Friday, January 31, 2014

Bigger Than That~


 BIGGER than alone, 
BIGGER than scared,
BIGGER than misunderstood, 
BIGGER than displaced,
 BIGGER than angry, 
BIGGER than intimidated, 
BIGGER than on the edge,
BIGGER than abandoned,
BIGGER than cynical,
BIGGER than inadequate,
BIGGER than worn out,
 BIGGER than taken advantage of, 
BIGGER than not able to, 
BIGGER than skeptical,
BIGGER than homesick,
BIGGER than disappointed, 
BIGGER than heartbroken, 
BIGGER than reluctant,
BIGGER than defeated,
BIGGER than tempted,
BIGGER than discouraged,
BIGGER than anxious,
BIGGER than numb,
BIGGER than ashamed,
BIGGER than unworthy,
BIGGER than overwhelmed,
BIGGER than confused,
BIGGER than overlooked,
BIGGER than not good enough,
BIGGER than frustrated, 
BIGGER than stuck in the middle,
BIGGER than uncertain, 
BIGGER than incompetent,
BIGGER than betrayed,
BIGGER than depressed,
BIGGER than outnumbered,
BIGGER than rejected,
BIGGER than shy,
BIGGER than forgotten,
BIGGER than stuck in a rut,
BIGGER than hopeless,
BIGGER than ornery,
BIGGER than inferior,
BIGGER than unstable,
BIGGER than lost,
BIGGER than insecure,
BIGGER than headed backward,
BIGGER than trapped,
BIGGER than coming undone,
BIGGER than guilty,
BIGGER than . . . ~♥







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Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Thank You, Jesus~

As I reached for the alarm, and sat up in bed, the dream that had just been interrupted was still vivid in my mind.  As I put on my slippers and made my way down the darkened hallway and into the kitchen, I couldn't help thinking about what I had "witnessed" a few minutes earlier while tucked under my covers, sound asleep. As the coffee brewed and I booted up my laptop, this dream kept making its way to the front seat of my heart, driving every topic of conversation in my mind straight to the image I had seen while I slept.

I was in a car with someone I knew very well (maybe my sister or a dear friend - I couldn't quite tell who). We were driving down a back country road  in the middle of nowhere. As this someone navigated the car down this windy, barren stretch of highway, we rode along enjoying each other's company, laughing, talking, and marveling at the beautiful scenery unfolding before us.

As we topped a small hill, the driver suddenly pulled over on the side of the road.

"What's the matter?" I asked, as she opened  the car door and stepped out.

"I forgot to say 'thank you'," came the reply. "I'll be right back." 

Here? I thought.  

In the middle of nowhere?   

Walking through the open countryside without a house or a person in sight?  

Thank you?

I watched as she made her way over to a small cluster of trees.
Then, I watched as she knelt down, right then and there, and began to pray.

Instantly, I turned my head, feeling as though somehow my gaze was intruding,
that this was a holy moment made for two, not three.

Minutes later, she returned to the car and we continued on our way.

"I always forget to say 'thank you'. I pray and God graciously hears my pleas and extends His hand. My life overflows with His blessings. But, so often, without even thinking about it, I snatch up the blessing and go.  I enjoy the gift without thanking the The Giver. I breathe a sigh of relief without whispering a word of thanksgiving to The One who has come to my rescue. I always seem to forget to say 'thank you'."'

We drove a few more minutes in silence, then she continued.

"Like today. My father hasn't been feeling well. This morning, I prayed and asked God to help him, to give him some peace, to help him enjoy his day. When I spoke with my mother a few hours later, she said my father was doing so much better.  I was happy to be sure.  SO very happy, but I didn't bother to stop and say "thank you". Until just now. As we topped that hill, I thought about my father and the way he loves cresting a hill, and I suddenly remembered, once again, I had received of God's hand without so much as a look back, a smile heavenward, or a heartfelt prayer of gratitude.  I just took my blessing and ran."

Beep!  Beep!  Beep!


With the sound of the alarm, my dream was over, just like that.

And yet, even now,
as the warm coffee makes its way down my throat,
and the sleepy in me begins to fade with the light of day,
the message tucked in this dream is holding on tight.

Thank You, Jesus.

God delights in answering our prayers, but He also delights in our thanksgiving. 

Today, as the blessings of God unfold in your life and mine, 
may we not simply take the blessings and run,
may, we too, come to stop,
pull over from the road of life,
step out of what we are doing,
find a quiet place of retreat,
drop to our knees,
and thank our most merciful, gracious, loving, Heavenly Father.

May we not take hold of the gift
without first holding up our hands to Heaven
and thanking The Giver of all good gifts.

Today, (and every single moment of every single day)
as the blessings of God unfold in our life, 
may we remember to fold our hands in prayer and say 
"thank you".~♥ 


 







 
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Saturday, January 25, 2014

Feeling Tired? Rest in This~











 
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Thursday, January 23, 2014

A Beautiful Start to a Brand New Day~








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Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Gotta Dream?~


What dream is God placing in your heart? 

Does it
make you sweat,
make you feel sick to your stomach,
make you wake up
in the middle of the night
with your heart pounding?

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 at the same time?

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

Believe that a dream that seems to be ALL GOD,
will be met with the GOD of ALL-
all you need,
all you aren't
all you can't.

Step out of your provision and into HIS vision and
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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Monday, January 20, 2014

A Gentle Reminder~








  
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Sunday, January 19, 2014

God Will Yet . . .









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Friday, January 17, 2014

Hidden in the "No"~


I will never forget the conversation I had with an elderly lady several years ago.

We were seated next to one another at a conference on prayer. After the last session, as everyone was packing up their Bibles and leaving the room, she leaned over and asked, "Do you believe in prayer?"

"Yes. I do," I replied.

"I don't," she stated matter-of-factly.

Her answer caught me off guard - so off guard, in fact, that before my mind had time to pray about a response, my mouth blurted out, "You don't? Why not?" As we sat back down, she told me her story.

The love of her life, her husband of 30+ years, had found another love. He made no excuses, just an honest, "I don't love you anymore" followed by divorce papers and an empty side of the closet where his clothes once hung. For years, (40+ years I discovered), she had prayed night and day for God to bring her husband back home.

"It wasn't that he was wonderful at being a husband, because he certainly was not. But, he was mine. You understand, don't you, dear? He was mean, uncaring, selfish, but he was mine. All these years, I have prayed. And, all these years my prayers have gone unheard by God, and unanswered. I used to believe in prayer, but not any more. Not now. It's obvious God doesn't care about me."

"From what you've told me, this man caused you heartache and grief even before he left you. Why would you want him back in your life? I'm sure the way he treated you must have hurt God's heart. Have you ever stopped to think that God loves you SO MUCH he chose not to subject you to that abuse any longer? Maybe what you think is God saying "no" is actually God saying "I want so much better for you."

Her eyes filled with tears and for a moment she turned away from me. Then, she reached out, took hold of my arm and began sobbing uncontrollably.

"I never thought of it like that. Why haven't I ever thought of it like that? All these years I've been so angry at God for not listening, for not answering, for not caring. Maybe God was hearing me, after all. Maybe, just maybe, he was watching out for me, in spite of me. Thank you."

And with that, she darted out of the room.

40+ years this women had allowed a broken relationship to hold her prisoner. 40+ years this woman had allowed bitterness and anger to rob her of her relationship with God.

I'll never forget our conversation.
I'll never forget her tears.
I'll never forget the look in her eye when she saw God's heart in a new light - the light of His love for her, in spite of her anger, in spite of her bitterness, in spite of her pleas.

Our God loves us like no one ever has or ever will.
When we don't understand His ways,
when we don't get our way,
when we pray and pray and pray
and feel as though God doesn't care, HE DOES.
All the time, more than we can ever know or ever imagine,
He does.

Disguised in what appears to be silence is a love that we can't even begin to comprehend. Hidden in "no" is often a merciful, tender, "I want so much better for you".

Does God hear our prayers? Every single one.
Does God answer our prayers? Every single time.
Do I believe in prayer? Yes, I do.~♥


(I felt impressed to re-post this from April 12, 2013. Maybe God had YOU in mind.) 
 






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Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Hidden in Christ~






 


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Sunday, January 12, 2014

A Move of Faith~

So often as Christians, we "play it safe".


We hear God calling us to build an ark,
step into the Red Sea,
lead an army,
dip seven times in a muddy river,
battle the enemy with praise,
stand up to Pharaoh,
sacrifice that which is most dear to us,
leave our homeland,
birth a Holy Spirit conceived plan,
speak boldy about what we have seen God do,
and
we choose not to.



Unreasonable.  


Unable.


Unwilling.



We hear God calling us out into the deep,
beyond our logic,
our ability,
our will,
and instead of placing ourself in a place where God can move,
we stand
fearfully and stubbornly still.



We play it safe without ever stopping to realize 

the only safe place
is the very place God is calling us to.



We hold back without ever stopping to realize
the only way to see a move of God
is to boldly move where God is calling.



We say "not now" and "not me" without every stopping to realize,
the only way our miracle will come
is to trust God enough to say "Yes Lord".



God is still a God of miracles.




Maybe the only thing holding back the hands of God,
is us.


Maybe the only thing that is stopping a move of God,
is us.


Maybe the only thing God is waiting on,
is us.


Maybe the only thing standing between our miracle and us,
is us.~♥








 
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Friday, January 10, 2014

The One Leading~









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Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Even Now~







 
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Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Stepping Into His Design~


 As the moon sets in the West,
and the sun rises in the East,
we praise You, Lord.

You are the Master Designer and Your ways are perfect.
Without even lifting Your hands,
You guide planets in orbit
and orchestrate the entire universe.

How then can we not trust You to guide us through this day?

How then can we not trust You will be faithful 
to orchestrate
even the tiniest details of our life?

You are God.

The Holy One.

Creator God.

And yet, You are also

Saviour.

Friend.

Father God.

Lord, we praise You.
 Lord, we surrender to You.

 Lord, we trust Your heart,
we trust Your design for our life,
and we give ourself to You.


In Jesus' precious name we pray, Amen ~♥






 
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Monday, January 6, 2014

Wisdom to My Ears~

I'm a funny girl.Not funny in a make you laugh until you're crying tears kind of way, but funny in that a lot of what I do doesn't always make sense.

Let me explain.

You and I both know walking is good for our health. Yet, until about a year ago, I hadn't been making an effort to fit walking (or any kind of exercise for that matter) into my daily schedule.

So....you ask.....why the sudden change?

Money
{Photo Credit}

Yep! That's right! You know what they say. Money talks. And evidently, I listen!

Thanks to a new program through my insurance company, I now have the opportunity to earn money for exercising! The more steps I take, the more money I can earn. So, each morning I clip on my pedometer and get to steppin'. Steps now = cha ching! And, on days when I would rather not step, step, step, cha-ching now motivates me to get out there and put one foot in front of the other.

Sadly, "improving my health" wasn't enough to get me moving and I have to say, I am rather embarrassed by that (as well I should be!). See, I told you I'm a funny girl.

Only, really, there is nothing funny about it.

Shamefully, I was motivated by the love of money and the desire for riches, instead of the simple voice of wisdom. Until money was in the picture, Wisdom fell on deaf ears.

And yet, before one coin ever left the Mint, or one dollar bill ever rolled off the money press, Wisdom was there.

Before the world began.
Before the stars were hung.
Before the ocean roared.
Before you and I were created.
God was, and with Him, Wisdom, for God IS Wisdom.

And yet, sadly, I don't always hear Wisdom.

Not because Wisdom isn't speaking, (because it is)
and not because Wisdom is hard to find. (it's not)

Do you hear Lady Wisdom calling? Can you hear Madame Insight raising her voice?
She's taken her stand at First and Main,
at the busiest intersection.
Right in the city square
where the traffic is thickest, she shouts,
"You—I'm talking to all of you,
everyone out here on the streets!
Listen, you idiots—learn good sense!
You blockheads—shape up!
Don't miss a word of this—I'm telling you how to live well,
I'm telling you how to live at your best.

~ Proverbs 8:1-6, The Message


No, Wisdom is talking, I'm just not listening.
Yet, when money is doing the talking, I'm all ears.
And, I have to say, I am rather embarrassed by that (as well I should be!)

When the world tries to tell me
who I am,
what I should wear,
how I should act,
what I should achieve,
it has my full attention, and my full cooperation.

Hmmm....doesn't sound very wise to me.

Wisdom.
Godly Wisdom.
From-before-the-beginning-of-the-world Wisdom.
This is what I long to hear.
This is what I want driving me,
motivating me,
getting me out of bed,
guiding my way,
and leading me each and every day.

When I step out into the world, I want my steps to lead me closer and closer to the heart of God.

What about you?
Who or what is motivating you?
Who or what are you listening to?

Do you hear that?

It's the voice of Wisdom.

"So, my dear friends, listen carefully;
those who embrace these my ways are most blessed.
Mark a life of discipline and live wisely;
don't squander your precious life.
Blessed the man, blessed the woman, who listens to me,
awake and ready for me each morning,
alert and responsive as I start my day's work.
When you find me, you find life, real life,
to say nothing of God's good pleasure.
But if you wrong me, you damage your very soul;
when you reject me, you're flirting with death."
~ Proverbs 8:32-36, The Message


Are you listening?

(Note: This post is from the series, 31 Days of Wisdom, I wrote in January of 2012, based on the 31 chapters of Proverbs. To read more in this series, stop by HERE.)





 
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Thursday, January 2, 2014

HIS Peace~









 
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