Saturday, June 29, 2013

The Plans of the LORD

The Lord foils the plans of the nations;
    He thwarts the purposes of the peoples.
But the plans of the Lord stand firm forever,
    the purposes of His heart through all generations.
Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord,
    the people He chose for his inheritance.
Psalm 33:10-12 NIV

  Jesus warns us throughout the New Testament that there will be great deception in the last days.
These are just a few references.
Luke 21:18
Matthew 24:4, 5, 11, and 24
Mark 13:5-6
 2 Thessalonians 2:3
2 John 1:7

What comfort to know that JESUS is the way, the truth and the life and TRUTH is marching on.



Come and Worship


credit

As morning dawns and evening fades
You inspire songs of praise
That rise from earth and touch Your heart
And glorify Your name 

YOUR NAME
sung by Phillips Craig and Dean 

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Jeremiah 33:3

I often hear Jeremiah 33:3 quoted, but I sometimes forget that God said this to Jeremiah while he was still a prisoner.

While Jeremiah was still confined in the courtyard of the guard, the Lord gave him this second message: “This is what the Lord says—the Lord who made the earth, who formed and established it, whose name is the Lord:  

Ask me 
and I will tell you remarkable secrets 
you do not know 
about things to come.

Father God,

You know all that lies ahead, and all that You are working out even now for Your kingdom and for our good.
May we have ears to hear your Voice, and eyes to see how You see those around us. 

Eyes that find the good in things
When good is not around
Eyes that find the source of help, 
When help just can't be found
Eyes full of compassion, seein' every pain
Knowing what you're going through, 
And feelin' it the same 

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

What Does Your Daddy Do?

When I was a child, a question I was often asked was, "What does your Daddy do?"

Well, for years, our Dad was a mechanic on the city buses in Atlanta. From going out on service calls to repair disabled buses, he came to know the city streets like the back of his hand. When I grew up and began to drive downtown, I knew I could call Daddy for directions to anywhere in Atlanta.

As children of God, we need to know exactly what it is that our Father does. We also need to be CONFIDENT that He is on our side and He will help us when we call.

What does my Heavenly Father do? He's a doctor, a lawyer, a righteous judge, a builder, a warrior, a singer/dancer, first responder, counselor and best friend - just to name a few!

He knows which way I should go. His perfect love casts out fear. It is the only thing that does.

And your ears will hear a word behind you, saying, This is the way; walk in it, when you turn to the right hand and when you turn to the left. Isaiah 20:21

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Brilliant Splendor

His brilliant splendor fills the heavens,
and the earth is filled with his praise.

Habakkuk 3:3b NLT

God's Not Dead!

When my son Cameron was in fifth grade, his public school teacher asked the students to write about the living person that had most influenced their lives. Cameron wrote about Jesus Christ. After he had read his essay to the class, a little girl raised her hand and complained to the teacher that Cameron did not follow the directions because his subject is dead.

Cameron explained that Jesus was crucified, but rose from the dead, and then ascended to heaven fully alive. He also told her, "Jesus is God and He lives in my heart."

The little girl continued to argue until the teacher gave her an assignment to go to the library and research to find out if Jesus is dead or alive.

Thank God for childlike faith!


Monday, June 24, 2013

ROAR

When I was six years old, our class took a field trip on the bus to Grant Park Zoo in Atlanta. I was excited on my first trip to the zoo and I ran ahead of my class and entered the Lion House. Back then, the lions were housed in small cages. I walked right up to the bars of the cage, and the full-grown male lion let out a ROAR that echoed through that stone building. I will never forget that deafening sound or the feeling of fear!

Sometimes, we face circumstances where we are afraid to stand up and do what we know is right. God gave me a picture that if I would stop running away from problems and stand up and face fear, that a hundred angels would stand up with me. Even better than that, my Savior Jesus stands with me, and He is the Lion of the tribe of Judah!

Judah means PRAISE. Even when I feel uncertain, as I begin to praise, with my small voice, I have a Heavenly Choir of back-up singers.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Refuge

We can rest in the fact that God has spent our whole lifetime preparing us for the days in which we are living. Jesus tells us we need not panic in the midst of worldwide turmoil.

Instead of looking for a place of refuge in the storm, God wants us to BE ONE!

People will have needs in the coming months and years that He will enable us as Christians to meet. When people start asking us how they can know the Savior, we need to be prepared to answer them. People will be watching us to see how we handle crisis and loss. Not only will we make it through, but God will enlarge our sphere of influence.

I'm sure you can remember some older saint that you knew who had deep abiding joy, hope, and peace in the middle of adversity. Only Christ gives us a peace that the world cannot give and the world cannot take away.

God speaks to us through the prophet Isaiah...
You who have been borne by Me from your birth, carried from the womb; Even to your old age I am He, and even to hair white with age will I carry you. I have made, and I will bear; yes, I will carry and will save you. Isaiah 46:3-4

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Our Heart

 photo credit
There is no power that for one hour
Can withstand the greatness
Of Your Word on tongues of faith,
So we're bold in intercession,
Claiming all of Your possession
Praying now that every heart will bow
Before You Lord in praise.

Heavenly Father,
Our heart, our desire
Is to see the nations worship.
Our cry, our prayer
Is to sing Your praise to the ends of the earth,
That with one mighty voice
Evey tribe and tongue rejoices.
Our heart, our desire
Is to see the nations worship You.

 -John Chisum



The Pearl of Great Price

“The kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking beautiful pearls,  who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had and bought it. Matthew 13:45-46 

I never quite understood the meaning of the parable of the pearl of great price. I knew it had to do with our salvation through Jesus Christ....Then recently, I "got it": The most valuable treasure of all is
God's presence in my life.

When my son died, I felt the presence of God so strongly that I could smell a sweet fragrance.

No matter what else we lose, no matter what trials we face, no one can take away the presence of God.

What else could be so precious?

Friday, June 21, 2013

HELP!

Where's the strength to keep my hopes up?
What future do I have to keep me going?
Job 6:11

I love God because he listened to me,
listened as I begged for mercy.
He listened so intently
as I laid out my case before him.
Death stared me in the face,
hell was hard on my heels.
Up against it,
I didn't know which way to turn;
then I called out to God for help:
"Please, God!" I cried out.
"Save my life!"
God is gracious—
it is he who makes things right,
our most compassionate God.
God takes the side of the helpless;
When I was at the end of my rope, he saved me.
Psalm 116:1-6 Message

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Destiny


The Lord is my inheritance and my cup.
You are the one who determines my destiny.
Your boundary lines
 mark out pleasant places for me.
Indeed, my inheritance is something beautiful.
I will praise the Lord, who advises me.
My conscience warns me at night.
I always keep the Lord in front of me.
When he is by my side, I cannot be moved.
Psalm 16:5-8 God's Word

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Sacrifice of Praise


Through Him [Jesus] then, let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that give thanks to His name.
Hebrews 13:15

For a few short years during this lifetime, we as believers have the privilege of offering a sacrifice of praise to our God.

The psalmist wrote: "I will bless the Lord at all times. His praise shall continually be in my mouth.
Psalm 34:1

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Lay It All Down

"Choose Me. Lay down at My feet, right now, what you are carrying. Lay it down. Lay it down. As you have laid it down, I have picked it up. It will become My business. Give Me time. My ways are not your ways. Yes, they are higher. But I have seen your tears; I have seen your pain; I have seen the betrayal, and the hurt. But I am also the Eternal One who heals the hearts of His own.

"Give Me your heart, so I can start from the inside out. For I will take a stony heart – for it's been hardened and hardened by the world, by disappointment. It became hard to protect itself from pain. Let Me take your heart. Let Me cause it to become flesh, where it can beat again in My presence with love." 

Quote from Eileen Fisher. Elijah List, June 12, 2013

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Dance!







The three granddaughters who live near me were in a dance recital recently. I was one proud Nana as I watched them on stage.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Jesus is the Way


It seems that in America, some are embarrassed to acknowledge our Creator God or His Son, Jesus Christ. Is there any other God who is a God of love? Is there any other Savior who willingly laid down His life for us?

"The Message that points to Christ on the Cross seems like sheer silliness to those hellbent on destruction, but for those on the way of salvation it makes perfect sense. This is the way God works, and most powerfully as it turns out. It's written,

I'll turn conventional wisdom on its head,
I'll expose so-called experts as crackpots.

So where can you find someone truly wise, truly educated, truly intelligent in this day and age? Hasn't God exposed it all as pretentious nonsense? Since the world in all its fancy wisdom never had a clue when it came to knowing God, God in his wisdom took delight in using what the world considered dumb—preaching, of all things!—to bring those who trust him into the way of salvation."
1 Corinthians 1:18-21 Message

Lord, I pray that we will wake up to the fact that You first loved us and gave yourself for us. May we once again welcome you for You are worthy of praise and honor. May we never be ashamed to name the name that is above all names - Jesus.
Jesus said , 
"I am the way, and the truth, and the life; 
no one comes to the Father but through me.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

No Eye Has Seen

No eye has seen, no ear has heard,
and no mind has imagined
what God has prepared
for those who love him.
But it was to us that 
God revealed these things by his Spirit. 

For his Spirit searches out everything and shows us God’s deep secrets. No one can know a person’s thoughts except that person’s own spirit, and no one can know God’s thoughts except God’s own Spirit. And we have received God’s Spirit (not the world’s spirit), so we can know the wonderful things God has freely given us.
1 Corinthians 2:9-12 NLT

Song of the Bridegroom


Dear lover and friend, 
you’re a secret garden,
    a private and pure fountain.
Body and soul, you are paradise,
    a whole orchard of succulent fruits—
Ripe apricots and peaches,
    oranges and pears;
Nut trees and cinnamon,
    and all scented woods;
Mint and lavender,
    and all herbs aromatic;
A garden fountain, 
sparkling and splashing,
    fed by spring waters 
from the Lebanon mountains.
Song of Solomon 4:15-16 Message 

JESUS
Loves me
This I know
For the Bible
Tells me so.

Friday, June 7, 2013

REST IN HIS WORD


Rest in this - it is His business to lead, 
command, impel, send, call, 
or whatever you want to call it. 

It is your business to obey, 
follow, move, respond, or what have you... 

The sound of 'gentle stillness' 
after all the thunder and wind 
have passed 
will be the ultimate Word from God.
Jim Eliot 1927-1956

The gentle breeze of the Holy Spirit captures our attention so we can listen for the "still small voice" of our loving Father. It is He who will enable us to endure as seeing Him Who is unseen. 

Holy Boldness

I fully expect and hope that I will never be ashamed, but that I will continue to be bold for Christ, as I have been in the past. And I trust that my life will bring honor to Christ, whether I live or die.  Philippians 1:20

I praised God when saw a news report about a valedictorian, Roy Costner IV, who discarded the school board "approved" speech he was to give at graduation ( after all prayer was banned as to not offend the atheists) and expressed his thanks to God for his Christian parents. Then he quoted the Lord's Prayer from Matthew 6:9-13.
 
Our Father in heaven,
Hallowed be Your name.
Your kingdom come.
Your will be done
On earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts,
As we forgive our debtors.
And do not lead us into temptation,
But deliver us from the evil one.
For Yours is the kingdom 
and the power and the glory forever. 
Amen.

The Big Wheel Story

Once years ago, I left our two-year old Cameron in the care of his dad on a Saturday to go to the grocery. Well, Dad got busy repairing the lawn mower and assumed a two year old would know to stay close by. (Wrong) I was driving up our dead end street when I spied my son on his Big Wheel going down the middle of the street. I stopped the car and sprinted after him.

I asked him why he would ride his Big Wheel in the middle of the street?! He carefully thought it over and said, "I just 'cided to."

Now (thankfully) this child is a grown man. Once he shared at his Bible study group about how many times we start out to follow the Lord, but then we get worried that things aren't going to work out according to OUR plans or OUR timing, and we foolishly DECIDE to do it our own way.

Well, to finish the toddler story - a day or two after the Big Wheel incident, we were going for our afternoon walk and we saw a turtle that had been run over by a car. Sadly, I pointed it out to my son, and said, "Now do you understand why Mom was so upset when you were in the street?"

"Yes," he said, "Because a turtle might get me."

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Out of the Mouths of Babes

Out of the mouth of babes and nursing infants
You have ordained strength,
Because of Your enemies,
That You may silence the enemy and the avenger. Psalm 8:2



When the religious leaders saw the outrageous things Jesus was doing, and heard all the children running and shouting through the Temple, "Hosanna to David's Son!" they were up in arms and took him to task. "Do you hear what these children are saying?"

Jesus said, "Yes, I hear them. And haven't you read in God's Word, 'From the mouths of children and babies I'll furnish a place of praise'?" Matthew 21:15-16

Is there anything sweeter than a baby's laughter or first words, a child's bedtime prayer?

I can still remember my son Caleb's wonderful laugh. Because he was never able to walk, my other children would carry him in their arms as they ran and played basketball in the driveway.

When the ball was going flat one day, Cameron started kicking it around and it made the funniest noise. So Kathren picked him up and ran around the yard kicking the ball as she went and every time she kicked that ball he would just cackle!

I thought of that flat ball when I was reading a quote by Steve Sampson. He wrote that in our minds as believers, we often imagine God too small and satan too big. "Although we must rebuke and resist the devil, we also must acknowledge that he is under the feet of every believer and should only be somebody we kick around. A football-size devil."
 
That helped me put things in perspective. The devil had the wind knocked out of him when Jesus died for our sins, arose from the dead, and ascended to His Father. He is in worse shape than that pitiful basketball and he knows it.

When I was involved in women's prison ministry, Enemy's Camp was the ladies' favorite song, "I went to the enemy's camp and I took back what he stole from me!". They would raise the rafters, drumming on the desktops. When they got to the part, "He's under my feet!" they would start stomping their feet until all the guards would gather smiling and clapping along.


Tuesday, June 4, 2013

The Sisters

Three granddaughters are visiting me this week. The little 3 year old, Kaedyn, is not too happy about having two older sisters to boss her around in addition to Nana.

When I was reading to her about the three bears, she looked back through all the pages and asked, where were Goldilocks' big sisters?

El Elyon - God Most High

The name of the LORD is a strong tower: 
the righteous runneth into it, and is safe.
Proverbs 18:10

For You have been a shelter and a refuge for me, 
a strong tower against the adversary.
Psalm 61:3

The Lord also will be a refuge 
and a high tower for the oppressed, 
a refuge and a stronghold in times of trouble 
(high cost, destitution, and desperation).
Psalm 9:9

Monday, June 3, 2013

Praying in Our Weakness

The Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words. And the Father who knows all hearts knows what the Spirit is saying, for the Spirit pleads for us believers in harmony with God’s own will. Romans 8:26-27 NLT

A lack of endurance is usually one of the greatest causes of defeat, especially in prayer. We don’t wait well. We’re into microwaving; God, on the other hand, is usually into marinating.
Intercessory Prayer - Dutch Sheets 







Sunday, June 2, 2013

Prayer for Wisdom

I pray that your hearts will be flooded with light so that you can understand the confident hope he has given to those he called-his holy people who are his rich and glorious inheritance.
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. Now he is far above any ruler or authority or power or leader or anything else-not only in this world but also in the world to come.
God has put all things under the authority of Christ and has made him head over all things for the benefit of the church. And the church is his body; it is made full and complete by Christ, who fills all things everywhere with himself.
Ephesians 1:18-23 NLT

Refiner's Fire

Malachi 3:3 says: "He [Messiah] will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver."

A Bible study leader was curious about this verse, so the woman called a silversmith and made an appointment to watch him at work.

As she watched the silversmith, he held a piece of silver over the fire and let it heat up. He explained that in refining silver, he needed to hold the silver in the middle of the fire where the flames were hottest to burn away all the impurities.

The woman thought about God sometimes holding us in such a hot spot. She asked the silversmith if it was true that he had to sit there in front of the fire the whole time the silver was being refined.

The man answered that yes . He had to keep his eyes on the silver the entire time it was in the fire. If the silver was left a moment too long in the flames, it would be destroyed.

She then asked, "How do you know when the silver is fully refined?"

He smiled at her and answered, "Oh, that's easy -- when I see my image in it."

If today any of God's children are feeling the heat of the fire,  we can remember that God has his eye on us and will keep watching lovingly until He sees His image in us.

We are assured and know that [God being a partner in their labor] all things work together and are [fitting into a plan] for good to and for those who love God and are called according to [His] design and purpose.
 
For those whom He foreknew [of whom He was aware and loved beforehand], He also destined from the beginning [foreordaining them] to be molded into the image of His Son [and share inwardly His likeness], that He might become the firstborn among many brethren Romans 8:28-29

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Encouraging Word

I was reading back through some of my prayer journals. This is what the Lord impressed on me back in 2009 during my quiet time:

You cannot live in the past or the future, but when you do look back, you see that I have been FOR YOU, never AGAINST YOU! In every storm you have weathered, NOTHING has ever snatched you out of My hand.

Don't get sucked into worldly sorrow over lost jobs, houses, cars or things. Many are having to downsize. Your family is not the only one. There is a pruning process right now, not because you have done anything wrong, but because I am preparing you for greater fruitfulness in the next season. Realize that I have hidden riches in secret places tucked away for you.

If only you knew how very soon you would stand before me in glory and bask in the light of My presence, you would not waste a moment in worry and frustration now.

I am exalted. Heaven is My throne and the earth is My footstool. I am Victorious. Satan is under my feet. He bruised My heel, but I crushed his head.

How very rich you are, My child. You have ME. There are entire nations of people who have never heard of Me, never heard a scripture promise, or a worship song, have never been shown the love of Christ, or seen the power of Holy Spirit.

Your tank is full and overflowing. Start your engine! Get going.

Give your grown children to ME. I am their God as much as I am yours. I will care for them. I will also enlarge their borders.

Debt and worry, obligation and feeling responsible for "everybody" is not my plan for you. Take my burden upon you. My yoke is easy and My burden is light.

I have called you "friend". I have called you to walk alongside Me, arm in arm. Why would you want to do anything else?

Sing Praises


It is good to give thanks to the Lord
And to sing praises to Your name, O Most High;
To declare Your lovingkindness in the morning
And Your faithfulness by night
 I will sing for joy at the works of Your hands.
Psalm 92:1, 2, 4b

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