Tuesday, March 31, 2015

To Know Him is To Praise Him~









 
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Saturday, March 28, 2015

Everything~









 
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Friday, March 27, 2015

The Blessing of Togetherness~

"I'm not sure if this is a praise or a prayer request.  Tomorrow, my mother-in-law arrives for a two week stay."

Instantly, the room fills with laughter.

Thank you for these women, Lord.  Honest, straight-forward, God-fearing, grace-giving, sisters in Christ.  What a blessing to join together with them each week and share our hearts as we learn of Yours.

"Please pray for my brother, that he can once and for all escape the demons that torment him and win his fight with drug abuse."

"My little one has had a fever the past few days. I'm so worried about her.  The last time she had a fever she had seizures."

Oh, Gracious God -
To know when two or three are gathered in Your name, You are here - what a promise, what a comfort, what a place to be.

This is community.




Today, I am at (in)courage, writing about the blessing of togetherness and the God who calls us into community.  Click here to join me and continue reading.








 
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Wednesday, March 25, 2015

The Eyes of the Heart~

I sit at my desk, staring straight ahead, and yet seeing nothing in particular.

Sometimes, the eyes of the heart take precedence.

I have work to do, projects to complete, emails to answer,
but here,
between me and all that is still left undone
is the face of this precious one in need.

I long to reach out, to ease the pain, to heal the hurt, to undo what's been done, to right this wrong.
I wrestle with anger over what has happened, what shouldn't have happened, and what didn't happen.
I struggle to hold back my tears, untie the knots in my stomach, and keep from coming completely undone.

And, I can't see beyond the face of this one in need.

Not when I look out the window.
Not when I gaze out the door into the hallway.
Not when I stare at the ceiling.
Not when I glance down at my keyboard.

It is ever before me,
standing in the way of all that would vie for my attention.

And I realize, more than maybe ever before in my life,
this is more than me sympathizing with a friend in need.
This is more than me bearing the burden of a brother.

Yes, sometimes, the eyes of the heart take precedence,
so all you can see
is the one you need to carry to Jesus in the cries of your heart,
on the words of your prayers.

To intercede.
To stand in the gap.
To go boldly before God's throne of grace to find help in a time of need.

It is
our highest privilege,
our greatest honor,
our solemn duty,
our not-to-be-ignored, not-to-be-missed, not-to-be-delayed, not-to-be-taken-lightly calling.

I bow my head and pray.
As tears make their way down my cheek and onto my desk,
I lift this one up to The One with nail-scarred hands. 

Moments later,
I pray again.

All afternoon.
All evening.
Even now.

As long as God places him before me,
I will place him before God.

And God,
He will be
faithful to hear, faithful to answer, faithful to heal, faithful to restore, faithful to redeem.

It's what God does,
when we do what He has called us,
His prayer warriors,
to do.









 
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Tuesday, March 24, 2015

To Listen Hard~

Gracious Heavenly Father,
Help us to be still, Lord,
to listen hard for the voice of Your Spirit.

In the busyness of our day,
and the rush to be and do
may we still
undeniably,
unmistakably,
hear the hush of Your Spirit.


Sometimes, Lord, You speak in the power of a whirlwind.

Sometimes, Father God, Your voice is as loud as the thunder.

But most times, precious Spirit,
Your voice comes as a whisper to a listening soul,
a soft stirring,
a gentle nudging,
a tender prodding,
a quiet convicting.

No matter how loud our world may be,
no matter how many voices vie for our attention,
may it be Your voice we hear, Father God,
Your voice we listen to,
Your voice we follow.

Help us to be still, Lord,
to listen hard for the voice of Your Spirit.

 In Jesus' precious name we pray, Amen.~♥







 
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Sunday, March 22, 2015

A Heart for God~








 
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Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Because I Have~

He lifts his eyes just high enough and quick enough to see my reaction.  Then, drops his gaze to the ground once again. We stand in the entryway at church. Not quite inside, but not all the way outside either.

Without missing a beat, I answer his question.
It is my answer that startles him in the way he had expected his remark to startle me.

Feeling backed into a spiritual corner, he had done what any of us would have done.  He lashed out. He grasped for a straw to stand on.  He spoke words intended to shock, distract, and lead me away from the issue at hand.

"What if there is no God?" he had yelled, breaking his up-to-this-point silence.

"That's up to you to find out." I answered back, as calm and as collected as someone who has been in his shoes, because I have.

I have stood where he is now standing - half in, half out.
I have questioned what he is now wondering - what if He is, what if He isn't.
I have responded how he is now reacting - in fear, in doubt, in unbelief.
I have wrestled who he is now fighting - the enemy of the soul.

I have been in his shoes.

It is this revelation that startles him the most.

As his sixth grade eyes once again look up and peer into my almost fifty year old eyes, I see it.

A heart afraid it might be a fairy tale.
A heart hoping it might be true.
A heart scared of what surrendering might mean.
A heart desperate to know.

"We each have to find God for our self." I say.  "To know him from our own heart, to experience him in our own life, to accept him in our own time, to love him for our own Savior."

His eyes are down again, and his body language is trying to communicate to me that he is not listening.

But, I know he is.
A searching heart is always listening.

He turns away and steps out into the bright sunlight.

"And a truth-revealing God is always speaking," I remind myself,
 as calm and as collected as someone who has been in his shoes,

because I have.









 
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Sunday, March 15, 2015

When Your Heart Breaks~

It's happened to me before, but this time it hurt.  It really hurt.

Maybe it's happened to you, too.

As I was combing my hair, brushing my teeth, applying mascara and preparing for my day, I was also singing along with the songs playing on my favorite Christian radio station.  For me, singing along is a natural part of my morning routine.

Since I know most of the songs by heart, the words roll off my tongue as easily as toothpaste glides onto my toothbrush.  Admittedly, sometimes, neither are given much thought.

But, there was that one line.

As soon as I sang the words, I heard them echoing back, reverberating off  the callouses of my heart.

Father, break my heart for what breaks yours.*

Minutes later, I head out the door and into the world. Soon, I am lost in the busyness of my day.  Projects, deadlines, and to-do lists keep my mind occupied. 

Until, later that afternoon.

Once again,  I find myself mindlessly singing along to the radio, and once again, the Lord taps me on the shoulder of my heart with that one line.

Father, break my heart for what breaks yours.

Work done for the day, I close the door to my office and head to the supermarket to pick up a few items for dinner.

And that's when it happens.

It's as though the Lord has removed the blinders from my eyes and for the first time,
I see people. 

Not the clothes they are wearing,
or the items in their shopping cart,
or the way they are between me and the item I am trying to reach on the shelf behind them,

but,
her,
and him,
and them.

I see a mother who is trying to keep her eye on five small children; eyes that are framed with black circles and lines of worry and fatigue.

I see a teenager hiding the insecurity of his heart behind long strands of hair; a curtain over his eyes, covering the windows to his soul.

I see an elderly lady struggling to keep her footing; the foundation of her youth, deteriorating with the passing of time, is leaving her unsteady, unsure and uncomfortably insecure.

I see a young, professional-looking couple strolling side by side, smiling and nodding in gestures that imply "yes, some of that" or "no, not today"; their awkward silence announcing to all that "I love you" often goes unsaid, too.

I see a small young boy following  behind his father as they turn left down the aisle that leads to the liquor department;  his fearful eyes can already see where this fateful turn will lead once they are home, behind closed doors.

And, right there - 

in the middle of the aisle,
in the middle of these people,
in the middle of my selfish, self-absorbed heart,

 I hear that one line.

Father, break my heart for what breaks yours.

And, my heart breaks.

IMG_1009
{Photo Credit}
My Heavenly Father has been faithful to answer the prayer I have sang to Him through out my day. 


And, this time......

                     
                     this time,


it hurts. 




* Matthew West, My Own Little World









 
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Saturday, March 14, 2015

God Does . . . God Always Does~










 
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Wednesday, March 11, 2015

As Long As I Have Breath~









 
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Monday, March 9, 2015

Someday~








 
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Saturday, March 7, 2015

It's Time 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 move 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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Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Even Now~








 
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Monday, March 2, 2015

Eyes of Faith~

Oh, Father God-
How often we fail to remember that what we see isn't always what You are doing.

We march around the city of Jericho six times and we see - nothing.
We dip in the Jordan river six times and we see - nothing.
We look at our circumstances and begin to believe You are doing nothing.

We live in the physical world with our physical eyes seeing only the physical
and we forget that You are not bound by the physical limitations of this world.

You are the Almighty, Creator God! 

Help us to keep our eyes on YOU, Lord, not on this world.
Help us to keep our focus on YOU, Lord, and not on what we see.
Help us to keep our spiritual eyes on YOU,
and not on what appears to be the physical reality in our life.
 
Lord, keep us walking around our enemy
even when we see no signs of victory.

Lord, keep us dipping in obedience to You,
even when we see no signs of healing.

Lord, keep us believing in the not seen
even when,
especially when,
every time when,
everything we see is telling us not to.

Oh Father God,
Help us to be those who walk by faith not by sight.

In Jesus' powerful, precious, miracle-working name we pray,
Amen~♥








 
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