"O Lord, open my lips, and my mouth shall show forth Your praise!" (Psalm 51:15)
I thank you, Lord for my precious grandchildren. I thank you for blessing me with 5 of the most adorable and sweet and loving little angels that call me 'Nana'. Thank you for my 2 daughters that you so richly blessed with these little ones. They bring joy to my heart. They bring love to my spirit. They enrich me and bless me beyond measure.
I am filled with joy to have 3 daughters that are in love with You. The are living out their lives in obedience to You and Your Word. Thank you for keeping your hand upon them and being patient with them as they found their way.
I give you all praise for what you have done in their lives. I give you all praise for continuing to bless them and me mightily.
You are so worthy of my praise. You are wonderful and powerful and holy. You are God.
Thank you for the gift of children and grandchildren. May I be worthy of my calling. May I always honor you in everything I say and do. May I bring You nothing less than the glory you so richly deserve.
We had an unbelievably awesome time in Fayetteville, Arkansas! My husband has had the privilege of preaching a revival there each year for the past 6 years. This is the first year that I have been able to go because I am not working anymore! Yay! Thank you God for that wonderful freedom!
The revival was just what that church needed. They experienced an outpouring of the Holy Spirit and a renewal of their love for Jesus. People's hearts were changed. People's outlook on life was altered. People's bodies were healed.
It was just a fabulous time in the Lord. God used that time to speak to MY heart as well. He revealed himself to me in a new and a powerful way. I am so thankful for such a loving God. Such an understanding and compassionate Savior. I am truly blessed.
"I cry out with my whole heart;
Hear me, O LORD!
I will keep Your statutes"
Lately I have been experiencing a real downpour of tears in my life. Crying has become part of my daily life. Tears are always just brimming beneath the surface, ready to spill out at the slightest provacation.
Anything that touches the inner recesses of my heart starts the overflow of moisture. A powerful Word. A worship song. A scripture that just ministers to me. When I look at a cross. When I pray...
It doesn't matter where I am - when the Lord touches my heart, the tears just slowly cascade down my cheeks. Good tears. Tears that are healing. Cleansing. Restoring. Tears of brokenness and surrender.
God has been keeping me and my heart in a state of brokenness. He is keeping me in a place of being humble and denying self.
Piece by piece, He is circumcising my heart. Exchanging bad for good. Old for new.
He is swapping pride for humility.
My will for His. Doubt for Faith. Self for surrender. Me for Him.
He is taking those hidden areas of my life that have been needing to be dealt with and bringing them to the surface. He is opening my eyes. He is rending my heart. He is shaking my spirit.
He waters my soul with my tears. Quenches my thirsty spirit with rain from my eyes. Floods me with His Holy Presence to overflowing. Saturates me with much needed moisture to give life to those dry places.
Oh, Lord, let me wade in the streams of Joy that flow from the abundant rivers of my tears.
Thank you Lord for your patience and your loving kindness. Thank you for the tears of broken surrender that draw me closer to You. Drench me with the reality of who You are and soak me with an unending hunger for more of You.
I love you sweet Jesus. You are my Lord. You are my King. You are my all in all.
"O LORD, how long shall I cry, And you will not hear? Even cry out to You, Violence! And You will not save" (Habakkuk 1:2)
Habakkuk was a tender, spiritual man with a great love for his people. He stood as watchman over them and he was perplexed over the evil that existed in Judah, and the lack of judgement against their sin. He was a man of God who was jealous for the Holiness of God and the justice of God. He was questioning God in the unjudged sin present in Judah and I just love God's answer in Habakkuk 1:5
"Be utterly astounded! For I will work a work in your days which you would not believe though it were told you"
Precious friends, when we submit all authority to the Author of our Faith....when we let God be God in all things...when we realize who is in control..
He will utterly astound us!!
Praise God and Glory! Oh, to let Him just astound me!
We see such a mighty transformation of Habakkuk into a man of triumphant faith. We see him grow as he submits to the Lord.
"Yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation" (Habakkuk 3:18)
As we ponder the "yet", God opens our eyes.
'Yet' is circumstances we don't like. 'Yet' is things that cause us sorrow or sadness. 'Yet' is illness. 'Yet' is troubles and strife. 'Yet' is betrayal and bondage. Things spinning out of control. 'Yet' is when we are overcome and overwhelmed.
Joy is Jesus. Joy is remembering His mercy. Joy is His Grace in our lives. Joy is His compassion. Joy is the Presence of God.
It is in the 'yet' that we will seek Him the most and search for Him the deepest. It is in the 'yet' that we fall on our faces before an Almighty God, lay it down at His feet and find Him faithful.
Oh, precious Lord, thank you for being my Joy! Thank you for being there in the 'yet'. Thank you for your unending mercy and grace in my life. I submit to you Father, and I just stand back and wait. I stand back and watch. I stand back in awe and await for you to astound me!
No talking. No sounds. Nothing stirring. Just a muted, tranquil silence.
I could hear my heartbeat. I could hear every breath that I drew. I could hear the inaudible.
Yet - the silence was loudly proclaiming His presence.
There was stillness. There was peace.
There was the unspoken knowledge that in that soft hush, God was there. I could feel Him. I could sense His sweet Spirit.
Oh, yes. There was the definite sound of silence followed by the definite Spirit of God. He was there.
The noiseless sanctuary echoed loudly with the presence of the Lord. I was rooted to the spot. I couldn’t move. I didn’t want to move. I was calmly basking in my sweet Savior’s love. I closed my eyes and had precious fellowship with Him.
I was engulfed in His powerful presence. He ministered to my weary soul. He ministered to my wounded heart.
I sat in the quiet. Tears streaming. Broken. Repentant. Renewed. Whole.
In the silence, I was immersed in the Word. Saturated in the Truth. Mesmerized by Him.
The deafening quiet had vocalized loudly to my spirit.
The silence had spoken.
He is here, Hallelujah. He is here, Amen. He is here, Holy, Holy. I will bless His Name again.
He is here, listen closely. Hear Him calling out your name. He is here, you can touch Him. You will never be the same.
"Behold, the days are coming," says the LORD GOD, "That I will send a famine on the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, But of hearing the words of the LORD. They shall wander from sea to sea, and from north to east; they shall run to and fro, seeking the word of the LORD, but shall not find it." (Amos 8:11,12)
I think there are many times when Christian people take the Word of God for granted in a HUGE way. We are so used to having the Word so readily available to us that we don't treat it as the true treasure that it really is.
Bibles are so abundant in our country - many of us have 5 or more in our homes. We have them in every room but they are used mainly as decoration. Some people only read the bible on Sunday. Some - never. Some - when they have a crisis.
My husband and I went to our annual association meeting last night and it was held at a small Baptist church about 30 miles from our home. As we were sitting in the sanctuary I glanced at their sunday school board and saw that out of the 44 people that attended Sunday School that week, they only had 4 people that read their bibles daily. 4!
Only four people that thought enough about Christ to pick up His Word daily. Only four people that understand the privilege of being able to have God's Word so available to us. Only four people that communed with Him every day.
We should be just devouring the Word of God. We need to get to the place in our lives that we fully understand the meaning of 2 Timothy 3:16,17.
"All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work."
As Christians, we absolutely can NOT tap into the Wonder of God if we don't read the Word of God.
When we bury ourselves in the Word, we will create a solid foundation in our lives that God can build upon.
When we saturate our minds with the scriptures, we can thus tune our ears to hear Him speak!
When we treasure Him and His Holy Word, we open ourselves up the receive a supernatural touch from Him. Divine intervention awaits us, if we declare to read the Word, let Him speak the Word and then heed the Word.
Let us not be in utter contempt of His Word. Let us not force God to send a famine to the land. A famine of the Word. A famine of the bread of LIFE. A famine that would cause us to sit up an take notice of what we lost.
Let us determine in our hearts to purposefully read, purposefully listen and passionately pursue the awesome, mighty, Holy Word of God.
Oh, Lord, speak Your Word to our hearts! Draw us to a deeper longing of the written Word. Open our ears and hearts. Speak the Word and we WILL listen.
God, I am here for You, please show me who You are"
"Taste and see that the Lord is good" (Psalms 34:8)
Oh, LORD, surround me with your goodness! Envelope me with the sweet savor of YOU!
God, I am here for You, please show me who You are.
"For the LORD is good, His mercy is everlasting" (Psalm 100:5)
Oh, Father - You astound me with Your mercy! In all my unworthiness You so lovingly bestow me with worth. In You, I find forgiveness and redemption.
God, I am here for You, please show me who You are.
"Jesus said to him, I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me." (John 14:6)
Precious Lord, You abound in me and You made a way for me! You have given me abundant, eternal life. You strengthen me with Your Word.
You crown me with faithful love and compassion.
You are my peace and my counselor.
You are my joy.
Lord, as I meditate on Your Word and delight myself in it, open my eyes that I might see the wonder of You.
I seek You with my whole heart. I hide Your Words in the depths of my soul.
I entreat Your mercy and favor with every breath that I draw. Breath that comes from You.
Let me be filled with Your Spirit, Your love, Your compassion. Let me be filled with Your righteousness.
Open the heavens and send a drenching rain on my soul that I may spring up in a renewed love and longing and hunger for You, Lord. Fill me with expectancy. Thank you for showing me mercy and grace. Thank you for saving my soul.
God, I am here, help me to show others who You are.
I join Lisa for this fabulous way to remind ourselves to continue to Believe God in all things.
"Our soul waits for the LORD; he is our help and our shield" (Psalm 33:20)
Our church has been under such spiritual attack in these last few months. The devil has attacked our church in the area of the health of our members. We have suffered one devastating diagnosis after another. We have seen lives lost to cancer. We have seen pain and suffering. We have seen families torn apart.
But our church has bound together in unity and prayer. Our body has become stronger. We have become more focused on God. We have become more focused on each other. We have truly come together against the forces of evil and together in agreement for what our God can do.
We continue to come together in the evening in our sanctuary and falling on our faces in prayer and petition. We have seen prayers answered. We have seen miracles. We have seen the love in our church just blossom and grow. We continue to pray in faith, believing God, waiting for Him to show Himself mighty. We still seek Him. We don't give up. We wait.
I praise Him for who He is. I praise Him for what He does. I praise Him because He is.
Hands lifted high. Heart open wide. I wait on the Lord.
I cry out before Him. I pour out to Him. I wait on the Lord.
Inhaling. Receiving a touch. Glimpsing His splendor. Tasting His Glory.
"And seeing from afar a fig tree having leaves, He went to see if perhaps He would find something on it. When He came to it, He found nothing but leaves, for it was not the season for figs. In response Jesus said to it, 'Let no one eat fruit from you ever again.' And His disciples heard it." (Mark 11: 13,14)
Jesus spied the fig tree from afar , saw leaves on it and drew closer to see if perhaps there was fruit on it as well. I have often wondered why he would do this, since the scripture clearly tells us that it was NOT the season for figs. Jesus knew it wasn't the season, yet he expected to find fruit and upon seeing there wasn't any, he cursed the fig tree from every bearing fruit.
Most likely, this was taking place sometime around March and the leaves were just appearing on the fig tree. Even though it would be about 6 weeks before the actual figs appeared, there is something called 'taqsh' that appears at the time the leaves appear. 'Taqsh' is a precursor to the fruit, or figs, that will come. They are little almond-sized knobs that are green and they are edible. This is what Jesus expected to see. Since the leaves were already on the tree, there should have been some of this fruit as well.
Instead, there was nothing. Only leaves and no evidence of the forerunner to the real fruit that was to come. Since there wasn't any taqsh, Jesus knew that there would be no fruit. The tree was hopeless and fruitless. Therefore, He cursed it.
As Christians, we are called to produce fruit. We were created for this very reason. We need to produce good fruit. Fruit that in turn produces more fruit. When Jesus spies us from afar, He should be able to expect fruit from us. If there isn't any, then we aren't living our lives the way that God intends us to. We aren't living up to the expectation that He has for us. Our lives can be just like that fig tree. Barren, hopeless, fruitless and dying.
There are several things that cause us to be fruitless. Our focus is one of them. We have too many distractions. Too many different things vying for our time and attention. Sometimes we get too busy and so overwhelmed by it all that we tend to focus on the things that are easy. The things that take the least effort. But unfortunately, these things are usually NOT the things of God.
We can get so busy with our day-to-day activities, that we put God on the back burner and leave Him there, unattended.
We absolutely must keep Christ first and foremost in our lives. He has to be THE priority if we are to lead productive, fruit-bearing lives. We must learn to develop tunnel-vision for God. He has to be our focus. He is the one who deserves our undivided attention and we must look to Him for direction in our lives.
When we seek after God, and we seek His presence, we are on the way to living victorious lives and we are on our way to bearing the fruit that will glorify our Lord.
Our lack of faith can also prevent us from being fruitful. We have to learn to trust God in all things in spite of the circumstances. In spite of the things that are stacked against us. We have to ground ourselves in a trust relationship with Him. Trust is the essence of faith. Trust breeds a powerful faith. Trust will enable us to bear the fruit that He requires.
If we keep our focus on Him and we build our trust and faith IN Him, we will be fruitful for the kingdom of God.
We will desire the things that glorify Him. We will desire the things that edify Him. We will bear fruit.
WOW! There is not much more I can say about this weekend to sum it up than just WOW!
What a powerful weekend full of the WORD! We spent hours upon hours hearing the Truth of His Word and disecting His Word and digging into His Word. We discovered treasure after treasure in the scriptures. We learned, we gleaned, we worshipped. We praised, we prayed, we exalted!
It was glorious! It was awesome! It was such a precious time of renewal and revival. A time of repentance and restoration. A time of drawing in and pouring out.
We studied, we shared, we were blessed. There is nothing like 350 women of God raising their voices in prayer and praise. Singing our hearts out to the Lord. Worshipping with all that we are. Worshipping God for who He is. Basking in the Glory of our Lord and King.
The presence of God was surely in that place. His Spirit fell down on that pavillion like a mighty wind. We were immersed and saturated. We experienced love and sweet mercy. We experienced true worship. We experienced hungering and thirsting for more.
We experienced God.
"I will give you the treasures of darkness and hidden riches of secret places, that you may know that I, the LORD, who call you by your name, Am the God of Israel." (Isaiah 45:3)
"All the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures. They fell down on their faces before the throne and worshipped God" (Revelation 7:11)
"Oh come let us worship and bow down; Let us kneel before the Lord our Maker" (Psalm 95:6)
I come to the altar in humble desperation, heartfelt brokenness, and great anticipation.
Facedown - crying out; pouring out; reaching out.
Facedown in prayer; in praise; in worship.
Facedown in reverence; in repentance; for deliverance.
What a precious time at the altar. Just me and my Lord.
Me reaching up - God reaching down.
Me pouring out - God pouring in.
On my face in renewal and revival.
I raise my head and my eyes catch sight of the cross. I can't take my eyes off of it and emotion overtakes my spirit. I am overcome with awe and wonder and humility.
My breath catches and my pulse quickens. I can feel my heart beating faster and my spirit is quickened.
It is so much more than just a cross. It deserves so much more and demands so much more.
It was a place of cruelty and pain. A place of suffering and shame. It was a place of execution, agony and death.
A place where my Savior freely gave His life.
God's redemptive plan.
A place of love and healing.
A place of forgiveness and peace.
A place of worship and praise.
I inhale the wonder of God. I inhale His mercies.
Facedown... I worship.
I will be gone today through Sunday at a glorious retreat at Brookhill Ranch outside of Hot Springs, Arkansas. Pray that the 4 of us will experience the hidden treasures of His Word in a mighty way! I love you all and will miss "seeing" you this weekend!
I join Sonya today for her Thankful Thursday and am so glad that she hosts this each week.
Megan, Melissa, Ashlie
1. I am so thankful for my 3 precious daughters. God richly blessed me with sweet girls who love the Lord and I am so thankful that they all call me their best friend.
"Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord.." (Psalms 127:3)
2. I am so thankful that Megan and Ashlie are raising their children (my precious little grandbabies) in the admonition of the Lord. They both began teaching them the truths of God's Word when they were just babies and they continue to help their children grow in Him as they get older.
"Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it" (Proverbs 22:6)
Thank you Lord for the Truth of your Word.
3. I am so thankful for something called "skype" so I can talk to my daughter Melissa while she is in Africa. What a blessing modern technology can be!
Thank you Lord for your mercy!
4. I am so thankful that Melissa is feeling so much better. Nothing is worse than knowing your child is very sick and that she is on another continent, far away from home. She has been so sick for the last week and it was so awesome to answer the phone last night and NOT hear her crying. She was happy and laughing and it did this mama a world of good to hear that!
"For I will restore health to you and heal you of your wounds",says the Lord. (Jeremiah 30:17)
Thank you Lord for your healing hand upon my sweet Melissa! You are so good! Nothing is too hard for you!
5. I am so thankful for prayer. There are times when I feel like I am on my face ALL the time and I am so thankful that God hears my cry and that He answers me!
"In my distress I cried to the Lord, and He heard me" (Psalm 120:1)
Thank you Lord for the power and privilege of PRAYER!
I long for holiness. My desire is for holiness to settle down upon me, flowing freely from the Throne of Grace and flood my heart and soul.
I pray that holiness penetrates and saturates my entire being.
I long for righteousness. My desire is for righteousness to flow down from the rivers of heaven and fill me to overflowing.
The Lord is Holy, therefore I desire to be Holy.
He is righteousness, therefore I desire to be righteous.
He is merciful and I need mercy.
He is gracious and oh, I need His grace.
He is compassionate and I desperately need compassion.
He is salvation and I need a Savior!
He is majestic. Glorious. Faithful. Truth. Life.
In all His ways, He is holy and righteous.
In all my ways, I am lost and undone. I am nothing.
But, praise God, through Him and because of Him, we can sanctify ourselves and partake of His holiness.
Sanctification is being set apart for God’s service. It is the ongoing process of God’s grace by which we separate ourselves from sinful things and dedicate ourselves to the righteousness of God.
Holiness is being conformed to the will of God and to be like God. It is the result of being sanctified in Him. We can’t achieve holiness on our own but we CAN make choices that allow holiness and purity to be manifest in our lives.
We can only do this through Him and His Word. Galatians 5:24 tells us, “And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires”.
This is telling us that those of us who belong to Christ are not slaves to our flesh, but that we should live and walk in the Spirit.
To achieve this, we must put aside our fleshly attitudes and ask God to purify our thoughts and our hearts. We walk closely with God in bible study, prayer and right living. We guard our hearts and our minds from worldly morals and values. We must allow the Holy Spirit to fill us and transform us.
“By that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all” (Hebrews 10:10)
“Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord” (Hebrews 12:14)
As a Christian, living a sanctified life is an ongoing process. We are not perfect. We will mess up. We will need His mercy and grace in our lives on a daily basis! His Word tells us in Romans, that nothing good dwells in our flesh, but if Christ is in us, we have life because of His righteousness. Glory and Hallelujah!
I am so thankful that His mercies are new every morning. I am so thankful that He is patient and loving. I am thankful that I don’t have to do it on my own - because He lives in me, I have mercy, forgiveness and redemption.
Sanctifying grace is the breath of God. It restores relationships, imparts newness, perfects us in His image and equips us to be His hands and feet.
My challenge to myself and anyone who wants to join me, is to go facedown each morning, without fail. Facedown in humility. Facedown in surrender. Asking my precious Lord to give me the strength I need each day to live a life sanctified for Him. To live a life worthy of my calling. To live a life that is pleasing to Him.
“… that you may stand perfect and complete in all the will of God” (Colossians 4:12)