Saturday, February 20, 2010

Blessed Assurance

"For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord. They are plans for
good and not disaster, to give you a future and a hope."
Jeremiah 29:11 NLT
This has always been one of my favorite verses because it reminds me that God did not just create me and leave me here swaying in the wind alone. He is with me walking me through His plan. I was home alone this morning doing some cleaning when a tune came to my mind. I continued to hum the tune but it took me a few minutes to realize even what song it was. It was the old hymn "Blessed Assurance". I quickly went to my computer to look up the verses since all that was coming to my mind was the tune. Wow, how sweet and powerful these words were to me today.
Blessed Assurance, Jesus is mine
Oh what a foretaste of glory divine
Heir of Salvation, purchase of God
Born of His Spirit, washed in his blood
This is my story
This is my song
Praising my Savior all the day long
Perfect Submission, Perfect Delight
Vision of rapture now burst on my sight
Angels descending bring from above
Echos of Mercy whispers of love
This is my story
This is my song
Praising my Savior all the day long
Perfect Submission all is at rest
I in my Savior am happy and blessed
Watching and waiting, looking above
Filled with His goodness, lost in His love
With this song God reminded me that His is the perfect one to submit to. He is a perfect God who has a plan for an imperfect person like me to be able to openly come into His presence (Heb 10:22) with a sincere heart and fully trust that He will accept me there. Becasue of Jesus' own submission even to death I , a sinner, can boldly enter into the Holy Place. Not only can I enter - I am expected to enter. That is a sweet invitation that I for one do not take advantage of often enough.
Lord - Please help me to always remember that you have given me an open invitation to come to You and to bring all my "STUFF" . Thank you for allowing my to bring that stuff and leave it all at your feet and walk away with Your peace.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Snow on the Beach

I am a little late checking in with this Valentine's weekend review but better late than never.
My sweet hubby and I left around lunch on February 12 and headed to the Gulf coast of Alabama. I had been awake off and on the whole night before wondering if we were going to be able to make this long awaited trip due to the predicted snow fall. It had been 22 years (since our honeymoon) that we were able to get away, just the two of us alone, without the children. We desperately need some quiet and reconnection time, so I was not going to let a little snow and freezing temperatures stand in our way. As we left the house in Northern Alabama we had about 2" and it was still falling but the further South we drove the deeper the snow got. After driving for about 3 hours the snow was as deep as 5-6" but thank God the roads were not icy. We finally got to the coastal area and although it was very, very cold there was no snow. Even if the weather was not what you would consider perfect beach conditions it was exactly what we needed as a couple… as husband and wife not as mom and dad. During the next two days we were able to recognize that we do still have things to talk about beside kids, school events and work. We realized that we will be able live together in the empty nest that is quickly coming. We had laughter filled dinners, late brunches, walks through the outlet malls with no concern about purchasing anything, visit to an historical site and we were even able to brave the cold to stroll on the beach. This weekend was not the grand vacation many dream about. It was not an expensive trip. It is not one that I will pull out the photos to show others but it is on that I will always remember. It is the vacation my marriage needed. The one my life needed. The one my heart needed. It is the vacation that our God provided.

Monday, February 8, 2010

We have time in the morning to sit in front of my mirror to put on make-up to cover all the “flaws” we see
but we do not have time to look in the Word to be reminded that we am fearfully and wonderfully made.

We have time to communicate via phone, text, facebook, email and a number of other ways
but we do not have time to talk to my Heavenly Father.

We have time to stand in the kitchen to cook meals and desserts to feed my physical hunger
but we do not have the time to sit still to be feed spiritually.

We have time to wait in line to be served by a tired and weary salesperson
but we don’t have time to sit with the Bible before us to learn how to serve others.

We have time to spend watching my favorite television show
but we do not have time to just be still and know Him.
We have time to work those extra hours in order to purchase earthly treasures
but we do not have time to work to lay up treasures in Heaven.

We have time to do all the hobbies that we want to do
but we do not have the time to thank the God that gives you those abilities.

I realized these things above after reading a wonderful letter that Elaine over at Peace for the Journey had written on her blog to a friend that she was going to be gifting a new bible to. That letter showed me that He could work so much more in my life if I knew Him better and to know Him better I have to spend time with Him. The way to spend time with Him is to read the Word that He has given to us.

Are you a Sword Fighter?

When my kids were younger they both love to sword fight. Anthony did it to act like Michelangelo, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle but Samantha just wanted a change to beat up on her big brother. They would grab up just about anything and swing it around like a sword, like a stick, cardboard wrapping paper rolls and the dollar store plastic swords. They would be running around the house wildly swinging whatever the sword of the day was and as long as it did not get to out of hand I just let it continue. However, eventually someone’s cardboard sword would bend and tear, the stick would break or the plastic would come apart. This disaster would leave one of my little ninjas unarmed and defenseless. All the weapon they were using were just cheap replicas of a real sword. A real sword that is forged of steal. A real sword that is hand crafted by a master blacksmith. A real sword formed just for the purpose of fighting and defending.

As I remember back to those day of the sword fights I think of how many time we as Christian find ourselves unarmed and defenseless against Satan. All because we try to use cheap replicas instead of using the real sword of the word. We try to fight Satan by simply pretending he is not there. We fight by repeating wonderful quotes from great teachers or preachers. We depend on others to fight for us because we know they have the real sword. We also try to fight with our sword, the sword of the word still on our hip in the sheaf .

How are you fighting the fight set before you ?
Are you welding around the true sword of the word of God ?
Have you pulled it out of sheaf?
Or are you just using a cheap replica ?

I have decided to spend more time this year to memorize at least 12 verses of scripture this year so that I will always have His sword with me ready to fight. If you would like to join me let me know so that I can be praying for you. I have decide not to post verses for us to learn together because I believe God puts different verses on our hearts in order to prepare us for the battles that He knows we will be facing in the future.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Your Comfort or His Calling

There is a small store front church on Main Street in our small town. This church always has some of the most thought provoking quotes on their sign. The quote I noticed this morning has been stuck in my mind, “God is more concerned with you calling than He is with your comfort.” I believe the reason this has really gotten to me is because I have been tossing and turning God’s calling on my life over in my mind the last couple of weeks. I have tried to blame these unsettling feelings on Satan but after reading that sign I think God may be trying to make me focus more on my calling than my comfort. As I have mentioned before about 2 years ago God called me to begin speaking to women. He has called me to share my testimony and encourage others that they are worthy in Him. I was fine with that calling as long as it was just a calling that I was working towards. However, my calling is becoming real now. I have my first speaking event scheduled for March and now I am not so comfortable. I have had all sort of doubts, fears and worries flow in and out of my head. There are things that I had not originally written in my testimony that He is telling me to share. Things that I am not comfortable with yet. The church sign stands as reminder that I am to follow His calling and He will handle the rest. Please pray for me to continue chose to follow His calling rather than settle in my comfort.
Which do you chose – calling or comfort? What things make you uncomfortable in following in His calling on your life? How can I pray for you this week

Monday, February 1, 2010

Listen and you will hear

I grew up in church even though I did not become a true follower of Christ until I was 32 years old. I had always heard people in church talk about how God had told them such and such. They would go on and on about God speaking to them. Once I became a Christian and began reading the Bible I read all the various stories of God give instructions to the men and women. Once I realized that God does speak to His children then I desired to hear from Him but I did not know how. It seemed all my time with Him was one-sided, me speaking to Him. I would pray praises, thanksgiving and even my request but I did not ever hear Him speak. There would be time that I would determine in my heart to hear God speak so I would take the time to sit still and be quiet waiting on a word, just one word. However, it would just be silence and I would get discouraged and walk away. Then one day my bible study brought me to the small Old Testament book of Habakkuk.

Habakkuk was a man that was desperate to hear from God. He not only wanted to hear from God but he expected that God would speak to him. At first it did not appear that Habakkuk would ever hear God speak but he never gave up. Habakkuk did get discouraged but he never gave up on waiting for God’s word to come to him. Little did Habakkuk know that while he was waiting and wanting to hear from God, God was already working. HAB 1:5 - Look among the Nations! Observe! Be astonished! Wonder! Because I am doing something in your days- You would not believe if you were told.

Even we do not hear from God directly He is still working in our lives. Like I said I wanted to hear from God but I was not sure how. Once I quit trying myself to hear from God but instead I just spent time with Him in prayer and in studying His word is when I did finally hear Him speak nuggets of wisdom to my heart. Now I look for Him to speak to me daily in various ways. Sometimes it was just nudges in my mind of things I should do; sometimes it is in things I remember, in dreams, in nature and even in the words of others around me.

Do you expect Christ to speak to you? Do you know that no matter how long you have to wait to hear that He is already at work?