Friday, February 26, 2010

Faith and Prayer #35

Dear Glorious Saints,

As I spent time with the Lord recently I was thinking about how in prayer and worship I picture Jesus as Jesus of Nazareth, the carpenter or the Good Shepherd. To me He is so approachable and it is easy for me to see myself as Mary Magdalene, going to His feet and being there with Him.

But what I was reading challenged me to see Him as the risen Jesus of Heaven, the Jesus of Revelation with blazing eyes and a double edged sword in His mouth. This Jesus is the Alpha and the Omega. He comes riding in on a white horse with many crowns on His head. He is the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords. This Jesus is so big and awesome and glorious that He is scary to me!

I prayed and said to Him, “Lord, I know how to approach You as Jesus of Nazareth, but how do I approach You as this Jesus of Heaven?” He simply said, “You approach Me as My bride.”

That answer stunned me. Even though He sees me with all my faults and flaws and failings, He sees me as His bride. He loves me. He wants me. As a bridegroom longs for and desires his bride to come to him, that’s how He feels toward me!

I cannot express what this is doing inside of me. All I know is that my response was and is, “Jesus, make me beautiful and glorious for You.” I am overwhelmed at the notion that He loves and wants me as I am, but I so desire to be a fit bride for this One who is above all else, who rules and reigns and whose glory fills the universe! It is only possible by His grace.

This is not just for me. It is true for you as well. Dear Glorious Saint, that same magnificent Jesus loves you and wants you to come to Him. He is Faithful and True and He has already given you all you need. He wants you.

Overwhelmed and in awe,


Monday, February 22, 2010

When Your Heart Feels All Prickly

It seemed like I was at odds with everyone. Arguments flew back and forth daily. I felt discontent and disappointed in myself. And I felt the distance between me and God growing like an opening chasm.

My heart had taken a beating. It didn't feel dead, though. But prickly.
Don't get too close or you might get poked too.
My greatest desire was to simply be left alone.
And sometimes, the trials of daily life leaves our ground dry and our heart full of thorns. It does mine.

Life is full of storms and challenges. These can either break us down, and they sometimes do...
or they can build us up. All the same, God allows them to come.
Sometimes, I'm like the disciples who cry out in fear for the Lord to save. I'm sure His response is, "Oh you of little faith!!"
For it's my lack of faith that makes the storm so scary. Lack of faith in who He is and who I am in Him.
I was recently asked, who are you, Jackie?
I couldn't answer. Not at the moment. Yet the truth is, I'm a daughter of the King. I'm a greatly loved daughter. No matter what happens, I'm under his care. His protection.
My daddy God is always there in my trials.
You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book. On the very day I call to you for help, my enemies will retreat. This I know: God is on my side. Ps. 56:8-9
He is our ever-present help in times of trouble. Nothing gets past him, nothing. He's not some big God who simply sets the world in motion and forgets about us. He's promised that He's interested in our daily lives. He desires to smooth out the rough places in our lives. To mend the broken hearted.

When I let Him in, listen and act in obedience, then my heart softens back up. My step is back on His firm paths. My spirit is good, fertile ground again.
The Lord will keep you from all harm. He will watch over your life, the Lord
will watch over your coming and going both now and forever more. Psalm

Father God, thank you for your mercies that are new every morning. Thank you for loving me, even when my heart is prickly with disobedience, pride, selfishness or anything else that causes a distance between me and You. It's your unconditional love that bridges the gaps. That mends the broken places. Thank you for that love. Help me to walk in Your freedom that You offer each of your children. Amen.
Godbless you all,

Friday, February 19, 2010

LifeSupport - Who's Your Hero?

One of those strange newspaper stories told of a 19-year-old woman who had been charged in Los Angeles with two counts of trespassing -- after sneaking into the home of actor Brad Pitt and trying on his clothes. I suppose we have different ways of adoring our heroes..

But who are our real heroes?

I was given a little quiz recently. See how well you do:
Name the five wealthiest people in the world.
Name five Olympic gold medalists.
Name the last five winners of your national beauty contest.
Name ten people who have won the Nobel or Pulitzer Prize.
Name the last half-dozen Academy Award winners for best actor and actress.
Name the last decade's national or world champions in your favorite sport.

These people, of course, are the best in their fields. But fame is fleeting and outstanding performance is too soon forgotten.

Now try another quiz:
List a few teachers who aided your journey through school.
Name three friends who have helped you through a difficult time.
Name five people who have taught you something worthwhile.
Think of a few people who have made you feel appreciated and special.
Think of five people you enjoy spending time with.
Name half a dozen heroes whose stories have inspired you.

If you found the second quiz easier, it may be because those people who make a difference in our lives are not the ones with the best degrees or pedigrees, nor are they the most honored or acclaimed. The people who make a difference are those who care. They may never have seen a battle; never scored a winning goal; never been featured in a magazine. But they have been busy helping you to be the best you can be.

Let's remember and thank our real heroes. And don't be surprised if someone thanks you.-- Steve Goodier

You can check out more at Life

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Wonderment Wednesday

For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways,
Declares the Lord.

As the heavens are higher than the earth,
So are my ways higher than your ways,

And my thoughts than your thoughts

As the rain and snow...
come down from heaven and do not return to it without watering the earth
and making it bud and flourish,
so that it yields seed for the sower
and bread for the eater.

So is MY WORD that goes out from MY MOUTH;

It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire
and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.
Isaiah 55:9-11

Amen and Amen!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Prolific Blogger Award

I've been blessed to recieve the Prolific Blogger's Award from Lisa Buffalo's Blog. Please go check out this amazing lady's blog if you haven't already. She is an inspiration and a wonderful friend.

It’s time to share the love and pass this award on. Here are rules for sharing the award & what it is about…"A prolific blogger is one who is intellectually productive… keeping up an active blog that is filled with enjoyable content."

1. Every winner of the prolific blogger award please (if you have time) pass on this award to at least seven other deserving prolific bloggers to spread some love! (Beth Moore’s Living Proof blog is an exception to the rules, I know she is way too busy--but her blog is awesome!)

2. Every prolific blogger please link back to the blog from which he/she has received the award.

3. Each prolific blogger link this back to this post, which explains the origins and motivations for the award.

4. Every prolific blogger please visit this post and add their name in the Master Link so we can all get to know the other winners.

I love having the opportunity to share & promote blogs that bless. Thank you Lisa and thank you Prolific Bloggers!

Please check out these wonderful blogs:

Andrea's Arise to Write blog
Cathy's Word Vessel blog
Suzanne Woods Fisher blog
Rebecca's A Christian Worldview of Fiction blog
Robin's Robin's Nest blog
Victoria's Light for the Writer's Soul blog
Deb's Just Tell the Story blog

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Wonderment Wednesday

For this reason, I kneel before the Father...

Praying that out of His glorious riches...

He may strengthen you with power
Through his Spirit
In your INNERMOST being...

so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith.
And I pray that you...
being rooted and established in love,
may have power with ALL the Saints to grasp how

and LONG
how HIGH
and deep

Is the LOVE of Christ
And to know this love that surpasses knowledge-
That YOU may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
Ephesians 3:14-19

Father God,
help us to be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. Help us not fear when heat comes; may our leaves always stay green. Let us not worry in a year of drought and may we never fail to bear fruit." Jer. 17:18
Reposted from June 24, 2009

Monday, February 8, 2010

Pluto Undaunted

In fifth grade science, they are learning about space, and in the course of discussion, the topic of Pluto's demotion from planetdom has come up time and again. Some believe it should still be a planet, others are all right with what the scientist say while a small few couldn't care less one way or another.

In the meantime, Pluto seems unfazed by what scientist have proclaimed it to be. In an article about Hubble's newest pictures of Pluto, it seems scientist are staggered over the changes going on with the semi-planet. It's seems the colors are deepening, turning redder. Perhaps it's angry over what people have been saying about it?

Seasons on Pluto can last almost 300 years. Its orbit takes it far from the sun, then slowly swings a bit closer again so it has its "warmer" season. Like all other planets, it rotates in a revolution type of dance around the solar system. Yet, because it doesn't quiet measure up, or meet the standard that we- mere chaff in the wind- have designed, we've declared this to no longer be counted along when the other "planetary greats."

How many times do we find ourselves, our dreams of who we are, demoted according to the world's standards? It starts at such a young age. Child brings in watercolor masterpiece, with brilliant reds and blues dripping over the clean floor. That child, instead of praised for their creativity, is chastised for the mess they have made.

Throughout life, one criticism after another chips away our dreams of who we someday hope to be until we settle for something safe. Something acceptable. Something that won't be so challenged.

It's not intentional, these dream crushing incidents. It just happens. And dreams are so fragile anyway, ever changing, small and obscure, like the tiny blue planet, Pluto. So easy to be disregarded.

"What do you like to do?"

"Oh, I like to write stories." or "I love to paint."

"No, not your hobby. I want to know what you do."

To say, "I create. I was born to create. It's what my Father is best at and I want to follow in his foot steps." This simply isn't always acceptable. It doesn't fit the world's standards.

"Why are you cutting out all those paper pieces and making a big mess all over the place?" I've asked my son in irritation.

"I needed more soldiers," he shrugs.

And I stop, closing my worldly eyes so that my artist vision can come into focus. I begin to see the stern tiny crayoned faces. The uniform's bright colors. The form of creased bodies.

"Oh, I see."

Even artist can dash the dreams of others and we of all people should know better. I think we do. It's not intentional. We simply forget, we drift too far away from our light source. We grow cold with the world's demands and standards, wanting to blend in, to conform and be like everyone else.

Yet, our Master Creator didn't use a mould to construct this world. Each snowflake is different. No two leaves alike on the same tree. We ourselves are fashioned to where we are completely original in our design, our DNA.

No, I have no desire to be like the status quo. It's not my Father's way and I must constantly be diligent to not allow it to become my way. Let me be like Pluto, rotating and revolving in a slow dance along the path line God has set me on. Let me close my ears to the decrees and dream shattering statements of my world around me. May I stay my course, knowing and understanding that sometimes it'll seem to draw me away from the light's warmth, but I will always dance my way back again, changing and reforming along the way.

Yet I will still be the me He created me to be.

This is what God the Lord says-- he who created the heavens and stretched them out, who spread out the earth and all that comes out of it, who gives breath to its people, and life to those who walk on it: "I, the Lord, have called you in righteousness; I will take hold of your hand." Isa. 42:5-6

Friday, February 5, 2010

Faith and Prayer #34

Dear Glorious Saints,

Last night I had a dream that I really want to share with you. In the dream I was in a house that had a sliding glass door with a sliding screen. The door was open and the outside screen door was shut. A bear came up to the screen door and starting sliding it open. I was terrified and thought to myself, “He knows how to get in!” I ran to shut and lock the glass door before he made his way through.

In the dream there was another similar door and another bear. Again, I had the realization that he could get in if I did not do something to stop him.

When I awoke, I knew what the dream meant. I later got up and went to journal about it and noticed this entry of what I was sensing the Lord saying to me yesterday: “Do not fear. Do not let discouragement in the door.” It really confirmed the meaning of the dream to me.

The enemy knows my weaknesses and he knows how to “get in”. If I do not guard my heart, if I do not keep the door shut to him and locked, then he will try to find a way in. I believe the Lord showed me that I need to be as determined to guard my heart as I was to shut and lock the door to keep the bear out. My life and certainly my joy and peace depend on it.

I am grateful to the Lord for the vivid picture and for this key reminder for me. I have needed it. I am very thankful for Him, His care, wisdom and love, and for all of you who are so dear to me.

With love and gratitude,

Monday, February 1, 2010

I Will Rise

One of my favorite quotes is:
“A saint is just a sinner that keeps getting back up and keeps running after God.”

It’s amazing, that no matter how hard I try, I can still lose my footing, fall and be in need of getting back up and dusting off again. So when I woke up the other morning with this song in my heart-spirit, I couldn't help but feel God’s encouragement.

I will rise, when He calls my name. No more sorrow, no more pain. I will rise on
eagle’s wings; before my God, fall on my knees. I will rise! I will

There’s a peace I’ve come to know though my heart and flesh
may fail. There’s an anchor for my soul. I can say, ‘It is well.’

This has been the past month for me. There are times when my heart has failed and my flesh got the better of me. I tried not to get angry. Tried not to feel sorry for myself. Yet, my flesh succumbed. And I fell into worry, and fear and frustration. When what I could have done is simply trust that my life is in his hands, and he's good, and he'll take care of me, no matter what happens.
But Jesus has overcome and the grave is overwhelmed. Victory is won and He is
risen from the dead. And I will rise…
Jesus faced the cross. First he fell on his knees before God. Then he rose when it came time to do what God asked of him. He did it because he understood his Father’s love for him. Jesus knew that no matter what lay before him, God was good and the temporary discomfort would end. After, he would rise on eagle’s wings, no more sorrow, and no more pain.

We will rise too.

“But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not be weary. They will walk and not faint.”
Isa. 40:31

I’ve never been asked to lay my life down for the sake of God. I’ve never had to endure torture, hardship, or any of the things many Christian’s have faced as they follow Jesus’ example. My life is pretty ordinary and easy. Mundane. So why is it so hard to trust in the one who says:

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

Matt. 11:28-30

Why in the face of adversity, do I allow myself to fall apart when I have such a strong advocate in my corner? He stands behind me like a big brother ready to take down any fool who dares to pick on me.

What am I so afraid of?

I really don’t know. Perhaps amidst the storms my eyes are riveted by the waves and not by the One calling for me to “Come on. Let’s go.” If only I'd learn to fix my eyes on him first. To go to him when life gets difficult and confusing. To seek his counsel on what to do next, and if I don't hear, then to simply trust that because I love him, he will protect me, work everything out for me.

If only...

Help me to fix my eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of my faith. He, who for the joy set before him, endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of God. Let me consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that I will not grow weary and lose heart. When you call my name, may I rise up to meet you, Lord. Amen.

Heb. 12:2-3

Click the playlist box in the side bar to turn off the background music as you listen to Chris Tomlin's I will Rise.
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