31 August 2011

JOURNEY 201¦1 'Keep it Moving’

So, last Tuesday was an earthquake. And while the epicenter was not here in Virginia Beach, it was a 5.8 and felt by many in this area … except me. I didn’t feel one thing – very strange. The people in my office felt the quake, my sisters felt it at their homes. I didn’t feel anything.

Then came hurricane Irene this past weekend. Tons of rain, the wind did howl a bit and the lights flickered twice. But, there was no damage to my sister’s home (where I am currently residing) and we did not lose power. So, I’m feeling good, thinking we might actually get to a place where we turn a corner on all the challenges that I have experienced.

Then yesterday happened…. On my way home from work, lots of cars and traffic came to a stop. And I came to a stop, driving my son’s truck since my van is in need of very costly repairs. The truck in back of me, a monster-sized Ford Expedition, did not stop! It plowed right into the back of my son’s truck. That was my first thought … my son’s truck! What is going to happen to his truck? It is a 1997 with over 360,000 miles on it. Immediately my thoughts went to what would happen if they total his vehicle. And I had plenty of time to think about that possibility while we waited for the police.

I felt for the other driver. He is the same age as my oldest son … kind of reminded me of him. He hasn’t had his license a year and was driving his pastor’s truck when he hit me. Then he could not find the registration or insurance information. Well, the police finally showed up, we exchanged information and went on our way. Then I got home, my back was starting to hurt … and it all hit me.

It was just one more thing to contend with on top of everything else that has happened. There is a phrase, ‘the straw that broke the camel’s back’. Well, that accident was the straw. I was completely overwhelmed, exhausted and out done. And I wanted to just curl up and cry. OK, I DID CURL UP AND CRY … AND CRY …. AND CRY SOME MORE!

I just wanted to quit.

But then, I had a ‘come to Jesus conversation’ with myself and made a decision to praise through the pain. I listened to some worship music,tried to sing [even though it was difficult], watched a sermon, prayed some, cried some more and remembered …. There is no quitting in the journey!

It isn’t over until He says it’s over!

I know this is not the most encouraging post today – believe me, I know. But it is real! We must keep pressing forward no matter what. And while, I do not know specifically what you are facing today, or what you will face tomorrow … I know God is still God and He is worthy of praise and trust.

‘As for the rest of you, dear brothers and sisters, never get tired of doing good.’ II Thes. 3:13 NLT

‘Let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up.’ Gal. 6:9 NLT 

‘They that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.’ Is. 40:31 KJV

Keep it Moving!
And Have a Blessed Week

24 August 2011

JOURNEY 201¦1 ‘earth angels’

‘… and behold, angels came and ministered unto Him.’  Matthew 4:11

This verse tells of what happened as Jesus’ trial in the wilderness came to an end. How wonderful that the Father would send angelic hosts to tend to His needs, at the precise moment that He needed it. Just as wondrous is the fact that God still does this today. But, they are often not in the form of celestial beings. They can best be described as ‘earth angels’ on assignment.

Understand that there are people who the LORD has strategically placed in our path - to assist, to offer a genuine smile, to share a kind word, to encourage. Yet we must have eyes open to see and hearts to receive.

In the past week, I have met two such people. They are absolute precious gems and I know that it is no mistake, no simple act of coincidence that I have had the opportunity to get to know both of them. The name of one means ‘rich guard or wealth protector’ and the other, their name means ‘fair and good’. 

Long ago, names had a very significant meaning and would tell you about the character of the individual. Yet I find, with some, that the same holds true for today. You see, ‘wealth protector’ is full of godly wisdom and ‘fair and good’, well she is simply and genuinely a very kind person. They are people who speak of God’s goodness and who spoke to some very unique issues that I have been grappling with, alone in prayer with God.

I know they were on assignment from the LORD. And, I could feel faith rise during conversations with each of them. My spirit has truly been encouraged and I just find myself thanking God for His faithfulness all over again. He knows exactly what we need in this journey and when we need it, and He has already made provision.

Behold, angels came and ministered unto me, earth angels. And your unique angels stand ready to minister unto you. Just pray that God will open your eyes to recognize them and your heart to receive the ministering aid that they offer.

Have a Very Blessed Week!

21 August 2011

Praise: Optional

'This is the day the LORD has made. We will rejoice and be glad in it!' Psalm 118:24 NLT

My pastor made an excellent point today when reading this verse today. The decision to praise is an expression of your love for God and is entirely an act of your free will. Further, while given as a command in the Bible, praise is still optional. You have to decide.
  • Will you praise or worry?
  • Will you praise or complain?
  • Will you praise or gossip?
  • Will you praise or pout?
To praise the LORD continually requires a discipline ... which, if I am completely honest, I am still working to perfect in my life. Yet, I do realize that what you praise is what you exalt in your life. It is what becomes large in your eyes. And, while your next breath may not be optional, what you do with your next breath is entirely up to you. 

Therefore ...

'I will [as a joyful act of my choosing]
     bless the LORD at all times;
His praise shall continually be in my mouth.
My soul will make its boast in the LORD;
     the humble will hear it and rejoice.
O magnify the LORD with me,
     and let us exalt His name together.'
Psalm 34:1-3 NASB

17 August 2011

JOURNEY 201¦1 ‘Goodness & Mercy might …’

Well! I have to ask for you all to forgive me for this week’s message being so late. But I was working today ... Praise God! Not exactly the opportunity I was hoping for, but a blessing nonetheless and I one I am truly thankful for.

Anyway, this morning, I got up just past 5am so that I could still get my workout in before leaving. And while I was outside exercising I noticed that I had two shadows – one directly before me and one off to my left.

Immediately, it made me think about this verse: ‘Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the day of my life (Ps. 23:6).’ And, it also got me thinking about our journeying with the LORD.

Does goodness and mercy follow everyone?

So, I finished my workout, walked my dog, took my shower, did my hair and makeup and read Psalm 23 again.

‘The LORD is my shepherd …’

That is quite a disclaimer to place at the beginning of that Psalm where portions are so often quoted. But, let’s look at it like this today:
  • ‘The LORD is my shepherd I shall not want.’   
  • ‘The LORD is my shepherd … He makes me to lie down in green pastures.’ 
  • ‘The LORD is my shepherd … He leads me beside the still waters.’ 
  • ‘The LORD is my shepherd … He restores my soul.’ 
  • ‘The LORD is my shepherd … He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.’ 
  • ‘The LORD is my shepherd … Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.’ 
  • ‘The LORD is my shepherd … You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.’ 
  • ‘The LORD is my shepherd … You anoint my head with oil; my cup runs over.’ 
  • ‘The LORD is my shepherd … Surely goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life.’ 
  • ‘The LORD is my shepherd … And I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.’ 
I am so glad Jesus is my LORD ... that He is my Shepherd!

The Merriam-Webster online dictionary defines shepherd, the verb, as: to give advice and instruction to (someone) regarding the course or process to be followed. Looking at shepherd personified, we have: coach, counselor, leader, mentor, pilot and tutor.

Is Jesus all those things to you today? Is He leading you and giving you instruction. Are you heeding? If so, goodness and mercy will surely follow you, right on your heels, everywhere you go, with you throughout the day. If not, well, goodness & mercy might ...

I hope you have a wonderful evening!
Praying that God will bless you abundantly.
Much love in Christ!

14 August 2011

See His Love ...

Here's another one we sang at church today ...
See His Love by Kim Walker

What an awesome love God demonstrated towards us through the sacrifice of Jesus and continues to demonstrate through the indwelling of His Holy Spirit ... Hallelujah!

See His Love Lyrics
See His love nailed onto a cross
Perfect and blameless life, given as sacrifice
See Him there, all in the name of love
Broken yet glorious, all for the sake of us

This is Jesus in His glory
King of heaven, dying for me
It is finished, He has done it
Death is beaten
Heaven beckons me

Greater love no one could ever show
Mercy so undeserved, freedom I should not know
All my sin, all of my hidden shame
Died with Him on the cross, eternity won for us

Such a love
Such a love
Such a love is this for me


I Will Worship You ...

Praying you are having a blessed day.
Here's a wonderful song we sang at church today ...
I will worship You by Aaron Gillespie

10 August 2011

holding on ...

I don't usually like to do two posts in one day ...
However, this was strong on my heart.
Praying it blesses someone...
Just like it blessed me.

Don’t be afraid,
for I am with you.
Don’t be discouraged,
for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you.
I will hold you up with My victorious right hand.’
Isaiah 41:10 NLT
‘The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon Me,
because the LORD hath anointed Me
to preach good tidings unto the meek.
He hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim liberty to the captives,
and the opening of the prison
to them that are bound,
to proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD,
and the day of vengeance of our God;
to comfort all that mourn …
to give unto them beauty for ashes,
the oil of joy for mourning,
the garment of praise
for the spirit of heaviness,
that they might be called
trees of righteousness,
the planting of the LORD,
that He might be glorified.’
Isaiah 61:1-3 NKJV
‘[And the Lord said],
"... Satan has demanded permission
to sift you like wheat;
but I have prayed for you,
that your faith may not fail;
and you, when once you have turned again,
strengthen your brothers.
Luke 22:31-32 NASB
I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands;
your walls are continually before Me.
Isaiah 49:16 NASB

JOURNEY 201¦1 ‘Detour’

‘So the king did not listen to the people; for the turn of events was from the Lord, that He might fulfill His word …’ I Kings 12:15

The turn of events was from the LORD, that He might fulfill His word.

This is the verse that the Lord took me to a couple of years ago. I was planning a trip to Asia. I had already received my new passport, had my travel items organized, had gotten all of my immunizations and my plane ticket was purchased. I had even started practicing a new language. Then, approximately five days prior to our departure, I received notification that my visa had been denied and I would not be able to travel with the rest of the team. Yet when the notice came, I was not altogether surprised [somewhat disappointed but not completely caught off guard]. You see, the LORD had given me I Kings 12:15 two days prior to prepare me for the news that would come.

Understand, despite the best plans in the world, that there are times in the journey when you will come up against a 'detour'. Things may not go quite the way you anticipated. You may encounter resistance in unexpected places, from unexpected people and, at what seems like, the worst possible moment. However, there is no reason for alarm. Know that God is always in control. And some of those detours [what we would perceive as detours] are actually part of His plan to accomplish His will in the earth.

Earlier this week, I talked to an individual about my most recent 'detour' out of my home and feeling very much like a nomad. And while celebrating the goodness of God, I expressed to this young lady just how important it is that we be able to praise God for closed doors just as exuberantly as we do for open doors. We must truly believe and trust what the LORD says in Jeremiah 29:11, "I know the plans I have for you', says the LORD. "They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.'"

Therefore, even when the events do not line up with our idea of how things should go, we can be at peace knowing that God is still in control and working all things together for the good. If you are currently facing a detour, or if you encounter an unexpected one in the near future, do not fear and do not become anxious. El Elyon, God Most High, sits on high and is keenly aware of every turn of your journey. Ours is to simply submit to His leading. 

‘A man’s heart plans his way,
but the Lord directs his steps.’
Proverbs 16:9

‘He [My Lord] guides me along right paths,
bringing honor to His name.’
Psalm 23:3NLT  

Father, we praise You and we thank You … 
For the open doors & the closed doors ...
For the ‘detours’ in the journey!

09 August 2011

Hold Me...

I just had to post this song!
Foot tapping, head bopping, mouth praising, heart smiling!!!!
LORD, I love the way You hold me ....

Hope you enjoy ... Have a Blessed Evening!

Hold Me by Jamie Grace

08 August 2011

Jesus is not the key ...

Sounds like sacrilege doesn’t it? I assure you, however, that it is not. It all started two years ago and just came to completeness last Sunday when my pastor shared the following verse: ‘Now I say, as long as the heir is a child, he does not differ at all from a slave although he is owner of everything, but he is under guardians and managers until the date set by the father.’ Galatians 4:1-2  

I had read that verse several times and heard a couple of preachers teach on it. Yet for some reason, it did not fully click until last Sunday. But, before I get to Sunday, let me go back to where it all started.

It was the fall of 2008 and my oldest son was going on a senior class field trip. It was very early in the morning and I had to drop him off at the school. So, I grabbed the car key and my purse, closed the door and drove just up the street about ten minutes there and back. I considered taking the house key, but then decided, ‘No, I’ll be right back’. And besides, my mom, who lived with me at the time, was at home. Well, imagine my surprise when I pulled back into our cul-de-sac and her van was gone.

There I was, sitting in my van, locked out of the house, uncertain of where she had gone or when she would be back. As I sat there without a phone or a way to get in the house, I had plenty of time … to think. And this was the thought that came: ‘Everything that belongs to me is right on the other side of that door and I cannot access it because I do not have my key.’

Then I started thinking about the body of Christ and how many believers are in that same predicament – only spiritually.  I sat questioning why that was so. I mean, we have Jesus and He came so that we might experience abundant life (Jn. 10:10). So why were so many people living outside the place of overflowing blessings that He had prepared for us? That is when it came to me. Jesus is not the key. ‘Impossible!’ I thought. How could Jesus not be the key? He is everything! But then I concluded that it must be right. Because despite having accepted Jesus, there are still so many who are not accessing everything that is rightfully theirs.

Eventually, my mom came home and I got back in the house. However, I was still without an answer to my question – a question which would come back to my mind from time to time over the next two years. So, let us fast forward to last Sunday and the sharing of that verse: ‘Now I say, as long as the heir is a child, he does not differ at all from a slave although he is owner of everything, but he is under guardians and managers until the date set by the father.’

An heir, as long as he is a child, is no different than a slave although he is owner of everything.’ 

Another way to read that looks like this: A son of God and co-heir with Christ, as long as they are childish and immature, is no different than a slave. Though they legally own everything, and all that belongs to them is just on the other side of the door, they are not granted a key to access it until they mature, until they submit to and learn from the leadership that has been placed over them – and even then not until the time that the Father has appointed for them to access those riches.

Jesus is not the key. Jesus is the door, and anyone who enters through Him will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture (Jn. 10:9) [figuratively meaning that ‘he shall not want the needful supplies for the true life’]. This verse is then followed by the much quoted verse that tells us that He came to give us life and life abundantly. And Jesus did make us co-heirs to this inheritance through His blood and sacrifice (Rom. 8:16-17 & Gal. 3:26, 29). However, we cannot access all that He purchased until such a time as we are mature enough to handle what He has prepared for us.

The acknowledgement and acceptance of Jesus Christ are not the sole key to you obtaining all that God has for you. Christ developed in you is a major key in being able to access everything that is part of your blood bought inheritance: revelation, understanding, wisdom, purpose, physical health, financial prosperity and more.

Now, that will make you want to get on the fast track for spiritual development! In the coming weeks, I’ll be posting messages about what that process of spiritual development might look like. In the meantime, commit to growing. And at the appointed time, you shall obtain every promise that God has for you.

Have a Blessed Week!

05 August 2011

choose truth ...

There is a saying in the Word,
‘And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free’ (Jn. 8:32).

However, my experience in life has been that the truth will make one mad long before it sets them free. Perhaps it is the fallen nature of man, but many people seem to prefer a lie over the truth any day.
  • Do you think this is a good idea?
  • How does this outfit look on me?
  • Do you think I’ve gained weight?
Sadly, there are far too many instances where people will seek out the 'honest' opinion of another when what they truly desire is just for someone to agree with their viewpoint or with the decision that they have already settled upon in their mind. But why embrace a lie? What good could that possibly bring about? The answer is ‘none’.

So why do so many people do it?
The ego is an incredible and terrible thing and the pride of life is a burden around one's neck. It causes people to refuse to admit that they were wrong, restrains one from apologizing and prompts one to launch an unrelenting defense as to why their wrong perception is right, even as truth stands in their face and rings in their ears.

This is not a new phenomenon. From the beginning of time, men have possessed a bend toward embracing lies over truth.  Romans 1:25 notes, ‘For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.’

Unfortunately, as often as many will say that they hunger for truth, all too often they truly prefer a lie. Yet there is nothing shrouded in darkness which will not be brought to the light. And light is always better. The lie might spare your emotions and make you feel good temporarily, but its end is destruction. The truth, however, may injure your feelings and pride in the short term, but is always beneficial and life giving in the long run.

So, when given the choice, between the truth and the lie … choose truth.  

03 August 2011

JOURNEY 201¦1 ‘Hmmm’

"To every thing there is a season ...
A time to keep silence and a time to speak."
Ecclesiastes 3:1, 7

"When one does not know what to say ...
It is a time to be silent."
The King & I

In one of a few very rare instances,
I am actually without words.
Therefore, I will simply say ...

Have an Abundantly Blessed Day in the LORD!

And if you have anything you would like to share,
please leave a comment.
I would love to hear from you!