Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Wonderment Wednesday - Jesus' Prayer for us

Just as you, Father, are in me and I in you,
So they might be one heart and mind with us,
Then the world might believe that you, in fact, sent me.
The same glory you gave me, I gave them, 
So they'll be as unified and together as we are--
I in them and you in me.
Then they'll be mature in this oneness,
And give the godless world evidence
That you've sent me and loved them
In the same way you've loved me.

Father, I want those you gave me 
To be with me, right where I am.

So they can see my glory, the splendor you gave me.
Having loved me
Long before there ever was a world.
Righteous Father, the world has never known you.
But I have known you, 
And these disciples know that you sent me on this mission. 
I have made your very being known to them--

Who you are and what you do--
And continue to make it known....

So that your love for me might be in them
Exactly as I am in them.

John 17:24-26 (MSG)

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

When God Was Born

When God was Born as told by children video.

This was really cute, so I wanted to share it with you all. I pray your holiday week is filled with joy and excitement. Keep your eyes on Him who the season is all about.

There's so much to celebrate for what He's done for us. Amen!

(turn off the sidebar music while you enjoy this video)

Monday, December 20, 2010

Christmas Choices: When it simply stinks

We had decided to not get a tree this year, which is hard because we love having a live tree for Christmas. It wasn't because we were hum-bugging about Christmas. We simply found time running short along with our spending budget. I would just get out some decorations to brighten up the house with.

Then, when I opened our ornament tub, a bad smell hit me. Seems when our storage room flooded from the overflowing laundry room, water had seeped into the plastic container and saturated every last cardboard box. Every last item had a covering of mold on it. 

As I stared down into that box, the last of my Christmas cheer ebbing away, I realized a decision had to be made. This, being a real downer of a thing to happen, could either cloud my holiday happiness, or I could look beyond the stench and gunk to what was really important.

And I wonder...
Before God came down to earth as a helpless babe, did He see the stench and gunk we'd made of His world? Did His heart falter with gloom? Was His joy in that wonderful thing He'd created stripped away from the mess that it had become?

I don't know. What I do know is that despite the mess, the stink and the corrosion, He came anyway. He looked beyond the mess and set His eyes on the HOPE of saving the lost children. He never faltered in His choice to come, to walk with us, eat with us, teach us and then die for us. 

Looking at the mess in that plastic tub, I heaved a big sigh, shook my head, and walked away. There might be some I can salvage, but I had decided to deal with it later. 

I allowed myself to be really bummed for about 10 minutes, then decided that it's not about all the decorations anyway. It was only about what He'd done. It was about Love. 

Jesus always made the best of what He had, which honestly wasn't much while He walked this earth. 

All the tinsel and lights
and the presents are nice...
but the real gift is You! 
Happy Birthday, Jesus

Yeah, all that is nice... the decorations, the twinkling lights, and PRESENTS!  Of course. But all that is a means to the end. It's our way to celebrate God's real gift, and it's easy to forget when you get burdened under with the pressure to get more and do more and having everything perfect.

And that's simply madness. Jesus' first bed was an animal troff, that manger where animals munched on hay. Where did we get the idea that everything had to be so... well, you know.

It's okay, if you can't buy a lot. It's okay if the decorations are sparse. It's okay, really. The real gift... it's HIM! It's Jesus coming to earth, dying for our sins, showing us how to really live.


Turn off the sidebar music and take a moment to wish Him a Happy Birthday right now and all through this week as you go about your Merry Making. I'll be posting some kind of Christmas fun each day, either a video I've come across or maybe some crazy pictures that will make you smile. Be blessed friends. Don't sweat the small stuff. God loves, loves, loves you. He loves you so much, he died for you. 

Can it get any better than that? 

Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Friday's favorite - video day

I picked this song because of the verse below. "Give your dreams the wings to fly, you have everything you need..." 

In Jesus, the reason that we celebrate this season, we do have everything we need. He is the dream maker, the dream take-carer. If we can only have faith in Him and what He's doing with our lives, there is nothing and nowhere that we can't go. 

Have Faith. He will see you through.

Turn off the music on the sidebar and enjoy Josh Groban and Beyonce sing Believe. . .

Believe in what your heart is saying

Just believe

Hear the melody that's playing
There's no time to waste
There's so much to celebrate
Believe in what you feel inside 
And give your dreams the wings to fly
You have everything you need
If you just believe 

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Wonderment Wednesday - Matthew 6:34

Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now,
and don't get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. 
God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes.
Matthew 6:34 (MSG)

Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when test and challenges come at you from all sides.
You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors.
So don't try to get out of anything prematurely. 
Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way.

If you don't know what you're doing, pray to the Father.
He loves to help. 
You'll get his help and won't be condescended to when you ask for it.

Ask boldlybelievingly, without a second thought.
James 1:2-5

Monday, December 13, 2010

Such a Small Word

I don't know how many times I've asked myself if I'm really hearing God. If I'm really doing what I should be doing. If I'm in the right place, making the right choices... especially when those choices are only making things worse. Or they seem worse. . . yet, are they? 


Voices quieted as the chapter president stood before the group of writers, cupping several small objects in her hands. It was our Christmas party meeting. She looked around the room and said she wanted to give everyone a little gift and as she rounded the tables, setting one small stone in front of a member, she also said that she'd asked God to let each one be a special word to the receiver. Carefully, she'd pluck one out of her palm without looking at it, and set it face down on the table. 

When I turned mine over, I knew immediately He'd heard her prayer. 

It's the very word I hear every time I question what He's asked me to do. 

"Have faith, Jackie. I'm right here with you. There's a reason for everything. I have good plans for you. I desire good things, not bad, for you." 

I held the little stone between my fingers, letting them rub over the indented word, saying it over and over... faith... faith... just need to have faith.

Then our speaker got up. She talked about when tragedy hits. She had experienced it, going blind one day and having to rebuild her life because of it. Yet it's not defeated her. Matter-of-fact, her blindness has allowed her to see life much more clearly. 

Her last words are still re-vibrating through my spirit: 
I'm not stuck. I'm in position. Live life. Live it to it's fullest. 

That's the FAITH walk. It's the keep on walking, despite how high the waves look, keep on doing what seems impossible because He will make all things possible for those of us who love Him. 

Such a small word. Such a small gift. Yet so profound. 


Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Wonderment Wednesday

And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus...

Philippians 4:19

Monday, December 6, 2010

Missing it

A repost from the archives:

I think it was Joyce Myers who had the funny lesson about taking another trip around the mountain. Like, for instance, when the Israelites missed it with God and he sent them back out into the desert for a longer time to think about it and hopefully learn their lesson.

She called it "taking another trip around the mountain."

Ever feel like you keep having to relive the same trials time and time again? Keep getting mad about the same things? Keep bouncing checks? Keep missing appointments? The list is endless. Life seems one trial after another.

One more trip around the mountain. Will I get it this time?

After 95% of the original Israelites were dead, the promised land finally came into view.

Oh, Lord, don't let it be that way with me. Help me to learn Your lessons by at least... the third... maybe fourth time around?

After three grueling weeks, I managed to drag myself out of bed this morning, determined to get back into the habit of having an early morning quiet time with God. I know better than to let that time slip. Every thing simply goes awry when I don't carve out that predawn hour to sit quiet, listen for His call, and take in his words like honey on warm toast. How could I allow myself to start each day without filling myself? Haven't I learned by now I need His sustenance to make it in this life?

I sat at my desk, groggy eyed and empty headed, too early for even my thoughts to start their swarming. "Well?" I ask after downing half my first cup of coffee. As a response to the quiet, I open my journal and write, "Lord help me get back into a routine. The past three weeks have been a blur. I feel like my free time has been squeezed of all excess like a damp rag. I'm weary and I'm begging for a short rest. A time to recollect myself."

I've talked before about John Eldredge's book Walking With God on this blog. This is one book you can not race through. It's one that needs to be savored, re-savored and yet again, savored at least once more.

I heard, "Fall. Third entry."

And it sounded familiar, something I'd visited before. The title read, Until God Becomes Our All, and of course, I've savored this morsel a few times.

You see, I've been struggling with several things: changes, disappointments, readjustment, family... to name a few. The job I'd hoped for didn't come through. So I was bummed. Life itself, ever moving and revolving brings its own changes in relationships, events, time constraints. The job I do have has changed drastically and it's been a struggle to keep up. During all this, my eyes once again moved off my steady rock and onto the wildly lapping waves around me. But at least I didn't sink completely this time. No eye-to-eye moments with a tuna. Not this time.

Yet the distance grows, and will keep growing if I don't throw out my arms and plead, "Catch me, daddy!"

Eldredge wrote, "We see God as a means to an end rather than the end
itself. God as the assistant to our life versus God as our life. We don't see
the process of our life as coming to the place where we are fully his and he is
our all. And so we are surprised by the course of events.

It's not that God doesn't want us to be happy. He does. It's just that he
knows that until we are holy, we cannot really be happy. Until God has become
our all, and we are fully his, we will continue to make idols of the good things
he gives us."

And isn't it easy, when everything is going smooth, and life is good and you need shades the world is so bright. And we slip on those shades and color our vision until He's not the center anymore, but all the things we THINK make us happy and complete.

Such as the job we want.
That perfect relationship.
Perfect, well-behaved kids who are acing all their classes.

He wants these things for us as well, but not at the cost of our relationship with Him.

In Philippians 4:12, Paul says, "I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want."

That secret, my friends, is found in making God our all. Eldredge also wrote: "As long as our happiness is tied to the things we can lose, we are vulnerable."

Our happiness needs to be tied into the fact that He loves us, no matter what's going on. He loves us even when we don't get the job we want. He loves us even when our kids are fighting and we join in the fray. He loves us when we are being less than kind and caring to each other. He loves us. He loves us and He has our best interest at heart. He only ask to be the center of ours.

Then, as Paul summed up, "I can do everything through him who gives me strength." vs. 13.

I can do everything. Nothing will hinder me. Nothing will separate me from the love he has for me. A love that is wide and far reaching, that goes deep and past my fingertips high. There's no boundaries to it. No end. No beginning. We don't have to earn it. It's just there.

He loves me.
He love you.
forever and ever and ever, amen.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Wonderment Wednesday

You God, are my God
earnestly I seek you;

I thirst for you,
my whole being longs for you,
in a dry and parched 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.
I will be fully satisfied as with the richest of foods;
with singing lips my mouth will praise you.
On my bed I remember you;
I think of you through the watches of the night.
Because you are my help.

I sing in the shadow of your wings,
I cling to you;
your right hand upholds me.
Psalm 63:1-8

Monday, November 29, 2010

A Dry Season - The More I Seek You

It amazes me how easily I can get off track. Just ever so slightly.

It's not like I wandered away, or turned my back on Him. But as Sunday rolled around after the Thanksgiving Holiday, I found a dry taste in my spirit. Parched. Hungry.

It's not like I hadn't prayed. Quick prayers, here and there. When I needed something. When I was confused. Sometimes, even a quick thanks when something worked out.

Still, after three days, I felt bone-dry in my heart and wondering where I'd gone wrong.

Then it hit me. I hadn't been spending time with Him. Yes, I was still communicating. Quick conversations. Request. Pleas for help.

Yet, during the holiday rush, and bustle, I'd forgotten to spend that quiet time. Just me and Him. In His quiet presence. Word open. Heart waiting to be filled. At His feet. Hanging on every word. Enjoying a time of being... just being... with Him.

This negligence happened so easily, right under my very nose and I didn't even see it happening. Things needed to be done. Shopping while the bargains were prime. There was family to do things with. Places to go. Things to accomplish.

And without His covering, I fell flat on my face Sunday morning, entangled in confusion, anxiety and guilt. Funny how easy it can happen.

"You gave me life and showed me kindness, and in your providence watched over my spirit." Job 10:12

Yet, He finds a way of redirecting my waywardness, of lifting my hanging head, of wiping away sorrowful tears. I'm reminded that I must make that choice to spend time with him, despite the season, activities, demands.

And the more that we seek Him...
the more we'll find Him.
the more we find Him
The more we love Him...

It's impossible to spend time in His presence without falling deeply, madly in love with Him.

(turn off the sidebar music and enjoy this video.)

Despite what season is upon us, don't forget what these seasons are all about. Find quiet times to sit at His feet, to hear His heart beats... to fill yourself with His love and peace.

Be blessed,

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Wonderment Wednesdays -

Rejoice in the Lord Always.

I will say it again: REJOICE!
Let your gentleness be evident to all.

The Lord is near.

Do not be anxious about anything,

but in everything,


with thanksgiving, present your request to God.

And the peace of God,

which transcends all understanding

will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Finally brothers,
whatever is true
whatever is pure,
whatever is lovely,
whatever is admirable,
--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--
think about such things.
Philippians 4:4-8

May the God of peace be with you always...


(my photos from random wanderings)

Monday, November 22, 2010

Why Are You Striving?

This post first appeared over a year ago, but as I was strolling through my archives, I found some lessons have yet to be learned. So I'm reposting this one, with a bit of an update. I need to hear it again. I hope it'll bless you again as well. -enjoy!

The day rushes past, full of activities, trials and errors, maybe a bitter argument or harsh words, perhaps failed attempts. Every once in awhile, I can boast of a success. Boast. As if.

Taking my life into my own hands. Struggling to accomplish a never ending list of daily tasks. Racking my brain to figure out how to solve a problem. Banging my head when no answers come.
And in all this, when I've finally collapsed in a tired heap at the end of the day, having run out of myself... there He is. I feel Him. I hear His whisper, "Why didn't you call on me?"

John Eldredge said in his book, Walking With God that he often struggles with his own "driveness" that pushes and propels his life, and he says it comes as a result of "unbelief, from some deep fear that it's all up to me. Life is up to me. I've got to make as much headway as I can before the bottom drops out."

And that is how I often find myself thinking. It's not going to fix itself, so I better get after it. I. Me. The Master and Commander of my life. Yeah, right.

But He's good at waiting until I've run out of myself, my own energy, my own self-determination before he comes and his presence sits beside me, saying, "Why have you taken your eyes off me?"

I wanted to be a teacher. I sent out resumes, emails, visited schools, nearly everything I could possibly do aside from camping out in their office. Now I'm working as a substitute. I thought teaching was the right thing to do, maybe it will be eventually. But for now, He's put a burden on my heart to write again. To put everything I have into it. It's risky. So far, after three months, I've seen no return for it. Sometimes, I just want to throw up my hands and say, "What's going on God? I'm trying the best I can and look where it's getting me!"

The more I strive, the more I worry, the faster I come around to the realization that I'm going to have to trust Him, and the words He's spoken over me, His promises made. It's beyond me and I hate that. The human in me absolutely hates not being able to control this.

I have a feeling, that's exactly where He wants me, too. Because I'm going to have to learn how to trust Him. And the broken places in me are really afraid to trust too much. What if I don't get a job after all? What if I never sell a piece of writing? How will that make me look? How will I feel about that? And this seeps into every aspect of my life. Trusting Him with our finances. Trusting Him with our children, family. Trusting Him enough to step out in faith and do the things He's asked of me. What if I fail? What if I fall and skin my knee? What if that makes me look like I don't know what I'm doing? Which more often than not, I don't.

He wants to heal those broken places. Each of those shattered parts, chipped away from life's circumstances. Yet I try to hold onto my life, myself, fearful that if I stretch out my arms to him, all those fragments will scatter into a million pieces.

They wont, though.

Eldredge goes on to say, "The Bible says we can't hope to walk the path God would have us walk without the healing of our souls.... The path to freedom from all this pushing and striving involves both repentance and healing so that I can be made whole and holy by his love."

Jesus said in Matthew 13:15:

"For this people's heart has become calloused;
they hardly hear with their ears,
and they have closed their eyes.
Otherwise they might see with their eyes,
hear with their ears,
understand with their heart and turn,
and I would heal them."

Heal them. He yearns for us to turn to him, let Him heal us. Let Him have control. Don't be hard hearted. Don't walk with a blindfold on, and wax in your ears. Look to me. Hear my voice.

Father God,
Help me to connect my heart to yours. May I be able to stop and look to you for help, and to listen to the words you give me. I wish to walk in truth, with you by my side. Amen.

A friend shared this song with me awhile ago and as I thought about this article, it came back to me tonight. So turn off the sidebar music and I hope you enjoy "By Your Side" from Tenth Avenue North.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Blog Post of the Week: 6 Things Every Christian Blogger Should Know

This weeks post made me stop in my tracks. I like to think I'm pretty good at giving God control, and maybe I do, in a sense. But I still have a tendance to grasp onto that need to please people, to find acceptance and validation for what I do. What I write. But it goes farther than that.

I want to be seen as a good parent, because I believe I'm not. I get hurt easily by my kids when they don't seem to appreciate me, or listen to my oh-so-wise words, or follow through on my request. And I look to God while pointing an angry finger at them and say, "Look what they are doing!"

I would like to be a wonderful wife, but when my expectations of my husband fall short, when he lets me down, when not all of MY needs are met, I turn to God and stomp my foot as I cry, "How can I be a help-mate to someone who treats me like that!?!"

In my writing I put out one article and story after another, telling God, "I'm sending this out now. Lord, I need to make a living doing this if you really want me to keep doing this. I have bills to pay, you know."

As I read Six Things Every Christian Blogger Should Know written by Ann Voskamp, I stopped about midway through and wondered,

"Who the heck to I think I am? Seriously?"

And I began to do some quick apologizing and repenting.

Thing is, it's not about what my family does or doesn't do. Nor does my writing depend on how much I make... or don't make. When I'm a kingdom servant, I work unto God, not men. Whatever I do is in service to my Father God who knows all my needs, who is my one and only validation.

I don't need to worry, nor do I need to strive. It doesn't matter what others do, or what they think. I must keep my eyes focused on Him, my ears attuned to His words and my feet walking in the direction He has pointed out.

Everything is meaningless, a chasing after the wind, (Ecc 4:4) unless I'm putting all I do, into God's hands.

I hope you enjoy the post. It's a powerful message. Just click on the title link above to get over to it.



Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Wonderment Wednesday- Matthew 7

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.

Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in Heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!

So, in everything, do unto others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.
Matthew 7:7-13

Be blessed,

Monday, November 15, 2010

Creating a work in progress

We are but a work in progress....

I sit before the easel, blank, white, full of possibilities. Grabbing a charcoal pencil, I sketch a design, images as the completed project forms in my mind. I see it clear, eyes closed, but once opened again, it's no more than vague lines.

Dipping paintbrush into a swirl of color, bristles sweep across white expanse and a thrill erupts in my heart. We are on our way. What will happen? How will it all come out in the end?

More colors. More splashes. Oh, but it's not quite what I had in mind. It's actually kind of messy. I wipe up drips of paint off my shoes and floor.

Almost, as if taking on a life of it's own, the paint and brush sweep, blend, mesh and I gasp, "No, not quiet what I had in mind." I fight back, trying to regain control. Add more yellow. Yet the blue grasp and changes it to green.

In this tug-of-war endeavor of creating, I find I can hear God quiet clearly in the brush strokes.

"I understand your frustration. It's how I feel while I'm trying to mold you and
you have your own ideas. Your own color scheme... Yes, dear one, I
understand completely."

I stop and set my brush down. "I do, don't I? You say yellow and I want orange. You draw a crisp, straight line and say don't cross, yet my toe constantly brushes against, blurring it. Yes, it must be frustrating for you as well."

Yet I don't give up.
He doesn't either.

I wait for paint to dry.
So He waits as well.

I take my time.
So does He.

I am patient.
So is He.

As my project nears completion, I add defining lines, light and definition to each form.

In my life, I feel him doing the same. Setting boundaries. Highlighting the good in me. Defining who I am.

I start off as a big mess. A swirl of assorted colors. No real form. But he creates in my mess of a life, a work of art if I'll let him. His masterpiece. Something that bears His name.

And I want to proudly bear his name. I want to be a thing of beauty that brings joy to those who behold the work he's done in me.

In this video, the late Rich Mullins talks about God working in our lives. Later in the clip, he speaks about what God does with the junk we've made of our lives. Turn off the sidebar music as you listen to this wonderful man's wisdom. Hope you enjoy!

Be Blessed,

Friday, November 12, 2010

Blog Post of the Week: Lisa Buffaloe's blog

I usually like to point you to one specific post that touched me this week, but with Lisa, it's too hard to pin just one particular entry. This past week I've talked about worry. I've shared my thoughts. I've shared scripture and what Jesus thought about it. . .

The thing with Lisa is that her very life is a testimony to overcoming worry. This dear friend has faced some neck-bending obstacles, yet has found a way to get over each one. But I know for a fact, she hasn't done it alone. With each step, she learned to lean heavily on her Lord.

This post in particular seemed to put the cap on the worry bottle. When you read it, you'll see that even when we aren't aware of what's going on, God is in control and he makes a way around the bad places. That is His great love for us in action.

Click on the link to read Wonderfully Made.

And while you're there, why not check out the list Lisa came up with of scriptures that tell about how God feels about you. Read, When you need those reminders that God loves you.

You know, while your there, just have a good look around. Lisa is a true blessing.

But before you go... sit back and listen to this beautiful song and think about what I've said this week. Set your worries in His lap. Enjoy your life, friends. He loves us so very much. He's given us such beauty, so many good things. Don't let a couple of bad apples ... well, you know. Right?

Don't forget to turn off the music on the sidebar before you hit play. Be blessed~ J.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Wonderment Wednesday - Matthew 6

LOOK... at the birds of the air...
they neither sow or reap or store away in barns

And yet... And yet
Your heavenly Father feeds them.
Are you not
much more valuable than they?
LOOK... at the flowers
how they grow... no laboring and sewing
And Yet... And Yet...
Not even those in their finest dress can compare to the splendor...
If this is how God clothes the grass of the field that is here today and
tomorrow is thrown into the fire,
Will. He. Not. Much. More. Clothe. YOU?

Do not worry, your Father knows what you need!
But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness
and all these things will be given to you as well.

Therefore do not worry about tomorrow for tomorrow will worry about itself.
Each day has enough trouble of its own.
Matthew 6:26-34

Monday, November 8, 2010

Worry-Warts and Letting Go of The Ball

A friend was telling me how her dog loved playing with toys. This dog loved his toys so much, he would become anxious about them to the point of making himself miserable.

One day, the dog had a new ball and refused to let go of it, being afraid of losing it or someone taking it. She later found the dog under the table, panting and looking longingly at his water bowl. He wouldn't even let go of it to get himself a drink. So he just laid under that table, panting, hot and unhappy. But he had his ball!

It made me think of the times when I have gotten something I really loved and instead of enjoying it, I worried over it. What if it broke? What if I messed it up? Or if I loaned it to someone and they messed it up?

Then my thoughts wondered past the little worries in life as I remember how often I've worried over a job: Am I working hard enough? Does everyone like me? Am I doing it right? What if I get fired? Or they say I'm no good?

Or how about that new car: What if I get in a wreck? The new house: What if we can't afford it? What if something goes wrong? Or maybe a relationship: What if it doesn't work out? What if I do something stupid to make them mad?

Just how many good gifts do we spoil with our worry?

Jesus said: "Don't worry about your life. Don't worry saying, 'What will we eat?' or 'What will we drink?' For the lost children - (those who don't know the Heavenly Father who rains down good and perfect gifts on his children. The Heavenly Father who waters the earth, clothes the fields and provides food and shelter for all living creatures)- they go after such things. Your Heavenly Father knows what you need." Matthew 6:25-32 paraphrased

I know this, yet I still worry. Why can't I get this down in my heart? That no matter what life throws at me, I'm loved. He will take care of me because I love Him? For I do. I love Him so very much. No, I'm not perfect. Yes I mess up a lot. But His grace is sufficient. His love fills in our gaps. That's what the Bible says. Right?

My friend went on to tell me how she sat down at the table where her dog lay and looked down at him. And I don't care what people think about dogs, when they love you, they understand everything you say. I don't know how, but they do. She told her little furry friend that he was making himself miserable with that toy and he needed to give it to her. She would keep it safe.

And he did! Which shocked even her. He set the ball in her lap and ran over to get a drink. After that, he was perfectly happy.

Isn't that how it needs to be with the Lord? We need to set our cares in his lap before we harm ourselves. Before we dry up.

Psalm 55:22 says: Casts your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; for he will never let the righteous fall.

1 Peter 5:7 says: Casts all your anxiety on Him for He cares for you.

I leave you with these words from a wise man to ponder:
"I know that there is nothing better for men than to be happy and do good while they live. That everyone may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all his toil--this is the gift of God. I know that everything God does will endure forever' nothing can be added to it and nothing taken from it. God does it so that men will revere him." - Solomon in Ecclesiastes 3:12-14
Be blessed!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Wonderment Wednesday - Psalms 86

Hear, O Lord, and answer me
for I am poor and needy.
Guard my life, for I am devoted to you.
You are my God, save your servant who trusts in you.

Teach me your way, O Lord,
and I will walk in your truth;
give me an undivided heart,
that I may fear your name.
I will praise you, O Lord my God, with all my heart.
I will glorify your name forever.
For great is your love toward me:
YOU have delivered me from the depths of the grave.
(Psalms 86:1-2 & 11-13)

Monday, November 1, 2010

Come As You Are

I've heard this song over the past few weeks and finally came across the video and it just seemed right for today.

It's comforting to know that no matter where we are, Jesus loves us right there. I haven't been the most pleasant person to live with lately. I've gotten angry, have raged, cried, and ranted. My heart has often been filled with ugliness and hurt, instead of His joy and gladness.

Yet, in all that, I never felt Him leave me. Even in my darkest moments, He remained at my side, whispering comfort when I got still long enough to hear him. And I believe, that's how He is with all his children. He's not afraid of our miseries. To Him, they are a melody, as the song says. In our weakness, He is made strong. Why do we have to deal with our weaknesses? Because His grace is sufficient. Because it forces us to our knees and we have no where else but Him to turn.

We don't have to clean ourselves up to approach him. We come as we are. With all our fallacies and faults. He's okay with it. Just come.

Turn off the sidebar music and listen to Amy Grant talk about how she came upon this song and what it meant to her. Then sit back and enjoy the song itself. Be bless, my friends.


(Be sure to click the stop button on the sidebar music)

Friday, October 29, 2010

Blog Post of the Week: You Are Enough

After writing Monday's post, (which I actually wrote Sunday morning) I was looking at my email. Everyday, I get feed from DaySpring's (in)Courage. What is (in)Courage, you might ask? Well, here's an excerpt from the site.

When we asked ourselves what kind of place we were building, we finally came to see it as a bit like a beach house. You can put your sandy, dirty feet on the coffee table, laugh late into the night with friends, and also hear God’s voice clearer than perhaps anywhere else. Life just feels more vibrant and real, as if you’ve stumbled upon a glimpse of heaven and it’s nothing like you ever imagined but everything you’d always hoped.

In Sunday's email post was a piece by Arianne from To Think is To Create. What I would like to direct you to this week, was her post titled You Are Enough. It was like she heard before hand my post on Monday, my questions about fear, and self-doubts and in poetic form, and reminded me that I Am Enough, just as I am, with all my failures and mess-up and craziness.

It was nice to hear.

Hope it blesses you as well. Check out both sites, they are sure to enrich your day.

God Bless,

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Wednesday Wonderment - Psalm 23

The LORD is my shepherd; I have everything I need.
You, my God, are my protector, provider, my best friend in good and bad.

He lets me rest in green meadows; he leads me beside peaceful streams.
Father, I find my peace in You and only in You.

He renews my strength. He guides me along right paths, bringing honor to his name.

Even when I walk through the dark valley of death, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me. Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me.
In weariness you will carry me. In confusion, you point the way. In fear, you walk right by my side. In danger, your hand is upon me and my enemies haven't a chance against You, O' Mighty God.

You prepare a feast for me in the presence of my enemies. You welcome me as a guest, anointing my head with oil.

My cup overflows with blessings.

When have I lacked? When have I hungered? When have I had to go without? Never! For You, my Lord, have always provided, always made a way and for that I'm am eternally grateful.

How can my mere words express my thankfulness to You?

Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me all the days of my life, and I will live in the house of the LORD forever.

Psalm 23 (NLT)

A re-post that's been modified a bit for what's on my heart today. His mercy, grace and provision never, ever, never fail us.

Photo of pond from Charis Canyon, Grace Ministries International retreat.

Monday, October 25, 2010

When we are Much-Afraid...

She walked singing across the first field and was halfway over the next when suddenly she saw Craven Fear himself coming toward her. Poor Much-Afraid: for a little while she had completely forgotten the existences of her dreadful relatives, and now here was the most dreaded and detested of them all slouching toward her. (Hinds Feet On High Places: pgs 31-33)

Sometimes, my life feels like a roller-coaster. I'm happily skipping along, feeling good about my accomplishments, feeling good about where I'm going and feeling good about what I've accomplished. I feel my Shepherd's pleasure. I've recently been in His presence and all the junk has fled. My heart feels like singing. My steps are light. And then here it comes... on of those "dreadful relatives." Call him Fear, Failure, Irritation, Loss, Disappointment, Conflict. They are all from the same family.

And like Much-Afraid, I find myself unable to stop it.

She looked right and left, but there was no hiding place anywhere, and besides it was all too obvious that he was actually coming to meet her, for as soon as he saw her he quickened his pace and in a moment or two was right beside her.

The dip happens so quick. The road takes a violent downward tip and your heart flees and your stomach is up in your throat.

I see it coming. Honestly, I try to avoid it, yet am paralyzed to move, to hide, to turn the other way and before I know it, he is right there, in my face, nasty breath, evil look and cruel words. "Who do you think you're fooling?" He jeers.
"You are nothing and will always be nothing." Blah, blah, blah... it goes on and on and I'm sure you've heard your own words. He knows so well how to push our buttons. He knows so well where the wounds are, how to poke and make them hurt worse.

She shrank away from him and shook with terror and loathing. Unfortunately this was the worst thing she could have done, for it was always her obvious fear which encouraged him to continue tormenting her. If only she could have ignored him, he soon would have tired of teasing and of her company and would have wandered off to look for other prey. In all her life, however, Much-Afraid had never been able to ignore Fear. Now it was absolutely beyond her power to conceal the dread which she felt.

That's the problem isn't it? I can recognize it, but why do I feel powerless to ignore it? Why can't I push the daunting thoughts, the nagging, the doubts away and focus only on Him and His truth? Why can't I call out His name in praises for if I would, they would flee.

Here she was, alone and completely in his power. He caught hold of her, and poor Much-Afraid uttered one frenzied cry of terror and pain....
The Shepherd had approached them unperceived and was standing beside them. One look at his stern face and flashing eyes and the stout Shepherd's cudgel grasped in his strong, uplifted hand was more than enough for the bully.

Doesn't the Bible say--
But I call to God, and the Lord saves me. Evening, morning and noon I cry out in distress, and he hears my voice. He ransoms me unharmed from the battle waged against me, even though many oppose me. Psalm 55:17-19

He is always there. I know this. I KNOW this!! So why do I allow myself to fall prey to the bullying? Why do I let despair step on my toes? Why do I allow anger to wrap itself around me like a blanket, a smothering blanket. Why?

Much-Afraid burst into tears. Of course she ought to have known that Craven was a coward and that if only she had lifted her voice and called for the Shepherd, he would have fled at once.... She was overwhelmed with shame that she has so quickly acted like her old name and nature, which she had hoped was beginning to be changed already.

It is a process of change, I suppose. As we journey, like Much-Afraid, to the High Places, and with each step, the old does begin to fall off and the new shines through. At least I'm able to recognize those "dreadful relatives" as before I wouldn't have seen them coming. I see them now. I know who they are. And I do know that my Shepherd will come for me and with his "stern face and flashing eyes" He will send my enemies running.

The Lord is my shepherd;
I have everything I need.
He lets me rest in green meadows;
he leads me beside peaceful streams.
He renews my strength.
He guides me along right paths;
bringing honor to his name.

Even when I walk through the dark valley of death,
I will not be afraid,
for you are close beside me.
Your rod and your staff
protect and comfort me.

You prepare a feast for me in the presence of my enemies.
You welcome me as a guest,
anointing my head with oil.
My cup overflows with blessings.
Surely your goodness and unfailing love
will pursue me
all the days of my life
and I will live in the house of the LORD forever.
Psalm 23 (NLT)

Amen and amen!

Excerpts from Hinds Feet On High Places by Hannah Hurnard from the chapter 1 " Invitation To The High Places"
If you haven't read this book, Friend, I highly encourage you to go find yourself a copy. I know of nobody who has read this book without having a life changing experience. Honest.

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