Thursday, February 27, 2014

A Warrior of Faith~




 






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Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Reap in JOY~









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Monday, February 24, 2014

It Does. It Really Does~

"I heard you, but I didn't think it really mattered."

I couldn't believe my ears. Minutes earlier, I had driven thru through the drive thru and placed my order.

"I would like a breakfast sandwich with egg and cheese only. No meat, please. Simply egg and cheese." A vegetarian, I have placed this specific order more times than I can count. And, being a vegetarian, I have also received more "incorrect" orders than I can count. So, as my habit has now become, once I received my order, I pulled over to a vacant spot and checked out my purchase. To my chagrin, I was now the proud owner of a egg, cheese and bacon sandwich.

Now, here I was, back at the drive thru window again for a "do over".

"Excuse me, but this order is incorrect. I asked for a breakfast sandwich with egg and cheese only - no meat. This has bacon on it. Maybe you didn't hear the "no meat" part."

To which the young girl replied:

"I heard you, but I didn't think it really mattered."

Thankfully, my mouth stayed closed while my mind went into a tailspin of disbelief. "What?! Didn't think it mattered? Are you kidding me?"

I just smiled and said, "Well, it does. It really does. Can you please make me a new one? Without meat?"

As I sat at the window, waiting for my meatless breakfast sandwich, I felt God's Spirit gently nudging my heart. I began to think of areas of my life, where no doubt I had heard God's voice and yet, by my action, acted as though it didn't really matter.

"Excuse me, Stacy. But, this behavior is incorrect. I asked you to engage in Christ-like conversation. To speak kindly to and about others, with no gossip added in. Maybe you didn't hear the "no gossip" part.

To which my behavior must reply:

"I heard you, God, but I didn't think it really mattered."

"Excuse me, Stacy. But this behavior is incorrect. I asked you to be honest, at all times, with no little white lies mixed in. Maybe you didn't hear the "no lies" part."

"I heard you, God, but I didn't think it really mattered."

"Excuse me, Stacy. But this behavior is incorrect. I asked you to put Me first place in your life, to honor Me in all you say and do, without compromise. Maybe you didn't hear the "no compromise" part."

"I heard you, God, but I didn't think it really mattered."

One after another, flashback after flashback, God spoke - and this time, He had my full attention.

Bacon on my sandwich is no big deal. In the scheme of life it doesn't make me or break me. And yet, I couldn't fathom how this young girl could possibly think it didn't matter - that I had just thrown the "no meat" part in to my order like a "beautiful day, isn't it?" or "that'll do it" side remark .

Now, covered head to toe in Holy Spirit conviction, I couldn't begin to imagine how many times my actions must have sent God's heart into a tailspin of disbelief. "What?! Didn't think it mattered? Are you kidding me?"

If it mattered to me, it should have mattered to the young lady at the window.

Most importantly, if it matters to God,
IT. SHOULD. MATTER. TO. ME.
PERIOD.
END OF STORY.

"Here you go, ma'am. Here's your sandwich, And, I assure you, there is no meat this time. Just egg and cheese. Just like you asked."

As I drove away, I lifted my heart to heaven and prayed:

"Here's you go, Lord. Here's my heart and life. Through the power of Your Holy Spirit and my daily surrender to Your still small voice, may I live my life in a way that is just like You asked."~♥












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Sunday, February 23, 2014

Inner More than Outer~

I gently massage my face 
while rubbing in the last bit of moisturizing creme still on my fingertip
and I wonder - 
where have the years gone? 

No doubt about it, 
my outer man is showing the wear and tear of life 
as dimples now parade themselves in wrinkles, 
and freckles are hidden behind age spots.

As I close the lid on my "nighttime nourishing" creme

and open the cabinet to put it away, 
I spot a "fortune" from a fortune cookie
that was tucked into the corner of the cabinet door years ago: 
Your inner beauty radiates. Nourish it.

And, I smile. 


And, I remember the night I placed it there
to remind me of just this: 
outer beauty is fleeting, but inner beauty - 
this is what is precious in the sight of the Lord. 
A meek and gentle spirit. 
A heart after His.

I turn off the bathroom light and head for bed 

and my Bible on the nightstand. 
It is time to nourish my inner man.~♥








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Friday, February 21, 2014

No Beginning - No End~








 
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Sing Out, Sing Loud, Sing On~











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Thursday, February 20, 2014

Keep Your Focus on That Which is Always and Forever~










 
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Monday, February 17, 2014

On Vacuuming, Basketballs, and the Collisions of Life~

Vacuuming the living room, 
I accidentally bumped the basket housing all of my husband's sports equipment. 
As soon as the basket and the vacuum collided, 
a basketball came rolling out of the basket and across the floor. 
And right then and there, 
God spoke a powerful truth to my heart.

As we go through life, 

no doubt, 
you and I are going to experience the jar of life. 
It's inevitable, isn't it? 

And yet, 
these very collisions, 
these very unexpected "meetings" that often leave us feeling knocked around and misplaced, 
are the very things God can use to reposition us and "set us free" to fulfill our God-given destiny.

A basketball wasn't created to sit in a basket. It was created to roll, bounce, and move. 

You and I weren't created to sit in the basket of life, either. 
God created us to LIVE, and move, and experience life in and though Him.
(For in him we live, and move, and have our being. Acts 17:28)

Today, look at your life from a spiritual vantage point.

Stop and survey your life from a place (possibly on your knees in prayer) 
that allows you to see the overall picture. 
Could it be 
the very thing, 
the very one,
the very circumstance that is threatening to rock your world, 
is the very thing Jesus can and will use 
to reposition you, 
to place you where you need to be, 
to set you free?

Just a thought that came to me while vacuuming . . . ~♥









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Sunday, February 16, 2014

Absolutely Everything~







 
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Saturday, February 15, 2014

Untitled~

Today, I met a young woman, 
who - when I started a verse of scripture, could finish it before me, 
who - knew all about the armor of God, including using the sword of the Spirit (God's Word) to fight the enemy, 
who - had read book after book about "the battlefield of the mind" and keeping our thoughts on God, 
who - knew the enemy only comes to steal, kill, and destroy, but Jesus came that we might have life and life more abundant (John 10:10) 
who - had been raised in church her entire life, 
who - now in her early 20's was admittedly a drug user, substance abuser, without anything or anyone, down and out.

And, I was reminded once again.
It is not enough to know God's Word.
It is not enough to go to church.
It is not enough to read spiritual books.
It is not enough to know about God.

Satan, himself, can quote scripture.
Satan, himself, knows about God.

What takes
this knowledge, this knowing, this quoting, this understanding
and transforms it into truth that sets free, power that overcomes?

The Holy Spirit.

The Holy Spirit leads us into truth -
not just a knowledge of the truth, but Truth itself.
Truth that sets us free.

The Holy Spirit empowers us to overcome -
not just in word, but in deed and action.
Power that keeps us free.

And, yet - standing only a few feet away from one so far away 

from the transforming, life-saving, truth-freeing, overcoming power of God, I was also reminded of this:

Each day, 

each moment, 
at anytime and anyplace, 
we are all in jeopardy of falling prey to the enemy 
if we don't choose to allow the Holy Spirit to rule supreme in our heart and life. 
If we don't daily, 
minute by minute, 
surrender to the Spirit, 
we, too can 
wander, 
fall, 
succumb, 
plummet.

"It's so hard," she says, tears and mascara streaming down her face. "The enemy is SO strong."

Greater is He that is in you (I say) . . . than he that is in the world (she finishes). (1 John 4:4)

And with that, she walked out the door. 


And my heart, even now, is bowed low.
And my prayers, even now, are lifted high.
And my faith, even now, is interceding on behalf of this precious heart.

Set her free, Father God.
Pour out Your Spirit and set her free.~♥







 
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Friday, February 14, 2014

Just Say "I Do"~









 
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Thursday, February 13, 2014

Our God Will . . . ~








 
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Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Running to God~

I could give Jonah a run for his money.
I really could. 
Just like Jonah, when I hear God calling me to a place that seems to have 
the tiniest inkling of fear, uncertainty, or possibility for a bad ending, 
I turn tail and run. 

Because you see, just like Jonah, 
I often turn my gaze from The One calling me, to the place I'm being asked to go. 
I take my eyes off The Caller and place them on me, the callee. 
Once God points me in a direction, I suddenly no longer see HIM, 
but all the preconceived roadblocks, challenges, battles seemingly looming up ahead. 
I no longer see the great I AM, I see me - incapable, under qualified, sure to mess it up, me.
No wonder I turn and run. 
Having to go in MY own strength and ability would make anyone turn and run.

And yet,

in this new year, 
in this new thing God is doing in me,
in this new season of my life where I have committed in my heart to answer "yes, Lord", 
I am finding myself running in a new direction. 

Now, when God calls, I head straight to Him. 
I fall at His feet and say, "Lord, You must have the wrong girl. 
But, if this is Your will, 
if this is where You are leading,
if it is me You are sending,
then You go in my place."

I hand the mission back over to God and then pray for courage to give Him complete reign in my life.

I listen for His instructions and pray for wisdom to go, to be, to do His bidding. 
I empty myself of my strength and the notion that I could ever begin to accomplish His task, 
and step into the truth that with Christ working in me and through me, nothing is impossible. 
I get me and everything else out of the way so that all I can see is God. 

And, when I do, 
when I run straight to Almighty God, 
running away is no longer an option.

Where is God calling you? 

What is God asking of you? 
Where does God want to use you 
to build His kingdom, 
to reach broken hearts, 
to bring healing and restoration? 

Is it a place that seems to have the tiniest inkling of fear, uncertainty, or possibility for a bad ending? 

Are you heading to Tarsus when you should have booked a one-way ticket to Nineveh?

Look to God. 


Take your eyes off your destination. 
Take your eyes off the mission. 
Take your eyes off of you. 

Look to The One calling you.

In Him, you will find everything you need to say "yes, Lord." 
In Him, you will find more than enough to go, to be, to do His bidding. 

Instead of running away, run to God. 
Dare to believe He will work in you and through you, in spite of you.~♥








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Monday, February 10, 2014

ALWAYS . . . God is at Work~








 
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Sunday, February 9, 2014

The Rest of Your Story . . . ~

The rest of the story . . . 

So often, 
we look at where we have been, 
and where we are now, 
and we somehow think this is the sum of our story. 

We wonder 
why this has happened, 
why that has taken place, 
and we give no further thought to how all the pieces of our life might fit into a bigger picture, 
still being put together
by a BIG God.

The Bible is overflowing with "the rest of the story" accounts. 

Twists in the plot of life that can only be attributed to a God who is always at work in our lives.

Jochabed places her tiny baby in a basket, then places it in the river in an attempt to safe its very life. 

God steps in and leads Pharaoh's daughter to find not only the baby, 
but also the baby's very own mother, Jochabed, to nurse and care for it. 
Moses is saved, and Jochabed gets paid to raise her own son.

Joseph is thrown into a pit, than into a prison. 

God steps in and leads Joseph straight to the palace. 
Egypt, as well as surrounding countries, are saved from a famine 
and Joseph's very own brothers hear their now exalted younger brother say, 
"You intended to harm me, 
but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, 
the saving of many lives."

The rest of the story . . .

Don't let where you are now,
keep you from trusting your God for where you may one day be. 
Don't let the circumstances you find yourself in now 
convince you this is all there is, 
all there will ever be.

Your "rest of the story" is coming.
Your pieces are still be putting into place.
One day, when all is said and done,
your story will no doubt reveal,
twists in the plot of your life that can only be attributed
to a God who is always at work in our life.

One day, you too, will see
your perfectly perfect "bigger picture",
tailored made,
personally orchestrated,
divinely created,
by your BIG God.~♥








 
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Friday, February 7, 2014

Every Moment~








 
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Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Just In Case You've Forgotten~






 
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Tuesday, February 4, 2014

THIS Day~











 
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Monday, February 3, 2014

Walking with My Shepherd~


 Gracious Heavenly Father,
A new day is before us,
and with it come demands and deadlines,
tasks to be accomplished and needs to be supplied.

"The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing."

As I go through the hustle and bustle of
doing this, taking care of that,
planning ahead and finishing up from behind,
I will keep my thoughts on you and
Your peace will be with me.

"He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
he refreshes my soul."

As I decide on this, and ponder that,
as I am faced with challenges, possible dead ends,
seemingly insurmountable obstacles,
I will trust You and Your leading in my life.

"He guides me along the right paths
for his name’s sake.
Even though I walk
through the darkest valley,
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me."

No matter what may happen,
no matter what may come my way,
no matter how hard the task
or how sweet the blessing,
I will praise you in and through it all.

"You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows."

You are my God and you have created this day.
You are with me in it.
You are with me through it.
You are with me despite it.
You are with me
working all things for my good and Your glory,
and I praise you, Father God.

"Surely your goodness and love will follow me
all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord
forever."

Thank you for today, Lord.
Thank you for what you are doing and have already done.
Thank you for all that lies ahead.
Thank you for
guiding and leading,
providing and protecting,
shielding and defending,
supplying and accompanying,
abiding and blessing.

In Jesus' name I pray, Amen.~♥






 
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Saturday, February 1, 2014

Smile on You~








 
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