Monday, December 28, 2009
"We won't be satisfied with anything ordinary. We won't be satisfied at all. Open up the sky pour down like rain. We don't want blessings we want you."
Can we really say that and truly mean it? What I felt God impressing upon me was the fact that when we really mean that, we won't mind the trials that bring us to a deeper place of revelation... revelation of more of His glory. Take, for instance, the beautiful rose. It's fragrance can't be enjoyed fully until you crush it. We don't want to be crushed. But maybe, just maybe, He wants to release a pure, undefiled fragrance from our spirit. If you feel you are being tried, crushed... maybe He trusts you with that during this season.
Paul spoke of trials that sort of "kept his feet on the ground".
2 Corinthians 12:7 from the Amplified: "And to keep me from being puffed up and too much elated by the exceeding greatness (preeminence) of these revelations, there was given me a thorn ([a]a splinter) in the flesh, a messenger of Satan, to rack and buffet and harass me, to keep me from being excessively exalted."
Don't question the trials. They serve a purpose. It's all about our perspective. If we truly trust Him, we know He will not forsake us and will perform His perfect will through every circumstance we face.
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
Proverbs 30: 8-9 "Remove far from me vanity and lies; give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me only food sufficient for me,lest I be full, and deny Thee, and say, "Who is the LORD?"-- or lest I be poor and steal, and take the name of my God in vain."
Can it really be that simple to us? It should be. Just give me my daily portion. ...nothing less, nothing more. I'm remembering the children of Israel and how God provided daily manna for them to eat. They weren't to gather more than they needed for that day. It was a trust issue. They were to trust that He would provide again tomorrow. That seems to be our problem sometimes. We think God has failed us if we can't seem to get all our debt paid off or have our emergency fund all stashed away safe and sound. Don't get me wrong. I'm all for those things! But sometimes I wonder if the unforeseen "financial trauma" that comes upon us through unexpected expenses of every form could be a test of our trust in Him. Sure, He could wipe it all out with blessings from His unlimited supply of resources. ...but what if?
Do we really trust Him? I can look back at times when our finances were in shambles... overextended... not exactly working out on paper... but we paid our tithes first and rested in the peace that He was working it all out. Those are actually some of my best memories. I remember sitting back and watching God miraculously work on our behalf when we put His Kingdom first. He teaches us so much in those times. I am thankful for His loving, guiding hand. I want to see Him in all things... the lean times and the times of blessings.
I want to be a "giver" instead of a "taker". Pastor Terry really compelled us to look deep within ourselves and ask that probing question this weekend: "Am I a giver or a taker?" So, I'm asking you (and myself again) the same thing and asking "is what He says is "enough" enough for you?" Other countries who aren't as blessed as us have the clarity to answer that question. They worship from a whole different perspective than us. We will stand in judgement before God with them one day. What will our answer be?
Saturday, December 19, 2009
If only we could have Joseph’s outlook. He never questioned why or grumbled about the circumstances. He had Kingdom focus… Kingdom purpose. He didn’t think, “poor me”… I’ve been done wrong. He rose to the top in every adverse situation he was placed in. …whether slavery, false accusation and even prison… It was all about His perspective.
Proverbs 29:18 “Where there is no vision, the people perish:”
We need our vision (and our hearing, or better yet, "filters") adjusted from time to time. I am blessed to be a part of one of the greatest churches on the face of this earth... a place of vision. Not everyone has that... I want to be more aware of that. Even if you find yourself in a dry place where no vision seems to be, let HIM realign your vision. It's as simple as getting alone with Him... away with Him. If we have Kingdom purpose… Kingdom perspective, we won’t allow other people's grievances to affect our overall purpose. Be careful what you allow into your ears... because it ends up in your heart and spirit.
Gen 39:2 “And the Lord was with Joseph…” vs 4 “Joseph found grace in his sight…” vs 21 “But the LORD was with Joseph, and shewed him mercy, and gave him favour in the sight of the keeper of the prison.”
Skipping ahead 42:6 “And Joseph was the governor over the land” vs 9 “And Joseph remembered the dreams” vs 5 “Now therefore be not grieved, nor angry with yourselves, that ye sold me hither: for God did send me before you to preserve life.”
Only what’s done in love will last. Let’s make sure we are operating in love.
I Corinthians 13:8 “Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.”
Joseph was continually ridiculed by his brothers for his dreams. It didn't seem to affect him at all. God gives visions and dreams that man cannot take away. Shut out every voice that is going against the dreams, visions and plans God has given you. Maybe you're the only one who knows what they are. Trust in what He has given you. If we have the right attitude, develop the fruits of the spirit in our lives, He will bring it all to pass in His time.
Monday, December 14, 2009
Philipians 4:19 "But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus."
Psalm 23:1 from the Amplified "THE LORD is my Shepherd [to feed, guide, and shield me], I shall not lack."
The world's economy is of "no affect" to those who are completely trusting in Him, the source of all! Notice the Amplified translation of the 23rd Psalm... He gives food (daily provision), guides (direction), shields (protection). What more could we need? He delights in knowing that we trust Him completely. Have you told Him that today? I trust you with every detail of my life, Lord! I trust YOUR economy!
Friday, December 11, 2009
This is an amazing song... I can't get the link to work but copy & paste into a new window to hear... incredible!
You hold my every moment
You calm my raging seas
You walk with me through fire
And heal all my disease
I trust in you
I trust in you
You're my healer
You are all i need
You're my portion
You're more than enough for me
Jesus, you're all i need
Nothing is impossible for you
Nothing is impossible
Nothing is impossible for you
You hold my world in your hands
Thursday, December 10, 2009
Psalm 119: 165 from the Amplified "Great peace have they who love Your law; nothing shall offend them or make them stumble."
If I am completely in love with Him... spending moments in His presence each day... loving His law, His Word, then no other words should affect me in a way to cause me to be offended or to stumble in my walk with Him.
Monday, December 7, 2009
We have all had "the crud" at our house and last night it was Bryan & Cameron's turn to be sick, so they were home. Tanner & I left church and drove to a friend's house who hasn't been to church in quite some time. When we knocked on the door, I could see her through the glass. She was so overwhelmed. She had just gone to pick up food and had been weeping and asking God to just send her a word... let her know that He hears her. She was relaying all of this to her husband when we knocked on the door. We had a great visit and an incredible time of prayer together. I'm just amazed at how awesome and amazing our God is. He cares about every single detail of our life!
Thursday, December 3, 2009
Ephesians 4: 15 “But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:”
The Amplified says “Rather, let our lives lovingly [a]express truth [in all things, speaking truly, dealing truly, living truly]. Enfolded in love, let us grow up in every way and in all things into Him Who is the Head, [even] Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One).
If we love Him in word & deed, we should be “growing up to be like Him”. In Job 1:1, Job was described as perfect & upright. Job 4:4 says “Thy words have upholden him that was falling, and thou hast strengthened the feeble knees.” What an example to us! Job was truly “growing up into Him”… love in action! I want to be an encourager... helping to lift those who are falling... those who have great need of Him!
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
Every one of us should have someone that we are pulling alongside us… following us as we follow Him. Who are you feeding? This helps us keep the focus off of self. Even water becomes stagnant when the flow stops. We also become spiritually “fat” when we are only taking in and not giving out.
Isaiah 35:3 “Strengthen ye the weak hands, and confirm the feeble knees.” We are commissioned to look beyond ourselves.
I Peter 5: 2-4 “Tend (nurture, guard, guide, and fold) the flock of God that is [your responsibility], not by coercion or constraint, but willingly; not dishonorably motivated by the advantages and profits [belonging to the office], but eagerly and cheerfully; Not domineering [as arrogant, dictatorial, and overbearing persons] over those in your charge, but being examples (patterns and models of Christian living) to the flock (the congregation). And [then] when the Chief Shepherd is revealed, you will win the [a]conqueror's crown of glory.”
The same passage in The Message:
"I have a special concern for you church leaders. I know what it's like to be a leader, in on Christ's sufferings as well as the coming glory. Here's my concern: that you care for God's flock with all the diligence of a shepherd. Not because you have to, but because you want to please God. Not calculating what you can get out of it, but acting spontaneously. Not bossily telling others what to do, but tenderly showing them the way. When God, who is the best shepherd of all, comes out in the open with his rule, he'll see that you've done it right and commend you lavishly. And you who are younger must follow your leaders. But all of you, leaders and followers alike, are to be down to earth with each other, for— God has had it with the proud,but takes delight in just plain people."
Maybe you don’t think of yourself as a leader… but we are all leading someone whether we choose to or not.
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
I John 3:18 “My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.” The Amplified says “in practice and sincerity.” The Message says “My dear children, let's not just talk about love; let's practice real love. This is the only way we'll know we're living truly, living in God's reality. It's also the way to shut down debilitating self-criticism, even when there is something to it. For God is greater than our worried hearts and knows more about us than we do ourselves.”
What does it really mean to love in deed and in truth? After all, love is the only thing that will last. Whether we realize it or not, love dictates every single thing we do. We will do things for love that we wouldn’t ordinarily do. Remember when you were first smitten with your spouse? Time was irrelevant. You didn’t watch the clock. You only wanted to spend time with him/her. You gave up sleep to spend that time. You didn’t mind that you would be a zombie the next day. Love was guiding your steps.
In Ezekiel 33:31 we read “..they come … and they sit before thee as my people, and they hear thy words, but they will not do them: for with their mouth they shew much love, but their heart goeth after their covetousness." We don’t just wake up and quit loving one day. It’s a process. It’s neglect… whether with our spouse, or with God or with both. This verse speaks of covetousness… (inordinately or wrongly desirous of wealth or possessions; greedy, eagerly desirous). Godliness with contentment is great gain. So, at some point we moved away from being content. We moved away from being godly. THAT’S when covetousness started moving in. Filling and emptying… filling and emptying… that’s how it works. He ordained it that way. He wants empty vessels to fill, but we have to make sure we let Him fill us and not something else.
Out of time... more to come... stay tuned... :)
Thursday, November 12, 2009
Thursday, November 12, 2009
If you have followed this blog since March, you will remember reading the short entry that I posted about Mark, the 12-year-old that we met on the bus before we left for Baguio.
In subsequent visits, Jeff and Brenda Mallory have searched for Mark with no success. He captured our hearts that day. We couldn't shake the feeling that something special was in store for him.
In our World Missions Sunday on September 27, 2009, I closed the service with the story of Mark. His picture was up on the screens and he walked into everyone's heart that day. We asked everyone to pray that we would meet him again and as they left the building, we gave them a copy of his picture to keep on their refrigerator to remind them to pray for him and all the other Marks in the cities around the world.
Well, Jeff and Brenda left Tuesday morning to go back to the Philippines for a short visit and last night, they found Mark.
I am overwhelmed by what is transpiring even now as I type this.
Jeff has written the story out on their blog, thoughtsfromthemalloryhearth.blogspot.com. But I want to copy it here as well. This is a God-story of the highest order. I am absolutely overwhelmed at how huge He is but how He loves us everyone. Enough to send people thousands of miles to find one 12-year-old boy in a city of 14-16 million people.
You haven't heard the last from Mark. He is destined for something beyond our comprehension. There is no doubt in my mind about it.
Read Jeff's words:
Many of you may be wondering who Mark is? After all, there are people talking about him on blogs, the POA has handed out pictures of Mark to thousands, and they are all praying for him.
This is one of the most wonderful stories you will ever hear.
Back in March of this year, Melani, Brenda, Kendra, Kori and Jordan were taking a bus trip up north of Manila and were waiting in the bus terminal when a young boy boarded the bus holding a stack of daily newspapers. A conversation began.
“What is your name?” “I am Mark.” He replied.
Since it was about 1:00 in the afternoon and he appeared to be young they asked of him, “How old are you?” His replies were always sure, with a quiet confidence and organic charm. “I am twelve ma’am.”
“Mark, do you go to school?” “Yes ma’am. I go to school from 6:00 am until 12:00 and then I go to work, selling papers.”
“Everyday?” The twelve year old replied, “Every day ma’am.”
That was about all there was to it. Just one of the thousands of people we pass every day, like ships in the night, not really aware that you just intersected another living soul… an immeasurable treasure we too often take for granted.
They sent him on his way after buying a paper, giving him a tip, and loading him down with some candy. And that was it… or so they thought. For some reason, none of them could get Mark out of their minds. Driving down the road, the country side passing by… the group was silent, as though something special had happened, but they weren’t exactly sure what.
Melani said, “That is Bradyn. My boy is 12.” They all let that sink in, and little by little it began to flow out of them. “When we go back, we need to find Mark.”
They didn’t know what they would do once they found him, they just all agreed they needed to.
Later, when Melani was looking through her pictures, she found a good one of Mark.
That was all there was too it, to the meeting that is. It began months of focused prayer for Mark and his family.
Brenda, Jordan and Kori and I were in that bus terminal back in May, we looked for Mark and he wasn’t there. Everyone told us that it would be almost impossible to find him. After all, what is one kid among 14 million people? After the four typhoons, the devastating floods, and the diseases that followed… what is the chances Mark is still… we didn’t want to think about that.
On the plane coming in last night, I looked out the window, over that vast ocean of lights that stamped the earth where the great city of Manila lay, I asked God out loud, “Lord, please lead us to Mark. I know it may be impossible for me to find him, but nothing is impossible for you.”
We left the hotel with a prayer for Mark, and headed out into the traffic and sea of humanity.
We hired a car at the hotel and told him what we were doing. He didn’t get it at all… he did later though. The first thing we did was go by the Philippine UPC headquarters office to enlist some help. We had pictures of Mark printed and distributed and told them, “Whoever finds Mark will get a 1,000 peso reward.”
Since that was worth about 4 days wages, there were many who were suddenly interested, very interested in Mark. Brother Don Callo said, “How many Marks do you want to find?” And everyone laughed.
Someone was going to go to the newspaper company pictured in the photo of Mark, and ask for help finding him that way.
Brenda and I went to the bus terminal, this was third time Brenda and I had been to this terminal, and the first two times had not been fruitful. But this time was different, we both felt it.
There were so many people praying for Mark. I would imagine there are literally hundreds of refrigerators with Mark’s picture on them.
When we were pulling up to the bus terminal Brenda said, “This has to be a God thing.” My heart was beating fast as I realized how close we were to a miracle, I could feel it.
The first person Brenda showed the picture to knew Mark. “That is my nephew. What do you want with him?” I didn’t blame him for being guarded as to our motives. Brenda drew a crowd and soon everyone wanted to know what was going on.
I felt my words were so inadequate in my attempt to explain why we wanted to see Mark, but I kept explaining anyway. “We are missionaries, and…” I did my best to explain how there was church back in America praying for a poor, squatter kid, living in a ghetto. I didn’t think I was doing a very good job but they had less guile than I must have because they accepted my story, and suddenly the whole nature of the crowd changed. They were all talking to each other, telling each other that the “Americanos are missionaries and God told them to find Mark.”
They all were so excited, the security guards began helping us, giving us advice, and talking a mile a minute.
Mark’s uncle, Randy, jumped into the front seat of our car and said, “Get in, I will take you to Mark’s house.”
Brenda and I were stunned. We just looked at each other shaking our heads. “I can’t believe we are going to Mark’s house!” Brenda whispered.
The story took an even more thrilling, and miraculous turn, when Randy took us in a direction toward the ACTS bible school. The place we have lived and worked out of for many years. We ended up just a few hundred yards away from the Bible school! We had passed this little shanty town literally thousands of times.
To get to Mark’s “house” you have to go down a small side street, past lean to’s and squatter’s houses. These were some of the poorest of the poor. We were so excited though because we would soon be seeing Mark.
People were so friendly and nice as we passed them. The little street cantinas with people sitting on buckets, or boxes as chairs, the kids taking baths in laundry pails, the old men flashing toothless smiles, the young men killing time because there was no job to be found.
Randy led us into a small opening in the endless shanties, and after a few turns in an even smaller alleyway, we came to an uneven ladder that led up into a dark, and confined loft.
My heart constricted and my eyes watered as Randy said, “Here is Mark’s house.”
He went up to knock on the “door” while we waited downstairs. The door opened and a woman came to the top of the landing and looked down on us with muted surprise. Her eyes did not have hope in them, rather, I felt she was looking down on us, “Good things don’t happen to us. This must be a trick.”
We were invited in and found that Mark had just gone to work not long ago. We visited with the puzzled mom and grandmother, and Mark’s two sisters and one brother, all younger than Mark.
Mark is the man of the house. This twelve year old boy’s father had abandoned them to start another family somewhere and so it was left to Mark to watch out for his family.
We tried to explain to Mark’s family what we were doing and the thing that got through to them the most was when I said, “God has heard your prayers. God knows your name.” A flicker of hope came into Mark’s mom, Tess, and a smile appeared briefly.
We gave Tess some money and told her to feed her family, or give them a treat of some kind… but we hadn’t seen Mark, so we headed back to the bus terminal.
When we got there it seemed like everyone was at the side of the street waiting for us. All of the porters, the vendors, the bus conductors and even some passengers were waving at us when we walked up. They were waving their hands excitedly and one of the security guards came over to us and said, “You missed Mark by seconds! He got here just after you left and went running home.”
They told us to wait for him that Mark would be back. It was quite a run to Mark’s house from the terminal.
Everyone wanted to put there two cents in on Mark while we waited. “He is a good boy.”
Someone else said, “Mark is a hard worker.” A guy standing by me said, “You are helping the right boy.” This little boy had the respect of a lot of people.
We went into a 7 Eleven and were going to buy a drink and some donuts for the people who had worked so hard to help us connect with Mark. I was standing by the refrigerator when I heard someone say excitedly, “Here he is!” Standing in the aisle of that store was a handsome, smiling Mark.
His back was straight, his head up, his eyes bright and what a smile! He was looking at Brenda with recognition and was not one bit shy. Brenda asked for a hug and he gave her the minimum, and stood back and smiled up at me.
I want to find out what this kid has been praying for the last few months because I got the feeling that he was not shocked by this at all. It was as though he was stepping into an expected destiny.
Strangely, it was not awkward at all. I had been wondering what I would say to Mark, but it wasn’t like that. It wasn’t just words, prayers go before you, I believe prayer creates and builds relationships between spiritual entities, and it felt like he was an extended family member, and it seemed he felt that way too.
Brenda and I were fighting back tears, Good Lord! The LAST thing we needed to do was go blubbering all over this kid! So, Brenda went down the chip aisle and squirted out a few tears and then regained her composure, and I was left to be the strong one, so I just said to Mark, “Let’s go shopping!”
“Get whatever you want, we are going to bring some stuff home to your family.”
After seeing where Mark lived and the obvious poverty of their family, I wasn’t surprised to see him carefully choose a single bag of potato chips and walk back to me with grateful eyes. I said, “Oh no, that is just the beginning! We are going to get lots of stuff!”
It took him a while to catch on. He always reached for the smallest thing, and would get one. One small pack of coffee mix, I went behind him and grabbed a handful. He just looked up at me with big eyes. This was not his reality at all.
A crowd had formed at the glass front of this 7 Eleven. The guard only allowed prospective shoppers in and Mark’s friends, and those who knew Mark were gathering around the windows as though the NBA Finals were being shown. From time to time he would wave at one of them and they would wave back.
A woman must have heard what was going on because she came into the store and walked over to Mark and put her hand on his head and looked at me and said, “You could not have chosen a better boy to help. Mark is a special boy. Thank you, thank you so much for blessing him like this. He deserves it.”
That little 7 Eleven was not used to be people filling up shopping baskets like that, and it took every employee in the place to check Mark out. We went down every aisle, except the booze aisle and the refrigerated section (because he didn’t have one at home) and had a living blast doing it.
As we walked through the crowd that had gathered outside they were patting him on the back, they were tussling his hair, they were saying things to him, “Mark, you are famous now!” “Mark, you are big time!”
We put the bags of groceries in the trunk of the car, and took Mark and Randy back to Mark’s little village.
As we walked in, the people were calling out to Mark, but they weren’t calling him Mark. They were calling him by his middle name, “Christian! Who are your friends Christian? What are they doing with you?”
He is known as Christian at home. Mark Christian DeLaCruz.
The family sat on the piece of thin plywood that served as the bed the six of them slept on and the bags were gathered around their feet on the floor. They just sat there looking at them.
We asked them to look through the stuff and it took them a while to get into it.
The first thing Mark did was take out a Coke bottle and walk over to Brenda, “Ma’am, are you thirsty?” Brenda declined and I looked at Brenda’s eyes and could see she was not far from losing it.
Mark, or Christian, began to go through the bags showing his family what he had brought home. There were more oohs and aaahs than I have heard in the last 5 Christmas’.
The first thing Christian’s grandmother got out was a toothbrush and she opened it up and began telling the little girl on her lap what it was. Demonstrating by pantomiming the brush stroke.
Christian began organizing everything in the bags. Candy in one, toiletries in another, chips in another, drinks and so on, until everything was organized.
We were driving away when our driver said, "I asked about this boy while you were shopping. Everyone says good things about him. I can tell by observing, this is a special young man." He drove for a little while and then he looked into the rear veiw mirror at me and said, "Thank you for doing this for my people."
Saturday Mark, and his family are going with us to a children’s service. He doesn’t know it yet, but I am giving him an iPod with some Christian music on it. I know that will blow his mind.
I believe that we will see Mark and his whole family respond to God’s touch this Saturday. Then we are connecting them with a great church that is very near to their home.
For all of you who prayed, for all of you who sent… you were there with us today. This is your deal too, and I hope you all pat yourselves on the back for a job well done.
Thursday, November 5, 2009
I want to get back to that unhurried place in His presence. I felt this so strongly last night and this morning. We get so busy in the day to day...sometimes we can even be doing ministry things but not sitting at His feet... unhurried. There's a reason He said BE STILL. This is what I felt from Him this morning:
The world doesn't need more of man's words... they need MY words. My words can't be found without getting still before Me. My people "fast track" everything in their lives. That is not My way. There are no shortcuts with Me. My ways are not like your ways. I dwell in the stillness, the quiet place with those set apart with Me, unto Me. My voice begins to get distorted and muffled when you let other things crowd Me out. Come away with Me daily to the quiet, secret place.
Only be identified in Me. Let your inspiration come from Me.
Isaiah 30:15 "...in quiet and confidence shall be your strength..."
"Ecclesiastes 9:11 "The words of wise men are heard in quiet..."
Isaiah 32:18 "My people shall dwell in a peaceable habitation, in safe dwellings, and in quiet resting-places."
How can we find rest if we don't find time alone with Him? ...unhurried time to hear His voice?
I Thessalonians 4:11 "And that ye study to be quiet, and to do your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you;"
He fights our battles and does our "bidding" when we are quiet... holding our peace... holding our tongue.
I want His peace. I want His favor. I want His words. I want Him fighting my battles. Help me be quiet and still before you, Lord.
Friday, October 30, 2009
I Corinthians 3:17 from the Amplified: "And whatever you do [no matter what it is] in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus and in [dependence upon] His Person, giving praise to God the Father through Him."
Thursday, October 29, 2009
"Don't be afraid of the processes. I am in them. Don't be frustrated by them. I have everything in My control."
Here's the really cool part. This person is usually at Thursday morning prayer meeting so I thought I would go find her. She wasn't there. I had every intention of emailing her or calling her. When I got into my office... well, you know... the rest is history. I got distracted with morning duties. About 10 minutes into my daily routine my phone rang. It was her. She NEVER calls me. The minute I saw her name, I didn't give her a minute to speak. I just explained all that had just happened. She began to sob. She had asked God to give her a specific word. She just felt to call me. I have no idea what she is facing and didn't ask her for details. God is such a gentleman that He didn't even require her to pour out the details. He gave the word and let her keep her needs in confidence. God is so powerful, so real, so tangible!!!
Thursday, October 22, 2009
We read this verse and assume we can just love the Lord and have exactly what we want... like a magic wishing well. It's not quite that simple but He takes whatever we give Him... even if our motive is wrong. He knows that if we start moving toward Him, delighting in Him, our hearts and motives WILL change. Suddenly, we are wanting the things of His Kingdom. Our heart's desires are the desires He has planned.
I journaled this in prayer last week... what I felt Him speaking that particular day:
I fulfill your heart cries. I define the cry of your heart. When you align yourself with My purpose you will begin to see what those desires are. Every Kingdom desire that you have will be accomplished. I ordained those desires. As I work on you, in you, I am working on your children... birthing dreams in them. Unselfish desires is the way of My Kingdom. I hold you in the center of my will. I won't let you drift too far from my perfect will once you've truly set your heart on me. I will lovingly pull you back in line. Those moments of deep travail you feel... those are all from me. I am working in your entire family in ways you can't even see.
There it is... it's hard to share such personal things but I know that it isn't always just for me... so if you are worrying over children, loved ones, friends... just know that as you make the journey, He takes care of all the ones you hold so near and dear to your heart.
Thursday, October 15, 2009
The last week or so I have felt Him saying: "I talk to you through your circumstances. I use all things in your life to relay messages. ...not just to you but to those you will share my words with. Obedience is the key. If you allow yourself, you can find joy in every occurrence in your life. Your perspective is the key. Seek to gain my perspective. Just as optometrists realign your outlook when you have your eyes checked, you must let me daily realign your outlook. The trials are irrelevant. The outcome will be as I've ordained it to be. It's what you learn in the midst of it. I will bring things about to your favor when you are trusting me and seeking my words in the midst of all things. Don't be so quick to seek the 'fix'. Just rest in knowing I have already taken care of every detail. I just want to remake you in the processes of your life. My words to you can be a life source to someone else. Don't lose the wonder of my words. I want to be a part of every conversation."
Romans 8:28 "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose."
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
So, call me the crazy dream lady. I don't care. It doesn't bother me a bit! :) Last week I had a dream about a particular lady in our church and I shared it with her and she confirmed that it was completely from God. For her sake, I won't post the details here, but when I took it to God in prayer, I felt Him saying that he is raising up intercessors and godly leaders for His purpose. ...those who set themselves apart for Him. There's no room for flesh in His last day revival. He needs those who are not about their own agenda. He exalts and He brings low. He brings down fleshly kingdoms. I need my people to have My vision for this End Time!
2 Timothy 3: 1-3 "This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good..."
Skipping down to verse 14 "But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus."
This whole chapter is amazing... does it not describe the world we are living in? So many have been deceived! I want to be about His Kingdom... doing my part to help save a lost world before His soon return!
Monday, October 5, 2009
I'm so amazed at God's guiding hand. Last week I was reflecting how He has led my every step. I remember as a young girl, probably around 12 years old... He taught me about intercession. I didn't realize that I was interceding or what significance it would have in my life. What I learned in those quiet times in my room in the wee hours of the night have stayed with me my whole life. It was around that time that my brother had started to "dabble" into things that would later lock him in chains of addiction. I didn't know this until years later. He was always with what we thought were "safe" people. I would feel compelled to pray for Him and would end up praying in an unknown tongue, losing track of time.
As years went by, I got older and worried more about finding my place, fitting in...and went through a season where I didn't have as "intense" a prayer time as the earlier years had brought. It was never far from my memory though. Then, as a teenager, I remember a recurring dream where I was on an airplane sitting next to the window. Beside me was someone who made me feel safe, loved, and absolutely complete. I had this dreams at least 6 or 7 times over the course of a few years. It wasn't until many years later on a flight to Atlanta with Bryan that God reminded me of those dreams. We had flown together many times, but on this particular day as I was sitting by the window looking out, I became flooded with that feeling again. I turned to him and shared that dream. God knew way back then who my "soulmate" would be. He had a perfect plan for me.
There's so many more stories but I just had to share this. I'm so thankful for a God who sees and holds our every moment.
Thursday, September 24, 2009
"I am so near you. As you do my Kingdom work, I am there. At every turn... every decision... every task. Every effort made for me will be multiplied. You just do what you know to do and I will bless it. My favor is so simple yet so encompassing. Walk in it. Think it no accident the people that suddenly cross your path. I've placed them there. ...sometimes only for a season. Don't fret and stress about the details. I will take care of all. Give your resources away. I replenish the supply."
Ecclesiastes 9:10 "Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might..."
James 4:17 "Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin."
I want to do all He has asked of me with the best of my efforts. It's a scary thing to think that NOT doing it is actually sin... something to ponder!
Monday, September 21, 2009
Where does your affection lie? Are you using any other person as a "crutch"? Do you hold any other person in higher regard than HIM in your life? She told of a time when God asked her to give Him her husband. I remember Him prompting me with that same question... I LOVE when He confirms His words to us! If we trust Him completely, then all our happiness, joy and completeness will not come from any other person... not our spouse, our children, our siblings, our parents, our friends... Does that mean He will take them away from us? Probably not... but the giving away is where freedom comes. I've always reminded my children of that. "You guys are just borrowed. You're not mine... God has entrusted you to me and your dad and we are accountable to Him for what we put into you." I don't want to forget that. We don't have rights. Sure, we live in a country where it's all about our rights but we can't look at our marriages and our relationship with God that way. With that mentality, we look at the good as blessings, not rights. I wish I could convey all she shared... get the cd! :)
Friday, September 18, 2009
"You have to walk with me before you'll run. The daily walk brings strength and conditioning. Every runner has first walked. As the pace adjusts, you begin to feel that you could actually walk faster, sprint, jog and even eventually run. A walker sees the goal of the distance they desire to walk. As they get stronger, they start to see more effective ways to accomplish the distance. Go in my pace. Sometimes you'll run, then walk as I allow rest. The resting phase is no less powerful than the run. As long as it's all about me and not your accomplishments. Who are you aiming to please? For walkers, the first mile is probably the hardest. This is where the pace is set. Muscles are warmed up. In the second mile as the muscles warm up and the goal gets closer, there is a renewed energy and focus. The only thing that hinders this degree of refreshing is extreme outer conditions. ...Heat. The heat of spiritual warfare will affect how much you run at a given time. More refreshing is needed more frequently."
I alone bring refreshing as you walk with me.
Acts 3:19 "Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord."
When sharing this with my mom, she reminded me of Matthew 28 when Mary & Martha went to the tomb to see Jesus. The angel told them He was not there. He had risen. They were instructed to go tell the disciples...
then in verse 9: "And as they went to tell his disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, All hail. And they came and held him by the feet, and worshipped him."
They were obedient... they were walking... doing what was asked of them... and Jesus himself MET THEM! Keep walking... it's a daily walk. He will meet you there!
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Open up the sky. Fall down like rain. We don't want blessings. We want you! Open up the sky. Fall down like fire. We don't want anything but you.
Friday, September 11, 2009
I Corinthians 15:19 "And if our hope in Christ is only for this life, we are more to be pitied than anyone in the world."
This chapter ends by saying: "Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord."
Friday, September 4, 2009
Romans 5:5 (Amplified) "Such hope never disappoints or deludes or shames us, for God's love has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit Who has been given to us."
Am I living in expectancy? Am I taking advantage of all He has afforded me?
Living in that hope:
will not disappoint
will not mislead my mind or deceive me (according to the definition of delude)
will not shame me
Hope is confidence and trust. I am anticipating, expecting and trusting in what great thing He wants to do in me, through me and for me! I Corinthians 9:10 says "...plow in hope..." I'm remembering that today... as I go about my daily "plowing through"... HOPE!
Wednesday, September 2, 2009
God longs for us to see our beauty as He sees it:
I Peter 3:4 "But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price."
Little girl fourteen flipping through a magazine
Says she wants to look that way
But her hair isn’t straight her body isn’t fake
And she’s always felt overweight
Well little girl fourteen I wish that you could see
That beauty is within your heart
And you were made with such care your skin your body and your hair
Are perfect just the way they are
There could never be a more beautiful you
Don’t buy the lies disguises and hoops they make you jump through
You were made to fill a purpose that only you could do
So there could never be a more beautiful you
Little girl twenty-one the things that you’ve already done
Anything to get ahead
And you say you’ve got a man but he’s got another plan
Only wants what you will do instead
Well little girl twenty-one you never thought that this would come
You starve yourself to play the part
But I can promise you there’s a man whose love is true
And he’ll treat you like the jewel you are
So turn around you’re not too far
To back away be who you are
To change your path go another way
It’s not too late you can be saved
If you feel depressed with past regrets
The shameful nights hope to forget
Can disappear they can all be washed away
By the one who’s strong can right your wrongs
Can rid your fears dry all your tears
And change the way you look at this big world
He will take your dark distorted view
And with His light He will show you truth
And again you’ll see through the eyes of a little girl
Friday, August 28, 2009
I KNOW this doesn't happen to you... only to me, but I find myself being critical or judgemental or cynical... but then... one moment in His presence... wow! All back in perspective! I'm so thankful for the cleansing!
Psalm 51:10 "Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me."
"Right spirit" used here translates to "constant spirit". Consistency... living for God is just that simple. We don't have to have it all together. We just need to recognize that and consistently ask for His help EVERY SINGLE DAY! David was called a man after God's own heart yet made the biggest mistakes humanly possible. The difference? He got up over and over and repented and worshipped. He recognized he was nothing... a wretched sinner "undone" without the grace of God.
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
There go the excuses! Straight from the Word of God... It is my obligation to help those that I can. If the love of God is dwelling in me, it will be manifested in where I invest my time, resources, faith and love. I want Him to trust me with all He has given me. I want to be a funnel of all He wants to pour out... that doesn't mean I'm there yet, but I really want to be!
Friday, August 21, 2009
Slow Fade is an incredible song, but wasn’t what started me on this vein of thought. He began whispering to me about this last week. I believe it was Tuesday morning. I woke up heard my own voice saying these words (though I wasn’t actually speaking)… “and when the earth fades, falls from my eyes, and you stand before me, I know you love me.” As you may know, these are the words to the song “At the Cross”. The weird thing is, I wasn’t singing these words. I was saying them. I looked up the lyrics to this song so I could digest it piece by piece to see what He may be saying to me. The lyrics are:
OH LORD YOU’VE SEARCHED ME
YOU KNOW MY WAY
EVEN WHEN I FAIL YOU
I KNOW YOU LOVE ME
YOUR HOLY PRESENCE
IN EVERY SEASON
I KNOW YOU LOVE ME
I KNOW YOU LOVE ME
AT THE CROSS I BOW MY KNEE
WHERE YOUR BLOOD WAS SHED FOR ME
THERE’S NO GREATER LOVE THAN THIS
YOU HAVE OVERCOME THE GRAVE
YOUR GLORY FILLS THE HIGHEST PLACE
WHAT CAN SEPARATE ME NOW?
YOU GO BEFORE ME
YOU SHIELD MY WAY
YOUR HAND UPHOLDS ME
I KNOW YOU LOVE ME
YOU TORE THE VEIL
YOU MADE A WAY
WHEN YOU SAID THAT IT IS DONE
AND WHEN THE EARTH FADES
FALLS FROM MY EYES
AND YOU STAND BEFORE ME
I KNOW YOU LOVE ME
I began searching out the scriptures to be sure I searched out every possible thing He could be saying. I thought of how we no longer have to go through a priest like they did in the Old Testament. He tore the veil. He made a way. We have full access to His throne, but do we really take advantage of that? Do we come boldly?
Then I began to think about that phrase… I’ve always interpreted those words as the end of time when we stand before Him. There are verses about the earth fading. In prayer He started showing me the deeper meaning… and no doubt, this is what Darlene Zschech and Reuben Morgan had in mind when they wrote this God inspired song. It’s when we let the earth fade… the things of earth fade away from our vision… all we see is Him before us. Suddenly, all things are in proper perspective. I’ve been digesting this song for the last 2 weeks. He reminded me of a message I heard as a teenager that was titled “The Danger of the Gradual”. I couldn’t tell you who preached this message, but the words have forever been stamped on my heart. It’s the little things that pull us away from Him. It’s the little things that creep into our marriages… just like we saw in the video. BUT… what if we have the opposite slow fade…
James 4:8 “Draw nigh to God and he will draw nigh to you…”
What if we slowly begin to find moments for prayer… just a fleeting prayer at first, but then we suddenly feel compelled to get alone with him. We are seeking out quiet places where we can bear our souls and our burdens to Him… or just tell Him how grateful we are that He has allowed us to be born into a country where we can enjoy the freedom of worship… thank Him for health & strength. What if we found ourselves desperate for His perspective… for His direction… for His vision for us… what if we suddenly anticipated with eagerness, praying a prayer shift? What if suddenly I feel love for everyone I come in contact with… even if they are difficult… what if I start reflecting His image in my life? What if I’m not so concerned about “getting my way” all the time or how will this affect me? What if I suddenly wasn’t concerned about what this world calls beauty and I let it be the hidden man of the heart, an ornament of a meek and quiet spirit that Paul talked about in I Peter 3:4? What if I could stand before my peers and declare “thus saith the Lord” and not worry about what they will say or if they will believe me because I know YOUR voice… your voice above all others…
What if suddenly we wake up one day and we realized that the earth has faded from our eyes… we are now seeing Him before us instead of the world’s perspective… we are seeing through eyes of faith… we aren’t affected by our surroundings and circumstances no matter what they are. What if we see Him standing before us and suddenly we begin to realize just a portion of the depth of His love for us? That changes everything! If we ever really “get” how much He loves us, we won’t be afraid… we won’t be intimidated. We will have the understanding that we truly are unstoppable… not even death has a hold on us for to live is Christ to die is gain! (Philippians 1:21)
Thursday, August 20, 2009
The first slow fade is when we allow things to creep into our hearts and minds that take us away from His perfect will, His understanding, His ways. There are so many little things that can draw us away.
"Take us the foxes, the little foxes, that spoil the vines," Song of Solomon 2:15
We think of all the big, obvious sins, but they don’t start as big sins. My brother’s descend into a life of addictions and bad choices started with small choices. I called him to see if he would be bold enough and brave enough (since he’s still struggling to get his life together) to tell me if he remembers the very first steps of this influence. He said, without hesitation, that it was music. He said you get comfortable with the music of this world first and it leads to others things. It’s all very gradual. He says once you’ve felt the power of God, the Holy Ghost up & down your spine and then you encounter this other music and begin to participate and let it into your life, mind, heart… and you feel the goosepump feeling again, you are actually entertaining the spirit of this world… dancing before the prince of the powers of darkness.
Ephesians 2:2 “Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:”
From there, he tried skoal, then smoking, drinking… each one a step deeper into the world of darkness. Statistics have shown that people who abuse drugs and alcohol started with smoking. They didn’t start with the intention of abusing drugs.
I’ve also watched people walk away from church and from God and never come back… sometimes leaving straight from choir or some other ministry and delve into a life of deep darkness. You look at that and say, how did that happen? Did they just jump up one day & decide to go back to sin? No! At some point prayer was skipped a time or two… not given top priority… hurt feelings were not dealt with… bitterness took a small root and began to grow. Maybe the “small fox” for them was envy… wondering why so & so was chosen for a ministry instead of me… or sang a solo instead of me. Maybe the small fox was pride. Perhaps God blessed them and showed them favor and they began to become lifted up within themselves. Only prayer can fix these things. Maybe the fox was evil speaking… our words are so important. Out of the abundance of our heart, our mouths speak. We better check our heart in at the cross EVERY DAY!
...TO BE CONTINUED...
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
by Casting Crowns
Be careful little eyes what you see
It's the second glance that ties your hands as darkness pulls the strings
Be careful little feet where you go
For it's the little feet behind you that are sure to follow
It's a slow fade when you give yourself away
It's a slow fade when black and white have turned to gray
Thoughts invade, choices are made, a price will be paid
When you give yourself away
People never crumble in a day
It's a slow fade, it's a slow fade
Be careful little ears what you hear
When flattery leads to compromise, the end is always near
Be careful little lips what you say
For empty words and promises lead broken hearts astray
The journey from your mind to your hands
Is shorter than you're thinking
Be careful if you think you stand
You just might be sinking
People never crumble in a day
Daddies never crumble in a day
Families never crumble in a day
You may have to copy & paste the link... sorry!
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
My eye is upon you. I see you. That should be your only aim. I know the intent of your heart. Mine is a gentle teaching, a gentle guiding. You are learning to discern my voice—not only my voice but the guiding with My eye. It’s a new chapter I’m writing in your life. Go forward unafraid… in boldness. I’m at every turn… every slight move… I’ve gone ahead. I’ve planned the steps. Don’t look with your eyes. Look with the eyes of the Spirit.
Gen 6:8 “But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord.” In the Hebrew, grace here translates “favor”.
When my eyes are upon you, you’ll find favor in every area of your life.
Exodus 33:12 Moses… “…yet thou hast said , I know thee by name, and thou hast also found grace (favor) in my sight.”
Verse 11 says the Lord spake to Moses face to face as a man speaketh unto his friend.
My favor is greater than any other thing. I decide on your behalf.
Psalm 30:5 “…in his favor is life: weeping may endure for a night but joy cometh in the morning.” The Amplified says favor is for a lifetime.
Recognize me in all… the good & the bad… fiery trials and tests perfect My will in you and allow me to pour out my favor.
Proverbs 3:3-4 “Let not mercy and truth forsake thee: bind them about thy neck; write them upon the tablet of thine heart: so should thou find favour and good understanding in the sight of God and man.”
Those who stand for truth, esp. when it’s not the easy thing to do… those who stand against the current of worldly, carnal influences… My favor is so readily available to them! Verse 4 translates “good success”… I will bring success…. I exalt, I bring favor with God and man.
Proverbs 8:32 “…blessed are they that keep my ways…”
Vs 34 & 35 “Blessed is the man that heareth me, watching daily at my gates, waiting at the posts of my doors. For whoso findeth me findeth life and shall obtain (bring forth) favor of the Lord.”
We must walk in Your ways… expect your instruction every day. Verse 33 says “Hear instruction and be wise, and refuse it not.”
I have a plan for you each day… seek me daily for instruction.
Proverbs 14:9 “…among the righteous there is favour.”
Job 28:10-11 from the Amplified “He cuts out channels and passages among the rocks and his eyes see every precious thing. Man binds the streams so that they do not trickle (into the mine) and the thing that is hidden he brings forth to light.”
Psalm 32:8 “I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go. I will guide thee with mine eye.” (Hebrew: I will counsel thee. Mine eye shall be upon thee.)
Monday, August 10, 2009
I John 5:14 "And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us:"
I stand amazed at the ways He guides our steps and yes, even our conversations. Today I had a long talk with a dear friend and as I shared the journey God has had me on this past year or so, there was a portion that was directly for her TODAY! She was making a decision that was completely affected by something He had already done for me, through me and in me. We HAVE to share what He says and does for us. It's not just for us. It's for those He puts in our path. We wept and rejoiced at our great God of every detail! God, don't let me hold in these experiences... let me be a life poured out. I want to give away every word and blessing you send my way!
Monday, August 3, 2009
“And that ye study to be quiet, and to do your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you; That ye may walk honestly toward them that are without, and that ye may have lack of nothing.”
The Amplified says “that you may command the respect of the outside world”. This tells me that our reputation does matter. We are witnesses whether we are planning to be or not. The Amplified also says “that we may live quietly and peaceably with all men”. When we are grocery shopping, when we are the customer (of any kind), when we are being waited on in a restaurant… we are sometimes the only Jesus they see. I pray that I am always mindful of that!
Monday, July 27, 2009
Thursday, July 23, 2009
"Isaiah 30:15 "For thus saith the Lord GOD, the Holy One of Israel; In returning and rest shall ye be saved; in quietness and in confidence shall be your strength..."
He has really been dealing with me lately about being a vessel. I feel as if He's saying "I long to speak and move through empty vessels... those who fill themselves with My words, My Spirit and then pour it out to those whom I choose. It must be a continual flow... a river.
John 7:38 "He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water."
If a river stops up, it begins to stink... life is taken from it streams. I don't want to be a stagnant stream. I want to be a vessel of living water. I want His words to flow from my innermost being. I want them to be such a part of me... digesting them continually. I want to be His voice to a hurting, trouble people.
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
Galatians 2:21 from The Message: "Is it not clear to you that to go back to that old rule-keeping, peer-pleasing religion would be an abandonment of everything personal and free in my relationship with God? I refuse to do that, to repudiate God's grace. If a living relationship with God could come by rule-keeping, then Christ died unnecessarily."
I know this thought and this verse don't necessarily seem to go together but I'm taking this straight from my prayer journal since I've been neglecting my blogging lately. I don't question the way He directs me on any particular day. I'm trying to just "go with the flow" of His Spirit.
I don't want to be a rule keeper! I want to be in complete relationship with Him... completely loving and pursuing His will in every detail of my life! Frustrations are bad... holy frustrations... that's a good thing!
Thursday, July 16, 2009
Psalm 32:8 “I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye.” (Heb: I will counsel thee, mine eye shall be upon thee.)
Even in “oversights”… things we label as mistakes are sometimes the very things He has allowed to work out other details to our favor. Don’t discount any small thing. Trust that I’m always working FOR you!
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
And to Isaiah 50:7 “For the Lord GOD will help me; therefore shall I not be confounded: therefore have I set my face like a flint, and I know that I shall not be ashamed.”
Setting our face, setting our heart… what are we set on? What are we fixed on? Do we have a determined look at the destination? A firm stand… not moving to the left or the right…
I want to have my every affection set on Him... my heart and mind guided by Him... not affected by circumstances or voices around me.
Saturday, July 11, 2009
Isaiah 43:2 "When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee, and through the rivers, they shall not overtake thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee."
Tuesday, July 7, 2009
I know that the same God that healed Tanner in April of this year is able to raise her up to walk in health and strength! Thank you for believing and praying with me! By His stripes we are healed!
Friday, July 3, 2009
James 1:3-4 "Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing."
I love how The Message translates this passage: "Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don't try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way."
Tuesday, June 30, 2009
Luke 12:32 "Fear not, little flock, for it is the Father's good pleasure to give you the Kingdom."
The previous verse says "seek ye the Kingdom of God and all these things shall be added unto you." Verse 29 says "...neither be ye of doubtful mind." (live not in careful suspense).
2 Timothy 1:7 "For God hath not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, and of love and of a sound mind."
It's easier to understand how I operated in fear at the park, but what about the times when we are worrying so much about the other details of our lives that we aren't letting Him whisper His sweet promises into our spirit? We make a choice every day. Do we choose fear or faith?
Thursday, June 25, 2009
Lately I feel He has been saying to me... "Clear, fresh vision comes when you peel back the lens you've been looking through. You allow fresh revelation to come when you aren't afraid to risk the vulnerability that comes from that exposure. Just like sunshades shield from the blinding sun, our shielded vision of the lens we're looking through filters how much revelation of the "Son" we allow ourselves to see. As you tear back that lens, I will allow fresh revelation to flow to you and through you. Just make yourself available to Me. Things that were clouded before will suddenly be crystal clear. Details you missed before will be so apparant. I don't look for perfection... only willing, obedient vessels. Seeing through My vision determines how you see yourself and those around you."
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
Don't stop doing what you know to do. What looks like "no effect" to us is actually a deep heart work on His part. We are not to question the ways He works. Just be obedient. As we do the things He asks of us, He answers our slightest utterances. He knows our needs before we ask. Just keep reaching, searching, imploring...
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
I was looking back through my prayer journal this morning and found this entry from a few weeks back and I guess I really needed it today. This is what I had felt him speaking that day in prayer:
"There's a place in Me where all your answers become clear. I long to lift your heavy burden. You were never meant to bear it alone. Learn of Me. My yoke is easy. My burden is light. Only I can change hearts. You pray. Never stop. I do the work of the hidden things. You don't always see the work I'm doing. Circumstances and words aren't a gage of what I'm doing. ...only in this deep place of peace with Me in the secret place. Come here often and feel what I'm doing... then you'll begin to see it. Just trust that I'm doing it even when you don't see it so clearly."
Psalm 51:6 "...in the hidden part thou shalt make me to know wisdom."
The Amplified says, "in my inmost heart". As we learn to get away with Him in that secret place, He is ever teaching us, showing us, imparting wisdom in the innermost part of our heart!
Thursday, June 18, 2009
We need to know where we’ve been (where He’s brought us from, what’s He’s done on our behalf) in order to better understand where we’re going. These things help build our faith… we, like David, encourage ourselves in the Lord (I Samuel 30:6). I don't doubt that when David encouraged himself in the Lord, he reflected back on his "Goliath experience". He most likely reminded himself of how God used a sling and a few smooth stones to take out this giant that others had been unable to conquer.
He has promised direction to those who acknowledge him, recognize him in ALL our ways…
Proverbs 3:6 (Amplified) “In all your ways know, recognize, and acknowledge Him, and He will direct and make straight and plain your paths.”
Landmarks guide. Have you ever used a landmark as a point of reference for someone? Turn left after you pass the hospital… there are places that just naturally serve as a reference point. Let’s make sure He’s our point of reference. Don’t let any other thing be our measuring stick. This gospel is so simple. We are fairly warned in 2 Corinthians 11:3:
“But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.”
It is so easy to be led away… to lose track of our one true landmark… to get bogged down in confusion and distraction. …to be influenced by the world system, the media, the world through the lens that the enemy of our soul wants us to look through.
We know His Word… we can quote it so easily, but do we apply it? Do we really let it come alive in us?
Psalm 119:105 “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.”
Let His Word be your guide… He is His word according to John 1:1.
Psalm 37: 23 from The Amplified “The steps of a [good] man are directed and established by the Lord when He delights in his way [and He busies Himself with his every step].”
I've always quoted this verse, but take note of the capital "H's" and the little "h's". Could it be that when He delights in the way we’re taking, He gets busy working on our behalf with every step, directing our steps, opening doors… the more steps we take for Him, through Him, with His leading… the more doors He opens… let’s follow His leading!
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
Going way back... November 1992. :)
One of the definitions of landmark says "an event marking an important stage of development or a turning point in history." I thought of Roe Vs. Wade, which is, as you know, a United States Supreme Court case that resulted in a landmark decision regarding abortion. It is referred to as a “landmark” case. Unfortunately, this has not been a good landmark. We all, however, have landmark experiences in our lives that remind us of times when God came through… experiences that forever changed our lives.
I can take you to the place where I stood as an 8 year old little girl in a small country church where I was filled with the most precious gift of the Holy Ghost. There are other sentimental landmarks… the first time I kissed the love of my life, the day we married, the birth of both of our children… then there are reminders of a God who is faithful and just in every detail of our lives. I remember a time when Bryan lost his job… only to later realize God allowed it so He could give him a better one that would set the course of our lives and later bring us to where we are today... living in the center of His will for us.
I remember healings… as a teenager in a healing service… the minister told me to raise my hands and God would heal my anemia. I remember the warmth that came through my body from the top of my head slowly all the way down to my feet… an immediate warmth and complete, instant healing. I remember the day He completely healed both of my children from allergies, asthma and a huge regimen of medicines and breathing treatments. And of course, most recently, the day we anointed Tanner with oil in our home and He completely set his spine and shoulders in order… a spine that had protruded with scoliosis and caused him to slump and his shoulders to be uneven.
We have to continually reflect on these landmark experiences. They are our reminders. They tell us where we’ve been. They ground us and help us realize the future. They remind us that if He did it once... if He took care of every detail then, He will SURELY do it again!
1 cup main ingredient
1 cup second ingredient
1-2 cups starchy ingredient
1 1/2 cups binder
1/4 cup “goodie”
Main ingredient: tuna, cubed chicken, turkey, ham, seafood, etc.
Second ingredient: thinly sliced celery, mushrooms, peas, chopped hard-boiled eggs, etc.
Starchy ingredient: thinly sliced potatoes, cooked noodles, cooked rice, etc.
Binder: cream sauce, sour cream, can of soup, etc.
“Goodie”: pimiento, olives, almonds, water chestnuts, etc.
Topping: cheese, bread crumbs, etc.
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
Ships need a landmark to get back to the port. A port is, by definition, a place where ships load and unload but also a place where they take refuge from storms, a harbor. How unbelievably significant for us… we need some landmarks in our life… we need to be set apart with Him to see how to get back… back to Him, back to the place of safety, the safety of His presence… our harbor. In that place, storms can’t touch us. They may rage all around, but we are anchored there. In the port, the ship is anchored down, tied down to be sure it doesn’t drift.
He is our safe port…
Psalm 71:3 “Be thou my strong habitation, whereunto I may continually resort: thou hast given commandment to save me; for thou art my rock and my fortress.”
Habitation is a place of residence; dwelling; abode. Bryan has often told me that home is that safe place where he can come and get away from the stresses of his day... a place to recharge. We are saying, Lord, be our place of residence... our dwelling... let no other thing be our "escape".
Monday, June 15, 2009
Thursday, June 11, 2009
We say we want more of God. We say we want to be His hands and feet... His voice in this troubled world. How do we think that comes about? How do we get trained for this huge task?
Psalm 35:15 "But in mine adversity they rejoiced..."
Of course, as you guessed, this verse references back to Job. Poor Job... talk about adversity! God trusted him with it. He allowed it. He had to endure all of this to show us, to show others. Sometimes our trials aren't about us at all. They are for the greater good... Kingdom purpose. They teach us and train us but they also allow others to see Jesus in the way we are handling them... now, NOT ALWAYS! I don't know about you, but I don't always handle them the way Jesus would. I want to get better about that!
Isaiah 30:20 from The Amplified "And though the Lord gives you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, yet your Teacher will not hide Himself any more, but your eyes will constantly behold your Teacher."
To me, that clearly says it all. It says that sometimes He may be the one allowing it but He will be right there to guide you through it and teach you along the way. The very next verse says:
"And your ears will hear a word behind you, saying, This is the way; walk in it, when you turn to the right hand and when you turn to the left."
So, if we'll just be patient, willing and pliable in His hands during the adversity, He will be right there telling us which way to go... directing every turn.
Friday, June 5, 2009
I'm off today and while cleaning up in the kitchen, I thought about the plate on top of my microwave and the person it represents. Months and months ago a friend left a plate at our house after a "gathering". I have been so stressed about getting this plate back. In the meantime, this friend has gone through a WHOLE lot in these months (which is part of the reason I've been unable to return it... we haven't seen each other much). Here's the deal... every time I see that plate, I am prompted to pray over this person and check on them. So, let's not discount the "small things". There are no coincidences with God. Maybe I'm supposed to hold on to this reminder for a season until my friend is back on his/her feet and won't need all the extra prayer covering they have needed during this season.
Just a thought...
Thursday, June 4, 2009
Romans 6:4 "...we also should walk in newness of life."
The Amplified says that we might habitually live and behave in newness of life. I want that... let it be such a habit that I automatically walk in His refreshing, remaking presence every day.
Acts 3:19 (Amp) "So repent (change your mind and purpose); turn around and return [to God], that your sins may be erased (blotted out, wiped clean), that times of refreshing (of recovering from the effects of heat, of reviving with fresh air) may come from the presence of the Lord;"
There's nothing like the renewed focus that comes when we give Him just even a small portion of our day... to let Him remake us, renew our minds, refocus our vision. It's all about His purpose. We forget it every single day... we HAVE to let Him remind us.