These posts are simply taken from my daily prayer journal. I find that the words He speaks to me in my private prayer time are usually for others too...

Wednesday, December 31, 2008


As children, we learn in Sunday School the true meaning of joy using the letters to the word.

J-Jesus first
O-Others second
Y- Yourself last
Then, as we grow older and experience "life" we gradually and ever-so-slightly begin to be mesmerized into the message that society all around us is subtly (and sometimes not so subtly) speaking to us... look out for #1!
He came to earth to example to us how we are to live our lives. We don't always want to hear it though... because He said we must first be a servant. Matthew 20:27 "And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant.
Now... His example: "But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men." (Phil 2:7)
By definition a servant is one who expresses submission, recognizance, or debt to another, or a person in the service of another. We always think we have to be so strong, so "together". If we are truly servants, then we also recognize that we all need each other... the ground is level! No big "I's" and litte "you's"!
Sometimes accepting help from someone can be so much harder than giving it. And why? I think it's pride! I saw this in our lives a few months ago during hurricane season. We had been without power all week and were staying with family and making the hour drive back for church. In Sunday School class that Sunday they had asked who was still without power or needed something, etc. After class, there was a sweet couple that wanted to bring us a generator and window a/c unit so we could come back home and the kids could start school the next day. We kept declining their offer but they called us that afternoon and were insistent that we let them do this. When I got off the phone with them, I told Bryan... we are denying them a blessing. They came and it was such a blessing, but how prideful of us NOT to accept the blessing God was sending out way! We are a body fitly joined together. To ever think we don't need or shouldn't accept help from our family of God is so prideful of us!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008


Time, time, time... there never seems to be enough of it! The best time management tool we can have is to give Him the firstfruits of every day. He multiplies everything we give Him... good measure, pressed down, shaken together... we need to let Him multiply our time as well.

If we will be about His business, He will take care of everything that concerns us. I feel I've been saying this a lot lately, but He keeps stirring it up in me... maybe I'm not "getting it" like I should. We need His direction for each day. EVERY day must be covered in prayer! I've noticed that when my "to do list" is so overwhelming and it doesn't seem like I can possibly tackle it all, He miraculously blesses my efforts when I first seek Him for my day.

Psalm 37:5 from The Message: "Open up before God, keep nothing back; he'll do whatever needs to be done: He'll validate your life in the clear light of day and stamp you with approval at high noon."

Life will always bring pressure. It will build until it explodes unless we bring it to Him every day and let it boil over and pour out onto the altar. Offer it up to Him. He's the only one who can relieve the pressure that builds around and in us.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Howz our "Faith-o-meter"?

Matthew 9:29 "Then touched he their eyes, saying, According to your faith be it unto you."

According to your faith... hmmm... this makes me think that we sometimes "tie" the hands of God when we don't trust and believe. We are all given a "measure of faith" according to Romans 12:13. "...God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith." It's up to us what we do with that "measure". I want to increase mine!

Matthew 21:21-22 in the Amplified says "And Jesus answered them, Truly I say to you, if you have faith (a firm relying trust) and do not doubt, you will not only do what has been done to the fig tree, but even if you say to this mountain, Be taken up and cast into the sea, it will be done. And whatever you ask for in prayer, having faith and [really] believing, you will receive."

If we know there's nothing too hard for Him, why do we even give a moment of thought to the question, "will He"? He is our Father and longs to supply all our needs and care for every aspect of our lives. I pray I can forever grasp this and allow Him to work on my behalf!

Thursday, December 18, 2008


Psalm 145: 18-20 (Amp) "The Lord is near to all who call upon Him, to all who call upon Him sincerely and in truth. He will fulfill the desires of those who reverently and worshipfully fear Him; He also will hear their cry and will save them. The Lord preserves all those who love Him, but all the wicked will He destroy."

I was thinking about how we preserve food to keep it fresh and give it better "shelf life" so that it's still available when we're ready to use it. God preserves those who love Him... He needs us to be ready at all times to fulfill the purpose for which He's called us. It's not the same for every person. We all have different talents, abilities and callings. We must not be discouraged during our "shelf life"...those times when we feel we aren't really serving a purpose in His Kingdom. Just stay ready and willing...He WILL reveal His purpose in our lives!

Titus 3:1 (Amp) "REMIND PEOPLE to be submissive to [their] magistrates and authorities, to be obedient, to be prepared and willing to do any upright and honorable work." And I love how The Message interprets this verse: "Remind the people to respect the government and be law-abiding, always ready to lend a helping hand. No insults, no fights. God's people should be bighearted and courteous."

Afterthought... another definition for preserve is "to maintain and reserve for private use"... how cool is that?! It's comforting to know that He will maintain all things in our lives and actually set aside a specific, private use for each one of us! We should never question our strengths and weaknesses... they all have a designed purpose if we will let Him use them for the purpose He has intended!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Some of our favorite people in the WHOLE WORLD!

Monday nights are proclaimed "Family Night" at POA and these are some of our "other family" that we get to hang out with on most Monday nights... some of the greatest people you will ever meet!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Favor--Part II

Just feeling highly favored today... this morning I was reading back a few pages (or shall we call them chapters...) of my prayer journal. I love to look back at what God has done. This year I really have become an advocate of journaling... we have to remind ourselves of all He has done in us, around us, through us, on our behalf...

This is one of those "whispers" I heard a couple of months ago...
"My favor is unmerited. You don't earn it... just walk in it. Fear, self doubt, and condemnation have no part in my place of favor. I ordain it. I order the steps. I open the doors. Just trust me. Go boldly through every open door. Speak My words. I place those in your path that need the words I give you."

Psalm 30:5 "For his anger endureth but a moment; in his favour is life: weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning."

Psalm 81:10 " thy mouth wide and I will fill it."

2 Samuel 22:20 "He brought me forth also into a large place: he delivered me because he delighteth in me."

This was the 2nd time this verse has stood out to me... I don't know the full meaning of it, but to me it speaks of a place of favor... "a large place". That's how I'm receiving it anyway! I want to walk in your favor, Lord!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Our Little Samuel

We had the most incredible Christmas Concert last night! If you weren't there, you just have to get the dvd... that's all I can say! At the end we sang "He loves us, Oh how He loves us..." such an incredible, moving song! They had cardboard testimonies during the song... again I say... incredible! We've been listening to the cd over the past few weeks in preparation for the concert and Cam (who is 7) has just really been drawn to this song. He asked me the other day if I would write all the words down for him. He loves the guitar and is alway trying to pick out songs... he's actually succeeded at some! Last night he was sitting with my parents during the concert and when they got to that song they told me that tears were just streaming down his face. He said, "how do they do that? That song make tears shoot out of my eyes!" What an incredible move of God!

I wasn't going to blog about this, but I was reading from my prayer journal from the end of last week (since I haven't been blogging...sorry!). Friday I had felt led to I Samuel 3:10 which tells the story of when God called Samuel. He kept going back to Eli because he thought it was him calling. After this happened several times, Eli instructed him to answer, "speak, Lord for thy servant heareth". Thank God for the Eli's in our lives that helps us learn to hear the voice of God! The reason I named this entry "Our Little Samuel" is because this is Cam's favorite story. I hope that has spiritual significance. He has always gone to a private Christian school, and he has more than once gotten out his Bible and told me he wanted to read the story of how God called Samuel. He knows right where it is!

Now on to what I had planned to blog about: "Favor"

1 Samuel 2:26 says "And the child Samuel grew on, and was in favour both with the LORD, and also with men. "

In prayer Friday I felt so strongly these words: "When favor with man is not your aim and your goal, I will bring it. Only seek favor with me... I will take care of the rest. I speak continually. It's you who aren't listening. As you die to self, you'll hear me in things great and in things that seem very small to you but are necessary in comfirming my Word."

Ouch! Normally I wouldn't share something so personal, but I get emails so often from you who are anonymously following this blog and who knows? Maybe you're meant to hear these words too. :) I want to walk in His favor and be pliable to his will! What a process... Lord, help me!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

God of the Closed Doors

He is definitely the God of the closed doors... we only want to see Him as God of the open door. In prayer I was reminded about a time early in our marriage right after Tanner was born. We were very young and very poor. We paid our tithes first and the rest just worked out. Young love! I was still on maternity leave and at the end of my paid portion. I'll never forget that morning when Bryan came right back after leaving for work. He is the most honest, hard-working man I know and prides himself on always doing the right thing. That's why this was so hard to take. He had been fired for not properly reprimanding an employee for waiving late charges. The owners didn't feel he had been harsh enough. It was so bizarre and unwarranted. He had been such a great manager... had articles written about him in the local paper... numerous awards... and yet, here he was... coming home wrongfully fired.

Here's the rest of the story... God allowed it! He wanted to show us that He is our source and not any job. He had such a better job for Bryan that would start him on the path to the career that he now has. He knew that we were new parents and needed him to be home in the evenings, on weekends and holidays (which wasn't the case at the other job). He would have never just gone out and searched for this job if he was still in his comfort zone. When he walked into the new job God had orchestrated, they said, "Where have you been? We've been interviewing for months and haven't found one candidate! You are the perfect person for this job!".

We mustn't be afraid of our circumstances and must always recognize that God is in control of it all... even the bad things could be that part of the tapestry that is necessary for the beauty of the bigger picture of our lives! Sometimes in the midst of what seems to be our darkest hour, He is working out the details of the biggest miracle that will blow our minds! I could write BOOKS about all the doors that continued to open after that day. Proverbs 3 became a banner around our hearts... especially verses 5-6 "Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths." He didn't say we had to be super spiritual or overflowing with knowledge and wisdom (or even half-way understand what He's up to), but just "acknowledge" him in all our ways and he orders the steps!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008


Ecclesiastes 3:1 "To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven..."

We're in the process of a lot of changes at POA and it's made me think about all the seasons in our lives. Change is necessary if we are to grow and become all God has planned for us. When we don't recognize Him changing the seasons in our lives, we become stagnant. There's no growth... which can allow seeds of bitterness, fault-finding, discouragement... we must always be ready to flow with the changes He brings into our lives. They are for our better good... to develop us and give us growth.

Just like the brook dried up for Elijah when God sent him to the widow in I Kings 17. The word from God was... " I have commanded a widow woman there to sustain thee." It was time to move on to a new level of trust (for him and for the widow woman--but that's a whole other story!).

2 Corinthians 5:10:(Amplified) "For we must all appear and be revealed as we are before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive [his pay] according to what he has done in the body, whether good or evil [considering what his purpose and motive have been, and what he has achieved, been busy with, and given himself and his attention to accomplishing].

My prayer is that I will ever be Kingdom minded--busy with and giving my attention to accomplishing His work... things that are eternal!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Our Words

We had an incredible weekend... busy, as usual. My boys have still been a little sick so with that comes a lot of grouchiness, bickering and "mean words". I guess that was somewhere in my subconscious when praying this morning... I wasn't seeking out this verse, but in a round-about way, ended up here...

James 3:10 "Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing..."

Oh... the power of our words! We can stir up a lot of stuff with them... determine how our day will actually be. This is an incredible chapter. Verse 6 talks about how the tongue is a fire...a world of wickedness set among our members--being itself ignited by hell--yikes! Verse 8 talks about how the human tongue can be tamed by no man. ... a restless evil full of deadly poison. Then, verse 9... "with it we bless the Lord & Father and with it we curse men who were made in God's likeness..." I need to remind my boys of that... when we are lashing out at that person who is under our skin... that person was made in the image of! That should shut our mouths!

The rest of the chapter goes on to say that where there's jealousy/envy & rivalry & selfish ambition, there'll be confusion--unrest, disharmony, rebellion... Lord, help us not to have selfish ambitions--no envy of other's gifts, talents, blessings! Because, yes, the enemy can have us be selfish over spiritual things as much as carnal things! He has given us all different talents, giftings, duties... no single one can disqualify or have more significance than another. We must, as a body, all work in harmony as one unit.

I can speak blessings or curses over every person that I come in contact with in a given day. Lord, let the words of my mouth & the meditations of my heart be acceptable in your sight! (Psalm 91:14)

Thursday, December 4, 2008


God's been dealing with me lately about "abiding" in Him. John 15:4 "Abide in me and I in you..."

In definition, abide is to dwell, reside, remain, continue, stay... I want to do all those things.

The Message says it this way: "Live in me. Make your home in me just as I do in you. In the same way that a branch can't bear grapes by itself but only by being joined to the vine, you can't bear fruit unless you are joined with me."

Then John tell us in I John 2:6 "He that abideth in him ought himself also to walk, even as he walked".

OK...not too much pressure! We are to walk as the "One" who knew no sin! I'm so thankful that He knows we are flesh and need His grace every moment as we are striving to do what He's asked of us. Lord, I want to find my dwelling in You, rest in You, have my identity from You, continue in this journey with You, and simply "stay" with You... no matter what life brings my way, let me "stay".

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Did He really mean early?

I don't claim to be a morning person. As a matter of fact, Bryan & I have this understood deal that we don't really talk the first 10 to 15 minutes of the morning... we may pass by and pat each other on the back... or maybe a grunt... you get the picture! I said all that to say... it was not in my nature to decide to seek the Lord early. A couple of years ago He started dealing with me about this, so I started making the sacrifice. It has been very rewarding (and has gotten easier). There's something to be said about that quiet time before everyone else is awake.

Proverbs 8:17 "I love them that love me and those that seek me early shall find me".

It seems that His presence is so rich and sweet when I come to Him before my day gets crowded with my never ending "to do" list. I want to always give Him the "firstfruits" of my day. It's so much easier to hear Him before the busyness and hustle and bustle of the day begins.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Sweet Surrender

It's been a crazy and wonderful past few days... I love the holidays... LOVE Thanksgiving... had a wonderful time with our families... lots of them! Now it's time to get back to my schedule. I kind of missed the rhythmn of life that we all get used to... back to blogging! Since I'm not having any real "bloggy thoughts" today, I thought I'd share from my prayer journal this past summer. It's always neat to look back at things God has done and spoken when you were in different circumstances. This journal entry was just before God did some really miraculous things in our lives...

Quoting from my journal...
"There was such an unbelievable lingering presence of God in prayer today--this is what I received from Him today: I speak to those with no hidden agenda--those who don't want credit. My way is the way of the lowly. I made myself of "no reputation". Will you work for me for nothing? No glory, no credit, no monetary gain? The spiritual ear must be trained to hear my voice to the point that you won't question it but flow in it freely. It's no mistake that you are in this trial right now that you can't control. You are getting to the place I ordained--a place where you recognize that only I have the answer you need. I long for your complete dependance on me then I can bless and trust you with all I have for you. I so long to dialogue with my people like I did with Job but my people are so crowded in their lives that they can't be silent before me to listen."

Maybe one of you blog readers needed to read this today. I know that shortly after this entry I feel like we stepped into the overflow of God's favor. I'm believing that for "whosoever will"!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008


I'm not quite feeling myself today and yesterday... have had a little stomach "yuck". I'm telling this to tell about the detour I went on this morning. I stopped by the store to get some yogurt... it seemed like something I could handle this morning. Cam was with me because he's going to work with me this morning. God had this detour planned the whole time... isn't He awesome? He knew which store I needed to choose... He knew that we needed to get there later than I had planned (thanks to bringing along a 7 year old)... He knows and is in every detail! Thank you for delays, Lord! A friend of mine came down the aisle and was overjoyed to see Cam because she said she knew she was supposed to run into us. She really needed prayer at that moment... and guess what? We had a short, discreet prayer right there in front of the yogurt! To her I want to say today... He cares so much about your situation that He orchestrated this chain of events this morning... don't think for a moment that He won't take care of every detail of your situation!

I'm so thankful for the body of Christ! There will be another day when I need her to detour my way and pray over me. Do you ever feel like you're in a situation and just need someone else to pray over you? It's funny how that is... sometimes you can't even pray about your own situation... you've exhausted yourself and your faith... I've been there! But we are the body fitly joined together...

Ephesians 4:15-16 "...speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love."

The Message reads like this: "God wants us to grow up, to know the whole truth and tell it in love—like Christ in everything. We take our lead from Christ, who is the source of everything we do. He keeps us in step with each other. His very breath and blood flow through us, nourishing us so that we will grow up healthy in God, robust in love. "

I love that line... "He keeps us in step with each other..." more about Him ordering our steps... if we let Him, He will guide us...yes, even in the detours!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Bunch & Breeze Music Video

We had the distinct honor of participating in Bro. Bunch & Bro. Breeze's music video last night... we had a blast!

Power of Praying for Our Friends

I came across this verse this past summer and it just seemed to "pop out" at me...

Job 42:10 (ESV) "The Lord restored the fortunes of Job when he prayed for his friends, and the Lord increased all that Job had twofold."

After all that Job had been through, his relief and restoration came WHEN HE PRAYED FOR HIS FRIENDS. Wow! When I read that passage, I immediately thought of some friends that were in need of a miracle. I had already been praying for them, but I switched my focus and really made their need my greatest request before God. The scripture proved true... God moved mountains for me... so many that are so personal that I won't "blog" them... but just trust me... unbelievable things! He knows our needs before we ask. I say this all the time, but when we truly pray His agenda, our needs will be taken care of.

He is so faithful and just! All His ways are perfect. I want to be more self-less... It is a constant struggle... Lord, help me to deny myself, take up my cross and SELFLESSLY follow YOU!

Monday, November 24, 2008

No Cross, No Crown

Job 23: 8-10 "Behold, I go forward, but he is not there, and backward, but I do not perceive him; on the left hand when he is working, I do not behold him; he turns to the right hand, but I do not see him. But he knows the way that I take; when he has tried me, I shall come out as gold."

Have you ever thought those words... or even said them to God? Where are you? I don't see you working in my situation? He truly does see our rising up and our falling down. Lord, help us to remember that all things are under your control--You will steady our steps and not let our feet slip. Our steps are ordered by you. Let us always follow your planned path you've prepared ahead of us.

The lyrics to this song are so true... "There's not a victory, without a fight. There's not a sunrise, without a night. And there's not a purchase without a cost. And there's not a Crown, without a Cross."

I hate to dwell on the crosses so much, but realizing their place in our lives brings the abundant life and peace He has planned for us. Looking through the lens of Calvary changes how we see and bear things that come our way. I honestly wouldn't trade the hurts I've been through because they've completely changed my heart, perception and my life! Now, that doesn't mean I want to sign up for more hurts today but I know He will bring me through whatever comes...

Friday, November 21, 2008

Happy Anniversary, Babe!

No deep thoughts today... just feeling really thankful for 16 wonderful years of wedded bliss! I am so thankful that God gave me such a wonderful husband. He knew it would take a gentle, giving, longsuffering, incredible man to handle my crazy, unpredictable ways...

He truly is my soulmate... I think we truly fill each others "gaps"... although I think sometimes that I have more gaps to be filled! I just know that I love him more today than I did 16 years ago and more than I did 10 years ago and yes, even more than I did last November 21st!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Life and Rest...

Life...whew! This morning was another one of those mornings where at that last minute we can't seem to get out the door... I feel like a rantin' & ravin' lunatic trying to make it happen! Bryan's trying to get out at the same time as us and... you get the picture... true chaos! We pull into the high school parking lot just as the bell is ringing (their schools start 30 minutes apart--so if we can just get Tanner there on time, we've made it!). I drop Cam off and then collapse into the prayer room at church with a HUGE sigh of relief...

Needless to say, I felt Him lead me to Matthew 11:28 "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest."

Thank you, Lord for the "rest" I can find in Your presence! I went on to read the next 2 verses... "Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light."

There are many definitions for yoke... I liked this one: "something that couples or binds together; a bond or tie". A yoke is used for steering (whether for animals, boats or even airplanes). So, if we'll just apply His yoke to our lives, we will have the safety of Him guiding us and holding us close.

I also thought about how He didn't say... "Come unto me all ye that are perfect, have it all together, and labour, etc... He just said COME... come one, come all! When did we ever get the idea that we have to "have it all together" to live for Him? I know so many people who have walked away from Him because it seemed too hard, or they aren't good enough, or they just can't commit to Him right now... His yoke is easy... His burden is light! His love is immeasurable! Condemnation does not come from Him... He sees the heart!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Pilgrims and Strangers

Catchy title since we're gearing up for Thanksgiving! :)

Hebrews 11:13 "These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. "

The Amplified version of Chronicles 29:15 says "For we are strangers before You, and sojourners, as all our fathers were; our days on the earth are like a shadow, and there is no hope or expectation of remaining."

If we ever fully get this mindset, then the things of this earth will surely grow dim... talk about a priority shuffle! Our life is but a vapor... with that in mind, am I doing all He has called me to do? ABSOLUTELY NOT! I want to do better!

Job 14:1-2 "Man this is born of a woman is of few days and full of trouble. He cometh forth like a flower and is cut down: he fleeth also as a shadow and continueth not."

Well... all men (and women) are born of a woman... I don't know any other way to be born! So it looks like we're all in the same boat...full of trouble! The least we can do is give our "trouble" to Him and let Him make it into what He has planned.

Lord, let all I do be done with the priority of Heaven--how I live my life, how I reach out to others, how I teach my children, how I love my family and fellow man, how I spend my time, how I do the tasks that are set before me with diligence (as unto YOU)!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Whew! No Perfection Here!

Thank God He doesn't expect us to be perfect! We all have those days when our hang-ups and weakness seem to be just BLARING at us! The things is, He wants us just as we are... we're the ones who get so hung up on what we can't do or what's "not right" about us.

I'm trying to remember this and let Him use my talents and abilities, strengths AND WEAKNESSES for His glory! II Corinthians 12: 9 " grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness..."

The Amplified says " grace (my favor, lovingkindness and mercy) is enough for you... for my strength and power are made perfect (fulfilled & completed) and show themselves most effective, in your weakness..."

WOW! If we aren't giving Him our weaknesses, then we're not utilizing the complete, full strength and power that He has for us. That hit me really hard! He actually WANTS my weaknesses... the things about me that give me so much grief!

I want my words to be seasoned with grace. When dealing with others, I want to extend grace--lovingkindness, mercy--let me "favor them".

Grace & weakness... I never realized how much they go hand in hand. When we recognize our own weaknesses, we will extend more grace. Lord, let me always recognize my need of Your grace in my life!

In II Peter 3:18, Peter says "..grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.." That's what I want!

Monday, November 17, 2008

God Pleasers

Last night I heard an incredible message on how the enemy tries to steal our worship. In the message this passage was used:

Proverbs 6:16-19 "These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.

In prayer this morning I went back to this passage and was still "digesting" all that I heard last night. I couldn't help thinking how that if He hates these things, then He must LOVE the opposite...

If he hates a proud look, then I want to always have a look of humility and love.
If he hates a lying tongue, then I want to speak the truth in love. (Ephesians 4:15)
If he hates hands that shed innocent blood, then I want to preserve life in every way that I can (and support those who do the same!)
If he hates a heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, then I want a heart that is imagining all the possible good things He can do in and through me!
If he hates feet that are swift in running to mischief, then I want feet that are quick to do the right thing (without even any forethought... just an instant response!)
If he hates a false witness that speaks lies, then I want to be a truth speaker that will dispel gossip and rumors when they are spoken.
And finally, if he hates he who sows discord among the brethren, then I want to do my part to bring unity to His body of believers. I wonder if he didn't save this one for last for a purpose. Division among believers will stop His purpose faster than anything else. Notice that in the book of Acts the Holy Ghost fell because they were all in one mind and one accord! Let me be a peace maker and a God pleaser!

Friday, November 14, 2008

On Purpose

Sometimes we do things and they turn out ok but not necessarily because that was our intention. We might call it an "accidental" good thing... well, I don't want my life to be lived that way. I want to be intentional in all I do... live life on purpose--hopefully, HIS purpose!

2 Timothy 1:9 "Who hath saved us and called us with an holy calling not according to our works but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began."

The Amplified version says "but because of and to further His own purpose and grace (unmerited favor)..."

It's so easy for us to forget that we are made for HIS purpose--not our own. When we recognize that, we will walk in that unmerited favor. Lord, let me always seek your purpose for my day, week, month, year... LIFE! You're in every detail even when I'm too busy to notice it. Help me to stop the noise--even if just for a moment--to see you all around!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

True Success

Psalm 37:16 says "...a little that a righteous man hath is better than the riches of many wicked."

This tells us that righteousness is the mark of true success. ...not self-righteousness--Lord, help us not to rely on our own definition of "right standing" for our righteousness is as "filthy rags" (Isa 64:6)

Proverbs 11:28 "He that trusteth in his riches shall fall but the righteous shall flourish as a branch."

I Timothy 4:8 "..godliness is profitable unto all things..."
I Timothy 6:6 "...godliness with contentment is great gain..."

So... righteousness and godliness (throw in a little contentment too!)

One more thing... our conversations. I just LOVE how He gives us every single thing we need in His Word!

Hebrews 13:5 "let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have for he hath said "I will never leave thee nor forsake thee".

Thank you, Lord for your Word that keeps us on course--cuts away the influence of the world and our way of thinking... "sharper than a two-edged sword". Help us not to measure ourselves by what the world calls success!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

First Things First

So many times we've prayed for things and wondered why our prayers weren't answered. Maybe we were out of line...

Matthew 6:33 "But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you."

If we will be "Kingdom minded" and pray "Kingdom prayers" He will take care of all our needs. But beware: seeking His Kingdom first will actually change the intent of heart and consequently, change our prayers.

In I Kings 3:13... because Solomon prayed a Godly prayer/petition (not for selfish gain), God said He would give him also what he hadn't asked for: riches and honour.

Mark 10:30 (quoting from "The Message") Jesus said, "Mark my words, no one who sacrifices house, brothers, sisters, mother, father, children, land—whatever—because of me and the Message will lose out. They'll get it all back, but multiplied many times in homes, brothers, sisters, mothers, children, and land—but also in troubles. And then the bonus of eternal life! This is once again the Great Reversal: Many who are first will end up last, and the last first."

Notice he didn't say we wouldn't have trouble; however, we always think we have to give up everything and live a suffering life and then have it all in Heaven... this verse in the King James Version actually says "IN THIS TIME"... I believe He wants his people to live an abundant life! It's up to us to keep in all in proper perspective!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Deceitful Heart

We don't know our own hearts. I learned this a long time ago as a young lady seeking God's perfect will for my life. If you would have told me it was Bryan Cook I would have never believed it. God changed my heart so completely and I fell head over heels in love with this wonderful young man that God had planned for me all along... I just couldn't (or wouldn't) see it! I try to remember that now after 16 years of marriage and "life"... we can never know our own hearts... we think we've given it all over to him and then...WHAM! Out of nowhere we say something or do something that does not reflect a heart totally submitted to God.

Psalm 139:23 "Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me and know my thoughts."

Jeremiah 17: 9-10 "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? I the LORD search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings."

Lord, let me never forget that I must have you search my heart EVERY day for I don't even know my own heart... it always goes back to its evil nature. I need you to remake my heart and mind daily!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Signs of the End Times...

His Word says that everything that can be shaken will be shaken. As we are now LIVING the end times that we've heard of so long, we better know what we believe and have a firm foundation! I found out this morning that Mattel has put out a doll that says "Islam is the light!". I encourage everyone I know to go sign the petition to remove this doll (since Mattel is denying that it says this).

I was reminded of the scripture in Jeremiah 12:5, "If thou hast run with the footmen, and they have wearied thee, then how canst thou contend with horses? and if in the land of peace, wherein thou trustedst, they wearied thee, then how wilt thou do in the swelling of Jordan?"

In prayer this morning I remembered a prophecy that I heard go out in January of this year that it would get to the point where we were walking single file... an ever narrowing path...

I do believe the way will get more and more narrow. Living for the one true God, taking on and declaring the name of Jesus is not going to be the way of popularity...

Matthew 7:14 "Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it."

I plan to be in that few! Let's be prepared for the battle ahead... armed with the full armor of God!

Ephesians 6:11-12 "Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places."

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Day of Frustration

Have you ever had one of those mornings? The kind where EVERY SINGLE THING seems to go wrong and you turn into Psycho Mom and Psycho Wife rantin' & ravin' all over the place? OK... maybe that only happens to me...

I'm so glad God is merciful to us in spite of ourselves.

Psa 61:2 "From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I."

I'm so thankful for His ever-abiding presence... that I can come and cast every fear, every worry, all the things that overwhelm me... at His feet. After that comes a deep, deep inhale. Once I've released it all to Him it seems I can breathe in so deeply... like the song by Hillsong... "this is the air I breathe... your holy presence... living in me..."

Acts 17:25 "...and he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things"

It is His breath that gives life! In Acts 20:22, the Word says "he breathed on them and saith unto them receive ye the Holy Ghost." In the previous verse His words were "peace be unto you"--with His breath comes peace. God of Heaven, breathe on me! I want your ever abiding presence and peace every moment!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

No cause for fear

I am so thankful that as His children, we have a Biblical world view. We don't have to worry about the winds of change because we know that He is ultimately in control. I have to share what happened to me a week or so ago... Bryan was gone due to work... I was asleep (it was around midnight or so)... when I suddenly woke up with a tight feeling in my chest, heart palpitations, shortness of breath. I immediately recognized that I was supposed to pray for someone. It has taken me a while, but I'm FINALLY learning to discern when He is waking me up, ruffling my feathers, so to speak. I was obedient and prayed that whoever it was that God would give them peace... no panic, no fear. I went right back to sleep as if it hadn't happened.

The next morning in my regular prayer time He reminded me of this. I felt like He was saying that the needs of my people are so great--I need those who will stand in the gap. Men's hearts are failing with fear. I wasn't necessarily praying for one person but a whole multitude of people who are filled with fear right now. I looked this up, of course...

Luke 22:26 (red letter--meaning His words) "Men's hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken."

Regardless of the economy, election, or any other circumstances that surround us and trouble us, those who look after His Kingdom will be taken care of.

In I Kings 14... the widow woman was obedient and took care of Elijah (the man of God) first although she had great needs herself and very limited resources. Verse 16 says "and the barrel of meal wasted not, neither did the cruse of oil fail, according to the word of the Lord which he spake by Elijah."

My goal: I want to pray His agenda instead of mine... when we do this, all of our needs will be taken care of... he knows our needs before we even ask.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

On a personal note...

Let me just say that real love is when your sweetie will help you clean up kid puke in the middle of the night... UGH!!! On this grand election day we're having the blah's with our little puker (whom I might add "hurled" again on the way back from voting)... what a fun day!

Let Righteousness Reign!

Lord, help our nation today! We ask you to let justice and righteousness reign.

Prov 14:34 "Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people (to nations)."

I'm praying this all day today.

Psalm 89:14 (Amp) "Righteousness and justice are the foundation of Your throne, mercy and loving-kindness and truth go before your face. Blessed (happy, fortunate, to be envied) are the people who know the joyful sound (who understand and appreciate the spiritual blessings symbolized by the feasts); they walk, O Lord, in the light and favor of Your countenance."

I had to share this from "The Message" translation of the same verse:

"Blessed are the people who know the passwords of praise,
who shout on parade in the bright presence of God.
Delighted, they dance all day long; they know
who you are, what you do—they can't keep it quiet!
Your vibrant beauty has gotten inside us—
you've been so good to us! We're walking on air!
All we are and have we owe to God,
Holy God of Israel, our King!"

Woe unto us if we ever become a nation that forgets God!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Lead the way!

Prov 20:24 (NKJ) "A man's steps are of the Lord; how then can a man understand his own way?"

Psa 37:23 "The steps of a good man are ordered (established) by the Lord and he delighteth in his way."

I Sam 2:9 "He will keep the feet of his saints..."

This is such an awesome assurance that if I am continually seeking Him... just for more of Him in my life... to be in His presence... to delight in Him... I won't have to worry about direction. He establishes my path! I so often find him in the "detours"--those times when I feel I've gotten "off course". So many times he had ordered it for someone else's benefit... you know what I mean? Have you ever felt like you were supposed to run into someone and God had given you the exact words they needed?

I want to be so sensitive to His voice and His leading that I will willingly follow and not question any turn in the path He has me on!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

You've still got it, Babe!

Brandon decided he'd challenge Tanner's "old man" to an arm wrestling match...

Although you just had another birthday, you're still "da man"!!!

Friday, October 31, 2008

Fall is in the air...

We had a great time tonight with some friends at a fall party...

The kids had a great time hangin' out with their best buds...

...bobbing for apples...

and yes... that's icing on the face!


The word "Christian" is such a vague word when you think about it... so many people refer to themselves as Christians. I looked up the definition of a Christian... just for discussion sake... it says one who adheres to the life and teaching of Jesus Christ of Nazareth. By that definition, we will surely all fall short in so many different areas. I can't even begin to name them all... one, for instance, is cross bearing.

His way is the way of the cross. We want to line up for all He has for us but we don't want any suffering. However, in His Word (that we're adhering to...) it says... Luke 14:27 "And whosoever doth not bear his cross and come after me cannot be my disciple." Disciple is actually (in a "roundabout" way... through the Latin) a root word for discipline. If we discipline ourselves in prayer, fasting and reading the Word, the "cross bearing" will be so much easier. II Tim 2:12 says "If we suffer, we shall also reign with Him..."

Psalm 32: 8-9 "I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go; I will guide thee with Mine eye. Be ye not as the horse or as the mule which have no understanding, whose mouth must be held in with bit and bridle, lest they not come near unto thee."

My goal and prayer... "Lord, let me be a good student (disciple)... eager, ready, willing and sensitive to each turn the you lead me on. I want to be willingly led by you. Let me not resist your guiding hand... even when I don't understand what you're doing or how you could possibly be in it. You see the end from the beginning... even when there's a little suffering in between.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Our OTHER family...

I was sorting through some pics today on my computer and came across these from this summer... this is our "other family" that we hang out with on Monday nights... I think everyone agreed that this was our favorite Family Night!

Brenda Linda and our most famous cousin, Bro. Breeze...

We're a good lookin', talented bunch!

Sufficiency of Deficiency?

You know... there are areas of my life where I have absolutely no problem recognizing that I can't do a "dad-gum" thing (how's that for southern slang?). I need His help beyond measure! My goal, however, is to recognize that in every single facet of my life... I don't ever want to think I can do anything on my own. It's only in Him that we move and breathe and have our being.

2 Cor 3:5 says "Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think anything as of ourselves but our sufficiency is of God."

The word "sufficiency" made me think of the opposite of that... a "deficiency"--in our bodies, when there's a vitamin deficiency, we will crave all kinds of things because of the imbalance that it brings to our "nutritional state". I've even heard of being craving dirt in extreme cases...ugh! It's no different with our inner "spirit man". Our soul was designed to have Him be our sufficiency. When He isn't, we seek after anything and everything to fill that void. Until we allow Him to be our sufficiency, we will forever be "out of balance"... never satisfied... this world can NEVER satisfy our inner man.

His grace is sufficient. Like the song says, "His Grace is Enough For Me!"

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Do I share?

I read this very interesting verse that hit me really hard... Acts 4:32 (NKJV) "Now the multitude of those who believed were of one heart and one soul; neither did anyone say that any of the things he possessed was his own, but they had all things in common."

They met the needs of others out of their resources. I John 3:17 (AMP) "But if anyone has this world's goods (resources for sustaining life) and sees his brother and fellow believer in need, yet closes his heart of compassion against him, how can the love of God live and remain in him?"

Wow! It's a scary thought that if I don't have compassion, then His love does not live and dwell in me. Do I hold all I have with OPEN hands? I willing to give at all times to a brother or sister in need? This whole vein of thought has caused us to realign some things in our lives. Our society tells us it's never enough... we always need something more, something newer, better... our decor is outdated so quickly... we have to update... and on and on it goes... there's always a better, more updated gadget that we need! ME, ME, ME! Feed my need for more! And so, we become so stretched financially that we aren't using our resources for the purpose He intends.

According to Acts 4:35--37, the believers would give their money to the apostles who would distribute it according to the need. What a lesson in denying yourself! We always want ownership, entitlement--give me what's my portion!

I want to do better! I pray He helps us have more of a "funnel" mentality than an ownership mentality. All that we have is His... James 1:17 says "Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning."

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Permission to be childish...

Do you ever notice how "adult like" we are? As adults, we reason out every circumstance--we've been trained to find a logical solution to everything. Children don't do that. They trust that anything is possible... especially if Mom & Dad say so. Well, guess what? Our heavenly Father says so! His way is a way of faith. It doesn't follow human understanding and reasoning. His ways are so much higher than ours. It is placing complete trust when we don't see how the solution can possible come but we know our Abba Father is in complete control!

Matthew 19:14 (Amplified) says "...He said Leave the children alone! Allow the little ones to come to me, and do not forbid or restrain or hinder them, for of such (as these) is the kingdom of heaven composed."

What does that say about us? According to I Thes 5:3, "...unless you repent and become like children (trusting, lowly, loving, forgiving), you can never enter the kingdom of heaven (at all)."

Yikes! ...and yet "Whew!" all at the same time... I'm so glad I don't have to figure it all out! There's such peace in that. Whatever I face... whatever decision or trial or sickness or sadness... and on and on... no matter what... He has it all taken care of! Of course, we can't put it on cruise control... we still have to do our part but I'm so glad He equips the called!

Monday, October 27, 2008

This is to give you insight into the personality of these Cook boys in case it wasn't obvious at the beginning... well... only one will allow me to post his craziness online... the other is much more mature these days... he chooses to PRETEND he's all cool & serious... however, he is quite quick witted and keeps us in stiches...

I know... not the most modest picture but he's looks like he's feeling pretty cool... ha ha


I am new at this but was convinced to give it a try this weekend while spending time with our church family at Family Weekend. We all bring our food, kids, campers, tents, chairs, and whatever else we feel we may need and spend the weekend at our District Campgrounds. It's a lot of fun, food and fellowship. My concern was that it would take up too much of my time but some friends convinced me that I could do it without a lot of effort, so here I go.

I don't know if it's that I'm getting older or that I'm consciously spending more time in prayer and the Word this year but I have a volume of thoughts and words pouring out of me... I've started a prayer journal this year and have been amazed at how clearly God speaks to us if we only take the time to listen. I recently shared this vein of thought with our ladies' prayer group but wanted to share it here.

A week or so ago in my morning prayer time I felt as though this was the word He was speaking to me... "whisper". I even looked in the concordance of my Bible to see if there were scriptures with this word but didn't really find a lot. Running out of time, I finished up prayer time and headed to work. When I opened my email there was an email with the subject "Whisper". Of course I was totally intrigued. I opened it up to read it… it spoke of all the ways God uses to speak to us and not to discount the small things… one line that really stuck out to me was this… don’t miss out on your blessing (or from hearing his voice) just because it isn’t packaged the way you expected! How true! We think we have God figured out and want to tell Him how to fix our situation or how to bless us and on and on… He always has our best interests at heart. We need to learn to pray the blessing or the “fix” He has for us. He does a much better job and dreams bigger for us than we will ever dream for ourselves!

Needless to say… I was feeling like I was walking in the 3rd heaven! God has given me a “whisper” today! I left work to go get in the pick up line at my boy’s school. I intentionally go about 30 minutes early so I can practice this “whisper” process… getting still, getting quiet, no sound… just me, Him, His Word… I was a day behind on my One Year Bible reading so I finished the current day while sitting there. I got to the New Testament passage for that day and there it was… my other whisper… Col 4:5 “Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time.” (Forgot to mention that this was the other verse He had led me to that morning--specifically about "redeeming the time").

I just sat in awe of the presence of the Lord. The very fact that the Maker of the Universe… Creator of everything… would take the time to give me a couple of “whispers”… I started thinking about whispers… they are usually used in a bad context… even in the Word it tells of backbiters, whisperers… but when you whisper something, you are sharing a secret. You only trust your secrets with those you trust completely. If we want to know His secrets… hear His whispers… we must first have a secret place where we can steal away with Him and hear what He wants to whisper into our spirit.

I Kings 19:12 “And after the earthquake a fire; but the LORD was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice.”

A still small voice… there it is… right there in the Word… the whisper. I do want to hear His voice… even if it is the slightest whisper. I know there are so many things in this life that will always try to stifle His whispers. Just help me discipline myself to steal away with Him… away from the noise… I want to align myself to hear—laying aside those things that steal my time and crowd out that still small voice.

One more thing... the following day I had just dropped the boys off for school and decided to turn up the radio. There it was... a song I had never heard before on a cd that had been given to me... the song was called "A Whisper Is Enough". Again... He gave me another whisper... I have to share the words...

"Lord, you are my shepherd and the keeper of my heart. You guide my steps when I can't find my way. And yet I know for you to truly lead I must live in such a way that when you call to me...

a whisper is enough... when I'm close enough to hear... when my one desire is just to have you near. You still the storms around me with gentle words of love. I want to live so that a whisper is enough.

Is it any wonder that it's hard to know your voice when so consumed by the cares of this world? But in an age that competes with everything you say, please give me ears to hear above the noise it makes..."