Monday, March 31, 2014

God Loves You

Danny and I have exchanged quite a few cards over the decades. Easter, Christmas, Valentine’s Day – each one an opportunity to remind ourselves, in writing, just how much we mean to one another . We even have a special phrase we’ve used since our dating years and we both always put this phrase in our cards. We find that as we honor one another our hearts are warmed and we’re reminded of the truth about the endurance of true love.  I keep the cards in a cedar chest and the phrases and the sentiments have remained the same over the years.  
God has written the greatest love letter ever known and He wrote it with you in mind. Each phrase, specially spoken to His beloved, is full of reminders of His great love, His redeeming care and His eternal faithfulness.  This knowledge is all truth, but without opening the book and re-reading the message we are likely to forget the truth about God and the truth about ourselves. Everything about God begins and ends with His love.  It fails, it never changes, it never gives up, and it never runs out.  God’s love is eternal and you can rely on it forever.
Oh beloved, if you’re waking up to a morning where you feel ostracized, overwhelmed, frustrated, fearful or just done in, then it’s time to get out God’s love letter. God knows your present situation, that there are things you don’t want to face, situations you didn’t plan for your life and people who gave up, walked out, quit caring or moved on.  He wants you to know, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that He is with you no matter what. He also wants you to know that He’s not some distant authority figure wielding His power over your life. No, He is here to give you guidance, keep you safe, walk with you through the hard places and make your life shine for His glory. He is your Redeemer – He takes His love and His nature and creates in your life a beautiful sonnet of His ability to rescue, save and change the life you are living.
He is more than enough. He is right on time. He is ever present. He is faithful to the end. He is all love and all knowing.  He sees everything that is going on and He wasn’t caught by surprise with any of it, even if you were. He is with you and His plans are trustworthy. He is a God of His Word, even when everyone else might be unfaithful to their words, He stands by them. Most of all He covers your entire life in His love. He begins your day with His love and He ends your day with His love.
His love will emancipate your heart . His love will liberate your captivity. His love will give you purpose, new life and real joy. His love says you are beloved, you are chosen and you are accepted.  His love has nothing to do with your performance. It has everything to do with His nature. He loves you. He’s going to stay the course with you. He’s going to give you a better day, a better way and a better life.
God loves you. And because He loves you He is for you. And because He is for you He will take your life and make it beautiful as you live in the light of His Word.
Romans 8:38 And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love.
Psalm 86:13 for Your love for me is very great. You have rescued me from the depths of death.
Psalm 103:4 He redeems me from death and crowns me with love and tender mercies.
Zephaniah 3:17 For the Lord your God is living among you. He is a mighty savior. He will take delight in you with gladness. With His love, He will calm all your fears. He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.
Romans 5:5 And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because He has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with His love.
Psalm 63:3 Your unfailing love is better than life itself; how I praise you!

Saturday, March 29, 2014

May You Walk in More Light

May You Walk in More Light
We had another houseful of grandchildren this week. It’s always fun and chaotic. As I went downstairs before daylight, I noticed that the grandsons, who were sleeping on pallets, had turned all the lights off but the one small light over my keyboard at the computer. It was dark everywhere but there. I made my way to the desk and began to type. Soon I had to run back upstairs to get something. As I left the computer area I realized it was much darker just a few steps away. I could hardly see the four steps to the upper area of our home. I also noticed that when I was going back downstairs, headed toward the light of the computer area I could see much better, even the steps had light on them.
God spoke to my heart: When you are in the light you have enough to see clearly for where you are. But when you walk away from the light you will find it even harder to see. Only in coming toward the light can you have your steps illuminated. I AM the Light of the whole world. And you are My child, so you are an inheritor of the Light. Always keep close to Me. Walk towards Me, grow in Me, brighten your life in My illumination. Every time you step away from My Light, things will only grow darker. Your circumstances of disaster, discouragement, and ultimately disbelief have to flee in the light. The enemy of your soul wants you to believe that I AM not enough, that I AM not the way, and that I AM not able to give you light for the present time. He is a liar and the Father of all lies. Yes, you may be experiencing problems that look impossible, but don’t walk away from Me now. Yes, you may have been left alone, cast out or forsaken by someone you trusted, but I will never leave you to grope in the dark for comfort. I AM your comfort. My light dispels all darkness.  Your perception of your gloom will only change as you look at Me. My light is always present. I will make the darkness light before you as you come closer to Me.
Oh beloved, are you walking in fear, disbelief or worry? Are you living in the dark? It’s time to turn around and walk in the light! Your view will clear up and your heart will strengthen as you determine to believe God in spite of whatever is going on. His plans for you are outrageously wonderful. A life lived for Christ is blessed with every spiritual blessing – not one is kept from you. Quit stumbling and quit mumbling and start praising Him. Things may “look” dark but He is always lighting your way for He is the Light. He will dispel the darkness and His light cannot be extinguished. Turn around and look for His light is beckoning you to come back to Him.
God loves you and He is surely for you so you can trust His light to dispel any misconceptions, miscommunication or misinformation as you live in the Light of His Word. He sheds His Light on everything so you can see clearly and walk fearlessly.
Colossians 1:12  always thanking the Father. He has enabled you to share in the inheritance that belongs to His people, who live in the light.
Psalm 112:4 Light arises in the darkness for the upright, gracious, compassionate, and just [who are in right standing with God] Amplified
I John 1:5  This is the message we heard from Jesus and now declare to you: God is light, and there is no darkness in Him at all.
Psalm 119:105 Your Word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path.
John 8:12 Jesus spoke to the people once more and said, “I am the Light of the world. If you follow Me, you won’t have to walk in darkness, because you will have the Light that leads to life.”

Friday, March 28, 2014

May You Live in More Power

May You Live in More Power

We took some time to be with all our grandchildren during this week of spring break. We did a trek to the DeSoto Bluff area on the Caddo River and then on to the lower lake area of Lake DeGray for some kite flying. It had been windy most of the day but when we got out to the lake the wind wasn’t consistent. Grandsons would take turns trying to run as Popaw held the and then vice versa. Finally, they gave up. Without enough wind strong enough to lift the kite and keep it flying, there was just a lot of work running and trying and failing to get airborne.

God spoke to my heart: You are destined to run and fly with Me. But you’ll never truly get off the ground nor have sustained momentum without the wind of the Holy Spirit. You may run short distances, jump low boundaries and have little bursts of energy, but without the Holy Spirit there is no chance you will succeed, even in the good times. I AM not concerned about what you can or cannot do in the flesh. I AM not about your education or your stock portfolio or your hobbies. I AM beyond all that. And because I want you to fly high with Me, I AM overlooking the things of the flesh that you count as such value. I don’t use personal bests, I overcome personal weakness. Whether you are overlooking the bluff of fear or you are running the race of hardship, I AM going to show you how to live life in Me. Hang on to the string of My Word, because you are headed beyond yourself. Worn out? Tired? Stretched thin? Hit the ground face down? That’s alright. Now we will go together and I will lead. My Spirit is your only opportunity to maintain momentum of your faith, your life or your love. Other folks may look like they are doing great things, maybe even for God, but unless they are moved and have their being solely in Christ they are just doing so much exercise. In Me you will succeed where before you have failed. In Me you will sustain growth where you have lost ground before. Don’t look back to the way it was, just run forward, under My guidance and in My power and you will go where you’ve never gone before. The past is just that, passed – it’s not something you can relive or regain, but beloved, I AM teaching you to rely on Me alone, so that you have strength beyond yourself for everything you need in the days ahead.

Oh beloved, aren’t you blessed! You no longer have to struggle to make yourself look good or be good. You don’t have to hope you have the strength to keep up appearances. You can soar with the eagles and fly high as the birds while holding onto Jesus. He will take you beyond yourself and into His flight pattern, sustained by His Holy Spirit wind and the Word of God. You’ve been struggling and getting tied up in knots trying to overcome your past, make things happen or to be somebody, but that no longer matters. Let God untangle the mess and release you from the flesh. His perfect will is found in Him alone. Your perfect plan for life is found in Him as well. Rejoice in the weakness as you learn to live in the power of the Holy Spirit and live a life that is built completely on Christ.

God loves you and He’s for you, so you can let go the things that are holding you down, grab hold of Him and fly!

Zechariah 4:6 Then he said to me, "This is the word of the LORD to Zerubbabel saying, 'Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,' says the LORD of hosts.

Psalm 44:6 For I will not trust in my bow, Nor will my sword save me.

2 Chronicles 32:8 “With him is only an arm of flesh, but with us is the LORD our God to help us and to fight our battles." And the people relied on the words of Hezekiah king of Judah.

Psalm 75:10 For God says, “I will break the strength of the wicked, but I will increase the power of the godly.

Psalm 23:3 He renews my strength. He guides me along right paths, bringing honor to His name.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

May Your Expectations Grow Higher

May Your Expectations Grow Higher
When our kids were little we would pack our bags, load up the ice chest with cheap drinks and bologna sandwiches and head for parts known and unknown. We loved to travel back roads and hike waterfalls and enjoy nature. It was an inexpensive plan that brought much pleasure. Because our expectations were high, the kids caught the fever as well. Wildernesses turned into well-known areas of joy as we visited. One of our favorite getaways was Albert Pike, which Danny and I had discovered in our dating years. Later, when our kids were in college, they showed the area to their friends who loved it as well. Our expectations of fun caught our kids on fire and then they in turn caught their friends on fire with their own expectations. Many good memories still linger in our hearts of the fun we had there and other places like that.
God speaks to my heart: I want your expectations of Me to be higher. It requires no extraordinary expense to live in Me. A simple trip to the Word of God, prayer and faith has given you an enjoyable life in Me. But now I AM calling you to reach higher in your expectations. Up to now you have only desired the basics to make it through. But you are going to need more in order to scale the wilderness ahead. You have not needed stronger faith or better equipment so far, but you will need it. You’ve met with obstacles and you’ve done alright. But the area I AM taking you to in the future will require otherworldly equipment, fresh from the Holy Spirit into your heart and mind and spirit. Don’t fear what’s ahead, but be prepared to grow in expectation. 
Oh beloved, contentment in God is crucial. But even in the contentment of your circumstances God is more. Wildernesses abound. You may be going through a wilderness right now. You didn’t plan this trip not do you want to continue. Regardless, the only way out, the only way through, is to grow in expectation of what God can do. You are beyond your physical, emotional and spiritual strength. It’s time to pick up more equipment in Christ. God is your sole provider of peace in the process of rising higher in faith. He is your only available source to overcome the wilderness and find joy and peace in the trip. You will get through it, but only by letting Him lead and allowing Him to teach you more about Himself and your faith in the process. 
God loves you and He’s for you and because of that you can expect to find power and wisdom for the road ahead. Whatever you have encountered, He will strengthen you and you will grow in grace and knowledge as together you go beyond the natural to the supernatural in the days ahead.
Psalm 62:7 On God my salvation and my glory rest; The rock of my strength, my refuge is in God. 
Philippians 1:20 according to my earnest expectation and hope, that I will not be put to shame in anything, but that with all boldness, Christ will even now, as always, be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death.
Isaiah 40:29 He gives strength to the weary, And to him who lacks might He increases power.
Psalm 37:39 But the salvation of the righteous is from the Lord; He is their strength in time of trouble.
I Corinthians 1:25 This foolish plan of God is wiser than the wisest of human plans, and God’s weakness is stronger than the greatest of human strength.
Psalm 68:35 O God, You are awesome from Your sanctuary. The God of Israel Himself gives strength and power to the people. Blessed be God!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

May Your Roots Grow Stronger

May Your Roots Grow Stronger

I love porches and outdoor designs. As I was searching for an idea on how to incorporate some design elements with our deck and back yard, I came across a photo of a bridge made of what looked like tree limbs. As I read the caption I was amazed. “In India there are 500 year old bridges weaved from living roots that can withstand the monsoon floods and don’t ever rot. Instead they grow stronger with time.”

God spoke to my heart: He wants us to know that when we are living in Christ our roots will withstand the monsoons that come our way and they will not rot but instead grow stronger with time. We are not strengthened in ease or comfort. We are strengthened in growth and that includes trials, storms, hardships, and places we don’t even know about.  The exercising of our faith produces strength no matter what weakness we have in the flesh. In fact, His strength is shown greatest in our weaknesses. 

 We do not fear either flood or drought for we are watered, tended and cared for by God Himself. Christ intercedes for our every need and has made the way for us to live strong, sturdy and useful lives as we put our lives in His hands. Our usefulness will not cease as we grow older, for just as the root bridges are in use even at 500 years of age, so we can have strength of spirit and be fruitful for the Kingdom all the days of our lives.

Oh beloved, God desires to strengthen your roots! He has a plan to take you beyond yourself. This growth He desires is beneficial for your life. It is absolutely impossible to grow without being watered by the Spirit of God as He shows you the way to stronger life in Christ. While you may not have asked to be stronger, it is God’s plan that each of His believers is strengthened in the inner person, so that you will stay strong and not weaken. It is also so that you will be a bridge of Christ to others needing to know the way as well.  It’s time to quit fearing the future because that future is your bridge to stronger faith in Christ. No need to hide from anything for you are hidden in Christ and your roots are going to grow stronger and stronger as you live in the light of His Word. Even as you face things that look insurmountable in the natural, you are being strengthened and built up in your most holy faith.
God loves you and He’s for you. Trust Him today and look to the Lord when anything surprises you or comes against you. May your roots grow stronger as you lean on Him and grow in grace and knowledge all the days of your life.

John 7:38 He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.’

Ephesians 3:16 that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man

Ephesians 6:10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might.

Jeremiah 17:8 “For he will be like a tree planted by the water, that extends its roots by a stream and will not fear when the heat comes; But its leaves will be green, And it will not be anxious in a year of drought nor cease to yield fruit.

Colossians 2:7 Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness. NLT

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Today is a Day of Promotion

Today is a Day of Promotion

As a writer, I have joined several Christian author sites. They have lots of information on promoting books, from the how to get published to the how to pound the pavement to sell. There are book marketing strategies shared everywhere. There are sites that will also tell you for X amount of dollars your book will be seen everywhere. All the information gets a little overwhelming. There is one site that prays for its members daily. I have thoroughly enjoyed that site and have made some new friendships through it. All in all I find promotion to be a hard thing to do. So for the most part I’ve just let the words in the devotional book promote themselves. At any rate, books, especially fiction, must be promoted and it requires time, finances and effort. If you are willing to promote your work, the book will sell. 
Even as believers, we seek to be promoted. We often look for ways to be seen, how to move up the ladder and the best way to win friends and influence people. It’s the nature of the beast of humanity to want to be seen, acknowledged and believed in. But when we stop and pray, look to God, and let Him do the leading, we find real peace. Instead of climbing the “corporate” ladder, we spend more time kneeling on the carpet of faith and God moves. Instead of following a set of guidelines, we follow the Lord and He leads. Instead of self-promotion, we seek to glorify the Lord and He works all together for our good. 
God speaks to my heart: Today is a day of promotion. I AM promoting you. But this is like no other promotion you’ve ever known. I am promoting you from mundane to magnificent. From ordinary to extraordinary. From self-motivation to Spirit-inspiration. That feeling you have that you are being taken out of situations you always relied on is Holy Spirit orchestrated. The uncomfortable, unsettled, untracked road you find yourself on is taking you out of your ordinary self-promoted ways to My ways. You are going to learn that you can do all things – but they will be done through Christ who strengthens you. You will no longer lean on your own understanding or rely on your flesh, because the flesh profits nothing in My Kingdom. Instead of weeping over weaknesses and losses, you will go out with joy and be led forth with peace. All the weakness you feel in your flesh will be replaced by My Spirit, which will guide you, strengthen you and give you real purpose. If you will let Me, I will take you beyond the worldly circumstances, both good and bad and create in you a clean heart and a right spirit. You were made for Me, you were made to show forth my glory. I am bringing you closer to Me and you will become more Christlike as the world’s plans just fall away. You are Mine and I paid the ultimate price for you so glorify Me in your life and I will give you honor at the right time. Promotion to Kingdom living is the most wonderful promotion a believer will ever have.
Oh beloved, are you losing your grasp over one thing and another? Have you been lamenting the losses? Rejoice! Have you been worried that you won’t be seen, you won’t be heard, you won’t be loved or cared for? Our God is going to promote you to the most intimate position of fellowship with Him. As you lean more and more on Him, other things will fall by the wayside. But Christ in you will increase as you decrease. What a promotion! What a divine lifestyle! How great is our God to help you see the things of this world grow strangely dim in the Light of His glory and grace! Yes, you will still make a living, but now you are making a life in Christ. Yes, you will have relationships again and fellowship and purpose. But the purpose of promotion is to get you to the place where you can hear Me clearly, allow Me to mold you into My servant and give you a brand new life full of wonder and joy in Me alone.
God loves you and He’s for you. Don’t despair over things that are no longer in your grasp. Rejoice in the Lord and let Him have His way. God’s ultimate goal is to promote Christ in you so that you no longer live but Christ lives in you. This is real Kingdom living, promoted by the Lord Himself to live a life of love, joy, peace and more as you live in the Light of His Word and live totally dependent on Him. 
I Peter 2:9 But you are A CHOSEN RACE, A royal PRIESTHOOD, A HOLY NATION, A PEOPLE FOR God’s OWN POSSESSION, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.
Galatians 2:20 I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.
Isaiah 43:21 The people whom I formed for Myself will declare My praise.
Psalm 9:1 I will give thanks to the Lord with all my heart; I will tell of all Your wonders.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Today is a Day of Freedom

Today is a Day of Freedom (Sunday)

When we go to rallies we are usually given an armband as we pay for our registration. This armband has a pretty strong glue on it that holds. The armbands are even washable these days. When we leave the rally Danny does the honor of cutting off the bands from both of us. If we didn’t cut the bands off with a knife or scissors we’d just have to wear them. Imagine how many bands we’d have on after having gone to rallies for 30 years!

Even as believers, who are taught about our freedom in Christ, we still often have bands wrapped tightly around us. Some of those bands are given us by others: useless, unwelcome, rejected, inferior. There are times when we band ourselves with the same words. Our fiascos cause us to believe we are a failure. Disappointment comes and we slap on a depressed band. Someone crosses us and there goes the unforgiveness band. We get hurt and protection band is wrapped tightly around us. We try to loosen them ourselves but to no avail. Pretty soon we can be covered in bands, so much so that we can hardly move. We’re held captive by the wrong words and banding of others as well as ourselves. Someone has labeled us in such a way that we feel every inch of the displeasure, hopelessness, exclusion and all. We try to tell ourselves we are okay, but the truth is the bands remain. So we fill our lives with fun and frivolity, surround ourselves with people, get busy doing unimportant but distracting things and the problems, the bands, remain – they even increase. The bands have slipped from our arms to our hearts and we’re completely captive. What we thought would set us free has now caged us. The fact is what we believe, what we receive becomes our worth and our value.

God speaks to my heart: You were never meant to be bound by the words of others. You must be careful about the words you speak over yourself as well. I AM the one who provided freedom from the bands that want to hold you captive. I break every chain over you. My child, won’t you walk in the freedom I have already provided? Today is your day to walk freely. But the freedom you desire has to come in My way. I sent Christ to set you free from the law of sin and death. Without Christ you will never have real freedom. But in Christ you are free indeed. I have given My Word, God breathed over you, to take in and live out in total freedom. Your desire to be free is a beginning. But coming to Me and allowing Me to remove those bands is what completes your deliverance. My Word is a sharp and two edged sword and I alone AM able to cut those bands from you. Return to Me and see how free you can really be.

Oh beloved! Let God arise and His enemies be scattered! The enemies of God are marching to band you and cage you and keep you ignorant of God’s Truth. But I came to give you an incredible abundant life. No need to walk in the bands of fear, unforgiveness, untruth or despair. Breathe in God’s Word this morning and walk it out in faith and watch as band after band falls to your side. No yoke of bondage, no lie of the enemy, no scheme of the world can hold you down as you live in the light of God’s Truth.

God loves you and He’s for you. Today is a Day of Freedom! So grab His hand, let Him loosen the hold that has been put on you and watch as the freedom of life in Christ unfolds to set you free and for the world to see.

Isaiah 58:6 “Is this not the fast which I choose, To loosen the bonds of wickedness, To undo the bands of the yoke, And to let the oppressed go free and break every yoke?

Romans 8:2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death.

Psalm 119:45 And I will walk at liberty, For I seek Your precepts.

John 10:10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.

2 Corinthians 3:17 Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.

Galatians 5:1 [ Walk by the Spirit ] It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery.

Today is a Day of Expectation

Today is a Day of Expectation

This week is spring break for our state. The colleges and the public schools have learned to work together so that everyone is vacationing at the same time. Although the weather is hinting at chilly and rainy it’s got a lot of promise. Having an entire week off is great for both teachers and students. Parents have to juggle schedules and plan ahead to enjoy it but all in all it is a week everyone looks forward to. Great expectations are in a few days of having a different schedule than normal.

Not everyone will take beach trips or travel anywhere, but with a little planning the expectations of no school or work can be realized.  Imagine having to stay in town for the week. Many are doing just that. Not much expectation or excitement in same old same old. But just down the road, within 50 miles of us are several state parks, an Indian artifacts dig, a diamond mine, hiking trails, and more. Anyone can stay home and enjoy every single day. Kind of depends on your expectations. Plan to enjoy and you will. Plan to receive a great opportunity for fun and it will happen.  You can just stay home and enjoy your yard, your house, have the kids ride bikes, read books or tell family stories. Whatever you do, expect and plan to have a great time. It can happen – memories can be made that will take you into your future.

Our life in Christ is a lot like spring break. We look for something wonderful to happen but we don’t often plan on it. Preparation has a lot to do with enjoying our walk with God.  Reading the Bible is no ordinary read. Not a novel or a sonnet or a book of poetry. It’s God breathed. We can expect things to happen when we read the Word. We should expectantly prepare to be challenged in our walk, changed in our thinking and strengthened in our hearts. The believer who reads God’s Word is actually letting God breathe His Spirit written words into their inner man.

God speaks to my heart: You see your life as pretty ordinary. I see it as extraordinary. Every day I want you to live in expectation of something from Me.  I am ready, willing and able. In fact I have already taken great measures to ensure that your life is far from ordinary. Not just at spring break but every single day. When you wake up in the morning I AM there. When you lay your head on your pillow I AM there. When you feel the nausea of sorrow I AM with you. When you wonder what you are going to do today I AM already formulating a plan of expectation for your day that is beyond your wildest dreams. I wish to speak into your life. I wish to take you out of the ordinary and make your day extraordinary. I have plans for you – to live able the level of mundane. My plans are beyond your greatest vacation adventure. In fact where you go I AM there. Sometimes I AM cheering you on. Other times I AM interceding for you. In Christ, I have the greatest day of expectation for you and that day is today.

Oh beloved, you don’t have to wait for a better day. You don’t have to hope that you can get away someday. You don’t have to live locked into ordinary. Jesus has done too much for you to be unbelieving or to live below the level of all that He died to purchase for you. Expect great things! Expect today to be different . Yes, there are hardships, yes there are hurdles, yes, things do go wrong. But God is with you – to walk it out and overcome each and every thing you encounter. Expect Him to speak to your heart. Expect Him to call you to a higher level. Expect Him to take your weakest points and make them strong in His power. Today is your day to expect God to speak, Christ to help, The Spirit to encourage and the day to be beautiful in Him.

God loves you and He’s for you so expectation is your life breath. Ordinary to extraordinary without leaving your house when you open His Love Story, seek His face and change your heart attitude. Rejoice and see what God will do all for you, all for love as you live expecting and worship Him in Spirit and Truth every day of the week.

Psalm 119:131 I pant with expectation, longing for your commands.

I Peter 1:3 All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is by his great mercy that we have been born again, because God raised Jesus Christ from the dead. Now we live with great expectation!
James 2:23 And so it happened just as the Scriptures say: “Abraham believed God, and God counted him as righteous because of his faith.” He was even called the friend of God.

Psalm 43:4 Then I will go to the altar of God, To God my exceeding joy; And upon the lyre I shall praise You, O God, my God.

Psalm 89:15 Happy are those who hear the joyful call to worship for they shall live in the Light of Your Presence, O Lord.

Ephesians 3:19-21 [That you may really come] to know [practically, [e]through experience for yourselves] the love of Christ, which far surpasses mere knowledge [without experience]; that you may be filled [through all your being] unto all the fullness of God [may have the richest measure of the divine Presence, and become a body wholly filled and flooded with God Himself]!  Now to Him Who, by (in consequence of) the [action of His] power that is at work within us, is able to [carry out His purpose and] do superabundantly, far over and above all that we [dare] ask or think [infinitely beyond our highest prayers, desires, thoughts, hopes, or dreams]— To Him be glory…

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Today is a Day of Positioning

Today is a Day of Positioning. - Saturday's Post
As I drive to work I often get opportunities to see vast amounts of sky. The views on some days are incredible, even when it’s cloudy. There are places where I am at the summit of a road and then the view of the sky breaks out in front of me like a mural. At these times I get so caught up in the beauty that God has created – whether it’s sun rays or storm clouds. His creation is absolute perfection. 
Sometimes I want to capture that beauty in a photograph. Well, I can’t just stop in the middle of traffic and take a photo, so I try to drive where I can stop and snap the moment. Often though, the scene is obscured by telephone poles, other buildings, trees and the like. Unless I find the perfect place of position I won’t get a photo snapped off like I want. Who doesn’t want to share the magnificence of God’s world with others?
God speaks to my heart: Today is a day of positioning. Before the day even starts and before the sun rays start to break over into daylight, I am calling you into a perfect place of position. You may think the day will match your mood or your circumstances, but when I position you in My glory to view your life in My truth, you will be enthralled with the view. Positioning is everything. You don’t have to make the position happen, you don’t have to drive around or change venues or even correct the lens. I AM taking you to the right place at the right time for the right position of faith. In Me you will have everything you need for the task ahead. Look to Me. View My truth in the lens of the world. You are destined to be used for My glory and walk in faith all the days of your life. 
Oh beloved. Get in position. Don’t believe the enemy. You are not called to live in the storm but to glory in God even when you are watching all that is going on. You are not called to be blinded by the heat of the day but to rest in God’s promises. More than that, you are called to overcome circumstances, put to flight the lies of the enemy and stand on the firm foundation of God Himself. He has called you, beloved, to be positioned in Him so that as the call comes forth you will be able to walk into His calling. No one can take your position from you. Not the enemy, not the ones who wish you harm, not those who have spoken rejection over your life, nor the worldly system of thinking. Your view is going to change as you let God refocus your attention away from the distractions and solely on Him. You will not only be changed, you will see the circumstances change, right before your very eyes. Christ in you is your hope of glory and you are in Christ – the greatest position ever known. 
God loves you – this is powerful and all encompassing. And He is for you – He goes forth before your very eyes to break every chain, silence every enemy and prepare you for the position He has called you to. Amen and Amen. Today is your day to let God position you. Rejoice and walk free and enjoy the view as God created you to walk His walk!
Isaiah 43:1 But now, this is what the Lord says— He who created you, Jacob, He who formed you, Israel: “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are Mine. NIV
Psalm 138:3 On the day I called, You answered me; You made me bold with strength in my soul.
2 Thessalonians 2:14 It was for this He called you through our gospel, that you may gain the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Ephesians 1:3 All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ.
Philippians 3:3 for we are the true circumcision, who worship in the Spirit of God and glory in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh.
Ephesians 1:19-20 I also pray that you will understand the incredible greatness of God’s power for us who believe Him. This is the same mighty power that raised Christ from the dead and seated Him in the place of honor at God’s right hand in the heavenly realms.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Never Left Alone To Take Any Test

In the training that my husband and I are going through, we have online tests every 6 weeks. Now it’s been a while since either of us has taken tests like this. Each week there is also a test that requires our answers. It’s not a hard test, but there is no way to answer the essay questions without understanding the content of the study. The multiple choice questions are a snap, IF you have read and studied your assignment.

We all have many tests in our lives. Although we don’t usually choose the tests we encounter, go through them we must. There are the tests of patience, of faith and of time. In the tests of patience we learn to let God help us have mercy and give us serenity in spite of the frustrations we might feel. In the tests of our faith, we achieve our greatest results when we put all of our trust in Christ who is our Intercessor. In the test of time, it is endurance that we need most so that our character is built up in God and becomes more Christlike.

God speaks to my heart: It’s not about the nature of the test or the circumstances of it. No matter what you are going through there is only one answer and that is to let yourself be molded into the image of Christ. When God is with us we can do all things because He promises us strength. When met with rejection we can plead for mercy on their behalf. When met with humiliation we can ask for God’s dignity to surface in us. When met with frustrating circumstances we can ask Christ to be our peace. Your heart cries out to be better even when your flesh desires you to stay bitter. Your faith wants to let Jesus arise in you, to replace your stony heart even when things are hard to bear.

Oh beloved, whatever you are going through God is with you. He hasn’t left you to face a single test alone. He knows that you have been battling to see the answer in spite of the questions that come to your mind. Regardless of the questions mounting you can rest in God’s Word and seek His face for answers. The why of a situation may not come your way but your response to the pain, the frustration and the depth of the situation is settled in heaven. Every test you face is a reminder that Christ Himself faced tests. You may feel you have no recourse but to be angry, resentful and frustrated. Now is the time to act instead of react. Ask Christ to come in and take over in your heart, your mind and your spirit. Whatever is thrown at you, the devil would like to use to defeat you. But as your test of faith becomes a channel to be redeemed by God to perfect you, the enemy will have to retreat.

God loves you and He’s for you. Because of this He has sent Jesus to redeem you and the Holy Spirit to live in your heart so that you can choose the right answer – straight from God’s Book of Love. It’s an open book test, beloved, and as you acquaint yourself more and more with the subject you will find the Word of God to be your best resource for dealing with hurts and pain and all the things that tend to make you question the Lord. You are an overcomer, more and more, as you become a student of the Word as well as becoming more like the Teacher Himself.

James 1:3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance.

James 1:12 God blesses those who patiently endure testing and temptation. Afterward they will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love Him. NLT

Romans 8:29 For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren.

Colossians 3:16 Let the word [spoken by] Christ (the Messiah) have its home [in your hearts and minds] and dwell in you in [all its] richness, as you teach and admonish and train one another in all insight and intelligence and wisdom [in spiritual things, and as you sing] psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, making melody to God with [His] grace in your hearts. Amplified

Thursday, March 20, 2014

You Can Be Grateful to God Even in the Dark

“When I arrived at the hospital Monday afternoon, Beth was not in the room. A few minutes later she returned from one of her therapy sessions. After a little while, she started a song (I had always started the songs). It was one I had never heard before.
She sang: ‘I am so grateful – I am so grateful – I am so grateful – that He will walk with me’”
???????????????????The message above is an excerpt of an update from one of our college professors regarding his wife. What you don’t know is the rest of the story. She recently had a stroke and could not talk or sing or walk. And she has a beautiful voice. We heard an angelic singer in the crowd at a worship seminar a few years ago and discovered it was her! I’ve seen her in town for years and she’s been in my office many times. But I didn’t know she had the voice of an angel until that night. It was dark in the sanctuary so that we could see the event on the big screen so we could barely see each other. Nobody else in the room was really singing but her. Yet her voice was clear and perfect. 
God speaks to my heart: What do you do when you cannot speak? When the words don’t come and your heart is in your throat? Do you sing? Can you sing? Do you know the words to the song that is sung strictly from the spirit? When you’re in the dark do you lose heart? Are you faint for fear? I AM with you always. Because of My Presence you can be grateful no matter what. Grateful in the unspeakable moments of dread. Grateful in the darkest hours of your life. Grateful enough to sing and praise Me. Grateful enough to remember even in those times of fear and dread and sorrow: “I will walk with you.”
Oh beloved, are you in a dark and speechless time? You may have been there a while and you see no improvement at all. God wants you to know that even there, He is with you always. Even when you do not know how to pray or praise, He is with you. If you will just praise Him in the storm right now, you will find that He will come in like a flood of light to bless your heart. You will also find that as you praise the Lord for His wonderful care, the enemy of your heart will have to flee. He cannot stand in the presence of the Word, or of praise and especially not of worship. Each step you make with God will help you find your voice again. Each grateful acknowledgement that He alone is your God will cause the light to dawn in your heart and mind and soul. I cannot promise when things will change or how God will bring about the change, but I know He is with you all the way. You are born again to be a singing emissary of praise and a worshiping messenger of mercy and grace. 
Trust Him right now, no matter what, simply because of who He is. He loves you and He’s for you. So you can let Him take you beyond the momentary circumstances of the present into His sanctuary of safety where He will watch over you, protect you and guide you all the days of your life. 
Psalm 16:8 I know the LORD is always with me. I will not be shaken, for He is right beside me. NLT
Psalm 112:4 Light arises in the darkness for the upright; He is gracious and compassionate and righteous.
Psalm 108:1 My heart is steadfast, O God; I will sing, I will sing praises, even with my soul.
Hebrews 12:28 Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe…
Psalm 75:1 We thank you, O God! We give thanks because you are near. People everywhere tell of your wonderful deeds.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Rest Assured

We get several bank statements at work. This month the one for my office was late arriving. I called the bank to see about it. I was told that because of the weather the mail had been delayed. She said rest assured, as she told me that ours would be there. Sure enough it did come in the next day’s mail. I need that statement to reconcile our checking. Without the information on the bank statement I wouldn’t be able to prove a thing and thus would not be able to report on it. I waited and was concerned but it came through in the end.
Rest assured.
God speaks to my heart: Rest assured in Me. I am all the assurance you need. And when you have assurance, when you know that you know, you will find rest in Me as well. In this world you will not find such promises and oaths. But in Me you are assured that what I have pledged I will do. While you may be looking for answers that haven’t arrived yet, you can rest in the fact that I AM with you, so keep you, to guide you and to reconcile you to Me. My love covers all and through it, you will find confidence, composure and calm assurance. There is no place else to wait except in My presence. Fretting and worrying and wondering and wringing your hands will do nothing. But resting in assurance for Me to deliver the answer is your place of ultimate safety. This is how you reconcile your life to Me – in waiting in faith and believing in Me no matter what it looks like, knowing that I will reconcile all things for you in Christ.
Oh beloved, have you been seeking God for His comfort? Are you wondering why God has not answered? Maybe you think that God is not going to answer at all. Just because the answer hasn’t made it all the way to you doesn’t mean God is not answering. Now is not the time to give up. Keep praying and keep holding onto God. Continue to trust in His Word for what He says He will surely do. He knows how hard it is to rest assured in all things, but you are destined to be confident in Him and you are ordained to rely on His Word. Remember that you are not stuck in the situation, but you are on the way to glory. Even when waiting, you are learning to lean on Him more and more. The enemy of your soul wants you to believe God will not come through, so that you will weaken and feel doomed. But God’s Word is your only Truth to rely on. It transcends what the mind and body feel. It permeates your soul and awakens your spirit as you live in the light of His Word.
God loves you and He’s for you. This is your rest as you reassure your heart and mind that God will always give His answer and it will always be right on time.
Romans 4:21 and being fully assured that what God had promised, He was able also to perform.
Psalm 91:1-2 Those who live in the shelter of the Most High will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty. This I declare about the Lord: He alone is my refuge, my place of safety; He is my God, and I trust Him. NLT
Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. NLT
Psalm 130:5 I am counting on the Lord; yes, I am counting on Him. I have put my hope in His word. NLT

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Training Brings Abundance

Stella and I were shopping one day. As a nearly 3 year old girl, Stella has definite likes and dislikes. But she also has a hard time making up her mind. We were trying to choose a shirt. She picked one she liked and we began to move the buggy. “Wait! I don’t like this.” So we stopped and chose another shirt. We got a little farther away and she decided she didn’t like that one either. Finally, after three almost made it shirts, I said nope, let’s find something else. We ended up going home with a book.

She’s in training. She is learning to make choices and she’s learning what she likes and dislikes. Every choice she makes brings up an end result, not always to her liking to be sure. But she’s learning about the choices she makes even as young as she is.

My husband and I are in training. So far we are enjoying it. I can’t say enjoying it as in having fun, lighthearted and free. We are having intense information given to us and it’s changing our very beings. All this is coming on the heels of a very hard place for us. We had a choice. We could have said this is too hard, we quit. Or we could pick our faces up off the floor and say okay Lord, what’s next?

We chose to go on with God. Before I make that sound too lofty I would like to say that it is not always an easy choice to say yes to God in the midst of pain, rejection or trials. But I think it’s important for you to know, precious one, that the choice you make today about what you are going through will set the tone for your future.

God speaks to my heart: Every day is a choice. But when you make your choices, be sure you do this in the light of My Word rather than your pain, misfortune or as a result of what others may have done. You must know beyond the shadow of a doubt that I have had you in the palm of My hand all these years. I knew you before you were even conceived, before you were a dream in your parents’ minds. I knew everything that you would ever go through. While all of it has not been pleasant, it is all fitting into My plan. For My ways are higher than your ways. You see pain, I see possibilities. You see rejection, I see connection. You see hurts, I see learning experiences beyond your wildest dreams. When you choose to live in Me and let Me change your heart and focus your mind, I will restore the things that are so broken, even when done at another’s hand. Even when you have been so broken you didn’t know how you could live again I AM able to make all things work together for your good and My glory. It is in the very hardest places of life that you are able to grow the most. So trust Me. Let Me continue My plan for your life. You are loved, you are chosen, you are redeemed and you are Mine.

Oh beloved, it’s time to lay aside the grave clothes of rejection. It’s time to throw off the mantel of grief over choices made by you and those choices made for you. No there’s nothing you can do about some things that have happened. But you are destined to be of great value to the Kingdom of the Most High God. The very things which have wanted to choke you and suffocate the very life from your heart and mind are going to be used to give you a platform to share the Glory of God with others who need to know that He is able. As you learn to lean on God and let Him teach you, you will be amazed that you will not just survive, you will thrive! Let God do all He wants to do for you, in you and through you. His greatest desire is that you are fit for heaven. His utmost calling is that your life be a testament to His mercy and grace. He will equip you for Christlikeness, encourage you to rejoice, reconcile your past to your future and restore you beyond the pain.

God loves you and He’s for you. That simply means that He’s willing and able to take you out of the ashes of it all and create in you a life that is glorious for His Kingdom. You still have a choice to live loved or to barely survive. God says live and show forth the praises of Him who is bringing you out of the darkness and into His own marvelous light!

Isaiah 58:6 Is this not the fast which I choose, To loosen the bonds of wickedness, To undo the bands of the yoke, And to let the oppressed go free and break every yoke?

Romans 8:28 And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.

Psalm 4:7 You have put gladness in my heart, More than when their grain and new wine abound.

1 Timothy 1:14 and the grace of our Lord was more than abundant, with the faith and love which are found in Christ Jesus.

Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the thoughts and plans that I have for you, says the Lord, thoughts and plans for welfare and peace and not for evil, to give you hope in your final outcome. Amplified

Psalm 73:28 But it is good for me to draw near to God; I have put my trust in the Lord God and made Him my refuge, that I may tell of all Your works. Amplified

Monday, March 17, 2014

Weather Predictions May Fail but God's Word Stands

I woke up in the night and as usual I looked out to see how my area of the world was faring. To my surprise and delight I found it was snowing! My surprise was because this is a very late snow. It hasn’t snowed in Arkansas this late in decades. My delight was not because it’s snowing. To be truthful I am totally done with winter and ready to have a springtime that sticks around a while. But yesterday we had a comparison of sorts about the different weather predictions. I was quoting NOAA and another family member was quoting a different weather channel. I felt foolish and a little ridiculous, especially if it didn’t snow at all. I secretly hoped it would snow just a little to prove NOAA was right.

God speaks to my heart: The Word of God is no weather prediction center. It is the way, the truth and the life. It’s all encompassing, ever faithful, right on time. You can count on My Word to deliver for its intended purpose. I AM so wrapped into My Word that the breathing out of it over My world is essential for life and breath of all creation. Not one snowflake floats to the ground that I am unaware of. Not one storm, not one gale, not one flood. It is I the Lord who has made all this and I the Lord will see you through everything, whether the weather is favorable or fearful. My Word and My love are totally connected so that you can trust Me. My Word is My bond. If you need to know what to do in any circumstance of life don’t wish for it. Read My Word and rely on it with your whole heart, mind and soul. This is how you find strength to stand the weather of today and hope to face the future of unstable conditions. You may not be able to count on another thing but you can count on My Word.

Oh beloved, as you are waking up this morning, you may be facing the most insecure times of your life. The weather of your heart may make you want to stay in the bed and you may wish to refuse to greet the day. Don’t languish another moment in fear and dread. Get up, read up and stand up on the Word of God. Align yourself with His Truth. Ask Him if there’s any area that may have a gap between His Truth and your living and let Him teach you how to close that gap. He loves you and you can count on His mercy and grace as you learn to live according to His Word. He will guide you into all Truth for the Holy Spirit of God Himself dwells in believers to give them all they need for living a godly life. Trust His Word today. As sure as the snow is falling, the Word of God is True. It’s the only truth you can trust. God is for you and as you learn to live in the light of His Word you will find yourself in capable hands always, no matter what the weather may predict, no matter what Wall Street says and no matter who is in charge of the Government.

Jesus is Lord over all the Earth and you can count on His Word forever. Recite it daily, refer to it for everything, post it in your home, on your dashboard and bring those Words of life into your heart and mind and soul and live loved, cared for and protected all the days of your life.

Isaiah 40:8 The grass withers, the flower fades, But the word of our God stands forever.

Psalm 125:1 Those who trust in the LORD are as Mount Zion, which cannot be moved but abides forever.

Isaiah 45:19 I publicly proclaim bold promises. I do not whisper obscurities in some dark corner. I would not have told the people of Israel to seek me if I could not be found. I, the LORD, speak only what is true and declare only what is right. NLT

Psalm 19:7-11 The law of the Lord is perfect, restoring the soul; The testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple. The precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart; The commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes. The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever; The judgments of the Lord are true; they are righteous altogether. They are more desirable than gold, yes, than much fine gold; Sweeter also than honey and the drippings of the honeycomb. Moreover, by them Your servant is warned; In keeping them there is great reward.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Jesus Will Free You of Your Excess Baggage

It’s been a long time since anyone in our immediate family has flown, but when they did they carried their baggage on board with them in a large duffle bag.  In 2008 some of the major airlines began charging fees for excess baggage. That rate has gone up continually over the years. Not all airlines charge but even those that don’t charge have a limit to the size and weight of the baggage. And the price for the heavier or larger baggage is pretty steep. Suffice it to say if you carry excess baggage these days it’s going to cost you.
Excess baggage isn’t just carried on a plane. It’s often carried by people. Even believers have their share of baggage. Some of it is carried over from the days before their commitment to Christ.  It’s a heavy load to care and it truly costs dearly to carry the weight around. Some of it is carried due to sins committed in the past. Other weighted down baggage may be marital problems, how a person was raised or even religious expectations.  The cost of carrying the excess baggage comes when you try to carry it all yourself. Imagine walking into a restaurant and carrying all your trip belongings with you. Imagine sight-seeing and having to carry that stuff with you everywhere you go.  Up mountains, over bridges. Walking down the aisle? Carrying all your excess troubles, mistakes, misunderstandings, rejections to the altar.  You quickly get a picture of what happens when the excess baggage isn’t dealt with. It enters into everything you do and everywhere you go. It’s a load no one should carry and it will cost you more than you want to pay.
God speaks to my heart: I have come to the world to lighten the sin load of everyone who comes to Me for relief. There at Calvary I set the precedent for a life that never has to be burdened with the weight of sin. Why are you still carrying that with you? Are you expecting to be able to do something with your past regrets? Hand them to me quickly before you find yourself so weighted down with sin that you cannot enter into My rest. I have also come to ransom you from the weight of rejection, fears, worry, and all the other things that people think they have to carry on with them. Everywhere you go you will need to be light for the trip so that I can speak to your heart, guide your plans and guard your mind. You were never meant to carry anything that is in the way of a burdensome load.  If you will let Me, I the Lord, will take your excess baggage, relieve you of the burden as well as the cost of carrying it around with you and give you My yoke instead. As you learn of Me you will find that My yoke is easy to bear and the burden I give you is light. It’s time to walk freely, be able to dance in My presence, and go where I send you. With excess baggage you are barely going to make it, but free of your baggage you will be able to soar with Eagle’s wings and scale the heights with Me.  
Oh beloved, weighed down? Feeling the weight of the world on your shoulders? Are you finding that the more you take on the harder it is to move? It’s time to give your burdens to the Lord? Your cares aren’t meant to be carried and your sins aren’t meant to weigh you down. You can be free! It doesn’t matter what you’ve done or why you’re weary, take it all to the Lord. It sounds simple and it is. God has made it so simple that as we begin to unload it all on Him we find that He just does away with it. It’s gone as far as the east is from the west. It’s in the sea of forgetfulness. He will never bring it up again and He will never try to weigh you down with it. If you feel that you must take it all up and carry it again, you can be sure that it is not the Lord requiring it of you. Your excess baggage will take a toll in your life, in your vocation, in your marriage, in your relationships, even in your fellowship with other believers, even with your own perception of yourself. These heavy weights may have been given you by others or may be built up within yourself. Excess baggage can be sin, wrong thinking, rejection, humiliation, defeated thinking, depression, discouragement or more. They can be fleshly in nature or even religious. The enemy of your soul wants you weighed down and thus useless for the Kingdom. Wherever it has come from, God will show you because God is love.  The lightening of your load by God through Christ will give you a freedom you’ve never known. It is the freedom that all creation is looking for and it’s just what you’ve been wanting. Try it today, go to God and give Him all your burdens. Begin now. The process may take a while but you will begin to feel so much lighter in mind, spirit and body as you start the process.
God loves you and He is for you. That’s why He wants you to quit paying for the excess baggage you were never meant to carry. He needs you to be free to live, love and share His love, His care and His truth all the days of your life.
John 8:36 So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed.
Matthew 11:28-30 Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.”
Hebrews 12:1 Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.
Psalm 34:6 In my desperation I prayed, and the LORD listened; He saved me from all my troubles.