Wednesday, November 14, 2012
Wednesday, August 15, 2012
Sunday morning my family was spending time together as the church in our home. It wasn’t our first attempt to do this, but lest you imagine that we have a long-standing tradition of experiencing the manifest glory in our living room, let me make clear that we are taking baby steps here. I hope that someday it will be something like that, but in the meantime, I’m just incredibly grateful for where we are.
Thursday, August 9, 2012
Wednesday, August 1, 2012
Wednesday, July 11, 2012
Wednesday, June 27, 2012
The Lord is the strength of my life; Of whom shall I be afraid?
When the wicked came against me to eat up my flesh, My enemies and foes,
They stumbled and fell. Though an army may encamp against me,
My heart shall not fear; Though war may rise against me,
In this I will be confident. Psalm 27:1-3
Wednesday, June 20, 2012
Wednesday, June 13, 2012
Abba Father, I can’t change me, but I know You can. Please enable me to cooperate with all that You are doing. Please enable me to hear and obey, believe and walk in the freedom in Christ Jesus that is mine. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Wednesday, June 6, 2012
Clearly the writer has been around long enough to know that in this life things are always changing. Sometimes it is slow and barely visible, like the opening of a bud or the growth of a child from week to week. Other times it is a total rearrangement of the furniture of our lives that leaves us feeling tossed about like a little boat on the open sea. My mental image for this has been the deck of the Titanic tilted to a 45 degree angle. Everything is sliding, but I don’t think I’m sinking. It is just really hard to keep my balance. Nothing seems sure, but I hear my Abba Father saying He is sure. He is my rock and His love is the ocean beneath me. His mercy and grace are as high as the puffy white cloud mountains in the sky. He says, “I have not abandoned you. I am holding you by the hand. In fact, I am holding you and your entire world in my hand. Trust Me to be God. Trust Me to be good. Because I AM.”
Thank You, Lord! I will trust You. I choose to embrace this time and all its uncertainty, because I know that it is simply the next step in a journey that ends in Your arms. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Wednesday, May 23, 2012
The Amplified Bible says it this way, “I am the Vine; you are the branches. Whoever lives in Me and I in him bears much (abundant) fruit. However, apart from Me [cut off from vital union with Me] you can do nothing.” John 15:5
I find it very easy to forget I am only a branch. It happens so easily. I begin to think I am the Vine and if I don’t make fruit happen, then it just won’t. Sometimes, I get really crazy and start thinking I am the Gardener and it is my job to take care of all the other branches. For a branch, this is not only exhausting, but downright impossible.
So…deep breath…I say to myself, “Hey, you are a branch. All that frantic activity – mental, emotional or physical – that is not your job.” Then I hear the Holy Spirit’s sweet still voice saying, “Just live in Me. It really is that simple. Lay down your plans, your worries, your cares, and rest in the fact that I am good and I know what I am doing.”
He said it this way to Jeremiah, “I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” (Jer. 29:11 NLT)
All I really need to concern myself with is living in Him. For me this means waking up and making the choice to believe I am in Him. He has brought me through the night and He will see me through the day. He will lead and I will follow. That is how simple it really is.
Abba Father, I’m so tempted to make it more complicated, to make a to-do list of how to be in You. Please, teach me to simply, humbly live in You, for Your good pleasure and glory. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Wednesday, May 16, 2012
“We who have run for our very lives to God have every reason to grab the promised hope with both hands and never let go. It's an unbreakable spiritual lifeline, reaching past all appearances right to the very presence of God where Jesus, running on ahead of us, has taken up his permanent post as high priest for us…” Hebrews 6:18-20 The Message
“Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” Hebrews 4:14-16 NKJV
Abba, thank You, for your Word and for Your faithfulness. Please keep us faithful to You. In Jesus’ strong and mighty name, Amen.
Wednesday, May 9, 2012
In 1 Thessalonians 2:8, Paul tells the believers, “Because we loved you so much, we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well.” Most of the time, it isn’t enough to hear the truth from someone. We want to hear it wrapped in love from someone who is willing to share not just the truth, but “their very selves” as the English Standard Version of the above verse reads. Real love is not for sissies. It requires of us that we push past our fears, and insecurities. It means being brave enough to have the hard conversations when offenses have occurred. It means being willing to work through problems instead of pulling away. Real love isn’t easy, but it truly is the only kind worth having. Today, I want to encourage you to take another look at your relationships. Are you still keeping up a pretense with those who should be trusted with your very self? Do you need to take some hurts to your Abba Father for healing so that you can be willing to be real with those who love you? More and more, I am coming to believe that in our hearts we are all so much the same. We all have those same feelings of being different from everybody else. We have all heard the same lies from the enemy our entire lives. We all have the option of choosing to hide or coming out from behind our walls and living in the sunlight of true love. It is scary, but so worth it.
Abba Father, please give us the courage and grace to love and allow ourselves to be loved. Please help us bring our hearts to you to have the thorns pulled out of the sore places. Help us be brave enough to face the pain of pulling them out instead of just living with the ache. Thank You for being a God of truth AND mercy. We love you. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Wednesday, May 2, 2012
Each one of us is on a journey. One of the things I love most about our Father God is that He relates to us as individuals. My journey will not be the same as yours, although we may visit many of the same places. I find myself at the beginning of a new chapter in my life. For now, most of the page is blank. I want to write a word of life and encouragement for you today, but in my heart I feel that this a time when I need to keep silent. The Father is speaking to my heart, but for now, it isn’t anything I am free to share. I need time to process and time to wait upon the Lord. Maybe you do, too. I love you all. I feel so blessed that you are willing to read what I write. Please pray for me as I seek the Lord for the next step in my journey as a writer. For today, I leave you with a prayer from the Apostle Paul to his brothers and sisters in Christ in Thessalonica:
May God our Father and our Lord Jesus bring us to you very soon. And may the Lord make your love for one another and for all people grow and overflow, just as our love for you overflows. May He, as a result, make your hearts strong, blameless, and holy as you stand before God our Father when our Lord Jesus comes again with all His holy people. Amen.
I Thess. 3:11-13
In His Love,
Tuesday, April 17, 2012
Abba Father, thank You for bringing us together. Thank you for knitting our hearts together in love. Keep us one in Your Spirit. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Tuesday, April 10, 2012
So right there in my bathroom I got real with the Lord and told Him how I really felt about some things. It’s important to note that I had prayed about this before and tried to forgive and forget, but it is difficult to let something go when you still haven’t been honest about how you feel. If I’m saying, “Oh it’s nothing. No big deal,” when I’m actually really irate, I’m lying to myself and to God. How can the truth come and set me free when I won’t even let myself speak it? So, I got honest and God did, too! Just kidding - He’s always honest! However, He did say some things to me that I hadn’t considered before and they reframed the whole situation. He gave me a new perspective, one that included my own need for His grace. It’s remarkable how much easier it is to give grace when the Holy Spirit gives us a little peek at our own massive need for it. In the course of a few important moments of truth, what had been a huge deal became something I was willing and able to put behind me. Thank You Lord!
Bottom line: Getting real with God about our feelings is a whole lot more effective than living in denial. Be real. He can handle it. Besides, it’s not like we’re really fooling Him. He’s God – remember? And, best of all, He loves us.
Abba Father, thank You for Your amazing, never-ending love and mercy. Please give us the courage to be our true selves with You. Thank You for knowing the depth of our sin and choosing to redeem us anyway. Your grace is amazing! In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Wednesday, March 28, 2012
Tuesday, March 20, 2012
Tuesday, March 6, 2012
Tuesday, February 28, 2012
Wednesday, February 22, 2012
Wednesday, February 15, 2012
The Lord my God will enlighten my darkness.
For by You I can run against a troop,
By my God I can leap over a wall.
Wednesday, February 8, 2012
Tuesday, January 31, 2012
Tuesday, January 24, 2012
Wednesday, January 18, 2012
He is your helper and your shield.
O priests, descendants of Aaron, trust the LORD!
He is your helper and your shield.
All you who fear the LORD, trust the LORD!
He is your helper and your shield.
He will bless the people of Israel
and bless the priests, the descendants of Aaron.
He will bless those who fear the LORD,
both great and lowly.