Friday, December 18, 2009
As soon as my eyes opened I knew it was going to be one of "those" days. You know the type. The saying, "If mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy" was created for days like this. I was sad, disappointed, frustrated and empty. I couldn't put my finger on why I felt this ball of emotions; I just knew I had to get out before everyone woke up and my feelings steered our day in the wrong direction.
I put on my tennis shoes, grabbed my keys and started out the front door. Though unsure of where I was going to run, I was certain of the length: far! Far enough for me to come back a different person. What I needed was to get alone with Jesus and have Him fill me and exchange my negative emotions with His peace, truth and life.
As I started my run, old thoughts poured into my head. You are not beautiful. You are not special. Your life doesn't count. After years of reading the Truth, studying the Truth and even teaching the Truth, it was hard to believe I still struggled with these dark thoughts. I guess I shouldn't have expected the enemy to lie down and give up. He knows my weaknesses and all my buttons to push.
As lies poured in, I retrieved scriptures stored in my mind and heart. He sees me as beautiful. He says He is wild about me. He is more than enough for me. He is all I need.
Mulling over these precious chunks of God's Word, tears began to pour. This is what I needed. I didn't need more words of affirmation from my husband. I didn't need another pat on the back from a friend. I needed a new outpouring of love from my Love. I needed to be reminded of who He says I am, to give up the old lies and replace them with His Truths.
When we come into His presence, He fills us. The Lord changes us so that we are not the same as we were when we came to Him. Ezekiel 46:9 represents this exchange of old for new. The people of Israel were told when they came into the temple area to worship, they were to enter through one gate and exit through the opposite gate. So the same should be true with us; we are "not to go back as we came, but more holy, and heavenly, and spiritual" (Matthew Henry). As we enter into our special times with God, we need to come out the "opposite gate," different than the way we went in.
After an hour of running, crying and praying to God, I returned home a different woman. Now, I was ready. Ready to be the wife and mom I needed to be. Ready to be God's vessel to pour out. Being in the Lord's presence restored me. I had been filled and changed.
Dear Lord, I need You today. Living this life sometimes drains me and leaves me empty. As I come through Your gates and into Your presence, change me. Pour Your life and heart into me so that as I leave through the "opposite gate," I am not the same woman as when I came in. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
Titus 3:5-7, "...He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life." (NIV)
Ephesians 4:21-22a, 23, "Since you have heard about Jesus and have learned the truth that comes from him, throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life...let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes." (NLT)
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure. —Philippians 2:12-13
When a friend fell off her bike and suffered a severe brain injury, doctors weren’t sure she would survive. For several days she remained suspended between life and death.
The first good news came when she opened her eyes. Then she responded to simple voice commands. But with every small improvement, anxiety remained. How far would she progress?
After one difficult day of therapy, her husband was discouraged. But the very next morning he shared these welcome words: “Sandy’s back!” Physically, emotionally, psychologically, and mentally, Sandy was becoming the “self” who we knew and loved.
Sandy’s fall reminds me of what theologians refer to as “the fall” of mankind (Gen. 3). And her struggle to recover parallels our struggle to overcome the brokenness of sin (Rom. 7:18). If only her body healed, recovery would be incomplete. The same would be true if her brain worked but her body didn’t. Wholeness means that all parts work together for one purpose.
God is the one healing Sandy, but she has to work hard in therapy to improve. The same is true of us spiritually. After God saves us through Christ, we must “work out” our salvation (Phil. 2:12)—not to earn it but to bring our thoughts and actions into agreement with His purpose. — Julie Ackerman Link
More like the Master I would ever be,More of His meekness, more humility;More zeal to labor, more courage to be true,More consecration for work He bids me do. —Gabriel
“Now, therefore,” says the Lord, “Turn to Me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning.” —Joel 2:12
I didn’t think that the hesitation in my car engine and that little yellow “check engine” light on my dashboard really needed my immediate attention. I sang it away, saying that I would get to it tomorrow. However, the next morning when I turned the key to start my car, it wouldn’t start. My first reaction was frustration, knowing that this would mean money, time, and inconvenience. My second thought was more of a resolution: I need to pay attention to warning lights that are trying to get my attention—they can mean something is wrong.
In Joel 2:12-17, we read that God used the prophet Joel to encourage His people to pay attention to the warning light on their spiritual dashboard. Prosperity had caused them to become complacent and negligent in their commitment to the Lord. Their faith had degenerated into empty formalism and their lives into moral bankruptcy. So God sent a locust plague to ruin crops in order to get His people’s attention, causing them to change their behavior and turn to Him with their whole heart.
What warning lights are flashing in your life? What needs to be tuned up or repaired through confession and repentance? — Marvin Williams
God’s love is not some fuzzy thing
In the seventh year there shall be a sabbath of solemn rest for the land. —Leviticus 25:4
The earth’s solar orbit takes 365 and a quarter days. Because of this, every 4 years an extra day is added to the calendar so we don’t fall behind in the natural cycle of things. Each leap year we add that day onto the end of February. In this way, the calendar is readjusted to the astronomical timetable.
In the calendar of ancient Israel, God set up a remarkable means of readjusting things. Just as mankind was commanded to rest every seventh day (Ex. 20:8-10), so the land was to be allowed to rest during the seventh year (Lev. 25:4). This sabbatical year allowed the farmland to replenish for greater fertility. In addition, debts were canceled (Deut. 15:1-11) and Hebrew slaves were set free (vv.12-18).
With our busy schedules and our hectic pace of life, we too need readjustment. Demands of work, family, and church can require reevaluation. One way we do that is by observing the sabbath principle—making sure to set aside time to rest and prayerfully refocus our priorities. Jesus, for example, went “to a solitary place; and there He prayed” (Mark 1:35).
When can you pull aside from your activities and prayerfully ask God to reset your spiritual calendar to His Word and His will? Is it time for a readjustment? — Dennis Fisher
To make the most of your time, take time to pray.
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
Here are some of my favorite Bible verses in song.
First up is one of my favorites, no matter who sings it! Better is One Day is an AMAZING song! Truly, better is one day in His courts than THOUSANDS elsewhere!!! I like this Kutless version alot! This song is based off of Psalm 84 - please read it here - and then listen to it:
The next Bible verse is Isaiah 40:31 - But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.
This verse has special meaning to me and EVERY morning I wake up and turn on 104.1 to listen to the Yolanda Adams morning show it is the first song I hear! They That Wait by Fred Hammond is just the song to start your day off right! It is also God's way to remind me to go ahead and wait on Him! He has what is best for me and I need to trust and keep the faith! Jeremiah 29:11 - For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. - is also another one of my favorite verses that goes along with Isaiah 40:13.
Listen to the song here:
Another verse that makes you stop and think is Proverbs 26:11 - As a dog returns to its vomit, so a fool repeats his folly. Think about that. Why do we return to the same sins, over and over again! because it's comfortable? because we think we already know the outcome? I read somewhere the other day that "we can choose our sins, but we cannot choose the consequences." That's deep and resonates with me to the core.
Check out Benjah's Get Filtered; he references Proverbs 26:11:
Just had to share these songs with you! God is good to me and I LOVE my life! Through ups and downs, God is there no matter what and I am thankful He has blessed these artists with their talents to put the Gospel to song to reach us!!
Have a BLESSED day! I know I am!
P.S. - had to share this AWESOME picture I took the other day while tanning at the pool! Look at the cloud shaped like a heart and God's love radiating around it! Oh, I LOVE it! Another sweet reminder from God that He loves all of His children!
Wednesday, July 1, 2009
""But the LORD is in His holy temple; the LORD still rules from heaven. He watches everyone closely, examining every person on earth."
Psalm 11:4 (NLT)
Are you in a season of uncertainty? Do you find yourself in need of an infusion of power? Today's key verse holds the key to the infusion you need. The power is summed up in three simple words: But the Lord.
"But the Lord" is a powerful phrase. The word "but" is a conjunction and used in this sentence it means "contrary to." Contrary to what? In the proceeding verses of Psalm 11, David proclaims how he trusts the Lord for his protection. He followed his proclamation with the details of how the wicked are preparing their weapons for attack against him. Then he belts out the transition statement of power: But the Lord.
Maybe you feel like King David. You have been surrounded by the Lord's protection in the past. You have marveled at His work in your life, however, in this present season of life you feel as if the enemy is stocking his armory against you. It seems Satan spends his days sharpening the arrows and stringing his bow.
Regardless of his current circumstances, David could be assured of two certainties: the Lord is in His Holy Temple and the Lord still rules from heaven. Oh, the peace this must have given King David. God is constant.
This statement of power can infuse you and help you look at your life through a different set of lenses. In the midst of downsizing or divorce, buyouts or payoffs, layoffs or let downs, disappointments and despair, we can count on the same two certainties as the great King David. We can put our faith in the certainty that the Lord is in His Holy Temple and the Lord still rules from heaven. Oh, the peace this can bring to us. Rest in the peace this statement of power offers and don't look back.
Dear Lord, Your power is indescribable. Forgive me for failing to remember the power that is mine as a child of God. Thank You for remaining constant when life is not. I rest today in the comfort that You are in Your Holy Temple and You still rule from Heaven. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
Application Steps: Claim this powerful phrase for yourself. Write down a current circumstance that you feel is uncertain. Copy Psalm 11:4 as your next sentence. Then read the entire passage a prayer.
Reflections: What is my usual way of handling life's uncertain circumstances? Do I truly trust the Lord to change my perspective of life's uncertainties? If not, why?
Psalm 14:6, "You evildoers frustrate the plans of the poor, but the LORD is their refuge." (NIV)
Psalm 18:18, "They confronted me in the day of my disaster, but the LORD was my support." (NIV)
Psalm 118:13, "I was pushed back and about to fall, but the LORD helped me." (NIV)
Do You Know Him?
Walk with Me Today, Lord: Inspiring Devotions for Women by Emilie Barnes
Trials for Today, Treasures for Tomorrow: Overcoming Adversities in Life by Jan Eckles
For more from Wendy, visit her blog and resource page.
Tuesday, March 31, 2009
I was over at my homey, Autumn's blog, B-more BAP Life, and she recently attended a church service where the Pastor preached on having and living a completely surrendered life. He then went on to challenge the youth and young adults to fully surrender and consecrate themselves for the Lord for 30 days! Powerful right!!?
I don't know about anyone else, but this is just the challenge I've needed! That is something I have struggled with for some time now; fully surrendering. It's kind of like, well, what am i waiting for? Nothing really, I'm just selfish, and often wonder, "well, I've given this much of me, how much more is there to give?" and God says "I want ALL of you." That's a big pill to swallow, ok!
But, honestly, it's about time! God has done AMAZING things in my life, I can only imagine what joy and peace will be bestowed upon me when I fully surrender. So I challenge you too, to take this 30 day challenge. Look inside yourself and have a little talk with Jesus and give Him what He has been asking of you, YOU!!!
I can say, these past two days have been pretty amazing since I decided to take on this challenge and I only expect the next 28 to be an amazing experience!! I am going to leave you with a very powerful and wonderful song by Maurette Brown Clark - It Ain't Over; listen to the words, the song in itself is a sermon!
Jesus defeated all your enemies
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
When Jesus sent His disciples out, He gave them this promise: “I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matt. 28:20). Literally, the word always means “all the days,” according to Greek scholars Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown.
Jesus didn’t simply say, “always,” but “all the days.” That takes into account all our various activities, the good and bad circumstances surrounding us, the varied responsibilities we have through the course of our days, the storm clouds and the sunshine.
Our Lord is present with us no matter what each day brings. It may be a day
of joy or of sadness, of sickness or of health, of success or of failure. No matter what happens to us today, our Lord is walking beside us, strengthening us, loving us, filling us with faith, hope, and love.
As He envelops us with quiet serenity and security, our foes, fears, afflictions, and doubts begin to recede. We can bear up in any setting and circumstance because we know the Lord is at hand, just as He told Paul in Acts 18:10, “I am with you.”
Practice God’s presence, stopping in the midst of your busy day to say to yourself, “The Lord is here.” And pray that you will see Him who is invisible—and see Him everywhere. — David H. Roper
Sunday, February 15, 2009
"This is how we know we are in him: Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did"
I have always found the above verse very intimidating. It says that if we are truly living in Christ, we must walk as Jesus did. How did Jesus walk? He healed the sick. He perceived the needs and situations of others supernaturally. He spoke boldly into the lives of the unsaved. He met the needs of people by leading them to the Kingdom of God. Jesus says we must walk as He did. So, I can only conclude from this verse that if we are each called to live this way, He will also equip us to live this way.
How did Jesus walk? He walked on earth as a human being, not as God, yet He was God. His miracles were done as a human being who tapped into the
power of His Heavenly Father. This is why he can exhort us to live like He did
not as deity, but as a human being who could appropriate all the Father had for
him. This is what He means when He says "live as He lived." We are to exercise
obedience and faith just as He did.
I believe we live in a day that requires more than proclamation evangelism to break through in the workplace. We live and work in a skeptical society. It takes more than reasoning to see those in the workplace come to Christ. The workplace is trained to see past phonies. So, it will require the genuine love and power of Christ to be manifested to break through to a Muslim co-worker, a power-driven executive, or a foul-mouthed construction worker.
Jesus modeled a way of reaching the lost. He did not use reasoning to convince a person to follow him. He often operated in the supernatural revelation about a need in that person's life. Such was the case of the Samaritan woman. This encounter not only led to a woman placing her faith in the Messiah, but it led to the transformation of a city.
Next time you have an encounter with an unsaved associate, find out about a need they have and ask God how you can meet it through His power.
Contact Os Hillman at www.marketplaceleaders.org.
"O LORD, you have searched me and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue you know it completely, O LORD"
Your purpose in life is chosen by God. It is not negotiable. It is like calling water wet-there is no changing that fact, and there's no changing God's purpose for your life. While you may not fulfill the purpose for which you were made, you still have a purpose that God intends for you to fulfill. This is your blueprint from God. In the same way that He had a specific purpose in mind for Jesus when He sent Him to the earth, He has a specific purpose in mind for your life.
This doesn't mean, however, that there is one highly specific niche for you to fill and that if you miss it, too bad. It is my belief that you can achieve your purpose in many different and creative ways. This should take the pressure off. You won't throw your entire life off course by choosing the wrong college, job or mate. God is much bigger than any miscalculation or disobedience on your part. "The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me" (Ps. 138:8). Isn't that comforting to know?
Defining your purpose will help you to determine the activities that you should be involved in. Like Jesus, you should not involve yourself in activities that contradict His purpose for your existence. Jesus' purpose was to do the will of the Father and become the salvation for mankind.
Each of us must ask why we are involved in an activity. Is it a God-activity, or just a good activity? Remember, Jesus only did something if He saw the Father doing it, and He was able to see what His Father was doing because of His intimate relationship with Him.
Today, take steps to insure you are aligned with your purpose.
Contact Os Hillman at www.marketplaceleaders.org.
Monday, January 26, 2009
Because I'm stubborn? Because I just LOVE feeling this way? uh, no! Because it seems oh, so BIG. I know, I know, God is bigger than anything we could ever encounter. Plus, we are not to focus on the circumstances, but seek God. Maybe that is what is wrong. I haven't fully been seeking God.
That's what happens. Things go bad, I seek and seek and pray and pray! God comes through, and i am thankful. I praise Him and thank Him. Then boom! something else happens, I seek and pray - repeat cycle. But then, perhaps I get lax, because I feel really good. And am very thankful and well, I get lax.
Now, I'm in another situation - they seem to come weekly, if not daily - where tomorrow, the outcome of said situation will mean a whole lot. Talk about pressure, worry, stress, feeling awful etc, etc!
I've been feeling all types of ways these past two days and today is no different. I am seriously worried. But that verse comes to mind, you know - Who of you can add a single hour to their life by worrying? - seriously.
Sometimes it's real easy to put it all on God and go on with my day praising Him and doing my work. But this one, for some reason I can't fully get rid of it, get it off my mind and I certainly haven't given it fully to God. I wish i could, but I can't seem to get there, weird right? ugh.
I want this day to be over so tomorrow can come. But then I'm reminded of that other verse, you know the one - do not worry about tomorrow for tomorrow will worry about itself - AH! it is clearly laid out in the Word what we are to do. So, I guess I am being disobedient, but not intentionally.
Don't get me wrong, God has been exceptionally outstanding to me and my past situations and in no way am I complaining. I am simply stressed. That's all. It's taking its toll.
I know everything will be ok because "All things work for the good of those who love the Lord" - I know you know all these verses. maybe I should let them comfort me!
Just sharing. Hoping you all are having a blessed day, and if not, give it to God, he will take it all away and give you a brighter day!