Friday, January 25, 2013

Where Love Meets Me

"The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, His mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness."  -Lamentations 3:22-23 

I’m so flawed. Sometimes...the only things I can see in me are what makes me unlovable. Yet...when my heart is downcast and I feel the most unworthy of God’s grace...His mercy...His love...I know that He has invited me to go humbly to His Word which never fails to lift my chin and pull my eyes up to gaze upon His glory. Sometimes, I even think I can hear Jesus sing over me just how much He loves me...

It will aways amaze me that as God looks upon me...He feels only love for me...a perfect love...a love that cannot be shaken or destroyed...a love that has so great a’s value cannot be measured. 

God desires for us to simply to be a people who are content to live close to Him. To renew each day our pursuit to live the kind of life in which the closeness to God is felt...experienced...and lived out! To live the abundant life God has planned for us under His wing of protection...that only His love for us can provide.

Song of Solomon 8:6-7  (NCV)
   Put me like a seal on your heart,
       like a seal on your arm. 
    Love is as strong as death; 
       jealousy is as strong as the grave. 
    Love bursts into flames 
       and burns like a hot fire.
   Even much water cannot put out the flame of love; 
       floods cannot drown love. 
    If a man offered everything in his house for love, 
       people would totally reject it.

Oh Lord,

You have set me as a seal upon your heart, as a seal upon your arm!  Love me, Lord and help me to understand how great Your love is for me. As your heart move towards me...let your arm move for me too. I need Your loving arms to surround me.

Thank you Lord that you think of me..and you have set me on your heart. Your love works on my has sealed me to You.

Father..I feel there is nothing in me that can make you love me. Yet, I feel bold in my need to ask this very thing...please love me. Your love is so powerful that it finds its own fuel to love me with those coals of fire that burst into flames that nothing can put it out. 

And since floods of water cannot put out the flame of love you have for me...make it evident in me I ask; for there are many waters of sin in me... Lord, help me to believe that your love is not washed away by them. 

To you Lord, I give myself completely...take me and make me what you would have me to be...keep me safe in your love...even to my last breath. 

I love you Jesus, there is nothing I possess that has greater worth than Your love...there is nothing I more truly desire than to be with you forever.  Amen  

What about you? Can you say with assurance that God “so” loves you (John 3:16, 1 John 4:11)? Well He does! Our Omnipotent God loves His people with a love that is an all-conquering which surpasses all knowledge and imagination (Romans 8:35-38).

Where you where God's love will meet you. 


Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Cancer...Powerful, But Not All-Powerful

 "Cancer is a powerful enemy. But it’s not all-powerful. For all who are in the heat of this battle, it helps to remember that there are some things cancer cannot do: Cancer is so limited…
It cannot cripple love.
It cannot shatter hope.
It cannot corrode faith.
It cannot destroy peace.
It cannot kill friendship.
It cannot suppress memories.
It cannot silence courage.
It cannot invade the soul.
It cannot steal eternal life.
It cannot conquer the spirit.
It cannot lessen the power of the resurrection." -Unknown Author

I often would read this when Brad and I were checking in for Brad's chemo treatments or blood test. It was displayed on the receptionist desk as we checked in.

Cancer can and does cause great fear, doubt, heartache and pain in our lives. It holds nothing back in it's attack to destroy everything we hold dear in our lives. Sometimes it just feels unbearable...especially when we are in the midst of the battle and it appears the cancer is winning.

I rarely use the word hate...but, I do hate cancer. What's in it to love? Yet, as only God can do...Brad & I experienced the good God had for us that cancer never intended for us to experience. The most treasured experiences I received are the times my trust in God possessed my very soul...knowing with certainty that God would always take care of me in all the circumstances of my life.  

"Do not fear, for I am with you;
Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you, surely I will help you,
Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand."-Isaiah 41:10  

From the time Brad was first diagnosed with advanced stage 4 cancer and we were told he may have only 6 months to live (we were given 5 years), I prayed and pleaded for God to assure me He would not take my husband from my side. I searched the Scriptures looking for a promise...or two...that I could cling this plea upon.  

I found no such promise...but He did give me and my husband...this promise from Isaiah...that He would give us His strength and help to go through whatever laid ahead of us. I had His assurance He would always be with me and with Brad no matter what.  

I hate cancer...yet, I'm thankful for the trials it brought which have positively changed me. It's not the method of learning dependance on God I would have chosen yet because of cancer I have seen God's faithfulness in ways that I would not have known without the suffering and the learning to depend totally on Him. It's hard to know God is all you need until He's all you've got.  

So yes...I hate cancer. But, to cancer...I have this to say...

"I just want you to know this one important thing about what you did to my meant to destroy me and my faith & love for God's goodness. You may have even thought you won a few of my struggles. But, here is the result of your attack upon my life and your ultimate harm in taking my beloved husband's life from my side;  

Instead of fear, and doubt and distrusting God...I now have a stronger trust and faith in God. This is result of what you left inside of me...a firm conviction that God does overcome evil with His goodness." 

"Don’t you see, you planned evil against me but God used those same plans for my good..." - Genesis 50:20 MSG

For those who may be fighting cancer now or to those who have a loved one who is. I pray that when you have those moments of your greatest will remember not only of the things cancer can not do, which are listed here...but trust that you have a very present and powerful Lord who loves you and willing provides you with His strength and love to endure and even overcome cancer's destructive forces. May the Lord reveal to you His Presence so that you too will become witness to seeing how mighty God is and how we need not fear cancer when our trust is in the Lord who care for us. 

"I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength." - Philippians 4:12-13 



Friday, January 11, 2013

Whose Your True Hero?

"In the year of King Uzziah’s death, I saw the Lord..." Isaiah 6:1
I love studying God's Word through an in-depth study and the new challenges it delivers! I yearn to be found living my faith fully in the power of Christ each moment of my life.

In my lesson today..."Breaking Free" by Beth Moore, I was asked "Have you lost a hero? Why were they a hero to you?" I immediately reflected on the two heroes in my dad and my husband. Here is what I wrote as to why they were a hero to me.

~ My dad - He had integrity. He was trustworthy. He stood up for what was morally right and defended the weak and needy encouraging them that they could succeed and overcome their circumstances.  He loved me unconditionally and he loved the people I loved. He was faithful and He lead me to know God.

~ My husband Brad - He had integrity. He was truthful. He stood up for what was morally right and defended the weak and needy encouraging them that they could succeed and overcome their circumstances. He share Jesus unafraid of how he would be received and cared only that Jesus would be received inside their souls. He was faithful. He loved me unconditionally and cared for me completely. He battled cancer more for me and for the love we shared than He did for saving himself. He knew and trusted fully in God's love for him and did not fear death but faced it with confidence that his last breath here would give way to his first breath of Heaven and the face of Jesus. 

As I sat content with my response to who my heroes were and my heart feeling a twinge of sadness too as I consider the challenges I've faced in their passing...the lesson quickly took me to what God would desire for me to understand more fully about who my real Hero is...Jesus.

Oswald Chambers wrote; "Our soul's history with God is frequently the history of the 'passing of the hero.' Over and over again God has to remove our friends in order to bring Himself in their place, and that is where we faint and fail and get discouraged. Take it personally: In the year that one who stood to me for all that God was, died - I gave up everything? I became ill? I got disheartened? Or...I saw the Lord? 

"In the year of King Uzziah’s death, I saw the Lord..." Isaiah 6:1

When my hero dad died...Brad took the top spot for being my hero...I looked to Brad...not God. Oh I still worshiped God... and I loved Jesus...but...Brad was my "hero." He comforted my broken heart and secured my need for security inside his love for me. I thought he was all I'd ever need ...the one I could always count on...the one who held my heart. 

I loved Jesus...but I held Brad up as the one who would never leave me or fail me. 

After my hero Brad died...I saw the Lord as never before. I imagined Him high and above me...I was in awe of Jesus' all encompassing presence and I knew right then I wasn't "alone" and never will be again as I had feared. I felt secure in His love and encouraged by His faithfulness. I finally felt safe. I found myself in the arms of my true Hero. 
I can hardly wait until the day I see Jesus face to face....He will always be my first, second, and above all others...My Hero!



Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Corner to Corner...Covered!

"I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, high and honored. His long clothing spread out and filled the house of God." - Isaiah 6:1 

As I read this Scripture during my quiet time this morning I became overwhelmed as I envisioned the Lord on a throne, high and greatly honored. I imagined His kingly robe spread out and filling an entire house...His temple. 

I became overwhelmed with awe of how magnificent and beautiful this vision of God will one day be for my own eyes to see. 

As I gave thanks to God for sharing this promise of my seeing this very thing...I felt the Lord had something more He wanted me to be in awe imagine and to envision about His all encompassing presence.

Is not my entire being designed to be God's house? If I am God's house...than I can expect He is present and sitting high and honored on His throne! I live as though I have His constant presence inside I esteem and honor Him as King over me? 

Even I realize that God's presence cannot be shoved into the small coves of my heart...or occupy only the empty spaces inside my soul? God's presence is far to great and it will surely spread out and fills this house...(me), corner to corner...leaving no space inside of me untouched by His grace...His mercy...His love! 

The Lord also gently reminded me of this...I have been given the Holy Spirit who lives in me. He will guide me and remind me to always treat God's house as divine and holy. The Lord wants me to have only His best...after all... I am the daughter of the King! 

“Or didn’t you realize that your body is a sacred place, the place of the Holy Spirit? Don’t you see that you can’t live however you please, squandering what God paid such a high price for? The physical part of you is not some piece of property belonging to the spiritual part of you. God owns the whole works. So let people see God in and through your body”. ~1 Corinthians 6:19-20 The Message

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Blessed New Year!

“Blessed is the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms in Christ..”  ~ Ephesians 1:3 The Message

To me...the first day of a new year is always a great starting point for beginning a new behavior...a new thought pattern...and to establish the starting point of both my short and long term goals. 
I like it when my ideas and goals are still “new”...or when something exciting and new is about to happen. I love the anticipation and excitement that “new” creates! 
When I am at the beginning of something “new” I’m usually eager to explore it’s hidden beauties and enthralled with all the exciting possibilities that being something “new” promises. I’m often inspired by the new challenges it brings into my life. 
I really, really like things “new”!
However..too often I find my excitement towards the “new”...gets old fast!  My new ideas and my new goals...all fall victim to the same problem a new year falls victim ages
As “new” grows becomes too familiar...and as it grows more familiar...I take for granted that it will still be here tomorrow to achieve or to leave behind...just another day...just another dream, having lost the excitement of being something new.
So...I leave these “old” ideas and goals unfinished and my fickle heart begins to long once again...for something new!

I am sooo thankful that when God “laid down earth’s foundation, he had us in mind, had settled on us as the focus of his love, to be made whole and holy by his love....” (Eph. 1:4). He doesn’t have a fickle heart like mine and leave the work He began in me unfinished! 
In fact...I think God sees each moment with “newness”...and that the passing of time has no negative influence at all in Him. God patiently leads us in the plans He has made for our lives.
He will complete the work He has begun in me...and in you...until it is completed. These plans include our adoption into his family...plans that bring us hope and a home. 
The Lord’s excitement and anticipation with each passing new moment...only grows will never wane or fail to succeed.
Is there any greater blessing than this promise? 
The New Year may not always be as “Happy” as we would desire...but the Christian is blessed in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms (Ephesians 1:3) and can look forward to a “Blessed New Year” no matter what may come their way because we are blessed by God!
May I encourage you...during this new year, you may live nearer to Christ than you have ever done before. Depend upon Jesus, for it is when we think more of Christ...that we are able to think little of ourselves, little of our troubles, and little of the doubts and fears! We will see more clearly God at work in each moment, giving us a portion of His anticipation for the “newness” of each day....and the new days to come! 

“Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and earth had ceased to exist, and the sea existed no more. And I saw the holy city—the new Jerusalem—descending out of heaven from God, made ready like a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying: “Look! The residence of God is among human beings. He will live among them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death will not exist any more—or mourning, or crying, or pain, for the former things have ceased to exist.”
And the one seated on the throne said: “Look! I am making all things new!” Then he said to me, “Write it down, because these words are reliable and true.” He also said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the one who is thirsty I will give water free of charge from the spring of the water of life.” ~  Revelation 21:1-6