What an awesome, powerful, thought-provoking, convicting week-end. My bestie and I spent Friday and Saturday in the company of Priscilla Shirer. Imagine, two days in the company of 5,000+ women (and 2 brave men), worshiping, praying, and building trust in the One and Only.
Now, when I say praying I’m not talking about your run of the mill prayer times where we ask that our words and thoughts are pleasant in His ears, that He will bless and heal our friends and family, that He will keep us safe and give us wisdom and courage. That was there, of course. I’m talking about the kind of prayer that covers all the bases and gives no one any doubt that we were in His Presence. All turned in prayer requests (Yes, all 5000+!) on the cards provided. We were then encouraged to take a prayer card the next day (They had been prayed on overnight.) and commit to praying for that person for the next 7 days. Is that some powerful praying or what?
The conference was divided into 3 segments with music by Tony Evans opening each. That man has some serious vocal ability. Beautiful voice! Another thing about the music — Imagine if you will 5000 women’s voices, praising God for those who accepted His invitation to join the Forever Family, singing It Is Well With My Soul a capella. Each time I hear a large group sing a favorite hymn I know in my heart what heaven sounds like.
So, here are some things from my notes:
- Scripture for the event was Luke 9:1-17
- The cure for your exhaustion is intimacy with Jesus. After all, He said, “Come away with me.”
- A recipe for ministry. First, we are called as the disciples were. Second, we are given power and authority, as the disciples were. Lastly, He does the sending, as He did the disciples. Ministry of any kind is and must be about Jesus.
- Resist the urge to put yourself in the ‘spotlight’ until He says go.
- If there was a perfect church and you showed up, it wouldn’t be perfect.
- Re: 5 loaves and 2 fishes – You don’t need more than His blessing on what you already have.
- Hearing God is not about newness it is about nowness.
- Those who don’t expect to hear from God, WON’T! AW Tozer
- God is omnipresent! (I know you already knew that.) He showed up for Gideon, Moses, David, Simeon, etc., and He shows up for us!
- His glory is ever-present, yet, we often don’t see Him. In this country we have so many resources, like Bibles, CD’s, DVD’s, books, the Internet… we fail to take the time to look for Him.
And that, dear friends, is what a terrific weekend looked like.
Blessings to you and yours!
This is certainly not just another devotional. It’s better than that. It’s full of thoughtful, inspiring articles that drew me closer to my God. It led me to a deeper level of thought on what the Word is trying to say.
Best of all, I can pick it up or put it down at any point. Meaning, it’s not dated so I didn’t feel pressured to read a certain part on a certain day. I can open it anywhere and read something important about my walk with Jesus any time I want.
It is thoughtfully divided into three categories. Who God is, how He works in our lives, and how we are to respond to Him.
Here are a few quotes that really spoke to me:
- “In the realm of morality and money, family and friends, work and play, God has a will and a way for us to live.” (pg. 13)
- “What is the message of Good News? God’s favor is on all mankind.” (pg. 25)
- “We must know, feel, and acknowledge our sin before we will turn to Christ for salvation. We must turn to Christ for salvation before we will have freedom from our sin.” (pg. 51)
- Regarding the truth of Romans 8:1 – “You don’t have to justify yourself to others. Imagine relating to others without being defensive. You are not condemned, and no one can condemn you before God, so when you interact with others you can focus on truth, love, and edification.” (pg. 87)
I had only one drawback as I read through. Scott Patty is a deep thinker and with that came sentence structure that was sometimes difficult to read. But then, that forced me to think more deeply on God’s Word.
I’m sure I’ll be keeping this devotional in my book basket for months/years to come.
What a blessing!
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Broadman and Holman Publishers. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
Here it is. 5-Sentence Friday. Today’s verse is one that is often repeated. The One and Only thought of me, planned me, loved me from the beginning of time. In the ‘fullness of time’ (phrase from Eph. 4:4) I came to be. Just thinking about this concept is overwhelming but it is what it is.
Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! It is amazing to think about. Your workmanship is marvelous—and how well I know it. Psalm 139:14 TLB
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderfully made; I know that full well. Psalm 139:14 NIV
- I had nothing to do with the complexity of who I would be.
- I am His wonderfully made creation.
- God deserves (and expects) my thanks for even thinking of me.
- Every heartbeat, every breath, every step is/was orchestrated by You.
- My skills, talents, and habits are part of Your purpose for me.
Blessings to you and yours!
“I’m convinced: You can do anything and everything. Nothing and No one can upset Your plans. Job 42:2
Are you as convinced as Job that God can do what He says He can do? I wonder then, why do so many of us who say we believe not trust Him on this?
God had just taken Job to task for trying to explain His motives and actions. Now, I don’t know about you, but if God appeared to me in a whirlwind or tornado or giant storm I would be listening closely. Job and his friends were trying to explain the catastrophe of Job’s current life. God simply set them straight by asking if they really thought they knew what they were talking about.
Jeremiah gives the same message to the Exiles in 29:11. I know you know that verse. God is telling them that He has a plan and it is not to harm them. In Job’s case God was not causing the harm, the evil one was. God’s plan was still in place. He restored Job’s fortune and gave him more children. He will do the same for everyone if we ask. Job had to ask for forgiveness because he was trying to say he knew more than God. The Israelites had to ask for for forgiveness before they were allowed to return to their homeland. (Check out Jeremiah 29:12-13)
All we need to do is trust God to do what He has already planned for us.
Almightly God, help us see that we are not always right in our thoughts of what You are doing. Help us know that Your plan is already in motion, that it is perfect in every way, and that You know what You are doing. Open our minds to Your leading. Make it so in Jesus Name.
This post can also be found in Pondering and Prayer.
Blessings to you and yours!
God is working in the world, around the world, to let us know that He is present, watching us and helping us.
We’ve had more rain in the last two months than in the entire 5 year period preceding. Our sump pump was working non-stop to keep water from the basement. Now, add to that to Ray being in the hospital because his heart doctor wanted to do a cath procedure and of course they found another blockage which required another stent (6 altogether now) and he would have to stay all night. When I went to the basement the next morning I was not expecting to see 2 inches of water covering the floor.
OK, what am I going to do now? Barefoot, I go to the bottom of the stairs and decide there is no way I’m going to put my feet in that water. I gave some thought to putting plastic bags on my feet (I have no boots) but quickly came to the conclusion that falling from the slipperiness created between plastic and water was not an option either. Then I saw my laundry baskets floating right in front of me…All right! I could put one foot in each and walk/slosh over to the pump to see what was going on. I unplugged and replugged but still nothing. So the thought occurred to me that perhaps it was a power problem. Over to the breaker box I sloshed. Flipped all the breakers because I hadn’t thought to turn the light on and said another prayer that God would intervene in this situation. Our sump is very quiet so I couldn’t tell if anything was happening or not and decided to go upstairs and get ready to go to the University Medical Center to pick up Ray. While sloshing back to the stairs, heading up and getting dressed for the day (Yes, I was still in my PJ’s through all the drama.) I was praying…Lord, You know I don’t really know what I’m doing here, You know that we don’t have a lot of ready cash, You know what I need…Please help us!
And He did! I looked into the basement as I walked by the door to head out to the garage and the sump had done the job. It was wet, but I could turn the fans and dehumidifier on high to take care of that.
I believe, without question, God heard my prayer and answered every part of it. The sump pump is still working and the basement is dry. He knows my every need. I’ve learned to depend on Him for everything. He is my Provider, my Power Source, my Counselor.
You’ll find a similar story of God’s provision over at Amazing Battery Power from God. Anne lives in Australia and writes much about God’s work in her life. Check it out!
These stories are popping up all over the web from bloggers around the world. God is alive and well and acting on His children’s requests every moment. What a mighty God we serve!
Blessings to you and yours!
These words of Oswald Chambers had a profound effect on me the first (and every) time I read them. I have many friends who mean much to me but not as much as my Jesus. I have a loving family whom I adore but they don’t mean as much to me as my Jesus. I have a church family that I think the world of but they don’t mean as much to me as Jesus. God gave me the most awesome man on earth as a helpmate, but Jesus surpasses the love he has for me. (Yes, he’s comfortable with that because he also knows that Jesus’ love for him is greater than mine.) There is no one in this world greater than my Jesus!
Our soul’s history with God is frequently the history of the “passing of the hero.” Over and over again God has to remove our friends in order to bring Himself in their place, and that is where we faint and fail and get discouraged. Take it personally: In the year that the one who stood to me for all that God was, died–I gave up everything? I became ill? I got disheartened? Or–I saw the LORD?
It must be God first, God second, and God third, until the life is faced steadily with God and no one else is of any account whatever. “In all the world there is none but Thee, my God, there is none but Thee.” Keep paying the price. Let God see that you are willing to live up to the vision.
Oswald Chambers, My Utmost For His Highest (Westwood, NJ; Barbour and Company, Incl, 1935), 195.
I thank my God every time I remember you. Philippians 1:3
Blessings to you and yours!
Romans 8:31 If God is for us who can be against us.
Lately I’ve been thinking about God’s nearness a lot and remembering the many times and places He has made His presence known to me…
I’ve seen Him in the mountains at sunrise when the mist is rising, the moose is bugling in the distance, and the birds are singing their beautiful morning symphony.
I’ve seen Him on the ocean while sitting on a balcony and watching the incredible blueness of the water and the flying fishing playing on the waves. I’ve heard Him in the sound of the dolphins chattering in the dark of the evening.
I’ve seen Him in the ocean while snorkeling in the Caribbean. The colors of the tropical fish, the stingray stirring up the sand, and the small brown shark minding his own business, and the myriad of colors in the coral.
I’ve known his presence before and during surgery. Only he could guide the hands of the surgeons so that all that was left of an 8 1/2 pound cancerous tumor is a nasty scar.
I’ve known the calmness of His presence while waiting for 20 days for my Ray to wake from his Traumatic Brain Injury Coma.
I’ve seen the beauty of His creation in the more than 70 inches of snow we’ve had this year.
I’ve heard him in the beauty of Beethovan, Brahms, Mozart and Dvorak Symphonies.
My Lord is with me all the time. How about yours?
Have you ever thought about this? The Magi did not know God yet they still followed the star. Isn’t that an amazing thought? God uses His creation in all kinds of ways to bring the lost sheep (those who don’t believe in Him or don’t know of Him) back into the fold. His love is for everyone, not just those who already believe.
Let’s take a look at these Magi. Western tradition teaches 3 Magi came to see Jesus. There were probably more because the Magi were usually grouped in twelves. The reason for just 3 seems to be the gifts they brought…gold, frankincense, and myrrh. These gifts are significant because of what they represent. Gold is often associated with holiness and kingship. Frankincense is an aromatic resin used to make perfumes and incense and would have been used in Worship of the time, particularly during prayer. It is a symbol of deity. It characterized kingly virtue. Myrrh is also an aromatic resin obtained from a thorn tree. It was considered ‘liquid gold’ at the time of Christ and often was priced higher than the solid. It was also used in Temple worship and for embalming. It traditionally represents death and suffering. There is no symbolism that is actually stated in the Bible for these 3 gifts, but remember God uses His creation to teach us of Him.
There is tradition that the Magi represent different countries. The Encyclopedia Britannica (“Magi (biblical figures) – Encyclopedia Britannica”. Britannica.com. Retrieved 2013-07-04.) tells us that Melchoir was a Persian scholar, Caspar an Indian scholar, and Balthazar an Arabian scholar. It’s interesting to look at the impact of these countries on the people of the Bible, and yes, even current events. Persia is modern Iran. Both the books of Esther and Daniel are set in this area. Arabia in the Bible is modern Saudi Arabia. When Moses led the Israelites from Egypt they wandered for 40 years in the desserts of Arabia. India, as part of Biblical history, is directly mentioned in the Book of Esther. There may be some relevance in the claim that Ham, the son of Noah may have settled in Cush which is part of India. The Northeastern parts of India are so close to Afghanistan that familial relationships could easily have been formed. Once again, God can and will use His creation to bring ALL of His people back.
No matter where the Magi were from, how many there were and what the gifts signified they were part of the early life of Jesus. I do not believe they were present at the birth because there is no mention of them until they visited the home of Mary and Joseph and were instrumental in the family’s move to Egypt. They were real people, with real lives, learning more about the real Creator of the Universe and His Son.
Know ye that the Lord, He is God. It is He who made us, and not we ourselves,we are the sheep of His pasture. Psalm 100:3
He wants a love relationship with every person in His creation!!!
How often do we keep our God appointments? Are we more likely to say…If I have time today…Maybe later…and then it’s time to sleep and we have had no or little contact with Him?
1 Samuel 13:14 tells us of the consequences for King Saul when he decided to go his way and not keep the appointment God had given him.
God is out looking for your replacement right now! This time He’ll do the choosing. When He finds him, he’ll appoint him leader of His people. And all because you didn’t keep your appointment with God! The Message
What was the appointment? Samuel had told Saul to wait 7 days before attacking the Philistines at Gilgal. At that time he, Samuel, would sacrifice to God and the battle could begin. Saul waited the seven days, but in the meantime he was loosing his army to fear. On the 7th day when Samuel didn’t show up immediately Saul took matters into his own hands and did the sacrifice himself. Samuel showed up at the end of the sacrifice and said, “What on earth are you doing?” Saul’s answer was much like our own when we feel we’ve waited long enough and have to take matters into our own hands. Every time I decide I’ve waited long enough and it’s time to do it my way…there is a consequence. The results are not the ones I wanted. Saul’s consequence was not only the loss of his kingship but a serious bout of mental illness.
What is our appointment? God only wants one thing of us. He wants a relationship with us. Each day I set aside specific time to spend with the Lord of my life. I read His personal instructions to me (The Bible), I talk to Him about my day, my thoughts, and lift others up (in prayer), and I sit quietly and enjoy the moments with Him (Psalm 46:10). After reading the verse above, won’t you agree, it’s just to risky to miss the appointment.
When Michael Smith released Ancient Words he spoke right into my heart. (Click on the blue title words to listen to the song.)
David’s words in Psalm 119:11 tell us to hide God’s word in our heart’s. How do we do that? By memorizing them. When we take time to memorize the Word we have all we need to make decisions, to deal with the ups and downs of life, and to help those around us who need to hear them.
Jehovah Jireh, my Provider, has given us 774,746 words that will change our lives when we choose to live by them. Words of life, read John 3:16. Words of hope, read Jeremiah 29:11. Words of strength, Joshua 1:9. (Did you know fear not appears in the Word 365 times.) Words for coping, Psalm 46:10.
Take the time to read, read, and reread Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Acts and Revelation. Use a red-letter edition. His words are as timely now and they were then.
Ah, Lord God, you have breathed Your word on to the pages of my Bible and into the nooks and crannies of my heart! Keep me always mindful that You breathed those words into existence so I would have the answers. Thank you, Lord!
This post was written for the Weekly Writing Challenge: Moved By Music