Sunday, October 30, 2011

dying moments

Are there some things that we need to leave at the foot of the Cross? Things that we need to die to? Things that need to be circumcised from our hearts and removed from our lives forever?

Do we possess attitudes or actions that we know aren't pleasing to our Father, but we are holding on to them for dear life? Do we have a death grip on some things that we need to release into the loving hands of our Lord?

I don't know about you, but I desperately want to break free of any tie that is binding me. I want to live a life unhindered by anything that threatens to hold me captive. I desire for sin to be purged from my life so I can begin to bear much fruit and bring glory and honor to Jesus. 

As I journey through His precious Word, my eyes are opened wider each day to my sin. I see the deep need in my own life for much pruning and purging as He reveals those areas that are unholy, unrighteous and ungodly. I know that He desires to replace those areas with holiness, righteousness and godliness. He wants my heart to be made clean through the mighty cleansing power of His Word.

"Now ye are clean through the Word which
I have spoken unto you"
(John 15:3)

The sweet, powerful, holy Word of God cleanses us and makes us whole. It restores that which is broken. It reconciles that which is torn asunder. It makes all things new.

We all need this cleansing power in our lives. If we search deep within ourselves, down into the hidden things, we will find things that need to be taken to the foot of the Cross. If we look deep into the places that we don't like to dwell, we will find things that need to be laid down forever. 

We need to determine and purpose in our hearts that we will die to self. Seek His will and His way. Seek His face in all things. Search our hearts and gather together all those wrong actions and attitudes. All those things that bind and hinder us. Anything unholy, unrighteous and unclean. And lay them down at the precious, sacrificial feet of our Savior.

It's overwhelming to know that He can take those things that are unlovely and make them beautiful.  He can take our worst and make it His best. He is gracious and merciful. He is kind and gentle. He loves and cares. Comforts and heals. Covers and protects. He renews and restores.

On my face.....broken.
At His feet....repentant.
Leaving behind sin and destructive behavior.

Then I arise and walk in the beauty of His holiness and hear His sweet voice whisper, "my precious child, go and sin no more".

Yes, Lord. 

"For I will be merciful to their
unrighteousness, and their sins and their 
iniquities will I remember no more"
(Hebrews 8:12)

Monday, October 24, 2011

do we behold Him?

"And the WORD was made flesh, and
dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory,
the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, 
full of grace and truth"
(John 1:14)

As I read this passage a few weeks ago, the word 'beheld' just pierced deep into my spirit. I've read that scripture many times but when I read it that day, it just did something to me. It literally took my breath away as I began to contemplate the impact of beholding. Of beholding HIM.

In this passage, 'behold' comes from the Greek word theaomai which means:

1. to view attentively
2. a sense of wondering regard
3. a more earnest contemplation than the ordinary verb 'to see'

Do I behold my God and His glory in this manner? Do I have a strong sense of wonder when I get a glimpse of my Lord and Savior? Do I truly understand who He is?

I truly desire to grasp the full magnitude of the glory of God. I want to behold Him, to look upon Him with reverence. To gaze upon His countenance with earnest contemplation. I desire to stand in awe of who He is. I long to be filled with awestruck wonder at the very mention of His Name and be filled with sheer amazement of His power and strength. I want to behold the beauty of His manifest presence. When I read the Word, I want to sense His presence and behold His glory in every written word.  

Oh, Lord, I fall on my knees before you in confession and repentance for not giving you the reverence that you deserve at all times. May I never pick up your Word casually. May I always grasp the holiness of who You are and strive to receive an elevated glimpse of your glory. You are worthy of all honor and all glory and all praise. I will worship you with all that I am and all that I have.

He is Lord and King. He is Jehovah. He is YHWH. He is Ha-shem.

I will behold Him with expectation. The very mention of His name will fill me with wonder. I will make Him my first priority in Worship. Praise. Honor.

I will behold my King. 

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Homemade laundry detergent

About a month ago, I decided to start making my own laundry detergent. I had seen several recipes on line and so I began researching them and finally decided on a combination of a couple of them. What I came out with is just amazing. My clothes have never felt cleaner or smelled cleaner. It is so easy to do so I thought that I would share it with y'all. 

I purchased all the ingredients for around  $10.00 at Wal-Mart. I've made 4 gallons of it so far and still have enough left to make at least that many more. I think each 2 gallon batch is costing me about $1.75 which is unbelievably cheap!


Here is a very easy recipe for making your own dishwasher detergent as well. It is very inexpensive and my dishes have never been so shiny! It leaves no spots or residue. Just mix all the ingredients together and shake well!


"If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just
to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse
us from all unrighteousness"
(1 John 1:9)

Monday, October 17, 2011

do we react to our Source?

I love the truth of His Word that when we are children of the Most High God, our spirit will bear witness with the Holy Spirit. Our spirits will react with the Spirit of the Lord in sweet harmony when we are walking in His ways and seeking His face.

I was listening to a teaching tape by Beth Moore yesterday and she was comparing this to the way the strings on a stringed instrument react to the other strings that are on the same frequency. If you play a strong middle 'C' on a piano, you can see and hear the other 'C' strings  vibrate in reaction to the note that was initially played. Not only does the 'C' react, but the other notes on the 'C' scale react as well. All the notes that are on that same frequency begin trembling in reaction to the source of that first tone that was played. It is amazing. It is such a profound truth that it just nearly blew me away.

When we are filled with the Holy Spirit, our spirits should bear witness to that fact. Our spirits should tremble in reaction to the resonance of the Spirits calling. If we are in harmony with the Spirit of God, there should be a direct reaction in us to the work of the Holy Spirit around us. If God is working in us, then our spirits will bear witness to that.

My prayer is to be on the same frequency as the Lord. He is my source. He is where I draw my strength from. He is where I obtain my ability to breathe and live. I want my life to be a sweet and harmonizing song to Him. To be on the same musical scale as the Holy Spirit.  I desire for my spirit to tremble in reaction to my Source.


Tuesday, October 11, 2011

to know His heart

My heart longs for a closer relationship with my Savior. The deepest yearning of my soul is to know the heart of God. I am seeking much more than just knowledge. I am seeking to abide in Him. To be continually aware of His Presence. To live in constant fellowship with Him. I want to know Him more.

In my quest for an ever increasing relationship with God, I realize that in order for this to happen, I also need to be seeking a much higher level of holiness in my life. I need clean hands. I need a pure heart. I need to search those hidden places in my heart and allow God to cleanse them, circumcise them and replace them with Truth.

"Truth is knowing God's heart as it was revealed in Christ,
and it is knowing our own hearts in the light of God's grace."
(Francis Frangipane)

The Holy Spirit has been asking me some questions that are sometimes hard to answer because they are causing me to take a very deep look at some things in my life that I know aren't pleasing to God. 

Do I value Christ above all else?

Do I long for holiness?

Am I taking the necessary steps in my life to live a sanctified lifestyle?

I know that the first step to achieving all of this is humility. If I am to ascend to the higher places with God, I must humble myself before Him. The depths of my depravity should drive me to my knees in desperation. Desperate for a cleansing of my spirit. A reckoning in my soul. Desperate for a filling of the Holy Spirit.

When I fall on my face before Him, truly seeking revelation, He will open my eyes to those things in my life that are unholy. Impure. Unlovely. He will open my eyes to those things that need to be dealt with and disposed of.

When my desire for more of Him exceeds my desire for anything else I will begin to see the unfolding of His grace in my life like never before. Then and only then, will I begin to attain the Holiness that I so desire.  The Holiness that He so desires for me.

When my desperation causes me to fall humbly on my face before Him, I will see myself for who I am. In desperation I will seek His mercy and His grace. Then I will see myself for who He says I am. Cleansed. Forgiven. Redeemed. His.

As I begin to replace those sinful things in my life with Holiness, I will begin to find Him like never before. He will begin to reveal Himself to me mightily in my daily walk. His manifest Presence will overwhelm me and I will continue to seek Him with all of my heart. Seeking More Truth. More Holiness. More Jesus. Much more.. I desire to be all that I can be for Him.  Seeking and finding the abundant and spirit-filled life that Christ desires for me to have. I want to know Him.


Thursday, October 6, 2011

and I'm so happy...

I've been doing the happy dance this week! My oldest daughter and her family surprised us Tuesday afternoon by calling and informing me that they were about 4 hours away from home. They had left Pennsylvania Monday evening and driven straight through the night to get back home to Louisiana. Needless to say, when they drove up in their driveway, a certain Nana and Papa were waiting for them with open arms! I just couldn't believe it when they all got out of the vehicle and I got to wrap my lonely arms around some very special babies and their parents! My heart was just so overwhelmed with love and is still so full of thankfulness.

Silas had changed so much in the 3 months since we were in Pennsylvania to see them. He is beginning to talk some and he has gone from a baby to a little toddler. He is so sweet and is a very loving little boy! He will lay his head on you and give you sweet kisses.

Mercie has really grown up these last few months as well. She is such a darling little thing and her whole face lights up when she smiles! She just looked at me when she got out of the car and then ran to me and wrapped those sweet arms around my neck and hung on for dear life. I have missed that baby so!

Eli has grown taller and has lost that little boy look. He is so handsome and such a sweet fella. I just love that little boy. He is so funny and so smart and is rocking a head full of curls!

Mikaela has become quite the young lady and it is so sad to realize that she just isn't a baby anymore. She is so tall and so grown up! She has learned to crochet which I think is amazing for an 8 year old! She is so beautiful and has such a heart for God. I have missed her so much!

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

"O taste and see that the LORD is good;
blessed is the man that trusteth in Him."
(Psalm 34:8)

(a collage of cell phone pictures sent by my daughter - I miss this little one and her 2 sweet brothers!)


It is good to have Megan and her family home. I missed them so much while they were off working and am making up for lost time while they are here. Through it all, God has been so good to us. He supplied Rod with a good job and even though it took them away from home, he was able to support his family and that is a huge blessing. I certainly missed being with my grandchildren those 3 long months, but God kept His sweet Hand upon my heart and helped me to make it through those tough times. His mercy and His grace are so amazing and His love is so tender. He supplies our needs always. When we open our hearts to Him, He is faithful to tend to us and touch those areas of our spirits that need some healing. His goodness overwhelms me. 

"For our heart shall rejoice in Him, because we
have trusted in His holy name. Let thy mercy, O LORD,
be upon us, according as we hope in thee"
(Psalm 33: 21,22)

Saturday, October 1, 2011

hope of Jesus

As I walked through the double doors to the lobby, I took a deep breath. I mentally prepared myself for the onslaught of emotions that assails me each time I enter this building. The instant I crossed the threshold, I met mortality. It stares you straight in the face no matter where your gaze lands.

The elderly couple sitting across from each other as they sip coffee look normal until you see the IV pole standing tall beside him. When you take a closer look you can see fatigue on their faces overshadowed by the obvious love that they have for one another. I see a young girl walking by her mother and notice the pretty scarf tied to her sweet little head that is covering the ravages of chemo.

Everywhere you look, the curse of cancer is evident. There are untold stories walking the halls of MD Anderson. Stories of disbelief and horror. Anger and fear. Strength and tenacity of spirit. There are miracles taking place around each corner and miracles in progress walking through those doors daily. 

Mothers, fathers, children. Grandparents and other loved ones. Some are just beginning their journey into this world of dreaded diagnosis and treatment and others are walking a well beaten path. 

My heart hurts and I have to be careful not to utter those familiar words... 'it's not fair'. Because I know that life isn't fair. It isn't supposed to be. God created a perfect world, but it didn't stay that way long. Sin in the Garden took care of that.  But life is certainly good. God created us in His image to worship Him and to love Him. God is good and He is faithful. We aren't promised that we will never face hardships and trials in this life, but we are promised that He will walk beside us every step of the way.

"Fear not, for I am with you;
Be not dismayed , for I am your God.
I will strengthen you,
Yes, I will help you.
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand"
(Isaiah 41:10)

God is with us. We can walk through the valley of the shadow of death because He Is. We can rest in the confidence that He is aware of our needs. He knows. He sees. He cares.  No detail of our life goes unnoticed by the Lord. His purpose for us stems from His unending love for us. 

So, as I walk the halls of this great hospital, I can see with the eyes of our Savior. I can see with the love that He has for each person I encounter. 

 As  I talk with Mike, a 40 year old  husband and father undergoing radiation, I can impart the love of Jesus to him. He is courageously waiting for the results of tests that will tell him where he has progressed in his treatment.  He and his wife have hope. Hope that comes from their Lord.

As we talk with a young mom in the elevator, we can encourage her with the promise of prayer for her 8-year old little boy. Tristan had surgery to remove a brain tumor and is now having blood pressure problems. Even though I sense her weariness, I also sense the determination of her spirit as she fights alongside her son for his life.

We talk with a woman who is walking this journey beside her cousin who is fighting lung cancer. She knows the hope of our Lord and it was encouraging to talk with her and exchange names for the purpose of intercessory prayer. God is so good.

I pass by a young teenage boy and his dad on their way to chemo. I can sense the despair on the dad's face of having to watch his son go through this trial of pain and uncertainty. I see a young man with a mask on to prevent germs from invading his body in the now weakened state due to his treatment.  Everywhere I look there is a story to be told and prayer to be needed. I silently pray for each person in each room I pass by.

There certainly is pain on many of the faces we pass by. Pain of the unknown outcome of the journey. Pain of watching a loved one hurt.  The pain of fear itself.  But there is also the unmistakable expression of hope etched on so many. Hope for victory over evil.  Hope for a new tomorrow. Hope for healing.  Hope that comes from an intimate relationship with a personal Savior. Hope of Jesus.

"Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed
on us, that we should be called children of God"
(1 John 3:1)

Please continue to pray for my father-in-law as we are embarked on this journey again. He will have surgery in a few weeks to remove the cancer in his pancreas and bile duct. We have been here since Wednesday night after the stent in that duct got blocked once again and had caused a bacteria to form in his bloodstream. They replaced the stent but he is still pretty sick. He is better, but we need him WELL so he can undergo the surgery to take care of this once and for all.