Monday, November 29, 2010

living it out.... and a giveaway!

I daresay that there aren't many passages of scripture that pack more punch than the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew, chapters 5 through 7. Jesus' teachings in those few chapters cover much ground pertaining to how followers of Christ should live their lives.

Matthew 7:13-23 could be aptly titled 'The gospel according to Jesus'. These verses clearly outline what our lives as Christians should resemble. What our lives must resemble. Salvation is much more than just 'spiritual rescue from sin and death'. Salvation is obedience. Salvation is commitment. Salvation is doing the will of our Father.

"Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven" (Matthew 7:21)

See, it's not just about acknowledgement of who He is. It's about doing the will of His Father. Our Father. It's about doing what God has instructed us to do. Salvation is not just the cleansing of sin, but a passionate and ongoing longing for Christ and His Word.

In fact the word 'does' in that verse comes from the Greek present tense and means 'to continually live in obedience'. Our faith is an active faith. Not just knowing it but actually living it out with our hands and our feet. Living it out with our lives.

We fall so short of what God requires of us. We are guilty of taking these scriptures as suggestions and not as commands. We fail to comprehend the timelessness of God's Word and fully understand just how applicable these words are to us even now.

The way that leads to destruction is broad. The way that leads us into Life is narrow. Jesus tells us that there will be few that find the narrow way. The broad way is full of so many choices. So many distractions. So many things that divert us from our destination. Too many and too much.

The way to Life is narrow. It doesn't leave room for anything but Jesus. Because the road is narrow, it helps us keep our attention and focus on Him. We need to keep our minds clear of distraction and keep them focused straight ahead and on Jesus.

When we get a heart full of Jesus, we will desire to be obedient. We will long to do the will of the Father. We will continually strive to live in obedience.

Service to the Lord will be a natural outpouring of our heart. We will become doers of the word. Unconditionally surrendered to all that we are and all that we have to all that He is.

And our faith will show itself in a changed life.

"But that gift of grace involves the gift of a new heart. New desires. New longings. For the first time, we want God. We see our need for Him, and we love Him. We seek after Him, and we find Him, and we discover that He is indeed the great reward of our salvation. We realize that we are saved not just to be forgiven of our sins or to be assured of our eternity in heaven, but we are saved to know God. So we yearn for Him. We want Him so much that we abandon everything else to experience Him. This is the only proper response to the revelation of God in the gospel."   - David Platt, 'Radical'

I loved the book 'Radical' so much. It was such an enlightening and heart changing book that I want to share it with one of you. Wednesday, I will randomly pick a winner from the comments on this post and send them a copy of this fabulous book!

Seeking Him continually,

Saturday, November 27, 2010

things I learned...

Things that I learned this past week:

I learned just how much I miss these two little fellas. I miss them like crazy. Bryton and Sawyer have been in Wyoming with their parents for 2 months and my heart hurts with emptiness.  I never knew being a Nana could be amazing and I am so thankful that God has blessed me with 6 of these grand blessings for now.

I learned how much fun it is to go to a 3D movie with your daughter and granddaughter. Melissa, Mikaela and I  had a great time watching 'Tangled' and getting to wear these cool glasses was just an added bonus.
I learned that we can't continue in our childish behavior and expect to become more knowledgeable in our faith. As I read 1 Corinthians 13:11, the Lord showed me with new eyes that to be an authentic Women of God, we have to put away those childish attitudes and behaviors. Instead, we need to seek to increase our spiritual maturity by drawing closer to Him. In turn, our ability to discern those wrong attitudes will increase and our childish behavior will decrease.

I learned that little Mercie reminds me so much of her aunt Ashlie when she was a  little girl.  Just like my youngest daughter, Mercie is full of energy and full of life. She brightens up each day. She has a smile that can melt my heart in a second.
I learned that we don't stop pursuing God once we find Him. We continue to hunger and thirst for more. The more we know, the more we long to know.  Praise you, Jesus for that. I pray for an ever deepening hunger and thirst for more intimacy with and more knowledge of my precious Lord.

I learned that Eli is about as 'all boy' as a little fella can get. He loves all things rough and tough. He loves rubber snakes and had the biggest blast with 2 of them he found at his Pawpaw's house on Thanksgiving day. He made me take pictures of him with these snakes in every possible position you can imagine. Eli is very affectionate and loves to hug and be hugged. A single hug from him can brighten up the darkest day.

I learned that the last 8 years went by way too fast. Mikaela is halfway to being able to drive! It seems like just yesterday that I watched my little ladybug come into this world. I can't even believe that she is turning into such a young lady. She loves Jesus with all of her heart and loves to read her bible and study it. I am so thankful that she is on her way to becoming a young woman of the Word. Thank you, Lord, for being so good.
I learned that the love you have for your grandyoungin's is an all consuming love that reflects the love you have for your own children.  It's so amazing to see your daughters mothering their children with such love and patience. It's amazing to see how God so graciously took care of our own children even though we made mistakes while raising them. He bestows such generous mercy and grace upon us as parents and upon our children. He can make all things beautiful and works everything out for the good.

I learned that even though we don't see each other often, I still have such deep love for my sister, brother and mama. We had so much fun together Thanksgiving night. The waited on me to have lunch with Jimbo's parents and then drive 2  more hours to get to Shreveport by 5 o'clock. It was well worth the long day because we had such a good time. My sister is still recovering from her surgery, but is doing really well!

I learned that I still miss my daddy... Thanksgiving was his favorite holiday and it still doesn't seem right to celebrate it without him. This was our 17th thanksgiving without him. Doesn't seem possible. Doesn't seem right. But God's plan is the right plan and I am thankful that I have complete peace in knowing that one day, I will see my daddy again in heaven for all eternity. Thank you, my precious Lord for that assurance.
I learned that I have a marvelous husband. He was so willing to let me go to Shreveport without him so I could see my family. Not all men are so understanding and I am thankful that God gave me a husband who loves me enough to allow me that freedom

Christ will never be made
manifest to us if we don't
have an acute desire to seek Him....

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

a mouth full of praise

"I will bless the LORD at all times;
His praise shall continually be in my mouth"
(Psalm 34:1)

I am thankful that my oldest granddaughter, Mikaela, turned 8 years old Tuesday and is happy, healthy and full of love for Jesus! When she spends the night with me, we read out of my 'Jesus Calling' devotional and when she found out they had one for children she said she wanted one.  I got her one as part of her birthday present and she was so excited when she opened it.  It really does something to my heart to see her already desiring to spend time in God's Word.

I am thankful that Melissa made it home safely from Baton Rouge on Monday. Megan's husband was at the deer camp, so Melissa and I spent the night with her and and my 4 grandbabies. We stayed up late and watched a movie and just had a fun girls night. It was nice to wake up to some little sweet faces. I am thankful for family.

I am thankful that Ashlie's husband, Cody, has a job that is providing for their family. Even though they are in Wyoming and I miss my daughter and two little grandsons so bad, I know that for now it is what God has ordained for their lives. He is so good.

I am thankful for a Savior that loves me unconditionally. God overwhelms me everyday with His goodness and His mercy. He never ceases to amaze me with His tender care and his generous grace.


I pray that everyone of you have a wonderful and joy filled Thanksgiving. I pray God's richest blessings upon you and your family and pray that He grants you peace and safe travel. May we remember to be thankful to our awesome God for all things. He truly is worthy to be praised!
If you have a minute, stop by Titus 2 In Action and read my post there today entitled "Are you a seeker?"
Titus 2 in Action

Friday, November 19, 2010

search me, O God and know my heart...

"Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me, and know my thoughts. And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting" (Psalm 139:23-24)

This is a prayer that should never be taken lightly. It is one asking God to carefully examine and search our hearts and our very intimate thoughts. To search them deeply and see if there is any offensive or wicked thing abiding there.

When you cry out to God with this prayer, you had better be prepared for His answer. You better brace yourself for what He will indeed reveal to your spirit. It is not a prayer to be offered up half-hearted. It is one to be lifted up in all sincerity and with a prepared and receptive heart.

He searches our hearts with His omniscience. His all-knowing and superior wisdom.A knowledge that has no bounds.

He examines us with His omnipotence. The all-encompassing. mighty and unmatched power of God.

He knows everything about us. Even the hidden things. The small and the big things. He knows the offensiveness and wickedness of our nature.

And He reveals it to us.

With the revelation comes heartache.  Broken hearts responding to the brokenness of our relationship with our Savior. Once the offense comes to light, it is our responsibility as a child of the King to do something about it. We have to get all-in, or stay all-out. Because the truth of the matter is, if we aren't 100% in with God, we may as well be out.

He demands our all. He wants us to surrender everything. To honor and obey Him in all things.

Matthew 6:33 tells us to 'seek ye first the kingdom of God'.

In Mark's gospel, Jesus tells the rich young ruler to rid himself of all his possessions, take up the cross and follow Him. But it was too much. He wasn't willing to get all-in, so by default he was all-out.

One thing that strikes me in this passage of scripture is that there was the distinct possibility that if the rich young ruler had said, 'Yes, Lord, I will sell all of my possessions and follow you", Jesus could have said, 'Never mind. Don't sell everything. I just wanted to know you were willing."

Just as God had stilled Abraham's hand as he held the knife over Isaac.

He was searching their hearts. Searching for surrender. Total surrender.

Searching for their acknowledgement of His Lordship.

Searching for their willingness to confess the need for a circumcision of heart.

As I am praying and embracing this prayer, I am asking God to search my heart. I am asking Him to know my heart. I am ready to acknowledge what He reveals. Ready to take captive any offensive or wicked thing and lay it at His feet. I am ready to surrender my all. My everything.

I am jumping in with both feet. Eyes wide open to the Truth. Heart ready for Him to search and shatter if necessary. Hands lifted high so He can reach down, hold me up and begin a new work.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

God is so good - thankful thursday

Join me in Thankful Thursday by stopping in at Greg's place.

I am thankful that God gave me the opportunity to sit by a friends side Tuesday and minister. As she lay in bed at her daughters house she was in obvious pain from the cancer. Physical, emotional and spiritual. I am so thankful that God gave me the words to say to try and bring her some comfort. I am thankful for the strength He gave me to keep myself together emotionally. My heart is in turmoil over her pain and anguish. I hurt for what she is going through and I hurt for what I know is coming unless God intervenes. I am thankful for the way God is working in the situation and I am blessed that He is allowing me to be part of it. Thank you, Lord, for your gracious Holy Spirit who is our Comforter.

I am thankful that God sent a mighty man of His to our church revival this week to bring us a HUGE Word from His throne. The Word certainly circumcised some hearts and the Word was painful at times. But, oh praise God, it was the TRUTH.  It was a necessary Word for God's people and I pray that all of us who heard it will take it to heart and let it change us from the inside out. May we never be the same again. Thank you, Lord, for teaching me what Christianity really looks like and what it means to be an authentic disciple of yours.

I am thankful that God has graced me with 6 grandchildren that I love with all of my heart. I am so thankful that they love me too. Nothing fills my heart with more joy than to walk in my daughter Megan's house and have Mercie, Eli and Mikaela all run to me with such excitement and call out my name. "Nana's here!"  Silas can't walk or talk, but he certainly gives me the biggest smiles!

I am thankful that when Ashlie calls me from Wyoming, Bryton gets on the phone and tells me that he wants to come see me and that he loves me. Even Sawyer will tell me he loves me.

I am thankful that at the end of the day even in the midst of the storms and when nothing else will do.... God's Word is enough. Thank you, Jesus.

Oh, Lord, thank you for helping me to see what it truly means to be a Christian. A true disciple. It's not about us at all. It's only about You. Help me to die to myself daily and pick up my cross and follow You. Where ever You may lead. At whatever cost. I surrender ALL.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Worship the Savior...

I'm a worship girl.

There is nothing I like better than to pop in some praise music and worship my Savior with all of my heart. I love to worship and I love to meet with Jesus in the midst of it. I can't think of a better way than that to sync my heart with His in preparation of hearing a Word from the Throne of Grace. I just love to worship.

I think that many Christians have either lost that desire to worship or perhaps they never had it to begin with. Worship is the way our hearts come together with the heart of God. It is a joining together of our souls and spirits. It is opening ourselves wide for the filling of His Spirit. It is about an encounter with an Almighty God. An all-out, holy-ghost, heart-changing, consuming-fire encounter with Jesus. True Worship.

When I listened to Chris Tomlin's newest endeavor (to be released November 16th),  And If Our God Is For Us, I was transported into such a place of worship as that. Every song on this CD was full of the power and goodness of God. Every song touched my heart in some way. Chris has a way of getting right to the heart of who God is and who we are in relation to Him.

As I was listening to the CD, one of the songs just spoke so loudly to my heart. "The Name of Jesus" is a beautiful song about who Jesus is. He is our refuge and our shelter. He is our fortress and our hope. But two little phrases just hit me with force.

"When we fall You are the Savior.
When we call You are the Answer"

Those words just touched my heart deeply. Those words just seemed to sum it up. He not only is our Savior, He is our Answer. For everything and in everything. We fall. We call. And He is there. Thank you, Jesus.

I want to worship Him with an unquenchable thirst. An unending hunger. An unsatisfied desire.

I am so thankful that God has anointed Chris Tomlin with a heart to hear from Him, a voice to praise Him with and the unction to share that gift with others.

Friday, November 12, 2010

it's not fair...

Hospice (def.) - 1. a lodging place for travelers (
2. providing comfort and support for patients with terminal illnesses. (Webster)


Until recently, I never once heard the word hospice without feeling a stab of fear in my heart. Just the word itself conjured up visions of death and suffering in my mind.  Hospice just sounded like a death sentence. Finality. The end.

When my husband first told me that he had been asked to become the hospice chaplain for our parish and the neighboring parish, I was a little disturbed by it. I can remember telling him that I didn't know how he could even think about doing it. It just seemed like it would be so depressing.  So heartbreaking.  So sad.

The truth of the matter is that it can be all those things. It is depressing. It does break your heart and it certainly is sad. But it is more than that as well. It is also an awesome ministry. It is a way to minister to patients and their families. It is a huge opportunity to share Jesus with those who need Him in a very big way.

The small town we live in is where my husband was born and raised. He knows everybody and everybody knows him. We've lived here for over 20 years now so it's really my town, too. In the year or so that he has worked with hospice, he has personally known all but a handful of his patients. Some of them just acquaintances and some of them close friends.

Today, I went with him to see his newest patient. She is 54 years old and he has known her almost all their lives. She taught my oldest girls in middle school. Our son-in-laws worked together. One of her daughters was a customer of mine in the insurance business and I grew to love her dearly.

Short of a miracle, she will be on hospice until she goes home to be with Jesus. Short of a miracle, it won't be too long. Her cancer has returned. Again. It hasn't responded to treatment and is in fact spreading. There is nothing more that the doctors can do.

Her daughters checked her out of the hospital today and brought her home. As I sat in one of their homes today I was struck by the unfairness of it all. I sat there with my bible opened up in my lap and just kept thinking, 'it's just not fair'. I watched the anguish on her daughters' faces and thought, 'it's just not fair'. 

We were all gathered in the living room getting all the details of hospice worked out and my heart was in such a grieving state. A very real and painful state of mourning. She was clearly in pain and as the nurse was trying to find the right dosage of her pain medication to get it under control, my heart just hurt so bad. It was all I could do to keep the tears from rolling down my face. They were brimming in my eyes and my heart was completely filled with them. I silently grieved.

I was grieving for those 2 precious young women as they were bracing themselves for what was to come. Young mothers in their early 30's that shouldn't have to watch their mother die. I was grieving for those 7 precious grandchildren who had no idea what was about to take place in their lives. I was grieving for the ex-husband who was so lovingly sitting by the side of his children's mother. I was grieving for this sweet woman, who was worried about what this was doing to her loved ones.

But as I sat there, God spoke so sweetly to my spirit. I knew that life wasn't fair. It never has been and it never will be. Life isn't about fairness. Life is about Jesus. It's about living our lives for Him and His glory. It's about doing what God has called us to do. It's about a real and personal relationship with our God.

Death isn't the end. It is the beginning. It is the start of an eternity with an Almighty God. For those who are the children of God, death is victory.

"Precious in the sight of the LORD
is the death of His saints"
(Psalm 116:15)

One day we will shed these old earthly bodies and we will  finally meet our Savior face-to-face. We will experience the true fullness of joy. We will see Him for who He really is and we will be worshiping our Lord like never before. We will worship in spirit and in truth. We will worship for all eternity.

Life isn't fair. But what we receive in death isn't either. We don't deserve the mercy and grace our God gives us. We don't deserve eternal life. But because of His great love for us, we inherit it when we become a child of the King.

"And God shall wipe away all tears from
their eyes; and there shall be no more
 death, neither sorrow, nor crying,
neither shall there be any more pain;
for the former things are passed away"
(Revelation 21:4)

Even though we have heartaches here on earth and even though we have to endure trials and sufferings, one day we will be with Jesus forever. We will leave this earthly lodging place and reach our final destination. And it will have all been worth it.

Oh, precious Lord, send your comforter to those who are hurting. Minister to their hearts and souls. Reveal yourself to them in a mighty and awesome way. Wrap them up in your sweet embrace and grant them peace.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

thankful for PASSION

Thanks Greg, for allowing us to be part of your Thankful Thursday.

Passion - an intense or overwhelming emotion such as joy or love.

The word passion generally conjures up thoughts of romantic love in our minds. Even thoughts of lust seem to be indicated by the word.

In reality, passion extends to a lot more than the intense, physical feelings we experience in our marriage relationships. Passion is a necessary catalyst for love to abound. It is a necessary emotion that we use as a transporter of love from one person to another. Especially in our love for God. We must be passionate about the way we love God.

Deuteronomy 6:5 tells us "And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, with all thy soul, and with all thy might."

It doesn't say we should 'like the LORD'. It doesn't say with 'some of our heart' and 'most of our souls.' It clearly states all. All of our heart. All of our soul. All of our might.

That's pretty powerful love. That is an intense, overwhelming, passionate love for our LORD. A love that takes all the energy and passion that we can muster up.

Passion for Christ.

Our passion for Him should reflect His deep passion for us. He is passionate about His creation. Every time God created something, He noted the goodness of it. Even us. He is deeply passionate about His love for us.

John 3:16 is evidence of that. He was filled with such powerful love for us that He gave the precious life of His only Son. He gave that life to take our place on the Cross so that we could experience salvation and eternal life.

God is passionate about His love for us.

We need to be intense in our love for God and in our worship of Him. We need to love Him with ALL our heart. With every ounce of our capacity to love. Connecting our heart with His.

Fueling our passion with even more worship. Fueling our passion with deeper surrender. Fueling our passion with more knowledge and understanding.

Opening our hearts wide and pouring out fully. Inhaling His passion for us and exhaling our passion for Him.

Intense, purposed and surrendered to a passionate pursuit of a passionate God.

Thank you, God for allowing us to feel passion in our love for you. You are worthy!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

seeking to prepare...

"And he did evil because he
did not prepare his heart
to seek the Lord"
(2 Chronicles 12:14)

Are we preparing our hearts? Do we truly have a desire to seek the Lord?

Are we hungering after the deeper things of Christ in a way that propels us to make our hearts ready? ............

To continue reading this post, hop on over to Titus 2 In Action. I was honored and thrilled when Sonya asked me to be part of this amazing blog. I am excited to join 5 other fabulous bloggers who are seeking to minister to hearts and desiring to encourage the spirits of all who stop in there.  My column is titled 'Seeking Higher' and I will be posting there every other Wednesday. My prayer is that the Lord can use me in some way to bring glory to Him as I share what He has laid on my heart.  

Please take a minute today and stop by this great blog!


The November issue of  Sanctified Together is available online now. Every article in there is absolutely amazing and I know you will receive a blessing from each one. My article is titled 'He is Our Peace' and is the last one on the page.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

full access to a Holy God


Did you know that, as Christians, we have complete access to God? When Jesus Christ was crucified at Calvary, the veil that separated us from a Holy God was torn from top to bottom. Therefore removing that which obstructed our entrance into the Holy of holies.

The one thing that kept us from a personal and intimate relationship with our God, was nailed to the Cross in our place.  The roadblock of sin was removed and Jesus bridged the gap between us and our heavenly Father.

Romans 5:8 tells us, "But God commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us."

Because of that amazing sacrifice on the Cross, you and I can have a deeply intimate relationship with our Lord. Deeply personal. Deeply meaningful. We can meet Him face-to-face.

We can lay at His feet. Worship Him. Praise Him. Cry out to Him. Pour our hearts out to Him in prayer. And He hears us.

"In my distress, I cried unto the Lord, and He heard me" (Psalm 120:1)

We don't have to wait in line to see God. We don't have to take a number or leave Him a voicemail. There is no having to make an appointment to talk to Him.

We only have to lift our hearts and our eyes to Him on His heavenly Throne and call out His precious Name. Abba...Father...Jesus.

We can go boldly before the Throne of Grace. Reaching up to the One who reaches down and lovingly bestows mercy and grace upon us.  We can enter into the divine Presence of a Holy God and He will meet with us in all His glory.


Just a few pics of my grandbabies -  minus Silas, who didn't like his costume too much. Ok,  not at all... ha!

(Dorothy, Little Red Riding Hood and Mr. Policeman)

They both refused to look at the camera...


Thursday, November 4, 2010

encouragement - a TT praise!

 Join Greg for another TT.

"...and encouraged them all that with purpose of heart
they should continue with the Lord."
(Acts 11:23)

I am so thankful for the gift of encouragement.  There is never a time that somebody doesn't need a little encouraging word. An encouraging hug. An encouraging smile. Everyone, at some time or another, needs a little encouragement!

I am so thankful for family. Yesterday, as my sister was having surgery to fuse a few vertebrae in her neck, remove bone spurs and put a metal plate in for stability, I saw the word encouragement come to life in that hospital. Many friends from their church were there just to be supportive and show their love.  My brother-in-law received many calls during that time from people checking in on the progress. My mom, Mr. Al, my brother and myself were there to let my sister know how much we love her and to be a support system for Cari's husband and son. Encouragement was being lived out before my very eyes and it was so precious!

I saw the light in people's eyes as others reached out in true love. I saw the word 'encourage' become a very active verb. I felt the impact of how a little encouragement goes a long way to lifting someones spirit.

I saw God's presence in a mighty and powerful way yesterday. I felt His Hand. I felt His touch. I felt Him encouraging us as we were encouraging others. His love and tender care was everywhere. It was being poured out from many different directions through many different people and it was amazing.

God is the ultimate encourager. He is cheering us on and He is standing at that finish line telling us that we can do it! We are almost there! He is giving us great encouragement as we live our lives for Him.

Oh, Lord, encourage me today. Show me that I have a divine purpose in your kingdom. Guide me. Lead me. Strengthen me.  Help me to be an encourager to others. A kind word. An authentic smile. A prayer. Help me to give of myself that others might receive that gift of love and encouragement and feel a touch from You. You are worthy to be praised and exalted in all things. Thank you, Lord, for life.