Wednesday, January 30, 2013

January 30,2013

Good morning all-

I couldn't sleep and so I just praised God for a couple of hours.  Do you ever wake up around 3 am and wonder what do you want from me today Lord?  That's what I was thinking.  I have been woken out of a sound sleep before with someone on my heart and I have prayed.  It doesn't happen often but when it does, I pray.  The problem with this morning is that I really didn't wake up with anyone in mind, so I decided just to thank God for the stripes He took for me, for the plans He has for me and my family and for the blessing His life has been to me.

I can't believe how wonderful it felt just to praise Him.  I wasn't asking for anything or praying on behalf of someone else's needs.  I was just thanking Him for dying for me.  How often do we miss opportunities to do that?  I'm sure I have, luckily, I decided to praise Him even though I would have loved a few more hours of sleep.

In a matter of days and weeks our lives will be up.  We may live for 80 years or we may just have tomorrow.  If we can do anything with the time we have left on this earth, it should be to praise our Lord for the beating and the crucifixion He took for us.  I think in our daily struggles we become self-absorbed, we pout, we get depressed and we wallow in our own pit of despair.  We're human, I get that, but at the same time we should be looking up.  He's the only one that knows what it's like to be imprisoned, beaten and crucified for our sins, not His.  To be crucified meant you had to be a horrible criminal and yet an innocent man was put upon that cross for you and me.  I think that's worth thanking Him every day, don't you?

I know that it's a struggle to get out from under our mess to reach out and say, "Thank You Jesus for dying for me."  But it shouldn't be.  We should praise Him morning and night.  Many times throughout the Bible men moaned and groaned and asked for ways out of their circumstances but in the end, they found that praising God through them, helped them weather the storm.  Even the disciples experienced it when they were in the boat and a storm of hurricane proportions came up, do you remember what did they do?  They panicked one moment and were praising Jesus in the next.  Do you remember their words?  We should all remember with humbleness and awe how great our Father is.  From Old Testament to New, God promised His people a place by His side and He sent His son to earth to proclaim what was His.  One God,One Father, One Son and One Holy Spirit, joined as one to take the lost, the lonely and the destitute and make them great warriors for His cause.

Jesus is not some figment of our imagination; He is God!  People can twist the Bible and twist History but it always comes back to the same question.  Why would an innocent man be beaten, bruised and hang on a cross if He wasn't much more than a man?  I rely on that and know that as humans it is very hard for us to sacrifice our lives for anyone else, let alone nations.

So this morning, I am reminded of how very lucky I am to be apart of this crusade for Jesus.  I was once lost, lonely and broken and although I am forever a work in progress, I am the daughter of God.  I take comfort in that and so this morning is dedicated to praising Jesus for saving my life, for bringing my sons and husband closer to Him and for the ability to write and praise Him all day long!  In all honesty, He is the reason I get up every morning and live a productive life.  I'm not perfect and will never claim to be, mainly because my faults show how much I need a Savior.  If I was self-sufficient then I would lose all meaning of what it is to be in Christ's army.  I alone can do nothing but with Him I can do anything.

If you haven't taken time to praise Jesus in awhile, sit down today and thank Him for everything you can think of.  I praised Him for several hours this morning but just a few minutes a day thanking Him for His sacrifice will bring you closer to knowing Him.  As always, I hope this day finds you well and I hope when you're done reading this all you want to do is praise our Lord and Savior!

Leviticus 22:29 NKJV:

     And when you offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving to the Lord, offer it of your own free will.

Amos 4:5 NKJV:

     Offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving with leaven, proclaim and announce the freewill offerings; for this your love, you children of Israel."  Says the Lord God.

Revelation 7:12 NKJV:

     saying, "Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom, Thanksgiving and honor and power and might, be to our God forever and ever. AMEN."

My prayer today:

O, Lord, as I laid in my bed this morning it was so wonderful to praise You for saving me.  I praised You for taking my iniquities, for the stripes You wore for me and for the sacrifice of Your life for many.  I praised You for my family, for the plans You have for all of us and for the blessings You have bestowed on my house.  I come before You again this morning and praise You for every single thing You do for me and for this entire world.  There are women that are looking for answers in their pain and I know that You are near.  Please reveal Yourself to the world and bring up women that sing Your praises.  If we are to lead the next generations I pray that we would share our thanks among every people and in every nation.  We seek You Lord and offer our thanksgiving.  We are humbled to be in Your presence today and I am humbled to be Your mighty servant.  Please help me today to be the woman You want me to be.  My goal in life is to love You more, show me how to do that Lord.  I leave this blog with one thought on my mind, THANK YOU JESUS FOR SAVING US FROM OUR OWN INIQUITIES!  You are mighty and I am loved.  In Jesus name, AMEN

Until tomorrow...

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

January 29, 2013

Good morning all-

I don't have much on my mind this morning but God's grace.  I often forget to think about His grace.  It seems that as the time goes I think more on His mercy, His power and His majesty but I woke up this morning thinking on His grace.  From the Old Testament we were told that a Savior would be born and that He would wear the stripes of our iniquity.  Isaiah 53 is all about that and it got me to thinking about why?

Grace isn't easy to come by.  Most people have a hard time grasping what grace truly is.  But if you think about it, grace is a God who loved a sinful people and sent His son to rectify those sins.  That's grace and I'm so glad we have it.  After reading Isaiah 53 it got me to thinking about Jesus and how much grace He truly had for us.  He wasn't just a man, He was God.

It's not easy for me to accept grace.  I'm my own worst critic but then when I look upon the words and meditate on them, grace was given, not earned.  I can't make God give me a hall pass, He gave it freely.  Someday, I will walk the streets of gold, not because of anything I did but because of what He did for me.  Humbling to say the least!

I hope you take some time today and look into your own life, see where Jesus provided grace and if someone in your life needs grace remember that the stripes He wore were our sins, not His.  I'm challenging all of us to remember that grace was given, never earned.  Hope you have a great day and that God blesses you.

John 1:16 NKJV:

     And of His fullness we have all received, and grace for grace.

2 Corinthians 9:14 NKJV

     and by their prayer for you, who long for you because of the exceeding grace of God in you.

1 Corinthians 15:10 NKJV

    But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all, yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.

My prayer today:

O, Lord, How Great You are!  After reading all of Isaiah 53 I was humbled by Your commitment to Your people.  I know the stories, have read them all but when you read the prophesies of old and see what You fulfilled, my heart wells up and I am humbled before You.  I know that I didn't deserve Your grace but its here for me anyway and I am grateful that You loved me enough to wear my iniquities.  We don't deserve Your love, Your presence or Your grace but You give it freely upon those that love and call You Father.  So today, we come before You and praise You for the Lord that wore the stripes for every woman, man and nation.  You are the Father of all and I pray that people all over the earth will come to know You by name.  You are the King of my heart and I pray that You will be the King of many.  Bring Your people to the faithful and spread Your word from nation to nation.  I lift up those in countries where Christians are a minority and ask that You will feed them and comfort them and that they will know Your grace.  For all You are and all You will be, thank You for giving us what we could not earn.  In Jesus name, AMEN

Until tomorrow...

Sunday, January 27, 2013

January 27, 2013

Good morning all-

I'm sorry for the lack of posts on my part.  I am still recuperating from what I will call the worst flu of the century.  I have never been knocked down so long!  As a matter of fact, you know you aren't doing good when your husband tells you to your face, "Honey I think you need to go rest, you just don't look good."  For one thing, he never tells me to go rest and secondly, who tells a woman she looks bad, right?

Well during my time of convalescing I have thought about my Father often.  Was it in His will to let me be down?  Did I need a new understanding of who He is?  Or did I just need to sit still for awhile and let the God of the Universe be one with me?  I'm still not sure of that answer but I know that I am back up and running.  I have gone to the store, made coffee, and will be getting ready for church.  One moment, I thought I couldn't feel any worse and the next I'm healed and ready for the day.  Of course it is only 8:57 am.

What has God spoken in these last couple of days?  Well, He's shown me the blog by Anne Graham Lot on suffering.  He has reaffirmed my stance on being in the Bible and looking for Him.  He has healed a spirit that was so down, I wasn't sure she would ever get back up and He has walked with me and talked to me every day during this illness.

It's funny because I have always been scared of illness.  I think that's why I've tried so hard not to get stagnate and to keep moving at all costs.  But then the flu's of 2013 came through and showed me that I'm not as invincible as I would like to believe.  At least they were just for a moment.  Many suffer day after day with illness and don't get a break from their pain.  Those are the people my heart aches for, those that can't put one foot in front of the other.  May God be with them and bless them for He is the great physician and by His wounds we are healed.  I hope today finds you well but mostly I hope you have escaped the epidemic of flu that is hitting the US.  I have much more appreciation for wellness than I ever had before.

Psalm 147:3 NKJV:

     He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.

Isaiah 53:5 NKJV:

     But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed.

My prayer today:

O, Lord, although I hate being ill, I love being with You.  I love thinking about You and asking You to heal my bones.  I love thinking that although I am weak, You are so strong.  I love believing that tomorrow will bring about wellness and I love contemplating that You are near.  You are the Father of all and You know exactly what we need, when we need it.  You are God and You are just.  I'm praying for the world Lord.  I'm asking that the people that inhabit this world will look for You in sickness and health.  I'm praying that we would get our manna every day from You and that as the sun rises, we will know You are near.  I'm also praying for rain to wash over the Midwest.  We are in grave need of water, water which will replenish the earth and help our land.  Just like You have done for me in the last days, heal the earth, heal Your people and rise up today!  I love You Lord more than anyone can fathom.  Be with all of Your ladies today as we come before You asking for our Lord to lead us to His side!  In Jesus name, AMEN

Until tomorrow...

Friday, January 25, 2013

January 25, 2013

Good morning all-

Well I thought I was getting better and then last night I got sick again.  Oh well, I guess it's my time to trust that I will be better again.  When you don't feel well, nothing else seems to matter.  I guess that's why I'm so humbled by those that suffer from illness.  I can't tell you how many surgeries, hospital stays and doctors visits my mom went to her in her lifetime.  I can't tell you the exact number of pills she took, although I think it was 22.  And I can't ever remember her complaining.  Strange because all I want to do is complain.

She was a strong woman who had faced her illness and her disease with grace.  At 45 she had her first event, I am two years older than her right now.  She would go on to have four more heart attacks.  I know she suffered but she always suffered in silence.  And all I have is some stomach bug and I'm already giving in to complaining.  What does complaining do for us anyway?  Does it change our circumstances?  No. So why do we persist in constant complaining, especially when we can't change it?  I believe we think by complaining it will change but nothing changes until we do.  That's why some people fight valiantly when their sick and others mumble, complain and become fully absorbed.  Just look at the children at St. Jude.  I love the commercials because they show children who have been run through extensive testing, put through machines, pricked until it doesn't matter anymore and suffered chemotherapy, multiple surgeries and long hospital stays and yet, you see smiles everywhere.

I'm glad I can think about these things when I get self-absorbed.  Who wants to become one of those people that complains and loses joy when all around us there's something to smile about.  I wonder if that's how Job felt.  He suffered for a long time, lost everything, including his friends and in the end, he smiled because God gave him back everything he had lost.  Our bodies were not made to last the test of time.  They begin to die as we begin to turn a new year.  Some will land on their feet and others will find out they have diseases, hurts, pains and trials.  Who knows what will happen but we're not to worry, our King is in control.  We just have to ensure that our will aligns with His.  So if I'm to endure more days of stomach problems then I must endure it with Him in mind.

I hope whether you are feeling ill today or you are taking care of someone that is that you remember that Jesus is near.  We can get fully absorbed into our own lives and forget everything Jesus taught us.  He was a man that went to the masses whether He felt like it or not.  He healed, loved and saved all of us.  Our duty is to love those around us, not worry about tomorrow and see Christ in all circumstances. I know that's hard because sometimes I forget too.  But today as I wonder what the day will hold, I thank Christ for giving me the strength to get out of bed, to write this blog and to take care of the people He has entrusted to me.  I'm praying for you and wishing you a blessed day.

Mark 3:15 NKJV:

     and to have power to heal sicknesses and to cast out demons.

Numbers 12:13 NKJV:

     So Moses cried out to the Lord, saying, "Please heal her, O God, I pray!"

Psalm 60:2 NKJV:

      You have made the earth tremble; You have broken it; heal its breaches, for it is shaking.

My prayer today:

O, Lord, You are my God.  In all things I must look for You.  I am so grateful that in the midst of every life situation I have You to call on.  I thank You for reminding me in my infirmity that others are more important than me.  Thank You for providing a role model that showed me that dying to myself, looking for You and loving people is all I need to do today.  You are the healer of nations and the Father of all.  We come today, Your ladies, calling to You and asking You to heal the sick, help the poor and restore faith in all nations.  We cry out to You to stand in the gap for the depressed, the lonely and the downtrodden.  We look for You in our beds, in our homes and in the world.  You are our King and we know that no matter the path, You are with us.  Be with us today as we try to find YOU!

Until tomorrow...

Thursday, January 24, 2013

January24, 2013

Good morning all-

PRAISE AND HONOR TO OUR KING!  I woke up this morning with that thought in my head.  Why?  I think because I talked to my friend Michelle yesterday and she went on a lone journey with just her and her Bible over the last several weeks and the result, healing of the mind and spirit.  What a wonderful thing to have happen!

I have walked with Michelle for almost 2 years on a journey that was long and hard.  I have heard her cry and I have heard rage.  I have listened for hours and I have prayed as many.  I have asked God for rainbows when she couldn't see and I have prayed for faithfulness.  I have watched a very spiritual women torn apart, stretched and re-stretched.  Her joy was lost and Satan had stolen everything she held dear.  She thought God didn't love her, believed He wasn't near but never, ever quit seeking.  The devil used everyone to attack her but God helped a few be faithful and He put a man in her life that stood in the gap.  Praise to our Lord!

I think we have all walked down the road when we believed we had to earn God's love and acceptance.  We do with people so we must with God.  I don't think any of us truly understand what grace means.  Grace is not about being good, acting right or doing good works, it's about a Father who sent His son to die for you and me.  Sometimes in this journey our prayers won't be answered, at least not the way we want them to be.  More than likely they don't align with His will.  We can't possibly know the plans He has for us but He does and He knows exactly how to get us from point A to Z. 

How do we get there?  We go to Him.  Satan can't tangle the word when read.  He can mess with our thoughts and He definitely can mess with people but the word is God breathed.  It is our weapon against the dark and it's our only resource to fight.  Our Father is not a fool.  That's why we have everything we need in the Bible to fight spiritually.  And if you think you know everything, think again.  Every time I read Scripture I see something else.  When I told Michelle she needed to quit listening to broadcasts and get in her Bible with God, she listened.  So far, she has read all four gospels and God has revealed, grace, hope, joy and a renewed spirit.  That's something to shout about.

This world is full of things to be negative and angry about.  We can complain over and over again about small things that go wrong.  It's amazing to me that we have so much and yet we are so unsatisfied with what we have.  There are children in countries that don't have enough food to eat for one day that know the love of God so much better than me.  I'm humbled when I think about it.  I have all the food, water and housing I need.  I have money to buy things and to help people.  I have more than they could ever imagine and yet, like most, I still want more. 

We must really look upon our circumstances and find God through Scripture.  People can distort the Bible.  All you have to do is watch a television program or read a work that is truly fiction but people are taking it for it's word.  The only true word is the Bible.  The stories have been placed with significance.  Healing did happen, people were saved and a town watched as an innocent man was hung on a cross.  A lamb was slain so that you and I could know the hand of God without fear of the law.  Our God isn't just mighty, He's just and full of love for a people that don't deserve Him.

If you know someone that is struggling with God's love, encourage them to read their Bible or find a book or blog that has Scripture written on it.  God inspires those that are faithful.  I pray He is inspiring you today.  May our Lord bless and keep you today and as always may He reveal Himself mightily.

Psalm 30:5 NKJV:

     For His anger is but for a moment, His favor is for life; weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning.

My prayer today:

     O, Lord, how glorious and mighty are thee!  I sing from the rooftops a song of thanksgiving for You are a mighty King.  You send Your words of power and majesty to the earth with just a breath.  You give us strength when we are lost and You stay near when we are sad.  You give us angels here on earth to pray for us to be our partners.  You fill us with hope and gladness for the new day.  You sing to us when we're asleep and promise that tomorrow will be better.  You fill us with a sense of wonder.  For You know the length of the trial and the journey ahead.  You know all facets of our walk and we must come before You, trusting in You for all our needs.  I am humbled by Your majesty and am honored to be Your daughter.  Please come to women everywhere that need a Savior.  Lift up those that are struggling with hurt and pain.  Give them a powerful sense of who You are.  I pray that You will encourage Your warriors to be bold in the days ahead, to lean on You and not their own understanding and when the dark falls hold onto Your faithfulness in a fallen world.  There are those that can't see You but I pray today for them and ask that Your Spirit would open their eyes and You would be revealed!  You are the power behind my life and I am so thankful for Your love.  Thank You for saving my friend and from bringing her from the pit of despair to the pinnacle of the cross.  You are mighty!  In Jesus name, AMEN

Until tomorrow...

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

January 23, 2012

Good morning all-

There's so much going on in my head lately, I don't even know where to begin.  I have walked with God through many things in my life.  I have watched people make horrible choices, I have watched myself make horrible decisions. I have tried to save people from making them and I have walked up to the mirror and asked myself, "What are you doing?"  I have chastised, kicked, hurt, worried and feared some of the choices I've made.  I have wondered what consequences would come my way and I have wondered, "Does God even love me anymore?"

You know the drill.  I call it the kick myself when I'm down drill.  It comes on when I'm not performing enough, when my kids aren't performing enough and when my husband doesn't see my way.  Or it may just happen because I'm self-reflecting too much and bam, everything is in my head at once and nothing seems to fit except a wide variety of panic, worry and fear.  You know how it goes.  If you're a women, you've walked in my shoes.

The last years have been more than enough pressure for me than I could sometimes imagine.  I am now raising a teenager without my greatest sage, my mother.  I have no parents to tell me what I'm doing wrong or to help me let go.  I have to let my sons make choices just like my parents let me.  I have to love them through it and hope that they are praying as much as I am.  I have to trust in a God I can't see, hear or feel.  I have to believe that the word is my sword.  I have to pray to someone I have never met and trust that He has my future in His hands.  I have to give my possessions, my livelihood and my family to Him, because none of it's mine.  I have to die to my pride, be stretched and know that He is enough.  I have to believe that one man came to earth and died on a cross for me.  Really?  Why?  I know you've asked yourself the same question, contemplated the same things and yet, we still doubt.

I never truly understood Thomas until lately.  Why did He doubt?  He walked with God and He wanted proof of the resurrected Christ.  But when He asked, Christ revealed His scars.  He didn't condemn Him for asking, He simply showed Him.  Today, God shows us in random acts of kindness, in a strangers willingness to share the gospel, through the little children that follow Him with nothing more than a word, and in those of us that have walked long enough to know; we aren't perfect but He is.  This is love.  At the end of every day, I contemplate that.  I was exhausted yesterday after working and yet my last thought was of God and my first one this morning was of Him too.  When I don't write, I feel so empty.  This blog has become a part of my daily walk with Him and although I was sick, not being close to Him made me feel more sick.

Whether it's our health, our jobs or our worries, we must give them all over to Christ.  I'm learning more and more that it's His cup not mine.  The Devil would have us believe we aren't good enough because we are fallible.  That's true in this world but competency is not why God came as man; He came for our hearts, our souls and our love.  The Pharisees knew knowledge, had wisdom and were dedicated to the law; Jesus came for the people.  Think on that for a minute.

As always my sisters, I hope that Christ keeps you safe, shows you something miraculous and with each day you seek Him, you find Him.  I thank Him every day for finding me.

Matthew 14:31 NKJV:

     And immediately Jesus stretched out HIs hand and caught him, and said to him, "O you of little faith, why did you doubt?"

Luke 24:38 NKJV:

     And He said to them, "Why are you troubled? And why do doubts arise in your hearts?

1 Timothy 2:8 NKJV:

     I desire therefore that the men pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting;

Interesting how doubting can keep you from God.  Look what Timothy says about men praying everywhere, that's what we need to be doing, in every country.  We are women but we need to lift up holy hands and pray to Christ.  We don't need to know each others language because He hears all languages.  Praise the Lord today by lifting Your hands and praying for the lost, the broken, the grieving and the troubled.  It might be the best house call they've ever had.  May today find you well.

My prayer today:

O, Lord, You are mighty in my eyes.  I can't see You, I have never touched You and I can't say that I have truly heard You but every part of my being looks for You.  I read Scripture and I feel You walking beside me, talking to me and calming my fears.  I hear in my forefathers the love and devotion they had for You.  I see the consequences of their actions and the love that You bestowed anyway.  I see Your faithfulness on the cross and I remember the words, "Take this cup from me."  But You knew that Your will must be abolished in order to save the world.  Your sacrifice has shown love to the lost, the hurting and me.  I have loved You for so long but I have doubted You and for that, I am deeply sorry.  Please take my cup and make it Yours.  Direct my sisters all over the world to become Your women.  Please show us through Scripture the power we have in You.  Help us love the lost, they are Your people and we want to show them the love You have for them.  There are many that don't know a Savior, reveal yourself today.  In Jesus name, AMEN

Until tomorrow...

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

January 22, 2013

Good morning all-

I'm sorry for the long delay between blogs.  I actually came down with the stomach flu and it has taken several days for me to recover.  I guess it was my year to get everything that was out there.  I'm doing better now and after this last flu; I'm going to relish being healthy.

I plan on coming back tonight and writing more to you but this is my first day going back to work and I have a ton to prepare for.  I hope this day finds you well and as I leave you this morning, please hold in your heart to trust the Lord.  I can't tell you how many times I've heard that word roll around in my head this last week. First it was be strong and courageous and know that I am God and now it's simply, "Trust Me."  I think if I had to pinpoint one of the hardest challenges in my walk it would be totally trusting in Him, no matter what life brings my way.

So with that, go about your day, praise Jesus and trust that He knows the plans He has for you.  I will start writing again on a regular basis.  I hope I haven't lost my faithful readers but I'm going to trust that God will bring you back.  Have a blessed day!

Isaiah 26:4 NKJV:

    Trust in the Lord forever, for in Yah, the Lord, is everlasting strength.

My prayer today:

O, Lord, teach us to trust in You and to put our faith in Your hands.  Our worries are Your worries, our fates belong to You.  As I look upon the last days, I see Your hand.  You are a guide through the darkness and a help to us as we learn to trust more in You than in ourselves.  The plagues of this world are just one part of the overall plan and many are suffering from them right now.  Please help those that need to trust in You, not just for their Spirit but for their minds and bodies.  We trust in many things but You have said to only trust in You, so today we do so.  We thank You for being a Father that we can rely on, someone that loves us unconditionally and who knows where we stand at every moment we breathe.  I pray that Your soldiers will become many and that soon men and women would bow down to You and put their faith in only You.  You are the wind beneath our wings and we need You Lord in order to soar.  Continue to grow us in You, help us be wise and continue to keep us all our days.  May we be faithful to You and trust when our situations don't look like we should trust at all.  For You are the King and we praise You.  In Jesus name, AMEN.

Until tomorrow...

Thursday, January 17, 2013

January 17, 2013

Good morning all-

I'm heading out to work early this morning and then going to watch my son play in a basketball tournament. Hopefully, I will be able to write a few blogs while away.  But if I don't get the chance, I wanted to sit down this morning and leave you with a Scripture that I found yesterday.  I think it's pertinent to trusting in the Lord and it has made me think a lot since yesterday.  As a matter of fact, I fell asleep and never woke up last night.  That's what it means to trust in God and not yourself.  I could chalk it up to exhaustion but I know that the peace I felt all day came from God.  My worrying never gets me anywhere.

I went to lunch with my sister-in-law and we talked about trusting in the Lord.  What does it mean?  I think each one of us faces our own insecurities so only you can answer that; but inevitably it means giving the control up and believing that God is near, that He does listen and that He will figure out Your problem and fix it.  We just can't be in control of everything.  It really is a sin and guess what, I'm working on it.  Like I always say, I'm a work-in-progress.

So whether you love control, like to worry, fear the future or just can't sleep because life is on your mind, meditate on God through Scripture and see what He reveals.  It will be worth it, I promise.

As you know if you read this blog, I love the Psalms.  They have comforted me in times of great trial and they have filled my heart with thankfulness.  David was a man after God's own heart and that's what I want to be.  A woman who seeks God and is glad in Him.  David wasn't perfect and I'm not perfect so it's a great fit.  We need to be reminded that most of the people depicted in the Bible were not perfect Christians, as a matter of fact, they were very flawed.  Jesus was the only perfect man and He had to die to save us all.  We are blessed because He fulfilled a covenant with His Father and we must stand firm on that faith.

I hope this day finds you well and I hope that this Scripture ministers to your soul the way it has mine.  I love when God reveals Himself to me and I see Him so majestically.  Be with Him today my sisters and He will show you the way.

Psalm 37:3  NKJV:

     Trust in the Lord, and do good; dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness.

Normal words but packed with so much meaning.  We are His, we dwell in His land and we are fed by Him through the living word.  If you're not seeking Him on your own, you're missing out.  He is everywhere and all you have to do is open your Bible, open the Bible application on the iPhone or your smart phone.  He is near ladies and He's the best listener out there.

My prayer today:

O, Lord, move Your chosen to become more like You.  Help us to trust in You and to do good wherever we live.  Give us a passion for You that will carry throughout the world.  We need to know You through Your word and through our relationship with You.  Grant us time to sit with You and to honor You for all You are.  Help us to be more thankful for the things You provide and for the people that surround us.  Give us energy to do Your work and to be faithful servants and provide us the wisdom to help those that don't know You.  You are the rock by which we stand.  We dwell in Your land and we must be fed daily in order to serve You.  Provide the manna through Scripture and guide us through the waters. Help us to be strong in faith and weak in pride.  We need You Lord and we need to hear from You daily.  You stand before us in this world and are everywhere we look.  Protect those that are being sought for persecution and show us Your mighty hand in everything we do.  We are looking for You, be with us today and every day.  You are our King and we thank You for every minute we can spend in Your sanctuary!  In Jesus name, AMEN

Until tomorrow...

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

January 16, 2013

Good morning all-

What does it mean to trust in the Lord, not just for yourself but for others?  Trusting is hard for us lowly humans.  We trust as children but through time, circumstances and people we find it harder and harder to trust.  Trust takes a long time to earn and minutes to distinguish it.  I have known people that have been married for years and someone gets tempted and all that hard work, love and passion for one another is out the door.  It takes a lot to trust and a little to destroy.

I think that's why it's easy to grow our trust in God when our prayers are answered, things are going in the right direction and we feel Him everywhere we go.  But as we gain maturity in Him, the feelings are less, the direction not as clear and the prayers are answered according to His will and His time.  Like any relationship, we get comfortable in it.  We stay on course but when the boat rocks; we rock with it.  Instead, we should reach out, trust what God says and hold onto His word with all our might.  We must fight the negative thoughts, die to ourselves and realize God will take care of it in the end.

I have struggled with trust.  Although my husband would tell you I easily trust in people.  I'm not sure I easily trust but I do see the good in people.  I can find it even in the nastiest of people and I have hope that through Jesus all of us can be better people.  I've been thinking a lot about where I put my trust and although I have made immense improvement in trusting Jesus, I still find myself faltering at times.  I love Jesus and I know He's near but I still struggle with my flesh.  I think we all do.

I think trust is an important part to strength and courage in Jesus.  If we don't trust someone we don't believe they have our backs.  Right?  Jesus does have our back and even though we don't know what He's doing, He has a plan.  It might just not match ours.

Last night,  I woke up every hour upon the hour, worrying about things I can't control, I prayed and then I meditated on Jeremiah 29:11.  I can't possibly foresee the future and it wasn't helping me to wake up every hour, so this morning I'm giving it to Christ.  He has all the answers, not me.  I can only do so much and my purpose is to trust in Him for all things great and small.  So, along with courage and strength, I must believe that Jesus is my Savior, He knows the plans He has for me and my family, and I must trust Him and let the rest go.  I'm not in control and losing sleep never helps anyone.

I hope this day finds you well and that you are learning to draw closer to our Lord.  Believing and trusting in Him are the first steps to being His and they continue to be vital steps in growing our faith and in abiding in Him.  I'm sure like me, you are a work-in-progress.  Thank goodness He listens!

Psalm 56:3 NKJV:

     Whenever I am afraid, I will trust in You.

Psalm 56:11 NKJV:

      In God I have put my trust; I will not be afraid.  What can a man do to me?

Nahum: 1:7 NKJV:

     The Lord is good.  A stronghold in the day of trouble; and He knows those who trust in Him.

My prayer today:

O, Lord, once again I tossed and turned over things I can't control.  I know better and yet, I seem to find myself worrying senselessly over things that just don't matter.  I ask today that You would forgive me for believing I have control over any of this life.  Please take the wheel and steer all of us in the right direction.  You have taught us over the last week about courage and strength and then I lose trust in myself and You.  You are the only one that any of us needs to trust.  You are trustworthy, good and fair.  You know the plans You have for each one of us and I just pray today that we would rest in You.  Every time I worry, I want to kick myself.  I even find myself asking, why?  Especially when I know You are near and that History has shown Your way is the best way.  I love You Lord and trust that You will be with all of us as we go through this life.  Take away our worries and replace them with Scripture we can hold onto today.  I believe in You, I trust in You and all I ask is that You continue to make me bold!  Trust comes from faith and therefore, I stand on faith today and ask that Your plan be fulfilled and that my thoughts and actions represent You!  You are mighty in all things and I bow down to You today.  In Jesus name, AMEN

Until tomorrow....

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

January 15, 2013

Good morning all-

I woke up thinking about who I believe is the most courageous person that ever lived.  You might thinks it's someone famous or a family member but it's Jesus!  I had a very courageous mother who fought to stay alive for her grandchildren.  I had a courageous father who worked and provided for his family, while allowing his wife to stay home and raise the family she so loved.  I had a brother who would do anything for anyone and when his time came his friends were courageous and brought him off a mountain.

I have known or heard of many courageous people.  We have police officers, firefighters, armed forces and just regular citizens that have been heros.  Recently, we had administrators of a school and teachers that demonstrated to us what good looks like.  They lost their lives saving the children they so loved.  These are pictures of courage, of fighting against adversity and doing what God gave us to do in this world.  The picture doesn't always look like victory, especially when there is loss of life but there is to Jesus.

Jesus knew long before He would hang on the cross what His fateful day would look like.  He wandered the streets of Nazarene knowing that one day He would face His execution and die on a cross for a crime He didn't commit.  He knew that His father would make Him fulfill His destiny and He knew that Satan would tempt Him until He did.  I don't know too many men or women that given a prophesy of death would take it at face value, more than likely they would run away from it.  For the most part, we are scared to die, to face torture, brutality and death.  I wouldn't call us weak but if given a choice, we would rather die without knowing what happened.

Jesus knew everything and even though He was God there was inner struggle.  In the Garden at Gethsemane, Jesus called to His father to take His cup.  He knew what was going to happen and the man took over.  No man wants to go to prison, be beaten and hang on a cross.  We don't even like it when we have uncomfortable circumstances let alone be tortured, condemned and destroyed for a crime we didn't even commit.  Jesus could have saved Himself that day.  He had the power to do it, instead, He chose to give His life for us.  That is courage, that is strength, that is love.

Like you, I have questioned God.  I have wondered how good people can have bad things happen.  But I always go back to this point, Jesus could have saved Himself, yet He chose to die on the cross with murderers.  He didn't take the easy way out, He took the path of most resistance.  He wanted us to know what good looked like and He wanted us to remember that courage comes from faith.  Not faith in ourselves because we aren't that brave.  We must have faith in Him and then He gives us the strength and courage to move mountains.

I know what faith it takes to be strong and courageous.  There were days during my loss that I wasn't sure I could even get up.  I can remember the first time my phone rang at 6 am after my mom died.  It scared me to death.  For over 21 years, she had called me every morning at 6 am.  Can you imagine?  And one day, it was gone.  The phone didn't ring anymore and my best friend was gone.  Life changed for the Israelites the day that Jesus died.  His followers no longer had Him to steer the boat.  They were found huddled, scared and ashamed.  They didn't know what it meant to live without Him.  Jesus knew and revealed Himself to them.  He gave them the Holy Spirit to guide them while He was in Heaven.  Even in the face of terror, Jesus could be counted on to give His people strength.

I'm working on being strong in Christ and I hope you are too.  Fear unfolds nasty things in us like: worry, disbelief, and weakness.  Jesus is our rock and we can count on Him in any storm.  Our courage is right where He always has been, we just need to believe.  Faith isn't easy.  It wasn't meant to be.  We will endure trials, we will see tough times and we will have to die to ourselves to be His.  If you've accepted Jesus then you know exactly what I mean.  We are His to do what He wants.  Just like in the days before Jesus died, God stipulated the events that would unfold and in a garden Jesus accepted His terms.  Be ready my sisters for our days are numbered and our path is set.  We must be ready to be warriors and we must prepare to be courageous and strong.

Mark 14:36 NKJV:

     And He said, "Abba, Father, all things are possible for You.  Take this cup away from Me; nevertheless, not what I will, but what You will."

My prayer today:

O, Lord, I leave today with these words on our lips.  We wish for Your will not our own.  We know the only way to be courageous and strong is to fulfill Your will on our lives.  Please help us understand our path today.  Please write these words on our hearts!  In Jesus name, AMEN

Until tomorrow...

Monday, January 14, 2013

January 14, 2013

Good morning all-

This morning I woke up with one thing on my mind, what does it mean to be strong?  The world would tell you it's a hard person who can fire, lead, and be brutal.  They would also say it was someone that could lift hundreds of pounds.  Possibly it's a single mom who raised her kids alone, while working three jobs or someone that shows no emotion.  All these examples are what we believe strong looks like.  It's the picture we place in the forefront of our minds to illustrate what strong looks like and yet, I'm not sure that's what strong means at all. explains strong in five ways but for today we are just going to use the 5th.  It states strong is, "of great moral power, firmness, or courage: strong under temptation."

Interesting, you can be strong in physical nature and strong in mental capability and then you can be strong in spirit.  Yes, there are lots of definitions for strength but I like the one where we need Jesus.  I like the one that says we can fight temptation, be firm and have courage.  These are the attributes God is calling us to have today.

I'm known to be a strong person, not physically but mentally.  I don't cry a lot, I make decisions faster than most men and I don't need a lot of coddling.  I'm rarely super emotional unless I'm upset with my teenager and I can take a situation and problem solve it to death.  I think more like a man but I am definitely a woman.  The key is I'm just seen as being strong but underneath all the layers I know my strength comes from Him not me.  He has been my rock since the day I said, "Yes."  He has stood by me while I have made stupid mistakes and He has sat by me while I mourned alone the loss of those I loved.  He has been my foundation for living and when I can't get out of bed, He lifts me up and I am back making decisions and fighting the good fight.  I'm not as tough as everyone thinks but I do have a maker that is tough, that fights my battles and gives me courage to partake in life.  Without Him, I would have been lost many times but with Him I am strong.

The theme of the last week has been on courage.  In order to have courage we must be strong, not by ourselves, but through Him.  He is the reason we are here and He will lift us up when we need strength.  We do not become who we are without the help of Jesus.  We may inherently believe that we are powerful but without Jesus we are weak.  I love to remember that when I think I have everything under control and often, if I don't relinquish it, I find Jesus reminding me.  Only He has everything under control, only He holds the keys to eternity and only He can give us strength.  Thank goodness!

2 Timothy 2:1 NKJV:

     You therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.

Ephesians 6:10 NKJV:

      Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.

Psalm 136:12 NKJV:

      With a strong hand, and with an outstretched arm, for His mercy endures forever.

My prayer today:

O, Lord grant me Your everlasting strength.  Hold me and keep me all my days as I worship at Your feet.  You are the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords.  Who should deceive you?  No one because You are the God that has lasted through time. You have built towers for men.  You have built strong walls that could not crumble.  You have protected cities and nations, while men tried to burn them. You are our stronghold.  We must trust in You for all that is good.  Our lives depend on You giving us strength to endure the end times.  So today, we walk in Your presence, we read Your word and we are in awe of who You are.  We count on the fact that You will raise us up to be strong in You.  For our strength is not in us but it resides in You.  We want to be strong in You Lord, strong in Your grace and strong in Your hands.  There is no place we wish to be more.  You are all we need and people all over the world are coming before You this morning telling You so.  We want to die to our flesh, repent of our sins and have You wash us clean as snow.  Give us strength to be obedient and to love others as You have called us too.  I'm thankful for every minute we have together and I come before You praying for those that are weak, give them strength and bind them with Your everlasting presence.  We are a fallen world that needs our Savior, come today my Lord and bless Your people.  In Jesus name, AMEN...

Until tomorrow...

Sunday, January 13, 2013

January 13, 2013

Good morning all-

I'm on my son's computer today so we'll see how my typing goes.  As usual, I have made my coffee and am ready to write to you today.  I'm going to stay on the same theme because when God prompts me; I want to listen.  I don't know why I need to be courageous and strong but He does.  He wants us all to be, so I thought I would give you some more Scripture to get you through the week.

It's amazing to me how Scripture provides peace to our soul.  Whenever I'm truly full of fear, walking in desperation or totally out of control inside, I know I haven't read enough, prayed enough or spent enough time on my knees.  I'm sure you would agree that only when we are at His feet do we truly feel peace.

The question today isn't whether we understand God; it's are we willing to spend time with Him to be fed?  Our lives in the US remind me of a train going from New York City to San Francisco, non-stop and at a hundred miles an hour.  We have to slow down, look at the beauty and the wonder around us and contemplate the beauty that was sent for us by God.  Otherwise, life is just a moving picture, rarely enjoyed and often, wasted.

That's how I perceive our lives without Christ and without His word.  It is meaningless.  You may have the same things as your neighbor, you may give of your time to charities and people and you may be very good at organizing your life but if you haven't sat down and read something in the Bible, you really missed out.  The Bible is full of wisdom, beauty and love.  The picture of Jesus at the cross is just one example of the transparency God had for our lives.  He wanted us to see the beauty of His love and the selfless way we should live.  Jesus gave His life so that His story would live in the hearts of many generations after He was gone.  He didn't do it just for that moment thousands of years ago.  His life story is about living strong, living courageous and living for God's will, not His own.

I read Scripture now to get a sense of who I am in Christ.  If I'm going down a slippery slope of self-pity, I pull out the Bible and look for ways to remember that my life is no different than Christ's.  I was put on this earth with a God-spoken purpose.  He wants all of us to realize that we are part of the story.   Our lives might not be written on any headlines or in a best seller but our lives are being watched by future generations, peers and perfect strangers.  They look to see how our faith will change and what we will do during trials.  They watch to see if we will give credit to God or to ourselves and they watch to see if we know where our strength comes from.

We are a watched generation.  If we aren't in the Word, how will we minister to the lost?  Part of being strong and full of courage is understanding what God has for our lives, speaking clearly about Christ and knowing that He is directing us.  I will never be strong in myself but I can always be strong in Him.

Times are tough all over the world and my heart cries for the lost, the broken and the destitute.  It cries for the beaten and the broken and especially for women that are being tortured and raped.  We have areas in the world where women are useless pieces to be killed.  It is a shame that we must stand in trials like this, where men are being deceived.  We were created for them by God.  We came from them and have continued to be made for them.  We are partnered together to provide a strong bond in marriage for populating the world.  We are significant warriors of Christ, maybe that's why evil has taken over and women are being persecuted.  For many of us, we live in places where this isn't the norm.  We are equal in society but behind closed doors unspeakable crimes are happening and those women have to be silent, strong and courageous.

I have experienced what it's like to talk to someone that was beaten down, who believed she deserved it and in the end, God did release her from her abuser.  It doesn't always happen that way but that's why I call all of us to pray for our men and now, I'm asking all of us to be strong and courageous.  We need to fight through prayer for those that can't fight for themselves.  We need to understand as women how much God loves us, not just when prayers are answered but when they aren't.  It might take ten years before we see the results of prayer but we need to stand firm and rely on God to work miracles as we grow to know Him more.

Part of my journey has been to realize who I am in Christ and not to be afraid of others that would criticize me for what I believe.  It hasn't always been easy but the more I read, the more I see myself through God's eyes.  I am far from perfect and on daily reflection I have to repent but the one thing I know is that Christ is in me and I am His.  I don't have to go looking for my strength in other places because I know that when I sit with Christ; I will find Him.  My life is His and I am willing to give it to Him for the relationship I now have.  He is my maker and I am His chosen child, broken but not crushed.

I'm praying for all of us and asking God to lift us up and make us more than we have ever been before.  He needs to make us strong and courageous.  Just like the eagle that sits on the crag, I'm waiting for Him to reveal to me the many wonders of this life.  Stay strong my sisters and spend time in the word and prayer, He is near but you have to go before Him.  All the food in the world won't make our bellies full if we don't have the manna that comes from His word.  We need Him to feed us, water us and be with us, in order to do His work.  I hope today finds you well and as always may God bless you today.

1 Corinthians 16:13 NKJV:

      Watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong.

Deuteronomy 31:7 NKJV:

     Then Moses called Joshua and said to him in the sight of all Israel, "Be strong and of good courage, for you must go with this people to the land which the Lord has sworn to their fathers to give them, and you shall cause them to inherit it."

Matthew 11:28-30 NKJV:
      Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For My yoke is easy and My burden is light."

My prayer today:

O, Lord, Your comfort is all I need.  I love to sit at Your feet to see what Your will is on my life.  I know that I am weak but You are strong.  As You minister to each of us, lay Scripture on our hearts thatwill  minister to us and that will minister to Your people.  We are a piece of Your gigantic puzzle and we are blessed to be led to You.  There are times in this journey where we are distant, weak and full of selfishness.  We come to You today asking You to feed us with enough manna to be strong and full of courage for the task ahead.  You are the Savior, come to earth to save us from our sins.  You depleted our enemy by shedding Your blood and all You ask is for us to love You and follow You all our days.  And yet, like sheep, we wander with no true direction, so today, we ask You to lead us in the right direction and to feed us with wisdom and strength.  We are Yours to do Your will.  Please speak to us today through Your mighty word and give us the courage to speak Your name all over the world.  We are waiting for Your coming but until that day, be with us as we seek You.  Help us memorize Your word so that we can be the mighty warriors You need to free Your people.  We thank You for every living person and for every country around the world.  Forgive us for our weakness and lift us up to be known by You.  We love You Lord and are looking for You in this gigantic, chaotic world.  Free us from ourselves and grant us Your friendship for all our days.  We are in awe of You!  In Jesus name, AMEN

Until tomorrow...

Saturday, January 12, 2013

January 12, 2012

Good morning all-

I've been thinking a lot about being courageous and strong.  What does it really mean?  To be courageous is to be brave.  That means we have to face our fears, fight with a passion and believe in ourselves and our maker.  We were commanded in Joshua 1:9 to be courageous and strong.  Ever since I placed those words on this blog the passage has stuck in my mind.

I can't seem to get that portion out of my head.  I have meditated on it for a week and it just keeps popping up.  There are so many scenarios I have thought of where Joshua 1:9 pertains to my life and others I know.  It has me thinking about what it takes to be courageous when your job tells you they don't need you anymore or you go to an interview with the expectation of getting the job and they say they picked another candidate.  How do we face our fears?  Do we back up and say, "God's not with us."  Or do we choose to believe in the face of adversity that He has our back; that He knows what's best for us?  These are all things I have thought about this week.

I'm in sales so if you know anything about sales people they have to be strong minded, persevere and love rejection.  People say "no" all the time.  As a matter of fact I hear no more than I hear yes.  It's just the nature of the beast.  Sales people live and die by their numbers.  I have watched strong people crumble because they didn't meet goal.  More than likely that's because they fear losing their job.  Sales people have the potential to make a lot of money but if they don't perform, there goes the job.  It's a hard career and it takes a special kind of person to fulfill their obligations every day.

Throughout my career, I have had moments of great fear, whether it was because of performance or just layoff's.  I have feared whether I could put food on the table, provide for my children and keep my job all in the same breath.  I know what it's like to face a giant and want to run.  I have encountered wonderful people and I have met horrible people.  I have faced adversity with a smile and then crumbled after.  I am not a great warrior like David and yet, maybe I am.  I have continued to move through difficult times, entrusted my future to Jesus and when all else fails, including me, I get on my knees and ask God for courage and strength.

Maybe you know someone like that.  Someone that has faced adversity and found victory in getting out of their own way and letting Christ fill them with courage and strength.  Bravery is not something we can practice, its something that is given to us through the Holy Spirit.  It is our belief in our maker and the fulfillment of His will over ours.  I admire acts of courage, we all do.  I love to hear stories about men and women that have fought the good fight.  We admire those that have lost their lives for what they believe in and we welcome great warriors with open arms.  We seek to know those that are strong when faced with giants because we desperately want to be like them.  I'm challenging myself to really ask Jesus what He wants me to learn from this passage.  You have too.  Especially when the Scripture keeps running through your mind.  I have fears and thoughts just like you do.  I have to capture them and align them to Scripture.  But Joshua 1:9 has penetrated my heart and I hope it has yours too.

One of the things God has revealed to me is that we must begin to use Scripture as our weapon to have victory.  Everyone wants to get their information easily.  They want to listen to a podcast or google something, they don't want to delve into Scripture.  Maybe that's because it is confusing.  You really have to pray and ask God to reveal Himself and the words.  I have challenged myself to find Scripture that is pertinent to my thoughts and it has given me more perspective on Jesus then I ever had before.  He does reveal Himself to us and to those around us but it all begins in the Word.  For by the Word, Christ is revealed, not just to us but to all.

I hope this day finds you well and I hope that God has written a Scripture on your heart as He has for me this week.  I know He's near when all I can think about is His word.  Have a beautiful day wherever you live.  May God bless and keep you until tomorrow.

Colossians 3:23-24 NKJV:

     And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ.

Joshua 23:6 NKJV:

     Therefore be very courageous to keep and to do all that is written in the Book of the Law of Moses, lest you turn aside from it to the right hand or to the left,

Psalm 31:24 NKJV:

     Be of good courage and He shall strengthen your heart, all you who hope in the Lord.

1  Chronicles 19:13 NKJV:

     Be of good courage, and let us be strong for our people and for the cities of God.

Deuteronomy 31:6 NKJV:

     Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the Lord your God, He is One who goes with you.  He will not leave you nor forsake you."

Joshua 1:9 NKJV:

     Have I not commanded you?  Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go."

My prayer today,

O, Lord continue to grow Your people with courage and strength.  The Bible is full of passages of being strong and courageous.  You have written Joshua 1:9 on my heart this week so I ask You to continue to grow me in Your word and help others to know You more.  Bring forth the lost to those of us that are learning Your ways and teach us how to love them more.  Your word is the sword we need in an evil word.  For those that are deep in battle, I pray that they would be looking for You, not in people but in the word.  People are fickle and they don't always know what they say but Your word is clear with power and direction for our lives.  I thank You for the words and accounts of those that walked and talked with You.  Be with us today as we seek You and die to ourselves.  We are flesh and You are spirit.  Drive us toward the words that will bring about victory, not just for our lives but for the lives of those that don't know You.  We are Yours to continue to mold and love.  I'm praying that You will forgive us of our sins, wash away our fears and grow us up to be great warriors that will be courageous and strong.  Thank You for all You do and for all You are.  Be with us today as we walk on this earth and lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil.  You are the power behind us and we need You today!  In Jesus name, AMEN

Until tomorrow...

Friday, January 11, 2013

January 11, 2013

Good morning all-

I'm sorry that I haven't written in a few days and probably won't write much today.  It seems I caught the flu, not fun.  Anyway, I left yesterday morning for work at 4 am and got home with the intention to write when  my husband looked at me and said, "You better go to bed."  You know one of two things when they say that, you sound horrible or you look horrible.  So, I did and woke up coughing until I thought my lungs would explode.  Yuk!

But here I am preparing to go to work and all I could think about was thanking God for everything in my life, especially for Delsym, which keeps the cough at bay.  No one likes to be sick but when you are it's wonderful to have the tools to move through it.  That's what made me think about giving thanks to God at 2 am.  I'm very blessed.  I live in a place where I can still get great healthcare, at least for now.  I have all the tools to get medicines over the counter and I live in good conditions where I can rest.  I am blessed.

That thought went through my mind so much yesterday.  I am so lucky to be in God's presence, to live in a place that is secure and to know that in a few days time this flu will pass and I can stand and thank Jesus!  I'm not a good sick person and I typically will try to work through it but I am realizing more and more that I must thank God in every circumstance good or bad.  It hasn't come easily and I don't know if I always get it right but for today, I stand on faith that Jesus knows right where I am and I must thank Him for everything, even my illness.

I am not full of many words today.  My head feels like it's going to burst, so I leave you today with Scripture and wish you a blessed day.

1 Thessalonians 1:2 NKJV:

     We give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers.

1 Corinthians 15:57 NKJV:

     But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Psalm 35:18 NKJV:

     I will give You thanks in the great assembly.  I will praise You among many people.

Write your prayer today and if you feel like it comment on this blog with a prayer.  Give thanks to our Lord and may He bless you as you come before Him today!

Until tomorrow...

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

January 8, 2013

Good morning all-

I woke up thinking about hard questions like: "What if everything I loved was taken away?; What if my house and cars were destroyed?; What if I lost a child?"  These are difficult questions and yet, people have these things happen to them every single day.  This year alone we could lose over 7 million children.  Influenza A is everywhere and the hospitals are full of children and adults with upper respiratory distress.  Some will make it and some won't.  The hurricane victims are still trying to figure out where they're going to live, buying cars and trying to figure out how to keep it together.  And when the Joplin tornado hit a couple of years back almost the whole town was disintegrated.  Typhoons have hit, earthquakes have destroyed and Japan had a nuclear disaster.  These are just a few instances in the last few years where major destruction occurred.

In the last couple of months, many people lost their children in Connecticut.  Senseless acts of life are happening everywhere we look.  Iraq is trying to get rid of their President, Iran and North Korea want to use nuclear weapons, and Syria is heating up.  And all I could think about this morning was Job.  He was a true man of God.  He believed that he knew God and that God was faithful and then tragedy struck.  His wealth, home, possessions and children were all taken from him.  He was left with a nagging wife, unfaithful friends and a disease no one knew how to cure.  He suffered and still he believed.  I admire that kind of true faith.  It's rare, even today.  It's hard for us to plant our feet on bedrock, often I find myself on sinking sand and then God reminds me that He is consistent, never wavers and all I have to do is align my will with His.  I don't have to understand the "Why?"  I probably will never know.  So instead, I must walk in faith, plant my feet, and look towards the Bible for comfort, for truth and for direction.  I love my friends and I love to mentor others but at the end of the day, I must go to Jesus.

God comforted Job in the end.  He restored his riches and gave him more children.  He showed Job that through all his suffering He was right there.  Did he deserve to be tested by Satan?  Deserve is a hard thing to contemplate.  The more important question is, because Job suffered and God revealed himself and restored him, do we have a story to uphold us in our darkest hour?  Yes we do.  I have constantly heard my friend Michelle say, "I am Job."  There are lots of people that can say the same thing.  Although her marriage is strong, she has a beautiful roof over her head and her children are living, she continues to battle her loss of hair but more importantly, her faith.  I totally get it.  It's hard to tell someone that you have questioned God over and over again and it's hard to be the one to lift up your friend when she's down.  It's just hard to be stretched and stretched until you think you will never be the same again.  Maybe that's why God tells us not to test Him in anything but money.  Giving money is an act of obedience, it's really not for Him, it's for us to remember that everything we have belongs to Him.  But our lives are His to do with what He wants, when He wants and that is a tough lesson for all of us to learn.  He loves us and that's why He continues to grow us so that our feet are on bedrock.  Bedrock is tough all you have to do is watch a drill go through it and see it spewing rock out. Bedrock has lasted through every change the earth has gone through.  So, in essence, our faith has to get there for us to be solid, steadfast and seeking.  Without it, our feelings will take control.

I have always dealt with fear and questions.  Only in the last couple of years have I been able to say to myself that the control belongs to Jesus.  No matter how hard I try; I have no control.  It has diminished my worry and slowly but surely my feet are starting to be on bedrock.  I'm not all the way there yet and probably never will be; but Jesus has stretched me and shown me that He is my Shepherd.  I don't know what tomorrow holds and really I don't want to know.  I want to take today and see what He has in store.  If I look past today worry and fear will surely come.  So instead, I am learning to trust in Him, seek Him and meditate on Him.  It's not about how I feel but about who He says He is.

I hope you do the same and I hope today finds you well.  We are all a work in progress and thank God for that.  Many blessings my sisters.  As I was sitting watching my son's basketball game, I was searching for Scripture and this one popped out.  I researched what a crag is and its a solid piece of rock that is high and wide where eagles can sit and look over the land.

Job 39:26-28 NKJV:

      "Does the hawk fly by your wisdom, and spread its wings toward the South?  Does the eagle mount up at your command, and make its nest on high?  On the rock it dwells and resides, on the crag of the rock and the stronghold.

This Scripture really says it all.  It's one I want to memorize so that when I stumble I know who is in control.

My prayer today:

O, Lord, thank You for coming before us in Scripture.  There are times I read it and You come out of the pages.  I see You ruling over the earth and heaven and I wonder what it will be like to be with you. Time will only tell but until then, I want to teach  my sons and future generations the power of the Holy Word.  In it, You have given us insight to Your thoughts and Your ways.  We can look back at former kings, young men and women and Job to see the path You carved for each one.  Women all over the world are coming before You this morning, they may be seeking, crying or just praying.  You know who they are.  Please write this Scripture on their hearts and make Yourself be known.  Help us to lift up the lost, to see beyond ourselves and look for the coming of Your kingdom.  We live in a world that likes success, possessions and peace but we rarely do what we need to do.   For those that give of themselves, I pray that You would bless their days here.  And for those that give time to children, I pray that You would lead them so that they can lead the next generations.  Our churches need You Lord, Our schools need You Lord, Our leaders need You Lord, please come into them and reside in them all Your days.  I want to be the eagle, watching on high for my pray, vigilant and hungry for Your word and to understand the evil that lurks at every corner.  I take Your command seriously to love my neighbor and to be there for others.  I pray that I would stay steadfast on the rock of salvation and that You would lead me to women that need You.  Make us strong mind, body and soul.  In Jesus name, AMEN.

Until tomorrow...


Monday, January 7, 2013

January 7, 2013

Good morning all-

With the new look and the new year,  I thought it important to ask a new question.  Is God with you wherever you go even when you can't see Him?  My answer is yes.  Joshua 1:9 says, "Yes."  So can you say, "Yes?"

It seems like a straight forward question but I have questioned it from time to time, I have friends that question it from time to time and I know that anyone who has suffered a major tragedy has questioned it.  It's part of life.  When things aren't going our way or we can't make sense of what's happening, we think God doesn't hear us, isn't with us and doesn't care.  I think He cares more in the silence.  What we see later is the numbers of people that took the time to be there for us.  This life is one big puzzle and I doubt very much that the God of the Universe is going to piece it all together so we can understand everything He is doing.  As a matter of fact, He tells us, "His ways our not our ways and His thoughts are not our thoughts."  So, why then do we have to have answers?  Because we're human and if we can't touch it, feel it or see it, we just don't believe it.

It's kind of like aliens for me.   I have never seen one, no one can prove that they exist, yet, people believe in them.  How do I know if God has another universe of strange creatures millions of miles away?  I really don't.  All I know for sure is the that the prophets of old prophesied that a baby would be born to a virgin.  Jesus did come as a baby born to Mary and died on a cross at 33.  That's a fact.  He did walk with numerous people, healed wherever He went and spread the word of God.  He gave us the Holy Spirit upon His resurrection to direct us but never, in all the time that He was here, did He tell us we would have all the answers.

Even the men that walked with Him did not truly understand what He meant when He called them to His side.  Many of them were persecuted, John was beheaded and Peter was stoned.  But they left their lives to follow Him and I doubt any of them ever regretted it.  When they came with Him, they didn't know the miracles they would see, the people that would be healed or the masses that would come to know Him. They blindly went and left everything behind.  He commanded them to stay with the Gentiles, which for a Jew was like saying, "Stay in a community of lepers."

No one knew what the puzzle would look like in the end.  Think about Abraham.  He trusted God not to make Him sacrifice Isaac and yet, He was going to the mountain to do just that.  He didn't know what the piece looked like and I doubt He really wanted too.  He had waited for this child for a very long time and still He was willing to follow God blindly.

I am a person that likes to solve things.  I love to fit pieces in to see if I can perfect a method, a system or a person.  It's fun to look at what's before you and put it together.  The problem is we don't have the tools to see the future or to second guess what Jesus is doing.  He is the master planner who is one with His father.  We have guidance through the Word and through prayer but in the end, only one knows our purpose, our future, our destiny.

All we know is what's before us today.  Christ did leave a road map.  He said that He needed people to spread the gospel and to do it throughout the world.  There are missionaries all over the world trying to do just that.  They heard the call and now live in places many of us wouldn't want to live in.  What if you didn't have running water or electricity?  What if there wasn't another person that believed in Jesus for cities?  These are the places our Lord is sending people and these are the people we need to pray for.

If you are struggling with purpose and don't really see God's hand in anything, think about all the things He's done in the past.  Ask Him to reveal to you today His purpose and renew the vision of what He has for you.  It probably won't be fame or money.  Those things are rarely given, not impossible, but I think He has something far better than we can even see.  Loving people, extending our arms out and saying, "I'm here for you and so is Jesus," is far more precious than self-fulfilled success.  Our treasures are really not here on earth, they truly reside in Heaven.  So let's take some time today and think Heaven bound.

Psalm 16: 1- 5 NIV84:

     Keep me safe, O God, for in you I take refuge.
     I said to the Lord, "You are my Lord;
     apart from you I have no good thing."
     As for the saints who are in the land,
     they are glorious ones in whom is all my delight.
     The sorrows of those will increase who run after other gods.
     I will not pour out their libations of blood or take up their 
     names on my lips.
     Lord, you have assigned me my portion and my cup; you 
     have made my lot secure.

Please read this Psalm in its entirety.  It has a lot to say to us today.

My prayer today:

O, Lord, how awesome are You.  I listened yesterday to one of the best sermons I have ever heard and it really made me think of You.  What is my lot?  I could question You all day but I think You would rather have us trust that You know our lot and all we have to do is believe.  Belief for man is difficult and often comes with strings attached.  It's hard to say what puzzles You are creating, manipulating and solving worldwide.  All we know is that we are to look for You, seek You and You promise we will find You.  Many feel lost or downtrodden.  Please lift up Your people so that they can continue to follow the call.  We are tactile in nature.  We love to feel things but sometimes You require us to walk in blindness.  So, I am coming before You and asking that we would walk when we can't see and that You would give us the courage to do the job we were created for.  Only You can give us the tools to succeed and to do our share of the work.  We get distracted easily, depressed, annoyed and yet we can call upon You and You can right our way.  Today is Your day and our lives, just like the disciples, are Yours to mold and make new.  Renew in us a clean heart that is driven by doing Your will.  We love You Lord and are so thankful that You came for us.  In Jesus name, AMEN

Until tomorrow...

Sunday, January 6, 2013

January 6, 2013

Good morning all-

I thought it was time to change up the page.  I hope you like the end result.  It fits with the theme of women everywhere.  I have always loved to look at maps and I thought it was fitting.  Let me know if you like it, I would love to hear from you.

As I was playing around with templates last night, I started to think about God and what He has meant to my life.  I thought of how many times I have called upon Him and realized that my prayer life came from calling on Him so much during a very difficult time in my life.  I also came to the conclusion that my trust in Him, even when I can't see Him, came during that time.  When you're a new Christian God reveals Himself to you in such a powerful way but as you mature in Him, He reveals Himself through the word.  He grows us up and stretches us just like we had to be in order for us to leave our parent's homes. I also thought of all the times I've grumbled, wanted my way, and believed I was never good enough to serve God.  I saw lots of people doing it but my life was a mess, so I know He didn't need me.  Well, I think it's the exact opposite.  When our lives are a mess, He can use us in a mighty way.  Besides young children coming to Christ and remaining in Him, most of the rest of us were or are a mess.  He knew that.  People that don't think their a mess are like the Pharisees of old but you and I know what a mess we are.

This brought me to thinking about who the "Word" came too.  Did you see the list yesterday?  That was exciting to query and see all those names.  They were just regular people, just like me.   They had problems, were ridiculed, were awkward and yet, God chose them to spread the word and to know His love.  Wow!  Ordinary people can do extraordinary things, especially when God is involved.  I would never have dreamed I would be writing a blog, pouring out my innermost thoughts and yet, here I am, for all to see.  The funny thing is it never bothers me.  I rarely think about it and I do worry about what people think.  I guess that I'm growing up, not just in age but in the Lord.  He has taught me through trials that I'm not perfect but that He is.  He has watched over me when He should have given up and He has given me a purpose with more responsibility than I ever thought I would have.  See, I'm not just responsible for praying, reading and repenting; I'm also responsible to not misrepresent Him in anyway.  Talk about scary!

Christ has put on my heart nations of women, not just a community, a city or a state.  He has called me to write so that women in other nations can read and find Him.  I read an article yesterday about a Pakistan teenager that was telling women to get an education.  The Taliban stopped her bus, got in, and began to shoot her.  A bullet did enter her brain but she's still here.  She just was released from an England hospital where it is still undetermined how much brain damage she will have.  She can never go back because the Taliban wants to kill her.  She is so much braver than me.  A young women who risked her life for what she believes in.  I think I can sit in my home, expose myself and write this blog. Don't you?

After I finished changing this template last night, I got into one of my son's apps for his iPad.  It's a daily scripture memorization and I found the perfect Scripture.  I really doubt I found it, more than likely it was revealed to me but it's a Scripture I want to memorize and keep close.  I have said these things to myself and to you but never realized it was in Joshua.  I hope it ministers to you as much as it did to me last night.  With all my heart, I hope this day brings blessings.  I hope that you see God more fully and I hope that this blog is a reflection of my love for Christ.  I'm learning every day something new about our God and I hope you are too.

Joshua 1:9 NKJV:

     Have I not commanded you?  Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go."

My prayer today:

O, Lord, I pray for the women all over the world that need to hear these words.  There are women in countries that are being stoned, beaten and abused.  We have so many abused women here so I know they exist everywhere.  We are asking our Lord to come before us and make us strong and bold with courage.  We are terrified to step out on faith but You command it.  All we ask is that You are with us and continue to love us.  Show us our path as we give You our lives.  Help us memorize Your word so that we have the sword to conquer our fears and to be Your warriors.  We desire to know You more and to see what You will do with the lives of women all over the world.  Help us pray for the men and boys of this and the coming generations.  Give us wisdom to be consistent in Your teaching and to spread the word all over the globe.  We thank You for believing in us and for commanding us to be strong and of good courage.  We need You in every facet of our lives to fulfill Your purpose.  May the Lord of light rain down on us as we spend time with You.  You are our King, Mighty and Powerful.  In Jesus name, AMEN

Until tomorrow...

Saturday, January 5, 2013

January 5, 2013

Good morning all-

Well, we are on our way to a beautiful day in Kansas.  The sun has risen and I got to see it in its full glory.  I woke up around 5 am, went out and got coffee and donuts and back to work on my painting and now my blog.   It should be a whirlwind day today packed with running around, laundry, grocery shopping and everything else I have to do.  I  love the weekends because I get to relax while doing everything that needs to be done, before I start my week.

Have you ever noticed how all the things you have to do in a day can take you away from the one thing we should be doing?  I find that when life is packed I have less time for God, which equates to me feeling more frustrated, harried and often, I don't get as much accomplished as when I took some time to sit with God and study His word.  Our joy doesn't come from how much we get accomplished in a day or how many times we laugh; it comes from knowing who God is and spending time with Him.  Does a painter begin painting without his tools in place?  Does a sports athlete win games if he hasn't gone to practice?  The answers to both of these questions is no.  If you are a painter all your tools must be prepared and ready for you to begin your work.  If you're an athlete you have spent hours in a weight room, in a gym or on a field.  Being an expert at anything takes time and practice.  The skilled always portray their craft as if it's effortless but so much effort has gone into the preparation long before they executed.

That's why we need to be in our Bibles.  It's great to go to church, listen to programs on the radio, read books by leading Christian authors but it's in the heart of the Bible that we learn the most.  People like Beth Moore, Dr. James Dobson and others didn't get to be where they are today without studying the word, praying for God's will and becoming close to their maker.  They have spent hours pouring into the Bible and trying to understand God in His fullest.  Today, we all want the quickest way to be fed, even I struggle with that sometimes.  But the bottom line is the only way to be fed well is to spend time in God's presence.

I'm challenging myself and all of you to think about this and to really take time with God.  I know it's hard when you work or your raising young children but it's essential to our attitude, our heart and our mind.  Starting a day with no food leads to cranky people.  Well, the same can be said about starting our day without God.  How many times have you let God go for a distraction?  I know I have and it always ends up bad.  My attitude is in alignment with my relationship with God.   I realize that more and more. It can be tough to find time in a day to be with God but if you sat down to watch a program, got on line to look at Pinterest or any other distraction; you had a few minutes to sit and read some Scripture.  I have found the more I start the day with God the better my attitude has been, even when negative things have creeped into my day.  I rebound quicker, find peace easier and really see my maker at work in my life.  I'm a work in progress and always will be.  The Lord knows that and continues to grow me as I continue to seek Him daily.  If we don't seek, we definitely can't find.

I guess the most important lesson for any of us to learn is that spending time with Christ equates to us having a more meaningful life.  I think about David a lot and realize it was his constant reaching out to God that saved him even when he made bad decisions.  His bravery came from knowing God.  His faith came from walking with God daily and his prayers came from loving our Lord.  We have the Psalms that represent joy, sadness, loss, faith, mercy and love.  All these essential things packed into one man's journey with his God.  Back then, David and his people only had the 10 Commandments, now we have a whole book filled to the brim with wisdom, love, patience, kindness, sacrifice, mercy, faith, trust and hope.  All we need to do to receive it is to build a relationship moment by moment with the Lord.  I'm not dictating an amount of time because that's not what building relationships is all about.  In order to build a relationship we take the time to invest to have it.  So, it will be up to you how much time you spend with God.  I'm just asking that we all think about it and do it.  There are millions of people that need a Savior and those of us that know Him must be fed by Him or we will be worthless to the lost.  How do you explain loving someone if you haven't spent any time with them?  It's hard.  If you love someone you invest.  Let's invest in Jesus today and watch the day become more meaningful!

May God bless you and keep you today.  I'm praying for the nations and for all the generations.  Our faith can lead many to Christ, we just have to prepare, believe and let Jesus do the rest!

2 Samuel 22:47 NIV84:

     "The Lord lives!  Praise be to my Rock!  Exalted be God, the Rock, my Savior!

Psalm 62:2 NIV 84:

      that your ways may be known on earth, your salvation among all nations.

Psalm 18:2 NIV84:

      The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge.  He is my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.

Acts 19: 20 NIV84:

      In this way the word of the Lord spread widely and grew in power.

There is power in the word of God.  Take a moment and look up "The word."  There are a ton of references and the word came to Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Isaiah, Solomon, Zechariah, Haggai, Elijah, Nathan, Moses and on and on.  That's a ton of people that the word came too.  If the word came to them, then the word can definitely guide us.  There is power in the word of God.  That's why we are so distracted.  If we can be distracted from it, our power diminishes.  Just a thought! Have a great day!

My prayer today:

Thank You, O, Lord for giving us the tools to be excellent.  We are forever a work in progress being perfected by You.  We realize that in order to truly know You; we must spend time with You.  The Bible provides a workbook with stories to help guide us in a lost world.  We cling to the Scriptures and ask that as we read them; you will reveal the true meaning.  Give us the passion to seek You daily and to fulfill Your will on our lives.  We are like sheep, wandering and distracted.  Herd us and make us Yours.  Thank You for never leaving us and for knowing right where we are with You.  Today, we pray for the nations and the women that will be leading generations to come.  Help us have victory in our lives, our marriages and in our families.  Give us a heart for others and show us how we can make a difference in this fallen world.  We are not the leaders of nations but we are part of Your global army.  Give us wisdom and a heart that yearns for You always.  Build us up and provide the tools we need to be victorious.  We want to stand with You on the rock of salvation for eternity.  Give us courage, time and a will that aligns with Yours.  We come before You today thankful that we have a Savior that loves us all our days and who invests in our lives today and for all eternity.  We praise Your Holy Name,  In Jesus name, AMEN

Until tomorrow...