Friday, December 30, 2011

It is Funny How this Works


I received an email from a dear friend of mine today who is troubled with a current situation in her life. She has done so much to try to "fix" the situation and has really poured her heart into it. Then she made the statement, " I guess all I can do is give...and the situation to God." I started to respond to her email to let her know that I would be praying for/with her; but, I couldn't respond right away. Those four words, all I can do, really troubled me. I said a prayer and thought about it throughout the day and night.

How many times have I said the same thing? It is funny, sometimes, how God will open your eyes to your own heart by revealing a glimpse of another's. I read His Word and sometimes I forget key instructions that He has given. Instructions like those given in James 5:13-16:

13. Is any one of you in trouble? He should pray. Is anyone happy? Let him sing songs of praise. 14. Is any one of you sick? He should call the elders of the church to pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord. 15. And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up. If he has sinned, he will be forgiven. 16. Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective. (NIV)

Prayer is our first line of defense in EVERY situation. 1 Thessalonians 5:17 actually tells us to never stop praying. Even Jesus, the Word made flesh, demonstrated the importance of prayer in our lives. He spent His last night on Earth (before His death and resurrection) praying and seeking God's perfect will. We should be constantly in a conversation with our Father. And wow, how powerful it is to know that He is listening non-stop!

It is just funny how this works! Thank You, Father, for opening my eyes. Life would be so much easier for me if I sought You first and foremost in all things. Help me to remember that in all situations, I should pray. So, from here on out, I WILL PRAY.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

That Still, Small Voice

Sometimes, He could scream in my ear, and it would never be as loud as the still,small voice I hear in my heart.

I remember the first time I heard it. It was a tugging in my heart that whispered to the darkest places of my soul. Whispering to places filled with pain and hurt that went beyond the comprehension of many. It said I love you; I want you to be Mine.

I haven't always listened to The voice. Sometimes, I decide that It is just not the voice of reason; and, I choose to go my own way. But the voice never leaves my heart. I hear it mixed in with the constant lubb dubb of my heart beat; in the whispering of thoughts in my mind; in the quiet of my home in the dead of night; and in the rustling of the pages of my Bible as I read every morning. It gives peace and direction in my sometimes chaotic life.

It also reminds me of the rules and regulations of this life. We are given the privilege of having the very breath of God (the Breath of Life ~ Genesis 2:7 And the Lord God formed man out of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the Breath Of Life, and man became a living soul...). As with every privilege, there are certain laws and commands we must adhere to in order to maintain the privilege granted. This same Still, Small Voice is reminding me that He wants to give me abundant life.... He wants me to live....

John 10:20 "The thief commeth not but for to steal, to kill, and to destroy; But I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly."

Ezekiel 16:6 " Then I passed by and saw you kicking about in your blood, and as you lay there in your blood, I said to you LIVE!"

SO often I forget that The Voice belongs to my closest friend. A friend Who has chosen to love me in spite of me. A friend that sticketh closer than a brother (Proverbs 18:24). A friend Who has my absolute best interest at heart and wants so desperately to bless and prosper me (Jeremiah 29:11).

Today I choose to listen for that Still, Small Voice.
Prayer
My God, the Lover of my soul.... my heart cries out to you as deep cries out to deep. I love the sound of Your voice. In the stillness of my busy life, help me to hear and encourage me to obey. I love You, heart and soul.



~1 Kings 19:11-12
And He said, Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the LORD. And, behold, the LORD passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and broke in pieces the rocks before the LORD; but the LORD was not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake; but the LORD was not in the earthquake:
And after the earthquake a fire; but the LORD was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice.


Saturday, October 29, 2011

I have a birth certificate. . .


I have a piece of paper tucked away in my important documents. It is just a thin, flat sheet that states some details about my life. Details such as where and when I was born, who I belong to (my parents name), and the family name given to me at birth. This piece of paper, for so many years, has given me my identity. I have never even thought about what it would be like not to have this document. . . until this morning.

I was on my elliptical doing my morning exercises before I had to get ready for work at about 6:00 am today; and, while I was pedaling away, I was reading in the book of Ezra. A verse caught my attention:
"These searched for their family records, but they could not find them and so were excluded from the priesthood as unclean." ~ Ezra 6:62
Wow, what a thought! Being excluded from your heart's desire and calling simply because you couldn't find the proper paperwork. Being rejected by others because you could not prove who you are or to whom you belong.
To me, the most wonderful, most amazing, thing occurred the day I discovered my true identity and stopped looking to my birth certificate for the details of me. See, I was adopted. Not by earthly parents ( I am blessed to still "belong" to those who gave me birth). I was adopted by the One Who gave me life!

John 1:3 states we as Christians are ....."children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband's will, but born of God."
We are Children whose adoption was made possible through the sacrifice of Jesus, the only begotten Son of God (John 3:16) who "God sent Him (Jesus) to buy freedom for us who were slaves to the law, so that He could adopt us as His very own children." Galations 4:5.

I do not have to worry about loosing my paperwork and being excluded to life because the one who holds my heart holds the knowledge of my birth through the blood that was shed to buy my freedom. Freedom to accept Him as my Father. Freedom to be a child and to NEVER have to wonder who I am in this life or even when this life is over at which time I will inherit my place in His presence for all of eternity.

I have a birth certificate. It was written in blood long ago on a cross at Calvary. This blood sealed my kinship forevermore. By this blood, I will never be excluded or rejected from His presence.

Father God, I love you so much and am so thankful that You are the desire of my heart. Thank you for giving me a name and calling me your daughter. You love me with an everlasting love (Jeremiah 31:3)!!! My God, please touch the heart of the person reading this. Please let them know that You want them to know the love You have for us.... "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! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know Him." 1 John 3:1. God I want so much to have MANY brothers and sisters with me in eternity. Please touch their hearts to accept Your love and join me at Your table in Heaven one day. I love You!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

unless....



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John 4:48 "Unless you people see miraculous signs and wonders," Jesus told him, "you will never believe."

I woke up early this morning. I wake up at least by 5:00 am every morning; but, this morning was different. I woke up at about 3:30 with a purpose.... to let my little 5 year old English Bully out before she drove me crazy! Yes, she sleeps in the bed with me and when she has to go outside, you WILL take her out or you will suffer her wrath.

I walked through the hallway of my beautiful home all the while watching her dance along in front of me while I muttered to myself. When I opened the door, to my shock, I realized the season had changed. It was so cold! I raced back inside to my warm home and waited by the window for my bulldog and my german shepherd to come back inside.

All at once, I became increasingly aware of the glory around me...not my glory... by no means. But the glory of creation. . . The creation of a mighty God.

Jesus spoke of those who needed to see miracles in order to believe. I say, if they have not seen a miracle by the time they first open their eyes at birth, then they are blind. I saw it this morning. I even felt a miracle. The warm breath of my cute little bullydog as she sneezed in my face to awaken me... the cold air rushing through me when I stepped outside (it was in the 80's here just last week).... My body moving before my first cup of coffee.... all of these are miracles. We don't have to see the dead rise or the blind see. We can open our eyes to everyday miracles if we just tune our hearts in to His glory.

My God, I love you. I thank you for the miracles in the shape of little blessings that I get to see everyday. Please help the eyes of my heart to always be open to Your majesty. I love You.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

How Long?

I find myself increasingly asking the question, "How long, Lord?" I look at my current situation and much like the Psalmist I ask: "How long, O Lord? Will You forget me forever? How long will You hide Your face from me?" ~ Psalm 13:1.... it just seems like I am fighting an uphill battle lately. When trials hit my life, they all hit at the same time and God I just don't feel strong enough. I am in a ship and sinking fast. When will you reach out? This morning, He answered me. I was reading in the book of Matthew this morning and one small word stood out in a big way. It jumped off of the page and into my heart.... Matthew 14:22-32 22 Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd. 23 After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone, 24 but the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it. 25 During the fourth watch of the night Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. 26When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear. 27 But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” 28 “Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.” 29 “Come,” he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. 30 But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!” 31 Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?” 32 And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. 33Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”
We all have heard or read this story at some point. Peter gets out of the boat; Peter walks on water towards Christ the Messiah; Peter gets scared..... Peter sinks..... Peter is saved by our Jesus. Today I read this passage for probably the one hundredth time in my life. But, I read today with open eyes and an open heart. First of all, woo hoo!!!! Way to go Peter! Out of the twelve, YOU are the only one to step out of the boat! With a storm that horrendous brewing all around you, that took some guts. Second.... You looked to the One in Whom you place your trust. Smart thinking. Yes, you got scared and started to doubt. I understand. I get that way too sometimes. But you knew Who to call to when times get tough. You cried out to the one and only Saviour. You cried out to the One you knew could reach you no matter where you were, are, or might be headed. Last of all, IMMEDIATELY, He responds. The Alpha and Omega; Messiah; Saviour; the Christ.... I know from the minute you stepped out, He stepped toward you. He knew all along how this would turn out. Yet He still called you to COME. He still reached to you.... and immediately, He saved you. Dear God, that I have the strength not only to step out on the water; but also to look to you.... walk toward you... and cry out to you. Help me to always remember that whenever I act, you immediately react. I love You.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

More Than My Next Breath

For me, loving comes as easily as breathing. I simply love people. I devoted most of my adult life as a cop to helping others. Now in my early thirties, I have had to leave law enforcement due to a back injury… but the desire to love others is still here in my heart. So, I am pursuing an education in the health care industry.
My love for people is instilled into my being. It is part of who I am. I was made in the image of the epitome of Love itself. My God loves. His love makes me want to love others. His love is constant and unfailing. His love makes me want to love Him as well… until my desire for Him is greater than my desire for my next breath.

Sounds extreme, I know. But the Bible tells us in Mark 12:30 (NLT) “And you must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.” This was also mentioned in Luke 10:27 and Matthew 22:37. As a matter of fact, throughout the Bible, we see the same commandment. Old and New Testament authors tell us to love the Lord our God with all that is in us…. We are to love Him with all our hearts.

When I first set out to love God with a Singleness of Heart, I felt that it would be the most difficult task I have ever in my Christian walk attempted. But it has, by far, been the easiest.

I am only doing half of the work. As I draw close to Him, He comes close to me (“Come close to God, and God will come close to you. Wash your hands, you sinners; purify your hearts, for your loyalty is divided between God and the world” ~James 4:8 NLT). As I study and read His Word, I begin to know Him. I see depictions of His character and His love for me. My heart desires His presence…. I am beginning to crave Him more than my next breath.

Prayer: My God, Lover of my soul, help me to love You with all that I am. Open the eyes of my Heart and allow me to see Your hands at work in my life today and every day. Show me Your heart for me and Your desires for my life through Your Word. Help me to draw near to You with a Singleness of Heart.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Recognizing the Call

"No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him, and I will raise him up at the last day." ~ John 6:44

Q: Ever wonder if God is drawing you?

A: Why do you think you were led to read this post?

Love of a Lifetime

I remember the song; what I cannot remember is who sang it. In the chorus a man belts out, “I finally found the love of a lifetime… a love to last the whole night through…” In truth, we could spend our lifetime searching for a love that will last. In an age where infidelity and divorce seem so common; I wonder what ever happened to my Prince Charming and all those happily ever after endings? We seem to be settling for a love to last the night in lieu of one that will last for eternity.
Yes, we settle. Settle for feeling good now; but a heart break tomorrow. We have forgotten about a love that never fails; a love that quenches the desires of our hearts for eternity. Our need for love is so great that often it blinds us from relationships that are not good for our lives. . . We ache for loving relationships. This world we live in even tells us that, being single is being incomplete. So we set our hearts on relationships that fit our personal agendas and give up on our happily ever after fairytales.
But God’s love last for all eternity. His love, Psalm 13:5 tells us, will never fail. His love will fill our hearts and will not keep anything good from us: Psalm 84:11 “NO good thing will He withhold from those whose walk is blameless.” So if we are His (and Romans Chapter 8 tells us that we are righteous through Christ, have been adopted into His family, and are free from blame) not only will He give us His love that never fails, One that lasts a lifetime; but will also, grant us relationships in this world that are good and positive for us.
Today’s prayer:
God I thank You for the love You have given to me. A love that will never fail me…. A love that has my best interest at heart… A love that will withhold no good thing from me... A love for a Lifetime! Help me to live and walk in Your love, and to be an example of Your love to others.
Suggested reading:
Romans 8