Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Bravo, God, Bravo! ~

When was the last time you gave a high five?


High-five!
{Photo Credit}

Not to your husband,


or  wife,



or  son



or daughter,


or  a co-worker,


or a loyal fan who shares your love for the team,


or your faithful four-legged companion,


but to you?



This past summer I was blessed to spend some much needed quality time with my sister and her family. As we were eating dinner one night, her precious little boy suddenly smacked himself in the nose.

"Ouch!" my sister exclaimed. "That had to hurt. Why did you do that, honey?"

"Because, my nose is great! I'm giving it a high five!"

Then, he proceeded to smack himself again, only this time, he yelled, "Good job, nose!"

But, he didn't stop there.

WHAM!

"Good job, eyes!"

SLAP!

"Good job, ears!"

POW!

"Good job, mouth!"

Then, he just sat back in his seat and smiled at his wonderful self.

You made my whole being;
you formed me in my mother's body.
I praise you because you made me in an amazing and wonderful way.
What you have done is wonderful.
I know this very well.

~ Psalm 139:13-14, NCV

This precious little boy not only understood his body was amazing, he was celebrating it.

When was the last time you celebrated you?

As my sister and I laughed at the exuberance and delight of little Sebastian, I couldn't help imagining God's reaction to this elaborate celebration.

How these high fives must have delighted His heart and brought our Creator an enormous amount of pleasure.  After all, it is HE who created us.  It is HE who deserves all the praise.  It is HE who we celebrate when we celebrate us!

Did you mark something off your "to do list" today? Then, stop and give yourself a high five.

Did your legs transport your body through all your daily activities today?  Then, time for a high five.

Did you say "no" to that extra piece of cake?  HIGH FIVE time!

Did you choose patience over anger, or love over hatred.  Then raise your hand and celebrate with God.

We were created for God's pleasure. 
What could bring our Creator more pleasure than celebrating His workmanship?

WHAM!

"Good job, hands!"

SLAP!

"Good job, muscles!"

CLAP!

"Good job, heart!"


BRAVO,

GOD,

BRAVO!


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Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Linger~

As I walked toward our sliding glass door, Sally, our precious canine companion who had been sunning herself in the yard, saw me and made a beeline for the porch. Tail waging and eyes fixed on me, it was obvious she couldn't wait for me to slide back the glass separating us so she could say hello to whip right past me on the way to her dinner bowl.


Sigh.


I understand her excitement.  Sadly, food almost has the same effect on me.  But sometimes, I wish it was me, not my hand that feeds her, that made her tail wag.

Yesterday morning as I opened the door, she nearly bowled me over as she raced to see if any morsels of food had graced her dish while she was outside. As I jumped out of her way, the Lord spoke oh, so softly to my heart.

                 Linger

You see, Sally isn't the only one who rushes by her Master on the way to nourishment.  I do, too.

So often, when I meet with the Lord, I say a quick prayer, then rush right into His Word.   I can't wait to feed my soul with the counsel and promises found in His Word.

And while this is a good thing, I often breeze right past my precious Heavenly Father on the way to my daily bread.

Solitude
{Photo Credit}
Linger, my child.

When I see you drawing near, my heart fills with joy. I look forward to our time together each day. I'm so delighted you crave my Word - seeking to learn more of me by feeding on the scriptures, but sometimes, precious one, I wish you would linger with me for awhile.



linger *:
- to remain or stay on in a place longer than is usual or expected, as if from reluctance to leave
- to dwell in contemplation, thought, or enjoyment
- delay; dawdle
     

As I watch precious Sally munching away on her "Kibbles and Bits" dog food, I understand. Feasting on God's Word, as vital to my spiritual life as this is, is not enough.  It is simply one facet of my relationship with God.



God longs for you and I

    to slow down and seek His face,

             to dawdle awhile and revel in His company,

                      to linger and bask in His presence.


When was the last time you lingered with your Lord?


My heart has heard you say, “Come and talk with me.”
And my heart responds, “LORD, I am coming.”
 

~ Psalm 27:8, NLT


* Dicionary.com

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Monday, February 27, 2012

Are You a Prisoner of the Past?~

Have you ever wished you could go back and completely redo a certain episode or time in your life? Maybe, in anger, you spoke words that to this day, still separate you from someone you love. Maybe you let a golden opportunity pass you by and now you are haunted by what might have been. Maybe you took a path in life that has led you far away from your intended destination. Maybe you simply let time tick away without seizing the moment and making the most of each hour of each day. Maybe you chose what didn’t matter, in place of what did.

As much as we would love a "do over", the sad reality is this: what is done is done and we can't go back and undo it. We can only go forward. Yet, how many times have you and I gotten bogged down in the muddy mess of regret and guilt and found our self idling instead of moving on with our life?

When I opened my bathroom window this morning, I was surprised to discover these beautiful blossoms on our peach tree.



I am always delighted and amazed in springtime. Bare trees become clothed with beautifully fragrant blossoms. Birds, seemingly silent through the cold winter months, now chirp until their hearts are content. And most amazing of all, the metamorphosis of the butterfly begins. All of nature showcases the newness that comes with the warmth of the sun and the birth of yet another season of life.

Life goes on.


No matter how cold the winter, no matter how deep the snow; Spring eventually comes. The cycle of life continues and I am so glad it does. It is a beautiful reminder of the new thing God wants to do in your life and mine.

Remember ye not the former things, neither consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert.
Isaiah 43:18-19

Living in the past only accomplishes one thing - keeping us from living in the present. Don't get me wrong. Wisdom tells us to learn from the past, but it in no way would have us take up our residence there!

Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:13,14

Today, what is holding you a prisoner of the past? Don't you think it's time to let it go? Can you really afford to let it keep stealing your future? Forget those things that are behind and instead reach for what is still out in front of you. Open your heart and your life to receive the new thing God is waiting to do...in and through you!

Our Heavenly Father has an amazing way of taking our messes and turning them into miracles. He can take the ugliness of our past and transform it into something breathtakingly beautiful. Just look at what God can do in the life of a caterpillar! He wants to do that and so much more in your life and mine! Yet, the choice is ours. We can either choose to spring forward or to fall back.



Like this robin, who showed up in our yard this afternoon, I am ready to welcome Spring into my life.


I am ready to step out into the next season of my life.


How about you?



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Sunday, February 26, 2012

You Can Believe It~

But my God shall supply all your need, according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.
~ Philippians 4:19, KJV

Maybe like me, you have memorized this verse. Maybe like me, you have quoted it time and time again. But, maybe like me, you haven't always lived your life as though you actually believe this verse to be true.

Look at it again.

Now, look at it one more time.

Did you see it? The word ALL? It's there.

We serve a God who doesn't just supply some of our needs, some of the time. NO! We serve a God who supplies ALL of our needs, ALL of the time!

I love how this verse starts with the word but.

So often, Satan tries to steal our faith (and our victory) by reminding us of the facts. When he does, we can fight back, using this very scripture, to remind him (and ourselves!) of this truth!

I don't see how I am going to have enough money to pay this bill, BUT my God SHALL supply ALL my needs according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.

I don't know how I am going to have the strength to get through this, BUT my God SHALL supply ALL my needs according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.

I don't think I can _________________ (fill in the blank), BUT my God SHALL supply ALL my needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.

We don't have to know

how,

or when,

or where,

or why.

We only need to know WHO - MY GOD.

Heavenly Father, Thank you that you are ever mindful of us. You see our needs. You know the concerns of our heart. And, you are here. You are in the midst of us, working all things for our good, supplying just what we need, just when we need it. Help us to not simply memorize this verse, or quote it, but to LIVE it. It is true and we can stake our life on it! In Jesus' name, Amen~


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Saturday, February 25, 2012

The Unveiling~

Pretending.

I know all about that! And...so does God.

We may be able to fool some of the people some of the time, but we can't fool God.

That's what you are like. Outside you look good, but inside you are evil and only pretend to be good.                                                                      
~ Matthew 23:28

And so, our loving Heavenly Father speaks. And, the precious Holy Spirit leads.

Drawing us out into the light and into authentic Christ-like living.

But...first.

First, we have to take off our mask.

Joy
{Photo Credit}
I know all about masks.

 It wasn’t until recently that I was willing to allow God to use His Word and His Spirit to unveil the real me. It wasn't until recently that I allowed God to take my hand and lead me out into the world, flaws and all.

I learned at a young age that Christians are loving, joyful, patient, kind, gentle, selfless, and everything that I didn't seem to be. This image, this expectation, soon became my mask - the mask of perfectionism. Frustrated and exhausted, I spent my life trying to be all things to all people. I was miserable.

The longer I wore my mask, the more ill-fitting it became.  The more I tried to breathe life into my "Christianity", the more my mask seemed to suffocate the life right out of me.


I longed for the power to rip it off and be free, once and for all.

Praise God!

He came to my rescue teaching me what authentic Christ-like living is all about.

First, I learned I don’t have to perform or be perfect to receive His love. He simply loves me because he loves me. It’s as simple and as amazingly wonderful as that.

Second, I learned to be an authentic Christian I must move me out of the way so Christ can shine through. It’s not about me at all. It's all about Christ living in and through me. Talk about being set free!

Third, I don’t have to worry about pleasing the world, only pleasing God. If I delight in Him and align my life with His ways and His will, it is enough.

Fourth, I learned living without a mask is to truly live. This is the abundant life Christ came to give. But, I must choose to live mask-free each and every day. It has to be an intentional choice.

Maybe like me, you have hidden behind a mask of your own. 


Maybe, like me, your mask is growing increasingly uncomfortable.

Maybe, you too, are longing to rip it off and finally be free, once and for all.

Then, cry out to God. 


He will come to your rescue, too.


How can I be so sure?


His specialty is setting us free~


Heavenly Father, It's not easy to come out from behind our masks and see the real us, the sinful person that we are. And yet, until we do, we will never be free. It is only by unveiling our sin and being real that we find our new identity in you. Help us to exchange our mask for your robe of righteousness. Help us to let go of everything false and live a real, authentic, life in and through you. In Jesus' Name, Amen~


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Friday, February 24, 2012

Walking in HIS Light~





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Thursday, February 23, 2012

From God's Vantage Point~ {Heartprint Hallelujahs Friday Link Up}

As I sat waiting in the car, I just happened to look up. 

GOLD.

To the naked eye, I suppose it would have resembled bare branches on a tree, but, not from where I sat.


From my vantage point,
the sun had transformed these barren branches, stripped of any sign of life, into pure gold.


It was in this light, I saw the heartprint of God.




Seasons - the ebb and flow of life.


Seasons of hope, fruitfulness, barrenness and death.

It's not hard to see God in the blossoms of Spring.
It's not difficult to feel God in the warmth of the Summer sun.

But, where is He in the Fall and Winter of our life -
     when cold winds blow and dreams crumble up and fall to the ground?
     when periods of darkness strip us bare and leaves us void of life?

He is seated at the refiner's table.

I'll refine them as silver is refined,
test them for purity as gold is tested.
Then they'll pray to me by name
and I'll answer them personally.
I'll say, 'That's my people.'
They'll say, 'God—my God!'
~ Zechariah 13:9, NLT




 It was only after this tree had suffered through the winter season that I was able to see it's hidden beauty. 


As long as leaves of green adorned it's branches, the underlying bark of these limbs was concealed. 



 Now, on display for all to see, they were radiant in the afternoon sun.



It is the same with you and me. 

It it only after we are stripped of
all that is sinful,
all that is superficial,
all that is merely for show,
that the hidden beauty of "Christ in us" is revealed.

It is only after we have suffered through
      the Fall of self-denial and
     the Winter of affliction
that we are refined into His likeness.

Jesus loves us just the way we are, but, He loves us too much to allow us to stay that way. 


When all we can see is barrenness and death, God sees what we will one day be.


From His vantage point, we are beginning to shine like gold~


♥    ♥      ♥     ♥    ♥     ♥    ♥     ♥     ♥     ♥    ♥    ♥  
Welcome to..........
                      Heartprint Hallelujahs




Here's how it works:

Link up your Heartprint Hallelujah which can be any post or photo that lifts our hearts up to our precious Saviour, Jesus.

Add the Heartprint Hallelujahs button to your post so others can join in our celebration.





Heartprints of God



Then, get ready to be inspired, encouraged, refreshed and revived in your own faith as you share in the Hallelujahs of those linked up.

Here we go:




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Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Have You Seen My Joy?~

As I child, I never really liked playing Hide-n-Seek. Well, that's not entirely true. I thoroughly enjoyed hiding, but when it came my time to do the seeking, I would always suggest a game of Hopscotch. Don't get me wrong. I'm more than willing to hold up my end of a game. If I hide, I need to take my turn seeking. I get that. But for some odd reason, not knowing where to look, made me feel anxious and uneasy.

Sherlock Holmes, I am not. I don't get the tiniest bit of pleasure out of a "good" mystery. If I am looking for something, or in this case, someone, I want to know exactly where to look. I want a map with a big, bright red "X" marking the spot. But, hide-n-seek doesn't work that way. It's all about the hunt, followed by the excitement you feel when you discover your friend hiding in the last place you would ever have thought to look.

Once I gave my heart to Christ, and His precious Holy Spirit came to live inside me, I began to discover the fruit of the Spirit in my life. As I surrendered and allowed the Spirit to take control, love, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control became evident at different times and places in my Christian walk. Joy, however, seemed to be hiding from me.

But how could this be? Wasn't it supposed to be in my life, too? Although separate and unique, these characteristics of Christ are one. After all, they are known as the fruit of the Spirit, not the fruits of the spirit. So...where was my joy? Believe it or not, when I finally found it, it was in the last place I would ever have thought to look.

Following Christ, I soon discovered, is not an easy thing to do. This spiritual journey requires much from those who would choose to walk the walk, and not simply talk the talk. To be true followers of Christ, we must be willing to give Christ our all. This requires sacrifice and death. Yes, even death.

And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me. Luke 9:23 (KJV)

In order for Christ to live fully in and through me, I must die. You must die, too. As children of the Most High God, we are called upon to take up our cross daily, denying self and surrendering all to God. This process of becoming a new creature in Christ is excruciatingly painful. Death never comes without tears of sorrow.

They that sow in tears shall reap in joy. Psalm 126:5 (KJV)

Tears. What an unlikely place to discover my joy, and yet, that is exactly where I keep finding it. As I surrender my will to the will of my Father, I pass through a valley of tears. Yet, on the other side of this dark place, I discover true joy.

Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ: Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory. 1 Peter 1 6-8. (KJV)

Red Cross
{Photo Credit}
Unlike the game of Hide-n-Seek, God has been faithful to map out the way for us. The blood stained cross of Calvary clearly marks the spot where our joy is found.

Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross Hebrews 12:2 (NIV)

Imagine the thrill of my discovery when I finally found God's precious gift of joy in my tears of surrender. Kneeling at the foot of the cross, I exchange my tears of sorrow for tears of joy. It is here, I find joy unspeakable.



 
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Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Rest In Peace~

December 23, 2004.

Standing at my father's grave site, I was reminded of a sermon I once heard. The pastor was preaching on "dying to self" and to drive his point home, he asked the following question:

"How do you know you are truly dead?"

After a short pause, he answered his own question.

" When people can throw dirt on you and it doesn't even faze you."


RIP Daisies
{Photo Credit}
Dying to self.



I'm sure you would agree this is one of the hardest, most painful things Christ calls us to do. And yet, it is also one of the most loving.


As long as self is alive, we are miserable.


Selfishness doesn't bring joy or happiness to our life. It only delivers jealousy, envy and self-pity.


Pride doesn't bring us satisfaction. It only keeps us keeping up with the Joneses.


As long as self is alive we have a reputation to defend, an image to maintain, and feelings to keep happy.



The last year of my father's life was filled with sleepless nights, suffering and fear. He was alive, but far from living. He was a slave to his sickness, held prisoner by a body under attack.

But....

once death came, he was set free. No more pain. No more suffering. No more fear. He was no longer touched by the things of this world. His death, while being one of the hardest and most painful things for me to accept, was a loving gift from God.

The same is true when, spiritually, we die to self. When we choose to let go and let God, we don't lose our life. No! We gain life. Life, and life more abundant! Once self is gone, dead, and buried, we are finally free.

My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
~ Galatians 2:20, NLT



And because we belong to Christ Jesus, we have killed our selfish feelings and desires.
~ Galatians 5:24, CEV


We now walk in newness of life. Christ is now living in us and through us. People can throw all the dirt at us and on us they wish, but if we are truly dead to self, and living in Christ, it won't even faze us! We are no longer slaves to our reputation, image or feelings. We are free to be Christ to the world. We are free to truly live!

Dying to self. One of the hardest, most painful things Christ calls us to do, but also, one of the most loving.



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Monday, February 20, 2012

Silencing Foolish Talk~

Ever been the topic of discussion?

Ever been the victim of gossip disguised as an innocent prayer request?

Ever been mentioned in a way that is embarrassing, not to mention, untrue?

Me, too.

We humans love to talk. Sadly, our favorite topic of conversation is usually other people.

So, what do we do when we find we are the one being talked about? How do we stand up for our self and defend our reputation? What do we say back?

Speak no evil
{Photo Credit}
Nothing.

Yes. You read that right.

Nothing.

We hold our thoughts and our tongue and instead, let our actions do the talking for us.


You might be familiar with the following quote:


“Who you are speaks so loudly I can't hear what you're saying.”
– Ralph Waldo Emerson


How true this is.  However, the following (less familiar!) quote is certainly food for thought when it comes to persuading our self to hold our tongue.

"Who you are speaks so loudly, they can't hear what others are saying."
~ Me :0)


Think about it.

No matter what others are saying, if your actions don't match the story being circulated, others will see. Soon, they will come to realize what is truth and what is not. Your actions will eventually take the float right out of the rumor boat.

Peter put it this way:

For it is God’s will that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish people.
~ 1 Peter 2:15


It doesn't get much clearer than that, does it?



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Sunday, February 19, 2012

The Next Step~

She knew it in her heart. More than that, she believed it. Yet, her knowing and even her believing were not enough.

She had to reach out.  She had to touch.  She had to take her faith one step further and take a step.

We find her story in Mark 5:25-29; the woman with the issue of blood. 

No doubt she had heard about Jesus' healing touch.  And, no doubt, she believed His touch could heal her.

She thought, "If I can just touch his clothes, I will be healed." ~ Mark 5:28, NCV

Faith is more than just believing, though.  Faith is action.

She could have spent the rest of her life knowing Jesus was a healer.  She could have tarried away the remaining years of her days on this earth believing He could heal her.  But, sadly, she never would have received her healing.

Peter believed he could walk on water, but it took stepping out the boat to do it. (Matthew 14)

Shadrach, Meshach and Abnego believed God could save them from the fiery furnace, but it took their obedience to God, refusal to bow down to the golden image and a trip into the fiery furnace to experience God's deliverance. (Daniel 3)

Abraham believed God would provide a sacrifice in place of his precious son Isaac, but it took buiding an altar adorned with his son and a knife-clad hand held high to the sky to reveal the ram hiding in the thicket. (Genesis 22)

It is faith that propels our knowledge and our belief into action.

It is faith that

reaches out,

steps out,

stands tall,

and sacrifices all.


Our righteousness is found in our faith in God. Period.  (Romans 3:22)  There is no doubt about that.

But, faith in action opens the floodgates of Heaven.


Faith in action reveals the active presence of our God.



She knew it in her heart.

More than that, she believed it.

Yet, her knowing and even her believing were not enough.  She had to reach out and touch.

She had to take her faith

                one                step                  further



One Step at a Time
{Photo Credit}


     and
                  take

                             a

                                      step


                                                of


                                                        faith~



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Saturday, February 18, 2012

It's Not Too Bad~

The past couple of weeks have been tough.  I'm not going to lie to you.  Some weeks (and months!) just are.  Life isn't easy. Even now, I can hear my mother reminding me nobody promised us life would be easy.

And she's right, of course.  (Don't mothers usually end up being right?!)

I guess it all comes down to our expectations, our perspective, our idea of what life should be.

Toward the end of my week, I ran across a quote by one of my favorite Christian authors, Max Lucado:

“Lower your expectations of earth. This isn't Heaven, so don't expect it to be.”

I am thankful life isn't all peaches and cream. 

Life, no matter how difficult or how challenging or how bitter it may be, is still life.

WAKE UP and tackle the world! Okay, a bit dramatic this morning...
{Photo Credit}

It is still an invitation to wake up each day. 



It is still a chance to breathe in and breathe deep. 



It is still an opportunity to exist.



It is still the awesome privilege of partaking in the art of being alive. 

Life is a gift.
Good or bad, ugly or sad, a gift none the less. 

And quite honestly,  how would we ever truly be able to appreciate, celebrate and rejoice in the "heavenly moments" if we had never experienced less?

What makes good so very good is that we have known bad.

What makes sweet so very sweet is that we have tasted sour.

What makes beautiful so very beautiful is that we have experienced ugly.

I'm thankful through it all, God is in control.  He has an amazing way of taking even the most painful moments of our life and transforming them into something of purpose, something of encouragement, something of hope.

Bad days don't last forever.  This too shall pass.


But life.


We only get one shot at it.  We only get one opportunity to live on this earth.

It may not be Heaven, but when you truly stop and think about it,

it's not too bad~

I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have [perfect] peace and confidence. In the world you have tribulation and trials and distress and frustration; but be of good cheer [take courage; be confident, certain, undaunted]! For I have overcome the world.
~ John 16:33, The Amplified Bible

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The Word of God~






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Friday, February 17, 2012

The Dance of Delight~

I look out the window and marvel at such a God.


The sun is slipping behind the mountains, drawing this day to an end.




The sky, not yet ready to give in to the dark of night, is the perfect backdrop for the dance.


Pine trees, tall and stately, are swaying to the music of an evening breeze. This way and that, their branches look as though they are raised in adoration to their maker.


It is a moment made for worship.


As I gaze upon this scene, I raise my own hands up to my God.


What kind of God are you that even the trees praise you?

A mighty God.

A loving God.

A majestic God.

A tender God.

A forgiving God.

A all-love, all-the-time God.

MY GOD.

My heart explodes in sweet delight. And, I realize, possibly for the very first time, that in my delight, God has granted me the desire on my heart.

My desire to know and to be known by God.

I smile and bid the day, adieu.

Embracing the delight in my heart, I close the blinds and dance into the night.

Blessed are the people who know the passwords of praise, who shout on parade in the bright presence of God. Delighted, they dance all day long; they know who you are, what you do—they can't keep it quiet! Your vibrant beauty has gotten inside us— you've been so good to us! We're walking on air! All we are and have we owe to God, Holy God of Israel, our King!
~ Psalms 89:15-18, The Message


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Joining Lisa-Jo for Five Minute Friday. The prompt today: delight~

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Heartprint Hallelujahs~ (A Friday Link Up)

I sit in her chair, snippets of hair slowly sliding down the black cape as they make their way to the floor.

As she snips away at split ends, her words tumble out and drop to the floor along with my hair.

"I lost my father four weeks ago. Can you tilt you head down for me, please?"

I can't see her face, but her voice gives her tears away.  As I gaze downward, I lift my heart upward and whisper a prayer for God's comfort and peace to flood this salon; to flood this aching heart. I pray for God to open wide a door of opportunity for me to speak HIS name and to tell of HIS goodness.

As she combs and cuts and blow drys and styles, we exchange words, attempting to make sense of death. As she re-lives the events of the past four weeks, I find myself re-living the events of the past seven years.  As her eyes fill with tears again, I realize, in some ways, my heart is still just as raw as hers.

Time heals all wounds.

How much time, I wonder. 

As she reminiscences, she smiles.  I smile, too.  And I voice the thanks in my heart.

"Aren't you glad God not only blessed us with such wonderful fathers, but also with the precious gift of memory?"

It is the door my prayer (and God) was waiting to open.

For the rest of my time in her chair, we talk about God.  She believes in God, but her belief has yet to birth a relationship. 

Until this evening.  Until this moment.  Until now.

I share with her the only ONE able to heal her heart, and she listens.  And, she nods her head.  And, she smiles.  And she wants to know  more.  She wants to know HIM.

As she removes the cape and sweeps away the few strands of hair clinging to my blouse, she gives me a hug. 

"Do you like your new cut?"

As I look into the mirror, I see more than a new look, I see the heartprint of God.

And while my hair has a brand new look to it, it is the presence of peace in my heart I notice the most.

All praise to the God and Father of our Master, Jesus the Messiah! Father of all mercy! God of all healing counsel! He comes alongside us when we go through hard times, and before you know it, he brings us alongside someone else who is going through hard times so that we can be there for that person just as God was there for us.
~2 Corinthians 1:3-4, The Message



It is not time that heals, but God.

God heals all wounds, in His time and in His way;

even in a salon~

♥    ♥      ♥     ♥    ♥     ♥    ♥     ♥     ♥     ♥    ♥    ♥  


Welcome to the premiere of..........
                      Heartprint Hallelujahs



Here's how it works:

Link up your Heartprint Hallelujah which can be any post or photo that lifts our hearts up to our precious Saviour, Jesus.

Add the Heartprint Hallelujahs button to your post so others can join in our celebration.


Heartprints of God



Then, get ready to be inspired, encouraged, refreshed and revived in your own faith as you share in the Hallelujahs of those linked up.

Here we go:





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Wednesday, February 15, 2012

The LIVING Word~

Last night, after my husband tucked me in and I kissed him goodnight, I reached for the Bible which I keep on my nightstand. I opened to Proverbs 18, then as I usually do, I rested the open Bible on my lap, closed my eyes, and began to pray.

Lord, as I still my body, I pray you will still my mind. As I read your Word, may my spirit hear your Spirit. Penetrate my heart, illuminate my mind. Teach me. Show me what you would have me to focus on this night. Thank you, Father. In Jesus' name, Amen~

not yet read
{Photo Credit}


I picked up my Bible and tilted the pages toward the light. As my eyes focused on the words written upon the page, God's light of truth began to shine upon the pages of my heart. As I read verse 1, my heart was overcome with conviction.




Whoever isolates himself seeks his own desire.  (Proverbs 18:1a, ESV)


My heart began to squirm.


Then, almost immediately, words of justification began to spew from my lips.

Not me, Lord.  OK. I'll admit I do isolate myself, but it's not because I'm seeking my own desires. You know me.  You know how shy and timid I am. You know my fear of failure and how I worry I'll do the wrong thing or say the wrong thing or make matters worse if I get involved. Yes, I do try to avoid people, but it's not because I'm selfish.  It's just who I am, a stick-to-myself-don't-get-involved kind of girl. I just prefer to go it alone.  You know I've never been outgoing.  I'm the queen of introverts!  I'm not seeking my own desires. I'm not. I'm just being me.


As I tried to convince God this verse had not been written with me in mind, my heart wasn't buying it, and neither was God.  I could feel His Spirit confirming that yes indeed, He knew me; better than I even knew myself. And, like it or not, this verse had my name (and heart) written all over it.

Forgive me, Lord.  I never realized the true motive behind my actions (or lack of action) is selfishness, seeking my own desire. Thank you for loving me enough to show me the true intent of my heart. Take this selfishness, Lord.  Rid me of anything that keeps me from being everything you created me to be.  Give me the courage and the boldness to step out of my comfort zone, out of the safe lane, and into the lives of others.  Don't let me allow inconvenience, or "uncomfortable" to keep me from touching another life.

Chances are you can relate to this experience.  Maybe not to this same passage and my revelation, but to a passage of your own and a time God opened the eyes of your heart to hear His voice speaking directly to you.

God's Word is amazing.  And, make no mistake about it. It is alive.

For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. Hebrews 4:12

Before we ever open God's Word, we should open our heart to His Spirit. 

When we are faithful to invite God's Spirit to illuminate His Word,

when we are attentive to His still small voice,

when we allow His Word to cut to the heart of the matter and then help us get to the matter of our heart,

God will be faithful to answer our plea.

Heavenly Father,
We come before you with grateful hearts. 
Thank you that Your Word, in conjunction with Your Spirit,
convicts us,
encourages us,
comforts us,
instructs us,
CHANGES US.
In Jesus' precious name, Amen~


 

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Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Without Saying A Word~

(Re-posting from February 2, 2010)
As soon as I walked through my front door last Tuesday night, I was reminded of just how much my husband loves me. No...he didn't give me a kiss. And no...he didn't hop up and give me a hug. He didn't even say "hello". Normally, my honey would welcome me home by doing all three! That night, however, I happened to arrive home before he did. His love was there, though....waiting to surprise me!






As I walked through the door, this is what I saw! What an unexpected surprise!!! It wasn't our anniversary. It wasn't my birthday. Valentine's Day is still yet to come. This beautiful, gigantic heart-shaped balloon was simply my husband's exuberant way of saying, "I love you!" His actions spoke passionately and my heart heard every word.


As grand as this demonstration of love was, it can never compare to the passionate love of my Jesus. Without saying a word, He was led to Calvary. Without saying a word, He was nailed to the cross. Without saying a word, He suffered and bled.



He wasn't guilty. He had done no wrong. He didn't deserve to die. Relinquishing His life on an old, rugged cross was simply our Saviour's exuberant way of saying, "I love you!" Without saying a word, He proclaimed His perfect love for all to see. On the cross, Jesus spoke passionately and my heart heard every word.



Have you heard the passionate cry of Jesus?



Has your heart heard His exuberant love for you?



Still your heart....and listen.



Without saying a word, Jesus will speak His love into your heart.




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Monday, February 13, 2012

A Judge or A Witness? ~

Today I overheard a friend being extremely critical of someone else. As he went on and on, critiquing this and remarking about that, my ears couldn't believe what they were hearing. As he criticized his "brother", his words began to paint a picture in my mind; a perfect picture of his own life.

You deceive yourselves! First take the log out of your eye, & then you will see clearly to take the splinter out of your brother’s or sister’s eye. Luke 6:42

Why are we so keenly aware of the faults of others and yet blind when it comes to seeing the "real" us?

Those with a low self-image have trouble seeing their God-given talents, while those with an ego often see traits, qualities and talents in themselves the rest of us have yet to see. Either way, the truth is distorted; the perception, askew. Either self-image is unhealthy and potentially destructive.

Jesus came so we might see ourselves in the true light of who we are.

We are sinners.

Sinners who are saved by grace.

As such, we shouldn't think too lowly of ourselves, after all, Jesus thought we were worth dying for and that makes us valuable indeed. Priceless. However, we shouldn't think too highly of ourselves either. After all, it is by God's grace we are what we are. (1 Corinthians 15:10)

If there is anything unbecoming or sinful in us, Jesus is more than ready to forgive us and to re-create us in His image.

If there is anything praiseworthy in us, Jesus is the one to be praised.

Either way, it all comes back to Jesus.

Yes, let God be the Judge. Your job today is to be a witness.
~ Warren Wiersbe


Heavenly Father,
Search me, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
Point out anything in me that offends you,
and lead me along the path of everlasting life. (Psalms 139:23-24)
In Jesus' precious name, Amen~


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