Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Because HE~








 
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Shine Through Me~

God of all wonders,
Maker of Heaven and Earth,
The One who designed the sun to rule the day,
and the moon to rule the night,
Designer of my life,
Rule in my heart today.

May my life be a pure reflection of You.
May my words,
my actions,
my very being,
brighten the path of those stumbling in darkness.

May they see You,
Creator God,
Father of Mercy,
Lover of their Soul,
Saviour and Friend,
illuminating from me.

May my life cause their eyes to look up and gaze upon Your
goodness,
kindness,
faithfulness,
sovereignty,
and love.

May all I say and everything I do, point to You, Father God,
so that they, too, might discover
the wonder of who You are -
the beauty in knowing You,
the joy in serving You,
the peace in trusting You.
In Jesus' precious name,
Amen~♥







 
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Friday, April 25, 2014

To Sustain With His Word~

4:02 am

My husband shakes nudges me awake.

"It's Sally.  Listen.  She must need to go out."

I leap out of bed and stumble my way through the dark hallway leading to our living room and our overzealous pooch.

With tail wagging, she is wide-awake and more than ready to venture out into the cool morning air.
I slide back the patio door and she bolts out into the dark.

Wiping the sleep from my eyes, I wander into the kitchen.  5:30 is too far away, so I cancel the "automatic turn on time" on my coffeemaker, and press the "on" button. As the drip, drip, drip of  coffee begins to fill my cup, I resolve in my heart to make the most of this much-earlier-than-anticipated start to my day.

Coffee in hand, I settle in to my old familiar spot on the sofa.  I power up my laptop, and then I sit. 

Listening.

Waiting.

Anticipating.

And God, as usual and always, is faithful to speak.

Flipping through the pages of His Word, my eyes stumble upon are guided to these words found in Isaiah.
The Lord GOD has given me
the tongue of those who are taught,
that I may know how to sustain with a word
him who is weary.
Morning by morning he awakens;
he awakens my ear
to hear as those who are taught. 
 
Isaiah 50:4, ESV
As I place my fingers on the keyboard,  I realize more deeply than ever, this call upon my life. 


This space . . .Heartprints of God,

Corona Standard typewriter keys, c.1939
{Photo Credit}

this desire . . .to write what is in my heart,

this putting words on paper,

it is more than me sharing my love of God
and my love of words with the world.

It is my mission.

It is my calling.



It is my God-given honor

       to be awakened at 4:02,

       to meet with my Lord in the quiet of the early hours of a brand new day,

       to hear His voice, and be led by His Spirit, and partake of His Holy Word

 so that I might, in turn, be used of Him
    
        to sustain with a word those who are weary,

        to hear as those who are taught and then to share with those who will listen.



This moment, it is sacred.



These words,



they.     are.      holy.




In humility and utter amazement, I bow my head and pray-



Thank you, Father God.
Thank you, that when my heart longs to meet with You,
You are always faithful to meet me back.

Lord,
Give me the tongue of those who are taught,
that I may know how to sustain with a word those who are weary.
Give me the words of life, Your words,
that I might, through Your Spirit,
lift up,
encourage,
instruct,
comfort,
and bring hope.

Father God,
I pray You will take
this space . . .Heartprints of God,
this desire . . .to write what is in my heart,
this longing . . . to share Your heartprints with others,
and use it to Your glory and Your honor.

Use me, Father,
I am here.
I am Yours.
I long to answer Your call.
I desire to fulfill Your mission. 

Morning by morning awaken me;
awaken my ear to hear as those who are taught,
that I might speak as those who have been in Your presence.
In the precious name of your Son, Jesus, Amen~♥

 (This weekend, I am speaking at my first-ever women's retreat.  This morning, as I was spending time with the Lord, He reminded me of this post from 2012.  As I stand before this precious group of ladies, surrounded by pine trees and the majesty of mountain peaks, will you please pray for me?  Pray that, indeed, my words will be HIS words, that hearts will see anew and afresh the love of our Heavenly Father, that no one will leave the way  they came, but that each and everyone of us will be forever be changed for having met with our Lord, in this place, at this time, together.  Thank you.)







 
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Thursday, April 24, 2014

You Can ALWAYS Trust His Heart~








 
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Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Backyard Blessings~

Turtles are something else. Over the past few years, we have "adopted" three turtles. The first two that joined our family were given to us by the granddaughters of our next door neighbors. Evidently, these two little critters were excellent at digging. All that digging, however, had these two turtles looking for a new home.

Our most recent addition was given to us by my husband's co-worker. This turtle had been living in a yard with several others turtles but unfortunately, he had fallen victim to the backyard bully. His shell can attest to the unfriendly environment he came from.

So now, our backyard is home to these three turtles. I am happy to report we have yet to discover any unwanted holes in our yard. And, I have yet to see signs of any bullying in our yard. What great news, especially since I am not a fan of either.

As I have been observing these little guys (at least I think they are all guys!), God has been teaching me some spiritual truths.

1. Enjoy where ever life takes you

All of these turtles ended up in our backyard without any say as to where they were going or where their next home would be, or if they even wanted to come! Circumstances beyond their control picked them up and dropped them off at our residence. Yet, every morning, I see them trucking around our yard. And from all accounts, as far as I can tell, they seem to be having a lovely time. They climb over this and hide under that and live each day here in our yard to the fullest. They didn't choose to come here, but they are choosing to make the most of where they are and enjoy it.

Hmmmmm.....what about you and me? Has life dropped you off at an unfamiliar place? Is where you are now not at all where you envisioned you would be at this time in your life? If so, rest assured. While it may feel as though circumstances beyond your control have taken control, God is still there. Ultimately, He is still in control. He has a beautiful way of taking the barren, unfamiliar, un-chosen places of our lives and transforming them into fruitful, enjoyable, desirable abodes. Trust Him to be where you are. Trust Him to do amazing things where you are. Knowing God is in control and is at work in your life, you, too, can enjoy where ever it is life takes you.

Behold, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs forth; do you not perceive and know it and will you not give heed to it? I will even make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.Isaiah 43:19, The Amplified Bible

2. Forget about the past

Naturally, you would expect these creatures to be a little wary of humans. And, they are. Well, two of the three are. One, surprisingly enough, is not wary at all! In fact, this one in particular seems to thrive on human companionship. If I happen by our patio door and spot him boogieing across our yard, I call out to him. As soon as he hears my voice, he makes an immediate turn in my direction and heads straight for the door. Whenever I am sitting out on our patio writing, just like I am right now, I often am joined by this little guy. He will come right up on the patio and rest under my chair.

Can you guess which turtle this is? Yep! The one who was bullied and picked on in his old environment. Isn't that amazing?! You would think he would be the most cautious of all the turtles. But he's not. He is the one most willing to make a new friend. He doesn't let the hurt of his past keep him from experiencing new opportunities or developing new relationships. And, not only is this turtle friendly with my husband and I, he is also friendly with the other turtles.



Hmmmmm.....what about you and me? We all have scars, some visible and some hidden deep in our heart. Do we allow these wounds and scars to hold us back or to keep us cowering in a corner? With God, the pain of our past can be used to serve an amazing purpose in our future. Instead of allowing the pain to hold us prisoner to our past, we need to take our scars and seek out those who have been hurt, too. We can choose to move ever forward comforting others with the comfort we have been given in and through Christ. The choice is ours. I am so glad this little guy has chosen to forget his past. His choice to keep reaching out to others has brought me so much joy and such wonderful companionship....not to mention, inspiration! Who needs you? Are you willing to put yourself out there for them?

All praise to the God and Father of our Master, Jesus the Messiah! Father of all mercy! God of all healing counsel! He comes alongside us when we go through hard times, and before you know it, he brings us alongside someone else who is going through hard times so that we can be there for that person just as God was there for us. We have plenty of hard times that come from following the Messiah, but no more so than the good times of his healing comfort—we get a full measure of that, too. The Message, 2 Corinthians 1:3-5

Which, by the way, brings us to the third spiritual truth God has been teaching me through these fellas.

3. Be willing to stick your neck out

I marvel at the Creator's design. Have you ever studied a turtle up close? What a protective armor they have! When danger comes, they are not only able to duck their head into their shell for cover, but pull all of their legs in as well. In this position, they are safe and sound. But, there is one problem. As long as they are all safely hidden in their shell, they are stationary. Where ever they were when they pulled it all in is where they are when they poke it all back out again. They may be safe in that position, but they certainly aren't going to go anywhere. In order for them to move anywhere and in any direction at all, they must first be willing to stick their necks out, literally!


Hmmmmm.....what about you and me? Are we willing to stick our neck out and take a leap of faith out into the unknown? Or, are we willing to play it safe tucked inside our life, stagnant and motionless? If we are content to simply stay put, hiding, and playing it safe, we will eventually die. Faith requires action. If we are ever going to get where God would have us to be we must be willing to stick our neck out. If we are ever going to be who God created us to be we must be willing to come out of our shell and move in the direction the Lord is leading.

In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. James 2:17

I am so thankful for these three turtles! Even more, I am thankful for a Heavenly Father who is using these small creatures to grow my faith, to deepen my relationship in HIM, and to open my eyes to spiritual truths.


 (Re-posting from March 6, 2012)








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Saturday, April 19, 2014

Hope. It's Always There~

Hope.

It was there.

Tucked into the tomb.
Hidden behind a huge stone.
Buried under the sting of death.
But, it was there.

Waiting.

And, then. It happened.

The glorious moment when, not even death, could hold Jesus in the tomb.

As the stone was rolled away
and death lost its grip once and for all,
hope poured forth in glorious fashion.

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

Hope.

Sometimes, it gets tucked so far back in a tomb so dark, we can't see it.
Sometimes, it gets hidden behind a stone so big, we lose sight of it.
Sometimes, it gets buried behind a sorrow and grief so consuming and overwhelming, we can't feel it.

But, it. is. there.

It is only one stone's roll away.     


Today, let this truth,
this blessed hope of the Jesus' resurrection,
rise anew in your heart.

Rejoice in the victory of life -
true life, life in and through Christ Jesus.
Abundant life, joyous and free,
forever and ever,
through out all eternity.

Hope.

It may be just a stone's roll away.

But, it is there.

It is always there
because JESUS. IS. ALIVE.
HE. IS. ALWAYS. RIGHT. HERE. WITH. US.~♥







 
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Friday, April 18, 2014

Only God's Grace~









 
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Thursday, April 17, 2014

An AHA Moment~

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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Tuesday, April 15, 2014

In The Face of Jesus~








 
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Monday, April 14, 2014

Don't Forget to Hand It Off~

Of course. It made perfect sense. 

Her words were not new to my ears.  I had heard them before.  Many times before, in fact.

Somehow, they had always managed to simply slip through my heart, dismissed as "what a nice idea", or "wouldn't that be wonderful" or "that's what they tell me".

This day, though, these precious words settled in my heart.

This time, God, Himself, spoke them to me through the words of a prayer spoken over me by this precious prayer warrior.

"Father God,
You have given your servant, Stacy, such a tender heart. The hurts of your people hurt her.
She sees the sorrow others carry in their heart, and this sorrow becomes her own. 
She feels the stress that weighs heavy upon the minds of those near here, and this load  is weighing her down. You have given her the gift of mercy, a beautiful gift, but now, I pray you teach her how to use this gift.

(Use this gift?  God was speaking and my heart was listening.)

Teach your daughter, this tender hearted vessel, how to turn these cares over to you. 
Father God, you never meant for Stacy to carry this load.
You never intended for these heartaches to take up residence in her own heart. 
You have given her this gift of mercy, not to burden her heart with stress and heartache,
but rather that through her,
You can release your comfort, healing, wisdom, and power to those in need.
As her heart breaks for what breaks yours,
help her exchange the sorrow,
exchange the worry,
exchange the stress and anxiety,
for a prayer. 
As she brings these concerns boldly before Your throne of grace,
You can then take this gift of mercy and use it to minister to those in need.  
Help her to release it ALL to You, and  then to leave it in Your hands, knowing that her prayer is making a difference. 
May this truth settle in her heart. 
May she trade her heaviness,
trade this burden that is weighing her down,
for the joy that comes in knowing and believing she is standing in the gap,
interceding, and making a difference in the lives of your people. 
Thank you, Father God. In Jesus' precious name, I pray. Amen.

The exchange.
BXP135656
{Photo Credit}

Like a runner, carrying a baton in a relay race, I was more than willing to take hold of what life handed me through the lives of those around me.  As tears flowed, as problems presented themselves, as trials and tribulations appeared on the faces and lives of others, I was always faithful to reach out and take hold of them. 

She was right.  This was nothing of my own doing.  God had "gifted" me this way. 

As I bore the baton of heartache, I tried to sprint forward.  I tried, and tried, and tried.  Sadly, the finish line never appeared.  Lap after lap, the baton only grew heavier and my endurance weaker.  I pressed forward only to find myself losing ground, losing faith, losing the very race I so desperately wanted to win.  And, I was tired, exhausted, and broken-hearted.

Have you been there? 

Through the prayer of this precious lady, God opened my eyes to see how very ineffectively I was using this precious gift He had given me.

God didn't want me to carry the burdens of everyone I met,
He simply wanted me to be the middle man,
running a leg in the race,
receiving and then handing off.

Interceding. 

This is how you and I can make. it. count.

Not carrying the load
not  overcome with sorrow,
not stumbling around overburned and broken hearted.

God never intended for us to be full of pity.
His intention is for us to take our pity and turn it into a prayer that knocks upon the very door of Heaven.

God never desired for us to carry the load of others.
His desire is for us to carry this load boldy before His throne of grace.

Don't forget to make the exchange.

If you and I want to make a difference,
if you and I want to make. it. count.
we have to hand it over to God.

We are hopeless to change a situation. He IS hope.
We are incapable of healing a broken heart. He IS healing
We are unable to answer a prayer. He IS the answer.

Are you weighed down by the hurts of this world?
Are you carrying sorrow, stress, and heartache God never planned for you to carry?

Hand it over to God.

All of the smypathizing and empathizing in the world,
won't change the world.

Only God can.

Through the gift of mercy,
God desires you and I to take hold of the hurt, yes,
but only long enough to hand it over to Him.

Today, turn your worry, your stress, your heartache into a prayer and exchange it for the peace and joy found in  and through prayer.

Today, exchange your heaviness for a prayer and and Make. It. Count.

Casting the whole of your care [all your anxieties, all your worries, all your concerns, once and for all] on Him, for He cares for you affectionately and cares about you watchfully.
~ 1 Peter 5:7, AMP

Sometimes, we need a little reminder.  
This is what God is reminding me (and maybe, you, too) of today. 
(Re-posting from the Make. It. Count. series of 2012)







 
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Saturday, April 12, 2014

Testing! Testing! 1, 2, 3 . . .

We interrupt our regularly scheduled post here to say this:

Posts that normally find their way to email subscribers have been interrupted on their way to some of you, and unfortunately, have not been arriving.  This problem seemed to begin on / around April 2.

I have no clue as to why this is happening, but have done some "tweaking" in hopes of remedying this problem.  That is where this post comes in.

This is my test post.

If you receive this post, would you kindly reply to it letting me know you are still receiving Heartprints of God in your inbox?

Also, if you haven't been receiving posts since April 2, but did (hopefully!) receive this, will you also let know this as well?

Thank you.

I'm so thankful for you, my faithful readers.
Praying this problem is resolved quickly.

Thank you for your patience (and your prayers!)~♥








 
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Friday, April 11, 2014

Resting in God~









 
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Thursday, April 10, 2014

Lead Me Gentle Spirit~

 







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Wednesday, April 9, 2014

A Deeper Way In~









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Monday, April 7, 2014

Angry? Here's a Plan~

What do you do when angry gets on you
so thick you feel it in every single muscle and every single part of your body?

What do you do when angry gets a hold of you
so tight you feel it strangling the very breath out of you?

What do you do when angry gets full reign of your thoughts and emotions
so completely it flings you every which way but loose?

What do you do when angry gets the better of you
and leaves you with nothing but worse?

What do you do when angry gets you?

All of you?

Every last bit of you?

You remember the words found in Ephesians 4:26.
Words that were written not only upon the pages of Holy scripture, but written upon your heart.
Words you have tucked deep inside the deepest part of your heart for a time such as this.

You wield your sword of the Spirit and you stand your ground against the enemy of your soul.
The very one hoping you
let anger win,
let anger sin,
let anger fling wide open the entrance to your heart and life.

You be angry, but sin not.
You don't let the sun go down on your wrath.

You fall to your knees and you cry out to your God.

"Help me, God."

You take hold of that which is trying to take hold of you
and you place it all in the hands of your God.

Because,


if


you


don't,


you give place for Satan to barge right in.

It's why Ephesians 4:26 was written -
to protect you and I and to warn us about the devil lurking in the Ephesians 4:27 places of our life.

26 When angry, do not sin; do not ever let your wrath
 (your exasperation, your fury or indignation) 
last until the sun goes down.
27 Leave no [such] room or foothold for the devil [give no opportunity to him].

If we don't deal with our anger,
if we don't give it up before the sun goes down,
if we don't drive it out of us before it drives us to sin,
if we don't let it go and let God take control of it,
it becomes
an invitation,
a welcome sign,
a "come on in and create havoc in my life",
a golden opportunity,
for the devil.

What do you do when angry gets
so close to consuming the very all of you?

You give it ALL to God.

Every last bit of it.

You live out Ephesians 4:26.

You open your heart to God.
You invite His Spirit
to flood over you,
to cleanse you,
to release you,
to set you free,
and in turn,
to shut,
to bolt tight,
to completely secure,
the door to your heart.

You leave Satan on the outside looking in.
Ineffective.
Unable.
Defeated.

You give up your "angry" to God,
so that the only one angry then,
is the devil, himself. ~♥








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Friday, April 4, 2014

Feeling Forgotten?~

Have you ever wondered if you have fallen off God's radar?

Life was merrily rolling along and then all of a sudden you found yourself
in a prison,
out to pasture,
thrown in a tomb.

Joseph.
David.
Lazarus.
You.
Me.

No matter where you are.
No matter how silent you find this place to be.
No matter how unforgotten you may feel.

Rest assured.

God knows where you are.

He has not forgotten you.
In fact, chances are, where you are is right in the center of God's will.

When only a youth, God gave Joseph a glimpse of where he would one day be. Prison wasn't it. In fact, his journey to prison was nothing Joseph could ever have imagined. From a pit, to slavery, to prison. Where was God in this? Right beside Joseph, that's where. Waiting for the perfect, God-ordained time to take Joseph's hand and lead him from the prison right into the palace.

David was out in the pasture tending sheep when Samuel came calling with a call from the Lord. His family may have overlooked him. His own father may not have thought him worth calling for. But God hadn't forgotten about him. In fact, David was the reason Samuel had come. He was God's man and soon everyone knew it. The shepherd soon became King.

And then there was Lazarus. Sick, dead and buried, but far from being forgotten. Jesus came and not a minute too soon. He was right on time and Lazarus received a call of his own. At the words of Christ, life came into his body and he came forth, out into the light of God's resurrection power.

Maybe where you are is far from where you ever thought you would be. Looking around your life, you, yourself, have doubts as to where you even are. Don't worry. God knows where you are. In His perfect timing and in His perfect way, He will come calling.

He sees you in the prison.
He is with you in the lonely pasture.
And yes, even in the dead places of your life, the places where you can no longer see a sign of life,
He is there.

Stay faithful to your calling.
Stay faithful to your God.
Keep trusting Him in these dark, barren places of your life.

He is with you. He is working behind the scenes and one day, it WILL happen.

The door will open.

The call will come.

The dead will spring forth with life.

As Joseph stood before his brothers, the very ones who had sold him into slavery, he proclaimed this truth.

You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good. He brought me to this position so I could save the lives of many people. Genesis 50:20, NLT.

God's purpose was revealed.

David, who had been faithful to keep a watchful eye upon his father's sheep, was now the one being gazed upon as Samuel anointed him to tend the sheep of Israel.

Then he asked Jesse, "Is this it? Are there no more sons?" "Well, yes, there's the runt. But he's out tending the sheep." Samuel ordered Jesse, "Go get him. We're not moving from this spot until he's here." Jesse sent for him. He was brought in, the very picture of health— bright-eyed, good-looking. God said, "Up on your feet! Anoint him! This is the one." Samuel took his flask of oil and anointed him, with his brothers standing around watching. The Spirit of God entered David like a rush of wind, God vitally empowering him for the rest of his life. 1 Samuel 16:11-13, The Message

God's purpose was revealed.

Lazarus, dead, and buried, and lifeless for four days, walked right out of the tomb and back into the lives of everyone watching; a living testimony of God's power to bring whatever is dead back to life.

Then Jesus shouted, “Lazarus, come out!” And the dead man came out, his hands and feet bound in graveclothes, his face wrapped in a headcloth. Jesus told them, “Unwrap him and let him go!” Many of the people who were with Mary believed in Jesus when they saw this happen. John 11:43-45, NLT

Lazarus walked in newness of life and once again, God's purpose was revealed.

The God of Joseph, David and Lazarus is our God, too.
When it seems God has forgotten us or life has taken a wrong turn,
we simply need to remember this:
God HAS a purpose.

Soon, in God's perfect timing and in His perfect way,
His purpose will be revealed in our life, too!






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Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Sweet Sleep~

Tonight,
as you fold back
your blankets
and lay your head
upon your pillow,
fold your hands in prayer
and lay this day
at the feet of your     Heavenly Father.   



Wrap your failures
and regrets
in a prayer
of forgiveness,            


your blessings, joys,
and successes
in a prayer
of thanksgiving,


and your cares
for tomorrow
in a prayer
of surrender -


and give them all to God.



Then,
with a smile on your face
and peace in your heart,
wrap up in the
warm embrace
of your Heavenly Father
and enjoy sweet sleep.









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