Wednesday, June 17, 2015

If Only

Read Numbers 14:1-45

Numbers 14: 1-4

1Then all the congregation lifted up their voices and cried, and the people wept that night. 2All the sons of Israel grumbled against Moses and Aaron; and the whole congregation said to them, "Would that we had died in the land of Egypt! Or would that we had died in this wilderness! 3Why is the Lord bringing us into this land, to fall by the sword? Our wives and our little ones will become plunder; would it not be better for us to return to Egypt?" 4So they said to one another, "Let us appoint a leader and return to Egypt.”

If Only…  

Do you ever find yourself saying if only…?  
If only I could have gotten that job, we would not be living like this.  
If only I had passed my class, I wouldn’t still be in this school.  
If only I had more money, then I would be happy.  
If only…. You can put any words in place of the ones I wrote but the reality is you can’t play the If Only game.  

I think we are all guilty at times of being just like the Israelites.  We think that if only we had stayed at our last job; last home; last relationship or last whatever things would be different.  The Israelites were complaining because they had encountered what they saw as a road block.  How many times do you find yourself grumbling and complaining about your life and where you are at that moment?  I hate to admit that I have been guilty of that at several times in my life.  Recently I found myself in this place.  This place of grumbling and complaining.  I do not like myself when I am at this point in my life.  All I seem to be able to focus on is me and that is not what God called me to do - focus on myself.  No, He called me to focus on others.  I don’t want to be like the Israelites, where I am grumbling and complaining because I think that my way is better than God’s way, that I don’t trust Him or that I don’t have faith in Him.  Who am I?  

When I try to do things on my own, it fails.  When I grumble and complain, my focus becomes self-centered not Christ-centered.  When I think I should be like others, then I am conforming to the world’s ways and not God’s ways.  Thank the Lord that Moses interceded for the Israelites.  If he had not, God was ready to strike them down with a plague and destroy them for treating Him with contempt and unbelief.  God had already proven to them time and time again of His faithfulness.  It was because of fear and unbelief that they found themselves in this situation.  Sometimes (well, in all actuality all the time) we have to figure out the root of the problem before we can begin to fix the problem.  They doubted their abilities against the people of the land flowing with milk and honey.  They said that these people were powerful and of great size, and the city was fortified and very large.  But that is what happens to us when we think we are the ones doing the job.  We try to put all this confidence in our own ability.  We must begin to change our way of thinking.  We must begin to see everything through the eyes of God.  God had already promised them this land!  All they had to do was trust Him, have faith in Him and surrender to Him.  This is all we need to so as well. 

Trust Him!  
Have Faith in Him! 
Surrender it ALL to Him!

How many of those do you struggle with today? You may find yourself struggling with one or more of them but I give you Hope!  Hope that is only found in Christ.  This hope that will help you find the strength and courage you need to face today with a change in perspective.  So, if you find yourself lifting up your voice to God and crying out to Him please know that He hears your cry.  He desires to help you but also know that just like the Israelites there are consequences to all our choices and He allows life lessons to help us become what He wants us to be.  Turn to Christ today with all your concerns and He will give you Hope!  

Prayer: Dear Lord, I find myself at times just like the Israelites, where I am grumbling and complaining.  Please help me to change my perspective and make a choice today to see the blessings around me.  To trust that Your plan is so much better than mine.  To have the Faith that can move mountains.  To surrender all of my life to you, not just the parts I want You to have.  How many times, do I have to be in this place to finally realize that You are enough?  So, today I am yelling out that YOU ARE ENOUGH and that I trust You, I have faith in You and that I surrender it all to You.  In Jesus Name I Pray, Amen.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Jesus on The Mainline

Psalm 85: 7-8
7 In the day of my trouble I shall call upon You,
For You will answer me.
8 There is no one like You among the gods, O Lord,
Nor are there any works like Yours.

Jesus on the Mainline

Do you realize that you can call on Jesus anytime day or night and He will answer?  Now I am not saying that He will always answer the way you want Him to but He will answer the way He sees best for your life.  There is an old gospel song that came to mind when I read these two verses.  It is called Jesus on the Mainline.  It reminds me that no matter what I may be experiencing today I can call upon Him and tell Him anything.  He hears my cry and my prayers.

My prayer today is that He hears my cry when I am exhausted & hot from the temperatures this week.  
That He knows my heart for the people of Nicaragua.  
That He sees the love I have for my husband and my children.  
That He knows my concerns about moving to a remote area of the country to begin a clinic/hospital.  
And that He will go before me in every situation where I must speak Spanish.  

I have to admit that here lately I have been struggling with many different emotions: anticipation, anxiety, frustration, happy, content, nervous, stressed, weary are just a few.  As I look back on this list of emotions I notice that only 2 out of 8 are positive emotions.  I am no different from you.  I struggle in many of the same areas that you do.  I desire to change to be more like Christ everyday.  I don’t want to struggle with certain emotions.  I will tell you that today will be a new day though!

Today, I will call Jesus on the Mainline and tell Him all my emotions and then give it all to Him.  If I continue to go through this day trying to be in control of everything then I am not giving it all to Him.  I cannot give it all to Him and still have finger holding on.  I must trust Him with everything.  I must be in constant communication with Him.  As Paul writes in 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, “Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.“  So today, if you are like me and find yourself experiencing many of the same emotions, turn to God in prayer and give it all to Him so that you can have that weight lifted off your shoulders.  We are not alone in this walk.  He will never leave us or forsake us (Deuteronomy 31:6).  If He has called you to a new place in your life then He will go before you to complete His good work in you (Philippians 1:6).  Trust!  Surrender!

My Prayer for each of us: Father, You know our hearts.  You know our deepest fears.  Take away any anxiety we may be feeling today.  Give us the strength to do what You have called us to do today.  Go before us and give us the words to speak, no matter what language it may be in give us the words.  May others see You in our actions and words.  May I give you praise no matter what circumstance I find myself in today.  IN Jesus Name I Pray, Amen.

What Am I Doing With My Days?

Psalm 90: 12

12 So teach us to number our days,
That we may present to You a heart of wisdom.

Yesterday was my dad’s 70th birthday.  I cannot believe he is seventy years old.  He does not look seventy.  Don’t ask me what I really think it should look like but he does not look seventy.  My dad is very active and has many years ahead of him.  But as I read this particular Psalm, this verse jumped off the page.  It spoke to me in such a way that I can’t really describe.  I think as I get older, the thought of death becomes more real.  I know it sounds crazy, right!  Well, it is true that is becoming more real to me.  I know that we are all going to die but I now realize more that what I do with these days is so important.  

I remember writing a while back about the dash in your obituary is what matters.  If you missed that, here is a quick recap.  When you read someone’s obituary, you always find the date that they were born, a dash, and then the date that they died.  Well, in my opinion, it is the dash that is most important.  

What did they do with the years that they were alive?  
What am I doing with my years? 
What are you doing with your years?

Am I using everyday to bring glory and honor to God?  Am I trying to pour God’s word, His truth, and His love into my children and those around me?  Am I being an example to others?  Am I trying to be more like Christ each and everyday?  Do I have a heart of wisdom or a heart of stone?  I am so thankful for all my days up to this point.  Everyday has molded me into the person I am today.  Yes, I do think about what I would do differently if given the chance but that won’t ever happen.  I have learned to appreciate all my days.  We must live each day as if it was our last.  We are not guaranteed tomorrow.  So today, make sure that you have told your loved ones how much they mean to you.  Pour God’s word, His truths and His love into those around you.  In everything you do, bring glory and honor to God.  Seek His will for your life, not your own.  Life goes by so quickly.  You blink … and your baby is not a baby anymore or your loved one has gone on to be with the Lord.  

My Prayer for You: Father, teach each of us to number our days, that we may present to You a heart of wisdom.  Help us to bring glory and honor to You each and everyday.  Show us where we have done wrong and help us make it right.  May our dash between our years be what pleases You.  In Your Son’s Name I Pray, Amen.  

Here is a song to start your day:
Blink by Revive

Thursday, April 16, 2015

He Is...

Psalm 84:1-3
1 How lovely are Your dwelling places,
O Lord of hosts!
2 My soul longed and even yearned for the courts of the Lord;
My heart and my flesh sing for joy to the living God.
3 The bird also has found a house,
And the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young,
Even Your altars, O Lord of hosts,
My King and my God.

I stand in awe of God’s creation everyday.  My favorite time of the day is first thing in the morning when the sun is attempting to peek above the horizon.  It cast an array of colors on the horizon that causes me to stop and take it all in.  And just like clockwork, as the sun rises, the birds begin their singing.  Now I have to say that sometimes at 5:00 am I am not the one that is so chipper like these birds because I would like to roll over and go back to sleep until my alarm goes off at 5:30.  But I find that once I do get up and get moving that I feel just as the birds, alive and ready to sing praises to our Lord.  

When was the last time you took the time to listen to the birds in the morning or witness the sunrise?  Or are you too busy rushing around getting ready that you either forget to stop or just think that you don’t have time.  In the big scheme of life, I have realized that life is short and we must begin to take time for the simple pleasures in life.  Just like setting appointments for work or going to the doctor, we must set an appointment to meet with Jesus every day.  

He is the one who can make sense of the mess.  
He is the one who goes before you in your appointments.  
He is the one who is there when you receive the news you did not want to hear.  
He is the one who gives you the sunrise and the sunset.
He is the one who gives the birds their song to sing.

I love my time in the mornings, reading His word and discovering new things.  It is a time to reflect on His glories and be reminded of who is in control of everything.  So, don’t get so caught up in what you have planned for the day that you miss out on the blessings along the way.  God gives us a gorgeous sunrise and sunset everyday.  He paints the sky with beauty and gives the birds a melody to serenade us.  He places the right people in your path to give you hope.  He will run to the ends of the earth to find you.  Take time today to spend in His presence.  

Listen to this song by Phillips, Craig and Dean
No Matter How Long It Takes

My Prayer For You:  Father, go before my friends today and give them discernment in their meetings.  Help to see where You are in their life.  Hold them tightly during those difficult decisions that have to be made.  Give them hope when they are feeling hopeless.  Place the right people in their path today.  Help them to know they are loved!  In Your Son’s Name I Pray Amen.  

Thursday, April 9, 2015

God Knows

Psalm 78: 72
And David shepherded them
with integrity of heart;
with skillful hands he led them.

David was the chosen one.  He was a man after God’s own heart.  However, he was not the one his family thought would be king.  He was the youngest of all Jesse’s sons and ruddy.  He was fine in appearance and handsome features.  But the qualities that we look at on the outside are not the same qualities that God looks at on the inside for someone to be able to shepherd his people.  David may not have been a perfect man.  Nor was he a man without sin but God still used him in mighty ways.

In this psalm, Asaph is giving the history of the nation to warn the future generations against repeating the same sinfulness and unfaithfulness.  He is trying to remind them of all the times that God was there for them and remind them of their ungratefulness during their Exodus.  He shared with them that their “hope rested on God’s new choices of Judah ( replacing Ephraim), Zion (then in enemy hands), and David (a Shepherd lad).  I can only imagine their thoughts at this time.  What can this lad do for us.

But God knew David deep in his heart and He knew that David would be the right man for the job.  The way that David cared for his sheep would be the same way that he would care for God’s people.  He would shepherd them with integrity of heart; with skillful hands he (would lead) led them.  Trust God today that He has the right plan for your life.  You may not see the potential that you have to do great things for the Kingdom of God but He can see your potential.

As I sit in a hotel room in what seems like the middle of know where I must remind myself these same things.  We arrived yesterday afternoon in a small town called Siuna. (Take a moment to look on a map where we are in Nicaragua.  We are in the RAAN region where it is not as heavily populated.  Let me know if you find it.)  We are meeting with the Director of SILAS today at 8 about our desires to begin a clinic/hospital in the Rosita area.  This meeting is so important and I need to be reminded that God has a purpose for our lives here in Nicaragua even when I can’t see them.

Even today, God is leading each of us in the directions He wants us to go in order to fulfill His purpose for His kingdom.  Trust in Him today for your immediate and future plans for your life.

 “And David shepherded them with integrity of heart; with skillful hands he led them.“

Prayer: Father,  Thank you for your perfect plan for our lives.  Help each of us to see where You are at work so that we may join You.  In Jesus Name I Pray Amen.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Why Do You Believe?

Psalm 48: 1, 14

1 Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised,
In the city of our God, His holy mountain.
14 For such is God,
Our God forever and ever;
He will guide us until death.

Why Do You Believe?

I believe in God the Father, I believe in Jesus Christ, I believe in the Holy Spirit and He’s given us new life.  (We Believe by Newsboys).    Do you believe?  Do you believe that Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised as this psalmist writes?  Do you believe that He is Our God forever and ever?  Do you believe that He will guide us until death?

Yesterday, as I read a dialogue between my husband and someone he went to high school with, I was pondering so many things.  Things like, can I defend my faith to someone who does not believe the same as me, can I have a healthy debate and not let my emotions get the best of me and/or can I stand firm in my foundation that I find in Christ?   Have you ever thought about why you believe what you believe?  Is it just because your parents taught you those things or have you done your own research?

My faith is strong but I want my knowledge about the history and theology to be strong as well.  I must begin to take time each day not just reading God’s word but also studying His word and books on theology.  I know that God is great and He should be praised.  I know that He is forever and that He will guide us until death.  How do I know?  I know by the stirring in my soul by the Holy Spirit, by reading His word and by my own experiences that I had to trust Him.  

When you are faced with a friend who is dying, do you believe that He is guiding them until death?  If they have accepted Christ as their Lord and Savior then there is nothing to fear.  But our human side comes out and we have doubt and fear.  It is this selfish side that doesn’t want them to leave us.  We don’t want to face life without them.  So does that mean that we don’t really believe those things above?  I don’t think so.  God knows how we feel.  He knows we love our friend dearly.  We must remember that He has been there too.  

Today, I struggle with the loss of my mom.  I am missing her a lot.  I think that as I read blogs of dear sweet women who are struggling with cancer it is bringing many emotions and memories to the surface again.  Do you remember Kara Tippetts, from Mundane Faithfulness?  She went home to be with the Lord yesterday and it hit me hard.  Why?  I don’t even know her but I know her story.  Her story of being a mother, a wife, a friend and a daughter.  But most importantly, she was a daughter of the King.  I found myself just crying as I read the post that came across my Facebook feed about her Homecoming.  Thankfully my husband just listened to me and heard my heart for this dear lady that I didn’t even know.  The great thing was he did not look at me like I had lost my mind.  He knew what was driving these emotions and he just listened.  

So today, I cling to the promise that I find on that hill far away, on Golgotha.  The promise of eternal life with my heavenly Father.  So my challenge to you today is to ponder these questions: Do you believe in God the Father?  Do you believe in Jesus in Christ?  Do you believe in the Holy Spirit and that He has given us new life?  Do you believe in the Crucifixion?  Do you believe that He conquered death?  Do you believe in the Resurrection?  Do you believe that He is coming back again?  if you believe then why?  Go discover why?  

Prayer: Father, I pray for those who are suffering with terminal illnesses.  I pray that they know you as their Lord and Savior.  I Pray that they feel your Holy Spirit stirring in their soul.  Please comfort them in their time of need.  Please comfort those who are struggling with the loss of loved ones.  Help my friends who are reading this be able to defend their faith and discover why they  believe what they believe.  In Jesus Name I Pray, Amen. 

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Psalm 42:1-3

1 As the deer pants for the water brooks,
So my soul pants for You, O God.
2 My soul thirsts for God, for the living God;
When shall I come and appear before God?
3 My tears have been my food day and night,
While they say to me all day long, "Where is your God?”

My Longings….

Yesterday, was an adventure to say the least.  My neighbor needed to go to PriceSmart, which is like Sam’s in the States, to get a few items.  I also needed to go to a bookstore to find a school book for a child that we are helping sponsor at our children’s school.  Well, these task may sound very simple if you were living in the States.  However, in Nicaragua, trying to find places can sometimes be next to impossible.  Why?  Because places really don’t have an address here.  Think about it like this.  When your grandparents or great grandparents would give directions to a place it usually went something like this, “When you go down the dirt road and you get to the Pure station take a left, then go past old farmer Bob’s house and take the next right.  You will go a little ways until you see the old oak tree and the house is on the left.”  OK, the problem with this is that the Pure station is not there anymore and you have not clue who old farmer Bob is much less where his house may be located.  Then the old oak tree has fallen so who knows where that house is on the right.  HA!  Well, here in Nicaragua, you have to know all the Rotunda names and the highways that you are on….they all start looking alike when you are driving.  Then you have to pay attention to the landmarks around you because that is how you give directions here as well as telling people that you go so many blocks and turn right or left.  Our blocks are not the same as their blocks here, rest assured.  

The other day I tried to find this bookstore on my own and to no avail came home.  So, I guess it is better to have someone with you who will help navigate and encourage you that you will find the store.  Guess what….yesterday, we found it!  Much to my dismay though they did not have the book I needed so we ventured off to another store, OH MY is all I can say.  At this point…

I longed for my comfort zone.
I longed for the sense of direction that I normally have while driving.
I longed for something familiar.
I longed to be home in a place of security and comfort.

The next place we went was a three story “mall”.  The parking deck gave us the creeps and when we saw daylight we turned the car towards the light and were able to park outside in the open.  Whew!  At no time did I feel in danger, it was just that this was so far out of my comfort zone.  When we walked in the “mall” we must have had the deer in the headlight look because a Nicaraguan who worked there, said “Do you speak English?”  YES!!!!!!   He asked how he could help us and we told him we were looking for the Liberia Gonper (Gonper Bookstore).  He pointed us on our way and we just laughed because I am sure we looked so out of place.  I believe we were probably the only Gringas (english speaking foreigners, especially North Americans) in the place.  

This morning though I realize that not only did I long for those other things, I longed for my Heavenly Father to give me a peace about the entire experience.  I longed to feel His presence.  I long to feel His presence everyday and to know that I am doing the right thing.  I long to be in HIS will and not my own.  Just as Jesus prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane, “Father, if You are willing, remove this cup from Me; yet not My Will, but Yours be done” (Luke 22:42). Do you long for His will and not your own?  Do you thirst for His presence in your life like a deer pants for streams and waters?  I am reminded everyday that God’s plans for my life are far better than my plans.  Why?  Because His plans for my life will bring honor and glory to Him.  SO, those things that I was longing for I can find them in Him. 

God is my comfort zone.  
God is my direction.
God is my familiar.
God is where I can find my home.  

Prayer: Father, thank you for the longings you have placed in my heart.  The longings for Your will, for Your direction, for You as my something familiar and for being able to find my home/my comfort/my security in You.  My prayer is that others will know these same longings in their life.  May they desire for Your will to be done in their life and not their own.  Bring comfort and peace to those who need it today.  In Jesus Name I Pray. Amen.  

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Integrity, Do You Have It?

Psalm 41: 11-13

11 By this I know that You are pleased with me,
Because my enemy does not shout in triumph over me.
12 As for me, You uphold me in my integrity,
And You set me in Your presence forever.
13 Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel,
From everlasting to everlasting.
Amen and Amen.

Integrity, Do You Have It?

Integrity.  Integrity is such an important word and action to teach our children.  Do you display integrity everyday?  Do you do the right thing even when no one is looking?  When you find yourself in the midst of betrayal, do you desire to display moral uprightness?  Are you a person of honor and trustworthiness?  

I think that so many have lost sight of the meaning of Integrity.  It seems as if “we” are a people who lack integrity.  We do not display the quality of being honest anymore.  We fabricate our stories so they sound so much better.  We do what ever it takes to get ahead.  Our society seems to lack strong moral principles and ethics.  Why are we not teaching our children how to have integrity?  Why are we not desiring for our children to care for the helpless and show love to a lost world?   

I can remember when Noah was 4, we enrolled him in the tiger cub karate class in our hometown.  They teach them about honor, courtesy, integrity, perseverance, self control, courage, community, strength, ability and knowledge.  While they are in the classes, they not only learn about strengthening their ability to process instructions, focus on objectives and how to interact with their peers but they learn what those words mentioned above really mean.  They learn how to put those words into action.  I see so many of these characteristics displayed in the bible by Gods people.  Even though David had his flaws he still strived to display some of these same characteristics that I am trying to teach my children.  

Our natural instinct is to want to lash back at someone when they have betrayed us.  But we cannot give into our flesh and treat others as those in this world.  We must learn from Christ Himself how we should treat others.  As we are in the season of Lent, we are reminded of the last days of Christ and the ultimate betrayal He endured by Judas.  Sadly enough, we probably have all had friends who we thought were our friends but it turns out they were not a true friend.  Can you imagine the hurt that Jesus must have felt to be betrayed by one of his disciples?  It doesn’t matter if He knew this was going to happen.  That does not take away the hurt He must have felt.  However, Christ in the midst of betrayal still displayed integrity.  

I want to encourage you today and remind you, that it IS possible for you to display integrity in the midst of betrayal and deep hurt from those closest to you.  I am not saying that it will be easy but that it IS possible.  I have to remind myself that I am not in this world alone and that there is nothing that this world can throw at me that MY GOD has not already conquered.  So if you are feeling betrayed today, be encouraged that Christ has already won the battle.  He has conquered the evil in this world and that we (Christ followers) will live in heaven with Him for eternity!  

Prayer: Father, there are so many that are hurting today and feel betrayed even by their closet friends.  Please give them the hope that they need to live another day for You.  Help them to display integrity no matter what they may face today.  Surround them with a peace that surpasses all understanding.  May they feel Your loving arms around them!  In Your Sons Name I Pray, Amen.  

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

One Of Those Days

Psalm 40: 1-3

1 I waited patiently for the LORD; 
     And he inclined to me and heard my cry.  
2 He brought me up out of the pit of destruction, 
     out of the miry clay, 
And he set my feet upon a rock 
     making my footsteps firm. 
3 He put a new song in my mouth, 
     a song of praise to our God; 
Many will see and fear 
     And will trust in the LORD.

One Of Those Days~

I think we all have them!  You know those days that we just want to crawl back in bed and hide from the world.  Well, yesterday was one of those days for me.  I find myself doing so good living in another country and then BOOM…it hits me like a ton of bricks.  I have made such great progress living in Nicaragua but then I also see how far I have to go.  

Just in the last few days, I feel like I have been bombarded with more culture than my brain obviously can handle at the moment.  But on the bright side, it took me exactly 71 days to have my first breakdown.  Progress people, progress!  It is the little things here that we learn to appreciate.  Sounds menial but it is a part of our everyday life here.  What I find that I have learned to love about being in another culture is the slow pace and the emphasis on relationships.  If you know me, then you know that I am all about relationships.  I can vividly remember last year longing for a sweet dear friend to be able to share my joys and my sorrows with on the missionary field.  Guess what, just as scripture says, He heard my cry.  I have that sweet relationship with someone who is like my soul sister!  Her name is Susan and we are just alike!  OK, don’t panic!  But the funny thing is that both of our husband say that we are like sisters and a lot like twins.  Kinda scary I know but God heard my cry!  

Susan, my soul sista, called at just the right time last night to hear me at the point of meltdown.  God is funny like that you know.  I had just finished a long HOT shower and a good cry when she called.  As a mom, wife and friend she knows all those feelings that I am experiencing and she just listened.  There were no grand words of advice, just that sweet friend on the other line listening to me and saying I know, I understand.  

My heavenly Father knows and He understands too.  He hears my cry and He is always there to help bring me out of my pit and put my feet upon solid ground.  He puts a new song in my mouth that I may turn my focus back to where it should be…on HIM.  So today if you are having One Of Those Days, find hope in this Psalm.  Be assured that your heavenly Father, hears your cry and will bring you out of the pit and set your feet firmly on the ground.  He will put on new song in your heart so that you will praise Him.  

Rejoice today, that He has you right where He wants you and that no matter what your circumstances, 

He Hears Your Cry.  

Prayer: Father, I know I should not continue to be amazed by You but I am.  When I read your word, I stand in Awe!  Thank you for hearing my cry when I think it is something small, You still hear my cry and answer my prayer.  Thank you for the sweet friend that I have in Susan.  I pray that You hear the cry of those who are reading this devotion today.  I pray that they feel Your presence.  I pray that they know that You are there to bring them out of the pit and firmly plant their feet on solid ground.  Put a new song in the mouth so they can rejoice in You.  In Jesus Name I pray, Amen.  

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Hear My Cry

Psalm 34:17-18
17 The righteous cry, and the Lord hears
And delivers them out of all their troubles.
18 The Lord is near to the brokenhearted
And saves those who are crushed in spirit.

Hear My Cry!

Yesterday as I was writing my devotion, I was looking up a website to read about something pertaining to my writing.  I came across a video that brought me to tears.  It was a video that produced a short trailer about the life of Kara Tippetts, the sweet mom that is dying from breast cancer.  I don’t even know this precious lady but my heart hurt for her, for her husband and for their children.  Maybe in some sort of way I was mourning the loss of my own mother from breast cancer.  It is so hard to watch your mom die and know that there is nothing you can do about it but put your Trust in the Lord.  

I found myself dealing with some emotions that have not surfaced in a long time.  Oh, to have a few moments with her right now to share about my life, her grand babies and her wonderful son in-law.  Even though she is physically not here with me anymore, I can feel her presence at just the right moments.  I am reminded of the times when we would laugh together and cry together.  God hears our cry and he is near to us during those times.  Just like this precious lady, Kara, He is right there with her in the midst of this storm.  He is holding her hand and comforting her along the way.  She is rejoicing with each new day she has been given.  What an example for all of us to follow!  Rejoice no matter what the circumstance.  

What is it that has brought you to tears today?  Maybe the death of a loved one or the loss of a job.  Sometimes it can be just the daily living that can bring us to tears.  Our kids have made a huge mess and our laundry is piling up as we speak.  But no matter what has you broken today, God hears you.  He will deliver you out of this moment in your life.  I promise there is a light at the end of this tunnel you are traveling.  Give all your cares, concerns and fears to the Lord today and he will save you.  Remember, God loves you and he has a perfect plan for your life that will bring Glory and Honor to Him!  Take a few moments to listen to this song!  I pray it brings you comfort and peace today.

Prayer: Father, Hear my Cry today.  I need You to comfort me in my times of brokenness.  You know my pain.  I pray for Your healing hand to come over me.  I pray for my friends who are suffering from cancer today, may you bring them comfort and peace today.  Give hope to the hopeless and comfort to the brokenhearted.  In Jesus Name, I Pray Amen.  

"If We've Ever Needed You”
by Casting Crowns

Hear our cry, Lord we pray, 
Our faces down, our hands are raised, 
You called us out, we turned away, we've turned away. 

With ship wrecked faith, idols rise, 
We do what is right, in our own eyes, 
Our children now, will pay the price, 
We need Your light, Lord, shine Your light. 

If we've ever needed You, Lord, it's now, Lord, it's now, 
We are desperate for Your hand, we're reachin' out, we're reachin' out. 

All our hearts, all our strength, 
With all our minds, we're at Your fate, 
May Your Kingdom come, in our hearts and lives, 
Let Your Church arise, let Your Church arise! 

If we've ever needed You, Lord, it's now, Lord, it's now, 
We are desperate for Your hand, we're reachin' out, we're reachin' out, we're reachin' out 

If we've ever needed You, Lord, it's now, Lord, it's now, 
We're are desperate for Your hand, we're reachin' out, we're reachin' out, 
If we've ever needed You, Lord, it's now, Lord, it's now, 
We are desperate for Your hand, we're reachin' out, we're reachin' out 

We need You now 
Revive us now 

We need You now

Friday, March 6, 2015

Joy Comes In The Morning

Psalm 30:5

Weeping may last for the night,
But a shout of joy comes in the morning.

Joy Comes In The Morning!

I can remember so many times in my life where this verse was so evident in my life.  While I was struggling in my “other life” as I call it, there were many nights I would cry myself to sleep.  I longed for things to be different in my first marriage and didn’t know how to change things.  I was trying to be the best wife and the best counselor at my work but I was struggling to do any of them well.  I felt like my weeping was lasting a lifetime and I could not find that joy.  

I longed for joy in my life.  
I longed for joy in my first marriage.
I longed for joy in my career.

I just did not have that joy.  I was trying to control my joy and I cannot make myself have joy.  Later, I discovered that my joy can only come from God and having that right relationship with him.  This is such a hard truth to discover because of our nature as humans.  We want to have that control over our lives.  But when we finally surrender it all to Him, Joy comes!  We then can see Joy in every circumstance.  No matter what God has allowed to come our way, we can find JOY!

There are so many scriptures that are jumping into my head right now that I want to share with you to encourage you and to bring you some comfort to you, today.  The first one is for you to have joy in the morning you must not “26 Be angry, and yet do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, 27 and do not give the devil an opportunity (Ephesians 4:26-27).”  And even when bad things happen to God’s people we should always know that God has a perfect plan.  Joseph’s life is a perfect example of this “20 As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good in order to bring about this present result, to preserve many people alive(Genesis 50:20).”  

Another example in the Bible is Jeremiah.  He was a great prophet that God used to deliver a stern message to His people.  He had many characteristics that were noted in scripture.  He was called the “weeping Prophet”  (Jeremiah 9:1; 13:17) or the “prophet of loneliness” (because he was commanded not to marry, 16:2).  He was also known as the “reluctant prophet” (Jeremiah 1:6).  But no matter if he was called the weeping prophet or the lonely prophet God used him in mighty ways.  In Jeremiah 29:10-14, it says“10 "For thus says the Lord, 'When seventy years have been completed for Babylon, I will visit you and fulfill My good word to you, to bring you back to this place. 11 For I know the plans that I have for you,' declares the Lord, 'plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope. 12T hen you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart. 14 I will be found by you,' declares the Lord, 'and I will restore your fortunes and will gather you from all the nations and from all the places where I have driven you,' declares the Lord, 'and I will bring you back to the place from where I sent you into exile.’”  God has a perfect plan for each of us.  Even though we may not understand at the moment why something is happening, be assured that His ways are higher then our ways (Isaiah 55:9).  God does not have plans to harm us only plans to give us a future and hope.  

Read this story about a young lady who was raped at the age of 12 and later was told she was pregnant as a result.  Her testimony is one of complete trust in the Lord.

Joy Comes In The Morning!

Prayer: Father, Thank You that my weeping may last for the night and praising You that Joy Comes In The Morning.  I know for my life that the weeping brought me to a deeper relationship with You and a clearer understanding of Your love for me.  May those reading this today find that same understanding for their circumstances.  May that cling to You during those nights of weeping and rejoice in You that their Joy will come!  In Jesus Name I Pray, Amen. 

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Can You Hear Me Lord?

Can You Hear Me Lord?

Psalm 28: 2

2Hear the voice of my supplications when I cry to You for help,
When I lift up my hands toward Your holy sanctuary.

This week we have been talking to our kids about their prayer time and how we need to listen to what we are really saying to God during that time.  I know children see life so differently than we do as adults but I also know that Jesus gave us the perfect example of a life of prayer.  As children they  tend to pray for the things they want.  Whether it is toys or to have fun at school but we should be teaching our children more about prayer.  There are some great devotional books to read with your children to begin this time of learning.  One that my children are reading now is Jesus Calling by Sarah Young.  It is a great way for them to begin to learn about having a quiet time with the Lord and learn to read their Bible.  She uses some great stories that are relevant to them.  But we should also be turning to scripture to teach our children about prayer and what God has to say about prayer.  

We see so often in scripture of times where God’s people would pray.  In Genesis 18:22-33, Abraham intercede for Sodom.  He was pleading for God to spare this immoral city because he knew that there were some holy people who lived there.  In this passage we see how we should pray for others and their salvation.  In 1 Kings 3:5-14, we see where Solomon is praying for wisdom.  How often do you pray for wisdom?  Do you pray that God would give you the ability to discern between good and evil.  Oh how badly we need people to be praying this prayer in our sinful world.  We have gotten so far off course that we can’t even see that things are evil because of the rose-colored glasses that we have chosen to wear.  In Luke 11:2-4 and Matthew 6:9-13, we see that Jesus taught his disciples how to pray by teaching them the Lord’s Prayer.  When was the last time you prayed the Lord’s Prayer?  We are taught in this Prayer about praise, forgiveness of sin, petition and submission to God’s Will.  What a perfect prayer!  Jesus also showed by example.  He would go off by himself and pray.  Our prayers are really for the Lord to hear.  Sometimes we get caught up in saying these elaborate prayers and unfortunately at times it is all for show and not really a time of talking with the Father.  

Sometimes though we just don’t know how to pray or what to say.  Last night we shared with Noah about what prayer is and how we pray.  God knows our hearts.  He knows what we are going to say but we believe we should confess those thoughts aloud to Him.  God desires to hear from His children.  He desires to be in relationship with us.  He loves to hear praise.  I know there have been times that I have been upset and angry at God but did not think I could say that.  Oh how wrong I was.  Just look at the Psalms and David’s cry to the Lord.  He pours his heart and soul out for God to fill him back up with His love and His mercy.  Just this morning for the kids devotion it used 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 “16 Rejoice always; 17 pray without ceasing; 18 in everything give thanks; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.”  

Still there are other times that we feel like our prayers are not even leaving the room.  That God never hears them.  Maybe we feel this way because we aren’t getting the answers that we want to hear or nothing is changing in our lives.  Remember, God has a perfect plan for each of our lives.  His timing is always perfect.  We must learn to trust Him and His ways.  He hears your prayers even when you have no hope left.  God will always be there.  Rejoice Always!  Pray without Ceasing.  Give Thanks!These words below brought me such comfort when my mom was dying and also when I was struggling with so many things during my past.  I pray that it brings you comfort today as well.

Prayer: Father, Thank you again for your constant love for me!  Thank you for the time that I have to spend with You each morning.  Thank you for the words that you give others to encourage me.  May I learn to Rejoice Always, Pray with our ceasing and Give thanks!  In Jesus Name I Pray, Amen.  

Hanging By A Thread
by Jeff and Sheri Easter

A woman needed healing,
Of that dreaded disease.
Her money brought sufficient,
But only Jesus could bring relief.
Though her last thread of hope,
It was worn down to the string.
Her heart held on to faith,
Till she could touch him with her hand.

Cause when you're hanging by a thread,
Still you can climb life's mountain.
Though the cliffs are rough and jagged,
You can cope.
If you should slip and reach ropes end,
You'll find the hem of His garment.
So don't let go of that last thread of hope.

Is that You hanging onto,
A frayed and fragile faith.
Are you clinging to the rock,
Above a canyon of dismay?
Reach out for the lifeline,
It will never break into.
Hold fast don't lose heart,
Once again God will pull you through.

Cause when you're hanging by a thread,
Still you can climb life's mountain.
Though the cliffs are rough and jagged,
You can cope.
If you should slip and reach ropes end,
You'll find the hem of His garment.
So don't let go of that last thread of hope.

If you should slip and reach ropes end,
You'll find the hem of His garment.
So don't let go of that last thread of hope.