Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Anyone Need a Hero?

Have you ever needed a hero? Someone to swoop in and save the day? I remember one time when Jonathan and I were driving alone on a busy stretch of highway about 200 miles from home. We were headed home from several days of fun at Disneyland and traffic was quite heavy and as we zipped along in the fast lane.

Suddenly without notice, my car just died going 70+ miles an hour through the mountains known as the grapevine. Talk about a scary situation. And yet, it was as if God in an instant just held out His hand and cleared the way as I pulled my car across 4 lanes of LA traffic and onto the right hand shoulder.

There we sat - safe but alone. It was a Sunday morning and everyone we knew was in church. I phoned and text messaged everyone I could think of. Jonathan and I were in desperate need of a hero. It was about an hour later when I finally reached our Chairman of Deacons and he assured me that he and another Deacon were on the way. That day, they were my heroes.

In 2 Samuel 21:15-22 we find that King David himself was in need of some heroes.
Once again there was a battle between the Philistines and Israel. David went down with his men to fight against the Philistines, and he became exhausted.

The road had been long. The fight had been fierce. King David found himself exhausted from fighting the same old enemy over and over again. God raised up among him a group of men who surrounded the king and said, "You rest. We'll fight this one for you."

Chapter 23 lists the names of David's 37 mighty men. To be a member of this group they had to show unparalleled courage in battle and wisdom in leadership. They were truly heroes in the eyes of the King as they laid down their lives in service - even unto death.

Our churches today are in need of some heroes. Men and women of faith, courage and wisdom who will come alongside their Pastors and Staff who too are weary from the battle. The road can be long. The same old enemy often rears his ugly head and strikes. Many Pastors find themselves walking in David's shoes - exhausted.

How can you be their hero?
  • Pray for your Pastor's and their families.
  • Send them a card of encouragement.
  • Tell them that you love them and thank them for serving so faithfully.
  • Offer to make a visit for them.
  • As a church family, make sure that you Pastor's get ample time to rest and refresh themselves.
  • Allow them time away while the mighty men and women of God do what David's men did and "fight this one for him".

They love you, lead you, teach you, train you, comfort you, encourage you and give themselves in service to you - all in the name of our King! There are a lot of Pastor's out there in need of a hero to take a stand. Will that hero be you?

Monday, March 30, 2009

Unfinished Business

Have you ever felt stuck in life? Is there something left incomplete that has kept you from moving forward. No matter how hard you try, you are just stuck.

The same thing happened with King David. Although David has been described as a man after God's own heart, he often found himself in the middle of some pretty big messes. It is now the latter part of his rule as King. His son Absalom is dead. After years of undermining his authority and causing dissension among the people of God, he has been killed. David then returns to Jerusalem with plenty of unfinished business to attend to.
During the reign of David, there was a famine for three successive years; so David sought the face of the LORD. The LORD said, "It is on account of Saul and his blood-stained house; it is because he put the Gibeonites to death." 2 Samuel 21:1
Through the ups and downs of life there is one thing David had learned how to do and that was to seek the face of God. What the Lord revealed to him that day was that God's blessing was not upon Israel because of the sin of Saul and his household. One thing is for sure, God expects His people to be a people of their word.
Simply let your 'Yes' be 'Yes,' and your 'No,' 'No'; anything beyond this comes from the evil one. Matthew 5:37
It is better not to vow than to make a vow and not fulfill it. Do not let your mouth lead you into sin. Ecclesiastes 5:5-6a
Saul had entered into a commitment with the Gibeonites to spare their lives. But instead he had chosen to try to annihilate them. Many years later, the people of Israel were suffering for the prior kings rebellious acts. God was calling Israel into account for their actions.

In order for the blessing of God to once again be upon His people, the people had to make things right with the Gibeonites. When David asked what could be done to make amends, the Gibeonites asked that seven male descendants of Saul be put to death and exposed before the Lord at Gebeah.

David did as they asked. The seven grandsons of Saul were put to death on the first day of the harvest. The skies opened up and it began to rain.

How do we deal with unfinished business? How do we deal with things left undone?
  • First, we must repent. We have to admit that we have done wrong.
  • Second, we must recommit to fulfilling our vow.

Do you have any unfinished business in your life? Is there a broken relationship that needs to be mended? Is there someone you need to forgive or who needs your forgiveness? How about a commitment that you have not fulfilled? Do you feel like the blessing of God has been removed from your life? As the Bible says, examine yourself. Do you have unfinished business?

Beth Moore says, "Rebellion inevitably leads to a famine in our relationship to God. A new beginning is as close as the fresh smell of rain".

It's beginning to rain- hear the the voice of my father-
Saying who so ever will, come and drink of this water-
I promise to pour My spirit out, on your sons and your daughters-
If your thisty and dry, look up to the sky, it's beginning to rain!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Lavished Love

What a time away! God has been so good to me. I left on vacation totally spent. I was mentally, emotionally and physically exhausted. I arrived in CA to the love of family and just a wonderful time.

We had a cookout the second day as my whole family came together at my parents home. I honestly can't remember a time when I laughed so hard. My brother and sister-in-law telling the story about her playing "four-square" with the fourth graders and the injuries she sustained had us all in stitches.

On Sunday I visited my old church and I cannot adequately express the overwhelming sense of love that I felt. This verse comes to mind.
How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! 1 John 3:1
It was so good to be at home with Gods people once again. Just a glimpse of what the fellowship will be like when we all get to heaven. Oh how I'm looking forward to that day.
This is my Heart Friend Connie. We've sure been through some times together. On Tuesday we went to breakfast and spent the day in a beautiful park, just taking in God's glory. We shared from our hearts..., (although I think I did most of the talking as I unloaded everything that I had been holding in). Thank You God for allowing her to be your ears, your hands, your heart to me that day.

I spent the afternoon and evening with the most precious family I know, the Tajima's. Cindi is one of my Heart Friends - God has definitely knit our hearts together as one. Before leaving that night the entire family joined in a circle and each one prayed for our family. What a gift they have been to our lives.

On Wednesday we headed to the coast for what Randy calls my "Sand Therapy". There's something about the ocean, the waves and just running your hands through the sand. As my Sister, Brother-in-law, Jonathan and I walked the beach at Pismo, God just ministered to my heart. With every sand dollar or sea shell I collected it was as if the stress and strain of life was lifted away.

Just walking and giving praise to my Lord for all that He has done. Exalting His name for Who He is! He is King of King and Lord of Lords. He is Creator of all of the beauty I was seeing. He is the composer of the symphony that I was hearing each time that the waves crashed on the shore. He sent the sun to shine brightly on my skin and the Son to shine brightly in my soul. Oh how He loves me.

Thank You God for lavishing your love on me through my family (especially my sister), through my Heart Friends, through your church, through all of creation! I am truly overwhelmed! Who am I that you would love me this way?

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Saturday Steps of Faith #3

Steps of Faith

Welcome back for Saturday Steps of Faith. This is a place where we can join together in believing God for things great and small.

I'm flying home this morning from a wonderful time of vacation. I look forward to reconnecting with all of my blogging friends.

Today I'm believing God for the opportunity to share Jesus with someone on the way home.

Father, May I be sensitive to your leading!

What are you believing God for?

Monday, March 23, 2009

Magnificent View

Seek Him and you will find Him!

You will find Him in His word!

You will find Him when you pray!

You will find Him in His people!

You will find Him in nature!

God I thank You for showing yourself to me in a marvelous way. The beautiful snow-capped mountains. The magnificent clouds that hovered in the sky! Just seeing the beauty of Your creation drew my heart into an attitude of Worship! For only YOU are worthy of my praise! Lord I love you!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Saturday Steps of Faith #2

Steps of Faith

Welcome back for Saturday Steps of Faith. This is a place where we can join together in believing God for things great and small.

I believe that God hear us when we pray.

Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. Jeremiah 29:12-13

I believe that God answers us when we pray.

Before they call I will answer; while they are still speaking I will hear. Isaiah 65:24
This week I'm believing God for a special Word from Him. In recent days, the journey has been long, the road bumpy and at times hard. All along the way I know He has been with me, leading me, teaching me, loving me encouraging me. I'm feeling a little weary and I want to hear His voice clearly and have my Spirit renewed. I'm really looking forward to some time with just me and God. Speak to me Lord, I'm listening.

So, what are you believing God for?

To join in,

  • Write a blog today about what you are believing God for.
  • Copy the Saturday Steps of Faith button into your post and publish it.
  • Return to this site and fill out Mr. Linky. This will allow others to click on the link below and jump over to your website.

I'm looking forward to praying and believing God with you.

UUUGGGGHHHHH - Sorry I forgot the MisterLinky. :-)

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Lovin some Chik-fil-A

My post will be short today as I'm on V-A-C-A-T-I-O-N! PRAISE GOD! I am so ready for some time away. Tomorrow we will head to CA, so keep us in your prayers.

I ran across a little funny I'd like to share with you. Enjoy! Don't forget to come back for Saturday Steps of Faith!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

It's not the way things ought to be

Have you ever thought about how different this world is than God planned? As God created the heavens and the earth, the sun and the moon, the animals and creatures to roam the earth, Adam and Eve; each stage of His magnificent creation God saw that it was good.

Man and woman in a beautiful garden fashioned by God's own hand. He would even come walking in the garden in the cool of the day, just enjoying all that He had made. Sweet fellowship with the ones He loved. It was truly paradise.
What a difference a day makes as Eve is deceived and takes a bite. Adam also partakes. Their lives are forever changed as God banishes them from the garden forever. Lives can be changed in just a moment - forever.

It's not the way things ought to be
And yet the way things are,
I look above and see a void
And not one single star.
Then in the day the blue is grey,
The winds of change are stilled,
My heart it seems
Must die to dreams
I'll never see fulfilled.

It's not the way things ought to be
And Yet the way things are,
Then God walks in,
Forgives the sin
And lights my evening star.
He tames my rebel doubts with love,
Rebukes my frantic fears,
Then asks my why
I sigh and cry
And counts my many tears.

One day the things that "ought to be"
Will be the way He planned,
So I should live
And freely give
My hopes into His hand.
I'll live in light of ever-ness
With eyes upon the Throne,
He'll give me grace
To run the race
Till I am safely home.

- Jill Briscoe -
From the book, "The Deep Place Where Nobody Goes"

Oh how I look forward to the day when things will be as they "ought to be". One day, in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet, we will see Jesus, face to face. We will fall on our faces before Him saying,

"You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being." Revelation 4:11

But until that day Lord, I place all of my hopes is in Your hands. My eyes are upon Your throne, fixed upon You until my race is run!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Raising Grazing Sheep

Did you know there are 208 references in the Bible to the word “sheep” and 182 references to the word “lamb”. It got me thinking about what it would take to raise sheep. I'm a city girl so I have no clue. What do sheep even eat?

The general consensus on all of the websites I viewed is that, “Nutrition plays a major role in the overall productivity, health and well-being of the sheep flock.” So if you want to raise healthy, productive sheep, you need to make sure that they eat well. So will it be free grazing in green pastures, chowing down on harvested feed (hay, grain, proteins, minerals), or maybe a balanced combination?

The Bible tells us that when we trust Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior of our lives, He becomes our Shepherd and we become His sheep. As any good shepherd would do, He provides for our every need. One way is He has given use the Bible. Matthew 4:4 says,
“But He answered, "It is written: Man must not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of God."
The Bible (Gods’ Holy Word) has been given to us in written form for us to “freely graze”. We can open it up each and every day and feast on the instructions, correction, encouragement, praise, and love of our Shepherd. If you need a word of encouragement, open it up and graze freely. Need direction in a difficult situation, open it up and graze freely. Feeling a little beat up, open it up and experience the perfect love of God. The Shepherd has provided for your every need.

He also gives us the opportunity to be part of a flock, a group of fellow believers. Together we can eat the “harvested feed” of Preaching, Bible Study, Worship, and Teaching. The supplemental nutrients provided by this harvested feed help the sheep to grow healthy and become productive.

So my question is, where are you grazing today? Are you free grazing on His Word? Are you feeding with the flock? Eat up; the Shepherd is waiting to meet you right where you are! You can't be a healthy sheep if you don't eat. Aren't you we never have to go on a spiritual diet?

Good Shepherd, Thank you for providing me with Your Word. May I never forget to follow you into green pasture and eat until I am empty of me and filled by you.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Battlefield of the Mind

It's time again for me to chose the next verse for the Living Proof Memory Verse Challenge. This is the 6th of 24 verses I will memorize this year. I have chosen Isaiah 26:3:
You will keep him in perfect peace, Whose mind is stayed on You, Because he trusts in You.

This is a verse that I really need right now. So much going on. So many decisions to be made. So many things to do.

I want my decisions to be God led. I want my actions to be God inspired. I want to bring honor and glory to Him in all that I say and do. And yet, life can be so distracting. A husband who is ill, a household to run, a job that's demanding, a child to raise. So many people clamoring for my attention.

What I want, what I need is peace in the midst of the storm. This can only be accomplished by fixing my eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of my faith. Philippians 4:6-7 reminds me,
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Father, The victory has already been one. Guard my heart and my mind. Keep me focused on you. Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, - if anything is excellent or praiseworthy - lead me to think about such things. Because you Lord are all of those things. Fill me with the peace that only you can give.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Saturday Steps of Faith #1

Welcome to the first of what I hope will be many Saturday Steps of Faith. This is a place where we can join together in believing God for things great and small. I believe that God hear us and He answers our prayers. Jesus Himself said,

Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him
who knocks, the door will be opened. Matthew 7:7-8

I am believing God in the area of selling our home. We have lived in this home for only 2 years. With Randy unable to work it just isn't feasible for us to stay in this house. I know that God gave this home to us for a season, and the provision of the right buyer is in His hands. He knows our need and we trust it into His care.

What are you believing God for?

To join in, please write a blog today indicating what you are believing God for. Return to this site and fill out Mr. Linky. This will allow others to click on the link below and jump over to your website. I'm looking forward to praying and believing God with you.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Saturday Steps of Faith - Beginning Tomorrow

I'd like to start something new on my blog for Saturday's. I have called it Saturday Steps of Faith. I would love for you to join in.

Last year I did the Beth Moore study Believing God. It was an answer to prayer as our church went through a very difficult time. It really challenged me to not only read the Word of God, but to believe the promises for me. To speak the promises of God right back to Him in prayer.

Let me ask you a question. What are you believing God for right now? Think about it for just a minute. With so many prayer needs in our own lives and in the lives of those we know, it shouldn't be too hard for us to take a step of faith and believe God to show Himself in a big way.

During the study Beth gave us this formula:

The Word of God + Prayer = Dynamite (It's explosive)

She encouraged us to take God at His Word and Believe Him to do what He said He would do. We memorized the following belief statement:

  1. God is who He says He is.
  2. God can do what He says He can do.
  3. I am who God says I am.
  4. I can do all things through Christ?
  5. God’s word is alive and active in me.

Do you believe that God is who He says that He is? Do you believe that He can do what He says He can do? Do you believe all of these things? If so, let's start believing Him for things big and small.

You serve a Mighty God who is just crazy about you. He loves you so much! He sent His beloved Son to die on the cross to pay our debt for sin.

In His Word He has promised to never leave you or forsake you, to supply all of your needs, to fight for you, to heal your broken hearts, to sustain you, to comfort you, to save you, delight in you, quiet you with His love. He will rejoice over you with singing. He will give you endurance and encouragement. He will answer you!

It is time that we arm ourselves with the Word of God and Believe Him! Will you join me?

If so, tomorrow post on your blog something you are believing God for. Using Mr. Linky you will be able to link back to this blog. I'm working on getting the code displayed so you can display the button.

Let's all join in together, praying & believing God to answer.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Thankful Thursday #7

Thankful Thursday at Truth 4 the Journey

Sonya is hosting Thankful Thursday again this week. Click the button above and you can see everyones list of thanksgivings.

1. My dear friend Debbie was taken to the hospital this week. She was physically in bad shape, scared to death and just a mess. She is back home today feeling so much better. God walked with her each step of the way and answered prayer after prayer. Thank You God for loving her back to health !

2. Only 8 more days until I get to go home. I am counting down the days until I get to see family and friends that I have missed to terribly. Thank You God for providing the tickets and working out all of the details. Thank You for making a way!

3. Last Sunday I enjoyed a Worship service that had a "Praise and Share" time built right into the middle. A lady shared how she had received word of a spot on her mamogram. Her mom and sister are both breast cancer survivors. Her husband prayed over her. Her Pastor and his wife prayed over her. When she went back in, the ultrasound showed nothing at all. Thank You God that you show yourself to us through miracles every day!

4. I am so thankful for friends. Friends you can call on when you need a helping hand. Friends you don't see too often, but when you do you pick right up where you left off the last time you saw them. Friends that listen and care. Friends who lift you up in prayer. Thank You God for my friends.

5. I know that I say this quite often, but I am so thankful for my job. Some days it's hard. The stress level can get high. But it provides for all of our needs and even some wants. In a day when so many are looking for work and just struggling to get by. I'm thankful for my job and God's provision through it.

A word of Thanks to all of my bloggy friends! Thank You for the encouragement you give through your blogs each day. Thank You for sharing Jesus! Without Him where would we be?

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Come Lord Jesus Come

I love when you're driving on a dreary day and suddenly the clouds part and the sun shines through. My mind is immediately taken to the thought of the day when Jesus will split the Eastern sky and return one last time. Come Lord Jesus Come!

You see, when Jesus comes again it will be much different than the first time.
I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and makes war. His eyes are like blazing fire, and on his head are many crowns. He has a name written on him that no one knows but he himself. He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God. The armies of heaven were following him, riding on white horses and dressed in fine linen, white and clean. Out of his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations. "He will rule them with an iron scepter." He treads the wine press of the fury of the wrath of God Almighty. On his robe and on his thigh he has this name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS. Revelation 19:11-16

One day very soon, Heaven will open and Jesus will appear. When He came to Bethlehem more than 2000 years ago, He came as a Lamb to be sacrificed for sin. But not this time. Jesus will come as a warrior on a white horse, a Conquering King bringing judgement in His hands.

The battle lines between God and evil have been drawn. Today we are waiting for the King to ride onto the battle field for the final battle. There really is no fight, however, because Jesus won the victory the day He died on the cross for sins atonement and rose victorious from the dead.

I am waiting in eager anticipation for the sound of the trumpet. Oh how I long to see my Savior face to face. Come Lord Jesus Come! Are you ready?

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Leave the How’s to Him

I assure you: If anyone says to this mountain, 'Be lifted up and thrown into the sea,' and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says will happen, it will be done for him. Mark 11:23
Does that verse describe your faith? How many mountains have your prayers moved? Jill Briscoe is one of my favorite authors. She has written the following poem, which I love to quote.

Ask Him to do it, but don’t tell Him how.
Ask Him to answer, but don’t tell Him now.
Ask Him for strength for the task.
Thank Him for giving you more than you asked.
Ask Him to cleanse you whenever you pray,
And be honest with God at the end of the day.
Ask for the power & faith it will take,
To say to this mountain,
“Go jump in the lake”.

Do you have a loved one you want to see trust Jesus as their Lord and Savior? Let’s see what Gods word say about that:

“The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. 2 Peter 3:9”.

The Bible tells us that God wants them to be saved too. So pray His word back to Him in faith believing that He will hear and He will answer; but leave the hows to Him. Allow the Holy Spirit to open the doors (don’t go looking for a pry-bar). Be available to His leading. Thank Him for His moving and working, even though you may not see the results with your physical eyes. That’s where faith comes in.

For over 20 years our family prayed and wept for one of our loved one to get saved. Her name was written on the leaf in the back of all of our Bibles. We planted the seeds, at times pushing a little to hard (using that pry-bar). The answer was always the same, NO.

With our physical eye we saw only the rejection, but in our prayers we trusted that God was at work. A surprise phone call indicated that not only was she saved, but her two sons as well. God chose to use a friend of one of the boys to lead all three to Jesus.

It wasn’t our way; thank God it was His. It wasn’t our time; praise God it was His! Please don’t stop asking, don’t give up. But remember to leave the how’s to Him.

Monday, March 9, 2009

I'm listening

So much noise, all around us, all the time. At home it's the kids, the TV, the phone, the cell phone, the IPod, the washer, the dryer, the timer, the furnace, the dog... There's always something or someone clamouring for our attention - making noise.

At work it's the same. Our bosses, co-workers, the phones, always someone wanting just a moment of our time. Just a few minutes to bend our ear. Have you noticed that even in elevators and public restrooms we have to have music & noise funneled in?

How about at a public event where they notify the crowd that they will be observing a "moment of silence"? How many seconds go by before the crowd begins to squirm and the silence is broken by whispers or fidgeting? Is it 15, 30, 45 seconds?

Is it no wonder that we have such a hard time hearing the voice of God? God Himself said these words,
"Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth." Psalm 46:10
And yet I have such a hard time just being still and listening without talking. So much talking. So little listening and truly hearing what God has just for me.
Have you ever thought about that? How many times God wanted to whisper a word of encouragement, comfort or peace and I just couldn't be still. How about a word of warning that I didn't hear and instead had to endure some difficult consequence that could have been so easily avoided. All because I couldn't be still, for just a moment.

Father, forgive me for all of the noise that I bring with me into the throne room of Heaven. So much noise. So many distractions. So little focus. Teach me to be still and to listen. To know that you are God and must be exalted above everyone and every thing. I need to hear your voice - clearly. Just a word of direction, a word of comfort, a little encouragement. I love you so. Still my heart Lord, I'm listening.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Confession Overdue

This morning in my quiet time I was reading from 2 Samuel 12. In prior chapters King David had a tremendous season of victories as He walked with the Lord. The enemies of God were going down and the heart of David was becoming more and more like the heart of God.

In chapter 11 we find that David decides to stay home at the palace instead of leading his armies into battle. With idle time on his hands, he fell neck deep into the pit of sin. First is was the lust of the flesh as he watched Bathsheba taking a bath on her roof. Next he had her brought to him and he committed adultery with her.

When he found that she was pregnant with his child, he had her husband sent home from war in order for him to sleep with her. His hope was that his sin would be covered up. Her husband Uriah was a man of integrity and honor and refused to sleep with his wife while his fellow soldiers were off to war. David had Uriah sent back to the front lines to his death and he now found himself with an innocent mans blood on his hands.

From a, "Man after God's own heart" to a lusting, manipulative, adulterer whose scheming led to murder in the blink of an eye. Honestly, can you get your mind around how great this man's fall was?

After Uriah had died, David brought Bathsheba to live with him as his wife and they had a son. David went on with his life as if nothing had happened. But what about his relationship with God?

Do you realize that a year has gone by and David has shown no remorse? Now God directs Nathan the prophet to go to David and confront him with his sin. You see, David may have forgotten - but God had not.
13 Then David said to Nathan, "I have sinned against the LORD." Nathan replied, "The LORD has taken away your sin. You are not going to die.

Oh the sweet fragrance of forgiveness that replaces the stench of a calloused, sin hardened heart. Look how David describes his season of unrepentance.

When I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long. For day and night your hand was heavy upon me; my strength was sapped as in the heat of summer. Selah
Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity. I said, "I will confess my transgressions to the LORD "— and you forgave the guilt of my sin. Selah (Psalm 32:3-5)

Oh the freedom of a soul that has been forgiven. It's as if the chains of sin that had you all tangled up are suddenly snapped and drop to the ground. Forgiven and free to live a life of victory, not defeat.

Oh Father, take a walk around my heart. Peel back the layers, search every corner, every nook and cranny. Search me oh God and know my heart. If there is any thought, word or deed that contrary to your Word, contrary to your will for me - make it plain for me to see. I don't want anything to be between us except the blood of Jesus covering my sin. When you look at me I want you to see the righteousness of Christ. No more groaning - just rejoicing in your presence. Thank You for forgiving me from the guilt of my sin! I love you Father!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Thankful Thursday #6

Thankful Thursday at Truth 4 the Journey
I missed Thankful Thursday last week, so I'm glad to be joining Sonya once again. Here are my five for today:
  1. Thank You God for giving me sight. It's something I take for granted on most days. But on a day like today where the sun is shining and the birds are singing, I just can't help but to stop and take it all in.
  2. Thank You God for providing for my every need. I know I list this often but in today's economy, without God's blessings where would I be.
  3. Thank You God for the small ways I see you moving in my present situation. If I stop and look at the open road before me, it can at times be daunting. And yet I see the steps that you took with me yesterday and today. I know that you will be walking with me tomorrow - leading, encouraging, carrying me if necessary. Thank you for directing my steps.
  4. Thank You for keeping things running every day in our home. Our furnace, appliances, cars, day after day doing the work they were ordained to do. Thank you for keeping them in working order.
  5. Thank You God that in 15 days I'll be home for the first time in over a year. So many hugs to give. So many hugs to get. Family and friends to catch up with. Joy to be shared. There's no place like home!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Our God Reigns - In Majesty

The Lord reigns, He is robed in majesty;
the Lord is robed in majesty
and is armed with strength.

The world is firmly established;
it cannot be moved.
Your throne was established long ago;
you are from all eternity.

The seas have lifted up, O Lord
the seas have lifted up their voice;
the seas have lifted up their pounding waves.

Mightier than the thunder of the great waters,
mightier than the breakers of the sea-
the Lord on high is mighty!

Your statutes stand firm;
holiness adorns your house
for endless days, O Lord.
Psalm 93

The seas may roar, the waves may crash, but OUR GOD REIGNS forever and ever AMEN!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

A Young Seedling

I have been involved in church life my entire life. Have you ever stopped and given thought to the number of people who have sowed the seeds of faith into your life?

I remember Lois Steelman and Lucille Shahan sitting on the floor in a circle with my fellow pre-schooolers as they told us stories about Jesus. Whether we were playing with puzzles, drawing pictures with crayons or just playing with the toys, they always made sure that we knew how much Jesus loved us. Oh how they loved Jesus.

I remember a little old lady by the name of Molly Hargrove. She always wore her gray hair tightly up in a bun. She would gather all of us children around the piano and she would plunk those old keys and sing. I remember that she didn't play very well..., but it never stopped her. Jesus loves me, Jesus loves the little children, The B-i-b-l-e, and countless more. Oh how she loved Jesus.

I remember Mrs. Crossman leading me through a new believers class after I gave my heart to Jesus. She made sure that I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that Jesus was now my Savior and that Heaven would be my home. I remember how gently she shared from the scriptures. It was as if she was sharing her most treasured secret and she didn't want me to miss a word. She loved to tell boys and girls how they could be saved. Oh how she loved Jesus.

I remember Molly Smith sitting in the middle of a half moon table surrounded by little girls sitting in those itty-bitty chairs. We would read our weekly story from the Bible and she would help us to understand what the words really meant. Oh how she loved Jesus.

The last time I was home visiting, my Dad and Mom drug me to the cemetery to put out flowers. While they tended to the graves of several family members, I began to stroll through the cemetery, looking at the names. I came upon the graves of both Lois Steelman and Lucille Shahan.

I bent down and began to clear away the twigs and debris that had been blown there by the wind. I went and got some furniture polish and a rag from the van and I began to clean the headstones. I remember their sweet faces about how those dear Saints had invested their lives in a little girl only five years of age. Tears welled up in my eyes as I stopped and thanked God for their faithfulness.

Seeds of faith planted in fertile soil. A young seedling watered, nurtured and pruned. A tree now bearing fruit of its own.

I thank you God for the men and women who have sown the seeds of faith in my life. Oh how they love You! Bless them for their faithfulness in serving you with distinction and honor!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Happy 13th Birthday


Thirteen years of praying. Thirteen years of waiting. Thirteen years of God teaching me that His ways are far better than I ever could have hoped or dreamed.

Thirteen years ago our faith became sight as God placed you in our arms for the very first time. Just a little over a day old when we first met; but conceived in our heart long before.

It was New Years Eve 1996 when with quiet resolve that your Dad and I knelt beside our bed and said a prayer that would forever change our lives. It went something like this, "God, whether You ever bless us with a child or not, You are our God! We lay down our wants, our wishes and desires at your feet. Above all else, may your will be done in our lives today, and forever."

No more wanting what we wanted, more than we wanted what God wanted. No more trying to bargain. No more wrestling with God. No more infertility treatments. That night, we layed it all down.

January 4th, 1996 we received a phone call that to this day still blows me away. On the phone was a lady that my husband had met a couple of times out in the community. She represented a private adoption agency not far from our home. Her question, "Would you and your wife be interested in adopting a baby?" She told Randy that she just couldn't get us off of her mind.

At the time she didn't know if we had any children or were even looking to adopt, but felt compelled by God to call and ask. Yes they had a waiting list. Yes they had many couples already approved and just waiting to be matched up with a baby. But as always, this godly lady committed the selection of parents for each baby to prayer. So she placed the call.

January 5th we met her at a local restaurant and we shared and cried together. Overwhelmed by what God was doing in all of our lives, how He was orchestrating the entire thing. To see Him working everything out, according to His plan was like nothing I had ever experienced before. And by the way, this special gift would be arriving within a matter of weeks.

So many details to work out. The home study, the adoption expenses, the attorney fees, the medical expenses. We had made no preparations. How in the world would everything be completed in time. When it's God's timing, all of the paperwork, all of the details, everything is under His control. Everything was completed without a hitch.

On a Wednesday night I came home from church to a ringing phone. A familiar voice was on the other end of the line. Her words, "Your son has been born! You can pick him up tomorrow." I sat down on the chair, no breath in my lungs, nothing would come out. Totally speechless!

We named you Jonathan which means, "God has given" or "Gift of God". In our lives, outside of Jesus, you have been the greatest gift that God has ever given to us. In giving you, He did the impossible, the improbable, the miraculous. He poured out His love for us in a tiny bundle of joy that filled our hearts greatest desires.

Thirteen years later, you continue to bring us tremendous joy. I am so proud of the young man you are growing to be. I can't wait to see where God is going to take you in the next 13 years of our lives together. I love you with all of my heart! Mom

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Authentic Praise

More than any other day of the week, I look forward to Sunday because I think of it as a day to praise. This is the day when I gather myself with other believers and we focus our attention on God. We study His Word. We sing praises to His name. We hear a message proclaimed. The hearts of fellow believers are drawn to the One who alone is worthy of our praise.

The following is take from A Heart Like His by Beth Moore.

Praise requires focus. I will praise you, O LORD, with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonders. Psalm 9:1

Praise is not confined. Each of the following original Hebrew words have been translated to praise in the Psalms:

  • Yadhah: most often translated to speak out, confess.
  • Tehillah: a laudation, hymn, a song.
  • Zamar: to play an instrument, or make noise.
  • Halah: to be bright, to shine, to boast, to praise. At the root is the idea of radiance.

Praise is a choice. Praise the LORD, O my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name. Praise the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits- who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's. Psalm 103:1-5

Praise is to become a habit. Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise—the fruit of lips that confess his name. Hebrews 13:15

Praise becomes compulsory when we experience true intimacy with God. O God, you are my God, earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you, my body longs for you, in a dry and weary land where there is no water. I have seen you in the sanctuary and beheld your power and your glory. Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you. I will praise you as long as I live, and in your name I will lift up my hands. Psalm 63:1-4

Praise is contagious. I will praise you forever for what you have done; in your name I will hope, for your name is good. I will praise you in the presence of your saints. Psalm 52:9

Praise Him for who He is universally. O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! You have set your glory above the heavens. From the lips of children and infants you have ordained praise because of your enemies, to silence the foe and the avenger. When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him? Psalm 8:1-4

Praise Him for who He is personally. Praise be to the LORD my Rock, who trains my hands for war, my fingers for battle. He is my loving God and my fortress, my stronghold and my deliverer, my shield, in whom I take refuge, who subdues peoples under me. O LORD, what is man that you care for him, the son of man that you think of him? Man is like a breath; his days are like a fleeting shadow. Psalm 144:1-4

Praise Him with a new song. I waited patiently for the LORD; he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear and put their trust in the LORD. Blessed is the man who makes the LORD his trust, who does not look to the proud, to those who turn aside to false gods. Psalm 40:1-4

Praise invites the audience of God. Yet you are enthroned as the Holy One; you are the praise of Israel. Psalm 22:3 The original Hebrew word means, "to sit and dwell".

Won't you praise Him now?