Saturday, May 30, 2009

Saturday Steps of Faith

Steps of Faith

Joining Lisa today for our faithful journey.

"For we through the spirit eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness by faith" (Galatians 5:5)

I am believing God for that wonderful gift of righteousness that we are able to tap into ONLY because of Him.

I am striving daily toward more "right living" in Him. Because of Christ, I have been given the ability to be more like my Savior. God gave us His Word that is full of godly instruction for our lives. If we study His Word, spend time with Him and seek His face, we can live righteous lives.

I am believing that He will continue to draw me closer, hold me tighter, show me more and increase my faith.

In His Grip of Grace,

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

THANKful Thursday

Bryton in front of our house

Eli, Bryton, Mikaela on the slip & slide at Nana's


Eli gettin' a drink (yuck)



Mikaela & Eli in my backyard
Mikaela holding cousin Sawyer
Papa with his babies

Thank you Lord for giving me the wonderful opportunity to be Nana to these precious little ones. Thank you for a husband who loves me and loves our girls and loves our grandbabies. I am so thankful for the many, many blessings that are bestowed upon me daily. Blessings that I sometimes overlook, but when I find them am oh, so grateful! Blessings that I don't deserve, but because of Christ I can partake in.

If you get a chance - go to the "At His Feet" link on the right side of my blog and you will see some prayer requests. If so led, please say a prayer for those listed.

Thanks Sonya for this great way for us to bask in each others thankfulness

In His Grip,
Posted by Picasa

Monday, May 25, 2009

To Exit Darkness we Need Light

As I was reading Psalms this morning, I came to this set of scriptures that just stopped me in my tracks as the Spirit just flooded over me.

Psalm 119:129-130

"Your testimonies are wonderful; Therefore my soul keeps them. The entrance of your words gives light..."

I've probably read these many times but for some reason they just pierced my soul with understanding.

The testimonies are the scriptures - the Word of God - they are so wonderful. So amazing. Our soul just soaks them in. We want to absorb them and hide them in our hearts always. That is awesome.

But it was verse 130 that just took my breath away. "The entrance of Your words gives light". The more I read it, the more it just washed over me like a refreshing rain. Whose words? God's Words. The inspired, God-breathed Word.

The word entrance literally means 'opening'. The unfolding and unveiling of the Words of God give us light! They illumine our darkened souls. The things that we alone in our flesh can't understand, the Spirit reveals in the unfolding of the scripture to our thirsty souls and hungry hearts.

For some reason this morning I needed that refreshment. I needed that revelation in my spirit.

We are spiritually blind until our eyes are opened through the study of His precious Word.

We can walk aimlessly in this life searching and never finding. Reaching out and never receiving. Looking but not fully seeing.

Until we search the Word, find Jesus, reach out to Him and receive His precious gift of salvation - we will remain spiritually blinded to the Truth of His Word and will be lost and wandering in the darkness.

But if allow Christ to unfold the scripture in our hearts and we accept Him and His Word, then when we look up we will see Him for who He is and the darkness will fade and we will be enveloped in His Glorious Light.

"As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world" (John 9:5)

"Apart from you , there is no God.
Light of the world.
The bright and morning star.
Your name will shine, for all to see.
You are the One.
You are my Glory! (Chris Tomlin)

Thank you Lord, for your Word. You are awesome and amazing. You are truly the light of the world. Thank you for the gift of salvation, the truth of your Word and the promise of your return.

Glory to God in the Highest!


Friday, May 22, 2009

He Speaks.. How do we Know?

“God’s voice thunders in marvelous ways; He does great things beyond our understanding” (Job 37:5)

I don’t know about you, but I just absolutely love to feel God’s presence and I long to hear Him speak to my heart. There is nothing like that breathless feeling you get when you are truly experiencing His presence. There is nothing like that knowledge of Him working in your life.

I have heard the question “How do you know it is God’s voice?” many times lately. I have been reading and studying books that address this very thing and I’ve learned a lot through them.

I haven’t ever audibly heard God’s voice. (If I did, I would probably faint dead away!). But I have most assuredly heard Him speak to my heart with such intensity that I had NO DOUBT that I was hearing from Him. Sometimes it’s just a peaceful feeling you get in your spirit about a certain situation. Sometimes it’s an imperceptible voice in my ear. Sometimes it’s confirmation from other people(thanks, Lisa S.!) or other venues that speak louder than words. Whatever it is, the one way that we know God is speaking is when we are willing to stop and take the time to listen what He has to say.

I think that when we truly hear from God there is no doubt at all that He has spoken. I truly believe that we know beyond a shadow of a doubt when our Creator speaks. There have been times when I have heard things that I didn’t want to hear. There have been times when I have heard things that just brought unspeakable joy to my heart.

The key to hearing from God is being able to recognize His voice. The only way we can recognize His voice is to have a relationship with Him. Like any relationship, it has to be sought after and nurtured. It has to be desired and developed. We have to actively seek Him. If we don’t seek Him, we will not know Him. If we don’t know Him, there is not much chance that we will be able to distinguish His voice.

If we want to know Him, we have to spend time with Him. That means keeping ourselves in His Word and communing with Him in prayer.

We recognize our close friend’s voices on the phone when they call because we have taken the time to develop a relationship with them. We spend time with them and therefore when they speak we know their voice. That’s just the way it is with God. We have to cultivate that closeness with Him so we can recognize, listen, hear and discern.

God speaks to us daily in His Word. Anytime we are reading the bible, the words we read are inspired by Him, breathed by Him and therefore He is in essence speaking to us. When God speaks to us He is applying to our lives what He has already said in His Word.

From the beginning of time, God has spoken in ways that we can clearly understand because He desires for us to recognize His voice. Even from the heavens, He speaks.

“The heavens tell of the glory of God. The skies display His marvelous craftsmanship. Day after day they continue to speak; night after night they make Him known. They speak without a sound or a word; their voice is silent in the skies; yet their message has gone out to all the earth, and their words to all the world.” (Psalm 19:1-4)

Glory to God in the Highest! Praise you Lord, for loving me and desiring a relationship with me! I love you and give you glory and honor and praise that you so richly deserve.


Thursday, May 21, 2009

THANKful Thursday

Thankful Thursday at Truth 4 the Journey

Thanks Sonya for allowing us to journey into thankfulness with you.

1.I am ever so thankful for God’s continuing hand of mercy and grace upon my life. I don’t deserve it, but He gives it freely and with love. Without Him I am nothing.

“For if anyone thinks himself to be something when he is nothing, he deceives himself.” (Galatians 6:3)

2. I am so thankful that at 11 PM last night when my daughter Megan and my precious little grandbabies (Mikaela, Eli & Mercie) pulled into her driveway, I was able to be there to greet them and get some sweet baby sugar from all 4 of them! They drove in from Indiana yesterday (14 hours) – her husband got a pipeline job close to home so they will be here for awhile! Rod drove straight to the new job site, so I didn’t get to see him. Praise the Lord – I have been missing them so! I have prayed for this day consistently!

“If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, you will ask what you desire and it shall be done for you” (John 15:7)

3. I am so thankful that both of my son-in-laws have great jobs that enable them to support their families. Even though their works takes them away from home, I am thankful for the provision of God.

4. I am thankful for second chances from a loving God.

“Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not, they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” (Lamentations 3:22-23)

5. I am thankful for the hope of His Word.

“I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in His word I put my hope.” (Psalm 130:5)

Lord, I am so thankful for all you do for me, so pitifully undeserved, but so gratefully accepted. Thank you for the sacrifice you made at Calvary. The sacrifice that you knew had to take place to enable us to be covered in the blood. You looked to the thicket and it wasn’t empty. It held your Son. And you gave…..


Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Prayer for All God's Little Lambs

Today my heart is heavy over so many hurting children and their families. If you look around, you can see so many little children and babies that are battling cancer, heart problems, birth defects and other physical ailments. My mind just can’t comprehend what it must be like for the parents and grandparents and families of those precious children.

We have read of many women that are carrying babies that have already been diagnosed with physical disorder, diseases, deformities and other life threatening issues and these little ones haven’t even been born into this world yet. As a mother and grandmother, I can’t imagine being faced with these things. I can’t imagine waking every morning and the reality of these things hitting them square in the face.

Things that are beyond our control. Things that aren’t fixable in the human realm. Things that only God can reach down and touch.

Today – please say a prayer for these.

Parents and family of Josiah Herring – 4 year old with glioma brain tumor – went to be with Jesus this morning.

April Rose and her mother “B”
Avery Grace Akeman – 4 year old with many blood/GI issues
Abby Riggs
Bentley – having heart surgery today
Jonah Williams
Nikki & little Johanna who is still in the womb
Noah – 5 months old shaken by care giver - recovering
Nathan – infant that had heart surgery
Stellan – still experiencing episodes of SVT

Aidan - 1 year old - suffered fall from 3rd story

I know there are many others. If there is one that I need to add to this page, please feel free to email me or leave me a comment and I can update.

Josiah’s dad ended his update with this yesterday when the doctors told him that his precious little boy would not come out of his coma.

“Standing atop Mount Moriah I am facing a sacrifice that I do not want to make. I look to the thicket and it is empty”

Through tears and a hurting heart,


Monday, May 18, 2009

Seek Him - Find Him - Love Him

Jimbo, Melissa, Me & Bryton

Sawyer sleeps through the whole thing.

Melissa, Me & Ashlie before graduation

Bryton checks out the program.

Sawyer is down for the count .

Two sweet boys in the morning.

My daughter, Melissa, graduated from college Friday night. It seems like just yesterday that she graduated from high school. I will never forget the day that her daddy and I moved her into the dorm at LSU and then had to leave her in Baton Rouge - 200 miles from home. It was a very sad day for all of us, but I will never forget the look on Melissa's face as we pulled out of the parking lot. She looked so small, so young and so pitiful as the tears welled up in her eyes. It makes me tear up right now just thinking about it.

It was hard, but it was necessary for her to begin the next phase of her life. It was part of the plan that God had ordained for her life. If she was going to be all that God intended for her, she had step out, find the right path, and start walking.

There has to be a point in our lives that we graduate to the next level - to that next place that God is desiring to take us. We can't stay at the same level and experience any growth. We must have a plan.

We can't stay on the same path and expect to go someplace different. If we long to arrive at a different destination, then we must embark on a different journey.

When the road we are traveling on isn't taking us to where we need to go - it's time to find a new road. It's time to seek a new direction.

Melissa could never have gotten a degree from college if she hadn't actually enrolled in the right classes and then taken the necessary steps to complete them. Even though she had the desire to obtain her degree, it wasn't just enough to want it. She actually had to do something to make it happen.

If we are desiring to follow God's plan for our lives.... if we are wanting to go somewhere deeper with Him.. then we need to be asking Him what that plan is. We absolutely can't set out on journey if we are clueless as to the destination. It's awfully hard to get directions to a place if you don't have any idea where that place is!

We have to be actively seeking His will for our lives. We have to be actively petitioning God as to what He desires from us and for us. We can rest assured that part of that plan includes spreading the gospel of Christ. But we need to be in prayer that He will reveal to us how He wants us to carry that mission out.

Let's not just walk aimlessly about hoping that we will just stumble upon God's purpose for our lives. Let's be looking expectantly and joyfully for what He intends us to do with our lives. Let's work to bring Him honor and glory and praise. Let's seek Him, find Him and love Him more.

"Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart." (Jeremiah 29:12-13)


Sunday, May 17, 2009

Whose Strength is it?

“When I am weak, then I am strong” (2 Corinthians 12:10)

When we reach the point in our lives that the world seems to be pressing down upon us and that there are things happening that are perhaps beyond our control, it is then that we turn to our dependence upon the Lord.

It’s sad that sometimes it takes a crisis to bring us to our knees. But I think that the Lord can show Himself the strongest when we are at our weakest. And when we are at our weakest point, we tend to seek Him the deepest and with the most determination. It is during the dark times of uncertainty in our lives, that we reach out to the One who represents stability to us.

I think that many times when we encounter these crises, it is because God is calling us to do something. He may be trying to give us that little shove that we need to get out of the nest and stretch our wings so we can grow in our faith.

I think about Peter when he saw the Lord walking on the Sea of Galilee, and he cried out, “Lord, if it’s you, tell me to come to you on the water.“ Jesus replied, “Come.“. Peter stepped out of the boat and began to walk on the water toward Jesus. But then Peter began to sink and he had to cry out to Jesus to save him. And of course, Jesus did.

Why did Peter start to sink? Because, he took his eyes off of Jesus. Too often, we get our focus off of God and that’s when we let the influence of the world penetrate our hearts and lives. That’s when we begin to sink. And we will continue to sink deeper and deeper until we do just like Peter did. Recognize that we lost our focus and reach out to the only one who can save us from the abyss.

When Peter allowed his weakness to creep in, then God was able to show Himself mighty and strong. It is not our strength or even our own resources that sustain us. It is only the magnificent power and strength of our Lord. He is the one that gives us the courage and the assurance that we need to step out of that boat, keep our eyes on Him and waltz across that water to our Savior’s arms.

Precious Lord, I need you more than I need anything else in my life. I want to keep my eyes on You and keep my focus on the things that bring You glory and honor and praise. There is nothing that is too hard for you. You are my strength and when I am weak, I am strong through Your power working in my life. Thank you for loving me and giving me eternal life.


Wednesday, May 13, 2009

To Die is Gain? Is it?

My thoughts are going all over the place this morning, so if I am not making any sense, please forgive me!

Monday night, Jimbo, Melissa and I watched a movie called "The End of the Spear". It is a true story and I know many of you have heard of it or have even seen it. It is basically about Jim Elliott and a group of missionaries in Ecuador. Five of the men are speared and killed by tribesmen but their families remain to carry out their calling and spread the gospel. This movie just touched my heart and made me come face to face with some realilities in my own life.

My family is very mission minded. My husband has been to the Phillipines, Romania, Africa and Nicaragua (2 times). He is going to India in August for 3 weeks. I have been on one mission trip to Nicaragua. My daughter Melissa has been to Bolivia, South America once and 10 days after she graduates Friday (yay!) she will head back to Bolivia for almost 5 weeks. She is also scheduled to go to Camaroon, Africa this fall to work at a medical missions for 3 months. So you see, I LOVE missions and I understand what missions is all about.

"For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain" (Philippians 1:21)

But....As I watched this movie and was just horrified at the brutal killing of these men, I thought to myself - "Would I be willing to go somewhere knowing that I could be killed just like that?" I mean, anytime we go to another country there is always the possibility that we could lose our life for the gospel of Christ. But would I be willing to go if I knew that it was more than just a possibility and more like a probability? If I knew that people had been killed there before? Would I?

I was a little disappointed in myself at my first answer. I am not sure that I would go KNOWING that I was more than likely going to lose my life and that thought scares me. It brought me to tears just realizing that I am not that strong in my faith. I can honestly say that it scares me to think about it and that is just pitiful! I should be MORE than willing to die for my Savior after everything that He has done and continues to do for me. What an eye opening revelation for me.

I have a long way to go in my step-by-step growth in the Lord. I am just trodding along and trying my best to keep my focus on Him. I love Him more than I could ever imagine. I am so thankful for the mercy He has shown me in my life and that He continues to show me. I desire to draw closer and closer to His heart. I want His praise to be continually on my lips.

You know what my problem is? I haven't let God truly be the Lord of my life. I still have my hand on the end of the reign and haven't quite turned it all over to Him yet. Oh, I love Him. I love Him more than I can even begin to tell you. I want to serve Him. I want to KNOW Him more. But I haven't quite let Him have it ALL. I need to surrender it ALL. He is worthy.

We all want a Savior. But how many of us want a LORD?

Thank you for praying for my husband last night. He could barely talk, but PRAISE GOD when he got up to preach, the Lord just reached down and touched his voice and he preached a powerful sermon! The Lord reached back down and had mercy on a grown man's soul as he came forth for salvation. Praise God for Robert Williams' salvation last night.

The more I seek You, the more I find you and the more I find You, the more I love You,


Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Pray for the Freemans

Please be in prayer for the parents of Kayleigh Anne Freeman. This precious 11 month old baby girl, left their arms last night and is now resting in the presence and the arms of Jesus. Please lift them up as they are experiencing what no parent should have to experience.

******* +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ ********

I want to add my husband, Jimbo, to the prayer request. He is preaching a revival this week in Arkansas (only about 40 minutes from our house) and the Spirit has really been moving. Well, this morning he woke up and can barely talk! Please pray for his voice - we don't want the devil to get the victory in this! Thanks


Monday, May 11, 2009

Time-Out for Restoration

Have you ever been in time-out or have you ever put one of your children in time-out? The definition of time-out is: a brief suspension of activity.

For some strange reason, time-out takes on a whole new meaning when it is being enforced upon your grandchildren. My perspective of what a time-out really is has been altered by my ‘Nana instincts”.

One day last week Ashlie and the boys were at my house and Bryton was being just a little bit too helpful with Sawyer. (in other words, he poking poor Sawyer in the eye with his finger). Ashlie had told him a few times already to leave his baby brother alone. Well, I think that Bryton was having some hearing problems that day because I know that if he HAD heard, he would have obeyed : ) But much to my dismay, he didn’t obey and got sentenced – I mean, sent to time-out.

Well, this Nana is not real up to date on exactly what time-out is supposed to consist of or entail. So as my precious little grandbaby was sitting in the chair facing the door, I thought he looked a little forlorn and perhaps a bit lonely. I also thought he looked quite cute and sweet as he just sat there very quietly looking at the door. I decided that it was a good photo opportunity as he doesn’t hold still very long under usual circumstances. Ahem… wrong decision. I was just snapping away and Ashlie was like – “Mama! What are you doing? He is in time-out! NO pictures…” So after just 1 more quick shot which I posted above... I put my camera away.

Well, my little fella just looked so pitiful sitting there, so I thought a little song would help pass the time… We had just got started clapping and singing “I’ve got the joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart….” when Ashlie said “Mama, this is a time-out! He is not sitting there so you can entertain him. NO singing…”

So I had to go and sit down. No singing.. no pictures. I guess I really didn’t give it much thought to what time-out was all about. It was meant to give him the opportunity to think about what he had done and to realize the importance of listening to his mama.

I understand that my daughter is teaching Bryton about obedience. I know that this is important for him. When we learn the necessity of obeying our parents at a young age it enables us to comprehend the necessity of obeying Christ when we are older. I am sure that God has looked down upon me many times and said, “that girl just needs a time-out” In fact, I am pretty sure He has actually ordained a few of them in my life!

“Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.” (Ephesians 6:1)

The good thing about a time-out is it enables us to reflect on the past. It enables us to repent and regroup. And then we are better equipped to re-enter this thing we call life and be more determined and more purposed in our calling as Christians.

God leaves us in a time-out for our own good. He knows that it will be a time of growth. He knows that we will arise from it with a new outlook and a new spirit of obedience. He knows that it is not a time of separation, but a time of restoration.

I don’t want to force God to put me in any more time-outs. My desire is to be obedient and mindful of Him and His Word. I love Him, therefore I will keep His commandments.

“If you love me, keep my commandments” (John 14:15)

Thank you Lord, for the Truth of your Word. Thank for you putting me in time-out when I need it and for allowing me to arise from there and be more determined and more committed to You and Your commandments.


Saturday, May 9, 2009

Saturday Steps of Faith & A Golden Heart

Steps of Faith

I just want to thank my friend Stephanie at Truthsharer for the Golden Heart award. It is a humbling honor. She was one of my first blog friends and I just thank God for her dedication to the TRUTH. I love how she always starts with the WORD. She is most certainly a Truthsharer. Thank you Stephanie.

I also join my friend Lisa at My Passionate Pursuit for her Saturday Steps of Faith. She blesses my heart daily and if you read her post yesterday about adoption you will see why I extend the Golden Heart to her. She has a heart of gold and I am so glad that she is my friend.

I am believing God today, that he will continue to 'grow me' as a prayer warrior for Him. I desire so much to be a more effective prayer warrior for Him. I desire to be able to intercede for others. I desire to make a difference in this world for my Lord. I believe in the power of prayer.

"Let your heart be completely devoted to the Lord our God to walk in His ordinances and to keep His commands, as it is today." (1 Kings 8:61)

I also extend the Golden Heart to a new friend. Her daughter Bentley will be having heart surgery on the 20th and she is standing firm in her faith. Crystal has stolen my heart with her honesty and precious heart. Please be in prayer for them as they anticipate the upcoming surgery.

Have a wonderful Mother's Day.


Friday, May 8, 2009

Is Prayer supposed to be Hard?

It always amazes me how many times I have heard people say “Praying is hard”, or “I don’t pray very good.” It is quite amusing that we tend to put prayer into a category to be judged like it is a contest or something.

Prayer is NOT something that is done good or bad. It is not something that God is going to grade us on. We can’t fail AT prayer. The only we can do is fail TO pray.

I know that it seems like some people are more ‘gifted’ in the area of prayer. There are some who are very eloquent with their words. Their prayers seem to just flow like a peaceful river. Their prayers are almost poetic in nature. We think that their prayers are more effective because of the beauty of them. When we are truly talking to God, it doesn’t matter if our sentences are grammatically correct. It doesn’t matter if our words are poetic. It doesn’t matter if we don’t even know what to say. What matters is that we are in the process of communing with our heavenly Father. We are pouring out from within our soul to God.

Psalm 120:1 tells us “In my distress I cried to the Lord, And He heard me.”

He hears us precious ones! It doesn’t matter if all we can utter is “Oh, Lord, I need you!”. He listens – He hears – He responds.

Paul tells us in Romans 8:26 that we don’t know how to pray but that the Holy Spirit intercedes for us with groanings that cannot be uttered. The Spirit helps us in our weakness.

Last night in worship, my nephew made this statement. ‘We love to come and take part in praise and worship, because that is easy. We don’t commit to pray because it takes effort and we THINK it is hard.’

I have about 30 names on my prayer cards that I keep with me at all times. I also have almost that many on my prayer page. I have committed to the Lord to pray at least once daily for each name individually. It’s not always convenient and it’s not always easy. But that is what the Lord has called me to do and I must be obedient to Him. It is the least I can do for others. I can’t change their situation, but I can intercede on their behalf and lift them up to the Throne of Grace. I don't say this to give myself credit for anything. I do it for accountability. It's being required of me and I want to be obedient.

I want my prayer page to be more effective. I will be making some changes, but PLEASE stop over to it and read the names on the list and agree with me in prayer for those listed there. If you have ANY need – no matter how great or small – or just need to add someone you know, please either leave a comment on the prayer page post or send me an email.

Prayer is simply our way of communicating with our God. It is our way of expressing our gratitude to our Creator. Prayer is our response to God’s grace. When we cry out… when we lift our heads toward heaven… when we focus on Him… God hears. He breathes in our prayers like air and exhales His Spirit to cover us.

Almighty God, thank you for the gift of prayer. Thank you for the ability to lift our every thought up to you. Whether it be praise, adoration, thanksgiving, confession or request. You hear and you care and you respond. Praise you Lord for who you are.


Thursday, May 7, 2009

THANKful Thursday

Thankful Thursday at Truth 4 the Journey
You bless me Sonya with your dedication to thankful Thursday!

T) I am thankful for a husband who isn't afraid to preach the TRUTH from the pulpit. Sometimes the truth isn't pretty but it is necessary in our spiritual growth.

"I am the way, the truth and the life" (John 14:6)

H) I am thankful for HEAVEN and that my God is preparing a place for me there, where I can spend eternity at His feet in Praise and Worship.

A) I am thankful that God is the great I AM.

"And God said Moses, "I AM who I AM..." (Exodus 3:14)

N) I am thankful for the very NAME of Jesus.

"Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other Name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved" (Acts 4:12)

K) I am thankful that Jesus is the KING of KINGS!

"And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name is written:

Hallelujah! Our God reigns! Like a flood, His mercy reigns. Forever and ever.

In His Grip of Grace,

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

The Precious Lamb of God

“Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold all things have become new” (2 Corinthians 5:17)

I read this verse as part of my daily bible reading this morning. I know that I have read it many times and probably so have most of you. But this morning, it just really spoke to my heart with the magnitude of what this actually means. I read it afresh. I read it with a new understanding. I read it with a new appreciation. It just flooded through my soul that this is mercy.

When we align ourselves with Christ and we enter into a full relationship of repentance and obedience with Him – we will never be the same. We don’t want to ever be the same. We become a changed and new creation. We become visibly different.

Just like a butterfly breaking free from the cocoon that binds him, we break free from the cocoon of this world and emerge a new, beautiful creation in Christ. We have been changed from old to new. From death to life! From defeat to victory! From sinful to forgiven.

We have been given the sweet gift of mercy. As the old things pass away we now have unlimited access to the new things.

New affections..
New actions..
New desires..
New appetites..
New relationships..
New life..
New love..

Through Christ, He enables us to make the transformation. He has provided the way. But it’s up to us to spread our wings and leave the confines of the cocoon of the world. The transformation is more than just an outward change, it is an inward reformation. We have been given the chance to have new life in Christ. We have been given the ability to be reconciled with Him and receive the forgiveness we can’t earn and the mercy we don’t deserve. Through Him, our sins have been washed away and we are cleansed and made whole.

“For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him” (2 Corinthians 5:21)

As Christ became sin for us on that cross, we immediately were given the opportunity to become new creations. As the Lamb of God took on our sin, we became spotless. Righteousness has been imputed TO us and then implanted IN us. We have been made fully justified through Him. Freely justified! We have been made the righteousness of God! Hallelujah! I don’t know about you but that just excites me! As my husband would say, “If that don’t light your fire, your wood must be wet!!”

We can never earn this grace. We can never earn His mercy. But we can accept it and embrace it and live for Him.

Praise you, Lord for your never ending mercy. Thank you, Lord, for so freely giving up your life on the cross at Calvary for me. Thank you for enabling me to become a new creation. Thank you for giving me new life. I love you and I will seek you and find you and love you more and more.


Monday, May 4, 2009

Renewed Strength




Sawyer and Bryton

Me and my grandbabies at church in the nursery.

It's almost overwhelming to me how many of my bloggy friends have encouraged me so much since Friday. It's just so refreshing and so restoring to know that Christ works through various ways even such as the internet. Every comment that I received, lifted me up. Every scripture that was sent my way, was just like water to my thirsty soul. It's almost like you were standing right beside me cheering me on and I felt such peace. I just want to thank you all for being obedient to the call of Christ and being willing to be used by Him for this purpose.

Even though some of the circumstances of our situation didn't change, God provided a solution. Even though the problem didn't just magically disappear, He provided peace. I thought of the song that says "God will make a way, when there seems to be no way..." God has been so good to us and I think this is the first time that I was able to lay it down - and leave it there. I put my trust in Him and didn't pick it back up again. (I'm really bad about that - I want to give it to Him, but just hold on to the edge of it....)

I know that anytime we as Christians are moving ahead with God and we are becoming more filled with His Spirit and becoming more in love with our Savior, the devil doesn't like it. He doesn't want us seeking more of God. He doesn't want us becoming more like Christ. He doesn't want us to put our hope and trust in our Lord. The devil tries so hard to 'get in our business' and defeat us. Case in point:

Every Sunday morning, my husband goes to the little country store right down the road to buy a newspaper. When he went yesterday, he left the carport door open, but the storm door was closed. Well, when he came back he opened the storm door and what do you think was sitting in the doorway, INSIDE my house!

Yes.... that is a ground rattler and it was IN MY HOUSE! My husband quickly kicked it outside and stomped his little head. Now... you may not agree with me, but I am telling you that was Satan trying to get in my house and he wound up with a crushed head! This week alone, there were 3 other little ground rattlers found by the church. Hmmmm...

I have grown in my faith this weekend. I have renewed strength. I feel restored. I have learned to really put my trust in God. I have learned that I am NOT in control. I have learned that I will survive the hard times. I have learned that if I let God just wrap His arms around me and comfort me, He will do it. If I stay faithful and don't lose heart, He will show up mightily and He will get the glory.

"Have you not known? Have you not heard? The everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth, neither faints nor is weary. His understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the weak, And to those who have no might He increases strength." Isaiah 40:28,29

"But those who wait on the LORD, shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint." Isaiah 40: 31

Praise you, Lord, for being the Creator of all things. I praise you for being a God who loves. Thank you for giving me strength in my weakness - hope in my depression - victory in my defeat. You are mighty and powerful and I love you with all I have and all that I am.


Friday, May 1, 2009

Defeat or Victory?

Have you ever felt discouraged, depressed and just downright defeated?

Have you ever felt like you jumped from victory to defeat in one fell swoop?

It’s so easy to be strong when things are going smooth. It’s REALLY easy to be strong when it’s someone else’s problem. We know just the right words to say. We can quote just the right scripture. We can even conjure up the perfect cliché. We can be really bold and really brave when it is someone else’s battle.

BUT, when the battle becomes ours – then it’s not quite as easy to put our faith in practice. When the rubber meets the road – the true strength of our relationship with Christ comes into focus. It’s then time to put some feet to our faith.

I should have seen it coming. I should have been a little more aware of the potential for attack. Things had been going good. Too good. I’ve been too hungry for the Word. I’ve been feeling so in tune with God. I’ve been seeking and seeking a deeper relationship with my Lord. I’ve developed a new appreciation and respect for Who God really is and Who I am in comparison.

I basically just stood by basking in the glory – enjoying His presence and sweet Spirit. I just put my guard down and let the devil blindside me. Wham! He rears his ugly head. Messin’ with me. Oh – he didn’t mess with my kids or my sweet grandbabies. I’ve prayed a hedge around them. But one area that I have neglected and haven’t given a lot of attention to is our finances. The devil delivered one strong punch and just knocked me to the ground. Pulled the rug right out from under us. For just a little while, he succeeded in making me feel depressed, discouraged and defeated.

Am I going to let him have the victory in this? Oh, no. No way. Not for one second. Instead, I cried out to God. I let him whisper to my aching heart. I went to the only place where I can lay it all down and let God pick it all up.

The foot of the Cross.

I fall to my knees.
I will be still so I can hear.
I will not run.
I will not be defeated.
I will not lose faith.
I will hold on to God’s promises in His Word.

“Deliver me, O Lord, from my enemies; in You I take shelter” (Psalm 143:9)

“Great is the Lord and greatly to be praised; And His greatness is unsearchable” (Psalm 145:3)

In the words of Matt Redman:
“Oh no, you never let go
Through the calm and through the storm.
Oh no, you never let go
In every high and every low.
Oh no, you never let go.
Lord, you never let go of me.”

God is still God. He is still on the throne. He will win this victory. He will give me the strength that I need. He will never let go of me.