Musical Mondays

I haven’t done a Musical Monday post for a while.  These are some of my favorite songs right now.  If they’re not on your playlist they should be. If you don’t have a Youtube account click on the word (Youtube) and it’s easy to create one.

For God so loved the whole wide world
Sent His only Son to die for me
Arms spread wide for the whole wide world
His arms spread wide where mine should be
JESUS CHANGED MY DESTINY!

 

 

 

You unravel me, with a melody
You surround me with a song
Of deliverance, from my enemies
Till all my fears are gone

 

 

Who could imagine so great a mercy?
What heart could fathom such boundless grace?
The God of ages stepped down from glory
To wear my sin and bear my shame

 

I hope you enjoy some quiet reflection with these beautiful songs.

Blessings to you and yours!

Marie

 

 

 

Running From Mercy – Book Review

Jonah didn’t get it.  Like us, Jonah thought he was in charge, he could control his life, he knew what was good or not so good for him.  What he didn’t realize was this was not about him. pp. 28

How many times have you read this story?  What is the first thought that comes to your mind when you see the name Jonah?  I’d bet it’s the fish.  But you know what? Jonah is not about the whale.  It’s not about what’s going on inside the fish.  It’s about what’s going on inside of Jonah.  Surprised at that?  I was.  We want it to be about the whale because we don’t want to face our own fickleness which is so much like Jonah’s.

Am I saying we’re fickle Believer’s?  Yes, I am.  When life is going as planned (by us) and we’ve achieved a measure of success (Jonah was a known prophet.) we can start believing we can control our own lives and destiny.  We can’t!  That’s part of what this story is about.  Jonah had to learn (the hard way) that once he committed to being God’s servant it was no longer about him.  It’s all about God’s mercy! ALL!  Even for someone as fickle as Jonah.  Someone who thought he had it all together.  Someone who knew God intimately, heard His voice, helped others understand Him.

What Jonah didn’t recognize in himself was his sinful nature.  He thought everyone else was sinful. (i.e., the Ninevites) He certainly didn’t want to be in contact with that kind of sin.  So he ran away.  He didn’t get that you can’t run away from God.  But he certainly tried.

We all know that God is the God of many chances.  When He sets His sights on one of us He never gives up.  That’s how I see the story of Jonah.  God would not give up!  From the pit (in the hold of the boat) to the prison (in the belly of the whale) to the palace (maybe the home of Shalmaneser lll) God pursued him.

I’ve studied the book of Jonah several times, with different authors, and let me say this is the first time I saw myself in this Old Testament parable.  I’ve never grown tired of this story and I hope I never will.  God will continue His pursuit of you and me.  My fervent prayer is we will hear Him and respond so we don’t end up in a giant fish.

Powerful words in Running from Mercy by Anthony J. Carter:

…He is not going to stop until He gets you.  Goodness and mercy shall pursue you all the days of your life (Ps. 23:6).  pp. 48

God keeps his appointments and has every intention of making sure we do too. pp. 57

If you have people in your life who love you enough to talk to you about your sin, don’t cut them off.  Don’t shut them down.  Don’t blame them.  They are the grace of God to you.  pp. 87

In every church gathered in this world today, people are either changing the gospel, or the gospel is changing them… We must not seek to change God’s Word but seek to be changed by it.  pp.106

I highly recommend this book.  It’s a life changer!

Blessings to you and yours!

Marie

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Broadman Holman/Lifeway 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.”

Sunday Psalms

Psalm 5

O LORD, each morning I send my prayers to You and You only.  Hear me!

You take no pleasure in wickedness or evil of any kind.  The proud, liars, murderers, and deceivers will not stand in Your presence.

Because You love me I am welcome to worship in Your temple.  Lead me, LORD!

Let those who speak against me, even those who flatter me, be counted as guilty.  

On the other hand, let those who are protected by Your shield REJOICE!

Let all who love You BE JOYFUL!

This is Psalm 5 in my own words.  Psalm 1, 2, 3  and 4 are also posted.  Check them out by clicking on the number.

Blessings to you and yours!

Marie

Sunday Psalms

 

Hear my prayer, Righteous God, and have mercy on me.

There are so many who want to turn away, who love lies and worship what the world has to offer.

LORD, You have set me apart for Yourself.  I know You hear when I call out.

In your prayers search your inner self and be still.

Trust God!

Shine Your light on us!

When others are finding joy in shopping sprees and worldly gain give me joy.

As the day ends let me sleep in the safety of You.

 

This is Psalm 4 in my own words.  Psalm 1, 2, and 3 are also finished.  Check them out by clicking on the number.

Blessings to you and Yours!

Marie

Road Trip With My Bestie

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!

Marie

Check out my Linky Party page to see the awesome and inspiring parties where I share my posts.

 

Words of Grace – Book Review

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!

Marie

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.”

5 Sentence Friday Psalm 139:14

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

  1. I had nothing to do with the complexity of who I would be.
  2. I am His wonderfully made creation.
  3. God deserves (and expects) my thanks for even thinking of me.
  4. Every heartbeat, every breath, every step is/was orchestrated by You.
  5. My skills, talents, and habits are part of Your purpose for me.

Blessings to you and yours!

Marie

God’s Plan Works

Hands_of_God_and_Adam

“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!

Marie

My God Will Supply All I Need

My God Will Supply

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. floodOur 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 250850042900-1_1walk/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!

Marie

No One Is More Important Than Jesus

These words of Oswald Chambers had a profound effect on me the first (and every) timehouse 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!

Marie