Peace

I’ve really been spending a lot of time searching my heart for what God really wants of my life.  This has really caused me some restless nights and a lack of peace.  I have followed through with leaving my career as an educator, knowing He was very clearly speaking to me about this.  As for what’s next…I am still praying on that.  I know he will make it very clear when He’s ready and not until He’s ready.  I love you all and covet (I know I’m breaking one of the Commandments but I think He really understands this) your comments and prayers.  I am so blessed by you.In several of the churches I attended as a child (We moved a LOT!) the pastor would use the words of Philippians 4:7 (And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.) as a benediction. To this day, when I hear these words an indescribable blanket of peace settles over me. Paul uses these words to describe the blessing we receive when we rejoice in the Lord, are gentle in our relationships, give our worries to the Lord, pray and give thanks for everything. When we obey and give in, through, and too His Name, peace is indeed ours.

Ah, Lord, God, let the peace that escapes our understanding invade our lives today.  Let us see it, feel it, and show it to the world around us.  Make it so!

He Is Head Over Heals In Love With Us

I’ve recently been giving a lot of thought to God’s love for us.  It must be something He wants me to do because I’ve seen books, reading articles, and listening to other Christians expound on the subject.  Why do I (we) think He can’t possibly mean me (us), even though He assures me (us) repeatedly in His Word.
In Genesis 1:27 we are told that we are created in His image.  Men and women look like God.  Think about it.  Don’t we all sometimes want to look like someone else?  Well, how about God.  Rather than comparing ourselves to others how about comparing ourselves to the One who loved us so much He gave His Son for us.

In Psalms 139:14 the writer is giving praise because he is aware of God’s love through being ‘fearfully and wonderfully made’.  He is in awe of the One who cares more about our well-being than anything else.God protects and sustains us from the time we are born until we have many gray hairs.  It’s truly something He wants to do. Don’t we want to protect and sustain those we love?  Of course we do.  It’s God’s love for us showing through us. (Isaiah 46:4)

Siescape-fetus

Siescape-fetus (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Let’s look at the book of Hosea.  The cycle is repeated over and over.  Hosea marries Gomer, they have a child, she cheats on him and has two more, he continues to forgive her and take her back.  So like God’s love for us; we sin, He saves us, we sin, He forgives, and the cycle goes on and on and on…

The Painting entitled "Jesus Blessing the...

The Painting entitled “Jesus Blessing the Children” (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

John 1:12 says when we receive Him, believe in Him, and trust Him because of His name He makes us His children.  Don’t we make the choice from the moment of conception to love our children even when they are sometimes unlovable?  God does too.We are God’s chosen and dearly loved.  Like all who love others He has expectations for us.  We are to show compassion, kindness, and forgiveness (see Colossians 3:12-14 for the list).  Over all we are to wear a cloak of love.  A Japanese translation says it like this, “Love binds everything together in perfect harmony.”
He wants to love us.  Let Him!
Ah, Lord God, my King, my Shelter, my One and Only I do not deserve to be loved by You, yet You do!  You see my insides and my ‘out-sides’, You know my strongholds, my sins, my every part, yet You still love me.  Oh, Lord, help me to be loving to others, help me to love like You do, with compassion, kindness, and without thought to what it will ‘cost’ me.  What a Mighty God You are.     Make it so!

Psalm 86

 
Psalm 86 is sub-titled ‘A Prayer of David’ in my Bible. Through prayer and focusing on God’s love David could put those who were tormenting him in the right perspective. Praying this psalm in my own words was very enlightening. Enjoy!
 
 
Oh, LORD, bend your ear down to earth so I can speak my needs directly into it.I trust you to keep me safe because You are my God.I send prayers to You 24/7. Hear and grant them.Help me find gladness in serving You.Many call upon You and depend on Your goodness, forgiveness and constant love.Hear my prayer and plea for mercy.When I am in trouble I come to You for the answer.Your works stand out, You are unique.Your creation worships You.You are the One and Only.Instruct me in Your ways. I am in awe of You.Thank You for being my God. I give You all the glory.Your great love sustains me. You are my Deliverer.Those who do not follow You have risen against me.Show Your mercy and grace, Your ‘always there’ love and faithfulness.

Give me strength and keep me safe.

Let those who hate You be shamed because You are my Helper and Comforter.

Heavenly Father, make it so!

When We Don’t Know What to Pray

 

 
Romans 8: 26-27     Have you ever been in a situation and the only thing that would help was prayer but you didn’t know what to pray for?  I was recently placed in that position and this scripture had a profound effect on me.  It was very comforting to know that since the Spirit lives within me He knows my mind, knows what I need (to ask), and takes it to the throne with words unknown to me. Our God can do what He says He can.  He answers the prayers of the righteous (James 5:16).  He wants us to be sure of His desire to provide for us in all ways.  He loves each one of us and wants each of us to have access to Him.  He has provided this access through the Holy Spirit in us and wants us to communicate with Him.Take time to talk with Him today.  He’s waiting to hear from you…
 
Father hear this prayer in Jesus’ Precious Name.  My mind is black except for the wisdom to know I must be near You!  Take this hodgepodge of thoughts and make sense come from them.  Only You know what needs to be said and only You can hear my heart cry.  Make it so!

I’m Praying for You

Dear Sisters in Christ,

Today I’m praying for you.  I may not know you personally or you may be among my group of besties but I AM PRAYING for you.  Here are the requests I am making before the Throne:

Father in Heaven, grant every woman the ability to know You more and more.  Open hearts, minds, and souls to Your incredible love for each of us.  Make us aware that in Your Word we were not only created by You but created in Your image. (Genesis 1:27)

Creator of all that is, was, and is to come, help us know the great value You place in each of us.  Help us understand deeply in every cell of our bodies that You take great joy in Your daughters.  You are the Redeemer of not only our souls, but our lives, our future.  You have seen us during our times of deepest fear.  Help us know and understand Your great love for us.  (Psalm 31:7)

Abba, Father, I know You hear each of us.  You hear our praise. You hear our needs. You hear our nearly silent pleas for mercy. You hear us when we regret our sins. You hear us when we have no one but You.  Oh, Lord, hear this prayer.  Grant each of us the ability to totally trust in You. (I Chronicles 5:20)

I lift this prayer before the Throne of Grace, in the Precious Name of Jesus, my Lord, my Provider, my Savior…     Make it so!

 

I grew up in a family that went to church every Sunday but really had no true idea of who God and Jesus was.  Depending on the particular church, (We moved around a lot.) He was an observer of my actions, hellfire and brimstone, always there….I know now He was there because there seemed to always be something missing in my life.  After I met and married Ray God made himself visible to me.  Ray led me to affirmation of faith and baptism.  I have never doubted that he wants me to have a relationship with my Lord that is greater than what I have with him.  The plan of our lives is God first, spouse next, and anything after that comes after that.  There is no better way to enjoy the purity and sanctity of marriage without having God in the primary relationship position.

Exodus 20:3 tells us we are to have no other gods.  Unless we keep sight of the fact that God is God and we (or our spouse) are not we will not be able to build the relationship that God wants.  Keeping God first and knowing He will ‘grow’ our marriage relationship allows us, as a couple, to recognize what is most important in our earthly lives.  He loves us, He cares for us, He wants what is best for us.  Once we recognize that it is much easier to be the helpers, lovers, and friends God intended both relationships will grow and flourish.

Heavenly Father, thank You for creating marriage.  Grant us the ability to see You in our coupleness.  Let us model to the world around us the joy of making You first.  Help us learn to forgive one another with love and grace.  Let the sanctity of marriage show through us.  Make it so!

Walking With Him

This morning this was in my Facebook feed and gave me cause to think…Do I ask God to guide me then do nothing?  Way to often.  How shall I change that?

In Prayer – – Father You alone are the true Guide of my life.  Give me the supernatural ability to follow through with what You want of me. 

In Song – – “I have decided to follow Jesus: No turning back.”  “All to Jesus I Surrender, all to Him I Freely Give” “I’ll Tell the World That I’m a Christian”  “Set My Soul Afire, Lord”

In the Word – – The Great Commission – Matthew 28:16-20,  Being fishers of men – Luke 5:1-11,  Proclaiming the Word – Romans 1:15-17

Heavenly Father, King of All Creation, Master of my life,  I am willing to move my feet just help me know where to move to. Amen and make it so.

God is So Good

The birds are singing, the grass is growing, there are buds on the trees, the sun is shining and in 6 days it will be spring according to the calendar.  God gives us this reminder every year…winter is a cold, dark, waiting time for life to reappear in the spring.

This winter has been a great time of rest and reflection for me.  I was drifting and needed to refocus on what really matters to me.  Daily time with God in prayer, Bible reading, study, and contemplation matters to me.  Time to make decisions on where He is leading me.  Joy in warm blankets, kitties on my lap, really good books, talking with Ray, and planning for spring.

So now what will Spring bring.  First of all great celebration as we have been married for 40 years.  (I tell everyone I was a child bride…) Then, I will be getting to know my brother, whom I just met for the first time in my life about 3 weeks ago, and my new sister whom I will meet for the first time this summer.  (I also have two sisters that I grew up with.)  Perhaps a cruise or some time in the mountains with the man who has kept me laughing and in love for 44 years. 

God is so good!  He has given me so much, so many blessings and miracles.  How can one not believe that HE IS?  I don’t know.  I do know this, without Him in my life I would be nothing, could do nothing, and would be going nowhere.

I will praise the LORD all my life; I will sing praise to my God as long as I live.  Psalm 146:2

Shout for joy to the LORD; all the earth.  Worship the LORD with gladness; come before Him with joyful songs.  Know that the LORD is God.  It is He who made us and we are His; we are His people, the sheep of His pasture.        Psalm 100:1-2

Heavenly Father, King of all Creation, You are my God.  You give me all I need and bless me with mercy and miracles.  You know my sins and forgive me.  You know my enemies and protect me from them.   I give You all my praise and honor and lift this prayer to the throne in the Precious Name of Jesus…Hallelujah!!!

WAVES OF THANKS

Giving thanks for what God is, has, and will do for us should be as natural as breathing.  Yet, we often have to be reminded to do just that.  In every book I’ve read on prayer the author makes a point of suggesting thanksgiving be part of every prayer.  That includes the Bible.  Such verses as Colossians 2:6-7 and 1 Thessalonians 5:18 remind us to give thanks for everything.

In our worship service this week we did a ‘Wave of Thanks’.  Wave offerings are mentioned in Ex. 29:23.  Although not the same concept as an arena ‘wave’, we were still giving thanks for what He had done and given us and ‘waved’ them with our words before the altar.  The usual thanks were given like family, new babies, new homes, Jesus and salvation (in no way usual), friends, the church, and more.  We have faced cancer in some of its ugliest forms and God has intervened with His healing touch. One offering of thanks stands out – – The Miracle of Life.  We have had life threatening Traumatic Brain Injuries, one resulting in a coma, and both men not only survived but are living life to the fullest. 

On this special day, set aside to give thanks, let’s not forget to give thanks for life. 

Let all things now living a song of thanksgiving  To God the Creator triumphantly raise, Who fashioned and made us, protected and stayed us, Who guideth us on to the end of our days.  *

Ah, Lord God, Creator of Life, you have not only caused us to live and breathe but have also given us the choice of eternal life.  Thank YOU!  Give us all the desire  and courage to live our lives to the fullest, totally for You.  Don’t let us forget the greatest LIFE of all.  Thank YOU for Jesus in whose name I lift this prayer.  Make it so!

*(Katherine K. Davis set these words to the melody Ash Grove in the early 1900’s.)

Why?

Have you ever experienced the pain of the Spirit within?  Have you ever been so totally unsettled with a spiritual decision that you can’t even find the words to pray about it?  Have you ever known with all your heart, mind, and soul that something being done by those who are your leaders is not only wrong, but totally not in the best interests of the body?

Can you explain to me why people want to change God to fit their earthly desires?  Can you tell me why the Bible isn’t big enough for some?  Can you tell me why there is such a feeling of defeat when this happens?

What is the solution?  Where are the words?  When will man stop trying to do it better than God?

My heart is breaking, my soul is aching, I have no words, I fear for the future.  Yet my Lord has clearly shown me in so many of these situations that my empty prayers are going to Him with groans and utterings that I can’t understand (Romans 8:26).  He has told me that He truly has my best interests and future in His plan (Jeremiah 29:11).  He sent the Paraclete, the Holy Counselor, to advise me when things don’t seem right (John 16:6-8).  And above all He loves me so much more than I can even fathom (John 3:16).

Abba, I know You are in control of all situations.  I know You have a plan.  Lord calm my heart and give me the peace that passes all understanding.  I believe You and Your word.  Give me peace, Lord.  As I lift this prayer before the throne let me and anyone else who doesn’t get it know that You are working in the background for the greater glory of the Kingdom.  Amen and Make it so.