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.