Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Mercie and Eli watching Mikaela.
Mikaela and her daddy - baptism day.
"When He had been baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon Him." (Matthew 3:16)
There is nothing quite as beautiful to me as a new Christian being baptized. I love the powerful message that is presented by a simple, symbolic act of obedience.
My son-in-law had the privilege of baptizing his precious daughter, Mikaela, on Sunday. It brought tears of joy to my eyes, as my sweet grandbaby followed her salvation experience with this precious act of baptism.
The total immersion in water signifies the burial of all our sins. The water washes away all of our uncleanliness. The water cleanses our souls for all eternity.
Then we come up out of the water, a new creation. Ready for our newness of life. Ready for a life that brings glory and honor to our God.
Our salvation is not dependent upon our baptism. Baptism is merely our first act of obedience that follows our decision to become a child of the King.
Our salvation is dependent upon one thing only. The grace that our precious Father extends to us and our acceptance of that free gift He offers.
Ephesians 2:8 tells us, "For by grace you have been saved through faith and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God"
We can do absolutely nothing to earn our salvation. There isn't anything that we ourselves can do to obtain this precious gift. It's already been done. God did everything for us when He sent His Son to die on the cross for all mankind. Jesus paid the price for us at Calvary with His precious blood.
We simply admit that we are sinners. Romans 3:23 tells us that we have ALL sinned. We then must believe in our heart, that Jesus is the Son of God. We must believe that He came to earth and was born of a virgin, was crucified and buried, rose again on the 3rd day, ascended into heaven and that He is coming again one day.
We must also confess Him to others. Telling others how to receive the free gift of salvation and eternal life. Telling others about Jesus - the Son of God.
Salvation is free. We can't earn it. We don't deserve it. Once accepted, we can't lose it. Christ died on the cross at Calvary one time. For all sins. For everybody, everywhere. For all time.
Baptism in itself doesn't cause an inward change. It doesn't alter our relationship with God in any way. It is an outward indication of what has already taken place inside a believer's heart and life.
Salvation is the first step toward a life that is made complete with our precious Savior, Jesus.
I praise You, Lord for the free gift of salvation. I thank You for having mercy on me. A sinner unworthy of all that You offer. A sinner saved by Grace only through my faith in You. Thank You for my precious granddaughter and what you are doing in her life already. I praise you for who you are. I praise You because You are worthy of my praise. I love You and I give You all the honor and glory that is due You.
Monday, September 28, 2009
Each time I read this passage of scripture that takes place in the garden of Gethsemane, it astonishes me that Peter and the 2 disciples with him, fell asleep after Jesus told them to “watch and pray”.
I’m thinking, “Peter! Really? Jesus asks you to stay awake and pray, yet you fall asleep not once, but three times!”
It just amazes me that a little slumber was more enticing than a big Savior.
The temptation was too great.
The flesh was too weak.
The adversary was too great.
“And do not lead us into temptation but deliver us from the evil one” (Matthew 6:13)
God knows that our flesh is weak. Without reinforcement that comes from Him, we are no match for the devil and his forces.
Even when our spirits are ready and willing, on our own we don’t have the power needed to conquer temptation.
The Word of God enables us to be aware of the need for our utter dependence on God. We must learn to rely on Him in all things. Lean on Him at all times. Depend on Him in every circumstance.
Apart from God we can’t be guarded against the wiles of the devil.
He is the ultimate weapon that we need to protect ourselves.
He is the strength that we need for the battle.
“No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.” (1 Corinthians 10:13)
We are reminded here that our God is faithful. When we come up against the temptations of this world, He makes a way of escape. He provides an alternative. He enables us to stand. Praise His Holy name! He is always there for us.
Our job is to be vigilant. Our job is to be prayerful. We must keep watch and we must stay alert. We must clothe ourselves in the Word of God and allow His Spirit to surround us with His strength and His peace.
Arm ourselves with the word.
Acknowledge the omnipotence of God.
Abound in His presence.
Abide in His love.
Answer the battle cry with His promises!
“But the Lord is faithful, and He will strengthen and protect you from the evil one” (2 Thessalonians 3:3)
Thank you Father for your watch over us! Thank you Father for your protection. Thank you for delivering us from the things that threaten to overtake us. Thank you for loving us. Help us dear Lord to stay awake on our watch. You are mighty and powerful. You are faithful. You are our strength. You are God.
Saturday, September 26, 2009
"And He said to me, My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness" (2 Corinthians 12:9)
His Grace is sufficient .
His mercy is unending.
He is gracious.
His majesty is matchless.
He is glorious.
When I feel as if the world is closing in -
I look up.
When I feel like I'm at the end of my rope -
I reach out.
When I'm not sure of my next step -
I call to Him.
When I feel like the waters are rising and the deep has closed around me, I turn to the one thing that I know -
When all else escapes me - I have prayer.
When I am void of a clear thought - I have prayer.
When I'm tired or lonely. When I'm overwhelmed or misunderstood - I have prayer.
I commune with Him in prayer and He consumes me.
I commit to Him in prayer and He covers me.
God is faithful.
At my lowest - He is the highest.
At my worst - He is the best.
At my ending - He is the beginning.
His sufficiency reigns omnipotent. His mercies reign immeasureable. He is God. He is worthy of our Praise. Hallelujah! He reigns!!
Thank you Lord for prayer. I am believing that You hear my prayer. I am believing that You hear my cry. Thank you precious Father, that our prayers connect us to You. Thank you that prayer is the beginning of our worship. Thank you that prayer is healing, restoring, cleansing and renewing.
I'm believing God.
I am thankful today that my daughter Melissa is better. She has been in Africa for 2 weeks now and for the past 5 days she has been very ill. The last I heard on Wednesday, they were going to test her for Malaria yesterday if she wasn't better, but I didn't hear from her until late last night. They didn't do the test, because she felt better. (the don't have an abundance of supplies, so they try to save if at all possible.) Not only was she better, but The Lord provided a window unit AC for her little home. Praise You Jesus!! She sounded stronger and will be back working at the hospital today or Monday. Please continue to be in much prayer for her. She has 7 more weeks and I miss her terribly.
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
This morning, I walked to the church with my husband so we could get some information off the copier to order toner. I walked into the church office and what do you think was laying right on the desk. You got it, the words to that song. Just laying on the desk. For me.
What is so odd is that no one in our church has EVER sang that song. Not in the past 3 years anyway. I know that God put that there just for me. So, I am going to post the words to the song that He has been laying on my heart. Maybe someone needs to hear them. I know I did and I pray that the words minister to even one person. God is so good.
I'm finding myself at a loss for words.
And the funny thing is, it's okay.
The last thing I need is to be heard.
But to hear what You would say.
I'm finding myself in the midst of You.
Beyond the music, beyond the noise.
All that I need is to be with You.
And in the quiet, to hear Your voice.
Word of God speak.
Would You pour down like rain.
Washing my eyes to see, Your majesty.
To be still and know, You're in this place.
Please let me stay and rest..
In Your holiness.
Word of God speak.
Let the words just soak in your spirit today. I pray that the sweet Word of God will drench and saturate. I pray that it will soak us to the point that we have to squeeze it out to others. I pray that He will show us mighty and marvelous works. I pray that we see His Glory today!
Full of Joy today!
Monday, September 21, 2009
It's sad how we can get so complacent in our spiritual walk that before we realize it we are either standing still or even sliding backwards.
We don't intend for this to happen and sometimes we aren't even sure when it started or even how it started. All we know is that we aren't going where we need to be.
Truth is, if we aren't actively moving ourselves forward with Jesus, that's exactly where we are headed. Wading on the shores of the water of life becoming stagnant and stale.
In my own life, Jesus is calling me to a more intimate relationship with Him.
He is drawing me day by day to a deeper knowledge of who He is.
He is purging my sinful nature.
He is purifying my thoughts.
He is prioritizing my actions.
He is calling me into deeper water.
I have enjoyed the shallow end of the pool of life for too long. The shallow end is fine when were are little children. It's the right depth for us at that point in our lives. As we grow and mature, we require deeper water to afford us the same level of pleasure of enjoyment or activity.
As Christians, we can only hang out in the shallow end for so long. If we are to continue in our quest to seek Him for bigger things, we need some "bigger water"! Amen?
I am no longer satisfied with my pitiful knowledge of who Christ really is. I crave to know Him more! I long for a greater awareness of my God. I desire to grow each day to a deeper understanding of my Creator.
Just as Jesus called Peter to the deeper water, He is beckoning me and you to join Him there.
I know He has a much greater plan for our lives. I know He desires greater things for all of us.
He desire us to have a deeper:
He desires us to:
Whatever it takes to get me to the deeper water is what I'll do. I'll get out of the shallow wading pool and dive into the deep. I'll swim, take a boat or walk on the water if I have to.
I will head to the deep water in sweet anticipation of what He can do and full of marvelous joy at the prospect of Him doing it!
Humbly I bow in awe and adoration. Moving in to deeper water, I keep my eyes on Him.
Thursday, September 17, 2009
Tonight there is a gentle rain falling outside. I can hear the soft tapping on the roof and it brings me peace. I can see it gracefully making little splashes on the patio and it makes me smile. I open the door and the fresh fragrance of an evening rain assails my senses and I feel joy.
A healing rain is falling and I am ready to let it wash all over me! I am ready to let that healing rain produce some much desired fruit in my life. As the heavens open the windows and the rain makes it way to the earth, the spirit of the Lord invades each raindrop. Each drop of water is full of refreshing, restoring and healing moisture. The rain does a little dance as it falls and I imagine it is a praise dance for the Creator. He is so worthy!
I head to the church for our prayer time and as we shared the Word and shared His Word for the church we felt like we were to make a prayer walk around the outside of the church. In the rain. In the dark.
God was calling. We were listening. We were obedient. We were blessed.
As the four of us sloshed our way around the church grounds, we sang praises to our God! We marched around and lifted our voices to Him and sang our little hearts out. We prayed for His protection around our church. We prayed for His anointing on our church body. We prayed for His Spirit to descend and envelope the whole building. We prayed for the indwelling of the Spirit to settle in our midst. We prayed for healing. For deliverance. For freedom. For worship. For salvation. For wisdom. We prayed....
What a mighty time in the Lord we had tonight! We felt such peace when we finished. God's presence was surely with us. God's presence will surely fill the temple. God's presence was awesome in that place.
The rain is so cleansing and so refreshing. Rain gives new life to weary flowers. Rain washes away impurities. Rain is God's way of giving nature a drink of heavens sweetness.
My face lifted up. The sweet rain falling. Bringing healing to God's people. Cleansing souls. Restoring hearts. Pure, sweet, fragrant refreshment.
My thirsty soul needs a drink. My dry spirit is desperate for moisture. I cry out to my precious Father for the life giving substance. I cry out for a touch from Him. I cry out for a glimpse of His Goodness.
I look up to the sky. I hear His voice say, "oh, my sweet child"...
It's beginning to rain.
Praise you Jesus for the rain that cleanses and restores my soul. You are mighty and powerful. You are my strength. You are my salvation. You are God.
Monday, September 14, 2009
If you have ever thrown a piece of paper in a fire and watched it burn, you know just how fast the flames eat that paper up. It is literally consumed within a very short time.
Our God desires for us to be just like that piece of paper. We should be absolutely consumed and overtaken by Him and the power of who He is. We should be so filled with hunger and desire to be like Him, that we allow Him to consume us in and with the truths of His Word.
To be consumed by God requires several things of us. We have to be sold-out for our Jesus. We have to be in a place of total surrender to Him and His kingdom. We need to fully understand that it is all about Him.
God wants all we have to give. God wants all we ever hope to be. God wants all of us.
In order for us to keep that fire burning within us, we have to keep it exposed to the right elements.
Just like a fire needs heat, oxygen and fuel to continue to burn, there are some key ingredients to keep us on fire.
We have to stay in the Word. We absolutely must read and study the bible daily. The only way we will ever fully know Him is to daily seek Him. When we search the scriptures and truly desire to deepen our relationship with Him, He will reveal Himself to us in a mighty way. There is nothing He wants more than to commune with us on a daily basis. He is just waiting for us to engage with Him so He can show us all He has for us.
We also must increase our prayer life. When we enter into prayer with our precious Lord, that is the time for us to pour our hearts out to Him. That is the time for us to let Him know how thankful we are for Him and all that He does for us. That is the time for us to be still and listen to Him speak back to us. A daily prayer time is an essential ingredient in allowing Him to totally consume us with all that He is.
We must also have a time of worship. Not just our regular Sunday morning worship time. A worship time that is comprised of just us and God. A worship time when we are totally filled with praise and adoration for a Holy and Worthy God. A time when we focus solely on God and who He is and what He means to us. One-on-one time with our Savior.
The more I seek Him, the more I want to continue seeking Him. The more I know Him, the more of Him I want to know. I just can’t get enough of Him.
The more I experience His presence, the more I find myself desiring His presence. When we get face down and heart up, we can truly experience the awesome, personal abiding presence of our Lord.
“For I”, says the Lord, “will be a wall of fire all around her and I will be the glory in her midst”. (Zechariah 2:5)
The Lord protects us by building a wall of fire around us. He provides that protection with a fiery hedge that He puts around His children. But He doesn’t stop there. He then puts Himself right in the midst in all His Glory!
What a picture that is of what our Almighty God does for us! He not only surrounds us with the mighty consuming fire of Himself, but He then gets right in the middle of that fire and manifests Himself in His revealing Glory.
That consuming fire illuminates the very powerful presence of God. It illuminates the purity of God. It illuminates the presence of the Holy Spirit.
Wow! I don’t know about you, but when I realize that is what He does for me, it just fills me such overwhelming humility and love for Him.
Jesus loves me.
Jesus loves you.
Father God, I desire to be totally consumed by You. I desire to be continually seeking, searching and finding more of You. Oh, Lord, be a wall of fire around me and be the Glory in my midst! I want to see the glory of You. I want to feel the glory of You. I want just a glimpse of Your Splendor. Forgive me where I have failed you. Thank you for your mercy and grace. Fill me to overflowing with the Truth of Your Word.
Show me Your Glory!
Friday, September 11, 2009
I am filled with joy at the very notion that my precious child has a heart for missions. I am filled with joy that she overcame many obstacles to get to this point in her life. I am filled with joy that she will spend the next 9 weeks ministering to others and doing things way out of her comfort zone.
My sadness comes as I realize that my child will be a very long way from home. My sadness comes as I know how much I will miss her in the next 9 weeks. My sadness comes as I realize I have no control over what could happen to her from this point forward.
Melissa will be volunteering for Medical Centers of West Africa. She will be in a muslim country dealing with muslim people and traditions. She will be working very closely with the patients and their families. She is going to be involved in something that she has never experienced before. This is a wonderful chance for her to work in the medical missions profession, as this is what she wants to do once she gets her medical degree.
I am so proud of the decision she made to apply for this opportunity and very proud of the fact she was accepted and did what she had to do to make it possible. She will not only be working at the hospital, but will have the chance to minister and share the gospel with many people. She will be living out the Great Commission.
The last thing that our precious Lord told us before He ascended to heaven, was to go into all the world and preach the gospel. That is our mission. That is our privilege as Christians. That is what we were made to do.
I've been thinking alot about witnessing lately. My friend J.D. was probably the most awesome and most dilligent person I know as far as sharing the gospel. He witnessed in the ambulance. He witnessed in the hospital. He witnessed at his house to the man who delivered his hospital bed and won him to Christ just one week before he died. At J.D.'s funeral, 2 people were saved. He even witnessed in his death. He was a true disciple of Christ. He lived his faith out loud.
I want to be more eager and willing to share the gospel of Christ with others. I want to minister more to the needs of other people. I want to be more observant of those around me and be more discerning of peoples hearts.
I desire a heart for Jesus. I desire a heart for ministry. I desire a deeper love for my Savior.
Oh, sweet Father, send your Holy presence down upon me and make my heart more like yours. Fill my heart with love for others, hunger for You, desire for ministering and contagious joy.
".... for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ" (Ephesians 4:12)
Monday, September 7, 2009
Bryton and Sawyer (Ashlie's youngin's)
Mikaela, Eli and Mercie (Megan's youngin's)
As I sat thinking about my precious, adorable, fabulous grandbabies, I was filled with such joy at the wonders of God and started thinking of all the awesome wonders that He declares to us each day.
"Oh, give thanks to the God of gods! For His mercy endures forever. Oh, give thanks to the Lord of lords! For His mercy endures forever; To Him who alone does great wonders, For His mercy endures forever." (Psalm 136:2-4)
I see the wonder in His mercy. I see the wonder in His faithfulness.
Without His mercy, I would be lost with no hope. Because of His faithfulness, I can stand on His promises and that is an awesome wonder!
We are under the shadow of His wings.
We drink from the river of His pleasures. We feed on His faithfulness.
He is our fountain of life that is overflowing with springs of eternal water!
He is our light in the present darkness.
He is our abundant peace. He is the God of our strength.
He is our deliverer and our hope. He is our rock and our redeemer.
He hears our cry! He is the God of Salvation!
My soul thirsts for Him and my heart hungers for His Word.
The waterfall of His love flows over me and I am filled with unspeakable joy!
The wonder of my God saturates me with praise, satiates me with peace, and serenades my souls with a delightful melody.
My spirit partakes in a glorious symphony of heavenly harmony.
I bestow upon My Father:
Eternal Joy will be my theme for a concert of praise in His honor.
God, you are more awesome than Your Holy places. You are wonderful, merciful and powerful. Your very breath gives me life.
Rain down Your wonder on me, Lord. Drench me and soak me with the evidences of Your awesome Glory.
Saturday, September 5, 2009
I join sweet Lisa today for our Steps of Faith and what we are believing God for.
"I am persuaded that nothing shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Romans 8:38-39)
I am believing God that I will continue to hold fast to His promise that He will never leave me and that nothing can ever get in between God and His love for me. I will daily remind myself that my God is a God of love. My God is a God of compassion. My God is a God of passion for His people. He is gracious, merciful and peaceful.
I am believing God that:
His grace is immeasureable
His mercy is inexhaustible
His peace is inexpressible.
Thank you God for the awesome love you have for me. Thank you God for the amazing grace you show. Thank you God for your marvelous mercy.
I'm Believing God.
Wednesday, September 2, 2009
I can hear the voice of my Father calling my name.
I can feel His Spirit drawing me to a place of quiet communion.
God's House is my refuge. My peace. My joy.
As I walk through the doors, I am enveloped in His Spirit.
Strong. Fragrant. Heavy.
As I approach the altar my heart beats faster as I am filled with:
Anticipation. Relief. Hunger.
As I fall flat on my face before Him, I am:
Crying out. Pressing in. Seeking deep.
In the intimate confines of my heart, I am:
Pursuing knowledge. Embracing surrender. Experiencing His Wonder.
I soak in.
I am filled.
As I prostrate myself before Him, I give Him my all. My heart lies open before Him. The tears fill my eyes and flow freely as I am overcome with love for Him. His mercy overwhelms me and I am in awe of His grace.
My prayers become utterances as I let the Spirit have freedom. My barren souls thirsts and hungers.
I seek nourishment from His Word.
I feel Him exhaling His Spirit to cover me.
His presence abounds and I can't move.
As He manifests Himself in the depths of my being, I don't want to leave His presence. I desire to stay right where I am. On my face at His Feet.
My soul worships and He refreshes me like a spring rain. He saturates me with the fullness of Him.
I arise with new awareness of my Jesus. Delivered. Free. I surely received a glimpse of His splendor.
As I leave the sanctuary I take His presence with me. I am surrounded in His glory. I am astounded by His love. I am in relentless pursuit of a deeper knowledge of my Christ. My King. My Redeemer.
His Spirit will draw.
His voice will call.
His Sanctuary will beckon.
Praise you Lord for your amazing grace. Praise you for the wonder of who you are. You complete me. You are my God and my King.
"Your way, O God, is in the sanctuary;
Who is so great a God as our God?
You are the God who does wonders;
You have declared Your strength
among the peoples"