A Journey of Faith

Saturday, December 31, 2011

A Little Joy

My brother called last night. They are far enough away that we only see each other a few times a year. This was fine until he had kids.. I love being an aunti. It is second only to being a mommy, and in some ways better (can't spoil your own kids nearly as much as nieces and nephews!). I miss them like crazy. When my hubby's nieces and nephews were small I saw them frequently , a few times a month at least.I loved being a part of their lives. Being a full day's drive away from my niece and nephew is tough, thankfully my brother and sister in law are good about sending pictures, and now that the oldest is talking, whenever they call me they will put her on the phone and she'll chatter away. I understand much of what she says (she is brilliant, her vocabulary is very good for someone so little!). I get to hear all about the snow at her house (it's cold!), who lives in the castle (the princess, the horses, her cousin, tigers), and even get to have tea with her :). Well, last night topped the list of joyful moments... she said 'I love you GuGu'!! (GuGu is Chinese for Aunti). Talk about making my day!! I can't wait to see them again so I can give them big hugs and kisses (and do a little spoiling:)... what? it's my job!)

Thank YOU GOD, for little joys that brighten my day! Thank YOU for the ability to stay in touch with those I love, even though they are far away. Please watch over them and bless them. In JESUS' name, Amen

Friday, December 30, 2011

'The Old Has Gone, The New is Here!'

The end of 2011 is closing in quickly. It's time to review the year past and look toward the year coming. The emails are pouring in, full of questions, challenging us to rate our year. Lists of resolutions are being made with good intentions. Parties are being held to celebrate the 'new' and say goodbye to the 'old'. Isn't that what we do as Christians? Celebrate the 'new' and say goodbye to the 'old'? 2 Corinthians 17 says "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!" If we are in CHRIST we aren't the same anymore. We are a new creation in HIM. Gone is the sinful, broken, fallen creature, instead we are a reconciled, forgiven, whole, adopted, loved creation. 18 All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: 19 that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. 20 We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. 21 God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. The best part is, although we welcome in a new year every 12 months, once we give our lives to CHRIST, we don't have to do it again, it's done. We never have to go back to who and what we were before. Oh sure, there is always more work to be done to better resemble HIM, but HE will always see HIS children with the righteousness of CHRIST draped around them like a cloak. A royal cloak.
We love 'The Skit Guys', and they have a great video called 'GOD's Chisel' (here is the link for the video on godtube http://www.godtube.com/watch/?v=K7GKLWNX ). All the things we experience are part of GOD's work, making us into HIS masterpiece. It can be so painful, we want it to stop, but it's all part of making us into a new creation. So as we say goodbye to 2011, and welcome in 2012, remember, in CHRIST all things are new! We are a masterpiece, created and perfected by an all knowing, all powerful GOD.

LORD, the past year hasn't always been easy, there were times that I definately didn't feel like a masterpiece, but YOU still see me as one! There were times that fear and insecurity threatened to overwhelm, but YOU held me tight in the palm of YOUR powerful hand. There were times that I felt like I was incapable of being an effective witness for YOU, but YOUR word assures me that YOUR strength is made perfect in my weakness. Thank YOU for working on me, to make me into the original masterpiece YOU made me to be. Thank YOU for looking on me in love, and for not giving up on me. I love YOU!!!!!! In JESUS' name, Amen.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

A Time Such as This

One last post about the Esther Bible study (do you want to do it yet... I'm telling you, it's fantastic!!).
At the end of chapter 4 Esther and her cousin Mordecai are communicating back and forth about the threat facing their people, the Jews. King Xerxes' second in command, Haman, had convinced the king to issue an edict, making it law that the Jewish people were to be 'destroyed, killed, and annihilated'. Mordecai points out to Esther in chapter 4,verse 14: "For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father's family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to royal position for such a time as this?" Esther had been put there at that time for a reason. It was no coincidence that Vashti was sent away, or that Xerxes gathered all the young girls, looking for a wife. It was not mere chance that Esther gained favor with the eunechs, or that she pleased Xerxes and that he grew fond of her. GOD put her there for a reason, in HIS timing. And GOD's timing is perfect. Our impatience gets the best of us sometimes and convinces us that HE should hurry up (or maybe wait a little longer!), but the fact of the matter is, HIS timing is unerring. How many times have you had something happen that was just in time? How many times has something seemed like a well placed piece of a puzzle, tying together things that clearly needed connection? I can think of many in my life, just in the last few weeks. From a book popping up on Amazon that was just what I needed in my walk with GOD, to a poem in the church newsletter that really 'hit the spot', to a devotional email that was on a topic I'd been struggling with. GOD's fingerprints all over my life, just where I needed HIM to be, just when I needed HIM to be there, with just the message I needed. HIS timing is so amazing. What more proof is needed that HE loves us, and cares for us? That HE has plans for us ' For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. ' Jeremiah 29:11

Lord, thank YOU for Your perfect timing. Thank YOU for all the love and care and protection YOU pour out on us everyday, in YOUR perfect timing. It amazes me that YOU have every detail covered, just to show us that how very very much YOU love us. In JESUS' name, Amen

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Trust in the LORD

I wanted to do another post, and when I decide to do another post I go thru either the Bible and pick something that jumps out at me, or I pick a song that has really 'spoken' to me lately, or a passage from a book or bible study. I also have a bunch of slips of paper with verses on them that were from one of those page a day calenders. (oldest duckling made an awesome collage with the pictures from that calender, and I finally got around to putting it on here!I love it, everytime I look at it I notice something new.). Sometimes I'll pick one of those to ponder in print. So I was just going thru some of those resources, trying to decide which verse to think about today, and this one verse kept popping up. 'Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding' Proverbs 3:5 So I guess maybe that is my verse for today. It's appropriate, it's certainly one area of my faith that I have the most trouble with. Even more than rejoicing, more than being still, more than any of the commandments, this one thing is my biggest weakness. I have to wonder how many of the other things that I struggle with would be resolved if I could truely trust HIM with all my heart. Not just the part that isn't hidden behind a wall. Not just the part that doesn't mind relinquishing control. All my heart. How much easier would it be to deflect Satan's poking if I truely trusted my Father in Heaven to protect me from it? How much easier would it be to do things like speak in church, speak in any group for that matter, if I wasn't scared to death of being rejected or ridiculed, because I trusted that GOD's opinion was the only one worth caring about? How much easier would it be to discern HIS plan for me and actually follow thru with it if I trusted HIS understanding far more than my own? After all, my GOD is bigger than anything this world can throw at me. Anything. There is nothing in this world that GOD won't help me to do, as long as it is HIS will that it be done. In the past few months I have struggled with trying to understand what road HE wants me on. I know that, right now, HE wants me to be homeschooling my children, but in another decade, I'll be done with that job, then what? Where do I go then? I never went to college, so I feel like the world is wide open to whatever HE calls me to. It's an exciting prospect, and a terrifying one at the same time. I am a creature of habit, I don't like change, and as for my box, well let's say... I don't like to stray far from it. Ok, with the help of a friend I have left my box (creeping very slowly some days, kicking and screaming other days), but I'm still resisting too much change. How far would HE take me if I just trusted HIM to use my life for HIS glory? And do I want to go that far? The part of me that looks on HIM and HIS love with awe and wonder would go anywhere and everywhere for HIM. I would do anything HE asked me to do. But that other part, the part that is like a little kid with separation anxiety, clinging to her parent, screaming 'no no no no' is holding onto that box for all I'm worth. I know I need to let go and let GOD, but oh, it is so hard, and so scary.

Father GOD, help me to trust YOU, truely trust YOU, with all my heart. Help me to get rid of that silly box once and for all, and really and truely be open to YOUR plan for me. Help me too, to listen to YOUR voice and discern what it is YOU are asking of me. And thank YOU for those you have placed in my life to help me navigate this path YOU have for me (and maybe give them a little extra patience, they may need it, I can be pretty stubborn sometimes... but I guess you knew that already :). In JESUS' name, Amen

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Who Am I?

I love music. I love listening to it, I love playing it, I love singing it. It speaks to me in so many ways, especially when it comes to understanding the complexity of my faith. Here is another song by Casting Crowns called 'Who Am I' again, lyrics courtesy of elyrics and the link to the video on godtube. enjoy :) http://www.godtube.com/watch/?v=ZKLG7NNX

Who am I, that the Lord of all the earth Would care to know my name Would care to feel my hurt? Who am I, that the bright and morning star Would choose to light the way For my ever wondering heart? Not because of who I am But because of what You've done Not because of what I've done But because of who You are I am a flower quickly fading Here today and gone tomorrow A wave tossed in the ocean A vapor in the wind Still You hear me when I'm calling Lord You catch me when I'm falling And You told me who I am I am Yours, I am Yours Who am I, that the eyes that see our sin Would look on me with love And watch me rise again? Who am I, that the voice that calmed the sea Would call out through the rain And calm the storm in me? Not because of who I am But because what of You've done Not because of what I've done But because of who You are I am a flower quickly fading Here today and gone tomorrow A wave tossed in the ocean A vapor in the wind Still You hear me when I'm calling Lord You catch me when I'm falling And You told me who I am I am Yours Not because of who I am But because of what You've done Not because of what I've done But because of who You are I am a flower quickly fading Here today and gone tomorrow A wave tossed in the ocean A vapor in the wind Still You hear me when I'm calling Lord You catch me when I'm falling You told me who I am I am Yours, I am Yours, I am Yours Whom shall I fear?Whom shall I fear? 'Cause I am Yours, I am Yours

On this day, the day we celebrate the coming of our Lord JESUS as a tiny baby, the perfect gift, many of us are contemplating the real meaning of this season. We are surrounded from October on with secularized Christmas (aka holiday) 'greetings'. From the commercials urging us to hunt down and purchase the 'perfect' gift, to the carols that are played as early as Thanksgiving. From the displays in the stores, to the lights that adorn our neighborhoods. Don't get me wrong, I love the decorations, I love the feeling of having found that 'perfect' gift, I love the music (ok, especially the music). But what I love most is the assurance of 'Who I am' to the creator GOD. I am HIS, not because I am worthy, not because I have 'done it right', but because HE chose me. I don't know why, and I don't need to. All I need to know is that I am HIS, I have nothing to fear, HE will catch me when I fall, HE hears me, HE looks on me in Love, and HE sent HIS only Son, so that I could have peace. Someday I will understand this perfect love, someday I will stand with HIM and be able to comprehend how much HE really does love me. Until then, I will have to trust that I am who HE says I am. I am HIS.

LORD, thank YOU for Your perfect love, thank YOU for hearing my every call, and for catching me. Thank YOU for sending Your Son to save me, and to love me, and to redeem me. YOU are the perfect gift. I love YOU! Amen

Merry CHRISTmas!!

Merry Christmas!!!

About two thousand years ago, the creator GOD stepped down from HIS throne, and became a tiny baby. HE endured all the joys and trials of humanity, so that when we are on our knees before HIM, with all our joys and trials, HE can truely say 'I know, I feel your pain'. That tiny baby was our GOD, humbled and vulnerable, for us. For us! HE didn't have to do that, HE is all powerful, HE could have saved us without going thru all the difficulties of being us. But HE didn't. HE didn't take the easy way out, HE took the way that would mean the most to us. HE took the way that would allow us to see that HE really does understand. And HE did it all because HE wants us with HIM for eternity. It amazes me that HE has that much love for us, that HE, who created everything with HIS voice, would love me enough to step down from HIS throne, just to get closer to me. That the One who commands the world would love me so much that HE endured fear and brutality, rejection and pain, just to be assured that I would stand before HIM in Heaven someday. What a wonder.

LORD JESUS, Happy Birthday!! Thank YOU for coming closer to us, so that we can know Your love for us. Thank YOU for being willing to leave Heaven and become one of us, so that when we come before YOU, we can know for certain that you feel our pain, our joy, our fear, our humanity. Thank YOU for being the most amazing gift ever given. I love YOU!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011


My step sister sent me this poem. I don't know who wrote it, so I can't give them credit, but it was too lovely not to share :)

If you look for Me at Christmas

you won't need a special star-
I'm no longer just in Bethlehem,
I'm right there where you are.
You may not be aware of Me
amid the celebrations-
You'll have to look beyond the stores
and all the decorations.
But if you take a moment
from your list of things to do
and listen to your heart, you'll find
I'm waiting there for you.
You're the one I want to be with,
you're the reason that I came,
And you'll find Me in the stillness
as I'm whispering your name.

Love, Jesus

Christmas isn't about gifts, or trees, or tinsel, or cards. It's about celebrating the best gift ever given. It's about being still and listening for that sweet whisper to your heart that tells you that the creator of the universe loves YOU, came for YOU, and died for YOU. It's about finding the peace in a tiny, fragile baby boy who carries the world on HIS shoulders. It's about knowing that amidst all the trappings of the season lies a child in a manger who wants nothing more than to spend eternity with YOU. I saw a bumper sticker once that said, simply, Wise men still seek HIM. well said :)

Tuesday, December 20, 2011


I decided I had writen enough posts about fear lately, I need to write about something else, or all my devoted readers would get sick of reading and not come back (hehehe). So I just started looking up random verses until I found something I liked. (Ok, I like the whole book, but this verse jumped at me)

Philippians 4:4-7 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

This is something I have always struggled with, rejoicing in everything. I try to thank GOD everyday for the obvious things in my life; my husband, my kids, that I have the material things necessary for a comfortable life, my friends, my church, health. But when things aren't so comfortable, I'm not always so thankful. I'm sure my 'gentleness' is too often in way too short order, especially if I am feeling stressed. Thank goodness the LORD is forgiving, I only hope those I love are too :). I am learning to find something to rejoice about in every situation, it is a long process, but GOD is patient with me (more patient than I am with myself). Right now in my life I am dealing with some health concerns. Nothing terribly serious, but stuff that definately slows me down and makes life... shall we say, a challenge. BUT, I don't have anything terminal, and for that I rejoice. I don't have anything that will leave me handicapped in any way, and for that I rejoice. I won't require surgery, or special equipment to keep me alive, and for that I rejoice. AND, I have the assurance that, if GOD chooses not to heal me in this life, HE will heal me in the next and I will never have pain, or shortness of breath, or shaking, or dizzyness again. And for that I most certainly rejoice.

LORD, I rejoice. For all the everyday blessings YOU shower on me. For all the things I don't have to worry about. For all the things YOU allow me to experience that will help me to grow and learn and come closer to YOU. I rejoice that my trials are really so small and insignificant compared to what some people have to deal with. I rejoice that I have doctors and medicine available to me to help me be healthier. I rejoice that YOU are there to listen to my prayers and guard my heart and mind through YOUR beloved Son! In HIS name, Amen

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Engraved on HIS palm

My friends and I are nearing the end of our study on the book of Esther. Each week has had a 'it's tough being a woman...' statement, and the past two weeks we have been learning what scriptures we can use to counter those statements. A few weeks ago the statement was 'It's tough being a woman in the tight fist of fear'. Fear can be so immobilizing, so overwhelming that it can keep us from seeing reason. It can make it hard for us to follow GOD's plan for us, stopping us in our tracks, even when we can see that our fear is unreasonable and illogical. But we are in an even tighter grip than any fear could ever hold us. Isaiah 49:16 says "See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands" Picture holding something in your hand so tightly that it leaves it's imprint in your hand. GOD is holding us in HIS hands so tightly that we are engraved on HIS palm. Forever. And nothing can change that, not even overwhelming fear . Romans 8:31 says "What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?".GOD is for us! Fear and insecurity may slow us down, even stop us in our tracks for a time, but it won't win! Hopefully, the knowledge of that truth will give us the courage to push past the fear and push towards HIM and HIS plan for us. Hopefully, it will give us the strength to 'flick' Satan away from us when he plays on our fears. And hopefully, it will give us peace when we so need it.

Lord, YOU know my heart. YOU know the plans YOU have for me. Please help me push past fear and doubt and find my way closer to YOU. Please give me peace and courage. Please give me strength and remind me that I am YOURS and that YOU are for me, so no one, and no thing can triumph against me, for I am engraved on YOUR powerful hand. In JESUS' name. Amen.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Somewhere in the Middle

Here is another song by Casting Crowns (lyrics from elyrics.com) and the link to the video http://www.godtube.com/watch/?v=DL7777NX. It is another of my favorites.

Somewhere between the hot and the cold Somewhere between the new and the old Somewhere between who I am and who I used to be Somewhere in the middle you'll find me Somewhere between the wrong and the right Somewhere between the darkness and the light Somewhere between who I was and who you're making me Somewhere in the middle you'll find me Just how close can I get, Lord, to my surrender 'Cause I'm losing all control Fearless warriors in a picket fence Reckless abandon wrapped in common sense Deep-water faith in the shallow land We are caught in the middle With eyes wide open to the differences The God we want and the God who is But will we trade our dreams for His Or are we caught in the middle? Are we caught in the middle? Somewhere between my heart and my hands Somewhere between my faith and my plans Somewhere between the safety of the boat and the crashing waves Somewhere between a whisper and the Lord Somewhere between the altar and the door Somewhere between contented peace and always wanting more Somewhere in the middle you'll find me Just how close can I get, Lord, to my surrender 'Cause I'm losing all control Fearless warriors in a picket fence Reckless abandon wrapped in common sense Deep-water faith in the shallow end We are caught in the middle With eyes wide open to the differences The God we want and the God who is But will we trade our dreams for His Or are we caught in the middle? Fearless warriors in a picket fence Reckless abandon wrapped in common sense Deep-water faith in the shallow land We are caught in the middle With eyes wide open to the differences The God we want and the God who is But will we trade our dreams for His Or are we caught in the middle? Are we caught in the middle? Lord, I feel You in this place And I know You're by my side Loving me even on these nights When I am caught in the the middle Caught in the middle

I am finding myself caught in the middle. Just as in the song, I am somewhere between HIS will for me and mine. My will is to be comfortable, serving HIM, but doing it comfortably. HIS will is that I would stretch myself, get out of the comfortable and trust in HIM, growing in my faith. HE wants to challenge me, change me. I want to stay in my safe 'box' where I know what to expect and go about my merry way, singing my hymns and thinking that is enough, after all, I'm worshiping HIM... I love HIM!! The thing is, do we want a GOD who is content to leave us where we are? Broken and fearful and doubtful? Or do we want a GOD who will take us through the fire of life, allowing it to purify and shape us into an image of HIM, so that when the world sees us, it sees HIS love, and HIS strength, and HIS mercy, and HIS grace? We can't truely become new creations in CHRIST if we aren't willing to allow HIM to work in us and change our hearts. It is scary, and painful, and definately not easy. I have always been the kind of person who worries. Worry about whether I will do things right, worry about whether I will upset or offend or annoy someone. Satan sees that and uses it (or tries to) to his advantage. 'Hmmm, working on getting out of your box huh? well, maybe you shouldn't, maybe you won't, maybe you can't, did you think about that? Maybe you are being a whiner, a wimp, maybe you are demanding too much of those around you who are trying to help you do this. maybe.maybe.maybe.' Well, the Bible says that I can do all things through CHRIST who gives me strength, so what am I worried about? That I will fail HIM? I can't, if I trust HIM. HE doesn't expect me to be perfect, or to change the whole world. HE expects me to follow where HE leads me, and do everything I do for HIS glory.

LORD, please pull me out of the middle. I want to serve YOU, help me do that without fear or worry or doubt. Help me see that YOU will not let me fall, YOU will not let me succumb to the trap Satan has laid for me. Make in me a new creation LORD. Help me to remember that YOU are holding onto me and will Never let go! In JESUS' name, Amen.

Thursday, December 8, 2011


Today the kids and I went with a bunch of people from church to sing carols at a nursing home. As we all stood there singing I looked around at these people who have become so dear to me. They aren't just faces in the congregation, they are my family. From the lady I stand next to in the choir, to the man who sings such beautiful solos and his dear sweet wife, the friend who does Bible study with me, another friend who has encouraged me and helped me see GOD's presence and call in my life, the mom of a friend who has gone on to heaven already, the man who was a firefighter like my great uncle, and all the others. They are all so dear to me that it brings tears to my eyes, how wonderful GOD is that HE put these wonderful people in my life. They make my church a home. It isn't just a place to listen to hymns and sermons, it is a place where I am welcome, and loved, and accepted. It is a place where I can grow in my faith, and be filled spiritually. When I walk thru those doors I am filled with peace, my soul is filled, and I am whole. What a blessing.

Lord, I can never thank you enough for putting me at my church home. Thank you for all the people who make that church more than a building to enter each week, they make it home. In JESUS' name, Amen.


"For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to seperate us from the love of GOD, which is in CHRIST JESUS our Lord." Romans 8:38-39

There are so many things in this world that can make us feel separated from GOD and HIS peace. But if we have accepted JESUS as our personal Savior, nothing can take us away from HIS salvation. Not fear, not depression, not sickness, not mistakes, not doubt, not overly critical family, not feelings of insecurity or insufficiency. Nothing. Once our name is written in that Heavenly Book, it is there forever. Satan will try to convince us that he is right and that we are never going to be effective for GOD's kingdom, but he is a deciever and a liar and a theif. He would steal our joy and our peace, if we let him. But he can NEVER steal our salvation, our place in GOD's Heavenly home! JESUS already has our place ready for us, HE is already there, ready to welcome us home with open arms and rejoicing! Ginny Owens has a song called "True Story" one of the lines in the song is "YOU see my imperfections/Still YOU say I'm a masterpiece/A marvolous reflection/of YOURSELF in me" When we give our lives over to CHRIST, GOD doesn't see our imperfections, HE sees CHRIST in us! Even when we are at our lowest, HE still looks at us and sees HIS perfect Son.

Thank YOU LORD, for holding on so tight that we can be assured that YOU will NEVER let go, even when we are unable to hold on to YOU. Thank YOU for not letting our fears and mistakes and insufficeincies separate us from YOU and Your love and grace. Thank YOU for showing us that Satan is wrong and YOU are the Way, the Truth and the Life. I love YOU!!!! Amen

"The Christian's Position"

Following (in bold) is an entry in the 'Days of Praise' put out by the Institute for Creation Institute for January 22, 2012.

The Christian's Position

"According as HE hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world" Ephesians 1:4

The search for identity and meaning can drive one to great successes or tragic failures. For the Christian, however, the question is answered throughout Ephesians.
We are chosen! We are selected as a favorite out of many [who] are called (Matthew 22:14) out of the world" (John 15:19) What a privilege! We are God's choice to bear HIS name, represent HIS cause, and share HIS glory throughout eternity.
In fact, we are "predestined [previous boundaries set]... unto the adoption of children by JESUS CHRIST to Himself" (Ephesians 1:5). And "if children, then heirs; heirs of GOD, and joint heirs with CHRIST" (Romans 8:17)
Futhermore, we have been "accepted in the beloved" (Ephesians 1:6) That word, "accepted" is a specialized form of the word most often translated "grace." We have been "graced" by Almighty GOD, who has set absolute boundaries around our lives and made us HIS children. We were purchased "through HIS blood" (v7) "that HE redeem us from all iniquity, and purify into himself a peculiar [that is, 'precious'] people, zealous of good works (Titus 2:14).
Moreover, we are forgiven (Ephesians 1:7)! Our sins are "covered" (Psalm 32:1); "cast" behind GOD's back (Isaiah 38:17); removed "as far as the east is from the west" (Psalm 103:12); remember[ed]...no more (Jeremiah 31:34); and cleansed "from all unrighteousness" (1 John 1:9).
Hallelujah! Since we are GOD's children, we should have no identity crisis. We are a chosen, predestined, accepted, redeemed, forgiven, and holy people. Finally, we are predestined "to be conformed to the image of HIS Son" (Romans 8:29) HMM III

As Christians we are not immune to times of trial and doubt. In fact, when the enemy sees us drawing closer to GOD, he will attack. These attacks take many forms, often coming in the form of paralyzing fear of some sort. But the Bible tells us that Satan is WRONG!! GOD tells us that we are HIS. And always will be. No exceptions. HE will still love us if we mess up. HE will still love us even if others don't. And HE will still use us to help others know HIM, even if we are afraid. As long as we trust HIM. Our pastor said something a few weeks ago that really stuck with me. "when we've done all we can, GOD will do what we can't". I like that. I can only do so much, but HE can do ANYTHING!!! HE can hold us up, when we would otherwise faint from fear or doubt. HE can give us strength when we are at our weakest. HE can give us peace when we are in the midst of our darkest moments. HE can fill us with love so we feel we will burst, even when we feel adrift and lonely. And HE can show us HIS will even when we feel blind to HIS presence in our lives.
Lord, thank you for doing what I can't. Thank you for showing me your grace over and over again, especially when I am in the grips of fear. Thank you for reminding me that YOU are the authority on who I am and where I am going. Please help me to always trust in YOUR plan for me, and the truth that YOU will always be there to hold me up through every path you lead me on. Please protect me from the enemy and his lies, and remind me daily that I am YOURS, now and forever. In JESUS' name, Amen.

Monday, December 5, 2011

The Well

Another Casting Crowns song from their new album. Lyrics complements of elyrics.com
(here is the link to the video on Godtube http://www.godtube.com/watch/?v=F0290CNU )

Leave it all behind, Leave it all behind, Leave it all behind, Leave it all behind, I have what you need, But you keep on searchin, I've done all the work, But you keep on workin, When you're runnin on empty, And you can't find the remedy, Just come to the well.You can spend your whole life, Chasin what's missing, But that empty inside, It just ain't gonna listen.When nothing can satisfy, And the world leaves you high and dry, Just come to the well CHORUS:And all who thirst will thirst no more, And all who search will find what their souls long for, The world will try, but it can never fill, So leave it all behind, and come to the wellSo bring me your heart, No matter how broken, Just come as you are, When your last prayer is spoken, Just rest in my arms a while, You'll feel the change my child, When you come to the well CHORUS:And all who thirst will thirst no more, And all who search will find what their souls long for, The world will try, but it can never fill, So leave it all behind, and come to the well Yeah Leave it all behind The world will try, but it can never fill... leave it all behind And now that you're full, Of love beyond measure, Your joy's gonna flow, Like a stream in the desert, Soon all the world will see that living water is found in me, Cuz you came to the well CHORUS:And all who thirst will thirst no more, And all who search will find what their souls long for, The world will try, but it can never fill, So leave it all behind, and come to the well Outro: leave it all behind, leave it all behind... repeat

When we feel lost, or empty, or like something is missing, HE is there ready to fill us up. We just have to be willing to let HIM.

LORD JESUS, please fill me up, please pour Your peace and love and joy and strength into me until all the empty places are overflowing. Please take my burdens away from me and hold me in YOUR arms to rest awhile. In Your precious name I pray. Amen

Friday, December 2, 2011

Fear NOT

We have another favorite singer, Ginny Owens. I love this song by her called "I Am". It's good to be reminded that some of the people that GOD used to do huge things were terrified, and rightly so. Here are the lyrics, compliments of http://www.christianlyrics.com/ (and the link to the video on youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OPehO_c1NtE&feature=related&noredirect=1 )

No Lord, he said, you've got the wrong guy.Simple conversation gets me tongue-tied.And you're telling me to speak with a maniac king.or could it be I've lost my mind?And besides, I am weak, don't you want someone strong,To lead them out of Egypt when they've been there so long?And anyway, they won't believe You ever spoke to me.It's not your problem, God replied. And the rest is history.
There's a bigger picture you can't see.You don't have to change the world, just trust in me.'Cause I am your creator, I am working out my plan,And through you I will show them, I Am.
Now Lord, are you sure? He's just a shepherd boy,Too small for battle gear with a giant to destroy.What on earth can he do with five stones and a sling?It's not your problem, God replied.'Cause I can do anything.
There's a bigger picture you can't see.You don't have to change the world, just trust in me.'Cause I am your creator, I am working out my plan,And through you, I will show them, I Am the first, I Am the last,I Am the present and the past,I Am tomorrow and today,I Am the only way.
Great Lord, she said, I'm just a simple girl.You say that I will bring your son into the world.How can I understand this thing You're gonna do?It's not your problem, God replied.
'Cause, there's a bigger picture,And you don't have to change the world.I'm your creator, I am working out my plan.And through you, I will show them, There's a bigger picture, you can't see.You don't have to change the world, just trust in me.I'm your creator, I am working out my plan,And through you, I will show them, I Am.

Some friends and I are doing a Bible study about Esther (awesome study, highly recommend it, by Beth Moore). Did you know that the law in Persia at that time was that if anyone approached the king uninvited they were to be immediatly killed. Not they might be killed. They would be killed, unless the king extended his scepter, his mercy. There were guards standing by, axes at the ready to instantly dispose of anyone brave (or crazy) enough to step before the king. When Esther made the decision to go before her husband, it was not with the thought that she might die, it was with the hope that maybe, if GOD was willing, she might live. Talk about courage and trust. How does one get that kind of courage? Where does it come from? Did you know that the most common command in the Bible is some variation of 'fear not'? It amazes me that before HE spoke a single thing into being, HE knew that fear would be our greatest obstacle. Whether it is fear of being the victim of a crime, fear of losing a job, or fear of speaking in front of a crowd, fear is always an obstacle to something. We can't serve HIM if we are hiding in fear. If Moses had hidden in fear, he wouldn't have had the opportunity to lead his people to the promised land. If David had hidden in fear he wouldn't have conquered the giant. If Mary had hidden in fear, she wouldn't have held GOD in her arms. And if Esther had hidden in fear she would have perished as a Jewess. Oh sure, if they had refused, GOD would have found someone else to use; he gave us free will, but none of us are big enough to thwart HIS plans. GOD was there with them, offering them courage, and they chose to take it. They chose to participate in GOD's plan for HIS people, and because they did, HE used them in amazing ways. Because they chose not to hide in their fear, they were able to see GOD at work for HIS people. What a blessing!

Lord, please give me the courage to let YOU use me in YOUR plan. Please help me to 'fear not' and 'take courage'. Please help me see YOUR plan for my life and not hide in fear from it. In JESUS' name... Amen