Saturday, March 21, 2015

Evidence of Jesus

Let those who fear you come to me for evidence of your wise guidance. And let me live whole and holy, soul and body, so I can always walk with my heart and head held high.
Psalms 119: 79,80

The Psalms continues to amaze and comfort me every day. As I've been making my way through the chapters and circling promises from God I especially liked this one. This is one I had underlined years ago, but as I read it again it seemed new to me. As I've been praying about these words the last few days the Spirit has continued to affirm how much God answers this in my life every day!
"Let those who fear you come to me for evidence of your wise guidance." 
The evidence of God's wise guidance in my life is something I pray for all the time, and I believe His work and transformation changes me and shows others who He is. It is His amazing power that has changed my life and continues to bring me to new places of change and transformation.
I have felt for awhile now that the Spirit is prompting me to tell more of my story. I've been mulling it over and over in my head, not really knowing how to get started. There's a part of me that feels afraid, too. My past experience tells me that when I share portions of my story, people, even family pull away physically or emotionally. Or, I am asked to leave, or called names, or things just change. So, God and I go back and forth in trusting that He will work out all these details. I just need to listen to Him and obey. After all, the evidence of His wise guidance in my life throughout all the foolishness of my sin, is astounding!
It brings me to the last part of the verse, "let me live whole and holy, soul and body, so I can always walk with my head held high."
Isn't it more about what He has done, not what I've done? His incredible story, His amazing miracles, and enduring love for all of us? 
Oh sweet Jesus, let me be evidence of this! 
Say That Again!

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

My Path Ahead

Your Word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.
Psalms 119:105

My shoulder has been in pain, and it's not getting better.  I've tried a  few things. Prayer of course, and I will continue to pray. I also tried denial, thinking that maybe it would just get better on it's own, but, that didn't work either. So then I went to a physical therapist. He gave me several exercises, and did massage therapy, ultrasound, and stretched my neck. But, still my shoulder persisted. So, I then tried the chiropractor. He moved all kinds of bones back into place, pushed on trigger points, and worked more on my neck. It actually helped, to a point. I continued my visits in hopes that I would gain full mobility of my arm, my right arm. But, this last week, the chiropractor said the dreaded word--DOCTOR!
He pulled out a surgeons business card and handed it over to me and strongly suggested I give the doctor a call.  My path is changing.
It is true that I am resistant to such a path, but God, once again is shining a light in that direction for me to follow. I called the doctors office, and he is very busy. I couldn't get an appointment until the 21st of April.  So I have plenty of time to pray about this and claim God's healing power.
Further along in Psalms 119, in the Message, it says this:

Don't disappoint all my grand hopes. Stick with me and I'll be all right; I'll give total allegiance to your definitions of life.
verse 116, 117

I do have many grand hopes about the path ahead. God has promised that His Word is a lamp to my feet, so I will continue to soak in His Word and follow the light that shines on my path---even when it leads to the doctors office, and possibly surgery. He has promised to never leave me or forsake me, He will stick to me like super glue, and I will be all right. In return, my life will be defined by Him. That is the healing power of Jesus that shines on my path! 
Say That Again!

Monday, March 2, 2015

Overcoming Enemies

Lord, have mercy on me.
See how my enemies torment me.
Snatch me back from the 
jaws of death.
Save me so I can praise you 
publicly at Jerusalem's gates, 
so I can rejoice that you 
have rescued me.
Psalms 9:13

I've been studying in my Bible about enemies. God has made it very clear that He WILL rescue me from my enemies. I've been thinking about the word enemy, and I've been asking God to show me my internal enemies.
What are the enemies that torment me? Maybe without even realizing it's happening? 
The enemy of judgments, rejection, loss of hope, being overwhelmed, lies, being negative, isolation, fear, hate, despair, and the list goes on...We all have something that we need to be rescued from.
I've been rescued so many times already. God continues to go into battle over and over for me and each time I learn something new. His mercy and His grace are about my heart and my soul.
It reminds me of the verse in Ephesians 6:12

For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.

Sounds pretty negative to me, despairing, fearful, overwhelming, and something I most definitely need to be rescued from!

I lay down in sleep, yet I woke up in safety, for the Lord was watching over me. I am not afraid of ten thousand enemies who surround me on every side:
Arise, O Lord!
Rescue me, my God! Slap all my enemies in the face! Shatter the teeth of the wicked! Victory comes from you, O Lord, May you bless your people.
Psalms 3:5-8

Whatever enemy you may be facing today, God wants to rescue you.  Call to Him, "Slap all my enemies in the face!"  and He will come for you. 
Say That Again, O God!

Monday, February 16, 2015

Search Me

O Lord, You have searched me and known me.
Psalms 139: 1

My husband put a song on yesterday by Brandon Heath, and it turned my thoughts to Psalms 139 right away. The song, When you look at me, is about being in the freedom of God's love.
No shame.
No judgment. 
No fear.
To be completely known, and still accepted, loved, and wanted. The good and the bad.
This is what Jesus has done for me.
He has searched me and even with all the shameful, fearful stuff...He still has chosen to know me.
Not only that, He pursues me.
He loves me, enjoys my company, does not condemn me or shame me.

You know when I sit down and rise up; you discern my thoughts from afar.
verse 2

I love it when I can look across the room at my husband and I just know that he knows exactly what I'm thinking. He gets it. There doesn't have to be a lot of explaining between the two of us, because we just know.
With God, it's far more than that. He knows me before I know myself. I can ask Him to tell me my own thoughts! He can sort them all out, and give them to me in an orderly fashion. He discerns my thoughts from afar.

You search out my path, and my lying down and are acquainted with all my ways.
verse 3

I have nothing to hide, for God is acquainted with ALL my ways.
The song I referred to earlier has a line in it like this:
"To be found in my hiding place, and be received. I'm so relieved to be found."
God will always find me in every hiding place, because He knows ALL my ways. And, He can receive it all.
How does all of this apply to the Body of Christ?  To me as His Warrior?  
Do I search and know the Body of Christ?
Do I pray for unity of thought in His Body and the discerning Spirit?
Do I love His Body enough to show interest in all their ways, and walk the path with fellow believers?
Am I bringing Jesus and His light into the lives of others on a daily basis?
Search me, O Lord, and use me to Say That Again in the lives of others. Search me, and use me to shine Your light!

Friday, January 23, 2015

Take Courage

Be strong and let your heart take courage, All you who hope in the Lord. 
Psalms 31:24

God has been bringing the words "take courage" to my mind all week. I've read about it in my Bible, prayed about it, and asked God questions about it. Then, yesterday, I was given the opportunity to choose to take courage, or take fear. 
Yesterday was not a good day for me. It started out well with the usual Thursday trip to pick up my grandchildren. After getting settled at home we had an accident that caused pain for my grandson and we raced to the urgent care.
My heart was hurting.
My body was trembling.
I couldn't stop crying.
My mind was racing with so many thoughts; it was hard to focus on the truth.
My husband, son and daughter in-law met us at urgent care and the doctor took a look at our sweet grandson. His injury was soothed with medication and wrapped in bandages. He was given bundles of love and antibiotics and they went on their way.
But still, I was faced with the choice of taking courage or living in fear. The fear was growing inside of me on several levels. Even though I knew he was going to be okay. I began to feel afraid that  my son and daughter in-law wouldn't trust me with my grandson anymore. I felt afraid that I wouldn't trust myself. I felt emotions from an old trauma that happened 26 years ago when our son was hurt while left home with his grandma. 
But then, a friend reminded me that fear is not from God. She literally gave me courage. And, I realized that this was the moment God had been preparing me for. "Take courage!" I could choose to take the courage she was offering me, or I could stay in the fear that was overtaking me.  It was my choice. 
 I chose to take courage.
So today I am asking myself, "how often do I give courage?" If God is saying over and over again to take it, and He does. Then, surely we must give it.  I know for me it was an amazing strength to have a friend be very direct with me and encourage me to not let fear overwhelm me, but to have faith in the love of my family and take courage!

"There is no room in love for fear. Well formed love banishes fear. Since fear is crippling, a fearful life--fear of death, fear of judgment--is one not yet fully formed in love." 
1 John 4:18

Give courage and take courage today. Say That Again!

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Front Row!

It's a New Year, and I'm looking forward to some decisions I've made about 2015. I don't know about you, but sometimes my schedule gets really busy. Way too busy. And, when that happens, I start to feel way too tired. When I start to feel tired, it's not good.  So, this is one of my decisions. I'm not going to be as busy, I have to slow things down, restructure, check my priorities, and pace myself.
Another goal I have for 2015 is to celebrate MORE! I want to let others know that I am celebrating their joys and their accomplishments. I also want to celebrate my own. The big ones and the little ones, all of them. I think that sometimes I have been too tired, or my thoughts have quickly moved on to the next thing before I have taken the time to celebrate. I want the people in my life to know that they should be celebrated. And, I want to be celebrated too.
I"m going to get back on my treadmill. That's about all I have to say about that.
There's a story in my heart that needs to be told, I'm going to work on putting words to it. 
I'm going to fill up my front row.  Are you wondering what my front row is? Well, let me explain:
my front row is that group of friends that hold the core values about relationship that line up with the Kingdom of God. They know their value. They celebrate each other. They are respectful, trustworthy, responsible, loving, and teachable.  They want to know who I am.
I want to be a front row friend to the people in my life.
I have a few other goals that involve my ministry, my family, and my heart. God has already began to answer some of my prayers in some interesting ways, and I'm thinking that the remaining pages of 2015 are going to a wild adventure!
So, put on your seat belt, the front row has a good view. Thank you Jesus for being in my front row, Say That Again!
Friends come and friends go, but a true friend sticks by you like family. Proverbs 18:24

Saturday, December 27, 2014

What I've Learned

2014 is wrapping up, and it's time to say goodbye. I've been reflecting on the year for a couple days now, it's like a rear view mirror. Praise God the years behind me are like mirrors that are tiny, and the years ahead are wide open windows!
Thank you, to my many readers for bringing my blog to 100,000 reads! Thank you for sharing my posts on your pages and with your friends and around the world. Thank you for making 2014 a breaking record year of over 2000 page reads a day! God has blessed this blog, and He has blessed me through all my readers, and I want to Say That Again, and Again!
What is the biggest most important thing you learned in 2014?
This is the question that I have rolling around in my head. 
Through it all, what have I learned?
1. When people die, even people that I may not be especially close to but I still know, I feel sad. And, I need to cry and talk about that pain.
2. Love is a choice, it's a direction that we all can choose to take in life. Wearing love for ones self is a practice that requires the power of the Spirit just as much as loving others.
3. God's promises seem slow sometimes. This can be discouraging. This does not mean I do not have faith or I do not believe!
4. It's okay to have expectations! In fact, it's weird not too. I have expectations of myself, and when I'm in a relationship with people that I love, it's only natural that I would expect them to love me back, or to reciprocate. 
5. To be authentic is scary, but it really brings out the true and faithful. 
6. I am weak. But, I believe God is strong and I believe He is going to accomplish all that He has promised. I have goals and dreams for myself and for my ministry. I know I cannot do any of this on my own, but with God, somehow He will make it happen. 
7. Passion is a gift from God.  
8. God heals.
9. Prayer works in amazing ways in my life. Prayer is a fragile gift from the Spirit, His language soaks deep into my soul penetrating every fiber. 
Prayer is my avenue to being known. 
Everything is wide open in prayer, nothing held back, no secrets. 
Prayer is love. Faith. Hope. Trust. 
I have discovered to pray for someone is very different than to pray with someone...for someone is coming alongside them in love and support to lift them up to Jesus. To pray with them, I am giving them a view inside my heart.
10. I'm 52 now. There are many things in my past I would prefer to be different, but then again, I would not be who I am without those challenges. I have made many mistakes. Through it all, God has brought so many blessings. He has lifted me up into a life of restoration, renewal, and love. I need Him to Say That Again to me every day lest I forget His glorious gifts!