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Friday, May 27, 2011

Oswald Chambers Devotion

 The Service of
Passionate Devotion

. . do you love Me? . . . Tend My sheep —John 21:16
Jesus did not say to make converts to your way of thinking, but He said to look after His sheep, to see that they get nourished in the knowledge of Him. We consider what we do in the way of Christian work as service, yet Jesus Christ calls service to be what we are to Him, not what we do for Him. Discipleship is based solely on devotion to Jesus Christ, not on following after a particular belief or doctrine. “If anyone comes to Me and does not hate . . . , he cannot be My disciple” (Luke 14:26). In this verse, there is no argument and no pressure from Jesus to follow Him; He is simply saying, in effect, “If you want to be My disciple, you must be devoted solely to Me.” A person touched by the Spirit of God suddenly says, “Now I see who Jesus is!”— that is the source of devotion.
Today we have substituted doctrinal belief for personal belief, and that is why so many people are devoted to causes and so few are devoted to Jesus Christ. People do not really want to be devoted to Jesus, but only to the cause He started. Jesus Christ is deeply offensive to the educated minds of today, to those who only want Him to be their Friend, and who are unwilling to accept Him in any other way. Our Lord’s primary obedience was to the will of His Father, not to the needs of people— the saving of people was the natural outcome of His obedience to the Father. If I am devoted solely to the cause of humanity, I will soon be exhausted and come to the point where my love will waver and stumble. But if I love Jesus Christ personally and passionately, I can serve humanity, even though people may treat me like a “doormat.” The secret of a disciple’s life is devotion to Jesus Christ, and the characteristic of that life is its seeming insignificance and its meekness. Yet it is like a grain of wheat that “falls into the ground and dies”— it will spring up and change the entire landscape (John 12:24).

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Ask Big!

My family and I enjoy taking an evening walk.  One day as we were walking, we were reminded of an overlook.  As we trudged up toward this overlook, our hearts became overwhelmed of the vastness of green rolling hills before us. I was overcome with worship as I noticed the endless blue sky with bubbling dark clouds kissing the green grass before me.  The very small purple and yellow flowers clothing the county side brought a smile to my heart as I picked one and gave praise.  We had found a treasure, a serene place to come and enjoy God's creation. 

As I sat and overlooked the hills, I was reminded of the hills in the musical, "The Sound of Music" and for the moment, mine was comparable.  We know in reality the Arkansas hillside is like unto an ant hill compared to Austria hillside with all its vastness, but it was fun, if for a moment, singing and wishing we had dresses made from curtains.

As I have thought about these two scenes, I was surprised of how easily my heart is settled and satisfied. I am thankful for what I have.  I am thankful for the beautiful Arkansas hills but I also know there are much more breathtaking places in the world.  There are vast oceans and mountains, in which I have only seen in the movies.  I have never experienced them first hand and this made me wonder about our Christian walk and our prayer we settle for all we see before us?  Do we settle for the ant hills when God desires to give us the Austrias.

The Bible teaches God is able to do more than we can ask or imagine.  His wisdom is unsearchable.  His ways are beyond our finite understanding.  He encourages us to ask big prayers.  He encourages us to ask for miracles in our life and in the life others.  He desires for His vastness to be on display.  He is so much bigger than the hillsides, the sky, and oceans.  The Bible teaches the earth is His footstool.  Can you wrap your brain around these truths and the great God?

Friend don't settle for what you see.  Walk by faith and ask God to do mightily things in your heart and life.  He is pleased to be on display for His glory to be seen.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Love the Lord!

Let me share with you this morning, I love the Lord.  I love Him dearly.  I don't believe this is by own doing.  He pours His love within my heart.  He pours His life into my life.  He surrounds me with His love.  His grace amazes me.  His mercy humbles me. 

I woke in the middle of the night very fretful of a certain situation that I am facing this next week.  This situation is NOT new.  It seems I face it often lately with the rising costs of our daily needs. I should have gotten out of bed to seek the Lord but I choose to lay,going in and out of sleep, with the problem playing out like a broken record in my mind.  Many times when we fret, we think we are praying but in reality we are just repeating the problem over and over in our mind.  Praying is submitting yourself before the Lord.  Praying is submitting yourself to Him and His will.  Prayer is being grateful for what we have and being grateful for what we are walking through regardless if this situation is comfortable or a struggle.  Prayer is bowing and trusting our God, knowing we are created to seek Him and His kingdom first -to live for Him- and not our fleshly desires.    I believe our love is proven by how we respond in comfortable and uncomfortable situations. 

You see I woke with this same heaviness over my heart.  I woke knowing the truth, God always provides for His children.  He does not leave us as orphans. His grace is always sufficient.  He loves me deeply and I can rest in His love.  But knowing these truths and walking by faith seemed to be an ocean apart. 

But friend God does not leave us there.  You seek Him.  Confess your heart.  Read devotions, read blogs, submit to Him and His will.  Pray what you know to be true.  Ask Him to restore the joy of His salvation.  Ask Him to restore your faith.  Praise, be thankful.  Walk in the truth even if the "feeling" is not there.  We don't walk by feelings but by faith. 

No He does not leave us there.  We will find Him if we seek Him with our whole heart.  Oh I love Him so.  What a difference getting out of bed and fellowshipping with Him makes.  What a difference His love makes to my heart and life.  No, the situation has not changed this week.  I am still facing it.  But I am facing it with faith and great love for my Savior, for He has poured out His love into my heart and I must share this love with you.

Please seek Him today. 

Friday, May 20, 2011

Chambers Devotion June 2

I continue going back to this devotions-obsessed by the presence of God...enjoy!

Are You Obsessed by Something?

Who is the man that fears the Lord? —Psalm 25:12

Are you obsessed by something? You will probably say, “No, by nothing,” but all of us are obsessed by something— usually by ourselves, or, if we are Christians, by our own experience of the Christian life. But the psalmist says that we are to be obsessed by God. The abiding awareness of the Christian life is to be God Himself, not just thoughts about Him. The total being of our life inside and out is to be absolutely obsessed by the presence of God. A child’s awareness is so absorbed in his mother that although he is not consciously thinking of her, when a problem arises, the abiding relationship is that with the mother. In that same way, we are to “live and move and have our being” in God (Acts 17:28), looking at everything in relation to Him, because our abiding awareness of Him continually pushes itself to the forefront of our lives.
If we are obsessed by God, nothing else can get into our lives— not concerns, nor tribulation, nor worries. And now we understand why our Lord so emphasized the sin of worrying. How can we dare to be so absolutely unbelieving when God totally surrounds us? To be obsessed by God is to have an effective barricade against all the assaults of the enemy.
“He himself shall dwell in prosperity . . .” (Psalm 25:13). God will cause us to “dwell in prosperity,” keeping us at ease, even in the midst of tribulation, misunderstanding, and slander, if our “life is hidden with Christ in God” (Colossians 3:3). We rob ourselves of the miraculous, revealed truth of this abiding companionship with God. “God is our refuge . . .” (Psalm 46:1). Nothing can break through His shelter of protection.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Chambers Devotion

A timely devotion for me this morning.  Hope God speaks to you as well.



Behold the fowls of the air. . . . "Consider the lilies of the field."
Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow, they simply are! Think of the sea, the air, the sun, the stars and the moon - all these are, and what a ministration they exert. So often we mar God's designed influence through us by our self-conscious effort to be consistent and useful. Jesus says that there is only one way to develop spiritually, and that is by concentration on God. "Do not bother about being of use to others; believe on Me" - pay attention to the Source, and out of you will flow rivers of living water. We cannot get at the springs of our natural life by common sense, and Jesus is teaching that growth in spiritual life does not depend on our watching it, but on concentration on our Father in heaven. Our heavenly Father knows the circumstances we are in, and if we keep concentrated on Him we will grow spiritually as the lilies.

The people who influence us most are not those who buttonhole us and talk to us, but those who live their lives like the stars in heaven and the lilies in the field, perfectly simply and unaffectedly. Those are the lives that mould us.

If you want to be of use to God, get rightly related to Jesus Christ and He will make you of use unconsciously every minute you live.
Matthew 6:26, 28

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Life Together!

I love to be around people who challenge me spiritually.  Their very presence draws me into fellowship with the Lord.  God has been gracious to me over the years in placing these people in my daily life.  My Christian walk began to soar as these people befriended me.  You see Sunday mornings was not enough, I needed to do life with people. 

God has gradually moved the people over the years out of my daily life.  He has replaced them with others.  Some spiritually strong to challenge me and some spiritually young to challenge me with thoughts and questions.  He has even placed me in seasons where I am alone spiritually.  These times have been difficult but I was able to learn where and who my faith is placed in.  I am reminded of Daniel who was removed from his family and friends to be groomed for the king.  Daniel was placed in a foreign land with foreign gods and he did one thing that stands out to me.  He purposed in his heart not to sin against God. Dan. 1:8 

That is a good theme of life.  To plan ahead not to sin.  If we depend on our preacher's faith or our friends faith, we will fall when temptation comes our way.  We must KNOW God, allow the Holy Spirit to teach us and purpose in our heart not to sin against God when all our "spiritual" friends are removed.  I think of this every time I spend a few days away.  I find my faith is challenged even more but darkness does overcome me and I long for the spiritual encouragement of others. 

Which brings me to Hebrews 10:22-25:

 let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. 23 Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. 24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, 25 not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.

I want more how about you?  For those of you who are faithful to read this blog, who are hungry for more of Jesus begin to pray with me.  Let's see what the Lord has plans to do to connect us closer to encourage us daily as we walk this life together.

My joy is indeed full.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Ocean Life

Life can be like swimming in the ocean.  The waves come.  There is no controlling them. You are prepared for the small waves.  You are expecting them to continue rolling in and you are prepared to ride up and down on each one. Then come the unexpected waves.  These waves are very powerful and they overcome you, pushing you under the water and pulling you out to sea.

I wonder when life hits you this hard, where do you turn?  Do you look inside yourself for the answers?  Do you get angry with the circumstance that are coming your way?  What goes on inside your heart?  Do you blame God?  Do you wonder where He is?  Does you mind go into "freeze" mode as mine does?  Do you feel paralyzed to think and pray? 

Psalm 130 has some insight on overcoming the waves of life.

1Out of the depths I have cried to You, O LORD.   (Before that wave hits you, teach your heart to cry out to the Lord.  He knows your heart.  Articulate your pain.  Find Psalms to help describe what is going on in your soul. Share these pains with the One who can understand and who loves you greatly.)
    2Lord, (hear my voice!
         Let (Your ears be attentive
         To the )voice of my supplications.
(Ask God to hear your voice, plead with Him to hear your cry.  Ask Him to make a way, to settle your soul. Become desperate enough to go to the One who holds all the answers)
    3If You, LORD, should mark iniquities(Understand who you are in Christ.  Know His forgiveness.  Understand that all you have comes from Him.  Your very being, Your very breathe, He holds in His hand)
         O Lord, who could )stand?     4But there is )forgiveness with You That You may be feared. (Understand God is merciful and just. Is the wave due to sin in your life?  He is is a God of forgiveness-confess and repent.   He will pour His mercy out upon you, that you may understand who He is and you will honor Him with your very life)
    5I wait for the LORD, my soul does wait,
(You have given God your requests.  You have stood in honor and fear of Him.  You have worshipped Him in spirit and in truth-now rest in Him.  Settle your soul in trust and adoration)
         And )in His word do I hope.
    6My soul waits for the Lord
         More than the watchmen (for the morning;
         Indeed, more than the watchmen for the morning.
    7O Israel, hope in the LORD;               
(Do you trust Him enough to cling to Him through His word?  Do you know His word? Can you identify His hand?  We must study in the times of calm waters, to be prepared in the times of overcoming waves.  Do you trust Him enough to wait-to settle your heart in worship and adoration?  Do you trust Him enough to wait and watch?  For at the appropriate time, He will act upon your behalf)
         For with the LORD there is (lovingkindness,  (Look at these incredible promises-God is love and redemption-a rescue-a deliverance)
         And with Him is abundant redemption.
    8And He will redeem Israel
         From all his iniquities

Friend understand who Jesus is.  Cry out to Him.  Give Him your pain.  Find a friend who will pray for you and walk with you through this very trial.  Yes, You must be willing to open and be vulnerable to someone else.  But God will come in power and all might to settle your heart and make a way of escape.  It comes down to trust.  Are you desperate enough to trust Him today?

Friday, May 13, 2011

Behavior Modification

Last couple of days I have been a substitute teacher at the middle school.  In truth, I have been attempting to keep 6th graders under behavior control and yes I do this by bribing.  They are rewarded with a game of "Heads Up Seven Up" for good behavior, respect, and completion of work.  It works well and let me say I am thankful for that!!

As I was watching them attempt to adjust their behavior, I was reminded of my great gift of salvation. My heart praised that behavior control was NOT a requirement.   "For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God, not of works lest anyone should boast." Eph 1:8-9  Just think about it...could you ever be "good" enough to receive God's gift?  How much "good" is enough.  Even if you kept the outward appearance of the 10 commandments, what about your heart? 

 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which indeed appear beautiful outwardly, but inside are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness.  Even so you also outwardly appear righteous to men, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness" Matthew 23:27-28

These children were modifying their behavior not because they wanted to please me but because they wanted a reward.  I thought about this and wondered about my heart as well. Is it set to please my Savior?  To please the ONE who gave up His life for me.   Scripture teaches God is a rewarder.  He rewards only one thing-our FAITH in Christ.

 But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.

Lay your works aside and seek to please the Savior by surrender your will and behavior to His Lordship.

David Wilkerson Devotion

David Wilkerson Today

THURSDAY, MAY 12, 2011

by David Wilkerson

If you are experiencing confusion, pain, and suffering, it may be that God is
working things out for you in his own way. It is most often the sovereign work
of our God unfolding a master plan known only to Him. Through all the suffering
of God's people, He is at work. The miracle soon follows the confusion.

Study your Bible and you will discover these same patterns in the lives of all
of God's people. In case after case, when God began to fulfill His promise, the
roof seemed to cave in first!

Think of Daniel and the three Hebrew children. They gave themselves to a life
of holiness and separation from the world and all its pleasures. Daniel pledged
himself to a life of prayer, tears, and intercession, but what did that get him
and his three Hebrew friends? Testing just before victory!

You don't go from the prayer closet to some mountaintop victory—you go to the
lions' den. You don't go from consecration to a life of ease and blessing
only—you go to the fiery furnace. These men were not afraid to face pain and
suffering, because they knew it always ended in God having his way. Through
lions and red-hot furnaces to God's perfect will!

Think of Elijah. God gave him a glorious promise of a spiritual awakening in
the land; of an outpouring of abundant rain; of a new day of victory for God's
people; and the overthrow of Ahab and Jezebel. But look at all the confusion
that broke out after the promise was given. Jezebel threatened his life,
chasing him into hiding in the mountains. Wicked forces killed the prophets of
God and the land continued in wickedness and drought. In fact, the Word of God
seemed like a hoax.

Can you imagine how confused Elijah must have been? “What kind of answered
prayer is this? I'm left all on my own. Where is the Lord? Has His promise
failed?" And all the while God was doing exactly what He said He would do. The
confusion would soon pass and the answer would be forthcoming.

Christ left His disciples a promise that could have seen them through all the
confusion and pain, but they were too broken up in sorrow to remember. He had
told them: "After I am risen, I will go before you into Galilee" (Matthew

In other words, "Don't try to figure it all out. Don't question the time of
confusion. It's not your battle. God is at work! When this is all over, I will
still be going before you. Your shepherd will still be there." What an
encouraging word!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Chris Tomlin - And If Our God Is For Us - I Lift My Hands

I love songs in which the first line grabs my heart and leads me into worship.  This song is one of those.  I hope you enjoy!

Sunday, May 8, 2011


Home!  What an awesome place to be.  It has been a very fast weekend.  We've been gone 36 hours and have driven at least 13 hours.  In the midst of my whining, due to the driving, God had a plan and few surprises for me.  After visiting with the babies, we headed to 23rd Street Piercing in Oklahoma City, for Kolby to get a nose piercing.  Facebook is great, because of a post, we met with an old friend, Megan.  Megan lives in the Pasoe District of Oklahoma City.  This is the coolest area to live in OKC.

The Historic Paseo Arts District, located at 28th & North Walker to 30th & North Dewey is the oldest Arts District Community in Oklahoma City. Today a vibrant group of artists with substantial involvement and support from the larger community continues to build The Paseo Arts District into one of the most creative art venues in the country. The Paseo is now home to 17 galleries and more than 60 artists, all within walking distance. Intermingled with the galleries are fabulous restaurants, a coffee house, clothing boutique, gift shop, and theatre.

The people living in the Paseo District are a little different than "normal" society.  If you know me at all you know I have such a heart for people who stand out as different.  The 23rd street piercing was the coolest place.  No, I do not want any piercings or tattoos but it was awesome to visit there.  Meagan shared her reason for living in the Pasoe District and I was pumped.  She is a part of a church plant. Meagan, two Pastors, and another person live in the perimeter of the district with the hopes of reaching these people.  Wow...made me want to move immediately.  What fun to live there and be a part of that!

Sunday we drove from southern Oklahoma back to OKC to attend church with Houston and Jenny.  God had another surprise for me.  The church is large with the coffee/snack shops, book store, video games etc.   Now I am not sure how I feel about all the entertainment.  I kept thinking of words from my Pastor, "If you give people a hot dog to come, you will have to give them a steak to keep them."  I am sure this very true!   There is NO food or drinks allowed in the worship center and the coffee shop closes 15 minutes before worship.  So that  settled my heart some.  Once we entered the Worship Center I had forgotten all the frills in the foyer.  The Pastor spoke from Henry Blackaby Bible study, "Experiencing God".  The Lord spoke clearly regarding a "crisis of belief" we have to come to before we join the Lord in His work.  I think I have been stuck here for a while and this teaching today helped pushed me through.  Thank you Lord for Your plans.  I had to smile because the Pastor is from Van Buren, Arkansas.  It just seems Arkansas is the place we need to be.

We drove back to Alma with the hopes of attending our home church, Southside Alma.  I love this church and this group of people.  We are real!  We love Jesus and love each other.  We cry together. We laugh together.  We worship together.  What a blessing to worship and serve beside this group of people.  We have been praying together daily for the past week and we are seeing God work in our hearts and in the lives of others outside of our walls. 

Yes, it is good to be home!  Yes it is good to worship with other believers.  It is just good to love Jesus.  My joy overflows.

Christian Hedonism

I am reading "Pleasures Evermore" by Sam Storms.  Dr. Storms was motivated to write "Pleasure Evermore" after reading John Piper's book, "Desiring God". Both books are about "Hedonism" Christian Hedonism.  Hedonism-A devotion to pleasure. Simple terms would be finding our pleasure and enjoyment in God alone.  Now if at least two books have been written about this, we know my blog will not even begin to touch the surface of this topic, so grab you a book and begin reading.  If you love Jesus, you will soon see you are a hedonism as well. 

My purpose of this blog is to show an illustration from John Piper found in Dr. Storms' book.

"God has no needs that I (or anyone else) could ever be required to satisfy.  God has no deficiencies that I might be required to supply.  He is complete in himself.  He is overflowing with happiness in the fellowship of the Trinity.  The upshot of this is that God is a mountain spring, not a watering trough.  A mountain spring is self-replenishing.  It constantly overflows and supplies others.  But a watering trough needs to be fulled with a pump or bucket brigade.  So if you want to glorify the worth of a watering trough you work hard to keep it full and useful.  But if you want to glorify the worth of a spring you do it by getting down on your hands and knees and drinking to your heart's satisfaction, until you have the refreshment and strength to go back down in the valley and tell people what you've found.  You do not glorify a mountain spring by dutifully hauling water up the path from the river below and dumping it in the spring.  What we have seen is that God is like a mountain spring, not a watering trough.  And since that is the way God is, we are not surprised to learn from Scripture---and our faith is strengthened to hold fast---that the way to please God is to come to him to get and not to give, to drink and not to water.  He is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in him." 
My hope, Dr. Storms says, "as a desperate sinner, who lives in a Death Valley desert of unrighteousness, hangs on this biblical truth: that God is the kind of God who will be pleased with the one thing I have to offer-my thirst."

As a hedonist find your pleasure in drinking deeply from the mountain spring.

Taste and see that the LORD is good; 
blessed is the one who takes refuge in him. Psalm 34:8

You make known to me the path of life;
   you will fill me with joy in your presence,
   with eternal pleasures at your right hand. Psalm 16:11

Friday, May 6, 2011

Life In a Fish Bowl!

Many  doctor's offices have fish aquariums.  I assume to give waiting patients entertainment as they wait for their turn for the physician.  These fish live their entire lives in front of the same group of people. Swimming in a rectangle cage, hiding in the fake rocks and shipwrecked boats.  I wonder if fish could reason what their response would be to this way of life?  Would they be self-conscience of all the attention?  Would "Jimmy" fish wonder and hope he performed his best today?  Would "Mary" fish question the flick of her tail or if her fin was off beat?  What about "Mark" fish?  Why does he stay hidden in the rocks?

I wonder if you studied the fish long enough, would you start believing you knew every thought and detail of the fish?  Would "Fred" fish become your best friend at least in your mind?  Would you start analyzing Fred's every move, his every thought?  Would you become so fixated on Fred that you make him uncomfortable in your sight?

Silly and extreme, maybe!  But think about the people who live their lives in a fish bowl, elected officials, football coaches, pastors, and the like.  I wonder do these people have a place to "hide"?  Do we allow these people to have freedom and breathing room or must they live in the rectangle or round bowl swimming in circles with an attempt to please us? 

This topic  is heavy on my heart this morning.  Maybe because I am a people watcher.  I tend to analyze others motives and behaviors. Maybe because my husband has been in the fish bowl for most of our married life.

Friends, whether you are the one in the fish bowl or whether you are the one watching the fish.  Don't expect perfection and quit looking for blemishes.  Give yourself and the other fish in the bowl some freedom to be themselves. Some freedom to hide.  Freedom to be quiet.  Freedom to make mistakes, to learn, to love, and to feel.  Freedom to be real.

If you are the fish performing in the bowl you will get tired and run out of material.  Entertaining people is a madding job.  People are fickle and are always wanting more.  It can't be done.  Give yourself a break and live your life out before God.  He is One you should be pleasing.  God's grace is much greater than another  person's judgement. 

Whether you are a fish or a observer of the fish, your life is accountable to God.  Make a conscience decision to live your life out  in His presence and for His glory.  When you fall or don't line up...what people say and do should have no influence upon you, for we 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 for me. Gal 2:20

To all the "fish" I have observed over the years, you have my grace.  Live your life to fullest before your Lord.  For He has the power of life and death in His hands.  To all the observers who have watch our "fish" life over the years, I am sure you have seen sin and godliness.  We are living out our life in front of the Lord and in front of you.  I pray you see more of God each day and may He draw you closer to Himself as you watch us swim in the bowl.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Psalm 107

Whoever is wise will observe
these things,
And they will understand the
Lovingkindness of the LORD.
Psalm 107:43

Let's read Psalm 107 to see what things we are to observe to understand the lovingkindness of the Lord.:

 I see men with hard unbelieving hearts stumbling around in darkness.  I see hungry and thirsty men searching for something of substance to fulfill them physically and spiritually.  I see men who have no strength and nothing left to give.  I see men who sit in darkness and death, chained to their sin and affliction.  I see men who rebel against the Counsel of the Most High and the truth of His word.  I see men who because of their sin are left desolate.  I see men going about in their daily work, attempting to overcome the dangers and trial of this life with their own wisdom and skill.

I see a merciful God who redeemed men from the hand of the enemy.  I see a loving God who gathered us from all the distant lands.  I see a God who gave us a home to dwell.  I see a gracious, good and satisfying God who fills our bellies as well as the deepest longing in our soul.  I see an amazing God who saves us out of our distress.  A God who bring us out of darkness and the shadow of death.  A God who breaks our chains of sin into pieces.  A God who by His very word cuts the bars of sin in two and delivers us from our destruction's.  I see a God who calms the storms of life so the waves are quiet.  I see a God who guides us to a safe haven in His presence.  I see a great and powerful God who is able to turn fruitful land into barren land and rivers into wilderness.  I see a merciful God who showers us with pools of water, vineyards, and fruitful harvests.  I see a God who blesses greatly, who sets the poor on high, far from their affliction. 

I see three themes in these 43 verses.  A theme of desperate sinful man crying out to the great and merciful LORD in the middle of their troubles.  Four verses show this sinful man's response to this great God, "Then they cried out to the LORD in their trouble."  Do you see it?  They were desperate and they cried out!  The next I see is God's merciful response.  God delivered and saved them out of their distress.   Then comes the last theme and the most enjoyable of all - Giving thanks and worshipping of the LORD.  We are told five times, "Oh that man would give thanks to the LORD for His goodness, and for His wonderful works to the children of men! 

Do you have a thankful heart?  Are you remembering where you once were-where God delivered you from.  Are you one of the redeemed?  Has the great I AM spoken your name and have you responded with a cry of the heart to God? 

The righteous see it and rejoice and all iniquity stops its mouth. vs. 42
Oh give thanks to the LORD, for His good!
For His mercy endures forever.
Let the redeemed of the LORD say so!
Psalm 107:1-2

Monday, May 2, 2011

Three Wooden Words

Looking around my kitchen this morning, I notice three wooden words sitting as decoration on top of my cabinets.  As I read these words I wondered why these three particular words were chosen-Patience, Faith, and Prayer.  I stopped to reflect on the meaning of these words and how God has manifested Himself through each one. 

Patience is difficult for me.  We live in a self-gratifying world.  Even as a Christian we go after what we want.  There is no need to wait and save money, for credit is available with a swipe of the card.   The world system teaches us it is okay to fulfill our every desire, for God has made us with these desires.(LIE)  When this word was chosen for my kitchen, I was living with hemoridging heart.  A heart full of pain and anguish.  A heart begging God to intervene to restore a relationship.  A heart begging God to heal my pain.  I was brought to a place of brokenness and waiting.  A place where all my efforts were of no avail.  Patience had to have it perfect work in me.  My time with the Lord was so sweet in these moments.  Not sure I felt His presence as I walked through that time but looking back I can see His loving kind hand all over my life and situation.  I got to know Him as the God of all comfort.  You see NOTHING but a move of God could change my situation. I had to bow, wait, and plead. Which brings us to the second word-Faith

Faith is the confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. (Hebrews 11:1)  For without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is,and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. (Hebrews 11:6) I chose this word, because faith was what I most needed.  I needed to believe, hope, commit my trust to the sovereign Lord, to the Creator of the universe.  To the God who created me in my mother's womb.  To the God who loves me and gave His very life for me.  To the God whom in the past, I had tasted and seen that He is good.  Which brings me to the third word-Prayer

Prayer-my heart's longing and desire.  Prayer to connect in oneness with the one true God.  Prayer to bow before His throne in adoration and thanksgiving.  Prayer for His Word to be the soothing balm to my infected heart.  Prayer for His bleeding nail scared hands to be the bandage to my heart.  My God, He is faithful!  Yes, it took a period of time.  Yes, it took faith and patience-but the faith and patience actually came from Him.  So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.  (Romans 10:17)

Which brings me to one more word..Power.  Friend when we humble ourselves and bow before the One true God, when we wait silently before Him, when our faith, our hope and our trust is in Him alone-He will come into our lives with power and bring healing, hope, and deliverance!  For the next ten days at  we will be doing just that.  Waiting (patience) in great (faith) through (prayer) for God to move in power upon our hearts and community.   You are welcome to join us in prayer.