Saturday, August 31, 2013

In CHRIST~ (A September Study)

Have you ever thought about the two-letter word, "in"?

When I began to study this tiny word, I discovered it is rich in meaning.
Here are just a few definitions from Dictionary.com.

on the inside; 

used to indicate inclusion within 

used to indicate means: sketched in ink; spoken in French

well-liked; included in a favored group: the "in" crowd

plentiful: available  (in stock)

pull or influence; a social advantage or connection: He's got an in with the senator.


Have you ever thought about what it means to be "in Christ"?

As I opened my heart to God's Spirit and opened the pages of God's Word,
I began to discover the riches buried within the two-word phrase, "in Christ".

To be in Christ.

To be included with all that pertains to Christ.

To be "in" with Christ.

To have our means be found in Christ.

To be able to access and have made available to us that which is in Christ.

To have influence and a personal connection with Christ.

 "IN CHRIST"

Heartprints of God
Introducing :

"In CHRIST, We Are . . ." -

a September study delving into what it means to be "in Christ".


As we study scriptures and unearth treasures in God's Word,
it is my hope and prayer that we will be

renewed in our spirit,

            strengthened in our inner man,

                      fortified in our faith,

                            empowered in our everyday Christian walk,

                                     emboldened in our calling,

                                             and re-ignited in our relationship with God

as together, we discover who we are in Christ Jesus our Lord.





 
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But, We Are Not!~








 
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Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Grow in Jesus~






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Monday, August 26, 2013

Let Him Work~

Like a tool in the hand of a master,
the success of the mission
is not dependent on us,
but on the Master.

It is not up to the tool
to tell the Master
what to do.

The completion
of the task at hand
belongs totally 
and completely
to the Master.

Let Him Work.   

Like the tool,
our only responsibility
is to be available.
To be willing to be used by The Master
whenever and however He sees fit.

We are simply a tool in His hand. 

Don't worry
about how God will work through you,
just let God work.

Don't carry
the weight of the mission on your shoulders,
just let God carry you through it.

Don't stay awake
going over and over what you think should be done,
just let God do what needs to be done.

It's not about you.

You are simply a tool in the Hand of God. 

He,
and He alone,
is the Master.

Let Him work.~♥







 
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Friday, August 23, 2013

A Difference Maker~






 
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Wednesday, August 21, 2013

A Reflection of HIS Beauty~










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Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Got Love?



If I wash dishes, fold laundry and scrub the tub,
but don't have love....

If I mow the lawn, fix the flat tire, wax the car,
but don't have love....

If I drop off at soccer, pick up at the cleaners and feed the dog,
but don't have love....

If I pack lunches, attend the school play, and help with homework,
but don't have love....

If I answer the phone, answer the email, and answer my boss
but don't have love....

If I pay the cashier, hold open a door, and smile,
but don't have love....

If I donate clothes,
feed the homeless,
drop coins into the offering plate,
and attend every service,
but don't have love....

If I do anything at all, but don't have love......

I am...

I have...






 
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Friday, August 16, 2013

My Life Story~








 
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Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Just the Tip~

I stand there completely overwhelmed.

To think, God would choose to work through me.

ME.....of all people.

Little ole,
can't do anything right,
afraid to try and fail,
don't have a clue what I'm doing,
insecure,
insufficient,
incompetent
me.

And yet, He did.

And, He does.  

Every. single. day.

The more I realize I can't
and He can,
the more He does.

The more I step out of the way
and let God lead the way,
the more He shows up and amazes me.

The more I surrender my lack
for His supply,
the more He blesses and astounds.

The more I open my life
 to be used by Him,
the more He uses my life
and opens doors to speak His name.

The more I let go,
the more He takes hold.

The more I say "yes" to His call,
 the more He erases
"I can't"
"I'm not able"
"not me"
 from the vocabulary of my heart.

As I surrender to the God who chooses human vessels through which to work,
my heart leaps with excitement.

If God can do this,
what else can He do?








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Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Open~

"No, dear. Not like that.  Like this."

Her words come mid-prayer and I open my eyes as she reaches for my folded hands.

Gently, she unwraps my intertwined fingers and places my open hands, palm side up.

"Open to give.  Open to receive."

Then, without a moment's hesitation, this prayer warrior is once again before God's throne of grace, interceding on my behalf.

*************

Open to God.
Open to whatever God may choose to take from my life.
Open to whatever God may choose to place into my life.

Sometimes, I fool myself into believing I live my life this way - totally and completely open to God. And yet, so many times I have felt the touch of God upon my tight-fisted, folded together life, only to jerk back, turn away, and stay "closed" to His whatever for my life.


To surrender.
To sacrifice.




To accept.
To embrace.




To give up
To receive.




To live open - no matter what.




*************

As I stand with my hands open to God, listening to the heart-felt intercession of this woman of God, I find my whole self slowly opening up.  As I am prayed over and prayed for, I feel the tension in my hands slowly ease out my fingertips. I open my hands as wide as wide can be as I suddenly realize a beautiful truth:

If I don't allow God complete access to my life, I deny myself of His sweetest blessings.

Blessings that come only when I allow God to give.
Blessings that come only when I allow God to take.

With hands fully outstretched,
I stretch open wide my heart, my life, my all - to my God,
to The One who stretched wide
His owns arms,
His own hands,
His own blood
in opening His all to me.

The Father knows what to give.
The Father knows what to take.
The Father knows.
Better than me, HE KNOWS.

And, better than me, HE LOVES.
Oh, how he loves.

Now, it is the words of my heart that ascend to the Father's ears.

Holy Father God,
Here I stand -
open to give, open to receive.
May my life always be
open to Thee.~




 
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Saturday, August 10, 2013

On the Edge~

Sometimes, I get a vision in my heart of God's vision for my life and it scares me so much I can hardly breathe. When my heart starts beating uncontrollably to the beat of His dream, I find myself shrinking back, stepping away, running back to what is familiar and safe.

And yet, I know in my heart His dream is my dream. His destiny for me is the very place I see when I delve deep into the dearest desires of my heart. Why the hesitation? Why the paralyzing grip of fear? Because I know it will happen. And, I know I'm not able. I know this dream is so far beyond me and I'm afraid to give in, afraid to relinquish control, afraid to step out into this God-given invitation. And yet, the only thing that brings me more fear than stepping out is choosing not to. To miss God's call, to miss fulfilling that for which I was created to fill, to never experience the dearest desire of my heart.

A vision realized. I've experienced several in my life. Each time fear tried to hold me back. Each time I thought "I'm not able". And, each time (PRAISE GOD!) God's Spirit was stronger and louder than the fear and the doubt. Each time God showed HE WAS ABLE and as a result, HE WAS GLORIFIED. Now, each time I look back and see the tangible fruit of these dreams, I fall on my knees and and thank God for His invitation and His ability that made His vision for my life a reality.

And, here I stand again - 
on the precipice of yet another vision. 

Only this one is bigger 
than anything I could ever hope or imagine. 
This one is grander 
than all the others put together. 
This one 
makes me sweat, 
makes me feel sick to my stomach, 
makes me wake up
 in the middle of the night 
with my heart pounding. 
 
This one is ALL GOD.

Thankfully, I have a GOD of ALL. 
And, you do, too.

What dream is God placing in your heart?
What place is God longing to take you?
What victory,
what calling,
what ministry,
what breakthrough,
what vision does God have for YOU?

Does it scare you
and yet breathe life into you all at the same time?
Does it make you
want to run backwards and forward all at the same time?
Does it stir up
your fear and faith all that the same time?

Then, trust God. Accept His invitation.
Place your hand, heart, and life into HIS DREAM and step out.

Let God take you to the place of beyond -
beyond you,
beyond your ability,
beyond your fear,
beyond your doubt,
beyond your wildest imaginations or dearest desires
to HIS VISION for your life.

Ask God to take you to the place where the only thing that brings more fear than stepping out is choosing not to.~








 
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Tuesday, August 6, 2013

...and They Lived Happily Every After~

Once upon a time my husband and I attended a memorial service for darling elderly couple.

The wife's health had started to fail first. Hip surgeries, along with dementia, had left her feeble and in a nursing home. Faithfully, her husband was at her side each and every day until he was stricken with an aggressive form of cancer. Within a few months, the love of her life was gone. In her weakened state of mind, her heart couldn't understand why he had stopped coming to visit her.

Not a day went by that she didn't ask for him by name, crying out until she was hoarse and could speak no more. Desperately longing for the man who had stolen her heart, she would grab the arm of a son or daughter sitting near her and spell out his name in the palm of their hand. His name was cradled by her final breath. Five weeks to the day of her husband's death, she passed away. His death came as an unexpected surprise. Hers did not. They had been Mr. and Mrs. for 64 years.



Marriage -

a union between a man and a wife.

two becoming one flesh,

sharing the same name,

the same bed,

the same life.



Tomorrow, my husband and I will celebrate thirteen years of marital bliss. A far cry from 64, but a good start none the less. On that memorable day when I said "I DO", I have to admit, the vision I had in mind was happily ever after {emphasis on happily}. Now, almost thirteen years later, I am starting to see God's vision is so far beyond this.

Within the marriage experience,{adventure, journey, roller coaster ride, whatever words you might choose to use!} God desires to make us more holy. Amazingly, one of the tools he uses is...

wait for it

...submission.

For wives, this means submit to your husbands as to the Lord. Ephesians 5:22

True biblical submission is not meant to be scary, demeaning, or degrading. God, himself, established this principle and designed it to be something for wives to embrace. After all, submission is not meant to place us "below" or "beneath" our husband. Beautifully, submission places us under; under the care, protection and leadership of our man. The husband is the one called by God to bear the responsibility of the family. We, as wives, get to “rest” in his authority.

But, as wonderful as resting in our man sounds, we know all too well that submitting does not come easily or naturally. Submission is a choice of the will. We have to intentionally choose to do it. I think God wired us that way on purpose.

It is in choosing to submit that we discover the inner strength of the Holy Spirit enabling us and empowering us to submit and do as He commands.

It is in choosing to submit that we develop trust both in our husband and in our God.

It is in choosing to submit that we are able to show our husband respect and draw him into a deeper love relationship with us.

It is in choosing to submit that our true God-graced beauty as a woman is showcased and revealed.

This is how the holy women of the past used to make themselves beautiful. They put their hope in God. And they followed the lead of their own husbands. 1 Peter 3:5, NIRV

As the memorial service drew to a close, the family showed a video of this special couple. It had been made four years earlier in honor of their 60th wedding anniversary. As I watched their journey through life together, I felt a longing in my heart. A longing to have what they had. A true, abiding love.

It was obvious from the photos (and from cherished moments in the company of this sweet couple) this wife had accepted and embraced the authority of her husband.

One look at him, looking at her, told you this groom only saw beautiful when he looked upon his bride.

In her husband and his leadership and guidance,
this dear, spiritually wise lady had found security, love and a restful abiding.


In his wife and her submissive, respectful, Christ-like demeanor,
this strong, independent, "self-made" man had found...

wait for it

...the Lord.

Wives, likewise, submit to your own husbands. Do this so that even if some of them refuse to believe the word, they may be won without a word by their wives’ way of life. After all, they will have observed the reverent and holy manner of your lives. 1 Peter 3:1-2, CEB

Holy?

When I got married I never saw that coming. But, I should have. True marriage isn't about my husband making me happy (although he does!) It isn't about me making my husband happy (although it helps when I do!). It is about the two of us living our lives together in a way that glorifies God and makes God happy.

What could bring more happiness that that?



 
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Saturday, August 3, 2013

Light in the Darkness~









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Thursday, August 1, 2013

Creation on Display~







 


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