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3 posts from July 2009

July 29, 2009

ONE with Him...

Stillwaters

Greet
ings, Everyone! Happy Wednesday!



And to those visiting, I say welcome! I post every Wednesday and my sole purpose is to nourish your soul along the way. 

Each month I give away a $10.00 gift card to someone who posts on my blog. I'll announce July's winner next week. This month's gift card comes from Starbucks. So share an insight or a story, bless lots of people, and just maybe you'll win a jolt of java for you and a friend!

Hey, and guess what? I'm finally on Facebook! Look me up. I'd love to connect with you! 

Now on to my topic...

I just love the following passage:

Declare (the Lord's) glory among the nations, His marvelous deeds among the people. For GREAT is the Lord and MOST WORTHY of praise. He is to be feared above all gods. For all the gods of the nations are idols but THE LORD made the heavens. Splendor and majesty are before Him; STRENGTH AND GLORY are in His Sanctuary. -- Psalm 96:3-6

God is great - and greatly to be praised! He made the heavens and the earth and there's no greater power than His! 

Another one of my favorite verses is this one:

You give me your shield of victory; Your right hand sustains me. You stoop down to make me great. -- Psalm 18:35

He gives us victory. He sustains and protects us. And He actually stoops down, lifts us up, and lets us partner with Him in mind-boggling ways. When we say YES to Jesus, we become one with Him. He draws us into the depths of who He is; He opens us the riches of His storehouses; and He give us day and night access to His presence and promises. 

Have you pondered lately what it means to be linked in fellowship with such an amazing, wonderful God?

Let me share one more passage if I may:

For he raised us from the dead along with Christ, and we are seated with him in the heavenly realms – all because we are ONE WITH CHRIST JESUS. -- Ephesians 2:6

Think about it. We are SEATED with Christ! We are ONE WITH HIM! We are dead to sin and alive to God! And the power that raised Christ from the dead is moving and flowing and available to us today! 

Why is this important?

Because the enemy consistently tries to single us out and make us feel separated from Christ. But the Bible says that nothing can separate us from His love. 

The enemy regularly hurls insults and threats our way, making us feel alone, vulnerable, and like the weaklings we are (apart from Christ). But our strength is in Christ alone!

When the enemy tries to single us out and pick us apart, we must stay in rank with the multitude of Believers and with the Heavenly host and shout this war cry: Greater is He that is IN ME than he that is in the world! When you come against ME, you come against the ARMIES OF THE LIVING GOD! 

We must not let the devil single us out and pick us apart. Stay in rank and stand shoulder to shoulder with the rest of us. 

And when we are tempted to put ourselves above others and think more highly of ourselves than we ought...we must stay in rank and humbly declare: A thousand others could take my place and do what I do if I choose pride. I'm one of many followers of Christ and I WILL WALK HUMBLY WITH MY GOD!

And when we forget how cherished and important we are to God, we must remember that we stand before Him alone. He knows us by name and He created us for His good pleasure. Even in our choices and life investments, we will stand alone before Him. People can say what they want about how we passionately pursue Christ, because on judgment day, we will stand before Him alone with those choices (therefore, choose to run after Him earnestly and without apology). 

Though we are one of many in the army of God, we are ONE to Him. He thinks about us night and day; He knows our name; and He loves us in very specific and profound ways. Think about how important you are to God today. Think about what you possess. And when the enemy tries to single you out, stay in rank and stand strong.

O Sovereign God, I'm one of many, but I'm ONE to you. 

Have a great week!

PS ~ If you haven't signed up for my FREE quarterly E-zine, you may want to! A number of my author friends donate some free books, I write a devotional and offer some great book recommendations; I share a few great quotes, ministry updates, and a prayer to send you on your way. Sign up by clicking the link below:

July 22, 2009

Faith For Today...

Sunpeek

G
reetings, Dear Friends!



And to those visiting, I say welcome! I post every Wednesday and my sole purpose is to nourish your soul along the way. 

Each month I give away a $10.00 gift card to someone who posts on my blog (and though I'm a bit behind right now, I do eventually reply to every post). :) This month's gift card is from Starbucks. So share a comment, story, or insight, bless lots of people, and just maybe you'll win a jolt of java for you and a friend.

Now on to my topic...

If you read this blog with any regularity, you know I'm a visual person. I often think in pictures, make a point with word pictures, and I understand things best when a picture illustrates the point for me. So, indulge me for a moment as I share a picture that evolved during my prayer time the other day.

God wants to mobilize each one of us in such a way that we are free to live, and move, and have our paid-for freedom, TODAY.

Picture yourself on a big island, sitting on the shore, staring out to sea. Jesus is calling you out to sea, out to a place of faith and adventure and freedom. But you are chained to your past mistakes and hurts. So as you sit there on the shore, bogged down by past sins the enemy repeatedly parades before you, Jesus walks up to you and sits down beside you (sweet thought, isn't it?). 

You turn a deaf ear to the enemy and you look into Jesus' eyes. He sweetly says to you, "You already asked me for forgiveness for those sins, right?" You nod, "Yes, that's right." Jesus continues, "So the enemy has no right to harass you with them today. Are you ready to leave your past behind you, once and for all?" You sit up a little straighter, your heart beats a little faster, and you reply, "Absolutely! I want my past to be a thing of the past!"

Suddenly you feel the ground quake beneath you, all the while, Jesus is smiling at you. A small portion of land breaks free from the island and before you know what's happening, you and Jesus are floating out to sea. You look back at the old island (which represents your past), and you watch as it sinks to the bottom of the sea where it belongs. 

You look ahead at the open horizon and your heart races with possibility. But then your thoughts wander and it suddenly feels like your little island is losing steam. 

You look over at Jesus as if to ask, "What's happening?" 

He nods behind you and you notice an old pile of garbage attached to your land by a big rusty hook. "What's this?" you ask. Jesus turns towards you and mentions a name or two. You swallow hard because you know you're harboring un-forgiveness and judgement towards these people. 

Jesus gently grabs your chin so you are looking straight into His eyes and He says, "I love you. I have plans for you, but you will never get to those promised places on time if you refuse to forgive and relinquish judgement as I have done for you. It's time to give up your 'right' to see them pay. Time to let them off the hook and trust me to deal with them." 

You crawl over to that old rusty hook and you pull it out of the ground; you unhook yourself from the offense and you watch it sink to the bottom of the sea. Suddenly your load feels lighter and your perspective brighter. 

You look ahead with hope and you embrace today with faith because Jesus is right beside you. 

I don't know what you think of that picture but I love it. It reminds me of the fresh daily-manna God provided for the Israelites. If they tried to carry yesterday's stuff over today, it would go painfully bad. We don't have grace for yesterday. What we do have for yesterday is goodness and mercy - from the Father's heart. We have grace to carry today's burdens with ease. Yesterday's problems are covered by the mercy and the goodness of our living God.

Your goodness and mercy follow me all the days of my life and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever (Psalm 23:6 NIV).

Our past is meant to be covered in His mercy in grace (not to be dug up and analyzed again and again). Our future is in the Lord's hands and entrusted to His care. Our present is filled with power, promise, and provision. 

We have today. He is with us every step of the way. 

Picture the old land of your past breaking away and falling into the sea. Purposely unhook the old debts and judgements you have against other people. Cherish the call on your life enough to be free from past sins (both yours and others).

God is doing a new thing! 

Embrace today~

Until next week...

PS ~ If you haven't signed up for my FREE Quarterly E-zine you might want to! I giveaway books from some of my author friends, I write a devotional, share some good book recommendations, great quotes, ministry updates, and offer a prayer to send you on your way. Sign up by clicking the link below:


PS ~ I'm FINALLY on Facebook. Visit me by clicking the link below...

July 14, 2009

Firm Footsteps...

GayHeadCliffs


Greetings, Dear Friends!



And to those visiting, I say welcome. I'm back from vacation and back in the game. I post every Wednesday and my sole purpose is to nourish your soul along the way. 

Each month I give away a $10.00 gift card to someone who posts on my blog. This month's card comes from Startbucks. So leave a post, share a story or insight, bless lots of people, and just maybe you'll win a cup of java for you and a friend.

Now on to my topic...

In my book, "The Uncommon Woman" I wrote about how we all have 'solid ground areas' in our lives where we walk with a measure of holy confidence. God has wired us or refined us in such a way that we can function in certain realms of life without feeling insecure or self-aware. In fact, in these places, we know we have something to offer. 

But we also have 'sinking sand' areas in our lives where we're not so sure of ourselves, or where we resort to insecurity and self-awareness. It's in these places where we trip up with our words at times, or we mistake others' intentions, or we perceive things differently than they actually are.

What are your 'sinking sand' areas? 

Do you struggle when you go home for the holidays? Do you find yourself slipping back into dysfunctional old ways? Or does the ground feel unstable beneath you when you are out with other women? Maybe you become self-aware at church, or at work, or at your child's school. 

What are we to do with our sinking sand areas? Should we avoid them altogether? 

I'd say a resounding NO!

The Bible says that God makes our way perfect. He arms us with strength. He makes our feet like the feet of a deer and enables us to walk on high places. God makes our footsteps firm and He clears the way ahead of us (*See Psalm 18:29-36).

We must trust Him and follow where He leads. But we also must deal with the stuff that rises up in us when we walk in uncomfortable places. Here are some of the ways God makes us 'able' to walk on high places and makes our footsteps firm:

  • He heals us from past wounds ~ We must give Him access to those painful memories that repeatedly trip us up. He will replace the lies with truth, the pain with joy, and our repetitive weakness with continual strength.   
  • He delivers us from our fears ~ We must be willing to follow Him to the places of our fears. He will only ask us to take a step at a time and He'll be with us every step of the way. As Henri Nowen once wrote, we must 'let our love for God override the fear we feel for ourselves' (my paraphrase). 
  • He assures us of His love ~ As we spend time with Him and as we trust Him with our fears, we find Him faithful. The more we let go of worldly assurances to place our trust in God's provision, the more we will know in the depths of our being that we are loved, protected, and provided for. Proverbs 9:10 tells us, "Knowing the Holy One results in understanding." The more we know Him, the more we understand the depths of His love. 
  • He leads us with great wisdom ~ Jesus knows us intimately and leads us with profound wisdom. He leads us at a pace that we can keep and He's patient with our missteps. He uses every trial to make us more like Him. He gives us ample opportunity to please Him with our faith, and He offers fresh mercy when we default to fear. He knows how transient we can be and He's made provision for our weakness. He's not surprised by our frailty because His strength is perfect for us. What love! What wisdom!

Instead of avoiding realms of life that make us feel insecure and self-aware, may we run to the Father, embrace His healing and restoring work, and then walk forward unafraid. We are designed to go from strength to strength, from glory to glory. God is always after in increase in our lives. 

Be blessed and stand strong!

PS ~ If you haven't signed up for my FREE Quarterly E-zine, you might want to! Four times a year (today is one of those days) I email out an E-zine filled with good things (book giveaways, devotional thoughts, great quotes, book recommendations, ministry updates, and a prayer to send you on your way). Here's the link:


Be blessed! Until next week~