Thursday, January 29, 2015

"My Hope and Stay"

Blessed (happy, to be envied, and spiritually prosperous—with life-joy and satisfaction in God’s favor and salvation, regardless of their outward conditions) are the poor in spirit (the humble, who rate themselves insignificant), for theirs is the kingdom of heaven! 
Matthew 5:3

Poor in Spirit describes someone who is spiritually helpless, someone in desperate need of God. It's an absolute confession that I am nothing and can do nothing apart from Christ. 


This verse, the first beatitude, keeps bringing to mind the song "Lord I Need You." 


It says, 

"Lord, I come, I confess
Bowing here, I find my rest
Without You, I fall apart
You're the One that guides my heart

Lord, I need You
Oh, I need You
Every hour I need You
My one defense
My righteousness
Oh, God how I need You

Where sin runs deep
Your grace is more
Where grace is found, is where You are
Where You are, Lord I am free
Holiness is Christ in me

Lord, I need You
Oh, I need You
Every hour I need You
My one defense
My righteousness
Oh, God how I need You

Teach my song
To rise to you
When temptation comes my way,
When I cannot stand
I'll fall on You
Jesus, You're my hope and stay"

{LORD I NEED YOU lyrics by Matt Maher}
{My favorite version right now can be found HERE.}

No matter what is going on, on good days when life couldn't be better and on bad days when things look bleak and everything seems to be going wrong may I still remember my desperate need for God. I can only be filled with Him when I acknowledge my need for Him when I am poor in spirit. 

It's absolutely the opposite from what I want to believe. I want to believe I can do it; I have everything under control and that I have no need. But, in my soul, I know better.....

He is my rest, the one who guides my heart, my defense, my righteousness, my grace, my freedom, my hope and my stay. Thank you Jesus. 



Monday, January 19, 2015

"Free and Unfrettered, Careless in the Care of God"

If you decide for God, living a life of God-worship, it follows that you don’t fuss about what’s on the table at mealtimes or whether the clothes in your closet are in fashion. There is far more to your life than the food you put in your stomach, more to your outer appearance than the clothes you hang on your body. Look at the birds, free and unfettered, not tied down to a job description, careless in the care of God. And you count far more to him than birds.

People who don’t know God and the way he works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how he works. Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don’t worry about missing out. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met.
Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes.
Matthew 6 (Message)

Hoard. Fuss. Worry. I do not want these words to describe the way I live my day to day life yet so many times they do. I convince myself I "need" one more new outfit. I fuss at everyone around me because I'm in a bad mood. I fret about Adam's next month commission check.

When I choose to live this way, I am constantly saying to God, my family and the world that I do not trust Him, that He is not enough for me, and that He cannot provide for us, emotionally or monetarily. 

The message version of the bible provides help for this type of thinking and living. It says in verse 33, "Steep your life in God reality, God initiative, and God provisions. Don't worry about missing out. You'll find all your everyday concerns are met."

God brought to my heart four prayers to pray today from this verse:

1) God help me soak my thought life in God reality or truth, what's real and true to you God, train my brain to rely on Your word over social media. God help me to see where I am believing lies. Shine your light into the dark places of my heart.

2) God help me to soak my thought life in God initiative-thinking. Help me not to be self serving but others focused today. Guide me in how I am to spend my time today. 

3) God help me to soak my thoughts in what You have already provided for me and supplied for me. God give me the spirit of contentment and thankfulness that I know you want for me to have. 

4) Thank you God. I know when I obey your word you fill me full with your Spirit. And in part, the petty things that bother me, don't seem quite as overwhelming or important. 

I'm so thankful for the truth of His word. He is good and His promises prove true. He is always there, a constant help when I reach out to Him.


"But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own." 

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Full Boldness Without Hinderance


I am so behind on posting about our life on the blog here. So much has happened lately; Abe turned one, Adelyn turned 5, Christmas, mom visited, lost teeth, and many wonderful memories made. I will catch up when I can. I love having the blog as a record keeper of memories. Sometimes Adam and I look back over the blog through the years and remember all the good times. I'm so thankful for this record, but more than that I am thankful for all the Lord has taught me through the years. I am thankful for His constant presence and His faithfulness and the record of those things here as well.

A friend sent me a short video last night that rocked me. It's Christine Caine from the IF Gathering and she talks about the difference in freedom and deliverance. You can watch the video HERE. The thought of being delivered but not free is haunting to me. Why be delivered if not free? I definitely feel like there are areas in my life that I need to live free and I am not right now.

It all reminds me of Romans 8:
Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace. The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God.

Oh how my heart longs to live in the Spirit in peace and life....

I'm not much for new years resolutions, but I do like goals and having a focus. My focus in my walk with the Lord this year has come from a Beth Moore bible study. I read this phrase and it just stuck with me and the Lord spoke to my heart and told me that it should be my prayer for 2015.

It's "living a life with full boldness without hinderance." I am not bold in and of myself in any way shape or form and because of my "baggage" and my sin I have plenty of hinderances but I know that living with boldness and without hinderance is possible with the Lord, when living in the Spirit. The Lord has given me vision for some things He wants me to complete in 2015 but I need the boldness that only comes from Him. I need freedom so I won't be distracted and can complete these tasks. I'm thankful for the promises: "He Who began a good work in you will continue until the day of Jesus Christ [right up to the time of His return], developing [that good work] and perfecting and bringing it to full completion in you." Phil 1:6 and Prov 3:6 "Seek His will in all you do and He will make your paths straight." I can take life one day at a time walking with Him, abiding in Him and He promises to keep working on me and to show me the next step to take....



Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Waiting

Waiting Here For You
by: Chris Tomlin, Jessee Reeves, and Martin Smith

Sung by Christy Nockells

If faith can move the mountains
Let the Mountains move
We come with expectation
We're waiting here for You
I'm Waiting here for You


You're the Lord of all creation
And still You know my heart
The Author of salvation
You've Loved me from the start


Waiting here for you
With our hands lifted high in praise
And it's You we adore
Singing Hallelujah


You are everything You promised
Your faithfulness is true
And we're Desperate for Your presence
All we need is You


Waiting here for you
With our hands lifted high in praise
And it's You we adore
Singing Hallelujah


Hallelujah, Hallelujah
We're singing, Hallelujah
We're singing, Hallelujah

I absolutely adore this song for so many reasons. It is a song that resonated in my soul during a very dark time in my life. A year after we moved to Ohio I wanted to get out so badly. I begged the Lord every.day throughout the day to move out of Ohio. It was a dark time for me in my marriage, my friendships, with my babies and our church. I would play this song on repeat and just cry out to Him telling Him I was waiting for Him to move us somewhere, anywhere. 

I love the progression of this song. A cry for God to move mountains, acknowledgement that He knows every part of our heart and hears our requests, a declaration that He is faithful, a confession that no matter what happens, we have all we need in Him and lastly a waiting in patient praise while singing hallelujah: God be praised right now, even though things aren’t how I want them. 

God’s timing was perfect. I couldn't see it then, but I see it a little bit clearer now. He kept us in Ohio for years after I started begging Him to move us to teach me. In those years I waited, He taught me infinitely about His love and faithfulness, His desire and ability to answer my prayers and His power to satisfy my soul. He became my very best friend. 

God has always had my good in mind, even when it didn’t feel like it. May I always remember the Lord’s faithfulness of the past. And in remembering, may my heart never cease to sing Hallelujah: My God be praised. 

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Escape


By his divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life. We have received all of this by coming to know him, the one who called us to himself by means of his marvelous glory and excellence. And because of his glory and excellence, he has given us great and precious promises. These are the promises that enable you to share his divine nature and ESCAPE the world’s corruption caused by human desires. 2 Peter 1:3-4

Yesterday was a pretty crummy day. I absolutely love the Christmas season. I adore holidays and special occasions and live for parties but yesterday it all seemed too overwhelming. And I caved. I lived most of the day stressed to the max . By the end of yesterday, everything had gone wrong and absolutely nothing I tried to accomplish was completed. I acted like an ungrateful, selfish person. I took all my frustration out on Adam who was actually trying to help me . 

None of my acting like this actually helps anything ever. I just end up feeling guilty and awful and like I wasted time and opportunity. 

BUT, this morning I woke up to read the verses above and I felt a sense of hope. First of all, His mercies are new for me this morning! Praise the Lord! Secondly, He has given me all I need to make better choices today by His grace and divine power flowing through my life. He has given me His word so that I can choose to put my mind on truth and avoid sin and its consequences. 

I'm thankful for His never ending grace. I'm thankful for His truth and do overs! I'm thankful He is always looking for the best in me and not focusing on my flaws. What a God! 

It is because of the Lord’s mercy and loving-kindness that we are not consumed, because His [tender] compassions fail not. They are new every morning; great and abundant is Your stability and faithfulness. Lamentations 3:22-23

For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. Romans 8:5-6