Saturday, December 29, 2012

really, Lord?

Have you ever found yourself on the edge of unbelief? Teetering on the rim of knowing that He can, but desperately fighting the thoughts of "but what if He doesn’t"? The balancing act of believing without faltering in my faith can be exhausting.  Clinging to the faithfulness of His very nature without giving in to the humanness of my doubting can make me weary, but the triumph of experiencing the manifestation of His goodness is so worth enduring the angst during the trial.

The past 5 months have been filled with many lessons of perseverance during times of testing. The Lord has been teaching me to trust Him – completely. There have been times that I have faltered. Times that I have felt myself slipping into the pit of despair and disbelief. But my God is so faithful.

When I have so badly needed His peace, He has delivered it to me.
When I so anxiously needed a Word from Him, He has provided that for me.
When I needed a calming influence, He bestowed it. When I needed rest, He ordained it. When I became weak, He remained strong.

There were times when I didn't think I could handle any more road bumps along the way. I would think, “What now, Lord? How much do you think I can handle?” And He would so graciously enable me to make my way through the thorns and thistles of that journey and walk beside me every step of the way. Generously dispensing the soothing balm of His presence to my very needy spirit.  He is just so good.

The week before Christmas was spent anxiously awaiting test results on my youngest daughter. Tests that were being redone after not so good results the first time around. Tests on my baby girl who was then 24 weeks pregnant with her 4th little blessing. Test results that we wouldn't get back until the day after Christmas.

I can remember saying, “Really, Lord? I am already stressed to the max over the journey I am on with my precious sister, and now this? A time when I am trying to focus on you and have an amazing time with my family? How can I even enjoy the holiday when I am in the midst of all this uncertainty?”

And I felt His sweet whisper. “Yes, Beth. Right here at Christmas time. What better time to keep your eyes focused on me and remain steadfast in your faith. What better time to cling to what you know to be true and to what I have already shown you.”

He was so right. Over and over, my God has shown Himself mighty and faithful. He has revealed His goodness. He has carried me when my steps faltered. He has embraced me when my spirit needed assurance. Over and over again, He granted me sweet peace.

The “what if’s” have been extended into “then God...”

Uncertainty has been replaced by knowing that He is in the midst of it no matter what. My faith journey has been a step-by-step process of learning to lean fully on my Savior without hesitation.

Listening more intently for His voice.

Recognizing His quiet whisper to my soul.

Resting deeply in the knowledge of who He is.

Basking in the presence of an Almighty, Omniscient, Immutable, Eternal God.

My thirsty spirit continues to long for more intimacy with Christ. And I cherish this ongoing pursuit of my soul  for Him as I desire a closer relationship with my Savior. I want to want Him with an insatiable hunger and I pray that this longing grows deeper and deeper each day.

He is faithful and good and He is all I need.

And the test results we got back? Much to the doctors surprise? Perfectly normal. Praise you, Jesus, for your healing power and the miracles you so sweetly grant to us. For now I am continuing to believe in the coming healing and Victory in the life of my sweet sister. His Word is true and He is faithful.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

bowing our hearts

Bowing our hearts.
Bending our knees.

Seeking His face.

Lord, show us your Glory.

Humbling our spirits and denying our flesh.

Seeking His will.

Lord, reveal yourself to us.

On our faces we fall, longing for you.

Fill us with your spirit and encompass us with your love.

Let us come before you with 
hungry hearts and thirsty spirits.

May we pour out our souls to you in desperation for a glimpse of your glory.

Bowing low with our hearts flung open wide to receive. May we seek you and search for you with an intense longing in the deepest recesses of our being. Minister to us oh, Lord. Drench us with the wonder of who you are. Soak us with the manifestation of your presence. Draw near to us that we might draw near to you. Speak to our hearts...

Bending our knees.
Bowing our hearts.

We come....

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

unwavering faith

"And he believed in the LORD
and he counted it to him for righteousness"
(Genesis 15:6)


The faith of Abraham is so inspiring. He never faltered. He never wavered. He didn't hesitate. He heard the voice of God and He obeyed. He obeyed without question or doubt. He knew His God and He knew His voice and He believed. Wow. 

I long for that kind of faith. I long for that kind of unwavering belief in my LORD. I desire to be so in tune with Him that I listen and I hear and then I do what He says. 

I want my faith to be steadfast in the One who is FAITH. I want my faith to be grounded and solid and unmovable. 

When we get to places in our spiritual walks that are hard, it is imperative that we have a relationship with our Savior that enables us to trust in Him completely. If we don't have that intimacy with Him, there is absolutely no way we can make it through those times. If we don't spend time in the precious words of the bible, we don't stand a chance in those perilous times. We must be working diligently to cultivate an intense and personal and sweet relationship with Jesus. 

Our faith in Him is built up through our experiences with Him. When He has proved Himself faithful to us in areas of our lives, then we use those to draw back on and to remind ourselves of just how faithful He is! When He has done mighty works in our lives - and I will testify that He has done that in mine - all we have to do is remember those mighty works and believe that He will do it again. Because our God is an 'again' kind of God. 

When we find ourselves in the valley, we can know that we aren't alone there. Many times in the scriptures, God tells us that He will never leave us. Never forsake us. He will walk with us through the good and the bad times. So when we can't see our way out of those valleys, we can put our trust in the One who knows the way out. If we keep ourselves immersed in the Word, we can listen for His voice and follow Him to safety. 

As I find myself in a valley of sorts right now, I am keeping my faith in the One who is FAITH. I am leaning on the knowledge of the mighty works of the past that He has performed in my life and in the lives of my loved ones. I am relying on the promises that He gives me in the Holy Scriptures. I am depending on His guidance and listening for His voice to lead me. Because I know that He sees what I don't. He knows the end of the story. He knows the very minute when we will break out of the edge of the wilderness into the vast expanse of freedom.

When all I can see is the valley I am in, He see the mountaintop that I will be standing on one day.

Praise you sweet Jesus for that. Praise your Holy and mighty and awesome name. You are truly the author and finisher of my faith and I love you with all my heart.


Continued prayers for my sister, Cari, please. We meet with her oncologist today for results of some very important blood work and then we meet with her stem cell transplant doctor tomorrow and hopefully have a plan of action for the next step in the journey of faith.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

believing God

My life has been so full and hectic these last few months. It seems like every time I turn the corner there is another crisis just waiting to jump on the journey that I am currently on. I suppose it might as well just join in with the rest of the crises and perhaps I can just get them all over with at one time. Even though I seem to be just trudging along at times, I know that this path that God has ordained for me is one that is meant to grow me and stretch me and perfect me. It is a path that is building my faith in Him. It is calling me to live out that faith in Him that I claim to possess. It is putting reality to what has always been my theology. 

"Do you really trust me, Beth? Do you really believe that I am who I say I am and that I can do what I say I can do?"

Oh, yes, Lord. I believe. I have no doubts whatsoever that what is your intended will in any situation is exactly what will take place. No doubts. 

I am unwavering in my belief system. If I didn't have full trust in my God and my Savior, I wouldn't be able to walk this walk that I am on right now. It is ONLY by His sweet merciful Hand and His generous grace that I can wake up every day and be thankful for the very breath of life that He has bestowed upon me. It is only because of that delicious daily manna that He feeds me so lovingly that I can function day after day. It is only Him.

These past months have found me coming and going so much that at times I don't know if I am packing or unpacking. My clothes just seem to rotate in and out of the suitcase to the washer and dryer and back in again. My heart is torn between so many places and so my body is weary at times from trying to be all things to all people. But Jesus is just so sweet. He has raised me up when I thought I would sink. He has carried me through when I didn't think I could. He has cradled me in His loving arms when I needed a tender moment with Him. He has empowered and strengthened and enabled me during those times that I needed Him most. It's no wonder we call Him our Savior. He truly is my saving grace and I love Him so. 

My time with Him lately has been little snippets here and there during the day as opposed to my usual regulated time with Him. I have been craving some time just to sit in His presence and just let Him do His thing in my Spirit. Today was that day. I was able to just sit and be still and let Him be God. He rejuvenated my spirit in a way that only He can do. He spoke some things into my spirit that did some restoring. He allowed to me to feel His presence and to know that above all else, He is still on the Throne. He is still the God of all flesh. He is still in control. And that He still loves me very, very much. 

So, as I continue on this journey of the unknown, I stand firm on what I DO know.

There is nothing that is too hard for my God. He is the author and finisher of our faith. He is the alpha and the omega. The beginning and the end. He is who He says He is. He can do what He says He can do. I can do all things through Christ. His Word is alive and active in Me. 

And I am believing God.


Continue to pray for my sister, Cari. She has a few weeks of blood work and the dreaded waiting on results. She will see her doctor on the 4th of December and then we may have a better idea of where we are headed next. She finished her last chemo of this phase and will be headed to the stem cell transplant process soon. All in the Lord's timing.. Pray that we will continue to let Him lead us in this journey and that we will keep our focus on Him and not waver. Believing God for a miracle and for sweet VICTORY!

Monday, November 12, 2012


Christianity is not the sacrifice we make, 
but the sacrifice we trust. 
(P.T. Forsyth)

I just love to read and study the Word of God. There is so much to learn in the scriptures that we can never get to the end of it. Each day that I spend digging hungrily into the precious pages of the bible, God never fails to show me something. Even if it is just a small nugget of truth, it is always something huge to my spirit. Each revelation that my Lord gives me leaves me desiring another and another. 

I had been pondering 'grace' several weeks ago and even though we all know what grace means, I daresay that we really don't fully understand grace in its entirety. I don't think that we fully comprehend just how amazing the grace of God is to us.  I fear that we take it for granted so many times and that we don't spend near enough time thanking Him for His amazing grace in our lives. 

Grace is God giving us what we don't deserve and Mercy is God NOT giving us what we do deserve. 

The pure water of God's grace flows over our sins and washes them away. God's grace in our lives is that He not only forgives us of our sins, but that He has already redeemed us from those sins.

God's grace is sustaining. It meets us at the point of our need. It equips us. It gives us courage. It gives us wisdom and it gives us strength.

God's grace promises us the presence of God in our lives. 

Grace changes us.

"But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior
Jesus Christ. To Him be glory both now and forever. Amen"
(2 Peter 3:18)

We are sinful, weak and fickle.
He is holy, strong and faithful
Confession isn't confined to expressing sin. We also confess God's name. His truth. Our faith. Confession is simply agreeing with God or telling the truth in a matter. Confession gets us on the same page with God. 
When we confess the faithfulness of God, we are reminding ourselves that He is the one who can handle those things that we can't. He is the one that is in control of those things that we aren't. We only have to believe in the One who can do all things.
A faithful heart is not necessarily a perfect heart.
Our part is to be faithful.
His part is to be a covenant God.
God's laws exist so we can know life in its truest sense - not to void us of pleasure.

Many times, we aren't growing spiritually because we aren't willing to change the way we are living. True repentance ALWAYS bring about change. Always. Our circumstances are never going to change if we aren't willing to. Sometimes we have to do the moving. Away from sin and toward a holy God.

Our failures can move us to tears and even bring us to despair, but in the end if we don't quit doing the things we are doing, then they are for nothing. 

If we desire to be who God wants us to be, we must be moving toward living a life of righteousness and holiness. If we truly strive for this in our everyday lives, it will change the way we act and the way we think. It will empower us and enable us to be like Christ. And we will grow in grace and wisdom and truth. 

"God, you are awe inspiring in your sanctuaries.
The God of Israel gives power and strength to
the people. May God be praised"
(Psalm 68:35)

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

the only One who is cling worthy

Being molded and shaped is painful. The whole process of being made into a beautiful piece of pottery that can be used of the Lord hurts at times. Those hurts come in the form of growing pains. They feel injurious to the spirit when they are taking place, but it is in those seasons of hurt that we are drawn into such marvelous communion with the Potter. We tend to seek Him more in those difficult journeys of our life. I think sometimes that is why He allows those tedious walks to be bestowed upon us. Perhaps it is the only way He can get some of us to seek Him with such fervor and desperation. Sad but true.

These painful journeys feel excruciating to our hearts, but at the same time it is what causes us to learn to depend solely on our true and faithful God. He shows us how very merciful and kind He is when He brings us to that place of dependence upon His Sovereignty and His Power. We begin to truly see that He is who He says He is and that He can do what He says He can do. We begin to lean on Him in a way that brings strength to our weary spirits and hope to our tired souls. We begin to see Him in all His fullness and glory.

When things get so heavy on my mind that I feel I will crumble beneath the weight, I cry out to Jesus. And the beautiful thing is I know that He hears me. I never feel alone. Not for long anyway.  Oh, I don't mean that I never have hard times. Or that I never just break down into tears and feel like I am totally losing it. But I do mean that He never fails to bring me the comfort that I seek when I call His name.  Almost immediately I can feel Him wrap His loving arms around me and grant me peace. It is overwhelming to experience. He is overwhelming. 

One year ago today, my precious granddaughter Mercie, who was 3 at the time, received an amazing healing from my God. He reached down from the portals of heaven and touched that baby girl and brought wholeness and restoration to her little body. I will never forget it as long as I live. I thank Him and praise Him for that time and time again.

Today, I am praying for that same miracle in the body of my precious sister, Cari. From the beginning of this harrowing journey with Multiple Myeloma, I sought a very needed Word from the Lord. He granted me that. He gave me a Word of hope. A Word of Victory. One that I cling to and remind my Savior of daily. As my oldest daughter, Megan, told me, "He is the only one that is cling worthy". Indeed He is.

"But He knoweth the way that I take;
when He hath tried me, I 
shall come forth as gold"
(Job 23:10)

So, as I tiptoe through this winding path filled with thorns and thistles, I find myself drawing closer and closer to my Lord. My dependence upon Him only grows stronger as time marches on and for that I am so grateful. It is hard to watch someone you love walk this treacherous path. It is heartbreaking to feel so helpless. As we pick our way through the briers hanging in the pathway and as we encounter the seeming setbacks along the way, I can look back and see the reality of His goodness embedded in each one of them. Even though the path we wouldn't have chosen is the one we are on, I see Victories along the way that I praise Him for continually. Things don't always seem to go smoothly, but then again, things that could have been, haven't been... Praise the Lord for those small baby steps toward a huge victory.

When all this is said and done, and the Victory is my sisters for the taking, I, for one will be shouting a HUGE Hallelujah to an amazing God and King and I will be giving Him praise and glory and honor forever for the healing in her life. I look forward to that coming day with sweet anticipation of an amazing Victory through Him. He is our hope.  He is our joy. He is worthy of all our praise. 

Oh, He is so worthy. And I can truly say, that's my God... that's my King. The only One who is cling worthy. And oh, how I love Him so...

Monday, October 29, 2012

raging storms are not a problem when you have Jesus

Thank you Lord, for family...

(Smiles even in the midst of the raging storm - only because of HIM)

I am so thankful that I have a personal and intimate relationship with my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. I absolutely do not know how I could make it in this life without Him. He is my rock and my fortress. My strength and my sweet song. He is my ever present help in times of trouble. He is my refuge and my strong tower. And I love Him so.

These past days and weeks and months have been filled with one trial after another in my family and in my husbands family. The kinds of trials by fire that will do one of two things. Consume you or purify you to be stronger in Him. I am thankful that when I have been running out of strength, the Lord has supplied it for me. When I have felt like I couldn't put one more foot in front of the other, He has picked it up for me and helped me to walk. When I was tempted to throw my hands up in the air and just surrender to the weight of it all, my precious Lord held my hands raised high until I realized that I needed to just praise Him in the storms!

Oh, how sweet He is. He hasn't removed all the raging storms, but He has certainly kept me afloat through them. I am so grateful for a living and active God that indwells me with His Spirit and that loves me so. Where would I be without Him? Lost and undone. Struggling and faltering every step of the way. But with Him, I am empowered with His might and His strength and I can make it through this thorny path of life.

Do you know Him like that? I pray that  you do but if you don't, please seek Him with all that you have and His Word promises that we will find Him.

"And ye shall seek me and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart"
(Jeremiah 29:13)


** When we truly encounter God, He will leave an imprint on our soul

** We can so water down the religion of the New Testament until it has no strength - no vitality - no life and no power.

** The Word of God can reach us intellectually or sympathetically.

** Fellowship and intimacy with the Lord begin the moment we receive Him and grows and increases while life lasts.

** Far from being an optional luxury in our Christian lives, the presence and the power of the Holy Spirit is a necessity.

** God's personality is so infinitely rich and manifold that it will take 1,000 years of close search and intimate communion to know even the outer edges of the glorious nature of God. (A.W. Tozer)

** God's assurance always accompanies His TRUTH!

When He speaks - He WILL do what He says!

Monday, October 22, 2012

a place of refuge

Have you ever noticed that the enemy doesn't seem to tire? He shows no signs of fatigue. He shows no evidence of weariness. He just keeps right on attacking over and over again. Making those same little jabs at the same areas of weakness. Poking his nosy self into places that he has absolutely no business being in. And I am so sick of him.
I am so thankful that I am a child of the King. I am so grateful that my sweet Lord, who is the Master over my life, is far greater than the enemy could ever think about being. I serve a God who is ALL power. ALL authority. ALL knowing. ALL everything. And He can send the devil running with his tail between his legs with just the very sound of His voice. That's the God I serve. And I love Him so much. I draw such strength from the knowledge of His Superiority and His great love for me.

"In the fear of the LORD is strong confidence; 
and His children have a place of refuge."
(Proverbs 14:26)

He is my refuge. My fortress. My strength. 

At times like this, when my heart is burdened and my spirit is heavy, I depend so heavily upon the Lord to be my help. He is so good to be a soothing balm to my heart and a good medicine to my soul. His Word is my comfort and I devour it hungrily in search of His voice speaking to me through the sacred pages of scripture. And He never fails me... Never.

"Fear thou not; for I am with thee; be
not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will
strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; 
yea, I will uphold thee with the right
hand of my righteousness"
(Isaiah 41:10)

I can face whatever lies ahead. No matter how hard the journey or how difficult it is to cope with the situations as they come, I know that He is with me. I don't have to fear. I don't have to be dismayed. Because my God - the God of all flesh - is with me. And He will hold me up and strengthen me and give me grace upon grace to make it through the fiery trials without even smelling like smoke. Praise You, Lord!


And He blesses me with these precious faces:

Sweet Laylah Beth
Bryton, Laylah Beth and Sawyer

Sawyer Blayne
Bryton Cody
My precious Mikaela - so grown up...
Eli - what a sweet fella!
Sweet Silas
Mercie loving on her baby brother Titus
Titus - 12 weeks

Monday, October 15, 2012

time with My Father

Sleep alluded me. My mind was wide awake although my body was crying out for rest. My spirit within was too restless and I tossed and turned trying to find the stillness that would lead to sleep. But it wouldn't come.

As I poured out my petition to God requesting sleep, the discomfort and disquiet continued and I sensed His voice telling me that rest would only come after I spent some time just sitting at His Feet. The past few weeks had been hectic and stuffed full. It had been emotionally and physically exhausting and my sweet time with Him had been filled with little snatches of time here and there. Not the usual routine for me. I was craving some time with my Father and it appeared that it was to be in the middle of the night.

Realizing that sleep wouldn't come soon, I obeyed His prompting and rose out of bed and made my way to my study. My sanctuary. My refuge.

I sat in my chair, gazed at the open bible on my desk and immediately felt peace descend upon me. I just love these times with God. These scared moments when the world seems so far away and I feel so removed from it. These times when it seems like the whole world is asleep and it's only me and my sweet Savior. 

As I sat in silence ensconced in my Father's lap, I was listening intently. I turned the pages of the Holy Scriptures and sought a Word from Him. I was in desperate need of an encouraging Word. My spirit was thirsting for just a small drop of the water from His cup. Just a tiny drop would satisfy the longing I felt deep inside. The first page I turn to was in Luke 4 and my eyes fell on a verse that was already highlighted and marked for such a time as this.

"...and He laid His Hands on every one
of them, and He healed them"

The tears began to flow as my heart soaked up this precious drop of water that was being squeezed upon me from above. I felt new life surge within me. The Word that I was so desperately craving was being dispensed to me from the only One who could do just what the Word said.

Had I not heeded His voice, I would have missed this beautiful moment. A moment that I needed in a huge way. As the tears flowed, my mind wandered to the precious person that will receive this healing. I began to claim this for my sister and began to praise Him for what He is doing and what He is going to do. I couldn't wait to share this scripture with her when daylight came.

I could feel His Presence surround me and knew that when the sweet time with Him was over, sleep would come. Peaceful and restful sleep. As I read through the chapter, there were several places that the Lord took me and gave me more confirmation of His Word. My weary spirit felt revived. My tired body felt restored. As I had cried out to the Lord with such deep longing, He heard my distress and gave me a reprieve from myself.

"And they were astonished at His doctrine,
for His Word was with power"
(Luke 4:32)

The power of Christ is inexhaustible. There are no limits to it or no boundaries. All authority belongs to Him. He speaks and it is so. He commands and it is done.

And just when I felt myself losing the grip I had on my rope of strength, Jesus reaches down and grasps my hand. 

Renewed. Restored. Revived.

How sweet is the Lord. How precious is His Word. How timely are His answers to our cries.

...and He healed them all.... thank you, Lord.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

storing up a reservoir of Living Water

There is nothing like 300 women gathering together with hearts so hungry for a Word from the Lord that they will endure what we call hardship to do so. We slept in rustic, unheated cabins and the temperature was 44 degrees when we went to bed Friday night! Taking a shower in an unheated bathhouse is an experience as well, but so worth it for the dose of the Holy Spirit that was dispensed to us that weekend. 

 As we all converged on Brookhill Ranch in Hot Springs, Arkansas, we all had a common goal... to see Jesus. If anyone can make Him come alive in your heart, it is Hettie Lou Brooks. She is an amazing woman of God and an amazing woman of Faith. At 82 years old, she is still so on fire for Him and I pray that I will be that anointed and energetic for God when I am that age. Please, Lord, fill me with that!!

As she taught us about really tapping into the Holy Spirit in our lives and about the Holy Excitement that accompanies it, my heart was just bursting with anticipation of what God can do if we just let Him do it.  When Jesus ascended back in to heaven to be with His Father - our Father - He left us the precious Holy Spirit to be with us here on earth. To be our teacher, our helper, our comforter, our guide. Oh, let's not neglect Him! Let's remember that He is here with us always to intercede on our behalf and to minister to our spirits.

As I sat in that pavilion with so many hungry women, the Lord just settled His Spirit down upon that place and His presence was so thick. The Holy Spirit ministered and anointed and did some mighty things in hearts that weekend.Chains were broken. Bondages were loosed. Ties that bound were cut forever. Freedom was experienced and it was glorious!

The Lord impressed upon me that we need to be storing up a reservoir of Living Water so that we always have a drink! I could picture myself by a flowing stream of water and He gave me these words....

As my heart hungers and my spirit thirsts, I kneel down beside the flowing stream of abundance. Bending my knee in humility and bowing my heart to Him, I let the Holy Spirit fall. I cup my hands and dip them eagerly into the crystal clear water. Raising them to my mouth, I sip...hesitantly at first and then after that initial taste of the sweetness of it, I thirstily gulp it down. I feel a surge of life as it flows through my body and I experience His presence. He is here...


Things that God spoke loudly during the weekend to me:

*Do we hunger to be like Jesus?

* Does our walk with Christ "WOW" the church body or those we come in contact with?

* Do we fear true soul searching? (because of what we will find?)

* We need to let the Holy Spirit saturate us in authenticity instead of just 'settling' for what we can get.

* God deserves our UNDIVIDED attention!

*We are guilty of not utilizing the power of the Holy Spirit in our lives.

* Are you hungry?? Devour the Word of God.

* The Lord desires to bring ourselves to a place 'beyond ourselves'

* Doing what we are doing now, we can't produce any more fruit than what we are already  producing. If we want to produce MORE fruit, we have to do more and make some changes.

*God truly seeks our worship!

*When we choose to be free - when we choose to walk in the freedom that Christ enables in us, the enemy has NO power over us. - Praise you Jesus!!


Oh, I pray that God spoke to someones heart today in response to what He showed me. I came away with even more desire to love Him and serve Him. I came away with a deeper understanding of the immense power of the Holy Spirit that we never seem to tap in to. I came away wanting to more and more like Jesus. I want that Holy fire of His Spirit to descend upon me and do a burning and purging work in my life. I want to drink from the abundant reservoir of Living Water that I am storing up...

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

all about Him

(My beautiful mom and beautiful sister - they bring joy to my heart! Look at the smile on my sisters face right before she headed to chemo #7... what an inspiration she is to me.)

Oh, how we take this life for granted. This precious gift of life that God has so graciously bestowed us with. And we just don't appreciate it to the full extent that He intended for us.  Many times we get so bogged down in this thing we call living, that we really fail to fully comprehend just what real living is. I mean, we know deep down that our life on earth is just a vapor. James tells us in his wonderful and powerful book that 'You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes". We hear it but we don't allow it to soak in and become reality to us. Our life here on earth is fleeting. So much to do... so little time to do it.

The busyness of our lives keeps us from living that abundant and spirit filled life that our Lord desires for us. We can work ourselves into such a 'go,go,go' frenzy that we never take the time to search out God's will for our existence here. It isn't for us. Our goal in life shouldn't be for our pleasures. Our satisfaction. Our own agenda. It's all about Him. 

"Even every one that is called
by my name; for I have created him,
for my glory, I have formed him; 
yea I have made him"
(Isaiah 43:7)

I realize that I haven't even begun to tap into the overflowing mercies that God has for me. I haven't even begun to fill my cup with all the goodness that He desires to fill it with. So much of my life has been wasted time that I can never recapture. There are so many times that I should have been deeply inhaling the Word and just begging my Lord to speak to my heart and instead I found other things to occupy my time that amounted to nothing. He is all that matters.

I want to be so rooted in His Word that each moment of my life is focused solely on Him. I desire for Him to just drench me with His Spirit so that it overflows like a river bursting at its banks. I long to long for Him with an unquenchable thirst. An ever deepening hunger. An insatiable appetite. I want to want Him with all that I am.

I daresay that I have been guilty of losing sight of what is important in this life. I don't mean that we shouldn't love our families, our spouses, our precious children or even our absolutely amazing grandchildren, but I do mean that we should never lose sight of who it is that gave them to us! When we spend time with our families, we need to be ever mindful of what a privilege God has given us to even have them in our lives. 

Every thing that we do and every thing that we say should always point people to Jesus. We live in world that desperately needs Jesus. A world that desperately needs a Savior. A world that desperately needs a Lord and Master. And how sad is it that we pass by people every day of our lives that have such need and we fail to show them the best thing that they could ever get a glimpse of! We fail to share the one thing that is life and breath to us!

As the Lord is dealing me with me on my priorities, I pray that the lesson He is teaching me is one that I will be a quick learner at. I don't want Him to have to keep bringing me back to the same place over and over again before I surrender and obey. I desire to have a teachable heart. A teachable spirit. A humility that only comes from bowing my heart down low to my Creator. I want to be taught. I want to rise from my face to the ground with a changed heart. A renewed spirit. A restored joy of my salvation that will compel me to do just what His Word commands me to do. 

I want to worship the Lord with my whole heart. With all that I am. With all that I can ever hope to be. I want to worship with a heart flung wide open to receive just what it is that He desires to deliver to a desperate soul like mine. And then take it and use it to bring glory and honor to a very worthy Savior.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

a beautiful thing

"But God demonstrates His own love
for us in this: while we were still sinners,
Christ died for us"
(Romans 5:8)

As I glance back at the course of my life, I stand in complete awe of the generous grace that God has bestowed upon me time after time. He has reached down into pit after pit and pulled me up, setting me back on solid ground. And He always does it with such love and such sweetness. He never acts like He tires of it, but I know He does. I know it must frustrate Him, especially those times that He pulls me out of the same pit more than once. 

He has put the broken pieces of my life back together so many times, I wonder if the lines might begin to show on the outside where He has glued me together over and over. I wonder how in the world I can even stay intact. 

Only by His grace. And His tender mercy. And His unending love. Oh, how I love Him.

Only God can take all those broken pieces and turn them into a masterpiece.

Only God can hold those jagged pieces in His hands and see the beauty for which they were created.

Only God can cradle those broken pieces in love and then start the process of remolding them into something usable for His glory.

Broken pieces. Shards of my human frailty. A shattered life. The aftermath of trying to do this thing called life on my own. Trying to do things my way. Playing by my own set of rules.

It never works that way. I don't know how many times I have come to that realization only to fall back into the same trap and the same cycle of sin. Flesh takes over and I crumble once more. Crumble into a heap of broken pieces that seem unfixable. 

I am so thankful that I am a child of God's. That in my weakness, He is strong. In my failures, He is the victory. I am so thankful that He loved me before I was even born. And that He continues to love me now.

This Christian walk is a daily walk. It is a battle against our flesh day after day. We have to purpose in our hearts to follow Christ and obey His commands. Follow Him and walk in His ways.

Our focus has to stay on Him. Unwavering and steady. When we allow ourselves to be distracted by the world, we put ourselves in danger of stumbling. When we do stumble, the quicker we become aware of it, the quicker we can repent of it and seek forgiveness for it and get ourselves back on the right path with Him.

It is a gorgeous thing that God  can look at a handful of brokenness and see hands full of purpose. He gazes at the pieces in His Hands and sees beauty. He see wholeness. He see what we are on our way to becoming. What He purposed and crafted us for. He sees what He desires for us.

You see, our precious Lord is a restorer. A redeemer. Our Master Potter can mold us, even in our broken state, and form us into a beautiful vessel. One that can be used for His glory. And that is a beautiful thing indeed. 

Thursday, September 20, 2012

oh, how He loves

I can't even imagine living my life without my sweet Lord. I don't know how people make it through any given day if they don't have an intimate relationship with Jesus.  I depend upon Him for every breath that I draw and every step that I take. He is my strength. My rock. My refuge. He is my all in all and I love Him so.

When life gives us detours that we don't really care to go on, it is so comforting to have a Savior that will walk beside us as we are forced to veer off the path we thought was set before us. As we head off in a different direction than we had originally set our sights on, Christ is so gracious to walk that path right in front of us and lead the way. Even when I don't understand the detour, wherever He leads, I will follow. Even though it isn't the way we would have chosen to go, it is the right way because it is His way. 

The beauty about a relationship with Jesus is that He is always in control. Even in the midst of the storms of life, we can rest assured that He will be walking that road along side of us. Leading the way. Preparing the path. Giving us the strength that we need to climb those hills that seem to be lurking around every curve of the road. He is so good.

I love that He knows me so well. I love that when I cry out to Him, I can know He hears me. I love that when I wind up face-down on the carpet sobbing my eyes out to Him in my frustration of life's turmoil, I can feel His arms wrap me up and embrace me so lovingly. I can pour my heart out to Him and He cares. I can bare my soul to Him and He understands. 

"We love Him, because He first loved us"
1 John 4:19

I can be sure of His love for me. Oh, praise His Holy name for that! If I don't have anything in this world except the love of my Savior, I have enough. His love is everything to me. His love covers and protects. It embraces and it envelopes. His love is all-consuming and all-encompassing. 

I am so grateful that even in my wretched state, Jesus loves me. In my frail humanness, He is forgiving and kind. As I try so hard each day to live my life to be a sweet savor unto Him, I know that He is rooting for me and that He is bestowing grace upon me each step of the way. He is for me. I can feel it. 

I need Him so. Sometimes my need for Him gets pushed to the side and I get a little too confident in my own self. I daresay we all fall victim to that trap at one time or another. It is those times that God allows trials to come that cause us to fall on our faces in humility and repent of such foolishness. Without Him, I am nothing. I know that. I sometimes forget that. But He is so sweet to gently remind me of His Sovereignty and His Authority in my life. 

I don't ever want to travel this life's journey without Him beside me. As we journey together, I feel His presence and I draw strength from Him. Each breath I take is only because He has given it to me. As I put my faith and trust in His Word and in what I know to be true, I am humbly drawn to the foot of the cross. That is where I find comfort. And strength. And power. And love. That is where I find healing.  

"Who is he that overcometh the world, but
he that believeth that Jesus is the 
Son of God?" 
(1 John 5:5)

Thank you, Lord for the promises in your Word. Lord, I thank you for the healing that you have begun in my   sister's body. As we hold tight to our faith and we look not to evidences but only to the power of your spoken Word, give us strength and hope based on the authority of your scriptures. We praise you for the mighty work you are doing in her even now and we will give you all praise and all honor and all glory when the fruition of your mighty miracle in her life is made manifest. 

I love you my Jesus, with all of my heart and all of my strength and all of my might. You are my everything.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

taste and see

"Now that you have tasted that the Lord is good"
1 Peter 2:3 (NIV)

"If so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious"
1 Peter 2:3 (KJV)


I love the word 'gracious'. It means merciful, kind, compassionate. I love that the KJV uses that word to describe my Lord, because my sweet Savior is so gracious to me. He has shown me so mercy and so much compassion in my life. He has graced me with immeasurable kindness over the course of my walk with Him. He is good. And I have tasted that goodness time and time again.

As I think about my close relationship with my daughters, I am so overwhelmed at the goodness of God. He has blessed me with precious girls whom I love with all my heart. And the depth of their love to me blesses me. It is so amazing to have grown daughters that want to be with their mother. I talk with each of them every day at least once but usually multiple times. I don't see Melissa often because she is living in Boston for this season in her life. When my other girls are home and not off working, we see each other almost every day. I consider them my very best friends and I am thankful to my Lord for gracing me with them.

As I think about my sweet mother, I am so thankful that she is the one God picked out especially to be my mom. I couldn't ask for a better mother. She loves me unconditionally. She always encourages. She always uplifts. She is never judgmental. I feel like I can tell her anything and I know that she will always be right there if I need her. For the past 18 years, she has fulfilled the role of both mother and father, since my precious daddy went home to be with Jesus. She has shown such strength and such grace since that time and I know that the Lord has been the one to do that through her. I am thankful to Him for gracing me with a fabulous mother.

I taste His goodness when I see my amazing grandbabies. Each one is so dear to me and each one fills my heart with such joy! I love being a Nana. It has been so fulfilling to me and has caused me to rejoice in that role over and over. I love being close to my sweet grandchildren and being able to be a big part of their lives. I love talking about the Lord with them. I love teaching them scriptures and hearing them recite the ones they are learning at home. I love reading bible stories to them when they spend the night, even when we read the same ones over and over again. I love saying the blessing multiple times at meals because they each want to say it. I love seeing the smiles on their faces even when those smiles are smudged with dirt and grime. I love getting hugs and kisses from them and I love to see the excitement on their faces when they see me drive up in their driveway. I love it when it is time for me to go home and they don't want me to leave. I just love them all so much and I am so thankful to God for gracing me with them all. He is so gracious.

I have tasted His goodness with the close relationship I have with my sister and my brother. I love them both so much. I am the only one in the family that doesn't live in Shreveport, so I feel out of the loop sometimes, but a simple phone call or text from them makes me feel right back in again. 

I have tasted His goodness these past few weeks as I have seen Him uphold my precious sister during her chemo treatments. He has made them bearable so far. He has protected her from serious illness. He has kept her fever from being high enough to demand an ER visit. He has filled her with Hope and is keeping her in the cleft of the Rock. He has carried her and he has shown Himself to her and He has been her strength and her shield. She has tasted His goodness and so therefore it graces me in abundance. 

I have tasted His goodness as He has so blessed me with a godly husband. He is my favorite preacher and I love spending time with Him. We go our separate ways a lot during the week as we go about our daily responsibilities, but when we make it home in the evenings, we enjoy each others company and he is always quick to take me to eat or even take me shopping if I ask him to. He is so good to me and has been good to me for 28 years. God has graced me with him and I am so thankful for that.

I have tasted His goodness this past week in the study of His Word. I have been blessed through the scriptures as I have found so many precious nuggets of truth in my searching these past few days. I love coming across a verse that I have read many times before and suddenly it is revealed to me in a new and fresh way.  Such grace for a thirsty spirit and such compassion for a hungry soul. 

God is gracious to those who love Him. He is so sweet and He is so gentle in His love for us. His compassion overwhelms me. His mercy astounds me. His sweetness amazes me. I have tasted and I have seen that the Lord is good.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

the Promise Maker

"As His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness,
through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue,
by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises..."
(2 Peter 1:3-4)


What is a promise? According to James MacDonald in his book Always True,' a promise is the assurance God gives His people so that they can walk by faith while they wait for Him to work'.

The waiting is hard. But thankfully our God has given us many promises in His Word that we can cling to and stand on and get assurance from during that difficult time. His promises are true. We can cherish them and we can believe them and we can hold fast to them as we wait for God to bring them to fruition in our lives. God's Word is always true.

We know His Word is true because we have experienced it. We have tasted His goodness. We have seen His mercy and grace in our lives time and time again. We can hold tight to His precious promises because we  know the Promise Maker and we know that He is Truth. Over and over in His Word, we see evidences of His promises holding fast to those He gave them too. We, too, can have those same assurances.

The more we seek Him, the more we will find Him. The more we find Him the more we will love Him. As we fall deeper and deeper in love with our Savior, the more we will dig deep into His Word. As we dig deep, we will discover promise after promise and we will be able to receive them and make them our own as our faith grows.

"Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God"
(Romans 10:17)

God's Word is real. It is imperative that we read it and study it so we can know it.  And once we know His Word, we can begin to stand on those promises and begin to experience His power. We can trust His sovereignty. We can lean on His authority. We can take our Lord at His Word. He is a promiser by nature and He keeps all of His promises. Praise you, Lord.

"What then shall we say to these things? If God is
for us, who can be against us?"
(Romans 8:31)

He is our Defender and our Helper.

"I will never leave you nor forsake you"
(Hebrews 13:5)

"Stand firm, and see the salvation of the LORD...
The LORD will fight for you, and you have
only to be silent"
(Exodus 14:13-14)

Our faith walk will only grow stronger as our faith is tested. Our relationship with Jesus will only get more intimate the more we seek to know Him. Our seeking sometimes is most evident  in our times of testing. God uses those times to teach us and to grow us and to make us like Him.

Several things we can know. Our God is faithful. His promises are true. He will never leave us nor forsake us. He will fight for us. 

As we wait for God to work in our lives, we can walk hand-in-hand with the Promise Maker and the Promise Keeper. If our God is for us, indeed, who can be against us...

Friday, September 7, 2012

No one fights alone!

(my beautiful sister waiting to begin her 2nd chemo treatment)

As I walked with my sister and my mom down the quiet halls of the hospital, the first stop was the lab. The lab admissions clerks already recognize her and soon will know her by name. Sobering. 

After she was finished with all the blood work, we headed to the cafeteria for a quick cup of coffee and a coke as we waited for her next appointment with her oncologist. Even as I type that word, it still surprises me. Catches me off guard a little bit and gives me a little bit of righteous anger... ha!

My morning had consisted of much time in prayer. It seems as if I talk to the Lord constantly these days. We have numerous conversations throughout the course of each day and I am consciously trying to spend much of that time in listening mode. I so desire to be 'quick to listen' as I am learning in my study of the book of James. Help me, Lord.

I depend upon the Lord for each breath I draw these days. Some mornings the reality of all this hits me like a cold and icy wind and I immediately call upon Him. He is so sweet. He quickly binds up  my wounds and applies His Healing balm to my spirit. He reminds me that He is God. That He is Sovereign. And that He cares. For me. For Cari. For my mama. For us all. He cares. Thank you, Lord for that.

This morning was no different. Upon waking, I felt the dread of the day surface. Dread of facing some things that I had thus far been able to keep myself distanced from. Dread of acknowledging certain facts of this journey we are on.  And as I reached for His Word and opened the sacred pages of scripture, He spoke.

"Therefore I will look unto the Lord; I will wait for the God 
of my salvation; my God will hear me"
(Micah 7:7)

He will hear me. My precious Savior gave me a Word that I so desperately needed. A timely Word that my heart required. His Word is always fresh. Hot off the pages, spoken by the Holy Breath of a very Holy God.

He is so good. He takes us from strength to strength. Gives us just what we need at just the right time. Enables us. Empowers us. Walks right beside us. Oh, yes, He is so good. 

Even as we embark on a journey that none of  us wants to go on, He is there. He has been our provision up until now and He will continue to be that in our lives. He has given strength to us in our weakness. He has given comfort to us in our pain. He has healed. He has restored. He has been our all-in-all.

As we head to the 7th floor to see her doctor, I can feel the tension begin to rise up within and I whisper a quick plea to God. I immediately feel His peace descend upon me. I steal a quick glance at my mom and I can tell that she is fighting the same demon and I pray for her as well. Every now and then I can see the anguish on her face as she watches her daughter for signs of pain and fatigue. I can't feel or know what she is going through, but as a mother to three precious girls, I can imagine it is heart wrenching. I know as a sister, it is extremely painful to see and acknowledge. And I can see that pain in my mama's eyes of  the reality of your child going through something that you can't put an end to. 

After the doctor does his thing, we head to the chemo/iv infusion area of the hospital and my sister is now getting her chemotherapy treatment. My heart hurts for her having to endure this, but I am so very thankful that she is able to receive it. I am so grateful that there is something that they can do to bring her into remission. I am also so thankful for the HOPE that I see etched on her face. He is our HOPE.

From the very beginning of the journey, God gave me several Words specifically for this trial. The first one was 'New Life'. I am clinging to that promise. I am trusting Him and believing Him for a HUGE work in her life. A huge healing. A huge restoring. A huge harvest that will come from the manifestation of His glory that is to come. The second Word he gave me was VICTORY. As I stood in for her during our healing service several weeks ago and was being prayed over by one of our deacons, the tears just being pouring down my face. I could feel His presence and the sweet whisper of God's voice said, "tell Cari to turn to the last page of her journal and write the word VICTORY'. Oh, yes, Lord, I will tell her! And I did. And she did...

I am holding fast and tight to the voice of God. I am believing for a miracle and I am clinging to His precious Word every day. He will give my sister the strength she needs to walk this walk. He will carry her from strength to strength. He will provide for her as He sees her in need. He will walk beside her and He will fight for her. Because in the Christian walk we are on, No one fights alone. Praise you Jesus!!

"The LORD your God, who is going before you,
will fight for you..."
(Deuteronomy 1:30)

(bracelets to support Multiple Myeloma that her office at Red Ball Oxygen purchased)

Saturday, September 1, 2012

digging deep

The deeper I go, the deeper I desire to go. To know. To seek.

Hungering for more.
  Searching the scriptures and devouring His Word.

Finding new truths and uncovering wonders.
New revelations.

Hidden in the glorious depths are treasures,
the very wonder of Him.

The voice of God speaks within my spirit.
A fresh Word.
Fresh Grace.
Fresh Mercy.
Fresh Truth.
Words that pierce hard and go deep.

As I read, I feel His tender care of me. He wraps me in His embrace. I feel His Holy Hands holding me in His eternal and secure grip.

Dwelling in the safety of His arms, I feel the power of His presence.

He cradles me gently. Tucks me under His wing and covers me. 

He blankets me with Love.
Love so amazing.
So undeserved. 
Yet so welcome. So needed. So cherished.

Seeking His glory.
Searching His Word.
Expecting His voice.
Encountering His presence.

Knowing without a shadow of a doubt that He is God.


Please continue to pray for my sister and drop by her site and encourage her.

Basking in the joy of grandchildren who are home for a little while before heading back off to work. Oh, how I love my sweet babies.

Sawyer and Bryton


Look who is 1 year old! Laylah Beth has grown up way too fast.

Cute pic of Mikaela and Mercie - sisters and friends.