31 December 2012

Enjoying the Journey!


Enjoying the Journey!

Well, it is New Year’s Eve and, as the year draws to a close, I have thought about what message I wanted to post. I could recount all the ‘highs & lows’ or any one of the variety of lists that exist for 2012:
·         Top Artists
·         Top Songs
·         Memorable Events

 Yet the overwhelming thought that comes to mind as I sit here this morning is – THANKFUL!

I am thankful and enjoying the journey …
 finding joy in the journey,

Now, don’t misunderstand me –
The journey has not been perfect (not by any stretch of the imagination) but it has been memorable in that I know that God has been with me every step of the way. Whether those steps were literal in the miles I’ve had to walk every morning to get work or whether they were more symbolic in the steps I have taken to hope again and to envision a reality different than the one I am currently experiencing, there has been this Presence, His Presence, that of my LORD and King.

He has gone before me, walked beside me, watched my back and carried me when necessary. And every step has carried life-lessons. It is amazing the things you think you know until you walk through some additional situations and circumstances that highlight just how much there is still to master.
                                                                                               
This year –
I have gained an even greater appreciation for friends and family and even casual acquaintances.
And, if I had to focus on three crucial areas, these would be them:

LAUGHING
I have probably laughed more this year than I have in recent years – whether it’s joking with someone at work, listening to my children talk, spending time with friend or even in the middle of praise and worship, I have been touched in ways that can only be expressed with a hearty chuckle or a nose-crinkling snicker. There have been instances where I have gotten a complete abdominal workout just spending an evening with my best friend having coffee. I’ve shed more tears this year from laughing than I have from crying – a nice and welcome change. And my encouragement to others is this: Learn to laugh so hard it hurts! There are enough challenging situations in life … find a way to laugh at, at least a couple of them.

CARING
For all the joys – there have probably been just as many instances where my heart has ached for others, as if I had experienced their storm myself. I have had a friend diagnosed with cancer and another (like the little sister I never had) who died because of cancer. My heart has grieved as I have watched friends and acquaintances lose their homes. I have prayed for those who experienced great personal loss due to storms. And my heart has grieved for those who have lost loved ones as a result of senseless violence. More and more, I have found myself thinking about, praying for and crying for others. Long after the headlines have left the newspapers or nightly news, there are still people trying to pick up the pieces of their shattered hearts – people in need of a little bit of compassion. But … compassion requires selfless observation and an investment of time.

One of the hallmarks of Jesus’ ministry was that He frequently allowed what we would consider interruptions but that were a common part of His ministry. It is amazing how many opportunities we have daily to bring comfort and even freedom to others if we will look beyond ourselves. From Thanksgiving to Christmas this year, I experienced 30-days of unexpected blessings. Yet, the greatest of those unexpected blessings were the days that I was able to be an unexpected blessing, by listening to a co-worker, being there for a friend or being an agent of peace in the midst of troubling situations. The encouragement: Keep it simple by … Loving God & Loving People. And know that whether it is a call, a note, a smile or a hug … a little bit of caring goes a very long way.

LOVING
This one goes hand-in-hand with the caring & compassionate heart. However, it is deeper in that it goes beyond the common concern for a fellow man and focuses on the more unconditional aspects of love. This is where close friends and family come into play. I have placed a much higher premium on my relationships than I do on my comfort levels, my feelings or my pride. It sounds like a simple thing, I know. However, you and I both know that there are countless people who have let a friendship or even family relationship go to the wayside because of a refusal to forgive – because someone would rather hold on to an offense rather than grab hold of a loved one and say, ‘Let’s work this out’. Most people are not even willing to apologize for the things they have done wrong, let alone offer an apology when they feel as though they are the one that has been wronged. Yet, the ability to love and forgive is crucial to having sustained friendships.  Employers, friends, children, siblings, spouses and parents will not always do what you desire, yet this is admonishment remains: ‘above all things have fervent love for one another, for “love will cover a multitude of sins.’ (I Peter 4:8)

Every relationship brings with it the risk of being hurt but it also brings with it opportunities for us to demonstrate just how much of the love Christ is in us – and how desperately we desire to share it with others. ‘Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.’ (Philippians 2:3-4) This is what Christ modeled for us.

My prayer this morning, is that whatever you have experienced this year, that you will be able to find some joy woven in between the fabric of all those situations and circumstances. I pray that you too have walked away with some areas of focus, ones that are personal to you and the things that you experience. Take the opportunity to recycle the less positive moments – making sure that the pain endured is not wasted but that it becomes something positive – offering hope, encouragement and freedom to someone walking through a similar situation. And by all means, celebrate the joyful moments!

I mean, if you have to go through life anyway … you might as well go through joyfully.

It’s been a great year!
I have enjoyed sharing the joys, the pains, the challenges, the blessings and the growth opportunities.

It’s a pleasure to share my life…
May God bless your life, exceedingly and abundantly!


22 December 2012

It's That Time of Year ...


It’s That Time of Year …
It’s that time of year, when people are traveling home for the holidays
It’s that time of year, of 'hustle & bustle' as people wrap up Christmas shopping
It’s that time of year, that can become so busy that we lose sight of the simple pleasures …

Time with family
A special Bible verse
A quiet evening on the sofa
The soft glow from the Christmas tree
Remembering and praying for loved ones
That 'feeling' you get and the memories that rush in when you hear that special song

I heard this song today and I think it is simply wonderful …

The Christmas Waltz by Nancy Wilson



 Praying You're Having a Great Holiday Season
&
That You Will Have
A Very Merry Christmas!

03 December 2012

Alive!


I’m Alive!

It seems a fairly simple and obvious thing to get excited over. Yet, more and more, I find myself reflecting on that very fact. Alive! ... And recognizing that each day is a blessing, full of fresh opportunities.




Not too long ago, I heard this song and was overcome – not with sadness but with joy and thankfulness. As I thought about all He has already done to pull me through and bring me back to life - I was moved to tears. I see what the LORD has done in me. And while I am still not everything I need to be, I am nowhere near where I used to be.

I’m excited about that!

In Christian culture we are admonished not to look back. And there is truth and victory in that practice. However, continuously looking forward, we too often focus on how much of the journey is left instead of looking back and celebrating just how much road has been covered – by His grace, through His strength.

That song by Mercy Me talks about the instance when the hurt and the Healer collide and it makes me reflect on all Jesus has done:

'Surely He has borne our grief and carried our sorrows' Is. 53:4

However, the truth is ... that collision takes place every day, many moments throughout the day. The Healer is constantly interacting with us and demonstrating His love and faithfulness - surrounding us with His grace and mercy and equipping us with His strength.

"We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed— always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body." II Corinthians 4:8-10

"Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day.  For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal." II Corinthians 4:16-18

Sometimes we can get so focused on the 'fight' that we fail to celebrate the 'life' that makes the fight possible. We can fix our eyes so intensely on what has been lost, on what has died, that we fail to recognize all the things that are alive and being renewed - the wonderful blessings right in front of us, the most significant being 'Jesus, our Hope!'

Celebrating life is a choice and I choose to focus on all the joys it contains.

It reminds me of when I went to Panama on vacation with my boys several years back. Upon returning, I was sharing my observations with a friend who grew up there. And interestingly enough, all I could talk about was everything positive and all she could talk about was everything that she hated about the country. 

We see what we want to see - and we will see the good in life and living when we take the time to look for it. So why don't you take some time today to just be thankful for being alive, counting your blessings ... large and small.

Enjoy the Journey!

02 December 2012

Jehovah ... Trouble Maker?


Jehovah … Trouble Maker? 


Seems an odd title … yet this is what came to mind as I thought about a verse I read a couple of days ago:

"I form the light, and create darkness; I make peace, and create calamity. I am Jehovah, that does all these things" Isaiah 45:7

Webster’s Dictionary defines calamity as:
1 : a state of deep distress or misery caused by major misfortune or loss
2 : a disastrous event marked by great loss and lasting distress and suffering <calamities of nature or economics>

And so often, in our frail and limited human thinking, we consider every situation which causes discomfort as coming from ‘the enemy’. However, God clearly points out to us that not everything which brings about distress is rooted in maliciousness - some of it flows directly from His hands and into our lives. Yes, the very instances which cause us to cringe are often part of His process to strengthen our character, to develop Christ-likeness in us and to manifest His good plans in our lives - to bring us to the hope and the future that He has prepared for us.

In the story of Joseph we learn of a young man who had two very powerful dreams at a young age. Subsequently, Joseph went and told his family – some of which became resentful and sold him into slavery. Ultimately, Joseph ended up in Egypt where he suffered many ‘calamities’ until he finally became governor of the entire land … thirteen years later.

Now, I have heard it stated on several occasions that Joseph spoke impulsively and should never have shared his dream with his brothers. However, this mindset is most likely rooted in the desire to attribute some of the ‘blame’ (if you will) to Joseph. Somehow, in our human reasoning, we can better reconcile a calamitous situation if we view it as being the fault of an individual rather than part of God’s master plan. Ultimately, if the 'burden of error' can be found in something that the individual did (rather than God's design), others feel more at ease that the same circumstances would not befall them.

Please do not misunderstand me – Joseph’s brothers were jealous and that is an entirely different matter (one of sinfulness). But do not let it escape our attention that Joseph had to get to Egypt, somehow. And all of the circumstances which he endured (painful and difficult as they were) were all a part of the process of him not only fulfilling his destiny but being a useful and proven vessel of the LORD.

‘He sent a man before them –
Joseph – who was sold as a slave.
They hurt his feet with fetters,
He was laid in irons.
Until the time that his word came to pass,
The word of the LORD tested him.'
Psalm 105:17-19

He sent a man –
Who sent a man?
God – God sent a man and 'the word [promise] of the LORD tested him.

The LORD is in control! There is not one situation which occurs where He sits up, scratches His head and says, ‘Wow! I did not see that coming.’ Yet, His plans for us do not always unfold in scenes of sunshine and roses. Things do not always come in neat and tidy boxes. And many of the troubling situations that you encounter may not be because you did something wrong because you are doing something right. 

Now, if you are living in a way that is not pleasing to the LORD – recognize it, confess it and repent of the sinful action. But if you have done what the writer said in Psalm 16:8 and ‘have set the LORD continually before you’ … understand that unfavorable situations may still arise, but you shall not be moved from your place in Him.

The key, then, to successfully navigating the situations of life is in praying for discernment to understand which 'calamities' are works of the flesh and which are by God’s design – and then to keep on standing and have faith that His ways (the light, the dark, the peaceful and those which bring about calamity in our lives) are perfect and that He truly is working all things together for your good.




Have a Blessed Day!

25 November 2012

Faithful God ...


Ever feel like you just don’t know what to pray?

It is actually a very common occurrence and one that should not evoke fear or frustration. There can be peace even in those times when words escape us. For, there is a moment when our very thoughts become the prayers that ascend into heaven.

He cares for us and for that which concerns us – 
(see Psalm 138:8 and I Peter 5:7)

Further, He does not just care for that which we can articulate or that which we can eloquently present as a petition before Him. He cares for the things that flood our mind and hearts, our souls and spirits.

This is my favorite time of year. Yet, I realize that it is not for many people. Whether it is anxiety about buying gifts that exceed the budget, painful memories that get conjured up from family gatherings, anger over reunions that still have not taken place or the disappointment of nearing the end of another year with still unrealized dreams – there are countless situations which can trouble the mind and stifle our prayers.

However, there is not one circumstance which escapes the attention of the LORD God Almighty

Even when we think we are handling everything fine, He knows how we are truly doing.

A couple of weeks ago I had a dream. I was on a bridge trying to get somewhere. But as I crossed the bridge and came to the end of it, I could see where the river had transcended the banks and everything, everywhere was flooded. As I wondered how I would get to where I needed to go, a path appeared in the flood waters. And I thought, ‘That makes no sense, why aren’t the flood waters covering the path? If I step down there, I’ll drown.’ But then I did actually take a step, and another, and another and the floodwaters could not cross the boundaries of that miraculous path that ‘appeared out of nowhere’. Then I woke up. 

Now, I did not need a dream interpreter for that one. 

However I had tried to convince myself that nothing was bothering me, subconsciously, there were floods of situations that I felt like were waiting to consume me. Yet, even in my dreams, God demonstrated His faithfulness in supplying a way through the floodwaters.

Notice – the flood did not go away. He simply made a way of passage through the troubling waters.

He knows our conscious contemplations and our subconscious uncertainties.
He hears our vocalized prayers and our silent ponderings.
He understands that the audible cry for help and the streaming tear say the exact same thing ... 'I need You!'
And He is faithful to address every need.

I don’t know what waters you will face in the coming weeks –

But I know there is a Faithful God who hears and cares and moves on your behalf – who says, ‘Trust Me’ and assures you:

"When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown ...” Is. 43:2

Praying you have an abundantly blessed week …

24 November 2012

the most wonderful time ...


It’s The Holiday Season!

I love this time of year ….

With the exception of ‘Black Friday’, people are generally a little nicer, more giving, more patient and more loving. It is absolutely great!

I had a peaceful and enjoyable Thanksgiving Dinner with my sons and my mom. It was a little different this year – with two vegetarians this year, I had to get creative at meal time. Yet, all in all, it turned out very well.
Right now, I am sitting in my living room …

The tree is up! 
     
And sweet little Chico has found a way to nestle himself – blanket and all – behind the tree. Unfortunately, the only picture available is of his back side ... and I didn't think you would want to see that this morning. So you'll just have to imagine him curled up in a ball in that back corner. 

My sole aim for today and tomorrow – continue enjoying my five-day weekend. It is good to be with my sons and just relax.  And it's good to be able to just sit and pray and read at my leisure. Oh, and I can't forget all the mushy romantic holiday movies that have started to show. Just love the simple pleasures of life … 

Praying you have an equally blessed day!

07 November 2012

Hosanna!

Heavenly Father,

I thank You that You are the same,
Yesterday, today and forevermore,
Worthy of honor and glory and praise

I thank You that You are a God of reconciliation - sons to fathers, brothers to sisters, and most important, that you reconcile fragile vessels such as we are ...  to You, our LORD and King.

I thank You that Your ways are not our ways, that Your thoughts are not our thoughts and that Your wisdom far exceeds our own.

You, O LORD, are perfect in all Your ways, faithful and true.

I praise You and exalt Your name!


Hosanna by Israel Houghton


Hosanna
In the highest
Let our King be lifted up
Hosanna
 

'Jesus replied, "My Father is always working, and so am I."'
John 5:17


"For I, the Lord, do not change; therefore you, O sons of Jacob, are not consumed."
Malachi 3:6
 
“ Worthy are You, our Lord and our God,
to receive glory and honor and power;
for You created all things,
and because of Your will they existed,
and were created.”
Revelation 4:11
 
“ Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing.”  Revelation 5:12 
 

06 November 2012

His Promise ...

‘For I will pour out water on the thirsty land
     And streams on the dry ground;
I will pour out My Spirit on your offspring
     And My blessing on your descendants.'

                                                                Isaiah 44:3

01 November 2012

a beautiful exchange


Isaiah 53

Who has believed our report?
And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?
For He shall grow up before Him as a tender plant,
And as a root out of dry ground.
He has no form or comeliness;
And when we see Him,
There is no beauty that we should desire Him.
He is despised and rejected by men,
A Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.
And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him;
He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.
Surely He has borne our griefs
And carried our sorrows;
Yet we esteemed Him stricken,
Smitten by God, and afflicted.
But He was wounded for our transgressions,
He was bruised for our iniquities;
The chastisement for our peace was upon Him,
And by His stripes we are healed.

All we like sheep have gone astray;
We have turned, every one, to his own way;
And the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.
He was oppressed and He was afflicted,
Yet He opened not His mouth;
He was led as a lamb to the slaughter,
And as a sheep before its shearers is silent,
So He opened not His mouth.
He was taken from prison and from judgment,
And who will declare His generation?
For He was cut off from the land of the living;
For the transgressions of My people He was stricken.
And they made His grave with the wicked—
But with the rich at His death,
Because He had done no violence,
Nor was any deceit in His mouth.
10 Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise Him;
He has put Him to grief.
When You make His soul an offering for sin,
He shall see His seed, He shall prolong His days,
And the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in His hand.
11 He shall see the labor of His soul,and be satisfied.
By His knowledge My righteous Servant shall justify many,
For He shall bear their iniquities.
12 Therefore I will divide Him a portion with the great,
And He shall divide the spoil with the strong,
Because He poured out His soul unto death,
And He was numbered with the transgressors,
And He bore the sin of many,
And made intercession for the transgressors.


A Beautiful Exchange by Hillsong United

16 October 2012

destroy ... rebuild


This past Saturday I went to a store and, to my surprise, demolition was in progress. One of the other buildings in that shopping center [one which has stood vacant for the past four years] was in the process of being torn down.

But the interesting thing about it was that there was a sign stating that a grocery store was going to be coming to that space. However, the previous occupant of the building was a grocery/department store. It seemed somewhat of a waste to me as I thought: they could have just re-purposed the old building and modified/remodeled it to suit their purposes.

Then on Sunday I was sending an email that took me straight back to that building (or should I say debris field) that I had seen the day before. I was writing to a couple of friends commenting on how God will allow situations that confound us at times and expressed, 'You cannot fill a cup that is full. Therefore, I believe there are times when He will empty you of everything to make room for the new thing He desires to do in and through you.'

Likewise -

There are times when something in our lives will need to be torn down in order to build the new thing. These are instances where a redesign is utterly insufficient, where no amount of reconstruction will achieve the desired end result. Yes, sometimes things will need to be leveled just like they did with that building.

Currently there are so many have lost so much - houses, cars, jobs, reputation and even relationships.

Yet I want to encourage you today. While some of things that have been torn down and removed may seem like a waste to us - the plans of the LORD are perfect. His ways truly are not our ways. And His wisdom is far above ours.

It is difficult to conceive that what we had or who we were could not be somehow repurposed. And there are times when He does that. But, there are also times when the old thing must be completely eliminated in order to accomplish the current move of God.

'No one puts new wine into old wineskins; otherwise the wine will burst the skins, and the wine is lost and the skins as well; but one puts new wine into fresh wineskins.' Mark 2:22

Take heart friends -

In this stage of 'destroy and rebuild', things appear to look worse before they get better. Yet, in time, with patience, the perfect plan of God will manifest and will reveal something beyond what you are able to imagine - something that will bring Him glory and honor.

The new owners of that property paid a hefty price for that building - just to turn around and tear it down - so they can ultimately build what they desire. Likewise, Jesus paid a tremendous price for us: empty shells desiring usefulness, sitting without purpose or longing for fresh purpose ... for years in some instances. By His blood He took possession of what He desired and set about the process of 'destroy ... rebuild'.

And as we submit to this work in our lives, His work, we become useful instruments/agents for effecting the change that must take place in our world:
'See, I have appointed you this day over the nations and over the kingdoms, to pluck up and to break down, to destroy and to overthrow, to build and to plant.' Jeremiah 1:10

The Message Version Reads
"I’ve given you a job to do
among nations and governments—a red-letter day!
Your job is to pull up and tear down,
take apart and demolish,
And then start over,
building and planting.”


God is raising up an army in these days -
Lives emptied of everything to be filled with what is pleasing in His sight
Individuals taken down to bare bones, to be rejuvenated by the power of His Holy Spirit
Selfish agendas destroyed to make room for building & exalting His kingdom purposes

'Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us,  to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.' Ephsians 3:20-21

10 October 2012

close encounter ...

This has been a good day!

It started the way it always does ...
Alarm going off at 5AM,
Racing to get dressed ... timing every minute,
And then out the door at 5:40 to do the two mile walk to the bus stop.

Although I take the daily trek out of necessity, I don't mind the walk. I actually enjoy it ...
I love the quietness and have found it an ideal time to pray and sing and think ... alot!

Last week, that touch of serenity was interrupted when something unexpectedly ran across my path. It was not a bunny. Although I have seen a few of those in the months I've been walking. It was not a stray cat ... seen a couple of those. It was not a duck ... can't count how many of those I've seen. Neither was it a beautiful bird. IT WAS RAT! And it was not just any rat ... it was a huge rat. I think he was almost as big as my Min-Pin ... no exaggeration.  It completely grossed me out.

Getting back to this morning ...
My quiet stroll had another unexpected visitor.
And was it ever a close encounter ...

As I walked down the dark sidewalk with forests on both sides of the street, I froze at the same time a car coming down the other side of the road applied his brakes. And there she was ... the most beautiful doe I have ever seen, leaping across the road with such grace that I saw her before I heard her. She was only about four feet in front of me and this was no baby ... she was full grown. It was abolutely wonderful!

She stopped right at the edge of the forest to my right. And as I walked past her, she just looked at me as if to say, 'Did you see that? He almost hit me!' And I looked at her as if to say, 'Wow! You almost hit me!' Then she started to walk into the woods and I continued on my way.

I think I grinned the rest of my walk ... it just made my morning! I love nature always. But when something like that happens, it is just like getting a little present from my Heavenly Father. And somehow it seemed fitting with how I have been feeling lately and after that awesome time in His presence last night and this morning.

Absolutely Beautiful!


'He makes me as surefooted as a deer,
enabling me to stand on mountain heights.'
Psalm 18:33 NLT


'Say to those who have an anxious heart,
“Be strong; fear not!
Behold, your God
will come with vengeance,
with the recompense of God.
He will come and save you.”

Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened,
and the ears of the deaf unstopped;
then shall the lame man leap like a deer,

and the tongue of the mute sing for joy.
For waters break forth in the wilderness,
and streams in the desert.'   
Isaiah 35:4-6 ESV                                                             

Powerful!

It is 2AM ...
I should be in bed, especially since I have to be up at 4:50AM
I've been up praising God and praying in the spirit ... and just had to share this

Powerful!

Hillsong United - From the Inside Out, A Song to Sing and With Everything

standing at the edge ...

Sitting here on my sofa ... enjoying the quiet of the evening. It seems the older I get, the more satisfaction I find in the simplest pleasures. Yet there is a small 'something' hovering in my mind and heart tonight.

You see, I have a very big decision to make...

And, if I am honest, it is times like this when being a single woman is most challenging. I have been saved long enough to understand the power that exists in agreement. Scripture tells us in Matthew 18:19, 'if two of you shall agree on earth concerning anything that they shall ask, it shall be done for them by My Father who is in Heaven.' Yet what is one to do when you have no one to come into agreement with ... no one to pray with ... to truly pray with? Please do not misunderstand me. I know I can pray on my own (and do), but it would just be nice sometimes ... to have some help.

I'm not nearly as strong as those closest to me seem to think I am.

As I talked to a good friend this afternoon, I was sharing how surreal it feels to be standing at the edge of something you've only imagined.
  • Was Abraham pacing outside the tent as Sarah was being prepped for birth? What was going through his mind? What had been going through his mind in the weeks leading up to that moment?
  • I wonder how Moses felt when he was finally able to see with his eyes (albeit from a distance) what I am certain he had imagined many times ... what had been promised.
  • As Mary began to feel the pain of regular contractions, was the discomfort overshadowed by the excitement of what was about to happen? I mean the promise was real to her the moment the words were spoken, And, she carried the promise, feeling the flutterings and kicks. But what were those weeks and days and hours like just before she held the promise?
I cannot begin to count the number of times in my lifetime that I have heard the quote, 'If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.' And, if I am honest, I think it is causing me to hesitate. Yet deep down I know that when it has come to the best things that have happened in my life ... when it seemed too good to be true, it was usually God!

There is this strange feeling of expectancy mixed with something else that I can't quite put my finger on.


Even with so much standing before me, I know so much more will be required of me. To just grab hold of what is right in front me requires such FAITH. It will require a move a God, a miracle similiar to what He did for the children of Israel as they circled the walls of Jericho. Theirs was to take the steps of faith to enter the promise and to leave the results to God Almighty. I know my situation is not very different. There are still a couple of walls that need to come down and doors that need to swing open. Yet He remains unchanged, the same faithful God He has been ... forever. 

I so need to hear from the LORD ... directly ... with great detail and clarity.
Praying earnestly ...

Have a Blessed Evening!
 

06 October 2012

You Are For Me ...

Wow! I haven't written here is quite some time. I was without use of my laptop for about one month and have just been so busy.

Last night I think I got my first glimpse of what it will be like when I have an 'empty nest'. My oldest son was out at his college campus, my youngest son was at a homecoming game and my middle son was at work (today is his birthday by the way ... 20 years old!). Where has the time gone?

It is so rare that they are all gone at the same time. And, while it was oddly silent, I am so thankful that I had an opportunity to just sit quietly last night ... to still myself, to listen to the LORD and to truly hear what He was speaking to my heart.

It is hard to explain but I have been filled with such an expectation ...
I can't even say with complete certainty what I am expecting,
But something keeps bubbling up on the inside.

All week I have been singing this song by Kari Jobe ... You Are For Me


'And so, after he had patiently endured,
he obtained the promise'
Hebrews 6:15

Have a Blessed Day!

'The LORD of Heaven's Armies is here among us,
The God of Israel is our fortress.'
Psalm 46:7 NLT

12 August 2012

a true reward

So yesterday I looked at a short verse concerning a man named Cornelius who was a devout individual committed to prayer, to serving and furthering the purposes of the kingdom of God. He was faithful in well-doing and the LORD heard his prayers and saw his actions.

Cornelius understood the importance of not losing strength in one's committment to do what is pleasing in God's eyes. Likewise, there is a need for us to not grow weary in well doing and a greater need of understanding that the true reward for doing well is not necessarily so that we will reap a physical reward (although we do at times), but that He is our reward.

The Amplified version of John 14:21 reads:
'The person who has My commands and keeps them is the one who [really] loves Me; and whoever [really] loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I [too] will love him and will show (reveal, manifest) myself to him. [I will let Myself be clearly seen by him and make Myself real to him.]' 

Jesus lets us know in this verse that the true reward for loving Him and following His commands is the love of the Father and intimate revelation of who Jesus is.

As we look at the life of Cornelius, we see this action:
  • Cornelius receives a message that his faithful living has come up as a memorial before the LORD (Acts 10:4)
  • Interestingly, his reward for doing well is not riches or fame. The LORD extends an invitation to Cornelius for him to keep on working by partnering with God and sending for Peter (Acts 10:5-6)
  • Peter shares truth and revelation with Cornelius and those assembled in his home (Acts 10:25-43)
  • The LORD pours out His Holy Spirit upon them (Acts 10:44)

As a reward for his faithfulness, Cornelius was privileged with additional opportunities to co-labor with the LORD. He learned more truth and experienced the outpouring and power of the Holy Spirit. Now that is a true reward!


'...God is not one to show partiality, but in every nation the man who fears Him and does what is right is welcome to Him.' Acts 10:34-35

11 August 2012

doing well ...

"Your prayers and your alms have ascended as a memorial before the LORD" Acts 10:4  

In this passage, Cornelius has been visited by an angel of the LORD who has come to let him know that God has heard and seen ...        

He heard the prayers of Cornelius and He made record of the service of Cornelius to His kingdom purposes - ministering to those in need and demonstrating the love of God in the earth.       

He is a seeing and hearing God ...    
When the enemy screams in your ears and it appears that all is for naught, there still exists a God in heaven, the one true and living God Almighty, who sees and hears everything!        

Often times it is quoted, 'Let us not grow weary in doing good, for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.' Galatians 6:9   

However, I like the verse in II Thessalonians 3:13 which simply states, "But as for you, brethren, do not grow weary in doing good." [PERIOD] 

He does not admonish the brethren to persevere because of some reward that they will receive. He simply commands that they not grow weary in doing well. Neither the challenge nor the remedy have changed in over two-thousand years.

'Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the LORD Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.' Col. 3:17

'The person who has My commands and keeps them is the one who [really] loves Me; and whoever [really] loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I [too] will love him and will show (reveal, manifest) myself to him. [I will let Myself be clearly seen by him and make Myself real to him.]' John 14:21AMP

Have confidence that God sees and hears and let that be reward enough, knowing that you have pleased the heart of the Father by doing what is acceptable in His eyes and in His estimation.      

I have to remind myself of this truth from time to time (as recently as this past week).    

We serve an awesome and faithful God who deserves all honor and glory. And we can confidently place our trust in Him and in His principles. 

Have A Blessed Day!