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Friday, May 24, 2013

LEARN TO LIVE WHERE WE ARE AT WITH CHRIST


"I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances." Philippians 4:11 (NIV)
                                                               
   I am not there yet. Maybe I will never be. We go about life trying to plan with our work, our finances, our day. Then something happens, a car breaks down, an illness hits, the unexpected happens. Does this sound how your day goes?
   Then the money we have saved to do or get something extra goes to the unexpected. How should we really plan? God may decide to uproot us and move us somewhere new. None of us, not one of us knows where the new day we live in will lead us. Only God knows. Let us Live in the day we are in and what God has given us.
   The last few months have been many changes for our family. But as I look back when hasn't it been many changes? God always has something new for us. A new challenge, a new reason to trust in Him.
   When I think of changes I think of Paul. Paul the apostle never knew where he might be next. As we know, he landed in extremely difficult situations for a few days. Other times he hung out with friends and things were good. Sometimes doors opened. Other times he waited for years for God to move. We have all been there. Waiting. But Paul's secret was that he was content where he was, wherever that might be, in whatever situation he was in.
   What was Paul's secret:
   One commentary says it like this:

   Paul learned to leave others to be discontented and he chose to look to the Holy Spirit, and the dealings of Providence.

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

 
   Paul was content with just trusting in the Lord. Why is it so hard for us to see that everyday we wake up is a gift from God. Everything that we have is a gift from God. Every circumstance we go through is a gift from God.
 
   As I determine to Live in the day we have and what God has given us rather than living in my own thoughts and heart wrapped around a past and a future I cannot see I can begin my days like this:

       Father, show me Your plan for today and help me accept it.
    God, let me not be so farsighted that I miss the miracles around me right now.
    Lord, help me to celebrate small gifts of this day.
 
   The first one is a prayer everyday. Asking the Lord to show us what he has for us everyday we wake up.
   The second one is letting us not miss what Blessings the Lord does give us everyday.
   The third is just teaching us to be Thankful for the small gifts he gives us everyday. Blessings we may not look for.
   Slowly the door to contentment can open. I can look around to what God has for me in the future. I can look for where God may want us to share Him. For the people we are to share with and we can develop relationships with those the Lord has placed around us.
 
Dear Jesus, You are the God of my future. You whispered plans in my heart, but the journey to that destination is just as important. Help me plant roots in today, and be content with what is in front of me as I trust You with tomorrow. Lord let me look to you and only you. You are the one who will lead the way if only I will listen.  In Jesus' Name, Amen.
  
 

  

 


 

 
 
 
 
 
  
 
 

 

Friday, April 20, 2012

REMEMBERING OTHERS

We all lose our way at one time or another. An unexpected life storm knocks us flat. A bad choice causes us to stumble and fall. We snap under the pressure of a difficult relationship, and no one seems to care or even notice the pain we feel. But then, like a Shepherd searching for that one lost sheep, God turns to us and hears our cry. He lifts us out of the darkness, gives us a safe place to stand and fills our heart with a new song of praise. And He uses people to do it all. In fact, God delights in using people to reach out and minister to other people who are wounded and lost. Many are lost and must be found.

I currently am going through the loss of a dear friend who has cancer and unless God intervenes this friend will be going home. Home to where we all want to be. Home with our Lord. My husband and I recently were able to speak with our friend and let him know that the Lord loves him so much.  We read the scripture from Joel 2:2 And everyone who calls on the name of the LORD will be saved; Our friend in all his pain replied I Do Believe that. Even as the end nears our Lord is waiting for us to tell him how much we love him. The Lord yearns for us to ask for forgiveness and reach out to touch his garment. Let us always remember the prayer of Salvation which simply states,  Lord forgive me for my sins and come into my heart and let me put you first in my life. You are MY Lord and saviour and this day I proclaim that. In Jesus name I pray.

 God created us to need each other and to love one another. We are daughters and sons of the King, sisters and brothers  in Christ. When one hurts, all of us should feel the pain. When one of us has fallen, we need to reach out, link arms and hold on until the storm has passed. Who needs your love and encouragement?  Do not let another day pass that you do not call someone whom you love and may need you. It may be someone who is just now accepting the Lord into there life. It is never to late to repeat the sinners prayer and ask the Lord into our life. Let us learn to live one day at a time and to put our trust in the Lord.  
Let's Pray
Father, I know You want me to share the love I have found in You. Forgive me for the many times I have been too busy to see the needs around me. Break my heart for those who are in pain and feel hopeless. Encourage them through me, Lord. Fill my heart with Your love so that I can give it away.
In Jesus' name,
Amen.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Heal the Broken Hearted

“He heals the brokenhearted…” Psalm 147:3 (NIV)

Christmas is such a time of celebration with friends and family. But for many it is a time of grief also. Many are sick, had a tragic accident, divorced, maybe separated from loved ones for whatever reason.

It has been 19 years since my first Christmas without my husband Gary. He passed away in September that year and our family started going through all the first you go through. That first Christmas sure was different. It made me stop and realize what Christmas really was. Christmas is not just lots of gifts and laughter. Christmas is a time for us to realize how much everyone around us means to each other. As we look around we may wonder if we will still be together next year. Christmas is a time to let the Lord heal the broken hearted. Christmas is a time for us to know our Lord will be right beside us, no matter what we may be going through. As the years go on it does seem a little easier but we never forget the fun times we all had as a family. We have made new traditions, the children have grown up and made there own traditions. We all have new lives. But we never forget the loved ones who the Lord took home before us.

I can still smell the cookies my Mom used to bake. I can still see my Dad freezing as he hung lights for us. I see my husband Gary as he put together the toys for the children and we laughed and loved the time we had.

As I look back I have been so blessed to have so many wonderful times with family and friends. Let us remember as we move a head this year to December 25th to share Christ’s comfort with others. I’ve experienced God’s promise to heal my broken heart, as today’s key verse reminds us. Much of my healing has come from the love He’s sent through other people. Because of this, I keep my eyes open for those who might be grieving or sad at the holidays. I’ve found that comforting others brings me comfort. It also brings me many blessings.
This year as I anticipate the Christmas season, I’ll experience a familiar combination of emotions. Sadness will tug at my heart as I miss celebrating this special time with those who may have gone before us, but I’m excited to celebrate what only Christ can do — heal our broken heart. The comfort He brings is one of the many reasons to celebrate His birth this Christmas season.

Since that Christmas all those years ago the Lord has brought me a new life with a wonderful husband. It has not been without trials, but God has been there throughout it all. When we finally come to the end when the Lord calls us home let us reflect on how we shared our time and our Lord with our family and friends. Not only at Christmas, but throughout the year.

This year as I anticipate the Christmas season, I’ll experience a familiar combination of emotions. Sadness will tug at my heart as I miss celebrating this special time with my husband and parents and other loved one, but I’m excited to celebrate what only Christ can do — Heal our broken heart. The comfort He brings is one of the many reasons to celebrate His birth this Christmas season.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

HIS FIRM TRUST IN THE DIVINE MERCY

Habakkuk 3 (New Living Translation)
17 Even though the fig trees have no blossoms,
      and there are no grapes on the vines;
   even though the olive crop fails,
      and the fields lie empty and barren;
   even though the flocks die in the fields,
      and the cattle barns are empty,
 18 yet I will rejoice in the Lord!
      I will be joyful in the God of my salvation!
 19 The Sovereign Lord is my strength!
      He makes me as surefooted as a deer,[e]
      able to tread upon the heights.

When we see a day of trouble approach, it concerns us to prepare. But sometimes things happen quickly and we do not have time to prepare. We keep asking God why or what if. When we meet with the losses and crosses in our life we as Christ Followers can sit upon the heap of the ruins of all our creature comforts and even then praise the Lord.
He is the God of our salvation and we can rejoice in Him as such. Even in our greatest distresses. Joy in the Lord is especially seasonable when we meet with the losses and crosses of this world. It does not matter if it is the loss of a loved one or provisions cut off, we are supplied by the grace and comforts of God’s Spirit. This is where we will be strong spiritually and where God will really show up. This is where we will be successful in spiritual undertakings.  

Just like the prophet above who in Habakkuk began his prayer with fear and trembling, we can end with joy and triumph.

 This is where God prepares us for in every event. The name of Jesus, when we know He is ours, is balm for every wound, gracious and sincere for all of our cares. It is an ointment poured upon us as a fragrant perfume, shedding fragrance though the whole soul.

As we look and reflect on this time, in the hopes of a heavenly crown, let us set loose to worldly possessions and comforts, and lovingly bear up under our crosses and look only to Him.

 I love verse 19  “  The Sovereign Lord is my strength, He makes me as surefooted as a deer, able to tread upon the heights. All of our strength comes from the Lord. All is the keyword. We can be surefooted as the deer because we trust in only the Lord in All things.

"Yet a little while, He that shall come will come, and will not tarry; and where He is we shall be also."
 Lord as I pray to you today I pray for all those who feel they have lost. We have not lost, it has just begun. We do trust in you, in All things and I ask a special Blessing on the ones I Love so dearly in You. In Jesus name we pray. Amen

Saturday, December 3, 2011

GOD IS IN OUR FAILURES

He replied, ‘You of little faith, why are you so afraid?’ Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm.” Matthew 8:26 (NIV)
I have  failed in so many things in my life. Made so many bad choices and mistakes.

As I look back at my 45+ years as a wife and mother and career woman I again look for my passion and what I really want to do when I grow up. I am sure many of you have and are there. No matter what age we are.
I failed so many times at being the wife that is portrayed in Proverbs 31: 10-31. How perfect is this woman. I know as I look back I absolutely did not meet that mark. But God was there with me.

I also failed at being the mother I should have been. Proverbs 31: 26 says She opens her mouth with wisdom, and loving instruction is on her tongue. How many times I should have used wisdom with my children as they were growing up. Again God was there with me.

Then there were all the jobs I have tried and not succeeded at. Trying to find my way as a career woman.  What is a career woman anyway? God again was with me.

Yes, I failed at a lot during those years where I was trying to figure out what to do with my life. At the time each of these things felt like the worst that could have happened. Now, I think they were the best worst things.

Had these things been successful, I would have never discovered the joy of knowing the LORD as I know HIM now. Of serving HIM in capacities only the LORD can do for us.  Such as the passion of blogging.
I see this same theme woven throughout many stories in the Bible.

In Matthew 8:23-24 we find Jesus getting into a boat with His disciples. “Without warning, a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat.” Worst thing.
But in verse 26 Jesus got up and rebuked the winds and waves and things turned completely calm. The disciples were amazed. They had been fearful. Best worst thing.

In Acts 5:12 we find the apostles being arrested and thrown in jail. Worst thing.
But in Acts 5:13 we find an angel of the Lord opening the doors of the jail and bringing them out. Later we find them with so much confidence they boldly proclaim, “We must obey God rather than men!” (v. 29) Again were they not frightened?  Best worst thing.

I don’t understand why we have to go through the things we do sometimes. And I certainly know there are many worse things to go through than what I’ve mentioned here. Been there with those also.

We live in a broken world full of broken people. But isn’t it comforting to know God isn’t ever broken? He isn’t ever caught off guard, taken by surprise, or shocked by what happens next. God always knows what is ahead for us and what will be next. God is never taken by surprise.

He can take our worst and add His best. We just have to make the choice to stay with Him and keep following Him through it all. Even if it takes the rest of our lives we must trust the LORD for all we have and be thankful for what we do have. The times we are in now will grow us for what is ahead of us. With GOD that will only be the best.

Deuteronomy 1:29-30

Amplified Bible (AMP)
29Then I said to you, Dread not, neither be afraid of them.
    30The Lord your God Who goes before you, He will fight for you just as He did for you in Egypt before your eyes,
  
Dear Lord, I know only YOU are capable of taking my worst and turning it into Your BEST. Show me this truth anew today. Refresh my spirit. I want to follow You through it all. As the scripture says above, do not be afraid.  In Jesus’ Name we pray. Amen.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

OUT OF THE DARKNESS

John 4: 8-10 (The Message) "Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love to us: He sent his one and only Son into the world so that we could have life through him. This is what real love is: It is not our love for God; it is God's love for us in sending his Son to be the way to take away our sins."

Trusting God begins and ends with the fierce love of God. Trusting God really is all about wrapping our hearts and minds and lives around the reality of God's love. He loved us so much that He sent His Son to die for our sins so we can have an abundant life - now and eternally.

You may find yourself in a frightening place filled with darkness and doubt. Your fragile heart may be wondering if God knows where you are or if He even cares. He does. Many of us are there right now. Just living each day trusting God and nothing is happening.

You think that because you cannot see the hand of God or sense His presence it means He is not working. Nothing could be further from the truth, girlfriend. We may not understand or even like His process but let me assure you that God is always at work in our lives. In my office I use to have a sign that said.” When you are down to nothing God is up to something.” This means God is always walking ahead of us in our lives. Sometimes it is very hard to see His hand at work. We keep asking what is the Lords plan?  If you are there right now just ask God to show Himself. He will let you know He is at work in our lives.

He will always love you. He will come through for you and you really can trust Him. He will always be there to carry us through.

Let's Pray
Father, I want to know You and trust You with my whole heart and life. Thank You for loving me even when I doubt Your love. I praise You for being faithful even when my faith is small. Teach me how to walk by faith and not by sight. Lord as we walk into the day let us walk only with you and trust only in you.
In Jesus' name we pray

Saturday, October 22, 2011

The Other Side of The Mountain

2 Corinthians 11:25

Amplified Bible (AMP)
25Three times I have been beaten with rods; once I was stoned. Three times I have been aboard a ship wrecked at sea; a [whole] night and a day I have spent [adrift] on the deep

Paul's life is amazing to me. How could Paul, such a man of God, be so beaten up by everyone around him. Everyday his circumstances came against him and he had to overcome. Paul had to wake up and prod ahead, even sometimes when he did not feel like it. Have you been there? This past month has been like that for me. Everyday a new challenge. Everyday a new crisis. Nothing seeming to fall into place. Everything against us. That certainly was Paul. But what did Paul do. He wrote this scripture.

Philippians 3:10-14

Amplified Bible (AMP)
10[For my determined purpose is] that I may know Him [that I may progressively become more deeply and intimately acquainted with Him, perceiving and recognizing and understanding the wonders of His Person more strongly and more clearly], and that I may in that same way come to know the power outflowing from His resurrection [[a]which it exerts over believers], and that I may so share His sufferings as to be continually transformed [in spirit into His likeness even] to His death, [in the hope]
    11That if possible I may attain to the [[b]spiritual and moral] resurrection [that lifts me] out from among the dead [even while in the body].
    12Not that I have now attained [this ideal], or have already been made perfect, but I press on to lay hold of (grasp) and make my own, that for which Christ Jesus (the Messiah) has laid hold of me and made me His own.
    13I do not consider, brethren, that I have captured and made it my own [yet]; but one thing I do [it is my one aspiration]: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead,
    14I press on toward the goal to win the [supreme and heavenly] prize to which God in Christ Jesus is calling us upward.

Our main purpose is to know Him. To reach for our Lord. To know that we are not perfect but we can strive to be perfect. If we are waiting for a perfect situation before we step out in faith we will never move ahead. We must forget what lies behind and move ahead. If the Holy Spirit tells us to move now, we must do it now, even if the surrounding environment seems difficult or unfavorable at the moment.

If we feel the mountain is too large do not despair. Because remember who is just on the other side of the mountain.

2 Corinthians 5:7

Amplified Bible (AMP)
7For we walk by faith [we [a]regulate our lives and conduct ourselves by our conviction or belief respecting man's relationship to God and divine things, with trust and holy fervor; thus we walk] not by sight or appearance

Just over the top we will meet our Lord. He is standing there with his hand out waiting to take us to His plan for us. We cannot see Him as we must learn to "walk by faith and not by sight." There will be roadblocks that satan uses to stop us but we must press on. As I look over the last few weeks I can see Gods handwriting over the whole time. I must look with spiritual eyes. As I press forward I must forget what lies behind and look to the mountain and know that just on the other side my Lord is waiting to carry us to our new adventure. A new time with Him and seeking His will not our own. Let us always "walk by faith and not by sight."

43 years ago today I faced my biggest challenge as my wonderful son was born with so many issues. But even back then before I even knew the power of God I trusted and believed He could bring us through. I dedicate today this blog to my son Michael who today is a walking miracle.  My God is and always has been on the other side of the mountain. Let us move ahead seeking a new revelation with the Lord.

My prayer today is this: Lord, as we step into a new time and new season let me remember that you are on the other side of the mountain. Sometimes we do not see you yet but you are there.  You have something new for us. Something exciting, a new adventure. Lord as always we put our faith in you and only you. You always show up just in time. You are never early and you are never late. Thank you Lord for always being on the other side of the mountain.