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My First Blog Post

A little about me

This is new for me, but I’m excited to begin this new chapter of my life.

I turned 50 this year and boy it was something. I’m a small town girl living in a lonely world who took a midnight train going….wait that’s Journey not me. 🙂 I am a small town Illinois girl, born and raised. I would take a midnight train though and I would go back to Colorado. I love it there. I fell in love with it the first time I saw it as a new high school graduate (thank you big sister, Lisa for the gift). I looked out the plane window during the evening light and the Colorado Springs back drop took my breath away.

So much has happened in just the past 5 years that has led me to start writing, sharing and figuring out the calling God has on my life. I by no means have it all figured out, but I think my path is becoming more clear. I’m going to share a lot of Jesus and Bible with you. If you are offended or don’t agree, that’s your choice, as it is mine to express my beliefs and opinions. My faith is the largest part of my life and has shaped me into the person I am today.

I hope you enjoy this little piece of me. It’s gonna get real…fast.

Be yourself; Everyone else is already taken.

— Oscar Wilde.

This is the first post on my new blog. I’m just getting this new blog going, so stay tuned for more. Subscribe below to get notified when I post new updates.

Rest

Where do you find your rest? Is it in a good book? TV? Music? Wine? Sex? Conversation? Food? Do these things really provide rest or a means of escape?

Rest is the refreshing quiet or repose of sleep. It is to relieve weariness. How often to we go to bed and still wake up as tired as when we laid down? How often are we so weary and burdened down that “rest” is impossible.

True rest is that which only God can give. Although sleep is important, spiritual is needed to keep us from feeling emotionally exhausted. True rest is when our lives are packed, but peace surrounds us. We are not the ones carrying the burdens, Christ is. God gives grace and offers rest for those who would turn to Him.

If we are intent on going our own way, God will use whatever means to bring us back to Himself. Paul talks about this when he says, “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28). This passage is saying God will work every situation out for our good. It doesn’t mean everything will be good, but it means good can come from even our suffering.

True rest sometimes comes after suffering. No matter the reason for our suffering, it is God who offers peace in the middle of both heartache and healing.

Thank you Veterans

Today is Veterans Day. It is a day that we set aside to remember those who have served and given their lives in our Armed Forces.

Do you ever think about what it is or who they are defending? Men, women and children left England because of the tyranny of the king’s rule, the taxes and freedom of religion (generically speaking of our nation’s founding). We are still fighting for those rights today.

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” — The Declaration of Independence

The pursuit of these rights can’t be taken away.

Psalm 82:3 says Defend the poor and fatherless. Do justice to the afflicted and needy.

Defend is to protect from harm and danger. Do is to attend to the wants and needs of; to take care of. Justice is the conformity to truth, fact or reason; to do what is right.

By definition, that verse means that we are to protect the poor, fatherless, afflicted and needy from harm and danger by attending to their needs by doing what is right. Does that not sound like America and what this country has stood for?

We are privileged to live in this country. I am privileged to have the right to worship the Almighty God, my Savior, Jesus Christ. I am blessed that I live without fear when I attend a service on Sunday or join my fellow brothers and sisters in studying the word during the week or on this media.

Men and women have died protecting these rights and privileges that we so often take for granted. They have gone to foreign lands where these rights and privileges have no standing. Words will never repay what they witnessed, endured, lost. The same for their families.

When the call comes, who will you fight for? What will you fight for?

We are all foreigners here. Our time is borrowed. One day ALL will stand and give an account of what we have and haven’t done. Whose side will you be counted?

Psalm 139

This weekend I was witness to the beauty of life. I’ve seen it multiple times, but my eyes truly saw it again in context of Psalm 139.

You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, And that my soul knows very well. My frame was not hidden from You, when I was made in secret, And skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. You saw my substance, being yet unformed. And in Your book they all were written, the days fashioned for me, when as yet there were none of them.

My great niece was born this past Wednesday weighing 3lbs. She was 11 weeks early. She is so tiny. When I looked at her, really looked at her little body, it was simply amazing. I marveled at the work of God.

It actually took me back to the death of my baby nephew. I held him in the palm of my hand after he had passed. God’s words, I have you carved in the palm of my hand went through my mind. He was not yet fully formed but still skillfully wrought. He was beautiful and I could already tell who he resembled.

There is beauty in both birth and death. You can’t have one without the other. One makes your heart burst in love; the other break.

May we praise our God through both circumstance for both are beautiful….the creation and birth of a new life; the passing and rebirth in glory of the surrendered soul to God.

Surrender

This week I want to talk about definitions of surrender and what it means for us in the kingdom of God. In general when we surrender ourselves to God we are casting all upon Him and fully trusting in Him. That’s what we initially do when we accept Jesus as Savior.

Job 12:7-10, 13, 16a, 22; 13:15a, 16a. For these verses, I want you to think of surrender in the context of giving up your will and subjecting your thoughts, ideas and works to the will and teachings of THE higher being, God. Consider who He is.

But now ask the beasts, and they will teach you; And the birds of the air, and they will tell you; Or speak to the earth, and it will teach you; And the fish of the sea will explain to you. Who among all these does not know that the hand of the LORD has done this, In whose hand is the life of every living thing, and the breath of all mankind? With him are wisdom and strength, He has counsel and understanding. With him our strength and prudence. He uncovers deep things out of darkness, And brings the shadows of death to light. Though he slay me, yet will I trust Him. He also shall be my salvation.

He who is creator of all things is worthy of our trust to surrender ourselves fully. Oh that is so hard….to give ourselves FULLY to the One who made us and saved us.

To abandon, or to indulge oneself entirely to another. Can you say you love God with abandon? In this definition’s context have you surrendered yourself to God above all? I think many would say they’ve surrendered themselves to God but have you truly?
Think about it, to indulge in God in such away you abandon ALL things for Him.

Isaiah 64:8 says But now, O LORD; You are our Father; We are the clay, and You our potter; And all we are the work of Your hand.

As the potter works the clay, it almost fights back against the hands trying to mold it. He keeps spinning the wheel adding water as he works to keep the clay soft. He shapes it, molds it, firmly yet delicately with his hands. Using the necessary tools, he adds touches here & there and as the clay finally yields the envisioned piece takes shape.

We are the clay. He is the potter. When we abandon self & give ourselves entirely to the One, who made us from dust & to dust we shall return (Till you return to the ground, For out of it you were taken; For dust you are,
And to dust you shall return. Genesis 3:19); oh how different our lives would be.

What piece is the master molding of you today? Are you willing to surrender to His work?

When He had called the people to Himself, with His disciples also, He said to them, “Whoever desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him the Son of Man also will be ashamed when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels. Mark 8:34-38

What do these verses have to do with surrender? Well, it’s about consciously letting go. What do you consciously have to let go of to truly follow Christ? Possessions. Family. Money. Your life. The answer is yes to all of these things. They all may be required of you at some point in time.

If you were truly to look inside yourself today and Christ asked you to give up these four things, could you? Are we holding on to the things of the world so tightly and not even realize it?

He plainly says we are to deny ourselves, take up His cross and follow Him not the other way around. We are living in a time where we are going to have to make a decision whose side we are on. Are you on the right or the left? (And I don’t mean political party) Are you for Christ or against Him? None of us would want to say that we are against Christ, but whatever we put in place of him or before him places us on the side of the enemy.

So I ask you today have you fully cast yourself upon God? Do you trust him with your life? Can you consciously let go of self and let God control?

Psalm 46

Today I will share my thoughts on Psalm 46. This Psalm is likely most known for verse 10 but it is a rich chapter in whole. So, if you are feeling worn out, burdened, or anxious, find rest in this chapter of the Bible. Remind yourself of God’s character and presence. He & His word is water for the thirsty soul.

Verse 1. God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble.

When we feel attacked or when we feel nothing but weak, He is where we can run to for he his our safety, our refuge. Isn’t it amazing that God, the Maker of heaven and earth, the King of kings is our Helper? He wants to help each of us. He is powerful and strong & comes to our side in times of need & in want. He is always there, ever present, available at all times! You can approach God right now & He will be there waiting, listening & ready to help.

Verses 2-3.Therefore we will not fear, even though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; though its waters roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with its swelling. Selah

When our lives are shaken, falling apart, troubles roaring around and fear has us losing our grip, we shall not fear. How? Why? Look up to the verse that was before it. He is our refuge and strength very present help in trouble. Often times we read these verses and that’s just it we gloss over them. We don’t see how they all work together. Notice at the end of verse 3, it says Selah.

Pause. Rest.

Verses 4-9.There is a river whose streams she’ll make it glad the city of God, the holy place of the tabernacle of the Most High. God is in the midst of her, she shall not be moved. God shall help her, just at the break of dawn. The nation’s raged, the kingdoms were moved; He uttered his voice, the earth melted. The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah
Come, behold the works of the LORD, who has made desolations in the earth. He who makes wars cease to the end of the earth; He breaks the bow and cuts the spear in two; He burns the chariot in the fire.

God is steadfast, strong, calm, sure. The Holy Spirit dwells within us as God dwelling in his tabernacle. We have the calming life-giving water in each of us through the Holy Spirit. We can count on God because He is always with us. When He speaks, creation listens. It groans for his return. Nothing can stop God’s will.

Verses 10-11. Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth! The Lord of hosts is with us the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah

In context of the chapter, these verses tell the nation to let go & let God do his work as conqueror in battle. Today, we can still use it for this context; the spiritual, physical, mental battles we are going through.

Notice that comma after be still. Commas separate ideas, add pauses, and help you to list things clearly. There is a reason it is there & the words are in this order.

Notice the order of this one phrase. Be still (comma).
The world is full of chaos, pain, war, desolation and desperation; surrender to him. Quiet your heart & mind. Be in His presence! Let our troubles fall from our shoulders onto His.

(and) KNOW. HE. IS. GOD.

He is the I AM. No thing, No one can stand in His glory. Know who He is. The Lord of hosts, who is with us. God, our refuge.

Remember.

Lord, I’m so grateful for Your Word that helps us navigate through the storms & rough seas that we experience in life. I’m reminded today that Your strength, power, righteousness, mercy and love are without limits. I pray all of us would lean on You, not ourselves or others, but You, while we face the enemy. I ask that You mold my heart to be more discerning and sensitive to Your voice. I want to know You as Everlasting Father, Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Prince of Peace. Thank You for the gift of Your Son so that we can experience everlasting life with you in glory. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Hope

Romans 15:13 Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Notice Paul doesn’t start this verse with tomorrow, in a few hours, sometime next week, he says NOW. God’s hope is given and empowered by the Holy Spirit. He will fill us with joy and peace. We will abound in it!

Why do we choose to live otherwise? Our Hope does not disappoint.

Our Father, our source of hope, I pray that you fill us up with confident expectation. Your word says that you will fill us completely with all joy and peace when we believe in you. May we allow the Holy Spirit to work through us, empower us in such a way that our hope, joy and peace overflows into our homes, communities, workplaces & churches. May we be a reflection of You so that others are drawn to You for salvation. In Your Son’s most precious name, Jesus, amen.

Be Still

How do you be still?
What does that mean to you?
In being still, we are giving time to hear, see wait & watch in the margins to give God opportunity to talk to us & give us insight.
Psalm 37:7 says to Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him

Waiting, there is our problem. Merriam Webster defines waiting as to remain in a state in which you expect or hope that something will happen soon.

So, how can we honestly hear each other, even more, hear God when there’s so much noise & busyness in our lives? How can we truly pour into each other’s lives?
We need to take sabbath rest. I don’t mean just Sunday, but a time set apart to rest, pause, breathe in God.

B Breathe.
Job 33:4 (NKJV)
The Spirit of God has made me,
And the breath of the Almighty gives me life.
When anxiety is holding onto you, when you feel you can’t get your breath, when you just don’t know what to do, take a moment. Pause. Slowly inhale a deep, refreshing breath while raising your shoulders to relieve the stress.

E Exhale.
1 Peter 5:7 (NKJV)
Casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.
Let it go. As you exhale, speak a name of God, Jesus. Jehovah. Wonderful. Counselor. Holy Spirit. Immanuel. Father. As you exhale speak your praise, thanks or prayer.

Don’t let what you are keeping in poison you. Let God & let go.

S Solitude.
Matthew 6:6 (NKJV)
But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.

Luke 6:12 (NKJV)
Now it came to pass in those days that He went out to the mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God.
Silence. Stillness. Oh, that is hard. It is hard to sit with yourself in the quiet. Our thoughts constantly interrupt us in good & bad ways, but when we take the time to meet with God, He will be there. He will meet you where you are.

T Time.
Ecclesiastes 3:11 (NKJV)
He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also He has put eternity in their hearts, except that no one can find out the work that God does from beginning to end.
This will be difficult, but take the time, set a specific time to just sit in the presence of God. During this time, you may be comfortable writing down how you are feeling. What is He teaching you? Write down what you are grateful for & thank Him for that. What do you need to ask forgiveness for?

I Invite God in.
Luke 24:45 (NKJV)
And He opened their understanding, that they might comprehend the Scriptures.
1 Corinthians 5:17 (NKJV) Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.

L Listen & Linger
Jeremiah 33:3 (NKJV) Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know.
Psalm 116:1-2 (NKJV)
I love the LORD, because He has heard
My voice and my supplications.
Because He has inclined His ear to me,
Therefore I will call upon Him as long as I live.
I find listening to praise music helps. You can sing along & draw closer into His presence. Hear the words of the song & how they relate to you. Let His presence fill you.

L Live in the freedom of Christ.
Romans 8:37-39 (NKJV) Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

To be undone…

Have you ever been undone or felt that you are? Do you wonder what I mean by using undone? Isaiah 6, one of my favorites in this particular book.
Isaiah is faced with the presence of God & in His presence he was undone. He was finished, ruined. When faced with God’s glory, man, sin, NO THING can stand. I love this chapter because of it’s beauty, restorative work and calling.


Starting in verse 1:In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lifted up, and the train of His robe filled the temple. 2 Above it stood seraphim; each one had six wings: with two he covered his face, with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. 3 And one cried to another and said:“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts;The whole earth is full of His glory!”4 And the posts of the door were shaken by the voice of him who cried out, and the house was filled with smoke.5 So I said:“Woe is me, for I am [a]undone!Because I am a man of unclean lips,And I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips;For my eyes have seen the King,The Lord of hosts.”6 Then one of the seraphim flew to me, having in his hand a live coal which he had taken with the tongs from the altar. 7 And he touched my mouth with it, and said:“Behold, this has touched your lips;Your iniquity is taken away,And your sin [b]purged.”8 Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying:“Whom shall I send,And who will go for Us?”Then I said, “Here am I! Send me.”9 And He said, “Go, and tell this people:‘Keep on hearing, but do not understand;Keep on seeing, but do not perceive.’10 “Make the heart of this people dull,And their ears heavy,And shut their eyes;Lest they see with their eyes,And hear with their ears,And understand with their heart,And return and be healed.”


When God spoke, the place was shaken. Isn’t that how it is with us? Really think about that? When you are convicted by your sin, when God is calling you or calling you out, how does it make you feel? It shakes your soul. God allows us to be SO THAT we will see Him most clearly. The weight of His glory is heavy. It can be like the most fragrant, lingering, beautiful perfume or it can be crushing, weighing you down as if you’re carrying a boulder on your back.


Woe is me, for I am undone! Isaiah knew he wasn’t worthy to be in the presence of the Most High. When we come before God, shouldn’t we have the same posture? When we see God clearly, with fresh eyes and a renewed spirit, we will begin to “see” others in the same way.


Now, the calling. The seraphim took a live coal & touched Isaiah’s lips. Why? It was form of blood sacrifice and purification. Isaiah was being cleansed before his calling. God asks, Who shall I send? Who will go for Us? (Notice the use of Us as in plural: Father, Son, Holy Ghost) & without hesitation Isaiah jumps up & says Me, Me, send Me.


Can you imagine what our lives would be like, what this world would be like if we would just GO? FOLLOW GOD & do His will as He has called us to do. Instead we make excuse after excuse: That’s not my calling. I’m not led to do that, surely there’s someone else. I don’t have the gift of speech, I’m too busy. I have a family. I’m too young/old. We have missionaries for that. I’ll pay for whomever & whatever to go, but I’m not doing it. I’ve served my time.


How many of those have you used? Believe me, I am guilty of several.
The enemy is sly in slipping these excuses into our thoughts. He will place stumbling blocks everywhere & place thorns in your side to convince you that you are not worthy & that you will never make a difference. Well, he is a liar! That is why is is called the deceiver & adversary.


The people then are the same people today just thousands of years later. They still need for their hearts to be turned towards God. They still need to be shown the love of God & not the hate of man. Widows, orphans, the poor still need food, clothing & shelter. Perhaps in your back yard….


Get undone before your King. Allow Him to cleanse your lips so that you can go….so that I can go.


One day this earth will be shaken. Where will you fall?

Faith, Hope, Power

As I’m sitting in my prayer time, I can’t help but feel this passage should be prayed over whomever may read it. There seems to be just so many things coming at us right now through illness, work, family, the world. There’s a heaviness that seems to be falling on the world right now. There’s a groaning from creation asking how long? God’s church is feeling it as well. Everyday is something new. I can’t help but wonder; how soon Lord, how soon until your return?

Lamentations 3:22-26
Through the LORD’S mercies we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning; Great is your faithfulness. The LORD is my portion, says my soul, therefore I hope in Him! The LORD is good to those who wait for Him, to the soul who seeks Him. It is good that one should hope and wait quietly for the salvation of the LORD.

Father God we thank you that you are faithful. We are thankful for your compassion & mercy which you pour upon us. Every morning we are greeted with a day of new hope. Lord may we have peace in the wait, as we sit in the stillness, may we rest securely in hope, your Living Hope. Great is your faithfulness! You say you will never leave us, nor forsake us. Your word promises that and we believe it to be true.

To whom then will you liken Me, or to whom shall I be equal? says the Holy One. Lift up your eyes on high, and see who has created these things, who brings out their host by number; He calls them all by name, by the greatness of his might and the strength of his power; not one is missing. You are the everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the Earth. Isaiah 40:25-26, 28b

Oh that we will rest in these words. May we draw comfort knowing that the all-powerful Great and Mighty Lord of hosts is fighting on our behalf! He that is in me is greater than he that is in the world! Let the Living Hope rise up within you.

I know these days are hard. I know these days are troubling. I feel it too. I feel my body breaking down. I feel the heaviness of sin upon me. I fear for what comes next? I fear for my family and their future. I pray they have the salvation of Jesus Christ first and foremost. I lift each one of you into the arms of Jesus today.

There is power, POWER in his name. Speak it. Pray it. Believe it.