"Blessed is she, who has believed, that what the Lord has said to her will be accomplished." Luke 1:45

Friday, January 29, 2010

You Are

I'm on a journey of discovering Who God is. I've learned that it is sometimes enough to just be without words and to acknowledge that God is the "I AM".

No matter what I need, I know I can look to God and say, "You Are".

Enjoy the song, and stop by and see Amy.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Frazzled Perfection

Frazzle:

1. to wear to threads or shreds; fray.
2. to weary; tire out

Life frazzles me.

 I know what it's like to wake up weary. 

To try to be the mom who is in the moment, the employee who delivers every time, the wife who builds up her husband, the friend who never judges and the servant who tirelessly meets the needs of those God brings before me.

I know what it's like to have my temper hanging by a thread.

I know how it feels to have your heart worn to shreds.

This isn't what God intended.

We look at the model we have been given and give up before we even begin.

A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies. Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value. She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life. She selects wool and flax and works with eager hands. She is like the merchant ships, bringing her food from afar. She gets up while it is still dark; she provides food for her family and portions for her servant girls. She considers a field and buys it; out of her earnings she plants a vineyard. She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks. She sees that her trading is profitable, and her lamp does not go out at night. In her hand she holds the distaff and grasps the spindle with her fingers. She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy. When it snows, she has no fear for her household; for all of them are clothed in scarlet. She makes coverings for her bed; she is clothed in fine linen and purple. Her husband is respected at the city gate, where he takes his seat among the elders of the land. She makes linen garments and sells them, and supplies the merchants with sashes. She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come. She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue. She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her. "Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all. Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised. Give her the reward she has earned, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.  ~ Proverbs 31:10-31(NIV)
How in the world did she have time to be all that kinds of perfect?! 

We forget. 

She wasn't.

Sure, she did all those things, but did she do them all at once? No. Did she do them all alone. No. Did she do them all without guilt? Probably not. 

We read this passage of scripture and become so overwhelmed with the picture that is painted, we either quit before we ever begin, or we drive ourselves (and everyone else) crazy trying to fulfill each characteristic like a daily checklist of noble character to-dos.

Why do we do this to ourselves?

There are so many ways that Satan gets to us, and we try to guard against a lot of them. But I think we forget that he can turn God's word in our head as well.

Remember Eve?
Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, "Did God really say, 'You must not eat from any tree in the garden'? ~ Genesis 3:1 (NIV)
All it takes is a tiny, tiny seed planted.


"Did God really say..?"


"Is that really what God wants?"


 "Did God mean this or that?" 


"Does God really want me to do it all?"


We think we know what we should be doing, but there always seems to be this little voice that makes us question what we are truly hearing.


To get past the pressure and the struggles of The Woman of Noble Character and Eve, we need to look at one more section of Scripture.



As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord's feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, "Lord, don't you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!"
 "Martha, Martha," the Lord answered, "You are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her." ~Luke 10:38-42 (NIV)




My sweet sisters and friends, Sitting at the Lord's feet and listening to what He says is the answer.


Sure, sure; it sounds simple, and we may even be in our Word on a daily basis. We may do our daily email devotion and do our Scripture memory verse. But do we take the time to put everything else aside and sit at the feet of Jesus until He is done teaching us? Not just the 20 minutes we penciled in for the morning, but until we have soaked in every drop of wisdom that God wanted us to receive that day? 


Your time with God should be whenever is right for you. Some people need to get up early and dig into Scripture before the day begins. Some people need the quiet of night to really be able to listen. When you do your study doesn't matter. How you do your study does. 


If you are going into it to check another item off your to-do list, that is exactly what you will get; another item checked on your to-do list.


If you are going into your study time desperately seeking God's presence and direction as you spend time together in His Word, He will show up and deliver every time. 


And as you sit at the feet of Jesus, and listen and learn from The Master, your day will start to organize its self. You will start to see the things that just need done, and the things that need done with a Kingdom Purpose.  


Once you start to see that, you just have to make the choice to set aside the things that need to be set aside. (Even if it feels like you should get everything done, remember to honestly assess it: will I just be doing something that needs done, or will I be fulfilling a Kingdom purpose?)


Finally Sister-friend, Be encouraged! It is possible to become un-frazzled!


We have to constantly make the choice to block the whispers of the Deceiver. He will never give up on getting us overwhelmed, frazzled, and confused ~ 


But, neither will God ever tire of refreshing, energizing, teaching, and guiding. And he won't stop until we are perfect.



Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”  ~ Philippians 1:6 (NIV)

Friday, January 22, 2010

The Potter's Hand




"Yet, O LORD, you are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand." ~ Isaiah 64:8


I am such a stubborn daughter.  I constantly try to make myself into who I think I should be. If I would only be still and let God mold me into the princess he has created me to  be, Oh, how I could glorify Him!



Beautiful Lord, Wonderful savior
I know for sure all of my days are held in your hands
Crafted into your perfect plans

You gently called me into your presence
Guiding me by Your Holy Spirit
Teach me dear Lord to live all of my life
Through your eyes

I'm captured by your holy calling
Set me apart. I know you're drawing me to yourself
lead me, Lord. I pray

Oh Take me, mold me, use me, fill me
I give my life to the potter's hand

Oh Call me, guide me, lead me, walk beside me
I give my life to the potter's hand

You gently call me into your presence 
Guiding me by your holy spirit 
Teach me dear lord to live all of my life through your eyes

I'm captured by your holy calling
Set me apart. I know you're drawing me to yourself
lead me, Lord. I pray

Oh Take me, mold me, use me, fill me
I give my life to the potter's hand

Oh Call me, guide me, lead me, walk beside me
I give my life to the potter's hand
Make sure you go say hi to my friend Amy!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

I'll Take the Fall

We had some freezing misting rain last night. This morning carrying Abby down the front stairs my feet slipped out from under me because of a sheet of ice on the bottom step. My first and only thought was that Abby not be hurt. I managed to fall over some-what backward, landing on my hip, before rolling to my knee. I had a tight grip on my baby and managed to keep her from getting hurt. I on the other hand have a six inch red and purple bruise on my hip where I landed on the edge of the stair. Even though I knew it would hurt, all I cared about was keeping my baby from being hurt. If I had to do it again, I would take the fall to keep her safe.

Later, sitting at my desk, I started tightening up and the soreness really kicked in. I still didn't care. I was just happy Abby was OK.

The more I think about this, the more I feel like that must be what God wants for us. He knows that there is going to be rough and dangerous terrain for us to cross, but if we just let Him carry us, if something happens, he will hold on tight and take the fall for us. 

He is the God that would rather take our punishment and die on the cross as atonement for our sin.  Why wouldn't he want to save us from the things that will bruise and hurt us? 

I'm not saying that God will keep us from ALL pain and hurt. Those are the things that will grow us and lead us deeper in our relationship of Faith. But sometimes, we need to just hold on tight and trust God to save us in the fall.

Psalm 37:24 (NIV)
Though he stumble, he will not fall, for the LORD upholds him with his hand.

Matthew 26:41 (NIV)
"Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit iswilling, but the body is weak."

Jude 1:24-24 (NIV)
"To him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy—to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen."

Saturday, January 16, 2010

The Buckler

Buckler:

–noun
1. a round shield held by a grip and sometimes having straps through which the arm is passed.
2. any means of defense; protection.

–verb (used with object)
3. to be a shield to; support; defend. 


A small round shield to ward off blows.

I read where God is our buckler and was confused. I thought something belt-like. Then I looked it up and this is what I found. A small shield. It was worn on the arm and could be held up to defend the heart.

WOW ~ my heart has taken a beating. I am constantly trying to shield it from hurt, but end up being wounded. 


This seems to be a very clear instruction. I am not the one that can defend my heart. I need something more than what I have been using. I think David had it right when he said:


"The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower."  Psalm 18:2 (KJV)
Too often I have told God what he will be to me, not allowing for the fact that he is a good God. He is an all-knowing God. He doesn't need my help. In fact, my help will only harm. 


I need only to admit to myself, and to God, that I can't do this. My heart is too fragile and too vulerable to attack. I need help. I am weak. I can't stand up against attack. But I have enough strength to hold a little shield in front of my heart. No matter what happens in the battle, I should purpose to hold that shield until my dying breathe is gone. 


Proverbs 2:7 (KJV) says:
"He layeth up sound wisdom for the righteous: he is a buckler to them that walk uprightly."
Sound wisdom.


Isn't that really at the root of everything God asks of us? 
  • To be wise enough to know we can't do this thing on our own.  
  • To be wise enough to know that it is all about Christ. 
  • To be wise enough to know that even as Christians, we will sin on a daily and sometimes hourly, basis. 
  • To be wise enough to know that we are vulerable to hurt and influence that will lead us astray. 
  • To be wise enough to know that the heart lies. 
  • Finally, to be wise enough to know that there is one who can do and be all the things we need. 
All we need to do is seek after God, and the desires of his heart, with all that we have, and he will be our shield. 


What do you need to shield your heart from? Is it hurt from someone who just won't change? Is it hurt from a situation that is beyond your control to influence? Is it anger at the unfairness of an illness? Is it heartbreak from the ending of a relationship? 


Ask today for God to become the buckler in your life. Let him shield your heart from leading you into unwise emotions, thoughts, decisons and situations. Then you can live in the promise of Romans 15:13 (NIV):



"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit."



By Our Love

God has given me such a passion to see the women in my church and community find excitement in getting together to grow in Scripture and encouragement. This song just really fits what I see when I look into our not-to-distant future.





The second verse reads:


Sisters, we were made for kindness We can pierce the darkness as He shines through us... We will come reaching, with a song of healing... And they will know us by our love!


Isn't this so true! Every one of us has something special that allows God's light to shine uniquely through us! I love the imagery of singing a song of healing over the women in my life!


The chorus says:

The time is now; Come Church arise... Love with His hands See with His eyes... Bind it around you, Let it never leave you, And they will know us by our love...


Our church seems to have been in a holding pattern over the last few months. I feel the stirring of God's Spirit. It's starting to rise up to cause a movement, and I am so excited to see what He is going to do!  The time really is now, and I am so excited to be a part of it!


Have a great weekend and stop by and say hi to Amy

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Unique Communication

I just wanted to share something I have learned about myself. Maybe it will strike a cord with you as well, maybe I am just sharing something that God has done in my life and you really can't relate, but you want to join me in thanking Him. Either way, thanks for stopping by!

God gives us all gifts. They are as individual as the person that he gives it to. It may look like the same gift. Say, writing, or singing, or creating art. But you will notice subtle differences. Styles and quirks that make it unique. These gifts are a blessing because they are our own individual way of glorifying God. No one will be able to create something exactly like we can. Even if someone was able to recreate something we had made, there would still be subtle differences, even if it is just in intent and meaning. Gifts are amazing things.

I also believe that God gives us all a unique way to communicate with Him.  It is only my opinion, but I think I might just be one to something here!

I have a friend that prays like nobody's business. If I am going to be in a prayer group, I would choose her group every time. It is like nothing I have ever heard before. Her prayers are so beautiful because she knows that she is at the Father's feet and he is engrossed in every word she says. I have seen her prayer walk through the toughest neighborhood in Chicago without once feeling fear. Only the assurance that she and her God were together, loving these people that she would never even meet, but that God would. I have listened to her lift others up in prayer, and I have listened to her glorify and praise and worship the Father for the great and mighty things He has done, and most importantly, just for who he is. Every one of these situations brought tears to my eyes.

I have a friend who finds God in the order and work of her day.  She serves God and uses her lists and notes to communicate with God. Who to pray for, what work needs done, struggles she needs to work on, things to let go of.

I have a friend who can take a song and transform it into a visual story through dance. She has brought tears to my eyes and joy to my heart because I had the pleasure of watching her praise God with the abandonment of dance. Taking the words and melody of a song, and transforming it into movement and emotion with the only intent to glorify God is an amazing thing to see. I have to admit, I am a little envious of her ability.

I have many bloggy friends whose writing can bring me right to the feet of God, hurt and heal my heart, bring tears or shouts of joy or laughter, and shows in every word that they write for the King. His glory. His honor. His love.

I think the way that I communicate with God the best is through songs. Not ones I write necessarily. I don't write. That takes too much discipline! I just love to sing. My whole life is a sound track. I have songs for all of my greatest moments.  Songs stir emotion and memory in me faster than the blink of an eye. My ear and my emotions and thoughts are tuned to hear God speaking through the songs I hear. To give an example: I was so frustrated and overwhelmed a couple of weeks ago. I felt so little and disconnected from God. I had let situations and things beyond my control become the only thing I could see. I wanted to quit. A lot of things. I let people wear me down until I had nothing left to give. I was at work and had KLOVE streaming on my computer. I had not really been paying attention, I just wanted the noise in the background. I was so stressed and at a loss that I couldn't seem to get the tears out of my eyes. Just when I thought I had put my bitterness to rest and could move forward, someone asked me about the situation that hurt me. It all came rushing back. It seems I hadn't let anything go after all. I felt so alone.

Right at that moment, Remember Me by Mark Schultz came on the radio.


"And age to age 


And heart to heart 
Bound by grace and peace 
Child of wonder, Child of God 
I'll remember you 
Remember Me"


Isn't it amazing how God can break your heart day after day, and all you want is more of it? It was the sweetest thing in the world to know that God was close enough to see my tears, and loved me enough to talk to me through this song. I was so thankful and grateful, I cried all the way through. I thanked God for his timing and reminding me that this is just a moment, and that he has never forgotten me or left me alone.

The very next song was this:


I kid you not. It really was. There was so much refreshing in my soul. I am still humbled by it.

God was reminding me that there is a long way to go before this struggle is past, but I am NEVER alone, and that there is always a mountain ahead. 

You will see that many of my posts contain songs or lyrics to songs. I wasn't kidding. God really does speak to me through songs, and I never feel closer to him than when I am singing praises.

How awesome is God that we even have our own unique communication, us to him, one on one?

I hope you were encouraged by this post. I hope that if you don't know what that special communication is, that you would start to seek it. God will communicate with us in all ways, and we with him, but there will be that one special way that is unique to you and him alone.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

You Can Have Me

The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge. There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard. Their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world. In the heavens he has pitched a tent for the sun, which is like a bridegroom coming forth from his pavilion, like a champion rejoicing to run his course. It rises at one end of the heavens and makes its circuit to the other; nothing is hidden from its heat. The law of the LORD is perfect, reviving the soul. The statutes of the LORD are trustworthy, making wise the simple. The precepts of the LORD are right, giving joy to the heart. The commands of the LORD are radiant, giving light to the eyes. The fear of the LORD is pure, enduring forever. The ordinances of the LORD are sure and altogether righteous. They are more precious than gold, than much pure gold; they are sweeter than honey, than honey from the comb. By them is your servant warned; in keeping them there is great reward. Who can discern his errors? Forgive my hidden faults. Keep your servant also from willful sins; may they not rule over me. Then will I be blameless, innocent of great transgression. May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer.
Psalm 19 (NIV)

When I read Psalms like this, it makes me want to give myself anew. I want God to know I know who He is in my life. I know I will stumble and sin tomorrow. But for this moment, I want to focus on how great my God is, and just tell him, whatever you want, you can have me.








You Can Have Me

If I saw You on the street
And You said come and follow me
But I had to give up everything
All I once held dear and all of my dreams

Would I love You enough to let go
Or would my love run dry
When You asked for my life

CHORUS
When did love become unmoving?
When did love become unconsuming?
Forgetting what the world has told me
Father of love, You can have me
You can have me

If You’re all You claim to be
Then I’m not losing anything
So I will crawl upon my knees
Just to know the joy of suffering

I will love You enough to let go
Lord, I give you my life
I give you my life

CHORUS

I want to be where You are
I’m running into Your arms
And I will never look back
So Jesus, here is my heart

When did love become unmoving?
When did love become unconsuming?
Forgetting what the world has told me
Father of love, You can have me
You can have me

CHORUS

Monday, January 4, 2010

But God

I have been reminded recently of just what an unknowable gift God's salvation of us really is. We only grasp a small, small part.

We forget just how big God is. We try to understand him with our human understanding and that only limits him. Our struggles overwhelm us.  Our fears tie us down.  Our frustrations and dependence of people wear out our heart and leave us with little emotional strength. We struggle to believe in God being who he says he is because we think too much in our own capacity.

How can we possibly grasp all that God is, when he is this:

Romans 8:31-39 (King James Version)
"What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?
He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?
Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth.
Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.
Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.
For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,
Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord."

This is the love of Christ. All along God has been on our side. He has fought and won every battle we could possibly face. He has loved more deeply than we can ever know. He has staked his claim on us. He allows so much, but no more. Because we are His. Bought and paid for. For every lie that Satan tells us, for every deception he perpetrates, God is there. He is always there. WE are the ones that can not see.

I struggle with who I am because who I am is so unworthy of Christ' glorified love. But he loves me anyway.

My two favorite words in the Bible are: "But God". Whenever life was at it's worst, man was at his most unfaithful, Satan was at his most deceptive, and man couldn't see the way out...God could. He knew we needed him, and in our own human-ness we couldn't get there.

But God.

Could. Would. Did. Does. Will.

He loves you.

Not a little love, but a love that transends any earthly comprehension.

It is a love that built the world. It is a love that shook the world. It is a love that saved the world.

And it is a love that is intimately yours.

If you have been "going there" like I have lately, crank this up and praise it out as hard as you possibly can. Over and over. And over. until you, beyond any reason or ability to understand, believe it.

Lyrics below.


Believe the truth of the words I have bolded from these lyrics. No matter what you think is too bad, too much or too far, say it out loud and then say the bolded lines. That is the deepest truth you will ever know. And when I say truth, I mean TRUTH.

Believe it.

Lyrics:

The question was raised
As my conscience fell
A silly, little lie
It didn’t mean much
But it lingers still
In the corners of my mind
Still you call me to walk
On the edge of this world
To spread my dreams and fly
But the future’s so far
My heart is so frail
I think I’d rather stay inside
But You love me anyway
It’s like nothing in life that I’ve ever known
But You love me anyway
Oh Lord, how You love me
How You love me
It took more than my strength
To simply be still
To seek but never find
All the reasons we change
The reasons I doubt
And why do loved ones have to die?
But You love me anyway
It’s like nothing in life that I’ve ever known
You love me anyway
Oh Lord, how You love me
I am the thorn in Your crown
But You love me anyway
I am the sweat from Your brow
But You love me anyway
I am the nail in Your wrist
But You love me anyway
I am Judas’ kiss
But You love me anyway
See now, I am the man that called out from the crowd
For Your blood to be spilled on this earth shaking ground
Yes then, I turned away with this smile on my face
With this sin in my heart tried to bury Your grace
And then alone in the night, I still called out for You
So ashamed of my life, my life, my life
But You love me anyway
Oh, God… how you love me
You love me anyway
It’s like nothing in life that I’ve ever known
You love me anyway
Oh Lord, how You love me
You love me, You love me
You love me, You love me
How You love me
How You love me
How You love me