Saturday, November 29, 2008

Keep Expecting Great Things...

I have confidence because of some One …and with Him; some One has confidence in me!
I can trust because of some One… and with Him; some One can trust me!
I can rely on some One…and with Him; some One can rely on me!
I have assurance because of some One…and with Him; some One can find assurance in me!
I can believe because of some One…and with Him, some One can believe in me!
I have devotion because of some One…and with Him; some One can see devotion in me!
I have found loyalty because of some One…and with Him; some One finds loyalty in me!

I have found this to be true..
I have faith in some One…
I have hope because of some One and therefore...
I can expect great things from some One!!

Just as a child expects great things on Christmas morning, God thank you that you remind me over and over to expect great things from You!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Recalling What I Learned When I Was 10...

There is so much that I could do today and tackle my ever running to do list. Not sure where to begin I beckoned to hear from Jesus and asked Him what to do. I swear I heard the word “Rest.” So thinking that maybe I was just hearing my own voice out of my overwhelming state I beckoned again and heard nothing. As I grabbed my cup of coffee and my to do list my eyes came across a picture drawn by a student for me this week…and I instantly remember tears coming to my eyes that day and hearing God remind me how an adolescent hands knows how to love, knows how to express gratitude, knows how to rest in Him and allow love to flow throw him…
AAaaahhhh…you see this 10 year old boy drew me a picture of God’s beautiful creation and gave it to me…as if to say thank you for being here today and brightening my day…it beckons me to draw near to my God and say thank you for being here.
I was remembering telling God thank you for helping me recall some pre-algebra concepts that these 4th graders were working on (WOW!!)…so thankful that God reminded me and equipped me also with the red ink in the teacher’s edition as I reworked some of the problems on the white board.
I also feel drawn to say thank you for my needs…thank you for the pain…thank you for the joys…thank you for everything that tugs on my heart and makes me yearn to know You better. Please keep showing me how to love…please keep showing me how to express my gratitude…please keep showing me how to rest in You and allow You to love through me…
I think I knew at one time how to do all of this…maybe back when I was an adolescent myself…and some days I think I forget what I learned when I was 10.
There were definitely some powerful things God was beginning to teach me when I was 10 even with my home filled with atheism and no church on Sundays…you see my heart resonates with Mary’s heart…He had taken notice of me…a lowly servant girl and has done great things for me!! My spirit rejoices in God my Savior!!!

Oh, I am choosing to rest in Him today…not going back to bed and climbing under the covers or snuggling on the couch and grabbing a blanket…but instead grabbing my best friend’s hand and resting in Him as I walk through the motions of today…something I cannot do alone-PRAISE YOU FATHER!
Hmmmm….I think I was hearing God right!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

New T-Shirt

I bought a new t-shirt…it says Levi’s on the front and it as only $4.99 at Ross. I love that store and just as I laid out my clothes for the next morning and climbed into bed to read…the phone rang…it is odd for me to get calls this late at night…but what a joy to hear the voice of my dear friend!!! I’ve found lots of deals with her in the past and she so shares with me so many of my passions…I rested well after conversing with her and was reminded of my common bond with her and my new t-shirt this morning as I read…
I promise not to neglect the Temple of our God! My heart echoes the words I read this morning in Neh 10! I know that my body is God’s temple and it is on my mind to take care of this body of mine…both physically, spiritually and emotionally….thank you Lord for my girlfriends who I am able to exercise with, share my heart with and pray with…
I’m thinking of exercising as soon as I am done here and then getting ready and putting that new t-shirt on. What is it about a new shirt that makes us feel good? A verse popped in my head as I was thinking about this…”You were taught with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by your deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. (Eph 4:22-24)
Oh Praise You Father!! Everyday I can be reminded that I am new!! I am new because of You and what You have done for me!! I am not my old self…and even when I make mistakes…I am learning from them and I am not the same as I used to be…I am being made new in the attitudes in my mind and I am being continually shaped to be more like You…I can stand upright and blameless—because of YOU—not perfect but covered because of Your grace.
Thank you that I can put on a new shirt every morning…and it is free!! Thank you for constantly reminding me—thank you for the girlfriends you bring into my life that remind me—and help me not to forget these dear things that You constantly whisper to me!!! I love you Lord…may I continue to find these rich treasures in this practice of growing in You…may I practice this ongoing review of who I am in You. Give me Your patience and concentration to keep in line with Your will!
Now where is that shirt so I can begin this day!!!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Reflecting on His love...

Oh this is your calling! I heard this from others after speaking this weekend and felt encouraged and then ran to my God! What are we to do when God calls us to something? In reading about Gideon in Judges this morning; I began reflecting on my own life and how I feel the desire to encourage those around me…first my children and husband and others that I know God puts in our lives to encourage.

I cannot focus on all of that—for it is overwhelming. Praise God we can take these emotions to God...and I did just that. I sensed God nudging me to just look at myself and my relationship with Him and everything else will fall into place...hmm the jingle is coming..

Seek first...the Kingdom of Heaven...and all shall be added...

As I reflected on what I read this morning. I found it interesting that when God called Gideon to be His hands and feet; the first thing that he needed to address was idol worship. I was thinking about what our idols are this present day...what do we measure ourselves it God or something else?

Later, as I was taking the boys to school; I heard my son’s friend commenting on how much my son reads…he asked how many hours of reading he had as the school has the kids keep track of the reading hours and rewards them for reading 100-200 hours by the end of the year. It was apparent to me right away that the boys were comparing their reading hours.

Oh, don’t we even do this as adults…do we compare and see if we are measuring up? Oh Lord, I so do not want to allow myself to stand next to anyone but you. I don’t want to feel either encouraged or discouraged because I put myself up against someone else…I had to encourage my son and remind him to focus on himself and what God wants him to do… and as I reminded Him I reminded myself.

God is speaking to me about something great here…you see whether I sense that someone in my life is saying, “What you did was awesome!” or “That could have been better,” or “I love you” or “I hate you” or “I believe in you,” or “I don’t believe you,” or “I so understand you,” or “I don’t understand you.”

I don’t want to be either filled up or depleted by any of this chatter…I only want what matters in my little sensitive and intuitive heart to be what God has put there. All the chatter can be distracting—it can surely distract us in hearing what God wants to say and I don’t want to miss what He has to say…because I know IT IS GOOD!!!

Sometimes I feel like a child…and I know I am God’s child; still a fairly new one that needs to hear how much He loves me. And although God may often use His other children to tell me they love me…I want to know His love and stand confident in this love every day regardless of what I hear from others.
Then, maybe, I will not need to ask my friend how many hours he has read. For, whether I have read little or alot it cannot change how much God loves me!

I sense a truth resonating within my heart…for I know that if my life is intertwined with His, He will help me stand confident and unashamed and I won’t sink when I hear devastation and I won’t rise falsely on deceptive highs. For, I know my consistent conversations with You, God brings about John 15:11, “I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.” Oh, tell me…tell me Lord…I so do want to hear. May you fill our lives with your love so we can speak nothing but loving encouraging words to one another—and remove the desires we may have to compare ourselves to one another. Help us grasp this and help us teach this truth to our children. Whether my friend has read less or more than me…it does not matter…for God loves us both!!! May we all know, reflect and rely on, the love God has for us! (1John4:16)

Thank you for Your Love!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Journey through the a tree?

Probably because there are still so many unplanted trees sitting in our backyard I felt my eyes gazing upon so many trees on my walk yesterday (And Arizona is not known for its trees...I remember seeing many more when we lived in the NW). Then I read Psalm 104:16 "The trees of theLord are well watered, the cedars of Lebanon that he planted."

Oh do I desire to be a well-watered tree with fruitful branches Lord...I praise you that in reading Your Word I find more and more reason to praise reading Psalm 118 alone, I composed this:

With God I am Free

With God I am Fearless

With God I am Helped and have a Helper

With God I am Strong

With God I am Full of Joy

With God I am Victorious

With God I am Lively

With God I am Protected

With God I am Thankful

With God I am Answered and this means Understood

With God I am Glad

With God I am Rejoiceful

With God I am a Shining Light

With God I am Loved and able to Love

Giving thanks to You Lord...for Your Love Endures!!!
I am honored to be on this journey and I surrender to this journey.
I am Yours! Plant me, prune me, water me...

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Reaching Our Candy Land

God just brought some things full circle for me. I heard my boys up a little earlier than normal this morning and they were talking about something. A little while later they came running down the stairs with their voices full of sunshine, “Good Morning Momma!”
My oldest exclaims, “I’m going to do something special this morning…I’m going to baptize JD!” Then JD pipes in, “Yeah, I want to go to heaven and eat all the CANDY I WANT!!!”
I chuckled inside and made a note to myself remembering a conversation I had the day before; and talked with my boys over breakfast about baptism and living for Jesus. I love seeing God’s Spirit move in, around and through my children…I think God does this to remind me that He loves me! Hallelujah that this is how I started my day!! Praise you Father, you are truly WONDERFUL!!
I remembered a conversation I had with a friend the day prior about desiring to be with God more than we desired to have that candy on Friday night…I myself had way too much sugar Friday AND Saturday…hee hee. We were discussing the increasing challenge from our Pastor to read, study, and reflect on God’s Word every day.
In addition, in my own studying yesterday I was reading and meditating on the Israelites struggle to reach the Promise Land. They so often faced tough times and instead of trusting God and pushing through they whined and complained and wanted to take the easy way…even the way back into captivity. I know that my thinking can so be like that…and want to just wiggle my nose and get to a place of paradise so that I can eat all the candy that I want or be where it is comfortable. Sometimes I know that I cause myself to stumble in front of my own Promise Land (whether candy is involved or not). I know that reaching this Promise Land is not going to be free of struggles and battles and yet, I can so easily get discouraged when I face them.
I find great comfort in knowing that just like God led the Israelites; He is also leading me. Just like God knew the Israelites were prone to have thoughts to turn back when they faced opposition; God knows the same is true for me today. And I believe He is allowing some of these tough things in my life to sharpen and strengthen me.
Yesterday, I thought a lot about being comfortable and seeking my own Promise Land…and how I must be currently going in the right direction because I am feeling opposition and battling negative thoughts when negative thoughts is something I felt I was over a few years ago. I so know about taking my thoughts captive and making them obedient to Christ (2Cor10:5). I have a few studies under my belt that focused on my freedom found in Christ and being aware of my thought life…yet just like the Israelites needed to be reminded. Especially when I face bumps in the road and am more prone to think negatively I need to be close to Him so He can dust me off and place me back on my feet.

Instead of my thoughts leading me down a path of death (complaining, whining, arguing)…my thoughts can be like Christ and speak life (encouragement, love, forgiveness, acceptance). My thoughts led me to His Word, to Christ, to my Helper (John 14:16) and I am choosing to not lose heart or grow weary in doing good, for at the proper time I will reap a harvest if I do not give up (Gal 6:9).
The Israelites are not the example to follow…although they do make me feel normal—and illustrate the reason we all need Christ! I know Christ is our example, He faced the desert and opposition and used God’s Word to fight His battle and in addition He did not complain or talk negatively when He suffered— He walked victoriously through every situation! And if I am abiding in Him…He can help me do the same!
I need to let that sink in…
He walked victoriously through every situation! And if I am abiding in Him…He can help me do the same!
*I think I will continue to talk to my kids about this and model the way of continually seeking Him in His Word; because I KNOW following Christ is so much more than reaching heaven and getting to eat all the candy you want!