Sunday, March 31, 2013

Treasure for Tomorrow~

It's a funny thing about words.

Sometimes, we don't truly grasp the meaning of all they imply or are intended to convey until a time further down the road. Often, at a time when we least expect it, but need a revelation the most, words spoken long before, speak to our heart.

This was the case for the disciples.

They had followed Christ, only to desert Him in His time of greatest need. They had witnessed the suffering He had endured, and they had beheld His lifeless body on the cross of Calvary.

They had also been given the awesome privilege of being eyewitnesses to His resurrected body.

It was His resurrection that took them back in memory to another time and another place where Jesus' words were spoken, but not truly understood. Not until this very moment, that is.

The scene of remembrance was the temple.

Merchants, with only dollar signs in mind, were selling their goods. Instead of a house of worship, the temple was now a place of theft, corruption and human greed.

Jesus raised His voice and His hands and put a stop to this mockery. As tables were turned over, and the business in the temple was turned up side down, tempers flared.

The Jewish leaders demanded, “What are you doing? If God gave you authority to do this, show us a miraculous sign to prove it.”

“All right,” Jesus replied. Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.”

“What!” they exclaimed. “It has taken forty-six years to build this Temple, and you can rebuild it in three days?” But when Jesus said “this temple,” he meant his own body.

After he was raised from the dead, his disciples remembered he had said this, and they believed both the Scriptures and what Jesus had said. ~ John 2:18-22

Sometimes,

it takes a journey,

desertion,

persecution,

suffering,

death,

or in this case,

a resurrection,

to open our eyes to the truth God has already placed in our heart days, months or even years before.

Finding Focus - #14
{Photo Credit}
As we daily walk with God and dig deep into the riches of His Word, we uncover spiritual truth and heavenly treasures.

Some are realized the moment we discover them.

Some, however, are not completely unwrapped or truly appreciated and understood until a future moment in time.

Some scriptures are just words on a page that have yet to illuminate our heart and mind.

But, rest assured.

There will come a time when the very Words of Life we have heard before will come back  to fill our heart with hope and deepen our faith in our Lord.

In a moment when we least expect it,
but when we need HIS revelation the most,
words spoken long before,
scriptures we have read,
verse we have memorized,
holy words resting on the page of God's Holy Word,
will speak deep, wonderful, encouraging truth to our heart.~♥







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Friday, March 29, 2013

A Hope That Goes Beyond~

If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.
~ 1 Corinthians 15:19, KJV

My father’s death had left me broken hearted and bound by a sorrow that would not let me go. As the musicians raised their instruments and the choir lifted their voices, I stood to my feet.

He is Risen jus as He said
{Photo Credit}
He is risen.

As a child, I grew up hearing this.

He is risen.

Now, as an adult, I showed up believing this.

He is risen.

Surrounded by worshippers on a crowded Resurrection morning, I looked up declaring this.

For the first time in my life, I grasped the hope of the resurrection – a hope that goes beyond death.


As I celebrated this glorious truth, sorrow had to loosen its grip. Death had stolen my father, but only for a brief moment in time. Jesus Christ is Risen and His victory over death ushered in victory over death for my father, too.

Every believer in Christ, who has known death’s sting, will one day be risen to life anew.


The truth of Jesus’ resurrection
left me healed
and
bound by a hope that
WILL. NOT. LET. ME. GO.

As the musicians lowered their instruments and choir hushed their voices, I bowed on bended knee and worshipped my risen Lord.

“I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live."
~ John 11:25

Heavenly Father,
Death has been swallowed in victory. Through the death and resurrection of Jesus, we have a hope that goes beyond this life. One day we will see Jesus face to face and be reunited with those who have died loving you. May this, our blessed hope, fill our hearts with joy until that day. In the name of Jesus, the ONE who makes is all possible, Amen~





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Wednesday, March 27, 2013

The Way of Love~










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The True Blessing~



Our gracious Heavenly Father,
How beautiful You are.

 Daily You fill us to overflowing with blessings galore.

 Sunshine!
Air to breathe!
Safety as we go about our day!
Your constant companionship!
Trials!
Heartaches!
Disappointments!

 Yes, in all of these,
there is a blessing to be found.

 Anything that brings us to You,
anything that causes us to direct our thoughts to You,
anything that draws us closer to You,
good or bad,
happy or sad,
can be counted a blessing.

 Give us eyes of faith, God.
Give us hearts that run to You, Father.
Give us hands that willing receive,
firmly believing,
always knowing,
 YOU are the true blessing
in the midst of it all.

 In Jesus precious name, Amen~♥






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Sunday, March 24, 2013

Forever Praised~








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Saturday, March 23, 2013

Streams in the Desert~










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Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Too Sacred for Words~

It's been awhile.

As my fingers brush atop the keys on my laptop, I feel as though I am home.

Writing...it's a sacred place.  This emptying of  your soul, assembling together letters and sounds to bring life and meaning to what sometimes cannot be expressed.

Roget's thesaurus is a handy helper, but sometimes, even it comes up empty.

Sometimes, there are no words.

Only a stirring.

Only a groaning.

Only a fire.

Only a sacred connection between my heart and the heart of God Almighty,
and not a word in this world to type on a page to communicate
what I am thinking,
what He is revealing,
what I am feeling,
what He is ministering,
what I am learning,
what He is teaching,
what I receiving,
what He is pouring into my life.
So, my fingers are stilled, my page blank, while all the while, my heart is overflowing.
Perhaps there are no words because this moment is one too sacred to be shared.
Maybe our time together, is simply that: OUR time... just my God and me.
Quite possibly, this time of communion between
The Creator and His created,
The Redeemer and His redeemed,
The Father and His daughter,
is one to be kept solely between
The Lover of my soul and His beloved.
In these moments,
when the words have vanished,
but His presence His undeniable,
I lay aside my keyboard,
I lay down my pen,
and I simply
abide.
And these moments,
these precious times of communion between my Lord and I,
are more,
so much more,
more than any word in this world can ever hope to tell.





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Which are You?~







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Monday, March 18, 2013

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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Saturday, March 16, 2013

Only God~









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Friday, March 15, 2013

Change Me~

How many times have you been in the heat of a battle with
a co-worker,
a fellow believer,
someone in your own family,
and you cried out to the Lord,
"Open their eyes, Lord.
Help them to see it the way I see it.
Change them, Lord!"?

As someone who has prayed this prayer,
more frequently than I would like to admit,
I know from experience that sometimes,
the Lord does indeed
"open their eyes" and "change their hearts".

However, there have been times,
too few than I would like to admit,
when I have been humbled,
I have been convicted of the error of my way of thinking,
of my foolishness and pride,
and I have cried out to the Lord:
"Open MY eyes, Lord.
Help ME to see it the way YOU see it.
Change ME, Lord!"

And, I know from experience that
always,
each and every time,
without fail,
the Lord does indeed
"open MY eyes" and "change MY heart".~♥






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Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Stronger Than You Think~

"I have no idea."

These were the only words I could say as I handed my husband my wedding ring.

"Oh, Stacy.  Surely you have some idea. Look at it. What did you do to it?"

"Honest, Handsome. I have NO idea. All I did was take it off my finger, set in on the dresser, and hop into bed.  When I went to put it on the next morning, it felt tight and didn't seem to fit. I was in a hurry, so I placed it back on the dresser and headed out the door.  The next morning, it was the same story.  It still wouldn't fit on my finger. That's when I noticed it."

I could tell the words coming out of my mouth were reaching my husband's ears, but not necessarily connecting with his brain. I wasn't surprised.  I couldn't comprehend it myself.

"I know. I know.  It's the weirdest thing.  I have NO idea."

And, I didn't.

I couldn't explain it because I didn't understand it myself.  It defied all logical explanation.  There were no words to say.

I was out of town visiting my mom when the unexplainable happened.



Take a look for yourself.




What do you think happened?




Exactly!  Anything and everything except simply taking if off my finger and  placing it on the dresser, right? And yet, that is all I did.


When I had shown this strange phenomena to my sister, who was also visiting my mother at the time, I remarked, "Guess I'm stronger than I think I am!".

As we chuckled out loud, I felt God speaking to my heart in a powerful, yet quiet, whisper:

"Yes, you are, Stacy.  You are A LOT stronger than you think you are because I AM with you."


The same is true of you, you know.

Oh, sure.  You might not be able to single handedly re-shape the circumference of your wedding ring like I did. But, you do have the very same God living inside of you.

So often, we forget this truth.

So many times we
feel our weakness,
tremble in fear,
worry to no avail,
and shrink in defeat,
because we fail to remember and are quick to forget
that our powerful God,
the great I AM,
is with us.

In and through Jesus Christ,
you and I are A LOT stronger than we think we are.

In and through Jesus Christ,
you and I can do A LOT more than we think we can.

Maybe you find yourself in a situation that has you up against the wall, scratching your head, wondering what to do next.

Maybe the shape of your life has changed overnight and suddenly no longer seems to fit.

Maybe all you keep hearing yourself say over and over and over again is "I have NO idea".

Take heart.
You have the Spirit of the Living God living inside you.

In and through Jesus Christ,
you and I are
more than conquerors,
more than able,
more than equipped,
more than ready,
more than enough.

We can do ALL THINGS through Christ.

We just need to look to Him.
We simply need to believe.
We need only to be quick to remember and fail to forget
that our powerful God,
the great I AM,
is with us.

You may have no idea, but you do have God. 
And, because you do,
You, dear one,
yes,
YOU -
you are A LOT stronger than you think you are.





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Monday, March 11, 2013

That Which Matters Most~








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Sunday, March 10, 2013

Letting Go of the Past to Spring Forward~

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?


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!

We can either choose to stay stuck in our past, or to let it go and spring forward.
The choice is ours.

I'm ready to welcome Spring into my life.
I'm  ready to show up for the next season of my life.
How about you?




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Friday, March 8, 2013

Calling Us Out~








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Thirsty?~








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Tuesday, March 5, 2013

A New Thing~








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Saturday, March 2, 2013

You Are Never Alone~


 





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Friday, March 1, 2013

Whom Shall I Fear~










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