Thursday, December 29, 2011

2012 New Year's Revolution....


This is the second year that I've asked God for direction in my life with a word and a scripture.  I ran across a post from a sweet friend of mine at Graceful Abandon asking for link ups to declare our Revolutions.  She also lists her top five for Personal and Home.

So here goes:

First of all, my word for 2012 is FOCUS!  That seems simple huh?  Well not for me....

My scripture comes from Hebrews 12:2.   I love the whole verse because it is about my Jesus... but for me, I'm taking just a portion of it to apply to this years goal of FOCUS!

We must focus on 
the source and goal of our faith.
He saw the joy ahead of him,
so he endured........
   (GODS WORD Translation)

I love this translation because it used the word FOCUS!

On we go to the "Top Fives":

My Personal Top Five:

1.  To give daily FOCUS to God in my prayers and devotions.

2.  To give FOCUS daily to continue to enrich and grow my marriage, and show my great love and appreciation to my husband.

3.  To FOCUS more intently on each child as a separate "soul" that needs to be fed and nourished with the love of God and His Word.

4.  To FOCUS on my health.  To make wise choices for my body.  (I need this!)

5.  To FOCUS in my choices of where to dedicate my time in order to fulfill my calling according to the talents He has given me.

My Home Top Five:

1.  To be more diligent with the education of my children and use our time wisely in order for each child to reach their fullest potential.  More hands on teaching!

2.  To use my time more efficiently to organize and manage my household and cleaning.

3.  To begin Mom orDad date nights with the kids once a month.

4.  To better my "couponing" abilities and handle our finances in a more proficient way.

5.  To return to my love of scrapbooking/faithbooking in order to leave footprints of our heritage!

Ok, that's it I think.  Can't believe it is almost 2012.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Almost the end...


I can't believe that 2011 is almost over.  What a year it has been!  What a God I have had the privilege of serving and depending on during this year as well!

I have been thinking today of all the happy moments this year.  And of those less than happy moments, of which there have been many.  I can say this year has held trials a plenty, some I didn't think we would make it through at the time... but now on the other side... wow.. God's grace and mercy is so abundantly clear.

I'm so excited for 2012.  I know God has great things in store.  I know that His ways are higher and the surprises are greater!  I've learned that His will goes BEYOND my BEYOND and is so much better than what I could ever imagine.

In just a little over a week, our church LifeChurch Birmingham will begin a 21 day fast.  I am choosing to do the Daniel fast again.  I am clearing my schedule to make plenty of time to devote to worship and prayer.  Last year was amazing... God grew me in so many ways.  I am expecting nothing less for this year!

I'll be sharing through these 21 days.  I'm going to share an answer to last years prayers as well.  It was  a HUGE one.!

Until then... be blessed!


Monday, November 28, 2011

Well...

I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving.  I have almost finished my 30 Days of Thanks, however, it's all on FaceBook. But... I'm going to add all of my days in this one post... so I will remember!

Day 30:  Wow, November is over. But I will continue to be thankful for everything God has blessed me with. My husband, my children, my family, my church, my friends, my home and sooooo much more! I am blessed. Thank You Lord.

Day 29:  Thankful for the country I live in.

Day 28:  I'm thankful for the struggles.  Because when they are over, life is sweeter.

Day 27:  Thankful for all of God's blessings, both big and small!

Day 26:  I am thankful for the smiles of my children.  They brighten my day!

Day 25:  I am thankful for the seasons.  Because just as the seasons of earth are beautiful and ever changing... so are the seasons of my life. 

Day 24:  I am thankful for my husbands job.

Day 23:  I am thankful for warm blankets, good coffee, and quiet moments.

Day 22:  I am thankful today for every good and precious gift from above. Every blessing that God has given me....

Day 21:   Thankful for the unconditional love if a Godly man. For all he does for me and our family, I am so blessed.

Day 20:   Thankful for holiday seasons, and time to spend with my family. Some I only see once a year... I love my family, blessed with some amazing great aunts and uncles and cousins. Such an awesome heritage. Miss my grandmother though!

Day 19:   I am thankful that His Word stands and is always true. I'm thankful for songs and music that touches my heart and gives me strength when I feel it's almost gone. I'm thankful for words that stick with me day after day that assures me His Word is true, what He has spoken over me and my family, regardless of what I see right now... is true and I can hold onto that until I do see it become reality. I am thankful for HOPE.

Day 18:   I'm thankful for another day to be alive. To love my children. To love my husband. To love and worship my Father!

Day 17:   I am thankful that although people change, God is faithful and unchanging. I am thankful that He cares for me, and see's me as His child. I am thankful that He loves me so much.

Day 16:  I am thankful for  peace in times of storms.

Day 15:  Today I am thankful that if I seek more of God, He is faithful to provide. I'm thankful that today, I am spiritually nothing as I was long ago. I am thankful that day by day, He changes me. I'm also thankful that sometimes what He uses to change me and grow me "hurts"... (I'm also thankful for the easy changes too! )

Day 14:   Thankful for the sweet presence of the Holy Spirit. Thankful for times of sweet worship. Thankful for tears that flow and provide healing. Thankful that God hears my prayers - and answers them in HIS time. Thankful that there is always hope

Day 13:   Thankful that God's grace is abundant!

Day 12:   I am thankful for those who serve in the mission fields sharing the gospel! So many lives changed forever because missionaries and their families answer THE CALL.

Day 11:   I am thankful for my freedom, for those who have given their lives for it, and for those who continue to serve. I am thankful for our military and their families and how much they sacrifice daily. I am thankful that I am free....

Day 10:   Thankful for unexpected blessings!

Day 9:   Thankful for prayer, and that I can go straight to the Father! And that I have friends who willingly intercede on my behalf as well. :)

Day 8:   I am so thankful for the parents God chose to give me to. They love me and have given me a strong sense of morals for which I am blessed. They have also been amazing grandparents to my kids!

Day 7:   I am so thankful that God is a wonderful Father that tells His children NO! And then gives us so much more than our small plan would have ever produced!

Day 6:   I am thankful to be free. Free to worship. Free to gather with my family and friends to pray and sing and glorify my Savior.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

30 Days of Thanksgiving - Day 4 and Day 5

Day 4 - I am thankful for all seven of my kids and the joy they bring to my life. I am also thankful (no really.....) for the lessons they have taught me to rely on God when all things were not so joyful. My children are a blessing.
Day 5 - I am thankful for the simple things in life - coffee, warm blankets, cuddle time with kids, etc. And that I am blessed to have those things, when there are so many others who do not.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

30 Days of Thanksgiving - Day 3

Today I am thankful for my LifeChurch family.  For the friends that my family have made there.  I'm thankful for the Pastor, that he is unashamed of the truth of the Gospel.  I'm thankful for freedom of worship at our church.  Fellowship with God's people is so very important.  My church family blesses me!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

30 Days of Thanksgiving - Day 2

I am so thankful for God's creativity.

I am amazed that He saw the need to create seasons.  I love Fall.  I love the colors of the leaves.  I love the crisp air.  Wow... I just love, love, love Fall!

God is so amazing, that every detail of creation would be so perfectly thought of for His people! 

What are you thankful for today?


Tuesday, November 1, 2011

30 Days of Thanksgiving...

I am so happy that the crisp fall air and beautiful colors are here! I do believe Thanksgiving has become my favorite holiday time! I wonderful friend of mine from Alaska posted today on her FB the beginning of her 30 Days of Thanksgiving.... and I thought that is a wonderful idea. So for 30 days.... I'm going to do the same not only on my Facebook, but also here. I have so much to be THANKFUL for. What about you?
DAY 1

I am thankful for God's loved me so very much that He made a way for my salvation. That before the creation of this world, God already knew that mankind - that I would need a Savior. He loves me so much!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

What Do I Need To Learn...

from this Lord?  I've been perfectly and happily healthy for 40 years.  And now... when my life is full of kids, family, church, friends, school........... now, I fall apart.  What do I need to learn here?

This has been my question for the last 3 weeks.  Apparently my body is arguing with itself on how it should work.  My "autonomic" system is all out of whack and it is wreaking havoc on my life.

I do not sit still well.  I like to be busy.  I like to do things with my husband, kids, homeschool, friends, etc... sitting still and doing nothing is not in my vocabulary most of the time.  So God, why now?

I do not fully understand what is happening, the diagnosis, etc... but I'm trying to find answers.  But I know my God always has a plan.  I know He loves me and knows every part of my life and body.  I know that somewhere in this sudden change of my life... He is going to teach me something.

Lord, may I be faithful to you in this season.  I know that seasons come and seasons go, and for this moment... I will honor you with my praise.  Because I know YOU will work all things for my good... above and beyond all I could ever imagine. Amen.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

God knows...


It seems our family continually walks through storms of some type.  A new one has just come into focus and I am at a loss.  I know that my God is faithful.  I know that He has written my story.  I know that I am a child of God and that He knows everything going on in my life and the life of my family.  And I cling to that.

However, there are those moments where fear and dread creep in.  Today is one of those days.  The unknown of what is happening overtakes me.  And waiting on appointments to find out more... well that is just painful!

I remember that my God knows.  He sees each tear that falls.  He is my maker.  There is nothing surprising for Him.  He knows my heart and holds it in His hands.  Today... I'm choosing to remind myself of that.. moment by moment.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Just because

this song is so fitting for my life and family right now... I had to share again!


Saturday, August 20, 2011

Wow... it has been a while.


My 90 day challenge is still going!  It has been the hardest challenge I've had in a while.  Not because of "the challenge", but because it seems that the enemy surely wants me not to achieve my goal. 

I do not have much time to share at the moment, church is in the morning and it is already way past my bedtime, but soon we will have some coffee and catch up!

God is so good.  His mercies are new every morning.  And in spite of all the struggles of the past few weeks... HIS WORD STILL STANDS!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Are you ready?



I am so excited about the 90 Day Challenge beginning on Monday.  God has already been preparing my heart for this time, and yesterday, I found confirmation of two other things He was calling me to do during this time.

I am so very thankful that God has placed so many 'like-minded' people in my life over the past year.  It is so sweet to have wonderful, precious women in my life that God is calling to a higher place.  It is so sweet to walk this walk with friends.

I hope you will join me as I journal my way through the next 90 days.  Even better, join me in reading daily.  I just know God is going to move me and change me in mighty ways!  I am excited for the journey!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Sharing a new song....


I love this song.  I love the words.  I love the passion behind it.  I love that it speaks to so many people in my life.  I love that it is true.

I'm saddened however, because one of the people I love most in this world... doesn't see it, doesn't believe it, doesn't think it applies to her.  It is so hard to see someone run so hard away from what you know will solve all of their hurts and wounds and what will give them PEACE!

So... I keep praying.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

90 Day Challenge is almost here!

Go on over to Mom's Tool Box and sign up for the challenge!  It will change your life.  I did this challenge last year, although it did take me a little longer than 90 days.  But my heart grew closer to God as he revealed things that I had never seen.  He made the "old stories" fresh and alive!

Join me in this walk!?!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Think...

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things.  Philippians 4:8


Recently my pastor spoke on this verse.  I admit this is truly a verse I need painted on every wall, maybe even stamped on my hand.

Some days this thing called "my life" is amazingly wonderful.  I am so very thankful for those days.  Those are the days when it is easy to think on good things.  Think about happy things.  Keep my thoughts pure and lovely...

But mixed into those wonderful days, there is chaos.  I admit that I do not like watching the news.  I do not like to be ignorant of things going on in this world, but if I watch too  much news or talk shows, it created unrest in my very soul.  I have to remind myself that God is ultimately in control of everything.  Every time I take a breath into my body or exhale, He has control.

There are so many things that stand at the door of my mind, ready to take over and wreak havoc if I allowed.  And sometimes these thoughts do find their way in under the cracks.  Sometimes I open the door wide with my attitude or "not nice" thoughts about things.  I leave myself open and without any defense of the lies of the enemy when I do this.  I leave myself open to unrest, lack of peace, hurt, bitterness, and more.

For me, I have to PURPOSE to listen and abide by this scripture.  I have to have it constantly on my lips and before my eyes.  I admit that I am not very good at it so far.  But I am working on it.  Setting my mind on the things of God, rather than on the things of men, changed my total attitude and feelings.  When I allow my mind to think about all those things that relate to that verse, I allow my heart to be closer to the Father.  I allow myself to let go of all that tried to tie me down and weaken my walk with Him.  

What do YOU think on?  Maybe you are like me... and allow news, finances, family members, and everything else that causes unrest to cloud your mind instead of focusing on all the good things of God.  If you are...  write this verse out, stick it everywhere your eyes go on a regular basis.  Begin to train yourself on "right" thinking.  I promise, those days, are so much sweeter.

Lord God,  I am sorry that I allow so much to cloud my mind.  I know that You can help me.  I know that Your Word reminds me to think on good things.  Father, may I begin each day, with my eyes focused on You.  Help me to keep blinders set in place that would keep me from going into places that cloud my heart and mind with unpleasant things.  You are a good God, so very Good to your child.  I am blessed. 

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

When Storms Come...

Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone, a tested stone,
A costly cornerstone for the foundation, firmly placed.
He who believes in it will not be disturbed. 
                                    Isaiah 28:16

Alabama (and the South) was forever changed on April 27th with a massive tornado outbreak.  Again this week, Joplin, MO was hit with what they are calling the worst Tornado in 60 years.  The natural disasters that have happened globally is more than I have ever seen in my lifetime. 

Think back with me over just the last few years... what storms have you seen in your life?  Were they small thunder storms or massive F5 tornado's that left you devastated?  Maybe some of both.  For me, it has been at least one of just about every type storm there is.  My roof has flown off, water's have rushed in and washed away parts of my walls, pieces of my life's "furniture" has been tossed about and broken, and there has been loss of life.

Two days after the tornado's hit Alabama, my husband and I "had" to do something.  So we set out to just find places to help.  We went to Cullman and then into Hayden.  There is a small lake in Hayden where where there are some homes built around it. We drove through speechless from the destruction we saw.

We met one man who was driving his riding lawn mower helping another family move things, he had most of his own home destroyed. He asked if I had my camera and then invited us to walk down to his house and his neighbors to take pictures.  His home was destroyed for the most part, but there were some walls left.  However, next door a beautiful 3 story house was completely destroyed.  There was nothing left but rubble.  Those around shared the story of the couple who survived.  Glory to God. 

There is one thing that remained, wherever we went.  Regardless of business building or home, the foundation was still there.  Everything else may have been shaken, moved, ripped, toppled or blown away, except the FOUNDATION

Now think again about your storms... what remains?  For me it is my foundation.  Everything that I have, I have purposed to build on the foundation of Christ.  My foundation is my relationship with God.  My foundation is my salvation by the blood of Jesus Christ.  My foundation is the Holy Spirit that dwells within me.  My foundation is STRONG and can not be moved. 

Regardless of what happens in my life, my foundation remains steady.  Now, that does not mean I do not cry, get angry, grieve, feel sad, pray harder, ask God 'why'?  It does not mean I do not find myself curled up in a ball wondering what next... but I'm curled up on top of that foundation.  My foundation is never shaken... my foundation is solid.  My foundation is my hope and joy that I can rebuild again.  Brick by brick, piece by piece... slow or fast, I can build again.

Most of the people we were privilege to talk to after the tornado's were Christians and knew everything would be ok.  That their "foundation" was still solid.  But in our conversations, almost every time, the comment came... "I can not imagine what would happen if I didn't have my relationship with God.  How do those lost without the foundation of the Lord, find hope and joy and peace in the midst and aftermath of the storm?"

So, may I ask you....  WHO is your foundation?

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

I Might Have Missed It.

Monday, I attended my women's Bible study group with my church friends.  We are doing the Beth Moore study A Woman's Heart God's Dwelling Place.  I have so enjoyed this journey thus far, especially since I had just read all about the tabernacle in my 90 days through the Bible. (Which I am still doing, just dragging behind a little.)

Anyway... in our study yesterday we listened to week seek of the video presentations by Beth.  This entire week of lessons spoke to me so deeply, because in my heart of hearts... I am a worshipper.  That is what God created me to be.  From the heart He gave me, to the talents He enabled me with, etc... I love to worship!

There was a part of the lesson that spoke to loudly to me, that I had to share it.  I admit, I have been known to be "one of those" who see's everything as "why me".  Why do we not have the money we need to live "comfortable"?  Why can't we have new cars like "so and so"?  Why is keeping a daily devotion life so hard for me, when "so and so" it is so easy?  Why have we had so many crisis in our family to endure, when it seems "so and so" has such an easy life?  Well... do you see where I'm going with this?

Well Beth shared something that has transformed my thoughts... and it is a HUGE "ah ha" moment for me.  Basically she said:  Blessed is the person when God invades what comes naturally for everyone else, with the Supernatural.  Ok... do you GET this!!!

Perhaps God is saying to me.... you have been chosen to have a "tougher" road... where things are not as "easy" as it may be for everyone else.... because I have chosen you to see how I work in the Supernatural! If it were easy for you "Vanessa"... if everything came simply.... you would never see ME in how I work miracles!

So Blessed am I... that God has so chosen me... to be able to see things He is doing in the supernatural!

Wow... that was just a huge thing for me.  What a way to view trials and hardships....  And truly, knowing me.... He got it right.... because when everything is "easy going"... I am far less likely to be watching and praying and seeking....

Well.. I hope someone out there can get an "ah ha" out of this... because it was just amazing for me...

So just remember:  There is a reason everything doesn't come "naturally".  Maybe that reason is that I (you) have been CHOSEN to see God do the supernatural!  How amazing is that!!!

Monday, March 7, 2011

God is able....

Daily Nugget:

If we are thrown in to the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to save us from it, and he will rescue us from your hand, O king.  Daniel 3: 17


I am sorry that I have not posted more as of late.  So many things have taken my attention from the blog... but not from God's word and presence.  I love that technology affords me the scripture at the touch of a button and so grateful that His presence is with me everywhere!
I have always loved the story of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego.  It was a childhood favorite of mine, and still is!  The faith these men had in God still humbles me!  

Can you imagine the thoughts that went through the minds of these three?  The astrologers and the King were full of threats... threats to end their lives in a horrible way.  But nothing was enough to convince these three to compromise the integrity of their faith or their convictions!  (Would we be so strong?)

Instead of changing their minds and giving into the fear... they gave bold and unhesitating witness to their trust and faith in the ONE TRUE GOD!  They had no doubt that God would save them.  We serve the ONLY GOD, who is able to save His people from every situation.  Our hope is in THE GOD who is our salvation, refuge and strength.

But there is another part of the story... the next verse..  "But even if He does not, we want you to know, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up." (v18)  Wow...amazing!  These men knew without a doubt that God was able... but they also knew God had a choice and in that choice there would be a greater reason... if God did not save them.  They did however, want to make it crystal clear, that the king understood... whether God saved them or not... they would only worship THE GOD.  God who said... I Am, that I Am.  There is no God but Me!

They had unconditional faith and trust in God... totally loyalty.  They possessed a faith and trust in God REGARDLESS of what God actually did for them, and REGARDLESS of the consequences.  Like Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, we are tested.  Sometimes we are tested beyond what we can even fathom to withstand.  However, we must realize that we have a God who saves.  

As I continue on this journey, I have confidence in MY GOD who will save me.  It may not be my "way" or my "plan".. but I have learned that I can only see the small picture... and I have learned to trust God to know the "BIG" picture.  I am thankful (although not so much at the time) of the hardships and trials that God has allowed me to go through.  I am stronger in my faith.  I am deeper in my commitment to following Him.  I have a greater testimony.  I can witness His greatness and ability to see me through.  These things, however hard and horrible at the time, continue to shape me and the person God wants me to be.  

So to the "king".....  I say.... the God we serve is able to save me... BUT if He doesn't... make no mistake... I will never bow down to worship any but HIM.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Please Pray..

A wonderful man from our church is fighting for his life.  In just a matter of days his body had been attacked by a disease that is fast and angry and he is in critical condition.

We know that God is able to heal and totally change the entire situation for His glory. 

Please pray for Brett and his wife Laura and their family.  He needs a divine miracle from the father of all miracles!

Thanks in advance!  More blog posts soon!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

40

Yesterday was my birthday.  I turned 40 years old.  I must say that I have celebrated to the uttermost!  My family has been amazingly wonderful... and I am blessed beyond measure!  I am overwhelmed by the love shown!

My husband did an amazing thing... it was actually a project in the works since Christmas, but he just finished it in time for my birthday!  My loving husband spend endless hours (with the help of my son Caden, my father and grandfather) to build me a family alter.  It is beautiful.  The design took deep thought and every piece is precious.  Every piece of wood has scripture written on it.  All the measurements represent something religious in nature.  The cross that my grandfather carved is made of two different types of wood, both grown on our family land.  On Sunday, a former pastor and dear friend will come and consecrate the alter and my entire family will have communion together.  I am so excited!  God is moving in my family... and this is just a small piece of heritage I want to leave for my children.

More information later.  Thanks for following my blog.  Please invite anyone you think that might be blessed.

In closing, here are a few photo's of my wonderful surprise from my husband!


Sunday, February 20, 2011

Easy Button

Daily Nugget:

Stop doing wrong, learn to do right!    Isaiah 1:16b-17

I love the book of Isaiah!  So many wonderful glimpses of the future, or the Christ to come, of all that was ahead for those who loved Him.  Excited to be there today!!!

This particular scripture just JUMPED off the page at me.  Can it really be this easy?  Can being a christian be so simple in reality?  Why not? 

Stop doing wrong.  That is pretty straight forward.  Don't do it... if God said it is evil, then don't do it.  All throughout His word He has given us His commands to live by.  If something does not line up with the WILL AND WORD of God, just don't do it!

Learn to do right.  Well that's pretty easy too.  As I just stated, His word is filled with His commands for our life.  All the things we must do, the right things to live by and the standard of which we are to live is right there in the Word of God.  Just learn it and do it!

Now, I do realize that being a christian and following the way of the Lord is not "easy".  We will be persecuted, temped, abused, looked at like we are nuts... well you get my meaning.  No one said it is really "easy".

But my point is... we make living for God sooooo difficult, when it is really simple.  Stop doing wrong.  Stop lying, cheating, stealing, cussing, abusing, being unfaithful, just stop sinning!  We have a way... the Holy Spirit that came to dwell with us... that gives us a way!.  So if it is wrong... just STOP! 

Learn to do right.  Seek God, get into the Word, meditate on His Word and DO IT!  It really is a simple plan.  God's mercy and grace provided a Savior, His Son, Jesus Christ.  Accept Him, serve Him, love Him, follow Him... and great is our reward in heaven! 

Stop doing wrong, learn to do right... and though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be whiter than snow.  Though they are red like crimson, they shall be like wool.  Easy!

Friday, February 18, 2011

I AM

I admit I am just a few days behind on the reading for 90 Days through the Bible. But it is my weekend to catch up on it all!  Woo Hoo!


The past few days it seems that so many people I love and care about have had some serious life issues come up.  Health, family, major attacks from the father of lies.... thats just a few.  My heart has been heavy for each one and my one on One discussions have become frequent wherever and whatever I have been engaged in.  (Isn't it wonderful that He has ears to hear anytime, anyplace?) 

I have spent a lot of time reflecting and studying the Tabernacle.  I posted a few days ago, how amazing it was that my Bible reading, Beth Moore study and our Wednesday night study has all been around the Tabernacle.  I know God has something HUGE to teach me... it can't just be a coincidence. 

Anyway... all day today my heart has been camped on who God said He was.  He said "I AM".. He is "I AM" and forever will be, "I AM".  So what does that mean for me and for you?  Well what is your need at this moment?   I AM your healer, I AM your provider, I AM your peace, I AM your desire, I AM (fill in the blank).  There is no limit to what God is... He is anything we need.

So often we (I) go everywhere looking for what I need, instead of to the SOURCE of all I need.  But if He is I AM, that is the first place I should be going. 

God I pray that I would keep You, the Great I AM ever before my eyes.  May I never seek to find my answers for my needs anywhere but You and Your will for my life.  You are my everything...

Monday, February 14, 2011

Valentine

Happy Valentine's Day!  I pray that today you are amazed and overjoyed by the sweet love of God.  May you be thrilled and overwhelmed that you have a God that loves you so much, that He is pursuing you with great intensity!  He longs to lavish upon us so much love.  He longs for us to sit at His feet and adoringly look into His eyes with love in return.  There is no greater "Valentine" than the saving grace and love of the Father.  His love is so deep... it is unfathomable! 

Enjoy one of my favorite songs!  (More Psalms tomorrow, I have a few days of catch up!)  Be blessed!!!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

A Prayer...

I'm going to take a short break from posting about my current reading schedule!


During our Wednesday night services our amazing pastor, Tim Mills at Life Church Birmingham has been teaching on the Tabernacle.  I must just say... it has been amazing!  It's just like God, to bring this 90 day's through the Bible, teaching at church, and my new Beth Moore study all centered around the Tabernacle!  Apparently God has something He wants me to know about "His dwelling place".

The following prayer was written by Pastor Cho, the former pastor of the largest Assembly of God church in South Korea.  It is a prayer that he wrote "praying" through the tabernacle.  This particular portion is in regards to the  golden lampstand.  It's beautiful.  Just 'had' to share.

Holy Spirit, I welcome a deeper more intimate relationship with you today.
Dear Holy Spirit, through your anointing give me your wisdom.
Help me to solve all the problems I face through your wisdom.
Give me your understanding so that I may understand the deep truths of God,
and I may live those truths and pass them on to my children.
Give me counsel so that I will follow your narrow path.
If it pleases you, allow me to advise others how to solve their problems.
Give me tremendous might so that I might be used by you to heal the sick and cast out the devil.
You are the same yesterday, today and forever.
Holy Spirit, increase my knowledge of the Bible.
Give me a keen fear of the Lord so that I walk very softly before you and not commit any sin.
Give me holiness through your presence, O Lord!
Holy Spirit you are a person, not a genie.
The Father worked in the forefront during the Old Testament and Jesus worked in the New; I live in the Age of the Holy Spirit.
I don't want to catch quail with my bare hands.
I want your wind to blow the quail into my camp.
I want to depend on you, Holy Spirit, not my own strength.
You are not an acrobat.
You are a Holy Person with a will, and emotions.
Forgive me for treating you impersonally.
You should be welcomed, loved, caressed, adored, worshipped.
You are my senior partner, you are my Lord.  I depend upon you.
Let's go, Holy Spirit.
Thank you for your anointing.
Let's work together.
I will follow you!
Holy Spirit

Monday, February 7, 2011

Worship

Daily Nugget:

Ezra opened the book.  All the people could see him because he was standing above them; and he opened it, the  people all stood up.  Ezra praised the Lord, the great God; all the people lifted their hands and responded, "Amen! Amen!"  Then they bowed down and worshiped the Lord with their faces to the ground.  Ezra 8:5-6



There is nothing in my life as important or needed on a daily basis than worship.  I am a worshiper. 

It is in worship that we draw near to God with joy and gratitude for what He has done for us in and through Christ Jesus.  Worship expresses faith, love and devotion from our hearts and with our lives to God the Father and to the worthy lamb who was slain for our sins.

I believe there are two key principles in worship.  First, true worship takes place in spirit and truth.  It takes place in God's revelation of Himself.  It involves our spirit, not just our mind... but a deep connection with our very soul! Second, worship should follow the NT pattern for the church... we are to desire and seek all elements of worship found in the NT.  The gifts of the Spirit are at work in our worship. 

Much of the OT worship involved sacrifices.  Today, since Christ served as our once and for all sacrifice, there is no need for further shedding of blood.  As the NT church we are encouraged to "continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise - confessing His name (Heb 13:15) and to offer our bodies as living sacrifices (Rom 12:1).

All throughout the scriptures singing of psalms, hymns and spiritual songs were primary ways to worship.  That is still in tact today.  There is so much music available to us today.  Many of the worship songs and hymns can bring us directly before the Throne of God easily.  It should be a sweet offering to Him.  But I personally believe that we need to hold all music to a standard.  It must be in agreement with the scriptures and relevant in drawing people to HIM and not overtly about US.  (I could write a whole paper on that one thought.)

What about prayer as a part of worship?  Of course... it is a huge part of our worship!!!  I admit this was preciously instilled in my life during my church bodies recent 21 day fast.  I spent more time on my face in prayer to the Father than I have in a long time.  I'm not proud of that... but I believe God wonderfully accepted my prayers and drew me to a keen understanding of how very important it is to be on a daily basis.

I believe a prominent part of our prayers need to be spend in thanksgiving and adoration.  God wants to know our heart and our needs, but we do not need to just go before Him constantly with a "we want" list.  Spend some time reading and meditating on the Lords Prayer.  It is the most beautiful example of how we should pray!

Worship consists of reading the scriptures.  Even in the OT the people were commanded to assembly every seven years at the Feast of Tabernacles to publicly read the Law of Moses.  And here we come to the least talked about act of worship... tithes and offerings.  Yes it is worship!  We are to give to the Lord what is His... none of it is really ours.. He enabled us to work, gives us the gifts to do things for monetary gain... but in the end it is all His. It is a definite act of worship to our Lord.

Our NT worship is wonderful and amazing... even more so than in the OT maybe.  Why?  Because we have been given the gift and the gifting of the Holy Spirit.  The gifts and manifestations given by the Holy Spirit brings our worship to a higher level.  Our job is to keep seeking Him and going higher and higher!!!

There's just something about our worship that brings us closer and closer to the Savior!  Isn't worship wonderful!!!  I love to worship, to enter into His presence, to sit at His feet, and to feel His love just radiate over me.  There is nothing more wonderful than this. 

Friday, February 4, 2011

Stiff-necked People!

Daily Nugget:

Do not be stiff necked, as your fathers were; submit to the Lord.  Come to the sanctuary, which he has consecrated forever.  2 Chronicles 30:8


Hezekiah brought forth four truths that brought about genuine repentance.

1)  God's people must turn their hearts back to Him.  They must have a desire to forsake their sin and confess Him as Lord over their life.  It must be a total commitment to Him alone.  God will not bless His people who are living in "willful" sin.

2)  God's people must return with a fervent love for Him.  It must be a total 100% commitment to obey His commandments and keep covenant with Him.    We must pursue purity of heart and obey His Word.  It must be a total dedication... not half-hearted.

3) God's people must come to Him in humility.  We must have a submission and worship and in service to connect with His love.  The words "submit to the Lord" litteraly means to "give the hand to the Lord".  We must submit to His calling, to His leading.  We must give our "hands" to Him to work through for the sake of His kingdom.

He loves us.  He pursues us.  He is longing and waiting for a return of His people. We can not be stubborn and "stiff-necked"... or we will miss out on such amazing power and grace that is ours to have through Him.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Fully Committed

Daily Nugget:

For the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to Him.  2 Chronicles 16:9

  
Asa became King of Judah.  God came upon Azaraih with a message for Asa... the Lord is with you when you are with Him.  If you see Him, He will be found by you... but if you forsake Him....

This message gave Asa strength and courage to do what was right.  He followed in the Lord, He did what was right in the eyes of the Lord.... for years God was with him in all that he did.  But something changed...

Another king came against Asa... however instead of seeking God first, he took it upon himself to enlist another powerful King.  Together they conquered more territory.  But a seer came to Asa and confronted him, because he did not rely on the Lord, who had already proven Himself more than able to help Asa.

How often do we take matters into our own hands?  Hasn't God proven Himself faithful to us over and over?  Do we not know by now that He is there and ready to fully strengthen us when we fully rely on Him?  So why do we do what know we should not do?  

God values those who are so devoted to Him that He seeks us out.  God strongly supports those who have given everything to Him in their righteous plans, deeds of faith, and times of danger and trials.  If we are truly and completely devoted to God... He will give us strength and hold us up!

In the OT God showed a difference in those whose hearts were completely His and those who were divided between Him and the world.  We see this again in the NT, in Revelations where these two types of people are compared:  faithful over-comers and the luke-warm. 

God calls us to love HIM completely and He is jealous for us.  We can not be double minded in our relationship with Him.  There really isn't a middle ground... it is all or none.  God will not share our heart with things of this world.  He values US too much... and He will not share us. 

My friends, where does your heart belong?  Is it ALL to Jesus or just mostly to Jesus?  There really isn't an option... it must be fully and totally surrendered to Him.  Oh Lord, may I be found fully committed to You and You alone!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Filled

Daily Nugget:

...and the glory of the Lord filled the temple.  The priests could not enter the temple of the lord because the glory of the Lord filled it.  2 Chronicles 7:1b-2


Everything had been completed by Solomon, just as the Lord had given instruction.  The temple was finished... it was gloriously beautiful!   Can you imagine the sight of it all!  The gold and bronze, it must have been overwhelming!  So much work, so many years... but finally it was complete.

Solomon prayed, "O Lord God, may your eyes be open and your ears attentive to the prayers offered in this place!"  It was a perfect moment in time for Solomon and the people of Israel.  

Solomon closed his prayer and suddenly fire came from heaven and consumed all the burnt offering and sacrifices.  They were acceptable and pleasing to Him!  At that moment God's glory, His wonderful, majestic, and holy presence filled the temple!  

God's visible presence, so awesome that the people bowed down, face down, and gave Him praise and worshiped Him.  Can you imagine?  I do not know that I could have contained myself.  They sang praise to Him saying, "He is good, His love endures forever."  What a worship service!

I long for the presence of God.  For His glory to fill our place of worship!  To bow before Him and proclaim, He is good and His love endures forever!!!  I want to feel in a tangible way that He is near, and to be warmed by His presence!  He still meets with us today.  

If we pray for God to forgive us, turn from our ways, serve Him completely, offer Him our sacrifice.... He is still faithful to meet with us.  His presence continues to fill our temples! 

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

David's Mighty Men

Daily Nugget:

And David became more and more powerful, because the Lord Almighty was with him.  1 Chronicles 11:9


God was with David.  David has a purpose and a destiny that God had spoken over him.  With great destiny, he needed people to help and there was no short fall of men wanting to side with David.  I think if I had been a man in OT time, I would have wanted to be on David's side as well!

The scripture records the men who chose to follow David.  They were called "mighty men" because they accomplished great things for David in the name of the Lord.  They helped David to secure his throne and wage war against those who opposed him.  They held him up, they fought for him, they supported him.... they "had his back" you might say.

As I was reading about these awesome men and their great accomplishments two thoughts rushed into my mind.  My first thought was that we all need our "mighty men" (or women) in our life to help us accomplish what God has set us to do.  We need people in our lives who are going to fight for us, wage war for us, hold us up.  Not in a literal sense of flesh and blood, because what we war against is not of flesh and blood, but in principalities and powers of this world (an not of this world).  When God gives us a destiny, there will always be something fighting us to arrive where God wants us to be.

Think about those who you consider your friends.  Do you have a "mighty" group that you know "has your back"?  I will be honest and say that finding those people for myself has been difficult.  Until recently, I have only had a very few people that I know who truly "fought" for me.  God is bringing new and wonderful people into my life right now... and I am so thankful for that!

Several years ago, God blessed my life with a "mighty woman" who I have never met in real life.  We met online because of a crafting interest we shared.  Throughout these past nine years, Ms. Kim has been a blessing to me.  We do not talk often, she lives on the other side of the country from me, but I know without a doubt that she holds me up in prayer.  When situations have come against me or my family, she is the first on my list to contact to pray.  I KNOW, that she wars in the heavenly for me.  I hope that some day, this side of heaven I can meet her face to face... but until then (or we meet in heaven)... I know that she has "my back" .

If you do not have someone like this in your life, pray that God would send you a spiritually mighty man/woman.  God hears our prayers and the desires of our hearts and I know that He will answer.

The second thought about these "mighty men" was that they were fierce in battle.  Men also came to David daily to help make him King as promised, and to keep that kingdom established.  Many men came to David after he had been anointed, but still had not taken his rightful place as king while Saul remained.  They placed themselves under Davids authority before his kingdom came to full fruition. 

We, as Christ followers here on earth, have placed ourselves as "mighty men" for our Savior, in a time where He is being rejected.  We are fighting for our KING and His kingdom although it has not been fully established.  We bow before His authority and fight for Him.  So I ask you, as I asked myself.... are you a "mighty man" in service to our King?  Are we fighting in the heavenly?  Are we waging war on the things of this world that has rejected our Savior?  Or... do we lack courage when it get's "ugly" in war?  Do we cower in fear instead of pulling our sword and charging forward for His cause?  If we will stand strong He is able and willing to lead us with His Word and His Spirit.  What will you decide?

Almighty King... I am Yours.  Give me strength as I draw my sword and march into war for Your Kingdom!  Give me favor.  Give me like minded friends who will go with me.  May I never fear or falter in Your service until Your kingdom is fully established.  Give me wisdom and courage to discern what I wage war against.... not flesh and blood, but the evil and principalities at work seeking to devour.  May I clothe myself with Your armor and be ever ready for battle! 

Sunday, January 30, 2011

To The Kings

Daily Nugget:  

Remember, O Lord, how I have walked before you faithfully and with wholehearted devotion and have done what is good in your eyes.  2 Kings 20:3



King Hezekiah had heard the bad news... he was going to die.  The prophet Isaiah told him to "put his house in order".  This was his prayer to God.  Wow.  When I read this, I immediately prayed that I could bring this same prayer before my Savior when the end of my journey comes.

God heard Hezekiah though, and gave him more years to live.  What an awesome God we serve.  Death was coming, Hezekiah had been faithful and called out to God, and God delivered him for a time.  God chose to use him just a little bit longer! 


O Lord, May I walk faithfully before you with WHOLEHEARTED devotion.  May my life be totally surrendered and open before You.  You are my God, my King, my Healer.... May I do what is good in your eyes.

***  I must say, reading 1st and 2nd Kings exhausted me!  These kings just didn't get it.  There were a few like Hezekiah who followed God in His fullness... but most of them "did evil in the eyes of the Lord".  To realize how far His chosen turned away from Him, must have broken God's heart.  He is after all a jealous God... and He did get angry!  But still today, Israel is God's chosen people.... He still calls them and waits for their return to Him. 

I am so thankful that God is also a stubborn God... and continues to call us to Him. 

Today ended a 21 day fast within my church family.  The fast coupled with reading through God's Word, has radically changed my life.  I sense an urgency to be with Him.  To give Him the beginning of my time.  I am excited to see what lies ahead for me (and for you) as we read through His anointed word!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Between the Knees

Daily Nugget:

...but Elijah climbed to the top of Carmel, bent down to the ground and put his face between his knees.  1 Kings 18: 42b


Elijah's faith and persistent prayer should be an encouragement! 

Some thoughts on Elijah's prayer:

Elijah was a righteous man.  God hears the prayers of the righteous.  Elijah was a man, a human just like us.  He prayed with deep intensity and God heard.  Elijah's prayer was persistent and he had great faith. 

Elijah prayed and kept praying.  He sent his servant SEVEN times to go and look for a cloud.  Seven times the servant went.  Upon his return on the 7th - there was an answer.  Just a small cloud the size of a man's fist... but it was the answer Elijah was waiting for.  He did not give up... until he received an answer.

Elijah Prayed!

As believers, we are commanded to pray.  It is our connection to God, our way of fellowship with Him.  It is the means by which we grow and maintain our relationship with Him.

Prayer is our tool to receive God's blessings and power and to receive the fullness of His promises.  All throughout scripture prayer is used for answers.  Luke 11 we were promised the Holy Spirit if we continue to ask, seeking and knocking on the door of the Father.  Acts 4:31 - the people prayed and were filled and spoke the word of God boldly.  Paul requested prayers on his behalf, knowing that his would would be unsucessful without those prayers. 

God desired our fellowship with Him.  He hears our prayers and our petitions before Him.  When we need great  breakthrough's, we must not grow tired in praying and interceding.  We must "put our heads between our knees and keep praying"... knowing that God will answer our prayers. 

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Turning Hearts

Daily Nugget:

May he turn our hearts to him, to walk in his ways and to keep the commands, decrees, and regulations he gave our fathers.  1 Kings 8:58


Solomon had prayed to the Lord in the temple which he had build for God.  Then he turned to the people and prayed a blessing over them.  It was a blessing they would not likely forget. 

Solomon knew that hearts do not easily, on their own follow God.  So he prayed that God would "help" them turn their hearts toward Him.  He prayed for a desire in the people to follow and serve the Lord.  Solomon wanted the people to always remember to follow the commandments of God, so they would be blessed.

How much more, because of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, should our hearts be turned to the Father.  We have been given so much, brought into royalty, because of the blood of Christ.  We have been blessed in so many ways.  Christ has given us freedom!   Why do we sometimes turn so easily to follow the way of the world?

My prayer today, is like that of Solomon, may God turn our hearts to Him.  May we walk in his ways.  And follow Him all the days of our life.  Amen.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Wisdom Please!

Daily Nugget:

So give your servant a discerning heart to govern your people and to distinguish between right and wrong. 1 Kings 3:9a


Solomon became king after his father David went the way of the dust.  He was young, but knew how important it was for him to follow God's leading. 

He went to make sacrifices to God and was granted whatever he would ask for.  Wow... he had so many choices that he could have taken.... but wisdom is what he asked.  Wisdom to know right and wrong. 

God was so pleased in his choice that He granted Solomon all the other blessings as well... wealth, peace and long life.  God did however ad a "but" to it all.  Wisdom would only be guaranteed if Solomon continued to walk in God's way.

Wisdom is something we all should seek, God's wisdom, not the wisdom of "men".  I admit I do not ask often enough for the wisdom I need to be a wife, a mother, a daughter, a teacher.  I need more wisdom. 

God will be faithful to us if we ask even today for His wisdom in our life and in our circumstances.  But I believe we have the same "but" ...  we must continue to walk in God's ways.  If we are not walking with Him, spending time with Him in prayer and worship, how can we ever know what He is telling us.  He can only impart His wisdom to us when we continue an open communication with Him.  He is just waiting for us to ask....


Lord, I need YOUR wisdom to be a great wife.  I need YOUR wisdom to be a wonderful mother to my children.  I need YOUR wisdom to take care of my parents, be be a good friend, to be a good worker in Your kingdom.  Give me wisdom as I read Your word and seek Your face.  I will continue to follow after You...

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Oh My Son!

Daily Nugget:

O my son Absalom!  My son, my son Absalom!  If only I had died instead of you...  2 Samuel 18:33


David cried and mourned for his son.  Even though Absalom had killed his brother, turned against his father the King, and tried to take the throne... David was grieved upon his death.

David loved his sons I am sure.  David loved the Lord, and knew that even under the worst of conditions, the Lord would restore Absalom in time.  But that time never came. 

I believe David's grief was more than for just the death of His son.  I believe his desperate cry over his son was because he died in his rebellion.  There was so salvation left for Absalom... he was gone.  There was no redemption.

Have you cried out before God in despair for a child?  Do you have a child that is lost in rebellion and sin?  God hears our cries.  God knows our heart.  He knows our pain.  He loves us and can give us peace.  We must however continue to cry out for that child.  To bring his or her name before the Father.  He hears our cries.  He knows our heart.  And he cares. 

Be encouraged today if you have a child "lost" .  May you feel comfort in knowing God cares.

Father God, I pray for these children lost in sin and confusion.  I pray for their eyes to be open and to see that they desperately need you.  May they return to their families and may You bring reconciliation.  Strengthen those of us who continue to cry out before You on their behalf.  May we find peace knowing You hear us and care. 

Monday, January 24, 2011

Undignified

Daily Nugget:

I will become even more undignified... 2 Samuel 6:22

  

I can not fathom, a king, barely dressed, dancing before the Lord.  What would have caused David to do such a thing.  His wife rebuked him, yet his reply was... I will become even more undignified!!!  

Over the past few weeks, my prayer has been that God would take me to a place I have never been before.  That the words that come from my mouth would be sweet before Him.  That my praise and adoration would be a perfumed aroma before His throne.

I have listened to worship songs and hymns.  Yet, I have realized.... I have sung those words without truly meaning what I was singing so often.  I grew up singing hymns, I love hymns!  I sang over and over... "all to Jesus, I surrender", but really didn't.  What about "where He leads me I will follow"?  So often I didn't listen to His leading and I surely didn't follow.  

David had to strip down out of his royal attire in order to put on a "ephod"  just a white linen dress.  He did this with total abandon to the God Almighty who had given Him everything.  David cast aside everything of this world that was His to fully worship God.  Undignified... YES!

So what about us... what about our new songs we sing... "nothing compares to the promise I have in You"  do we live this out daily.  Is nothing more important than Him?  Or how about 'here I am to worship, here I am to bow down"... how often have we sung this without bowing down?  Oh I couldn't do that in my Sunday dress, or with my coat and tie!  That would be.... undignified?  God forgive us for allowing our worship to just become something we "do" and not something we "feel".  

May we step out of our comfort zone, forget about what those around us are thinking (or might think) and worship God with reckless abandon!  Worship Him undignified!  Worship Him because of all that He has done for us.  I want to be a passionate worshiper.  I want to throw off my clothes - the things of the world that hold me back, and put on my white linen dress and make a fool of myself in the eyes of the world!  I am desperate for God to move me into a new place... I will become undignified if that is what I need to do!

BE UNDIGNIFIED!

Lord, may my praise and worship and adoration be totally undignified before the world.  May my passion for You give way for me to be completely free to dance before You.  May my praise be sincere and a sweet aroma before You!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

It's Sunday...

Have a wonderful and blessed day!  Rejoice in the Lord for HE is good! 

See you on Monday!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Give Me

Daily Nugget:

...now appoint a king to lead us, such as all the other nations have.  1 Samuel 8:5b


Once again Israel complained.  Up to now, they have a great track record, don't they?  Ahhh...  Can't you just hear them saying "give me this", "give me that", "give me a king"!

God although you have done EVERYTHING for us when we called out, You are not enough.  We want to be like everyone else and have a king.  Can you imagine the rejection God, Creator of the World felt?  His chosen children, wanting something "more" because they were not satisfied in following Him.

God's plan was not for Israel to have a king, He was their King.  He was all they ever needed.  I believe this is a time that God allowed His permissive will to be done.  It wasn't His perfect plan, but He gave them what they wanted.  He heard their cries and gave them what they asked for.  His heart was grieved.

How often in our lives have we given up the perfection of God's will because we just would listen or love Him enough?  He allowed us to "have" what we wanted, although it wasn't HIS best.  I can recall a few times in my life (more than I want to admit really).

I am blessed and God has brought great things out of my stupid choices for my life, but I often wonder, if I had just listened, where would I be?  We must seek God's will and be patient while He brings us an answer.  If we aren't, if we get sight of what someone else is doing and want that.... He might just allow it.  We must love Him enough to listen!    Nothing on this earth will give us God's peace in our life, except for following Him.

I'm sorry Lord, for all the times I've had it "my way" instead of listening to You.  I love my life and am a blessed child of God!  But sometimes, I just can't help but think... what if I had done it all Your way?  May the remaining days of my life be spent listening to You and following your perfect will for my life.  I love You!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Pouring Out

Daily Nugget:  

...I was pouring out my soul to the Lord.  1 Samuel 1:15b




Today's reading was great!  I have read about two of my favorite women in the Word! 

I love the story of Ruth and Naomi.  I admire Ruth so much for being so faithful.  God blessed her for doing things right in His sight and for honoring her family.  I love the story about Boaz as her kinsmen redeemer.  What a wonderful parallel to Jesus Christ and how He redeemed us!  Praise the Lord!  (Take a few minutes and read the book of Ruth!  It's beautiful.)

Reading on into 1 Samuel I find another story that touches my heart so very deeply.  The story of Hannah.

She was a good wife to her husband, yet she was barren.  His other wife (these wives, on my list to ask God about) taunted her daily because she had been able to bare sons.  Hannah was grieved.

The word says she prayed a vow to the Lord, to give a son back to Him, if God would just honor her prayer. Eli the priest saw her and wasn't sure what to make of it all.  But Hannah told Eli, she was deeply troubled.  Hannah was "pouring out her soul" to the Lord.

As a mother, I am learning what it means to pour out my soul.  My prayers come as desperate almost un-audible words to the Father, to hear my petitions.  Pouring out my soul is deep.  It is desperate.  It tears into my very core.  These are times of great despair or need, and God hears my prayers.  Just as He did for Hannah.

Hannah received her blessing, a son.  She kept her promise and gave him to the Lord to serve and grow under Eli.  What a sacrifice.  Her adoration and love for the Father was amazing.  She gave so very much in return for God's answer to her prayer.  I admire her deeply.  I can not fathom sending my young son to "church" to live with and learn under my pastor, only to see him maybe once a year.  She was a strong woman!!

Father God, I know times when I have poured out my very soul to you.  You have so lovingly heard my prayer and answered me.  Thank you for those times. I pray that I may grow and learn to be as faithful as Hannah was.  That WHEN my children come to me and say, "the Lord has told me" to do this, I will be able to release them to You, knowing they are in Your hands.  They are after all, only on "loan" to me.  Thank you for my children and how they have blessed my life.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Over and Over Again

Daily Nugget:

Midian so impoverished the Israelites that they cried out to the Lord for help.  Judges 6:6


My head hurts and I am frustrated!  Why was it so impossible for the people of Israel to just worship ONE GOD!  The one God who had done so much beyond anyone's comprehension, just for them.  

God's compassion for them was amazing. Once again Israel found themselves in bondage.  Didn't take them long from the last rescue to forget God and all He had accomplished in their history and life, to go right back under someones rule.  And when they had had enough... they cry out to God.  

Israel turned to God as a last resort, only because they were yet again being oppressed.  Their faith in God was not founded in love and gratitude for Him, but by their own selfish desires and ambitions.  They only sought God when they were in crisis and desperate.  Why did they so easily forget?

Aren't we much like Israel? I know I have been in my past.  It has been a stinging pain inside me as I have read these chapters and realized how much I have been like Israel.  I have been brought to my knees more than once during this journey!  God forgive me.  

We as His people need to ask ourselves, do we follow the Lord because we truly love Him.  Do we follow His commands and His word because we adore Him?  Do we serve Him because of all He has done for us?  Or do we serve Him because of what we can receive?

We know that God gives good gifts to His children.  He loves to lavish upon us.  But this should never be our reason for serving Him.  It should just be a benefit that goes beyond the awesome and terrifying fact that He loves us so, and we in turn love and adore Him.  

He is the Lord God, there is none like Him!

Father God, forgive me for coming to you when I find myself in a mess, when I have been avoiding you in the good.  I love You, adore You, magnify You, praise You, glorify You, daily because you have done so much for me!  I will serve you Lord, in all things, at all times.  You are my first love!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

We Will Serve

Daily Nugget:

But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve...  But as for me and my house we will serve the Lord.  Joshua 24:15


I would assume this was probably one of the most well known verses in the Word of God.  I believe one of the most important for families for sure.  It is a declaration!

Joshua knew that the peoples hearts were fickle, that they would probably never stay faithful to the Lord.  He was so sure of this that he gave them a choice... but they swore they would serve Him.

Daily we are given a choice, like the people of Israel we have free will to choose what/who we will serve.  We must stand and declare daily, that we WILL serve the Lord.  In every moment, of every day.

As a mother, especially a homeschooling mother, I must instill the commandments of the Lord in to my children daily.  So that when I am gone they will still know them.  It is so important that we as Christian parents are instilling God's Word in our children.  We can not be lazy or apathetic in doing so, or we may just find ourselves the last generation. 

Have you made a choice?  Have you stood up in your home, before your family and declared: As for me and my house we will serve the Lord as Joshua did?  Declare!  And follow through!

Lord God, I declare we will serve the Lord.  Forgive me for not always making this stand.  For allowing other "gods" to rob our time, especially our time with You.  Show me how to instill in my children how important YOU are and following You is for their life.  May my life be an example, and never a hindrance in their walk with you.  We will remember, we will serve.  Amen

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Strong and Courageous

Daily Nugget:  

Be strong and courageous.  Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.  Joshua 1:9

  
Moses had died, the people of Israel had a new leader.  I'm sure he was overwhelmed.  It was a huge job to handle the Israelites.. they were after all like a huge group of children.  They still hadn't learn to listen completely.  They still complained.  They still tested God.  But it was God's plan that Joshua become the new leader.

God was specific that Joshua would be strong and courageous.  He promised Joshua that He would be with him wherever they went.  What a promise!  It was now Joshua's charge to take the land God had promised... and he did just that.

Many times throughout these first few chapters of Joshua this phrase is used over and over.  Be strong and courageous... God is with you.  For those in present time who serve the Lord, who have consecrated themselves before Him, I believe God says... be strong and courageous. 

Whatever God has called us to do, wherever He has destined for us to go, we can walk forward and complete His charge.  We need to face our destiny knowing that we can be strong and courageous in everything, because God is surely with us.

Did you notice, at one point, it was the children of Israel who encouraged Joshua to be "strong and courageous".  This should teach us about the importance of encouragement for our brothers and sisters in the Lord.  We often know when they are taking on a new plan or in the middle of a long journey that God has sent them on.  Our friends share with us what God has set in their heart, and we should offer words of encouragement... dear friend, be strong and courageous, God is with you wherever you go.  What powerful words especially perhaps, if they are unsure or discouraged! 

Lord God, Almighty Creator of all things, I praise Your name!  I pray as I seek Your face, to know Your will, that I set my steps towards what You have called me to do, I will hear you say to me those words you spoke to Joshua.  That I will step into my destiny and have no fear because I know You are with me.  And Lord, may I be encouraging to my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ, as they too follow Your will for them.  When we face "giant armies" (problems and struggles bigger than us) may we lift each other up and be a reminder that You are there. 

Monday, January 17, 2011

Very Near

Daily Nugget:  

...the word is very near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart so you may obey it.  Deuteronomy 30:14



Conviction is never an easy thing.  Since beginning this 90 day journey I have realized that I have not spent enough time in God's word.  I have not spent enough time digging deep into the very marrow of the Word of God.

I have come to realize how important repetition is.  God told Moses to instruct the Iraelites of His law over and over.  God wanted them to know it inside and out.  Remember they were to bind it to them... to keep it in the forefront of everything they thought.  God's commands were to be a beacon before them. 

Can you believe that they needed to commit to memory all that God instructed them.  And they didn't have 15 copies of it laying around their tents.  (Ok, I love Bibles, and translations and have saved all of mine since I was a child, so I have a "few".)  But what they did have was the very presence of God speaking to them...

We do have the Word of God and it is very near us, but if we do not pick it up and read it, meditate on it, pray over it, "take a bite and chew it up"... then is can not be in our mouth and hearts.  And what we do not know and remember, we can not obey. 

So my challenge is:  Wipe off that layer of dust.  Open the Bible... do the pages still crack because it's so new?  Read His Word, it brings His presence near us.  Commit them to heart and know them so you can obey.

Father, I am sorry that I have not realized how precious your Word is.  How much I have needed it daily.  Not just my special verses that I like to read, but every word.  I praise You because Your Word has come alive to me.  I love how You call me closer to you with ever word I read.  May I always obey.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Remember

Daily Nugget:

Remember how the Lord your God led you all the way in the desert these forty years, to humble you and to test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commands.  Deuteronomy 8:2


Today is Sunday and worship with my local congregation was wonderful.  God's presence and His power was shown in such a loving and wonderful way.  He is amazing and I just live Him more every day.

My mind walked through the journey of the people of God in chapter 8.  God was reminding them all He had done for them in this journey to the land they had been promised.  Calling them to remember, and never forget what He had done so that they would continue to keep His commandments.

God gave them insight as to why they had to make this journey.  It was all His plan, all the hard times, the lack of food, the lack of water, the battles they faced, everything was His plan, to reveal Himself to them in magnificent and earth shaking ways.  

He had to take them through the desert to test their faithfulness, to know that they would "stick" with Him even in the hard times.  He had to know if their love for Him was so intense and so deep, that in every desperate situation they would call upon Him, and not anyone else.  He wanted them humbled by His provision and presence in their lives.

Tears fall from my eyes, and my heart swells with emotions I can not explain, as I realize the significance of this in my own life.  I (my family) have walked through some serious deserts over the past 4 years.  There have been times when I could not comprehend how I would even begin to put one foot in front of the other because it was just unbearable.  But, I like the children of Israel, have been reminded each time at the end of those situations, just how truly HUGE my God is.  That in the midst of my desert, He was there and was providing for me.... even in my suffering.  

So often I have taken every path to solve the problem, you know... read a book, talked to friends, stressed, worried, lost sleep.... except fully rely on God.  So I like the people of Israel have been allowed to have some really hard places to walk... to humble my pride and dependence on myself (and others) and found myself with no other direction to go, but to the Father.  

I did not like going through these things, in fact, some of them still break my heart.  However, I am thankful for a God that "allows" situations to bring me to a point of humbling myself and all my "answers" before Him, and realizing He is the only one who can bring me through any situation.  

Father God, I pray that as other "deserts" come into my path, that I would go to You as my only source for provision and direction.  May each hot and dry place my feet find themselves, teach me to humble my way, and my abilities, in order to surrender to what You have for me.  May I be faithful to remember Your word and Your commands for my life.  And at the end of these such times, may I know more than before that You are my God and You are the ONLY God.  I give you praise and honor.