Friday, February 27, 2009
I had just been on the computer for the first time since posting that morning and I noticed that there hadn't been much activity on my page. I also noticed that I had lost a reader :(. I am going to be brutally honest here - for just a brief moment, my heart hurt. I thought - "oh, my, what did I do wrong?" I even wondered if I should even continue to blog! I was just sorta down and out and I didn't stay on the computer very long. I was acting pitiful. Just pitiful.
I took a hot bath. I had been for my yearly woman's check-up AND to the dentist that day, so I desperately needed a bath. You know how I love a hot bath. Well, then I went to my desk to read God's Word and pray. Here's what jumped right out of the bible at me - talking about the Pharisees in John 12:43:
"for they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God"
Whoa.. Oh, my.. did I ever hang my head in shame. Was I putting more stock into the praises of men? I immediately dropped my head onto the pages of my bible and confessed right then and there.
My desire and my purpose is ONLY to bring glory to my precious savior. I want nothing more than to minister to the hearts of others, just as all of you minister to my heart each day. Nothing I do is for my vain glory. I can't make it about me. I so desire to use this venue to bring myself and others closer to Him.
I want to increase my commitment to Him, deepen my knowledge of Him, broaden my love for Him and share my testimony about Him.
Thank you precious Lord for keeping my feet on the right path. Your Word never fails to give me the direction I need. May I always remember that my purpose is You.
It's not about the world. It's not about me. It's about JESUS.
Thursday, February 26, 2009
I just love Thankful Thursday. I am so grateful to Sonya for hosting this each week. We need to be thankful on a daily basis, but it is nice to have a day that we truly focus on thankfulness.
I am so thankful for:
1. SALVATION - Without the saving power of Jesus, I would have no hope. I would have no forgiveness of sins. I would not have eternal life. (John 3:16) Thank you Lord, for salvation.
2. THE CLEANSING POWER OF JESUS - Psalm 51:10 tells us "Create in me a clean heart, O God and renew a steadfast spirit within me". Without that cleansing power I would be lost in my sin. I'd be as filthy rags. I'd be headed for an eternity in hell. Thank you Lord, for your cleansing power.
3. THAT GOD IS MY HELP - When I call out to God, He hears me. He cares about me. He wants what is best for me. Psalm 120:1 says "In my distress, I cried to the Lord and He heard me." Thank you Lord, for hearing my cry. Thank you that you are my help in my time of trouble.
4. FOR NO RECORD OF SINS - The Lord doesn't keep track of the many times I fail Him. Psalm 130:3 says, "If you, O LORD, kept a record of sins, O LORD, who could stand?" Thank you Lord that you erase my sins and cast them as far as the east is to the west.
5. PRAISE! - I am so glad that the Lord made a way for us to give Him glory! I am so glad that I can lift my hands and my voice toward heaven and give my God Praise! Psalm 34:1 tells us that "His praise shall continually be in my mouth" Thank you Lord that I can praise you for you are truly worthy to be praised.
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
Prayer is our connection between Heaven and earth. Between the Creator and the Creation. Between our Father and us.
We ought to desire to spend more time in prayer. Our hearts should burst with excitement at the mere thought of being able to talk to God. So, why do we overlook the area that God ordained as the one-on-one time of communion with Him? Why do we put off prayer time until we are so tired and half asleep? Why do we make prayer the last thing we do at night? It can become an “oh, I need to say my prayers” type of activity in our lives.
When we allow prayer to fall to the bottom of our priority list, we open the door to the devil and temptation. No - I’m sorry - we roll out the red carpet for the him and invite him in! If the devil can keep us from praying, he has achieved the first step in creating a gap between us and God. He has misaligned our connection with God. He has won the first battle in taking over our lives.
If he can render our prayer lives ineffective, then he is on the way to rendering us ineffective. He absolutely doesn’t want us to access the power we have in prayer. You know how I know this? Because on Saturday night girls, after my prayer page debuted and I spent time in fervent prayer, the devil was ALL over me ALL night with a spirit of fear. But you know how I conquered him?? I rebuked him and I prayed!
“For God has not given us a spirit of fear but of power and of love and a sound mind.“ 2 Timothy 1:7
There is definite power in prayer. We need to make prayer a priority in our lives. We need to make God a priority in our lives. Prayer will:
* Deepen our knowledge
* Increase our worship
* Broaden our commitment
* Show our allegiance
* Strengthen our relationship
Let's hit our knees and our faces,
Monday, February 23, 2009
God has been so good to me and my family. As far back as I can recall, I have known about Jesus. I was taught as a child about being a Christian and was led by example. I have loved Jesus since I was old enough to love. Many times I have felt like I didn't really have a "good enough" testimony, because I had never experienced some of the things that others had. I realize now that I should be thankful for that. God gave me a testimony of a different kind.
I was healed from asthma when I was 10 years old. I am not talking about just a mild form of asthma, I am talking about a early onset, lung damaging, life threatening form of asthma. I was a very sick child starting from the age of 18 months. I should not be here at the age of 46. But I can testify that through the grace of my Lord and through the mercy that he had upon my life, Christ imparted His healing power on my life when I was 10 years old. I will never forget it. I prayed for healing and I had NO DOUBT that the Lord healed me. I went from taking lots of medication and shots, to taking NOTHING! I went from many visits to the ER for breathing treatments to NONE! Hallelujah!
The power of prayer is something that we can't take lightly. There is definite victory in prayer. I have felt the Lord gently nudging me in these last few months toward being a Prayer Warrior. I wasn't quite sure how to go about it, but then the Lord just showed me a way. His way. This way. He burdened my heart and then broadened my thinking. The Prayer Page is what came of that. I tossed some ideas toward Edie and she just came through like a champ!
If you have ANY needs at all. No matter if you think they are small or perhaps too large. Please click on the Prayer Warrior button and it will take you to the prayer page. Leave a request in the comments section. If you want the request to be private, then click on the email button. I am setting aside a specific time each day to pray for these needs. Not collectively, but individually. Calling out each name - each need. I am preparing a prayer book with the names and needs in them so I can pray scripture pertaining to those needs. I am so excited about what the Lord is going to do! I want prayer requests and of course I want Praises to the King! Our God can do anything. Our God is bigger than our biggest need.
Thank you for each one of you that read this blog. You will never know how you have all just brightened my days and inspired me. I want us to all go deeper. Step higher. Pray broader. Praise longer.
Sunday, February 22, 2009
Happy 2nd Birthday to my little Bryton! It is so hard to believe that you are already 2 years old. What a blessing you have been in your Nana’s life.
You are so full of life and energy. You run full speed ahead most of your day! Not only are you very energetic, but you are so loving. You love to give hugs and kisses and little “I love you’s”. My heart melts when I hear you say “Nana”. I love it when you and mommy spend the night and in the morning we drink coffee together. I love to read you stories. You won’t let me turn the page until you have examined every inch of the illustrations. I love you, Bryton.
You have been blessed with such loving parents. Your mommy will hardly let you out of her sight! Your daddy watches you play with such joy and wonder in his eyes. In a few short weeks, you are going to be such a great big brother!
When you were born 2 years ago, (3 weeks early) you gave all of us quite a scare. Within minutes after you emerged, the nurse had a mask on your little blue face and was calling the NICU for a bed and a canister of oxygen. Her only words were spoken calmly. “He’s having a little trouble breathing”. I have never felt more fear in all my life. I immediately went out into the hallway to tell your Papa and all those waiting, “Pray”. I was then filled with a sense of peace and I knew that you were in the hands of the one who formed you and that He would take care of you.
You spent 7 days in the NICU with various issues and problems, but now you are a healthy little boy and doing great!
You are such a blessing to me, Bryton. My sweet little fella. My little ‘b’. Have a happy birthday little one.
Oh - the joys of being a grandmother. Thank you, Jesus for allowing me that joy.
Saturday, February 21, 2009
"Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much."
This prayer request page is a result of the Lord laying this burden upon my heart. My desire is to be an effective prayer warrior and to bring honor and glory to My God. You can leave a comment or click on the button to email me if you would like the prayer request to be private. I will be lifting these requests up to the Throne of Grace on a daily basis.
1. Abby Riggs (Leukemia)
2. Haley Troia(12 yrs old, g-tube surgery & Complications from CF) PRAISE REPORT - Doing so much better -
3. Misty (Infertility)
4. Tess (God's direction- baby?)
5. Judy (cancer)
6. Edie (Illness)
7. Lanie Claire (infant with I.S.) PRAISE REPORT! Doctor's misdiagnosed! PRAISE GOD!
8. Dawn (Injured knee) - 3/16 surgery scheduled
9. Phyllis (Breast cancer)3/6 - didn't get good report - STILL FAITHFUL!
10.Nancy McLendon (Women's retreat 3/14/09)PRAISE REPORT! GOd showed up in a mighty way and lives were changed!!
11.Annette Anschutz (Cochlear implant surgery)PRAISE REPORT! Surgery went great!
12.Beckyjo - finances /decisions
13.Susan Baldwin - fibromyalgia healing
14. Scott Weeks and family (death of wife)
15. Cassie's Family - (young woman with cancer - went Home to Jesus)
16. Little Nathan (infant w/heart issues)PRAISE REPORT! He is home!
17. Preston (little boy with cancer)
18. Carlos Galvan - (brain aneurysm)
19. Billy Howell - (recovering from stroke)
20. Derrell Wayne Harrison - heart - 3/11/09 heart cath - 3 blockages - stents put in and he is doing good!
21. Bryant Fortenberry - (24) - CF patient with serious lung infection - 3/12/09 hospitalized with lung bleeding
22. Avery Grace Akeman - (3 year old) Multiple GI/Blood issues
23. Stephanie Brower - (back/spine issues) - needs healing!
24. Rick (Stephanie's brother) - Needs Salvation
25. Jen - Young woman dealing with depression - needs bondage chains loosed!
Friday, February 20, 2009
Mikaela's 1st missing tooth!
Nothing makes a Nana feel older than when her grandbaby loses her 1st tooth. A few weeks ago Mikaela told me the exciting news of an impending visit from the tooth fairy. She looked so cute with her little tooth missing and it was both a happy and sad moment for me. I could still vividly remember the day (7-4-03) when that tiny little tooth emerged from her little gums looking like a little white pearl. It was such a joyous event for all of us!
Sunday morning, my cell phone rang and when I answered, this darling little voice said, “Nana – guess what? I lost another tooth last night. Eli pulled it with his knee!” (evidently they were playing and it got knocked out by her little brother). She was so excited and when I hung up the phone, I lay there thinking about those little teeth. It was funny that the same little teeth that brought such excitement when they made their very first appearance could bring the same level of excitement when they fell out!
They had come full circle. They came in – they grew – they served their purpose and then they had to come out to make room for the new permanent ones that would take their place. The baby teeth were just temporary. Just like our lives here on earth. Our earthly bodies are like our “baby bodies”. They are growing and learning and serving their purpose, but one day we well exchange these “baby bodies” for our permanent, heavenly bodies!
We will put off corruption and put on incorruption. 1 Corinthians 15:53 says, “For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality”. We will shed these earthly bodies and put on our heavenly bodies. We will be clothed in righteousness! We will be perfect. Hallelujah!
We will leave this temporary home on earth and dwell in our new home in heaven. 2 Peter 3:13 says, “Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.”
We will be on our faces at the feet of Jesus and we will be worshiping our King. Our new bodies in our new home will be saying:
“Blessing and Honor and Glory and Power.Praise God for the temporary. I am so thankful that we have heaven to look forward to. We will be in the presence of God. The fullness of His Glory will be surrounding us forever and ever.
Be to Him who sits on the throne,
And to the Lamb forever and ever.”
Thursday, February 19, 2009
I LOVE Thankful Thursday! Thank you Sonya for helping us to stop and realize our blessings.
1. I am thankful for His powerful hand upon me. I left work sick yesterday with a bad migraine. I could barely even talk my head hurt so bad and I felt really sick. I lay down and prayed and when I got up later I was able to fulfill my obligation to cook for the youth last night and even was able to keep the nursery during prayer meeting! Praise Jesus - He is so faithful.
2. I am thankful for a godly husband and for the impact that he has on this community. Sometimes when that phone rings AGAIN and it is someone else that needs him (or that it’s his 4th funeral in 8 days….) I start to get irritated, but then I remember. “Hey - he works for God and this is God’s work!” I am just so thankful that people know that they can depend upon him. I am thankful for a godly husband.
3. I am thankful that I can worship the Lord when I play the flute. As I was playing one day, I realized that if the Lord had not healed me from asthma (very bad asthma ) when I was 10, I would NOT be able to play a wind instrument like the flute. Thank you Lord, that even then, you knew what I would one day do for your glory!
4. I am thankful for the Word of God. I am thankful that I can always find a word that speaks to me anytime I open up the scriptures and read.
5. I am thankful for prayer. I am so thankful that God gave us this venue to be able to commune with Him. To take our hearts to him. To pour out our innermost thoughts. To know Him.
I am so blessed. I am so thankful.
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
Matthew 4:4 (NLT) says “Jesus said, ‘People need more than bread for their life; they must feed on every word of God.’”
In order for us to get fed from the Word of God there are 2 things that must happen.
*We must accept the bible as our authority.
1 Thessalonians 2:13 tells us, “For this reason we also thank God without ceasing, because when you received the word of God which you heard from us, you welcomed it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which also effectively works in you who believe.”
God’s Word is TRUTH. Plain and simple. His Word tells us that we are sanctified by the truth and that His word is Truth.
*We must study God’s Word
2 Timothy 2:15 tells us, “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”
There is a big difference between reading the bible and studying the bible. When you study - you take notes. When you study - you ask questions. There are a few steps you can take when you study the bible to help you glean the most out of the scriptures.
Step 1: PRAY that God will open your eyes and show you wonderful things out of His Word.
Step 2: MEDITATE on the scripture. Reflect on what it says and let it digest in your soul. Visualize it, say it, rewrite it, and personalize it.
Step 3: APPLY it to our lives. John 13:17 tells us that if we know these things we will be blessed if we do them.
Step 4: MEMORIZE the Word of God. If we are going to be used of God and we are going to be a witness to others, we have to KNOW the scripture. We need to hide it in our hearts.
We need to feed our souls daily with the Word. When we begin our day feasting on God’s Word, we set the bar high. We arm ourselves and prepare ourselves for the onslaught of the world. We are fed and we are full of the truth.
Feasting on Him,
2 lbs. ground chuck
1 can pinto beans
1 can black beans
1 can kidney beans
1 can whole kernel corn
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can rotel tomatoes
1 pkg. taco seasoning mix
1 pkg. original hidden valley ranch dressing mix
2 ½ cups water (more if needed)
Brown meat in large pan and drain off fat. Add all the remaining ingredients and simmer for an hour or so. Serve with tortilla chips or cornbread.
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
We even see this in young children. I can remember my girls just about refusing to say they were sorry. I have seen Mikaela and Eli refuse to say it. Just last night Ashlie was trying to get Bryton to say he was sorry after he had done something and it was almost comical at how he wouldn’t even open his little lips at all! He would just cut his eyes at her and kinda smile. He is not even 2 years old and he already knows the implication of being sorry.
When we say that we are sorry:
1. We are admitting we were wrong
2. We are realizing we are not perfect
3. We are recognizing that we hurt another person or made a mistake
4. We are verbalizing our humanness
5. We are seeking forgiveness
It is so hard to say, but oh my goodness, it is so freeing when we do. When we learn to admit that we were wrong about something, we break through the bondage of self-righteousness. We allow ourselves to fully experience repentance and forgiveness.
2 Corinthians 7:9 says, “Now I rejoice, not that you were made sorry, but that your sorrow led to repentance. For you were made sorry in a godly manner, that you might suffer loss from us in nothing.”
Hallelujah! God’s Word is so timely. So perfect.
When we know that we have hurt another person or done something that wasn’t right, it is our responsibility to render ourselves humble before God, cleanse ourselves with His Word and seek forgiveness. We need to follow after holiness. We just have to say “I’m sorry”.
Two small words…One big reward… Reconciliation.
Monday, February 16, 2009
We had no idea why we were getting routed off into another direction. We could see nothing ahead that would indicate anything dangerous lurking ahead. There was no sign of an accident - no flashing lights. There was no apparent reason that we wouldn’t be allowed on that stretch of interstate. It didn’t seem unsafe.
But we couldn’t see the actual danger that was there. We could only see what was right there in front of us. We had no way of knowing what was taking place several miles down that highway. WE couldn’t see the danger, but the police could. They knew what lay ahead and they were there to protect us. There had been an accident earlier involving a tanker truck carrying sulfuric acid and they were trying to get the dangerous substance cleaned up. So even though we were unable to detect the danger on our own, there was someone else there that had the knowledge and authority to give us the protection that we needed.
GOd is that knowledge. God is that authority. God is our protection. He sees the danger lurking ahead and He is the one who initiates those detours in our life. We don’t always understand why He is leading us down a different path. There are times when we are sure He is doing it to punish us. There may be times when we resist the detour because we don’t want to go the other way!
Sometimes we find out the reason for the detour while we are still on it. We may find out the reason long after it has taken place. We may never know the reason for the detour.
We just have to know that when God veers us off of one path onto another, it is because He knows what is best for us. We can’t always see what He is steering us away from, but we can rest assured that He has something better for us down the other trail.
“You will show me the path of life.“ (Psalm 16:11)
“Show me your ways O Lord, Teach me your paths.” (Psalm 25:4)
There is a story told by E. Stanley Jones of a missionary in a jungle. He got lost with nothing around him but bush and a few cleared places. He finally found a small village and asked one of the natives if he could lead him out of the jungle. The native said he could. “All right,” the missionary said, “Show me the way.” They walked for hours through the dense brush hacking their way through unmarked jungle. The missionary began to worry and said, “Are you quite sure this is the way? Where is the path?” The native said, “In this place, there is no path. I am the path.”
Our path out of the jungle of this world, is God. Let’s keep our eyes on Him. He will show us the way. He will lead us.
Saturday, February 14, 2009
24 years ago I married the best thing that has ever happened to me. The Lord brought us together and there is nothing that will ever separate us. When we got married, Jimbo already had a 5 year old daughter and in the next 24 years, the Lord blessed us with 3 more beautiful girls and a whole passel of grandbabies.
We have had 24 wonderful years. I can honestly say that there isn't anything that I would go back and change. There may have been some times that were hard, but they were definitely learning experiences. The Lord has done a marvelous work in us and through us. He has blessed us more than I can even fathom.
As I type this, I am on the phone with my daughter Megan and Mikaela and Eli are singing in the background, "Happy Valentines Day, Nana Heart" and other songs that don't make any sense. I think I heard Eli say, Nana Cucu.... Anyway, I know that was random, but that is where my heart is. My sweet grandbabies.
I hope that you all have a very happy day. I am so thankful that I have a husband who loves me and takes care of me. He honestly cares about my happiness. He is thoughtful and loving. He is a man of God. But most of all he is mine.
"Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things." (1 Corinthians 13:7)
Happy Anniversary, sweetheart!
Friday, February 13, 2009
Mikaela & Eli - 2008
When Mikaela was 3 and Eli was 8 months old, my daughter, Megan, and I went to lunch and we took them with us. While we were eating, Eli started fussing because he was tired and Mikaela just kind of reached over and squeezed his little foot. (which of course made him fuss a little more..) Very gently I said, “Mikaela, little girls who have Jesus in their heart don’t hurt their little brothers on purpose.” She looked up at me with those big, dark eyes and said, “Well.. Jesus kinda flew out of my heart for just a minute, but he flew back in now.”
Has Jesus ever flown the coop of your heart? Even for just a minute? I think we can all say that at some time or another, we’ve all had a slight lapse in our Christian behavior. It’s not something any of us are proud of, but never the less, it happens. It’s what we good Baptists call “backsliding”.
The definition of backslide is as follows:
1. To relapse I into bad habits, sinful behavior, or undesirable activities
2. To revert to sin or wrongdoing, especially in religious practice.
3. To slide back; to fall away; to abandon gradually the faith and practice of a religion that has been professed.
Whoa….that covers a lot of territory, now doesn’t it? In other words, if we are not moving forward in our Christian walk - if we are not stepping up to the next level with God - then we may be on our way to a backslidden condition. I have heard my husband say many times from the pulpit, “Folks, if we aren’t closer to God today than we were yesterday, we are backsliding.”
That is a very dangerous place to be. You know why it is so dangerous? Because it happens gradually. By the time you realize it has happened, you’ve taken so many backward steps that you face a slippery slope to get back to where you once were. It is hard to regain your footing once you start to lose it. That slope just gets slicker and steeper as time goes on. If you stay there long enough, defeat settles in and takes over. If you stay defeated long enough, then the doubt comes and settles in right beside the defeat. That is NOT a good combination. Defeat and doubt together is deadly.
But you know the good news? There is a solution to this problem. When you catch yourself beginning to take that very first backward step, hit your knees. Or better yet, hit the floor face down. Cry out to the One who can stop that backward motion and get you moving in the right direction again! Jesus… Abba Father… our Restorer. Just focus on the joy of your salvation experience and rekindle that fire in your heart for the One and Only. Our Savior and our Redeemer.
Any of us who are Christians have been there. Romans 3:23 tells us, “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God”. Any time we sin, we are sliding back away from Christ. It is a struggle that we face every day. Our flesh is so weak, but He is our strength. That is why there is Grace. It is not something we earned and we certainly don’t deserve it. But Christ died so that we could have forgiveness of our sins and experience restoration back to Him.
As Christians, when we backslide, we are much like a disobedient child. It doesn’t affect our sonship. We are still His children. That will never change. But it does affect our relationship. It creates division between us and the Lord. But Christ is just waiting for us to get our feet and our hearts moving in the right direction again. He is there with open arms. Ready to restore us unto the joy of our salvation.
“Yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation.” (Habakkuk 3:18)
I am so thankful that God is a God of love and mercy. I am thankful that when I slip and fall, He is there to lift me up and restore me back into full fellowship with Him.
In His Grip,
Thursday, February 12, 2009
I am joining Sonya again for her Thankful Thursday. I am so thankful for you, Sonya! (that one doesn't count:)as my five)
1. I am ever so thankful for the power of prayer. I have seen it manifest this week in so many ways. I cannot imagine how anyone functions without that lifeline of prayer to God.
James 5:6 "... the effective fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much."
2. I am thankful for the freedom we have to go to church. We can worship anytime, anywhere, anyway! Thank you, Jesus!
3. I am thankful that my sweet friend, Phyllis, made it through her 2nd surgery yesterday with no complications. She remains steadfast in her faith. What a testimony and a blessing she is.
4. I am thankful for new life. Babies are truly miracles. I am thankful that my daughter's pregnancy is going so well and that in less than 8 weeks we will hold that little miracle in our arms! Thank you, Lord!
5. I am thankful that we have the freedom and capability to tell others about Christ and His love through venues such as this. We can do it without the threat of persecution or punishment. Praise you, Lord!
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
As I sit on my back patio this morning, I am basking in the glory of God all around me. I can smell the sweet fragrance of a new rain. I feel the gentle breeze of God’s breath in the wind. The birds are singing a beautiful melody of praise. I can even hear a dove eliciting a soft cooing sound.
The glory of God is truly all around us – we just have to take the time to sit and recognize it.
“Then God saw everything that He had made and indeed it was very good..” Genesis 1:31
Too many times I get in such a hurry and I neglect to really focus on seeing all the glorious evidences of Christ and His creation. His beauty abounds everywhere. The trees, the grass, the flowers, the sun, the stars, the moon, the wind, the rain….
We live in such a fast paced world and it seems like we never slow down. We rush from one activity to another without even stopping to take a breath sometimes. Our lives are too often defined by all the “extras” we pack into it. All of these extras are those things that we do for our enjoyment and pleasure. All those things that are for physically beautifying and bettering ourselves and our homes. All those things that take time away from what we should be doing.
We should be spending time admiring the Glory of God’s creation. Reading our bibles. Studying our bibles. Digging into God’s Word and getting so engrossed in it that we forget the time! We need to form that intimate relationship with Christ that can ONLY come from communing with Him. When we spend time in prayer and in His Word, He will be revealed to us in a whole new light. We will begin to see Him for who He truly is. Our creator. Our Savior. Our Redeemer.
When we put God first, our lives will begin to run more smoothly. Let’s give God our best and our firsts. When we do, we will start to see Him work in our lives like never before. We will begin to see Him manifest Himself and we will see the bearing of fruit. We will experience the Presence of God like never before. We will see the Glory of God all around us. We will have the fullness of Joy!
Spend time with God. Feast on His Word. Savor its sweetness and know He is good.
A new creation in Christ,
Monday, February 9, 2009
Death is the ultimate fear to most of us. Not just death, but death of our loved ones. Death of our parents. Death of our spouse. Death of our children.
I’ve heard people say that they can handle anything except the death of their child. I have said it myself. I have known many people that have experienced this. I have seen firsthand the devastation that takes place in the lives of the parents who have buried their children. It is something that I don’t even like to think about. To me, it is the unthinkable.
Truth is, it happens every day. We just don’t have to face it every day because it doesn’t always touch our lives. We can distance ourselves from it when it doesn’t directly affect the piece of the world that we live in. But when it happens in your town - to people you know - the reality slaps you right in the face. The pain becomes evident. The hurting lives become real.
Psalm 46:1 says, “God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble.”
I can’t image a life without the presence of God. A life that doesn’t know a refuge named Jesus. I have no idea how anyone makes it through any type of trial without the safety and security of God’s arms. If I don’t know anything else but the amazing fact that God loves me, that is enough. The Lord is our comfort. He is our Peace. He is our hope. He loves us.
After church yesterday, my husband got a phone call. A young man that we have known for many years had just experienced the unthinkable. His precious little 19-month old baby boy was gone. An afternoon of family and fun outside took a sharp turn to tragedy in just a flash. Kids outside playing. Dad moving the truck around back to wash it. In one brief, unchangeable moment, lives were forever altered. A nightmare had begun. A nightmare that they won’t wake up from.
How do you console someone when there is no consolation? How do you tell a parent that they’ll get through this when they don’t want to get through it? How do you ever recover from this type of devastation? How do you go on?
Jesus. That’s how. He is the only way that anyone can make it through the tragic events that life throws at us. He is the one who can turn our sorrow into joy. He can comfort our souls. He can carry our burden. He give us hope. He gives us eternal life. He is the one who will reunite us with our loved ones in heaven.
I am asking for prayers to be lifted up for this precious family. Carl and Jessica will be doing the hardest thing in their lives tomorrow. They will bury their precious child. Please cry out on their behalf as well as for their families. There are hurting grandparents, aunts, uncles and friends. Please be in much prayer for my husband and the other pastor who will be doing the funeral together.
There is a need for a salvation in this family. One of the parents is a Christian - a very new Christian. The other is lost. Please pray for the Holy Spirit to minister and convict and draw this soul to Christ.
Precious Lord, may I keep my hope, trust and faith in you. You are my Lord. You are my Savior. You are my comfort.
In His grip of grace,
Sunday, February 8, 2009
We’ve have probably all experienced something similar to this in our lives at one time or another. We can all relate in some way to this. The problem doesn’t just lie with the fact that we have had a disagreement or difference of opinion with another person. The problem doesn’t even begin with the fact that we’ve been angry with someone. The problem goes much deeper than that.
The point where the problem starts and takes hold is when we allow those feelings to take precedence over our life in Christ. We can’t experience the fullness of Christ’s love for us or for others when we let our heart remain hardened to a person or persons. We absolutely cannot move forward in our Christian growth when we have this one area of our life that needs some attention and some healing! We can’t continue to let that anger fester and build. We can’t allow Satan to have control over that one area and think that he won’t sneak into others areas of our lives.
We have to stop trying to justify our feelings by placing the blame elsewhere. It is easy to point fingers, but we have to take the responsibility on our own shoulders and be willing to admit our role in the problem.
We need to admit the problem to ourselves.
We need to accept responsibility for it.
We need to confess it to God and the other person.
We need to reconcile it with them and ultimately with God.
This is something that I have had to do recently. I am not proud of the fact that I had to do it. I am ashamed that I let something take hold of my life and actions like that. But I am so thankful that the Lord is merciful and that He is the forgiver of sins. There is nothing quite as freeing as getting things right.
God calls us to make peace.
“How wonderful it is, how pleasant, when brothers live in harmony!” (Psalm 133:1)
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God.” (Matthew 5:9)
“For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation.” (Ephesians 2:14)
In His Grip,
Friday, February 6, 2009
Happy birthday sweet Mercie!
Oh, my, has it really been one year since you were born? You are the sweetest little youngin'. You have such a sweet nature. You just observe all things with a smile in your eyes and those pouty little lips. What a joy and blessing you are.
You are certainly blessed with terrific parents who love you more than you can imagine. You have a sister and a brother who think you are very special and love to 'help' take care of you.
I will never forget the night you were born. We had been in the hospital for about 6 hours or so and we were so excited and anxious to see your little face. Daddy had run across the hall to get a drink and all of the sudden, you decided it was time! I had to run out and get your daddy so he wouldn't miss it.
And then there you were. 8' 4 ounces of pure love. A miracle. A beautiful, precious little girl. A little bundle of sweet Mercie....
"Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above..." (James 1:17)
Happy birthday sweetheart.Your very blessed Nana
Thursday, February 5, 2009
I join Sonya again for Thankful Thursday and I just want to say thank you, Sonya! I know we are all thankful each day, but I am so glad the Lord led you to do this. It gives me a set day to really sit and give my God thanks for so many things!
1. I am so thankful for God's mercy. Let me tell you, I need His mercy every day of my life! If not for this mercy, I would have no hope. Praise you Jesus for the mercy you have shown me and keep showing me in my life.
2. I am thankful for my little grandbaby - Mercie - who will be "1" tomorrow. She is aptly named. Thank you Lord, for sweet little Mercie. Shortly after she was born, Mikaela asked her mother, "When we say Mercie's name, how will God know if we are talkin' about her or just praising his name?" :)
3. I am SO thankful that because of Christ there is forgiveness! Thank you, Lord. I need this everyday. It pains me that I need this everyday, but thankful that He supplies it.
4. I am thankful that I have a nice, warm home when it is so cold outside. Oh, Lord be with all those who don't have the warmth of a home. Warm them with your love.
5. I am thankful that I can see the glory of God each day if I just take the time to look for it!
There is so much I am thankful for. I am going to try and spend more time being thankful and less time whining. I want a heart of gratitude! I want to focus on the positive. I want to see the little things each day that God does in our lives that we tend to overlook. I want my eyes opened to Him and His glory.
"Enter into His gates with thanksgiving. And into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name." (Psalm 100:4)
With a thankful heart,
Wednesday, February 4, 2009
Sandy over at One day at a timegave me this sweet award! It is called the Proximity Award. My very first! Thank you, Sandy.
The citation which read: These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in prizes or self-aggrandizement. Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these writers! There's an instruction that comes with this award. Deliver this award to 8 bloggers who must choose 8 more and include this text into the body of their award.
1. Yolanda @ Higher Grounds
2. Lisa @ My Passionate Pursuit
3. Stephanie @ Truthsharer
4.Cristine @ Journeying Forward
5. Megan @ Set Apart for Jesus
6. Dawn @ Dawn's cottage corner
7. Sharon @ God's child
8. Kim @ Kim...and her coffee
My desire is for this blog to glorify and edify. I have met so many fabulous women and I love them all!
Tuesday, February 3, 2009
That shadows the dry thirsty land.
He hideth my life in the depths of His love.
And covers me there with His Hand.
"So the LORD said to Moses, "I will also do this thing that you have spoken; for you have found grace in My sight, and I know you by name."
And he said, "Please, show me Your glory."
Wow.. I read that last line of verse 17 and just had a moment! God told Moses, "I know you by name".I love that! I know without a shadow of a doubt that this applies to me and you also. God KNOWS us. How unbelievably awesome is that? It's one of those things that we all know, we all realize it, but all of the sudden it just impacts us. Does anyone understand what I am trying to say?
But the next verse is what got to me. Moses just very calmly said to God, "Please, show me Your glory". It was just kind of like Moses had no reservation about his request. He was seeking a new vision and he asked God for confirmation.
I desire to be in this kind of relationship with God. I desire a reverence for God like no other. I want to be an obedient and thankful servant. I desperately yearn for a quietness with God that I might hear Him whisper. Whisper my name. Speak to my heart. Show me His glory.
Monday, February 2, 2009
Posting my first MMM with Sarah Mae.
My husband preached a powerful sermon yesterday that had me thinking all afternoon. It was a passage of scripture that I know I have read, but have never really noticed the context of it before. I told my sweet fella that I just might “borrow” his scripture text but that I wouldn’t “steal” his sermon. :)He said, “Sweetie, there is NO new material. It’s all in the bible for anyone to use.” Isn’t he sweet?
The scripture is Jeremiah 13: 1-10. Jeremiah was a priest before he was a prophet. He was very devoted and committed to God and to Holiness. In verse 1, the Lord tells Jeremiah to go and get a linen sash, put it around his waist but not to get it in water. Jeremiah did just what the Lord commanded of him. In verse 4, the Lord once again tells Jeremiah to do something. He told him to take that same sash and go to the Euphrates and hide it in a hole in a rock. So once again, Jeremiah didn’t question God, he just went and did what the Lord commanded. After many days, the Lord told Jeremiah to go back to the Euphrates and get the sash from where he had hidden it. Jeremiah asks no questions - he just gets up and goes back and retrieves the sash. And it was ruined. Profitable for nothing.
As Christians, this set of scripture has several meaningful areas of application in our lives. The first thing that I notice is the way Jeremiah obeyed immediately each time the Lord spoke. He didn’t ask questions. He didn’t make excuses as to why he couldn’t go or didn’t need to go. He just listened and did exactly what God instructed. God said it and he did it. That is the kind of response that God deserves from us, even when the commands we get may not be clearly understood or the reasons known, we just have to be obedient. If God tells us to do something, then we need to do it. Simply obey.
The sash can represent so many aspects of our life in Christ. It is our relationship with Christ, it is God, it is the Word. It is representative of all these things as a whole. We hold them all close to us. We “wear” them tightly around us. God desires for us to be girded with His Word. He desires for us to wrap ourselves up snuggly with him. When we do this, we are being obedient and allowing God and His word to do a work in our lives. Serve a purpose. Be useful. Be fruitful.
Too many times we are taking that sash and hiding it - just like God had Jeremiah do. We hide our Christianity and take it out perhaps when we need it? Or when it’s convenient. We just kinda neglect it - move on to other things in our lives. Things that we deem important. We are in a sense worshiping other Gods while we let the One True God remain hidden away. Then when it is finally time to retrieve it - guess what? It is ruined. It is profitable for nothing. It serves no purpose in its ruined state.
Our relationship with the Lord won’t do us a bit of good if we don’t keep it around us at all times. It is not something that we use just when we need it and then hide it for a season and get it back out again. We need Christ every second of every day. We can’t function completely as a Christian without Him. For Him to be used in our lives and for Him to be purposed in our lives, He has to BE in our lives.
This really opened my eyes to my relationship with God. I have to keep him close at all times. I don’t ever want to hide him away. I don’t want to ever have to go “dig Him up” when I get in a mess. I want Him around me so I don’t GET in a mess.
Lord, help me to keep my focus entirely on You and Your Word. Help me to listen and to be quick to obey. Let me be useful to Your Kingdom work. Hold me close, Lord, and let me feel Your Presence. May I always be an instrument for Your Glory.
Serving Him with Joy,