Saturday, January 31, 2015

You were made for this time...

Good morning all-

Have you wondered why you are going through a major trial?  Have you thought life can't get much worse?  Have you sent cries to our Father for His mercy?  And when you didn't get your way, did you walk away from Christ?  These are hard questions but if you're like me, all these questions have been asked and you have contemplated walking or maybe even running because those times of great distress, you heard no answer.  Well, it's time to stop and breathe.  It's your time to walk with Christ and stand still and it's our time to stand in the gap and watch God move.

We are a powerful sisterhood.  We are full of faith and failure.  We are weak but strong in Christ.  We are His bride!  We are the children of Abraham and Sarah. We are part of God's promise. We are scattered from East to West.  We were created for such a time as this.  By the power of the Holy Spirit we will unite and seek a Father that has continually fulfilled those promises and as we seek Him we will find Him.  Our mission is not to be about ourselves but to be about others.  Our purpose is to tell the world that we were saved and they can be too.  How can we dream this big?  How can we believe this much?  Because thousands of years ago God sent His only Son to die for us and to become the Holy Trinity.  He wanted His cup taken but God didn't.  Moses wanted to be relieved of his duties but he wasn't.  What comes out of our fear and our faith?  Great things when we trust in the Lord with all our heart.  I have been redeemed and so have you.  Let's step out on faith, cry out to God and watch as He does wonders in our midst!

How long, Lord? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me? How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and day after day have sorrow in my heart? How long will my enemy triumph over me? Look on me and answer, Lord my God. Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep in death, and my enemy will say, “I have overcome him,” and my foes will rejoice when I fall. But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation. I will sing the Lord’s praise, for he has been good to me. (‭Psalm‬ ‭13‬:‭1-6‬ NIV)

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Can something that seems so bad really be a blessing of God?

Good morning all-

As I was reading today something jumped out at me in Scripture.  I have been reading Genesis and the story of Joseph and his brothers.  It seems to me that the betrayal of his brothers would have bred hate in his heart.  They were cruel and selfish and full of hate for their brother.   Joseph in his humanness should have been angry, hurt and full of revenge but instead he was full of forgiveness. How is that?

I have asked myself the last couple of days if I would be able to forgive so easily.  I guess that's why God picked Joseph out of the brothers to be sold into slavery.  He knew that Joseph loved, had hope and could help a nation through famine.  He was given divine help all throughout his journey.  His brothers on the other hand felt shame and went to him saying, "We are your slaves."  Joseph's response was incredible.  He said it was his mission for God.  God knew out of bad would come good.  It was planned and yet, what they did was a true act of evil and jealousy.  God used that evil for His own purpose.  He did the same with the Pharisees.  He used their arrogance and fear, which in turn made them want to kill Jesus.  Had they not, we wouldn't have a Savior. The picture of Joseph in Genesis is very true to the picture of Jesus.  One saved a nation from famine and the other saved the world.  Both could have been hurt and full of anger but instead they were filled with forgiveness, purpose and God's divine will for their lives.  If only I could be that hopeful, that full of forgiveness and that guided, don't you agree?

These two pictures remind me that my anger is never justified, that the situation at hand may have a Godly purpose far beyond my wildest dreams and that forgiveness is still the key to our salvation. I'm in awe right now of the love our Father has for us.  Like you, I can get caught in the bad things life has in store but rarely do I look at those events as God's divine will to change the hearts and minds of those that don't know Him.

Through this passage today, I am wondering what God wants me to truly see.  Is it the connection between Joseph and Jesus?  Is it the ability to forgive under the harshest circumstances or is it the power of the cross and God fulfilling His word?  I haven't figured it all out be when you do; please share with me your heart.  For today, I will contemplate Joseph's words and the possibility that God is doing powerful things in Nigeria, Iraq, Iran, and all around the globe.  He's taking ordinary lives and turning them into this generations story of love, forgiveness and redemption.  It's our time to unite and to pray for God's hands to be on His people as we forgive our enemies and call out to Jesus!

Then Joseph said to his brothers, “Come close to me.” When they had done so, he said, “I am your brother Joseph, the one you sold into Egypt! And now, do not be distressed and do not be angry with yourselves for selling me here, because it was to save lives that God sent me ahead of you. For two years now there has been famine in the land, and for the next five years there will be no plowing and reaping. “So then, it was not you who sent me here, but God. He made me father to Pharaoh, lord of his entire household and ruler of all Egypt. Now hurry back to my father and say to him, ‘This is what your son Joseph says: God has made me lord of all Egypt. Come down to me; don’t delay. (‭Genesis‬ ‭45‬:‭4-6, 8-9‬ NIV)

My prayer today:

O, Lord of Isaac and Jacob teach us Your word and help us always have forgiveness in our hearts.  Joseph saw the blessing of being sold, which eventually saved a nation.  He did not want his brothers to be angry at themselves but full of awe for You.  I have said this many times but I need to remember that You always guide us and forgive us.  You are the standard by which we must seek.  Forgiveness can show us our path, guide us to You and help us be warriors for the word. It is with this Scripture today that I will be mindful that out of bad, You saved a nation from starvation.  I am fully in the word, seeking You and all the wisdom You wish to impart.  Bring my sisters to this place and help us unite to spread the gospel all over the world.  Let our love shine across the globe and touch individual people as we ask for forgiveness and give it freely.  I delight in Your word and in Your presence.  Please take the events that seem so bad and make them into blessings.  In Jesus Name I pray, AMEN

Until tomorrow...

Saturday, January 24, 2015

What's in a verse?

Good morning all-

Well I finally memorized my first verse and I have to say the last two lines really stumped me but with some Holy Spirit help and looking at it for a few days; I did it!  I am so grateful to God for helping me achieve one of my hearts desires.  I always said I didn't have time but with one son getting married and the other taking care of himself; I have plenty of time to memorize scripture, read my Bible and write my blog.

This is a huge accomplishment in my Christian walk.  I have the ability to find Scripture and to know exactly where I want to go but to memorize the word of God, that's been elusive.  I remembered back in the days when I had to write five papers in a week and if I wrote my bibliography notes on an index card, I could find it easier then looking for it on my computer.  I memorize things much better when I write them down and when you are writing a twenty page paper, it's best to know where your information is.  So that's what I did with this verse.  I wrote it and then every day I sat down with my Bible application and looked at that Scripture until I knew it and today was the day.  Just as I was going to get my iPad to read some verses, I remembered not half of it but all of it.  I'm praising God right now!

It's important that we try to memorize Scripture.  There may be a day that we won't have access to a Bible or an electronic app.  Christians are not really standing up for the right to read their Bibles or speak the word in public.  Every other group is but not us.  We would rather closet ourselves with our Christian friends than participate in a march on Washington for religious freedoms.  Maybe that's because we believe we have them.  But do we?  The ten commandments have been taken out of courthouses, a coach is fired for giving a Bible to a child and we wonder why our world has gone crazy.  Religious freedom is what this country was founded on but if we took, "God We Trust," off of our money, I'm not sure anyone would even care.  It is no coincidence that the US is hurting right now.  We have given away our rights to express our views.  Every other religion has more power than us right now and I want to be prepared for the time that we are so apathetic that no one speaks the name of Jesus in public. 

Now you could say, "This will never happen."  I'm sure not one Jew ever believed they would be hurt, tortured and killed.  I'm sure you may even think that the day of hanging someone on a stake or stoning would never hit history again and yet, women and men have been treated this way in foreign countries.  And what about be-headings?  I believe several men just lost their lives to ISIS that way, right?  And finally, what about Christian women going to school being kidnapped and subjected to say no to Jesus and yes to Mohammad?  If we believe this can't happen then we really need to study the Bible.  The world can do anything against Christ so I stand in the gap praying for us to come to Christ with our whole hearts.  I am reading my Bible, taking notes and memorizing Scripture for such a time when I will need His word in my heart.  I hope that time never comes but what about the next generations, how will they sustain without us teaching and preaching the word of God?  They won't unless we unite today for one common goal.  We must be prayer warriors and have a strong belief that the words of the Bible will be fulfilled.  We must be strong enough to pray for the events that are taking place, stand in the gap and do what we can to make this world a place where the love of Jesus spreads like a wild fire! So for me, I am going to continue praying, read and memorize and if you are too inundated with life or children or whatever, know I am praying for you too.  And if you just have a few moments, come to this blog and sit at the feet of Jesus.  He knows where your heart is and He will sustain you in whatever part of life you are in.

May God bless you and keep you today as you pursue Him.  Praise God for the right to praise Him and to be free enough to love Him openly!

Please take a moment to read about Joseph who was captured, imprisoned and then became the caretaker of all Egypt's possessions.  Because he was able to interpret the dreams of Pharaoh, he became an entrusted servant all for God.

Read Genesis 41 and experience the wonder of God.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Mark 9:38-41

“Teacher,” said John, “we saw someone driving out demons in your name and we told him to stop, because he was not one of us.” “Do not stop him,” Jesus said. “For no one who does a miracle in my name can in the next moment say anything bad about me, for whoever is not against us is for us. Truly I tell you, anyone who gives you a cup of water in my name because you belong to the Messiah will certainly not lose their reward. (‭Mark‬ ‭9‬:‭38-41‬ NIV)

I will write more later but my battery is down to 3% and blogger didn't save what I wrote.  Blessings to you my sisters!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

I have a dream...inspired by God

Good morning ladies-

I just got done reading one of Martin Luther King Jr.'s sermons to his congregation.  It was devastating, provocative and packed full of holy fire water!  To be honest, I have never read anything more compelling in my life.  It was a time when a black man was scared to walk the streets.  King's time was full of violence and hate.  It is not a misconception that color mattered and that people believed they were better for the color of their skin.  On top of that,war was at the fringes and the atomic bomb had everyone shaking. It was a time of color and of darkness.  It was a time of fear and of triumph.  It was a time of courage and of dreams.  It was vision cast along the sea that would free seventeen million people.  What was that vision?  A man woke up with a dream.  He believed his God was more powerful than the dollar, wealth or possessions.  He believed in acceptance for who someone was and even further, he believed that each one of us had tools to change the world.

It was a powerful sermon, one that every young African-American should read.  In the face of great adversity, one man stood with the faith that moved a mountain.  King changed the course of men and women and he did it all with only one thing in mind, the power of Jesus Christ.  He did it believing that his God was bigger than all the other gods people collected.  He said that people needed Religion because Religion changed us.  He also said that we must accept ourselves for who God made us and use the tools He gave us to change things that were not seen.  Are you heavy laden?  Do you look in the mirror and wish you were someone else?  Are you tired of the roller coaster of life?  Well then sit back and pray the prayer millions of people prayed.  Ask the Lord to help you accept the tools that you have been given and to show you how to use them for such a time as this.

Our times are not much different than the 50's.  We have fear, war and religious tensions.  We have young men doing horrific things.  We watch as the world wonders what ISIS and Al Queda will do next.  We see with our eyes hate, darkness and destruction.  The US alone is running away from Religious freedoms.  We are becoming apathetic in a time we should be screaming, "I Have A Dream!"  Well, I don't know about you but I know that God is inspiring us to take up His cross and even though I have some fear; I'm inspired.  Why you might ask?  Because God has given me tools.  I have a computer, a phone, an iPad and a mouth that can spread the word of God to every women in every nation and all I have to do is write and believe.  He will do the rest.  I know that King believed that because he believed in peace, not earthly peace but God breathed peace. He believed in change and in Jesus Christ and today that dream is reality.  Men and women of color all over the world enjoy freedoms to work together, eat together and worship together.  All because one man took up the cross and said yes to Jesus.

So as I sit here and write, I am more convicted than ever to do the same thing.  Do I have fear?  Sure I do but I have a peace about my path and that peace and this vision are all I need.  God will do the rest and when I'm weary; He's right beside me.  I challenge all of us to be praying about the tools we have been given.  Let's build a tapestry more beautiful than Martin Luther King Jr.'s.  Let's pray for a world where our sons and daughters know the power of the cross and that every country hears the call to our Father. Every knee shall bow the scripture says, so let's spread the word with Holy Fire Water! Are you with me and the heavens proclaimed YES to Jesus!

Come quickly, all you nations from every side, and assemble there. Bring down your warriors, Lord! (‭Joel‬ ‭3‬:‭11‬ NIV)

But Jesus called the children to him and said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. (‭Luke‬ ‭18‬:‭16‬ NIV)

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. (‭Matthew‬ ‭11‬:‭28‬ NIV)

My prayer today:

O, Lord our God, help us to accept ourselves for who we are and to ask you to build us up with the tools you have provided.  Only You can show us how to use those tools for the Kingdom.  So as we stand in this time and in this moment bring forth Your will upon our lives, help us to accept our mission and if it is in Your will, move mountains.  I am inspired today not by the man King was but by the cross that he took up.  In ten years, You used him to start a movement that stands today.  It was a God inspired dream starting with Abraham Lincoln moving to King and now in the hearts of men and women everywhere.  Once again, You are calling Your earthly soldiers to believe in something bigger than themselves, please stand in the gap, give us our tools and lead us to the cross!  May Your spirit capture the hearts of men and women all over the world.  In Jesus name we pray.  AMEN

Monday, January 19, 2015

When I consider your heavens...

Good morning my sisters-

Well it's actually 7:47 pm but I know there is a country where it is morning, so we will go with it.  Today is the celebration of a man that had a dream.  Do you know who I'm referring to?  Many men in the Bible had dreams but this man like Abraham would have a dream that would change men and women's lives forever.  Martin Luther King Jr. had a God inspired dream.  Many may think it was his dream but it was God breathed.  He did march on Washington and he did raise an army of men that fought for equality through peaceful demonstrations.  He believed that there could be equality between races, fast forward to today and an African-American man is President.

Who would have thought that a dream thousands of years ago would lead to a Messiah? And who would have thought that a normal every day pastor would lead a movement that brought equality to the US?  No man did that's for sure.  God inspired Abraham to be the father of all nations and He took a pastor to change a nation.  Hmm.  I wonder what He will do with you and me? Don't you ever wonder what your purpose is?  I do.  When I had the vision to write and to speak to women all over the world, I thought that's never going to happen.  But for over four years, I have written this blog and many nations have jumped on.  God inspired an average person to talk to women all over the world.  What happens next in my journey is up to Jesus but like Martin Luther King Jr. the road is open and the Holy Spirit is rolling.

Tonight I saw old photos of young girls praying.  God was calling young African-American women to pray and support the dream of equality.  These were little girls with the desire to call out to their Lord.  There are young men and women today that have no idea of the sacrifice these children made during a very tumultuous time in our History.  Some even lost their lives for the belief that men of all races could be equal.  I don't think we look back enough and see how History and people have impacted our lives today.  We are complacent because we see men and women of different colors together, when in fact sixty years ago you would never have seen the two in the same room.  God did this.  He made skin just skin and He infused love, respect and equality to the US through one mans' obedience to Him.

My question to all of you is, what dream has inspired you?  When was the last time you considered the heavens of our Father or looked at the placement of the moon and stars?  When was the last time something that seemed impossible became possible with God's divine intervention?  Or when was the last time you considered how much God loves mankind in the face of their sin?  These are the questions I ask myself as I seek to know Him and these should be the questions you ask yourself.

We should all have a dream.  Our dream should be that our children and their children will follow the God of Abraham.  We should pray that they would confess Jesus as Lord and that at every opportunity they would love their neighbor, that's what we should be dreaming of.  I call on all of us that love Him to thank Him for His grace and love and for placing the stars and moon right where we can see them.  He is a faithful God, fulfilling dreams, redeeming people and reminding all of us that He is the reason we live.  I will leave you today with my first memory verse of the year.  I didn't know how much it would inspire me.

When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is mankind that you are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them? (‭Psalm‬ ‭8‬:‭3-4‬ NIV)

Sunday, January 18, 2015

His majesty, is it enough?

Good morning all-

I hope this day finds you well.  I began my day in the Bible.  I love reading the stories of the Old Testament and finding new meaning in each story but I also love the stories of Jesus.  It's through these stories that I see the covenant of Abraham being fulfilled and every time I see a parable; I'm reminded that we were meant to be in relationship with Him.

It's easy for us to get in a routine.  You know, go to church, read our Bibles, pray at every meal and still lose the true meaning of what it means to be in relationship to Him.  There are women right now that think they should not pray for themselves.  There are people that are more in tune with their religion rather than their relationship.  We can all fall into this trap.  We can become skeptical and full of disappointment and yet every time I read a Psalm I'm reminded that my relationship with God is centuries old and began way before I was born.

Here are some things I would like you to think about.  They are:

  • God made a covenant with Abraham that he would be the father of all generations
  • God made a covenant with Isaac that his descendants would inhabit the land 
  • God made a covenant with Noah that He would never flood the earth
  • God made a covenant with Moses to deliver the Israelites from Egypt
  • God made a covenant through Isaiah that a Savior would come
  • God called on men and is still calling on men today to be with Him
  • God fulfilled His covenant through Jesus Christ
The world around us is full of fear.  I watched a women yesterday with her husband that could only see out of the slats of her hood and I wondered, "Is she a human bomb?" Everywhere we look there are things and events we just don't understand but there is one thing that is very clear; we don't need religion, we need a Savior.  That Savior is Jesus Christ and for centuries God has only wanted one thing from us, to love Him with all our hearts, our minds and our souls.  I'm not required to eat certain foods, pray all day long, fast in front of others, bow down to a statue.  My only requirement is to love God and love my neighbors.  If I am in relationship, I will pray on my own, fast in secret and sing the praises of my God.  

If you have a good relationship then you know that in order to continue on that path you must trust, pray and nurture it. How do we do that with Jesus?  We study His word, we repent and we love our God with all our hearts.  It doesn't take hours a day, it takes moments. I'm sure you have a moment for the God that created the world, made covenants with our forefathers and sacrificed His life for ours.  There is no time like the present to begin washing yourself from a religion and establishing a relationship.  Now many of you are part of a religion, great, but if it's not Christ centered move forward and build your relationship with Jesus.

I'm going to leave you with a Psalm today.  As I was reading it, I saw Jesus, stomping out the devil and making us all servants to His crown.  Glory to God in the Highest!  Be blessed today my sisters.

Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! You have set your glory in the heavens. Through the praise of children and infants you have established a stronghold against your enemies, to silence the foe and the avenger. When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is mankind that you are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them? You have made them a little lower than the angels and crowned them with glory and honor. You made them rulers over the works of your hands; you put everything under their feet: all flocks and herds, and the animals of the wild, the birds in the sky, and the fish in the sea, all that swim the paths of the seas. Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! (‭Psalm‬ ‭8‬:‭1-9‬ NIV)

Lord hear our cries, see our hearts and in every moment help us to build a relationship with You that is lasting, that believes and that loves.  In Jesus name, AMEN

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Does God still send Angels?

Good morning all-

I have been on my year journey through the Bible and it has brought new meaning to me.  I have always loved reading the Bible but getting a glimpse this way has been truly a blessing.  Old stories continue to show me new meaning and I think we must never take for granted that we know the Word well.  I have always believed that through the Word the Lord reveals Himself.  Actually, it's scriptural so we know it to be true.  But when I really concentrate on it, I begin to see His meaning in today.  The journey this morning started in Genesis 19 and in it something really stood out to me.  Scripture states that Angels are among us.  It also states that God sent His angels as messengers.  In the Bible, we can see pictures of this like in Genesis 19 and then in the story of Jesus's birth and later in Revelation but something truly amazing stood out to me today that I wanted to share with all of you.

We are in dangerous times and if we aren't vigilant; we will be destroyed in them.  It's more than just the terrorist groups or Mother Nature; it's in our apathy toward Christ.  Our lives are full of Facebook, Twitter and the television.  We spend more time on games on our phones and in social media than we do in the Bible.  I'm part of that too.  The first thing when I wake up I check my work email to see what needs to be done and unfortunately, God comes last.  We must change that mentality and spend time with Him.  How do we counter the bad things that are happening?  We pray.  Millions of people are in fear of their lives because they believe in Jesus.  I just read an Open Door report yesterday that chronicled the persecuted Christian areas.  Part of the watch list is Christians losing ground in professing publicly Jesus is Lord.  If your not aware, search for the Open Door report and see the countries being affected.  Many might astound you.  In a time like ours, we must stand up for the persecuted church.  Do you think the tables can't turn?  Think again.  History repeats itself and all we have to do is look at the beheadings in the Middle East to see that.

Every country is going through hard times and bad things are happening.  Evil is around us and we are becoming more corrupt.  Just yesterday a family member of my husband's posted that "Under God," was excluded in the pledge of allegiance and they were happy.  What is happening?  Well like Sodom we are being torn away from what is right and true.  We are spending time in things rather than on God and we are playing with fire daily.  Our lives have become about ourselves and not about the principles of God.  I'm to blame too.  I had to repent yesterday for some of my thought life and I had to repent of my fear of world events.  My life can't be that important to me.  I must remember that my life, my purpose is for Jesus, not to satisfy my needs. That's a hard one and I'm sure you will all agree we must really pray about losing ourselves and putting Christ first.

Anyway, my point today came from Genesis 19 and something that stuck out so profoundly.  I knew that Lot recognized the angels and that he brought them to his home but did you know that he fed them?  That's what caught my attention immediately.  All through the Bible we see references to their presence but I either forgot about this or just had a God moment.  Are angels among us?  I'm not talking about worshipping angels, I'm just asking the question.  Jesus was the messenger but even upon His death an angel appeared to Mary Magdalene, remember?

I'm not sure how this passage pertains to today but I do know they were fed, they spoke the truth and they destroyed.  They told Lot and his wife what to do and once they were safe, they destroyed an entire city.  God gave them the power to be on earth as men, to walk with Lot and to destroy.  Lot called them, "My Lords."  He knew their worth and their power.  Something to think about in times of great turmoil.  Will God hear the cries of the Christians in Syria, Iraq, and Nigeria?  I am positive they are calling.  Will we call on Him in their times of trouble and ask God to protect His people?  And today as France is standing in the Gap will the Lord show Himself and the power of the cross?

I am not a prophet so there is no way for me to know.  But I can tell you, I am a woman seeking God and asking Him to protect the innocent and change the hearts of the men that carry evil in them.  Today is no different than Lot's day.  We are full of sin and selfishness.  Men want to be God's and it's time we ladies pray for them and intercede for those that can't.  We should praise Jesus for the right to speak the truth and for the freedom to read the Bible.  Someday, that may not be a possiblity.  May God bless you today as you seek Him.

The two angels arrived at Sodom in the evening, and Lot was sitting in the gateway of the city. When he saw them, he got up to meet them and bowed down with his face to the ground. “My lords,” he said, “please turn aside to your servant’s house. You can wash your feet and spend the night and then go on your way early in the morning.” “No,” they answered, “we will spend the night in the square.” But he insisted so strongly that they did go with him and entered his house. He prepared a meal for them, baking bread without yeast, and they ate. (‭Genesis‬ ‭19‬:‭1-3‬ NIV)

The west will only be protected one way and that's through Jesus Christ.  He hears us and we must bow down to Him and pray for all of our countries.  Women, men and children in places like Nigeria and North Korea have no defense.  They are pawns in a cruel game of evil and warfare.  But today, we have a God that can penetrate walls and hearts.  He has the ability to come to men in dreams, to build warriors for the cross and impact lives.  We may be under a terror watch but God has ways to secure us.  I don't know if that means through death or through life but I do know that we were made for this time.  We must ban together as sisters in Christ and pray for the Lord our God's protection and mercy.  Thousands are being killed for believing in Him and once again I am humbled that God cares.  He may not stop the chaos but I truly believe that if we pray, God will provide safe harbor for those that He wants to speak His holy name on earth.  The rest are at His feet praising His name and saying, "Holy, Holy, is the Lamb of God."  Join with me today and thank Jesus for giving us His word, for loving us enough to send angels and for granting favor to those that don't deserve it.  We are truly blessed because we have Christ.  Many don't have the privilege of calling on Him in public.  I do though and so today I profess that Christ is Lord, His sacrifice is our reward!

May God's will be done on earth as it is in Heaven!  AMEN

Saturday, January 10, 2015

The One that knows me....

Good morning all-

First, I just wanted to say that I am thinking about my sisters in France.  I am praying that God would comfort those that lost someone to hate and evil.  I would also like to say that I am praying for France and Nigeria.  It seems an all out war is happening on this earth and all I can do is pray.  The killing is senseless but I guess its part of the history behind Abraham and his descendants.  Men against men. My heart is heavy for your trials, please know I am praying for you.

The confusion of man and his mission is age old.  God promised Sarah and Abraham a son but they thought best and Sarah gave her servant to Abraham.  I truly believe all parties had the best intentions but because of that act an innocent child was impacted.  Even when God was speaking to Abraham about the covenant, he wanted Ishmael to have what Isaac would be given and God said that kings and descendants would come from him too.  Don't you wonder of those descendants now?  Are they part of ISIS, Al-Qaeda?  More than likely they are.  God described Ishmael when He spoke to Hagar about his birth and the description is that of the men that make up terrorist groups all over the world.  He stated, "The angel of the Lord also said to her: “You are now pregnant and you will give birth to a son. You shall name him Ishmael, for the Lord has heard of your misery. He will be a wild donkey of a man; his hand will be against everyone and everyone’s hand against him, and he will live in hostility toward all his brothers.” She gave this name to the Lord who spoke to her: “You are the God who sees me,” for she said, “I have now seen the One who sees me.” (‭Genesis‬ ‭16‬:‭11-13‬ NIV)  

I have to wonder if that wasn't an omen to come and here we are thousands of years later with people that hate anyone that doesn't think like them.  I am praying that the God of Abraham, Isaac and Ishmael will turn these tortured hearts toward him and that the world will know God for who He really is.  None of us have the answers to the chaos that is 2015 but what we can be confident in is that God sees all.  He knew that Sarah had made a grave mistake by not trusting in Him and the consequences were going to be jealousy, anger and sin.  All of these things occurred and eventually Ishmael had to leave Abraham.  Fast forward thousands of years and we have a holy war full of terrorists that want to rule the world.

My only peace comes from prayer and petition to the living God.  My only solace is what Hagar spoke to God as she was fleeing Sarah's unfair treatment of her.  Oh, how I wish to see my king as she did but it's in her words that I find solace.  He is the God that sees me.  He is the God that knows the heartache sin is having on this earth and it's in Him I must put all my faith and trust. So for today, I will continue to pray for my sisters and ask for their protection, their peace and their ability to worship our Father in their minds and hearts.  May the God who sees me, see those that do evil and come for them so that they may know the power of the cross!

I leave you with this mighty Scripture today to meditate on and memorize.  I feel it is the Scripture we should base 2015 on.

“You are the God who sees me,” for she said, “I have now seen the One who sees me.” (‭Genesis‬ ‭16‬:‭13‬ NIV)

My prayer today:

My Lord God, we come before you women seeking a Savior.  We hold out our hands and stretch our thoughts and prayers to our sisters all over the world.  We thank you for your grace and mercy and for the love Sarah and Abraham had for Isaac and Ishmael.  You spoke to a servant girl about her path as the mother of one of your most loved servants and in turn, you provided her with a child that had kings as descendants.  You graced her with knowing You and of seeing You.  As we move forward in 2015, may this Scripture reside in the hearts of women all over the world.  You know us, You see us and we are Yours for all time.  We come to You on bended knee asking for forgiveness for our sins and for every man, woman and child throughout the earth.  We are sinful in nature but Your nature is grace.  As we seek You, we expect to see You, just as Hagar, Sarah, Mary and Mary Magdalene all were blessed to do.  You know us and we are forever grateful for Your presence in our lives and in the lives of those You have chosen. In Jesus name we pray! AMEN

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Christ humbled Himself...

Good morning all-

When was the last time you thought about our Lord's character?  I have started a year long journey in reading the bible and was blessed to read in several books today.  As I approached the New Testament a Scripture jumped out at me and really made me think about character.  My journey started with Adam and Eve and progressed to Paul.  What makes all these characters so dynamic is their triumphs and trials and the lessons they learned from sin and faith.  None of us is perfect and that is clear as you read the Scripture but have you ever wondered why God blessed Adam and Eve with Seth or why Cain was able to go unharmed?  And later, why Paul became a great man of God even though he was responsible for killing hundreds of Christians.  But what I found most intriguing was glimpsing into Christ's character.  We know the stories; we know the results but do we realize the true meaning of what He did for us?  I know for me that my trials sometimes take me away from the true meaning of Christ but it's in our trials we must look upon what God has done for us.  Again, he spared a killers life, gave another child to a sinful couple and blessed a killer of Christians.  Wow!  When was the last time you thought about that?

I find myself thanking God for this time He has given me to slow down, spend more time with Him and really focus on the word.  My mornings have been spent thinking about Him instead of rushing to the office.  2015 will be busy in my world but it will be important for me to believe in Him, to nurture my relationship with Him and to continue to gain access into His thoughts, feelings and direction.  That's going to take dedication and a willingness to be still so that's my prayer this year.

I am going to leave you today with this Scripture.  I think we should all read it and meditate on it for it holds the keys to our journey.  May God bless you as you read His word.

Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death— even death on a cross! Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (‭Philippians‬ ‭2‬:‭6-11‬ NIV)

Thursday, January 1, 2015

It's 2015, will you stay on course?

Good morning ladies-

I just finished the last of my short plan.  I'm planning on doing a longer one but it has been a great journey this last four days.  The word of the day was really more like a statement of perseverance.  During Nehemiah's time the walls of Jerusalem had been battered and many of the doors destroyed.  During his service, Nehemiah felt God prompting him to return to his homeland and rebuild the wall around the city.  So as he prayed, he made a decision to ask the king for time to rebuild along with letters for safe passage and materials and because it was in God's will all was provided.

Spending time in one passage made me do some research of my own.  Nehemiah wrote in the first person so I really wanted to understand his journey.  I did some searches of kings and of the wall to better understand this chapter.  My search took me to the first book which chronicled his prayer and then the rebuilding of the wall.  His prayer is what started a journey of success.  It began with confessing his sins and the sins of his people, it ended with those same people coming together with their sons and daughters to fortify a crumbling wall and re-establishing Jerusalem's security.  I believe it was prayer and repentance that allowed him to stay on course.  He didn't just repent for himself; He repented for his nation and with those prayers and fortitude; He began to rebuild the walls.

The history behind it is interesting because it was a very poor time for those that lived in Israel.  Had the king not granted Nehemiah materials and safe passage, it would not have taken place. History puts the re-build at 52 days.  It would take an army working together to restore a wall like the one around Jerusalem in such a short amount of time and yet, it was done.  Nehemiah believed that God could do great things but he also knew that those things would not happen unless he stood in the gap, prayed and repented for his sins and the sins of others.  His course stayed on track because he did repent and God's plan was fulfilled.  In 2015, we are no different.  We put things in front of God.  We get busy in our jobs, families or personal stresses and God comes last.  I'm one to fall in that same trap.  Last year, due to my busy schedule, I blogged and studied less.  I am going to right my course and really concentrate on prayer and repentance in 2015 along with staying on course.  Many don't believe that God is in control but I do.  Like Nehemiah, we have an opportunity to build and fortify.  It's not a wall; it's a message of grace and forgiveness.  Jesus is real and we are the only ones that can defend the history of the cross.  We don't believe in Him because we're dense.  We believe in Him because He gives us safe passage and the materials to build His church.

So today, I am going to share Nehemiah's prayer to God.  Will you join me in praying for your nation and for all around the world.  We must pray for forgiveness so we can spread the word all over the world.  He is hear and this is our time to proclaim Jesus is in our midst.  I welcome in 2015 with all the wonder and challenge it will bring.  Please pray this with me:

They said to me, “Those who survived the exile and are back in the province are in great trouble and disgrace. The wall of Jerusalem is broken down, and its gates have been burned with fire.” When I heard these things, I sat down and wept. For some days I mourned and fasted and prayed before the God of heaven. Then I said: “ Lord, the God of heaven, the great and awesome God, who keeps his covenant of love with those who love him and keep his commandments, let your ear be attentive and your eyes open to hear the prayer your servant is praying before you day and night for your servants, the people of Israel. I confess the sins we Israelites, including myself and my father’s family, have committed against you. We have acted very wickedly toward you. We have not obeyed the commands, decrees and laws you gave your servant Moses. “Remember the instruction you gave your servant Moses, saying, ‘If you are unfaithful, I will scatter you among the nations, but if you return to me and obey my commands, then even if your exiled people are at the farthest horizon, I will gather them from there and bring them to the place I have chosen as a dwelling for my Name.’ “They are your servants and your people, whom you redeemed by your great strength and your mighty hand. Lord, let your ear be attentive to the prayer of this your servant and to the prayer of your servants who delight in revering your name. Give your servant success today by granting him favor in the presence of this man.” I was cupbearer to the king. (‭Nehemiah‬ ‭1‬:‭3-11‬ NIV)

Can you say Amen?  We can stand in the gap and confess our sins and those of others.  We need to believe just like Nehemiah that God can and will rebuild his church.  There is no time like now to sink our teeth into Scripture, renew our hearts and minds toward Jesus and fulfill His plan for our lives.  Our time is now.  Let's allow History to repeat itself in a good way and pray for the sins of others as well as ourselves.  Christ is listening!