Thursday, November 29, 2012

In the Face of Jesus~







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Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Awakened by HIS Dream~

Comfy and cozy wrapped in excuses and "I can'ts", I am being nudged awake.

As the Spirit moves within me, I roll over and try to go back to sleep.

But the Spirit persists.

As I feel the covers being gently pulled back, I reach to take hold of them and snuggle beneath their warmth and security for a few minutes more.

As the blinds are opened and the SON shines in, I turn away and close my eyes all the tighter.

But, the Spirit persists.

I feel my spirit arousing.

Wiping the sleepies from my eyes,

I see His hand,

outstretched,

inviting.

Sitting up, and stretching my spirit heavenward, I begin to feel it...


Day 123/365.v2
{Photo Credit}

His calling,

His plan,

His dream for my life,

A dream that can only be lived,


wide awake.


Throwing back all that has long held me back,

I take the hand of my Heavenly Father and leave comfort and familiar behind.

My destiny awaits.

His dream is calling.

And, I . . .

I am awake~



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Monday, November 26, 2012

God's Ability~







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God's Waiting Room~

Have you ever been in God's waiting room?






You prayed for an answer.




(Silence)




You prayed for God to move.





(Stillness)





You prayed for God to open doors and make a way.





(Dead end)




Waiting.




It's not easy.






God IS faithful, we know this to be true.



But.....



Why?



WHy?



WHY?



Why does God sometimes choose to delay?





Why do we have to wait?














Could it be



- in the waiting -



we discover if WE are faithful?






Will we wait





UNTIL the answer comes,






UNTIL God moves,





UNTIL the door opens?









Will we persevere in prayer?


Waiting for Grownups
{Photo Credit}


Maybe God is waiting to see~



I wait for the LORD, my soul waits,
And in His word I do hope. ~ Psalm 130:5






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Friday, November 23, 2012

White As Snow~








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Thursday, November 22, 2012

Give Thanks~








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Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Good, Better, BEST~





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Monday, November 19, 2012

Thankful for HIS Perfect Plans~

Plans.
We all have them.

Some are grandiose like climbing Mt. Everest.
Some are simple like what to fix for dinner.
Some happen.
Some don't.

As a child, whenever a plan fell through and disappointment flooded my heart, my mom would always turn to this old familiar quote:

the best laid plans of mice and men often go astray
(a paraphrase from the poem by Robert Burns called To a Mouse.)

I can't speak for mice,
but I can speak for me,
and in my lifetime,
plans have often gone astray, awry, and everywhere else!

My plans, that is.


Not God's.


His plans are always in place.


Like the time I was engaged to someone who became engaged to someone else while still engaged to me. (True story! You cannot make this kind of stuff up!)


Or the time I ended up losing my job after twelve years of sacrifice, dedication, blood, sweat and tears. (Ok...no blood was involved, but my heart hurt so bad over this it felt like it was bleeding.)


Or the time I was expecting and miscarried.


Or the time I was expecting for the second time and miscarried.


Or the time I was expecting for the third time and miscarried.


My plans have gone astray. My plans have taken detours and led me to places I never thought I would be or ever hope to go again. My plans have twisted and turned until sometimes they were no longer recognizable. But...in the end...my plans have always led me to God.


Sometimes the road to God was sweet.


Sometimes, it was bitter and full of doubt, questions, resentment and anger.


Sometimes, it left me bitter and feeling hollow inside. But....at the end....God was there.

I HOPE THIS DOESN'T MEAN THERE ARE NO MIRACLES LEFT... !
{Photo Credit}

Looking back, I can see God's hand in some of the twists and turns.

When I think I could have married the "man of my dreams" (well, if he hadn't gotten engaged to someone else), and missed out on the husband I have now, I throw up my hands and thank God with every fiber of my being.

God knew best.

When I think I could have stayed at that job and missed out on re-locating near my parents and spending time with my precious Daddy during his last days on this earth, I throw up my hands and thank God with every fiber of my being.

God knew best.

When I think about those three precious little babies....

I cry.

Still.

And, I fold my hands in prayer and give my sorrow to the Lord once again. I have not yet seen the "why" behind this, but I have felt His love comfort me.

I have to trust that God knows best.

Our plans are not God's plans.

Our ways are not His ways.

But, His ways are perfectly perfect.


I can't speak for mice,
but I can speak for me.
When my plans falter,
when disappointment and sorrow flood my heart,
I turn to the truth found in God's word.

‎For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11.


My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the Lord.
... “And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine." ~ Isaiah 55:8


In all things, God's ways are perfect... and for this, I throw up my hands and thank God with every fiber of my being.



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Sunday, November 18, 2012

A Psalm of My Own~

As long as I can remember, the words to the 23rd Psalms have been a part of my life. Having memorized this passage as a child, these words, though very familiar to me, were merely that...words. Until recently, that is.

After eighteen successful years in my career of choice, God began to lead me in a new direction. He had a plan. A Psalms 23 kind of plan. While circumstances in my life seemed out of my control, I now know they were never out of God's control.

My loving, Heavenly Father knew I would never venture away from all that was familiar and "safe" on my own, so He allowed what had always been a comfortable and preferred environment to become a place of unrest and misery for me. Through each trial and each unpleasant experience, God was leading me away from an old, familiar place toward something new.

Thus began my journey with the Shepherd.

He led and I followed.

While the way wasn't always clear to see, the love and faithfulness of my Heavenly Father became clearer and clearer with each and every step. Now, I was no longer simply quoting the words of this psalm, but like David, living them.

The Lord is my Shepherd. I shall not want.

As we walked together, God was faithful to provide for my every need. After several years of searching and seeking, God led me to a new place of employment.



River Whale
{Photo Credit}

When a friend asked if I
liked my new job,


the words from my mouth surprised even me.


"I love my new job.
It is so peaceful and stress free.


I find myself smiling,
even laughing and actually enjoying my life.

 It's as though God led me to a place of rest and rejuvenation!"


He maketh me lie down in green pastures,
beside the still waters.
He restoreth my soul.



From this place of rest, I can look back over my life and see heartprints of God's love every step of the way. Through the ups and down, the highs and the lows, He IS there. Through the times of plenty and the times of need, He IS there. Through the times of laughter and yes, in the times of sorrow, He IS there. Through times of friendship and betrayal, He IS there.

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evi: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.

My Cup Runneth Over
{Photo Credit}

Daily my loving Shepherd has led me through the valleys,
over the mountain tops,
and beside the still waters.

Through this journey with Him, I have never been out of His care or without His love.

Like David, I can rejoice in my God and I can rest in His guardianship.
The Shepherd knows the way that is best.

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.



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Friday, November 16, 2012

No More~







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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,
yes, sometimes, (sigh)
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




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Thursday, November 15, 2012

The Fight for Peace~

Are you at odds with someone today?

Do you feel conflict in your home,
 your marriage,
 your work environment?


 So often we look at the people involved in the conflict and think the problem is with them.


 Look again.


Could it be Satan is at work?


The Bible warns us not to be ignorant of the enemy's devices and strife is one of Satan's most effective tools.

When we allow strife to step in and take control,
we allow Satan to step in as well. 

When we allow strife, 
we who are spiritually minded,
surrender to our carnal nature and allow it to, once again, call the shots. 


I had to feed you with milk,
not with solid food,
 because you weren’t ready for anything stronger.
And you still aren’t ready,
for you are still controlled by your sinful nature.
You are jealous of one another and quarrel with each other.
Doesn’t that prove
you are controlled by your sinful nature?
Aren’t you living
like people of the world?
1 Corinthians 3:2-3, NLT



When we choose to let strife come into
our home,
our marriage,
our work situation,
our neighborhood,
our life,
we willfully give Satan permission
to barge right in,
d   i   v   i   d   e,
and ultimately,
conquer.

Instead of walking away,
walk straight to the throne room of heaven.

Instead of fighting with those you love,
fall to your knees
and with God on your side,
fight FOR the ones you love.~♥


As a prisoner of the Lord, I beg you to live in a way
 that is worthy of the people God has chosen to be his own. 
Always be humble and gentle.
Patiently put up with each other and love each other. 
Try your best to let God’s Spirit keep your hearts united.
Do this by living at peace.
Ephesians 4:1-3, CEV 





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Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Don't Worry~







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Friday, November 9, 2012

The Awesome Truth~


Today, I overheard a conversation.

"Ugh! !!!!! My hair isn't right!!!!!! It looks funny!!!!!!!"
Unrealistic words spoken by a six year old as he was headed out the door for school.

" No!!!! It looks awesome!!!!!! "
Realistic words spoken by a three year old unaware he was encouraging his brother.

The six year old smiled. Then, with his head held high, he boldly and confidently stepped out into his day.

After witnessing this, I remarked to the parents of these two amazing boys that we all need a "younger brother" in our lives. Someone who is there to speak not only words of encouragement, but more importantly, words of truth and affirmation. Someone who is in our corner, cheering us on and believing we are truly awesome.

So often our views of ourself, 

our abilities,
 our personality,
 or our job performance become distorted. 

We start to believe the words spoken by the six year old. 

"My (fill in the blank) isn't right!!!!! It looks funny!!!!!" 

Unrealistic thoughts flood our mind. We become uncomfortable with ourself and our own self-doubt begins to blind us to the truth of who we really are.

Thankfully, only child or not, there is someone in each of our lives who knows us.


 In fact, He knows us even better than we know ourselves.

Like the three year old brother, 
when God hears us speak words of self-condmenation,
 He yells, "NO!!!!! You are awesome!!!!!! I created you with my own nail-scarred hands. I made you just the way you are for a reason. You have a definite and distinct purpose in this world and you will never be able to be like anyone else because you are you. My one and only, YOU!"

 Realistic words that need to penetrate the inner most part of our being.

Stop listening to the lies. 


Start believing and living the truth. 

You ARE awesome.

Now smile, 

and with your head held high, 
beholding your Creator, 
boldly and confidently step out into your life.

 Oh, and while you are looking upon HIS face, don't forget to look at the faces of those around you. God isn't the only one who can speak words of encouragement, you know. Share the awesome truth with someone today!

I thank you because I am awesomely made,
wonderfully; your works are wonders —
I know this very well.

~ Psalm 139:14,  

(Re-posting fromFebruary 12, 2009)





 
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Tuesday, November 6, 2012

When Words Cannot Be Found~





There have been times

 when my heart, 

so overcome with grief or anxiety,

 has been speechless before God. 

Broken and shattered, 

words cannot begin to express "the whole"

of what is in my heart.



And yet, I know He knows.




It is then.

the Spirit,

 praying on my behalf,

 scoops up the moanings of my heart

 and carries them straight 

to the throne room of Heaven. 


 So too the [Holy] Spirit comes to our aid and bears us up in our weakness;
 for we do not know what prayer to offer
 nor how to offer it worthily as we ought, 
but the Spirit Himself goes to meet our supplication and pleads in our behalf
 with unspeakable yearnings and groanings too deep for utterance.
And He Who searches the hearts of men 
knows what is in the mind of the [Holy] Spirit [what His intent is],
 because the Spirit intercedes and pleads [before God
] in behalf of the saints 
according to and in harmony with God’s will. 
~ Romans 8:25-27. The Amplified Bible


 Today, my heart is overflowing with joy and thanksgiving -

so much so I cannot even begin to find words to express the gratitude billowing up inside me.



And, I wonder.



In times like this, 

does the Spirit once again

speak on my behalf?



Does it scoop up the 

praise, 

adoration, 

and thanksgiving of my heart,

and carry expressions of inexpressible gratitude

 straight to the throne room of Heaven?




I pray it does.





 
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