scriptures, due to their superstitious reverence for the name "Jehovah".

What struck me about all of this is the absolute authority of God. It occurred to me that as Christians we are under God's authority and I thought about how that makes me feel. So many of us have trouble accepting authority. I know there was a time in my life when I completed rebelled against it, and even now I struggle with it to some extent. Truthfully though, I find a sense of security in being under God's authority. I related it to children. Regardless of what they say or how they act, children prefer structure and authority. When a child knows that there are limits and where those limits are, they have a sense of security. When they know that there is someone there who is going to be in control in a trustworthy manner, they have security. I have been caring for children for over thirty years and I've seen their behavior change when the routine changes, or when they are not sure of the rules. They exhibit much more confidence when there is a routine and they know the rules and the consequences of breaking those rules. I believe it's the same with us and God.

Think about how you would feel if God constantly made things up as He went along, or if He regularly changed the rules, just for fun. I know I wouldn't feel very secure. In fact, I would probably be pretty fearful knowing the judgment side of God as I do. Thankfully, God is the epitome of grace and mercy, and He is the same yesterday, today, and forever.....and He is my ultimate authority figure. My Heavenly Father is unwavering in His stability. He has clearly laid out the rules and boundaries as well as the consequences for breaking those rules or crossing the boundaries. He has also made sure that I am aware of the blessings that come from obedience to Him.

We all answer to something or someone. Whether we're willing to admit it or not, if we think about it honestly we will see the truth in that. I believe that our sense of security and even self-worth comes from what or who has authority over us. If we answer to the things of this world; alcohol, drugs, money, sex, prestige....the list goes on, we will have little to no security or self-esteem because these things are not trustworthy authorities. They don't love us unconditionally and have our best interests at heart like God does. They make us happy in one minute and dash us upon the rocks in the next. The things of this world are unreliable at best and allowing them to have authority over us is a recipe for disaster.

Realizing that there will be something or someone in authority over me (even if it was my own ego), was the first step in my journey to accepting the peaceful authority of God. Adonai is the only truly reliable and trustworthy authority figure in all the universe. Even being my own god did not lead to the sense of security that THE GOD has given me. We CAN choose our authority figure. Who or what will you look up to today, and every day for the rest of your life? The quality of your life depends on your answer.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Wrapped Up In God

Psalm 42:8 NLT

El-hayya is the name of God that refers to Him being the God of my life. It means that what I am all about is Him. He is the center of my life and He is in every aspect of my life. But, is He? That's the question I'm asking myself this morning. Sadly, and in all honesty, I think I have to answer "no".

I think my life is all about me, really. I feel as though I seek my own agenda much more than I do God's. I am much more wrapped up in seeking my own desires and my own comfort than I am wrapped up in God. I WANT to be wrapped up in Him. I WANT to know Him as my all-in-all, but I'm not sure I know how. What does that look like in practical terms? Do I spend every minute of every day with a prayer on my lips? Do I walk around talking to Him as if I had an invisible friend (which in actuality I do)? How do you not get so caught up in day to day things that you go most of the day not even thinking about your Heavenly Father?

I did this exercise once, where I asked God in the morning what He wanted me to do that day. I sat quietly with pen and paper and wrote down what I believed He was telling me and that was my to-do list for the day. Maybe I should make that a habit. Maybe some of you are thinking, "duh!". Sometimes the obvious is not so obvious to me. Not sure why, but that's how it is. :-) I'm sure there are other things I can do to make God more a part and priority in my daily life. I'll bet I could just ask Him to show me how! Another "duh!". Hahaha!

Heavenly Father, I want so much to be more wrapped up in You than myself. Please show me how to make You more a part of my day-to-day life. Show me the practical way to a closer relationship with You, because I'm a practical person (most of the time). You know me Father, and You know what I need. Guide and direct me, Lord. Wrap me up in You! In the all-consuming name of Jesus, I ask it. Amen!

Monday, July 25, 2011

A Forgiving God

Psalm 99:8 NLT

The name of God that my devotion talked about this morning is "El-nasa". Not NASA....nasa. This is the Hebrew word for "forgiving" and it is pronounced "naw-saw". The word has several other meanings as well, and they all refer to forgiving or bearing in some way.

As I was reading about this aspect of God, I was put in mind of people I know who don't believe they need forgiving. They don't believe they are "bad" people, so what do they need to be forgiven for? I probably even felt that way myself at some point before becoming a Christian. Now, however, I find it amazing that any of us could ever think that we were so blameless as to not be in need of forgiveness.

Have we ever lied? Have we ever stolen something from someone, even a pen or pencil from work? Have we ever treated another human being with contempt or hatred? Have we ever allowed our anger to take us well beyond anything even resembling self-control? In essence, are we human? Every single one of us has been guilty of at least one or all of the things I just mentioned and probably some I haven't. None of those things is considered right by our Heavenly Father. Think of it as breaking one of your parents' house rules while living under their roof. Don't you need to ask their forgiveness in order to make it right? In order to restore the relationship, don't you need to repent of your disobedience? It's the same way with God. He is our Heavenly Parent and we live under His roof our entire lives. The thing is, God's forgiveness came through the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross and in order to receive that forgiveness we need to receive Jesus. We need to acknowledge that we broke the rules, ask our Father to forgive us, and receive that forgiveness for all of our sins; past, present, and future by asking Jesus Christ to be the Lord of our lives and help us stay right with God. WHY do we need to stay right with God? Well, that's a whole different note for another day. Let me just suffice it right now by asking you where you want to spend eternity. Whether or not you need to be right with God depends on your answer.

None of us is perfect and none of us ever will be perfect this side of eternity. We have ALL done wrong in the sight of God and we ALL need forgiveness. Whether we believe it or not, has no bearing on the validity of truth. We all need our forgiving Father God. We all need the freeing power of El-nasa in our lives.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

El Olam

I am fascinated by the Hebrew language and the names of God, in particular. So, I'm loving this part of my daily reading plan. The name we're studying today is El Olam. This name for God is very interesting. The word "olam" comes from another word that literally means "to be hidden" and speaks of something that cannot be seen or perceived. Some scholars refer to "olam" as the vanishing point.

It's like when we look out to the horizon and cannot see any further. That "vanishing point" is the limit of our sight and perception. There are actually many vanishing points in our lives; places where we reach our limit as to what we can see or do. God, on the other hand, IS that place and can see it all. El Olam picks up where we leave off and not only can He see it all, but He controls it all. And you know what else? He loves and cares about us. The One who sees it all and controls it all, has our best interests at heart. All those terrible things that we fear are just over the horizon, the things we dread and have no control over (and probably won't happen anyway) are in the hands of our loving and gracious Heavenly Father.

When we give Christ control over our lives, we become a child of God. When we become a child of God nothing comes to us without God's permission. We have the advantage of an all-knowing, all-seeing, all-on our side Heavenly Father who allows trials for our benefit. I find great comfort in that and stand in awe of my amazing Abba Father who knows and sees, and operates in love. He stands at the vanishing point, El Olam, and controls what comes over my horizon. Hallelujah!

Devotional Motivation

Why do we call it a "devotional"? Is it because we are devoting some time to reading God's Word and possibly praying as well? Are we showing our devotion to God by sacrificing some of our ever-dwindling time for the pursuit of Him? I ask myself these questions because I question my motivation for sitting in my bedroom chair almost every morning; Bible, prayer journal, and coffee in hand. My goal is to pray through my prayer list, read from today's reading plan, and gain some insight as to the purpose for my life and the person who created me for that purpose.

It struck me this morning that my devotion time seems more about me than devotion to God. Am I sitting here because I am devoted to knowing and loving Him more? Is He really all I want, or am I more after what He can do for me? The truth is I need Him to do a lot for me because there's a lot I want to accomplish that I know I can't in my own power. Therein lies part of the problem, I think. If I were to truly serve God, wouldn't it be His agenda I would be seeking? I think I should be asking Him what I can do to accomplish His purposes for me rather than asking Him to help me accomplish MY plans.

Heavenly Father, forgive me my selfish ambitions and presumptuousness. Search my heart, O' God, and cleanse me of all unrighteousness. Create in me a clean heart and bless me with a desire for Your plans and purposes, every day. May MY to-do list become YOUR to-do list. Use my "devotional" time to increase my devotion to You. In the awesome name of Jesus I ask it, Amen!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Dangerous Independence??

"The biggest threat to marriage is independence. That's what destroys marriages." I read this in my devotion this morning and was awed. I never would have thought that, but the more I thought about it, the more it made sense. I related it to my own marriage and realized how a lot of frustration comes when my husband and I are not on the same page because we are both adamant about doing things our own way. Or, when one of us makes plans without consulting the other. Doing things without considering the effect our actions will have on our partner can cause division in our marriage. It leads to a sort of mistrust and trust is imperative to a successful marriage.

God meant for husband and wife to be "one flesh", functioning as one, in harmony and agreement. Granted, that's not always possible in our fallen state, but for me, it means I should be a little more conscious and considerate of my spouse when I'm considering a course of action. Especially when it's one that will most definitely affect him. I should probably communicate more with him about my hopes, dreams, and goals. If I want to go somewhere and plan to take him with me,he should probably be made aware of the trip. Even that, however is functioning in independence. We need to decide together where we want to go and how were going to get there. I think THAT is a better example of operating as one, flowing in harmony and agreement. It's a step in the right direction anyway and every journey begins with a step, right? Protect your marriage by taking as many steps as possible, together and in unity. Amen!