My Shepherd

ADONAI is my shepherd; I shall not want.

He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters.

He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for His Name’s sake.

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff comfort me.

 

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies: You have anointed my head with oil, my cup overflows.

Surely goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the House of ADONAI forever.”

Psalm 23- TLV

Behold, I Am Doing a New Thing, Now it Will Spring Forth

It’s Blooming in the Desert!

After 5 years of devastating drought in southern California, the mountains and deserts of Death Valley are exploding with beautiful blooms and color!

Thus says ADONAI…

“Here I am, doing a new thing; Now it is springing up!”

“I will make a way in the desert and rivers in the wasteland”

– Isaiah 43:19

TLV

Cactus blooms in Southern California desert/Photos- CBS News

“Remember Me”

“And He took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me.” Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you.” Luke 22:19-20

There are many traditions, holidays, and ceremonies, that we observe and hold in remembrance, and many of them in the name of Christianity. We celebrate birthdays, and Christmas, Thanksgiving, and Easter, and that’s fine, they are special days, and it’s good to celebrate, but there is one thing that the Lord has asked us to observe, in remembrance of Him, and the sacrifice that He made to redeem us, saying, “Do this as oft as you will, in remembrance of me.”  II Corinthians 11:25

As we remember the last supper today, we are also reminded of Christ’s sacrificial love for all of us…We are reminded of His tremendous suffering, and the price that He paid to save us, and that by His grace, through faith, we are saved.

Thank you, Jesus.

Two Rivers

Once, when speaking at a Women’s Conference, I began by sharing that I had “cried a River of Tears”.

I knew that there were  women present who could relate, because they too had experienced the pain and disappointments that lead to crying lots of tears. I knew, because I had been there…

Sometimes people, in an effort to be comforting,  may say,” I know how you feel”… but it’s much more of a comfort when you know that someone has actually experienced circumstances similar to your own. As women, we feel things so deeply, and “crying a river of tears” was the best way that I could describe the heartfelt sadness that accompanied me through this difficult time in my life. I knew that I was not the only one to feel this way.

Many mornings,when I was having problems with my health, and praying for a miracle, my husband would wake to hear me quietly weeping, with my head sunk in my pillow. He would try to comfort me, but after a while, I think he just wanted me to let go of what he considered to be an “obsession” with wanting to have a baby.

But I was not obsessed, and I would not let go.

In spite of all my tears, I knew in my heart, that there was another river…

Psalm 46 says that, “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble… There is a river, the streams whereof shall make . glad the city of God,…God is in the midst of her, she shall not be moved: God shall help her, and that right early..

Be still and know that I am God…”

Sometimes we need to have a good cry, and that’s OK,… but we mustn’t cry as if there’s no hope… There is true comfort in knowing that God sees our tears, and will answer our prayers. I know because He’s done it for me.

Can a Mother Forget?

Image result for mother and baby nursing silhouette

Sometimes when we’ve been praying for something for a very long time, we begin to lose heart, and wonder if the answer will ever come. I know exactly how that feels. I remember praying and praying for God to work a miracle in my life, and sometimes, I felt that God had forgotten about me and my situation. Of course we know that God sees us always, and knows everything about our lives, but still, it is true of us as humans, that we sometimes think that our situation may not be as urgent to God as we would like for it to be.

This is so not true!

At one of my lowest points, the LORD gave me a verse which comforted me and reassured me, and to this day, this verse is very near and dear to my heart. In Isaiah 49:15-16, the Lord says, “Can a mother forget her nursing child?… Yes, she might, but I have not forgotten you… I have you engraved on the palms of my hands; your walls are continually before me.”  This is how I understood what He was saying to me through this verse:

1. “Can a mother forget her nursing child?” – Naturally, the answer to this question would be a resounding, “No.”  We all know how attached a mother is to her newborn baby, and so we understand the significance of this question. But…

2. “Yes, she might,” – Although it would seem impossible for a mother to forget or abandon her newborn child, it has happened, as unbelievable as it would seem, sadly, it has been the case for some mothers. But…

3. “I have not forgotten you” – God is saying that His love and care for us is even greater than a mother’s love. Infinitely greater. How so?…

4. “I have you engraved on the palms of my hands” – Here, I pictured the palms of my Savior’s Hands, which still bear the nail scars, pierced for me… And then…

5. “Your walls are continually before me.”  My situation and the circumstances that surround me, are continually before Him! Oh, Glory to God!!

Here it is in a nutshell…

God loves you, more than you can imagine, He has not forgotten you, and  your situation is continually, always, before Him.

Hold on.  :)

In The Boat With Us

As evening came, Jesus said to his disciples,Image result for stormy sea

“Let’s cross to the other side of the lake.”

So they took Jesus in the boat and started out,

And, behold, there arose a great tempest in the sea,

Insomuch that the ship was covered with the waves:

But Jesus was sleeping at the back of the boat…

 His disciples came to Him, and awoke Him, saying,

Lord,… “Carest thou not that we perish?”

And He saith unto them,

Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith?

Then He arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea;

And there was a great calm.

But the men marveled, saying,

What manner of man is this,

That even the winds and the sea obey Him!”

Matthew 8:25 and Mark 4:38

-As we “cross to the other side”, through the storms and trials of life,

Jesus cares.

He is “in the boat” with us.

He cares

and He will calm the sea.”

I Stand in Awe

“You are beautiful beyond description

Too marvelous for words
Too wonderful for comprehension
Like nothing seen or heard
Who can grasp Your infinite wisdom
Who can fathom the depth of Your love
You are beautiful beyond description
Majesty enthroned above

And I stand, I stand in awe of You
I stand, I stand in awe of You
Holy God to whom all praise is due

I stand, I stand in awe of You.”

-Hillsong

Heaven is for Real

Because Jesus said so;

“Let not your heart be troubled:

Ye believe in God, believe also in Me.

In my Father’s house are many mansions:

If it were not so, I would have told you.

I go to prepare a place for you.

And if I go and prepare a place for you,

I will come again, and receive you unto myself;

That where I am, there ye may be also,”

John 14:1-3

Delay Does Not Mean Denied

Waiting for an answer to prayer can be hard sometimes, but I’d just like to share that although it seems that there  may be a delay, it doesn’t mean that your request has been denied. In fact, it has been my experience that after what seemed to be a great delay, I was blessed far and away more than I was asking for in the first place! 

Here’s an example from  John 11:1-44

A request for healing is brought to Jesus. “…A certain man was sick, Lazarus of Bethany, the town of Mary and her sister Martha… Therefore the sisters sent to Him, saying, “Lord, behold, he whom You love is sick.”

 Jesus responds with a delay. ” Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. So, when He heard that he was sick, He stayed two more days in the place where He was.” Then, after finally arriving in Bethany, Lazarus having been dead 3 days, 

 Jesus raises Lazarus from the dead.  ” He cried with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come forth!”

And he who had died came out,,.. “

“Are you praying for something, and there seems to be a delay in receiving your answer? Just remember that God is working all things together for your good, and He is able to do “exceedingly abundantly above all that you may ask or think… So hold on, the answer’s on its way, and it promises to exceed your expectations!”  :)

Unto You Is Born This Day, A Savior!

“And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.

And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.

And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.

For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord.

And this shall be a sign unto you; You shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.

And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,”

                                            “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.”

          Luke 2:8-14

I Love This Story! Please Read It

There was once a man who didn’t believe in God, and he didn’t hesitate to let others know how he felt about religious holidays like Christmas. His wife however, did believe, and she raised their children to also have faith in God and, His Son, Jesus, The Christ, despite her husband’s disparaging comments…

One snowy Christmas Eve, his wife was taking their children to a Christmas Eve service in the farm community in which they lived. She asked him to come, but he refused.  “That story is nonsense!” he said. “Why would God lower Himself to come to earth as a man? That’s ridiculous!” So she and the children left, and he stayed home.

A while later, the winds grew stronger and the snow turned into a blizzard. As the man looked out the window, all he saw was a blinding snowstorm.  He sat down to relax before the fire for the evening. Then he heard a loud thump. Something had hit the window. Then another thump. He looked out, but couldn’t see more than a few feet. When the snow let up a little, he ventured outside to see what could have been beating on his window. In the field near his house he saw a flock of wild geese.

Apparently they had been flying south for the winter when they got caught in the snowstorm and couldn’t go on. They were lost and stranded on his farm, with no food or shelter. They just flapped their wings and flew around the field in low circles, blindly and aimlessly. A couple of them had flown into his window, it seemed.

The man felt sorry for the geese and wanted to help them. The barn would be a great place for them to stay, he thought. It’s warm and safe; surely they could spend the night and wait out the storm. So he walked over to the barn and opened the doors wide, then watched and waited, hoping they would notice the open barn and go inside. But the geese just fluttered around aimlessly and didn’t seem to notice the barn or realize what it could mean for them. The man tried to get their attention, but that just seemed to scare them and they moved further away. He went into the house and came with some bread, broke it up, and made a breadcrumb trail leading to the barn. They still didn’t catch on.

Now he was getting frustrated. He got behind them and tried to shoo them toward the barn, but they only got more scared and scattered in every direction except toward the barn. Nothing he did could get them to go into the barn where they would be warm and safe.

“Why don’t they follow me?!” he exclaimed. “Can’t they see this is the only place where they can survive the storm?”  He thought for a moment and realized that they just wouldn’t follow a human. “If only I were a goose, then I could save them,” he said out loud.

Then he had an idea. He went into barn, got one of his own geese, and carried it in his arms as he circled around behind the flock of wild geese.  He then released it. His goose flew through the flock and straight into the barn–and one by one the other geese followed it to safety.

He stood silently for a moment as the words he had spoken a few minutes earlier replayed in his mind: “If only I were a goose, then I could save them!” Then he thought about what he had said to his wife earlier. “Why would God want to be like us? That’s ridiculous!”

Suddenly it all made sense. That is what God had done. We were like the geese–blind, lost, perishing. God had His Son Jesus, to become like us so He could show us the way and save us. That was the meaning of Christmas, he realized.

As the winds and blinding snow died down, his soul became quiet and pondered this wonderful thought. Suddenly he understood what Christmas was all about, why Christ, the Messiah had come. Years of doubt and disbelief vanished like the passing storm. He fell to his knees in the snow, and prayed his first prayer: “Thank You, Jesus, for coming in human form to get me out of the storm!”

Author Unknown

Between Now and Not Yet

“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11

You may not realize

You will often forget
That I have a plan for you
Between now and not yet

I have so much more for you
You focus so much on debt
I have plans for you to prosper
 Between  now and  not yet

You’ll walk through the valleys
And fear to take your next step
My plans are not to harm you
Between the now and the not yet

If you’ll slow down and take a breath
Take time to watch My sun set
It’s My plan to give you hope and a future
Between the  now and  the not yet

“The Plan I Know” by David Andrews 

Morning by Morning

Great is Thy faithfulness, O God my Father;

There is no shadow of turning with Thee,
Thou changest not, Thy compassions they fail not,
As Thou hast been,Thou forever wilt be.

Great is Thy faithfulness!
Great is Thy faithfulness!
Morning by morning new mercies I see
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided
Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord unto me!

Summer and winter and springtime and harvest,
Sun, moon, and stars in their courses above;
Join with all nature in manifold witness,
To Thy great faithfulness, mercy, and love.

Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth,
Thine own dear presence to cheer and to guide;
Strength for today, and bright hope for tomorrow
Blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside.

-Thomas Chisholm

Through Trials

“Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet.

Only through experiences of trial and suffering

Can the soul be strengthened,

Vision cleared,

ambition inspired,

and success achieved.”

Helen Keller

“In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.”

John 16:33

With Thanksgiving

“O come, let us sing unto the LORD: let us make a joyful noise to the Rock of our salvation.

Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving, and make a joyful noise unto Him with psalms.

For the LORD is a great God, and a great King above all gods. In His hand are the deep places of the earth:

the strength of the hills is His also.

The sea is His, and He made it: and His Hands formed the dry land. O come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the LORD our maker.”

Psalm 95:1-6

Bold

Proverbs 28:1 says,  “… the righteous are bold as a lion.”  and in Hebrews 4:16 we’re told to come boldly before God’s throne in prayer. This is what Caleb did.

You can read about Caleb in Joshua chapter 14 verses 7-14 , and interestingly enough, the name Caleb means “bold”. Here’s his story…

Caleb was 85 years old when the Israelites reached the promised land. He was one of only two men who had survived the 40 year wanderings in the desert. After being freed from slavery in Egypt, he and Joshua were chosen by Moses to spy out the land that God had promised them. There were 12 men in all, one for each tribe. When they returned from their travels, 10 of the spies were terrified, and reported that it would be impossible to defeat these cities because they considered themselves and  their own people to be too small in comparison.  But Joshua and Caleb believed that God had led them to this good land and had faith that He would give them the victory.

The people believed the 10 spies. God was angry with them and because of their unbelief, they would have to spend the next 40 years walking around the desert until they all died off, leaving only their children and grandchildren to be the ones who would inherit the promised land. But God honored the faith of Caleb and Joshua.

Joshua became the leader of his people after the death of Moses, leading them into the promised land, dividing the Jordan River, and marching onto victory in the battle of Jericho. Caleb now 85 years old had remained strong in faith, and courageous in battle. In the face of battle over the land that Moses had promised would be his inheritance, Caleb boldly responded, saying:

“… the LORD hath kept me alive, as He said, these forty and five years, even since the LORD spake His word to Moses, while the children of Israel wandered in the wilderness: and now lo, I am now eighty-five years old. As yet I am as strong this day as I was in the day that Moses sent me: As my strength was then, even so is my strength now… Now therefore give me this mountain,… the LORD will be with me, then I will be able to drive (the inhabitants) out, as the LORD said…Hebron therefore became the inheritance of Caleb.”

He got what he wanted. Caleb was bold in his faith as a young man, and even as an old man. He knew that there was nothing too big to ask God for, and his boldness is evidence of that faith.

By faith, we are the righteousness of God in Christ, and “the righteous are as bold as a lion.”

You Can Count On It

true love

You can count on God’s Word.

If God said it, you can count on it to come to pass.

His Word is absolutely trustworthy.

God never breaks His Word.

In Him there are no broken promises.

“God is not a man, that He should lie, nor a son of man that He should change His mind.”

“Does He speak and then not act?”

“Does He promise and not fulfill? “

Numbers 23:19 

On Life’s Path

“Preserve me, O God: for in You do I put my trust…

I will bless the LORD, who has given me counsel: my heart also instructs me

in the night seasons.

I have set the LORD always before me: because He is at my right hand, I shall not be moved.

Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoices: my flesh also shall rest in hope…

You will show me the path of life:

In Your presence is fullness of joy; at Your right hand there are pleasures forevermore.”

 Psalm 16

The Faith Factor

“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Hebrews 11:1

cropped-a-post5.jpg

…”Daughter, your faith has made you whole….” Luke 8:48

These are the words that the LORD spoke into my heart, on this day, November 11, 1985. Like the woman mentioned here in this story, I had seen many doctors and suffered many things. I was in need of a touch from Jesus to heal me and make me whole. I needed a miracle.

At sunrise, on that beautiful fall morning , the Lord heard my quiet cry, and  took me from barrenness to motherhood. Little did I know that this was only the beginning. Miraculously, He blessed me to give birth to three children, when the doctors, and the condition of my body, said that I’d never have one.

Forever grateful…

Blessed be His Name!

“He settles the barren woman in her home as a joyful mother of children”

Psalm 113:9 – TLV

 

Turbulence

Image result for airplane

A few days ago, a friend of mine encouraged me with these words…

She said, “When a pilot is flying and sees turbulence ahead, he approaches it head on. He does not go around it, over it, or under it; he goes right through it. The pilot can’t see beyond the limited view of his cockpit, so he must rely totally on the instrument panel for guidance. He goes right through the turbulence, difficult as it may be, and presses through until he reaches the beautiful clear sky on the other side.”

This life, as we know, can bring us to turbulent times that cannot be avoided. We’d rather go around them, but we must press through. As we rely on and put our complete trust in the LORD, even when it gets rocky, He will lead us through to the beautiful clear skies on the other side.

Like Jabez

The bible says that Jabez, a descendant of Judah, was “more honorable than his brothers”and even though his mother named him Jabez (which means pain), he called out to the LORD and God heard him and gave him what he requested. 

This is not a story about getting everything we want, it’s actually an example that there’s always hope when we pray because no matter what we’ve been through, or what we’ve been called, as children of God, we have His eye.

 Jabez may not be as well known as Abraham or Moses but that’s just the point!  God’s love is there for the “little guys”too and the story of Jabez  reminds us that in Christ, each of us is special and uniquely significant. He cares for us and will answer when we pray.

“Jabez  called out to the God of Israel, saying,

“If only You would greatly bless me, and enlarge my territory. Let Your hand be with me,

and keep me from harm, so that I might not suffer pain.”

And God granted what he asked.” 

 I Chronicles 4:10-TLV

The Garden


garden
I come to the garden alone.

While the dew is still on the roses.

And the voice I hear,

Falling on my ear,

The Son of God discloses.

He speaks and the sound of His voice,

Is so sweet the birds hush their singing.

And the melody that He gives to me

Within my heart is ringing!

And He walks with me,

And He talks with me,

And He tells me I am His own!

And the joy we share…

As we tarry there…

None other has ever known.

-Charles Austin Miles

A Time of Reckoning

“For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time, are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.” Romans 8:18

To reckon, is to establish by counting or calculation, and today, as I struggle with  pain and limitations as I recover from surgery, I am reminded that, in calculating the number of difficulties and painful events that have occurred in my life, I am encouraged and inspired to think of what God has in store for those who love Him, those who are called according to his purpose. Paul, in reckoning all of his pain and suffering, just lays it out there for us in II Corinthians 11:24-27; “… five times received I forty stripes save one. I was beaten three times with rods, stoned once, three times I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep; In journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by my own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; In weariness and painfulness, (that’s me today, lol ), in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness.”

I don’t suppose that many of us can say that we’ve suffered to this extent, and I’m in no way trying to belittle anyone else’s experience, yet Paul kept moving forward and I’m so glad that he did because during these tremendous hardships, He wrote most of the epistles of the New Testament. Most of them from prison. In light of all of this, and considering the hardships that we may be facing, we too can reckon that none of it compares to the glory that shall be revealed in us, as we, like Paul, keep moving forward and looking up…

Elected

“Even before He made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in His eyes.” Ephesians 1:4

“But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for His own; that you should show forth the praises of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light”  I Peter 2:9

“You have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that you should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever you shall ask of the Father in My Name, He may give it to you.” John 15:16

Double For Your Trouble

There isn’t anything that we go through, that hasn’t first been permitted by God. This may be a little hard to accept sometimes, but it’s true, and in the end we’ll see that it was only allowed for our good… And that’s not all.

When it’s all over, the Lord will bless you in such a way that you receive “double for your trouble”, and sometimes even more.

Remember when the LORD told Abraham, way back in the beginning before Sarah was even pregnant, that he would be the father of a huge nation and this nation would be slaves in a foreign land, and that they would be there for over 400 years, but He would deliver them with a mighty Hand and they would come out with great substance?( Meaning they would come out with great riches.) Well 400 years of slavery is a long time for people to spend working for no pay, and the bible says that the morning after the first Passover, the Egyptians just started giving the Hebrews anything they wanted and they “spoiled” the Egyptians. Psalm 105:37 says, “He brought them forth also (out of Egypt), with silver and gold.”  And we all know the story of Job who, after he had so tremendously suffered, received twice as much of all that he had before.

Think about it. Hasn’t God brought you out of trouble and then blessed you? It could be that He blessed you monetarily, or restored your health, or blessed your family, or even blessed you with wisdom, in preparation for the blessings yet to come.

In Isaiah 61:7, the LORD says, ” For your shame you shall have double...” and if God says it, that settles it!

So if you’re going through a rough time right now, be encouraged…

You’re gonna be blessed DOUBLE FOR YOUR TROUBLE!!!!

God of Angel Armies

I know who goes before me
I know who stands behind
The God of angel armies
Is always by my side

The one who reigns forever
He is a friend of mine
The God of angel armies
Is always by my side

You hear me when I call, You are my morning song
Though darkness fills the night, It cannot hide the light

You crush the enemy, Underneath my feet
You are my sword and shield, Though troubles linger still

Whom shall I fear?

My strength is in Your name, For You alone can save
You will deliver me, Yours is the victory

I know who goes before me, I know who stands behind
The God of angel armies, Is always by my side

The one who reigns forever, He is a friend of mine
The God of angel armies, Is always by my side

And nothing formed against me shall stand
You hold the whole world in Your hands
I’m holding on to Your promises… You are faithful

I know who goes before me, I know who stands behind
The God of angel armies, Is always by my side

The one who reigns forever, He is a friend of mine
The God of angel armies, Is always by my side

The God of angel armies, Is always by my side.

From Chris Tomlin’s “Whom Shall I Fear”

In Oceans Deep

Image result for ocean

You call me out upon the waters
The great unknown where feet may fail
And there I find You in the mystery
In oceans deep
My faith will stand

And I will call upon Your name
And keep my eyes above the waves
When oceans rise… My soul will rest in your embrace

For I am Yours and You are mine

Your grace abounds in deepest waters
Your sovereign hand
Will be my guide
Where feet may fail and fear surrounds me
You’ve never failed and you won’t start now

So I will call upon Your name
And keep my eyes above the waves
When oceans rise
My soul will rest in your embrace
For I am Yours and You are mine

-Hillsong  “Oceans”


Love Is…

“Love is patient, Love is kind…

Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude.

It does not demand its own way.

It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged.

 It does not rejoice about injustice

But rejoices whenever the truth wins out.

 Love never gives up, Never loses faith,

Is always hopeful, and endures

Through every circumstance…”

“Love never fails”

I Corinthians 13: 4-7

Trusting God

To trust in God means that He is our confidence; our minds are at rest, as we rely on His word, His integrity, His veracity, His faithfulness, and His unfailing love.

We don’t often hear stories about King Hezekiah, but he is one of my favorite examples of trusting in God. II Kings 18:5, says that Hezekiah trusted God like no other king before or after him.. What a wonderful way to be remembered, as someone who truly trusted in God. In the face of danger, at the threat of war from Sennacherib, king of Assyria, and even after the prophet Isaiah warned him that he would soon die, Hezekiah prayed to God, trusted Him to hear and answer, and God delivered him every time!

King Hezekiah’s sincere, unshakable, trust in God, serves as a great encouragement and example for us today, as we face life’s trials and difficulties. Like him, we too can be assured, that God cares, He hears our prayers,He sees our tears, and will not fail to deliver us, as we place our trust in Him.

The Barometer

Image result for barometer

“Circumstances are not the barometer of God’s love and goodness – the cross is.”

“Do you feel as though God isn’t answering your prayers?  Are you tempted to doubt His love and goodness?

When I feel this way, I have to remind myself that my circumstances aren’t the barometer of God’s love and goodness—the cross is. He has shown His love and how good He is by giving His only Son Jesus to die for our sin. We can’t rely on our feelings. But day by day as we choose to trust Him more, we learn to believe with confidence that God is good—all the time.”

-Anne Cetas

When Hope is Frail and Candles Dim

Image result for candle going out

Oh, that I might have my request,

that God would grant what I hope for,

“What strength do I have, that I should still hope?

What prospects, that I should be patient?

I have been allotted months of futility,

and nights of misery have been assigned to me.

When I lie down I think, ‘How long before I get up?’

The night drags on, and I toss and turn until dawn.

“My days are swifter than a weaver’s shuttle,

and they come to an end without hope.

Remember, O God, that my life is but a breath;

my eyes will never see happiness again.

Job 6:8, 6:11, 7:4-7

Good Good Father

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Oh, I’ve heard a thousand stories of what they think you’re like
But I’ve heard the tender whisper of love in the dead of night
And you tell me that you’re pleased
And that I’m never alone

Oh, and I’ve seen many searching for answers far and wide
But I know we’re all searching
For answers only you provide
Cause you know just what we need
Before we say a word

You’re a Good, Good Father
It’s who you are, it’s who you are, it’s who you are
And I’m loved by you
It’s who I am, it’s who I am, it’s who I am

You are perfect in all of your ways
You are perfect in all of your ways
You are perfect in all of your ways to us

Oh, it’s love so undeniable
I, I can hardly speak
Peace so unexplainable
I, I can hardly think

As you call me deeper still
Into love, love, love

You’re a Good, Good Father
It’s who you are, it’s who you are, it’s who you are
And I’m loved by you
It’s who I am, it’s who I am, it’s who I am

Chris Tomlin

Happy Father’s Day! ♥

“See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!”

I John 3:1

A Rock and A Hard Place

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A Place Called Hard
Lord, I have me a mountain,
I need You to remove
I have me a situation
only You can improve.

Lord, I got me a dilemma,
that needs to be resolved
I have me a problem
I need You to be involved.

Lord, I have me a river,
it’s as wide as it is deep
I have me a condition
that I don’t want to keep.

Lord, I have a clear view,
of the storm that’s ahead
I have me an idea
it’s going to be widespread.

Lord, I’m between a rock,
and a place called hard
so I am going to need You
to be my constant guard.

Lord, I’m placing my life,
in the palm of Your hand
trusting this predicament . . .
is just a part of Your plan!

-Deborah Ann Belka

The High Place, I’ll Bring Down

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I will make the darkness light before you,
What is wrong I’ll make it right before you,
All your battles I will fight before you,
And the high place I’ll bring down.

When you walk by the way I’ll lead you,
On the fatness of the land I’ll feed you,
And a mansion in the sky I’ll deed you,
And the high place I’ll bring down.

With an everlasting love I’ll love you,
Though with trials deep and sore I’ll prove you,
But there’s nothing that can hurt or move you,
And the high place I’ll bring down.

Although satan in his rage would tear you,
And with all his scheming arts would snare you,
Even down to your old age I’ll bear you,
And the high place I’ll bring down.

I will make the darkness light before you,
I will make the crooked straight before you,
I will spread My wings protecting o’er you,
“And the high place I’ll bring down.”

Charles P. Jones

“…I will make the darkness light before them.”  Isaiah 42:16

Reaches To The Heavens

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Your love, oh Lord
Reaches to the heavens
And Your faithfulness
Stretches to the skies

And Your righteousness
Is like the mighty mountains
Your justice flows
Like the ocean’s tide

And I will lift my voice
To worship You, my King
And I will find my strength
In the shadow of Your wings

Your Love, oh Lord
Reaches to the heavens
Your faithfulness
Stretches to the skies

-Third Day

 

Happy Mother’s Day!

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“She speaks wise words
    and teaches others to be kind.

 She watches over her family
    and never wastes her time.
 

Her children speak well of her.
    Her husband also praises her,

 saying, “There are many fine women,
    but you are better than all of them.”

 Charm can fool you, and beauty can trick you,
    but a woman who respects the Lord should be praised.
 

Give her the reward she has earned;
    she should be praised in public for what she has done.”

Proverbs 31:26-31 NCV

The Beauty of His Holiness

 

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“Worship The Lord in the Beauty of His Holiness”

“O sing unto the LORD a new song: sing unto the LORD, all the earth.

Sing unto the LORD, bless his name; shew forth his salvation from day to day.

Declare his glory among the heathen, his wonders among all people.

For the LORD is great, and greatly to be praised: he is to be feared above all gods.

For all the gods of the nations are idols: but the LORD made the heavens.

Honor and majesty are before him: strength and beauty are in his sanctuary.

Give unto the LORD, O ye kindreds of the people, give unto the LORD glory and strength.

Give unto the LORD the glory due unto his name: bring an offering, and come into his courts.

O worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness: fear before him, all the earth.

Say among the heathen that the LORD reigns: the world also shall be established that it shall not be moved: he shall judge the people righteously.

Let the heavens rejoice, and let the earth be glad; let the sea roar, and the fulness thereof.

Let the field be joyful, and all that is therein: then shall all the trees of the wood rejoice

Before the LORD: for he comes, for he comes to judge the earth: he shall judge the world with righteousness, and the people with his truth.”

Psalm 96

New Morning, New Mercies

“This I recall to my mind, therefore I have hope.”

“It is of the LORD’S mercies that we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not.

They are new every morning: great is Thy faithfulness.

The LORD is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in Him.

The LORD is good unto them that wait for Him, to the soul that seeketh Him.

It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the LORD.”

Lamentations 3: 21- 26

Crazy Faith

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There was a time when, my family, friends, and neighbors would have thought that “Crazy Faith” would be a perfect title for my autobiography! :)

I know that this is true, because once, when I was in the final months of my pregnancy, (you know, the pregnancy that I prayed 10 years for), I overheard my husband talking to a neighbor, saying; “We all thought that Faith was losing her mind!… While she was struggling with her health and praying for another baby, her mother and sister would call and say, “We’re really concerned about Faith..”  They thought that I was going crazy!!! He had never told me this before, so when I heard it, I laughed, and said, “That’s OK… They thought that Noah was crazy too, but it sure did rain didn’t it? So, I’m in good company!”

It all began 15 years earlier, when I read Luke 8:48,  Daughter, your faith has made you whole…”, and from that moment on,  there was no turning back for me… I believed it.

Of course, I myself, don’t think it’s “crazy”, but lots of people might consider it crazy to believe for something that seems impossible. Reading those words as a 24-year-old, and believing that God had spoken to my heart, “fueled” me to move forward in faith, convinced and certain, that God would bless me, despite my physical circumstances.

Is there something that you would like for God to do for you, but you think that it’s impossible, or not important enough, or too big, to ask for?..  Ephesians 3:20 says that God is “…able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us,..”  The power at work in us includes our faith!  Many times when Jesus healed someone, he said, “according to your faith be it unto you”, or “your faith has made you whole.”

Even if it makes you look “crazy” to those around you, or, if it’s just a secret request that you haven’t mentioned to anyone else, ask God what you will, and believe with “crazy” or unexplainable faith that, “with God… nothing is impossible.”

Smiles and Blessings,

Faith ♥

You Know Better Than I

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I put up a fight
And told You how to help me
And just when I had given up
The truth is coming clear

You know…Better Than I
You know…The way
I’ve let go…the need to know why
‘Cause You know Better Than I

If this has been a test
I cannot see the reason
But maybe not knowing
Is part of getting thru

I tried to do what’s best,

and faith has made it easy 

I see the best thing I can do

Is put my faith in You, for

You know…Better Than I
You know…The way
I’ve let go…the need to know why
‘Cause You know Better Than I.

Joy Williams

Spring Training

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Get Ready…

“Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it?” Isaiah 43:19

“Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thine health shall spring forth speedily: and thy righteousness shall go before thee; the glory of the LORD shall be thy rereward.”  Isaiah 58:8

Good Friday

He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief:

and we hid as it were our faces from Him; He was despised,

and we esteemed Him not.

Surely He hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows:

yet we did esteem Him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But…

He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon Him; and with His stripes we are healed.

All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way;

and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.”

Isaiah 53:3-6

God is in Control

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This is no time for fear
This is the time for faith and determination
Don’t lose the vision here, carried away by the motion
Hold on to all that you hide in your heart
There is one thing that has always been true
It holds the world together

There is one that will always be true,

It will be true forever.

God is in control
We believe that His children will not be forsaken
God is in control
We will choose to remember and never be shaken
There is no power above or beside Him, we know
God is in control

He has never let you down
Why start to worry now?
Why start to worry now?
He is still the Lord of all we see
And He is still the loving Father
Watching over you and me

God is in control.

Twila Paris

 

You Can Change

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…Sometimes pain’s the only way that we can learn
You can never fall too hard, so fast, so far
That you can’t get back when you’re lost, where you are,
It’s never too late, so bad, so much,

That you can’t change
Who you are, you can change who you are,

You believe in freedom,
But you don’t know how to choose
You gotta step out of your feelings

That you’re so afraid to lose, and everyday,
You put your feet on the floor…got to walk through door

Its never going to be easy
But its all worth fighting for

You can never fall
Too hard, so fast, so far,
That you can’t get back

When you’re lost where you are,
Its never too late, so bad, so much
That you can’t change who you are

You can change who you are.

So let the ashes fall where ever they land
Come back from wherever you been
To the foot of the cross
To the feet of Jesus
To the feet of Jesus

You can never fall too hard, so fast, so far
That you can’t get back when you’re lost
Where you are

It’s never too late, so bad, so much

That you can’t change

At the foot of the cross
It changes who you are
At the foot of the cross you can change
Who you are.

You can never fall
Too hard, so fast, so far,
That you can’t get back.

Lyrics- “Who You Are” by Unspoken

The Microwave Treatment

Sometimes it’s hard to wait when you’re praying for something special to happen, and I know what that feels like…

Once, while I was waiting for my miracle, I had a dream. It had been about 6 months since I had surgery and I was growing more and more impatient about having a baby. I thought I’d get pregnant right away. But that’s not what happened.

One night, I had a very interesting dream

There were two parts to this dream. First, I dreamt that  my husband and I were visiting some friends for dinner and as the men talked in the living room, I sat in the kitchen while the food was being prepared. I was shocked to see that my friend was spooning raw, runny, red, hamburger meat, into taco shells and placing them in the microwave to be cooked. “YUCK!” I thought to myself, and when she had finished cooking, she topped them with all the trimmings, but I just couldn’t bring myself to eat any, because I saw the way that they were prepared with raw meat, and this really grossed me out!

In the second part of my dream, I was in a meat shop, and I was trying to buy a beef roast which was turning slowly on a spit. I was in a hurry, and I told the man cooking the meat that I had been waiting a long time, and was ready to go. He looked at me and said “I’m sorry ma’am but it’s not ready yet. I said  “Are you sure? It looks like it’s done.” then he pulled out a long sharp-pointed thing, and pierced through the meat, and all of this red, runny, gook came pouring out. He was right. The meat was not ready… It was as if both parts of the dream had the same meaning.

When I woke up, I thought that maybe this dream had something to do with my healing from surgery, and  how  I was not yet healed up enough on the inside.

A few days later, I was sitting in the park, watching  my son and daughter at soccer practice, when I saw a friend from church. She asked me how I was recovering from the surgery.  I told her that I was doing fine, but that I was really ready to have another baby, “After all”, I said “I’m 35 years old!”…She was nearly 50, and told me that I was still young enough to have another baby.  “God’s timing is perfect… Just be patient!..I had my last baby when I was 40 years old. ” she said. I smiled, shrugged my shoulders, and said, “But I’ve been waiting so long already.”  Then she said, ” Faith, you just had surgery… You need time to heal.”  She laughed and said jokingly, .. “What you want is the Microwave Treatment!!

When she said this, I knew that it was a confirmation of the dream that I’d had a few days earlier… “The Microwave Treatment”… It was true! I didn’t want to wait any longer.. I wanted my miracle,and I wanted it now! This instant… In fact, I wanted it yesterday!!

I was reminded by this incident, that God is in control, and I accepted that He knows best. I would just have to be patient and wait…

Three years later, I realized my miracle, and was expecting our little girl.

“Wait on the LORD: be of good courage…”

Psalm 27:14

My Sheep Hear My Voice

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“…He calls his own sheep by name,

and leads them out….

He goes before them,

and the sheep follow Him: for they know His voice.

And a stranger they will not follow…”

 My sheep hear my voice,…

 I know them, and they follow me:… 

 I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish,

neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.  

My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all;

and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand.  

I and my Father are one.”

John 10:1-5 ,27-30

Precious

“Look at the birds of the air;

They do not sow or reap or store away in barns,

And yet your heavenly Father feeds them.

Are you not much more valuable than they?

Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing?

And one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father.

But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. 

Fear you not therefore,

You are of more value than many sparrows.”

Matthew 6:26 , 10:29-31

To Those Who Stand and Wait…

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“When I consider how my light is spent

Before half my days, In this dark world and wide

And that one Talent which is death to hide,

Lodged with me useless, though my Soul more bent

To serve therewith my Maker, and present

My true account, least He returning chide,

Doth God exact day-labor, light denied

I fondly ask; But patience to prevent

That murmur, soon replies, God doth not need

Either man’s work or his own gifts, who best

Bear His mild yoke, they serve Him best, His State

Is Kingly. Thousands at His bidding speed

And post o’re Land and Ocean without rest;

They also serve who only stand and wait.”

On His Blindness” by John Milton 1608-1674

Taking Flight

“Grace is what picks me up and lifts my wings high… and I fly!” – Joybell

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Monarch butterflies take to the air on a 2 month, 2,000-mile flight over fields, forests, cities, plains, open water, deserts, and mountains to a tiny region of central Mexico where they’ve never been before, arriving at the exact same time each year!

“Until you spread your wings you’ll have no idea how far you can fly.”

– Unknown

Unquenchable, Inseparable

“Many waters cannot quench love, neither can the floods drown it ” 

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“For I am persuaded

that neither death nor life,

nor angels nor demons,

nor things present nor things to come,

nor principalities nor powers,

nor height nor depth,

nor anything else in all creation,

shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Song of Solomon 8:7

Romans 8:38-39

Psalm 138

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“I will praise Thee with my whole heart: before the gods will I sing praise unto Thee.

I will worship toward Thy holy temple, and praise Thy name for Thy lovingkindness and for Thy truth: for Thou hast magnified Thy word above all Thy name.

 

In the day when I cried Thou answered me, and strengthened me with strength

in my soul.

All the kings of the earth shall praise Thee, O LORD, when they hear the words of Thy mouth.

Yea, they shall sing in the ways of the LORD: for great is the glory of the LORD.

Though the LORD be high, yet hath he respect unto the lowly:

but the proud He knoweth afar off.

Though I walk in the midst of trouble, Thou wilt revive me: Thou shalt stretch forth Thine hand against the wrath of mine enemies, and Thy right hand shall save me.

The LORD will perfect that which concerneth me:

Thy mercy, O LORD, endureth for ever; forsake not the works of Thine own hands.”

Psalm 138

My Time Will Come

 “…The race is not to the swift

 New Living Translation
“I have observed something else under the sun. The fastest runner doesn’t always win the race, and the strongest warrior doesn’t always win the battle. The wise sometimes go hungry, and the skillful are not necessarily wealthy. And those who are educated don’t always lead successful lives. It…all (happens) by chance, … being in the right place at the right time.”

“Time and chance happens to them all”  NKJV

Ecclesiastes 9:11

The Stone Is Sealed

“…There came a rich man of Arimathaea, named Joseph, who also himself was Jesus’ disciple:

 He went to Pilate, and begged the body of Jesus. Then Pilate commanded the body to be delivered.

 And when Joseph had taken the body, he wrapped it in a clean linen cloth,

 And laid it in his own new tomb, which he had hewn out in the rock: and he rolled a great stone to the door of the sepulchre, and departed…

 Now the next day, that followed the day of the preparation, the chief priests and Pharisees came together unto Pilate,

 Saying, Sir, we remember that that deceiver said, while he was yet alive, After three days I will rise again.

 Command therefore that the sepulchre be made sure until the third day, lest his disciples come by night, and steal him away, and say unto the people, He is risen from the dead: so the last error shall be worse than the first.

 Pilate said unto them, Ye have a watch: go your way, make it as sure as ye can.

So they went, and made the sepulchre sure, sealing the stone, and setting a watch.”

Matthew 27:57-66

Blood Moon

“The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the LORD come

And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the LORD shall be delivered: for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the LORD hath said, and in the remnant whom the LORD shall call.”

Joel 2:31-32

 

“The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before that great and notable day of the Lord come:

And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

Acts 2:20-21

“And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood…

Revelation 6:12