Sunday, May 26, 2013

The Life You Got

I'm honored to be guest posting today over at Encourage 24/7.  For days now I've been trying to come up with something encouraging to write but it just hasn't happened.  So tonight I'm sitting at my desk and praying that the Lord will give me something to say.  I've started a few times and deleted them all.  I've flipped through scriptures....and nothing has hit me.  Until....

Psalm 107:2

Has the Lord redeemed you? Then speak out!
    Tell others he has redeemed you from your enemies.

This verse is for all of us.  As Christians we have all been redeemed and we all have a story to tell.  We need to tell our stories to all that will listen.  All of us are walking....talking....miracles!  You don't have to be a speaker....a writer....a singer....or anything else, other than just you, to tell your story.  

Before I gave my heart to the Lord I did many many things I'm not proud of.  For a long time I regretted that life.  Yes....I knew God had forgiven me but it was so very hard to forgive myself for those things.  Then one day I started realizing that until I forgave myself I wasn't going to really have the life that the Lord wanted me to have.  So....I went back (physically) to a few of the places where life went all wrong....talked to the Lord about them and forgave myself.  For the places I couldn't go back to....I just talked to the Lord about them and forgave myself.  You can never truly be free until you accept your past life and move on into your new life with the Lord.  I heard a line on a movie tonight that fits this well....

The miracle ain't the life you's the life you got!

Sometimes we look back and think about all that we missed because we didn't always do the right things. But, what I have found is how much more the life I have now really means to me.  Since I gave my life to Jesus it's so much fuller and brighter than anything I ever knew before.  The life I have now is the life the Lord had planned for me all along!  The people that mean so much to me now....I may have never known had my life been different. This life I've got now is my miracle!  I have had a crazy, full life and I wouldn't trade it for anything else because now I can fully appreciate all that the Lord has done for and given me.  

When Jesus died on Calvary He set me free from all of my sin and made a way for me to be free!  Jesus did that for all of us.  So if you have been redeemed....Speak out!  Tell the people around you....or the world if your a blogger....your story.   People need Jesus and you just might be the one with the right life story that will show them the way.

until we see Jesus....face to face


Sunday, May 19, 2013

He Brought Me Out

This weekend while reading some scripture I came across Psalm 40.  I read verse 1-3 and thought how familiar they sounded to me.  Not just that I had read them many times was something more....

Psalm 40:1-3

I waited patiently for the Lord;
And He inclined to me,
And heard my cry.
He also brought me up out of a horrible pit,
Out of the miry clay,
And set my feet upon a rock,
And established my steps.
He has put a new song in my mouth—
Praise to our God;
Many will see it and fear,
And will trust in the Lord.

It is the words of the chorus to an old hymn called....He Brought Me Out written by Henry L. Gilmour, 1898.  Here is the chorus....

He brought me out of the miry clay,
He set my feet on the rock to stay; 
He puts a song in my soul today,
A song of praise, hallelujah!

This was a song from my childhod that was stored somewhere in the recesses of my mind....or was it really stored in my soul?  Anyway, I find it so amazing how the Lord brings things back to our remembrance as we need them....even when we don't know we need them....

First I read the verses, then the song was playing in my mind, and I immediately thought about my life and how the Lord has brought me out. 

The definition of the word mire; used as a noun it means a marsh or a bog. As a verb it means to involve or entangle.  That is what satan does to us.  He gets us so heavily and deeply involved in our sin that before we know what's happening we are entangled as if we are a fly caught in a spiders web.  Then we find ourselves sinking....sinking....sinking....until we are so much in a bog that we think we could never get out.  That is just a mind game that the devil uses on us to keep us in our sin.  The cool thing is....

When the Lord gets a hold of us He pulls us up out of that miry clay and does just what the scripture and the song says.  He sets our feet upon the rock (solid ground) and helps us to stand.  He has done that for me.  He steadies me....calms me....holds me....firmly places me in His care!  Then He started replacing all of the old songs I had carried in my soul for so long....with His songs....and fills my heart with praise!   

There are many times when I start letting the evil one take me down a dark path that I try hard to stay away from.  That's when I need to reach up and grab His hand before the bog starts sucking me in.  It's at those times I need to be reminded of where the Lord has brought me from....and where I am today.  The Lord did that for me yesterday when He led me to these verses.  

As the title of the song says;

He Brought Me Out....and He will bring you out too.  

Until we see Jesus....face to face


Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Steadfast As An Olive Tree

Right now....though I should be in bed....I find myself drawn to my computer.  For a few days now I have had many thoughts of things I wanted to share but when I tried my mind would just go blank....then I would sleep.  So tonight I really don't know where I'm going with this.

Lately when I open my Bible I always go to the Psalms.  Somehow they just seem to give me

Psalm 52:8-9

But I am like an olive tree, thriving in the house of God.
    I will always trust in God’s unfailing love.
I will praise you forever, O God,
    for what you have done.
I will trust in your good name
    in the presence of your faithful people.

I found these two verses yesterday and for some reason can't seem to get away from them. I looked up a little about olive trees and found that....An olive tree is known for its tenacity and that it can grow and thrive in just about any soil. 

I looked up the word to be sure of it's meaning and found that  another word for tenacity is steadfastness.  So, if you remain steadfast as an olive tree....or unshakeable in your faith...and trust that God loves you and cares for are going to thrive in your walk with Him.  We just have to do as David did and commit our life to the Lord no matter what circumstance we find ourselves in. 

As I have said before my quest is to have unshakeable faith.  So I think the reason I found this passage  was to show me that I needed to be like an olive tree....tenacious and thriving where ever I am.  With unshakeable tenacious faith growth should long as I'm relying on...and trusting in...the Lord.

until we see Jesus....face to face 

Linking up with Tracy

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Sleepless Nights

Do you ever have sleepless uncomfortable nights?  During one of my recent long nights I opened my Bible and read Psalm 63.  The verses that stuck out to me were 6-8.

I lie awake thinking of you,
    meditating on you through the night.
Because you are my helper,
    I sing for joy in the shadow of your wings.
I cling to you;
    your strong right hand holds me securely.

First, I have to tell you that I was not lying awake thinking of God as the scripture says.  I was praying but probably not in the way this passage is saying....probably more a prayer of desperation.    But, as the night turned to morning my thoughts did go the way of easy more meditative thoughts.  I started realizing that if I kept the Lord in the forefront of my thoughts that rest came easier.  I may not have slept but I did eventually rest.  

When we are going through something that just seems to have no end what is it we should do?  My study Bible says to make it a point to count examples of God's faithfulness.

You know His mercy is so great and really it knows no end.  Our Lord is always holding out His hand to us and if we take it we will find many wonderful things that He has for us.  Some of them are His mighty strength to hold us up and get us to the other side of our problem.

Then I read verse 1 again.

O God, you are my God;
    I earnestly search for you.
My soul thirsts for you;
    my whole body longs for you
in this parched and weary land
    where there is no water.

Life can spiral out of control for many reasons.  When it does I find that I start feeling empty.  I long for something to change how I'm feeling.  In the past I have used many different things to fix this feeling.  None of them worked.  When our whole body....our entire suffering or lacking something....only the Lord can help us.  He can give us rest and comfort when nothing or no one else can.  

Another passage that comes to mind is this....

Psalm 42:1

As the deer longs for streams of water,
    so I long for you, O God.

Everything that has life needs water.  The water that we need most is the Living Water....JESUS.  In the midst of your trial reach out for that living water.  If you reach up for His hand you will find it....even in the night!

Linking up with Tracy at Winsome Wednesday.



Saturday, May 4, 2013

He Gives Amazing Grace

Long days...longer much alone time.  How do you fill it up?

Sitting here this morning I realize that the only way to truly fill it up is with God.  We choose how we fill our lives and He chooses how to fill us up.  He will fill us up with all good things when we make the correct first choice.  That choice can only be one thing...the Lord.  When we choose Him, He fills us with things that we could only hope to find before...

Many times we have to walk through things of this life to truly find the exceptional good things that He has for us...  

We go about our everyday lives taking much for granted.  Everything is good...great even...we are reasonably is comfortable.  Then life happens...different for all.  Within a family it blood family or friend family...we experience many different things.  Things that bind us tightly if we let them.  Good things...great things....extravagant things.  Then on the flip side...things of sickness...tragedies...and sometimes loss...

Through whatever our individual life holds...if we choose...He is there.  With us every step of the way.  Giving us exactly what we need...exactly when we need it.  All of our walks are different.  We don't all go through exactly the same things at exactly the same time...but we all go through something.  I have found through watching others and from my own experience...the only way to get through is God... can make it through without Him...but it's so much harder.  You really have to learn to give to the Lord whatever it is you are going through.  Compared to what many peoples lives are trials are small but still a learning experience for me...

This past week the Lord has allowed me to spend some quality alone time with Him.  There have been moments when I wasn't happy with it at all...and other moments that were good...God good.  As long as He gives me those Amazing Grace filled times with Him...I can go through the rough times with Him...

In the midst of whatever your battle is today...share it with the Lord.  He can give you whatever you need to get you through your battle...take you to the other side of it...and help you to stand when you get there. When you are weak He will give you strength...

2 Corinthians 12:9-10

But He said to me, My grace (My favor and loving-kindness and mercy) is enough for you [sufficient against any danger and enables you to bear the trouble manfully]; for My strength and power are made perfect (fulfilled and completed) and show themselves most effective in [your] weakness. Therefore, I will all the more gladly glory in my weaknesses and infirmities, that the strength and power of Christ (the Messiah) may rest (yes, may pitch a tent over and dwell) upon me!

10 So for the sake of Christ, I am well pleased and take pleasure in infirmities, insults, hardships, persecutions, perplexities and distresses; for when I am weak [in human strength], then am I [truly] strong (able, powerful in divine strength).

till we see Jesus...face to face


Thursday, May 2, 2013

It Only Takes A Millisecond

Faith only takes a millisecond to be expressed.

Isn't that a good statement?  God has been working on my faith level recently so when I saw that it kind of jumped out at me. 

Today I had a few moments...couple of hours really!...of feeling sorry for myself.  After a bit of an "oh poor me" attitude, I realized that I hadn't been doing the same things today as I had been doing in the previous days this week.  I had not listened to one bit of music or read even one scripture.  So I turned on the music.  Whisper Jesus came on...beautiful song! Here's the first verse and chorus:

There's a name I love to whisper
anytime of day or night
And though the peace
that accompanies is mentioned
No tongue can tell
no pen can write

Whisper Jesus
I love you Jesus
Heavens peace will flood your soul
Whisper Jesus
I love you Jesus
Heavens peace will flood your soul

I started thinking about my attitude...and what just a little bit of worship did for me.  I don't know how it is for you but for me it all ties in to faith.  Finally, I was understanding that if I would just reach out in faith, and believe, then all I had to do was just whisper His was all going to be okay.  They were saying that many times you can't express in prayer what you need or how you feel. can just whisper His name...Jesus...Jesus...Jesus...and that's all it takes.  How true that was.  I found that Jesus was there with me...holding me...comforting me.  Isn't that really all we need at times?  Just to know He's with us?  Just to know we're not alone?  To feel His peace and comfort drop over us like a heavenly blanket...that's all I really needed.  One of the best things about all of this was...

It really did only take a millisecond to get there.  The very second you start to whisper Jesus...He steps in.  It doesn't matter that nothing has changed in your situation.  The unsettled, anxious feelings start to leave with just the whisper of His name...Jesus.

James 1:2-4

Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Thank You

Right now my blog isn't updating on any blogrolls. I don't know why and have not been able to check into it as of yet. So I am hoping that all of you that have been praying for me get this.

I just want to say thank you all so much for all of the prayers. I know that because of you praying my surgery went well. I am recovering now and would still appreciate your prayers. Some days are good and others are pretty painful.

Many bloggers I know, and many I do not know, have been praying. Those of you that know me well, thank you. Those of you that Jan sent a call out to in the FOCB community and don't know me, thank you. Jan from FOCB sent me responses from many of you and I plan to eventually visit all of your blogs.

God Bless you all

For Our Good and HIS Glory

Hebrews 11:1
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. 

The questions I pose for myself today are these...

Do I really believe in God's promises?  Do I really believe that even though things seem to be worse the last couple of days that God is in control and He will work it all out?  That In the end...everything will be okay? 

What I read is this...

I...we...have to have enduring faith.  If I don't then what is the point in anything I believe?  Faith and hope go hand in hand.  We have a great hope that all things in our life are going to work out...for our good and His glory.  That's a phrase Marge says to me all the time and I am still learning.  Our hope reveals our faith in Him.  Having courage and hope shows that we have faith that the Lord is working out everything for us.  Yes, my courage and hope wane at times.  In fact at some points this week they have lacked a lot!  But...because of my faith I was able to get up with renewed hope this morning!  Just knowing that today is a new day and God had it all planned out for me before I ever awoke...well that's exciting!  

Before I knew the Lord I believed that everything just happened.  I lived my life as much on the edge as I could because I thought that it really didn't matter anyway.  Kind of like what that old song says...what will be will be, the futures not ours to see, que sera, sera.  Just so you know...I still don't believe that I'm in control of my future but doing things like driving at high rates of speed while under the influence of  "whatever" is a risk you don't need to take!  I do believe that God has a much better ending in store for me than those actions would bring on.  I now have hope...and assurance...that I am part of God's family and no matter will all turn out for my best!  

Something else I know is this...

Without faith we would be like a boat on a stormy sea.  Tossed and turned about...never knowing what direction we were going in.  Think about the mess you would be in if you didn't have faith. Faith is what holds When we are on that stormy sea faith is what keeps us going.  Faith is like a lifeline to the Lord.  Without faith prayer is meaningless.  Why pray if you don't have faith that God is listening?  But when you do have faith that He is...even when you don't see immediate know that you know that He is listening and is working it all out for you...

For your good and His glory! 

till we see Jesus...face to face 

Linking up with Tracy today