April 28, 2016

This I Pray

Dear Heavenly Father, this I pray,
Please help me focus in days ahead on what You’re working out in me.
Help me dismiss all distractions and place me at your feet.
Cause me to be still and learn more of you. 
Open my eyes to see all You want to show me.
Open my ears to hear all You want to speak to my heart. 
Open my heart to know and love You more, 
And to know more this love You have for me.
Draw me close to You and pour Your Spirit fresh, anew on me.
Draw me near to You, Father, this day I pray.

I have recently heard more than one person say that they don’t pray much for themselves. They pray for others but not themselves. I guess that makes me selfish because I regularly pray for myself.

This does not mean that I am constantly asking God for things. It does mean I am constantly asking Him to work in me and through me and for me and in spite of me. It means I am praying for wisdom and discernment, guidance and direction, and to change me and make me more like Him.

I have prayed to be a good wife, a good mom, to be a good witness to those around me. I have prayed to always have a teachable heart. The list goes on. I cannot fathom not praying for myself.

My encouragement to you today would be to look at your prayer list and if your name isn’t already there, write it down. You can pray for others, most definitely, but also remember to pray for yourself.

Psalm 25:4-5
Show me Your ways, O Lord;
Teach me Your paths.
Lead me in Your truth and teach me,
For You are the God of my salvation;
On You I wait all the day.

April 17, 2016

Faith Is The Victory

Our lives are torn between heaven and earth, 

Between God—and the evil of our day.

The good news is…

God is greater

And He is with always with us.

We know this and yet there still are days we need reminded God is in control.

We are not alone—

We are not without help.

Even while the battles rage around us,

He is on our side and we don’t fight in our strength alone.

We have a strong foundation to stand on—

The truth of His Word and His Spirit that indwells us is our foundation.

On the days He seems silent or far away,

We must believe He is here and we must ever draw near.

We cannot let the noise of this world drown out the victory that is ours.

He has called us to live by faith and faith is our victory.

Faith is the victory that overcomes the world.

1 John 5:4 For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith.

April 14, 2016

Can't Explain It

Psalm 18:2 The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer;
My God, my strength, in whom I will trust;
My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.

If I could explain it all, I wouldn’t be living by faith. What is “it?” “It” is anything I don’t understand. If I could answer all my own questions, where would be the need for trust? If life came with a road map, would I do things my own way, or God’s way? I want answers and solutions. God wants me to trust Him with all my heart. 

Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.

When I feel anxious and stressed due to life’s uncertainties, frustrations, and inability to grasp understanding concerning a troubling circumstance, I always remind myself of Proverbs 3:5-6.  Verse 7 and 8 also remind us “Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and depart from evil. It will be health to your flesh and strength to your bones.” This passage in Proverbs has brought me peace of mind more times than I can count, and given me a grateful heart for the comfort these powerful and wise words deliver.

I can’t explain why things happen in life the way they do. I will admit, I want answers and solutions, but I also know that God wants me to trust Him with all my heart. The hard times we go through and the questions that challenge us - test us more than we want to be tested, yet if we want to pass the test, it begins in our heart.

Is it fully surrendered to the Lord?

We must trust completely when it seems God is silent. This requires a huge leap of faith, but that is exactly what God is growing in us - a fuller and deeper faith. It is important to realize that God’s silence is not His absence. God’s silence is God asking us to have faith and He is teaching us to wait on Him. God’s silence calls us to live by faith.

April 10, 2016

Look Up

For those whose week is beginning in a difficult place, a few words to remind you where your help comes from. To the hurting and the wounded, there is a place for healing. Lift your eyes and look up.

Lift Your Eyes

Lift your eyes unto the One
Who is the source of all your strength
Lift your eyes
Behold His face
And know He holds
You in His hands

Lift your eyes
Letting go
Of worry and of fear

Lift your eyes
And find the rest
That only He can give

Psalm 121:1-2
I will lift up my eyes to the hills—
From whence comes my help?
My help comes from the LORD,
Who made heaven and earth.

Psalm 46:1 God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.

April 8, 2016

The Message in the Cards

I attended a retirement party for someone my husband knew at work. The invitation said no gifts, but cards were welcome. As people arrived at the restaurant for the big party, they dropped their cards in a pile next to a huge cake, and soon the pile of cards was practically a mountain in size. There were a lot of people and there were a lot of cards.

After the very delicious meal was served, the retiree opened his cards and they were passed around the room for everyone to read. There were silly and humorous cards, crude cards and outrageous cards. There were notes and comments written on the cards which were read by those around the tables as the mountain of well wishing sentiments was passed along.

As I read the cards that came into my hands, I found a definite theme ringing through the many messages I read - it sounded as though this guest of honor liked to party and was definitely a fun guy to have at a party. But not much else was said.

That made me wonder about the quality of life this person had lived. What had his life counted for? I didn’t know him very well, my husband knew him better than I did since they had worked in the same office. He obviously had a reputation for being the life of the party, but what else?

And I wondered, what would be written if I was the recipient of this pile of cards at a retirement party?
What would the cards say about me?

Surely there would be evidence
That I loved the Lord
That I loved my family
That I loved serving the Lord
That I cared about people
Surely there would be evidence
That I made my life count for something

I want to live my life with purpose, now, and in the years to come, and for as long as I draw breath on this earth. God has ordained a purpose for my life and I want to fulfill what I have been created to do. Ephesians 2:10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.  And I want that to be evident when it is my party some day, I want that message to come through loud and clear - in the cards.