Dec 22, 2010

You Want Me to Do What?

Let the Lord's people show Him reverence, for those who
honor Him will have all they need. Those who trust in the
Lord will never lack any good thing. Psalm 34:9,10

Worry reveals that we aren't fully trusting God --- we need to trust God instead of worrying.

When we rely completely on God, we'll stop pleading with Him and begin to thank Him for answering our prayers. The secret to victorious faith is to dwell on the Father's ability to handle our problems. GOD is the Man with the plan, so we need to quit trying to figure everything out.

For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways, declares the Lord. Isaiah 55:8

We don't always have to be so strong, you know. It's ok to let our guard down and be ourselves with God. We need to get over ourselves, and if we want God we need to swallow our pride, ask Him for help and receive it. We have to forget all that in our mind like, 'we have to defend ourselves', and 'we have to take care of ourselves, for no one else will' and instead ASK JESUS to do it.

Now that we know what we have - Jesus, this great High Priest with ready access to God - let's not let it slip through our fingers. We don't have a priest who is out of touch with our reality. He's been through weakness and testing, experienced it all - all but the sin. So let's walk right up to Him and get what He is so ready to give. Take the mercy, accept the help. Hebrews 4:14-16

Every challenge presents an opportunity for the Father to display His faithfulness and love. Instead of yielding to thoughts of fear and failure, we need to make a commitment to trust God, even when we don't know what tomorrow will bring. We may experience failure and life may not always turn out as we planned. But ultimately, God will be glorified and we will be blessed.

The Lord has heard my plea; the Lord will answer my prayer. Psalm 6:9

God doesn't just listen, He listens INTENTLY and answers. So we need to just go ahead and believe God from the get go ... for we know that He always turns out to be right anyway.

We are NEVER beyond Abba Father's reach - He can be trusted. Trust Him.

Prayer: Father, I confess my sins. Help me to focus on You, and completely surrender to Your will. As I pray for the needs in my life, help me to live as if my request has been granted. Help me to cast down thoughts of doubt and fear as they come instead of dwelling on them, and help me to speak Your Word in faith Lord God. In Jesus' name I pray, amen.

Dec 4, 2010

Abiding Rest

O, my precious Savior
to whom I ever cling;
Please take each care and burden
My soul to You does bring.

For there is not one moment
I can live without Your grace;
How I need Your strength and love
Your tender, consoling embrace.

To guide me in each hour
As I know Your plans are best
So I may walk with joyful hope
In Your sweet, abiding rest.

Jennifer Messing
In The Shadow of His Wings

Dec 1, 2010

Yo, Don't Forget to Meditate on God's Word

Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the path of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night. He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither; and whatever he does shall prosper. The ungodly are not so, but are like the chaff which the wind drives away. Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous. For the Lord knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the ungodly shall perish. Psalm 1


This is a beatitude (a statement about life). It's a word of wisdom.

There are two promises here, rewards for our obedience: stability and prosperity. But, there is action required on our part.

God’s plan for growth is to avoid the counsel of foolish individuals. You either walk in the path of the righteousness or the wicked. Notice the comfort level of walking the wicked path: walking, standing, and then sitting. The more you hang with the wicked, the more at home you will feel and eventually just camp out and sit down.

We are to listen to wise counsel. It's found in God's word. His instructions are to meditate on it day and night. If we desire to grow in God and gain wisdom in our walk with Him, we must be in His Word.

The person who soaks in the water of God’s word will become a strong tree, bearing fruit. The wicked are called dry chaff, which will be blown away. We need nutrients and strength, which can only come from the author of life, God Himself.

God’s Word promises that if you stay watered, with your roots firmly planted in Him, no matter what goes on around you, because your inner man is strong, your leaf will not wither. Our hope and trust is in the unwavering, immovable Word of God. Delight in God and allow Him to delight in You. Always remind yourself, when facing opposition, weariness or just a sense of hopelessness, that the Word encourages you to BE STRONG. Whatever you do shall prosper. If you are not prospering, look at what you truly are planted in, make the changes, and you'll prosper.

I want to be the oak by the stream that looks so magnificent because of the constant flow and nourishment from the water and life that surrounds it. I want my life to count for something and prosper in who I am as a believer in Christ.

The Lord “watches over” the righteous. He is with us and is our guide as we seek to bring honor to Him.

Prayer: Father, I thank You for who You are and what You're doing in my life. I can rely on You. You never change and You'll always love me. Fill me with Your joy today and help me to think about You all day long. Bless my day with Your presence. Let my thoughts be thoughts of You. Let my words and actions be pleasing to You. Create in me a desire to make Your Word my strongest delight, and the primary guiding influence in my life. I praise You and thank You for who You are in Jesus' name, amen.

Nov 28, 2010

Update on My Mom's Health

If thou will diligently hearken
to the voice of the Lord thy
God, and will do that which
is right in His sight, and will
give ear to His commandments,
and keep all His statutes, I will
put none of these diseases upon
thee, which I have brought upon
the Equptians: for I am the Lord
that healeth thee. Exodus 15:26

My mom's red blood cell count and platelets have been real low. The doctors say she must be slowly bleeding somewhere but haven't figured out where for sure yet.

Two weeks ago I took her for an endoscopy, and it showed gastritis, which is inflammation of the lining of the stomach. This past week I took her for a colonoscopy, and although the Doctor could only see half of the colon due to mom's spine collapsing a few years ago (so she's scrunched up), it showed that she has Diverticular Disease - which means there's a pouch in her large intestine. The doctor will discuss further details of whether to do more testing at her appointment next week. He did sound pretty sure that the colon is where her loss of blood was coming from.

She's very weak right now, but God's been good to give her faith to go through and He's helped keep her spirits up.

I so appreciate everyone's prayers, we've had such peace as we've gone through this. Please continue to hold my mom (Virginia, 70 yrs. old) in your prayers.

Prayer: Father, I pray that You continue to bring healing, peace & strength to my mom. Give wisdom and direction to the doctors. Thank You that You are her Healer Lord Jesus, Amen.

Nov 27, 2010

How's That Waiting Thing Working Out for You?

Wait for the Lord, be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord. Psalm 27:14 / Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for Him; do not fret when men succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes. Psalm 37:7 / Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. Proverbs 3:5

Don't you just enjoy a nice, long WAIT? Oh, if we could have simple faith in our heavenly Father, that He's going to take care of our needs and rescue us when we need it. So often, we either don't believe He's going to come through for us (and why, because deep down we know He ALWAYS does), or we don't think He's going to do it for us like He would someone else.

What God does IN US while we wait, is as important as WHAT WE ARE WAITING FOR. There's important growth that can only happen to us in these times when we suffer through long periods of waiting. God knows waiting is good for us. AS WE WAIT, He's at work in us ... molding us and shaping us ... maturing us.

The people of Israel wandered in the desert for 40 years. It helped them to grow up. He took away their pride and proved that He would provide for them. God wanted them to reach the Promised Land, but He was more concerned that they arrive PREPARED than that they arrive SOON.

Remember how the Lord your God has led you in the desert for these forty years, taking away your pride and testing you, because He wanted to show what was in your heart. He took away your pride when He let you get hungry and then He fed you with manna, which neither you nor your ancestors had ever seen. This was to teach you that a person does not live by only eating bread, but by everything the Lord says. During these forty years, your clothes did not wear out, and your feet did not swell. Know in your heart that the Lord your God corrects you as a parent corrects a child. Deuteronomy 8:2-4

We need to learn to be PATIENT. Often we want God's resources, but we don't want His timing. We want His hand, but we don't want His calendar. We forget His work in us while we wait, which is as important as what we're waiting for. We must learn to trust that God knows what He's doing.

Maybe you're single and you feel a legitimate longing for intimacy. You're tired of being alone. Waiting is so hard and maybe there's a relationship at your fingertips that promises to take that loneliness away but you know that it's not honoring to God. You know in your heart this isn't the right person for you ... but you are tempted to think, I've been waiting long enough. I'm going to reach out for whatever satisfaction I can get in this life and worry about the consequences later. But when we're faced with times like this we must find the courage to WAIT on God and to be patient and trust His timing to say, Ok God, I will take You at Your Word. I will not get mixed up with a relationship that I know would dishonor You and bring damage to the souls of those involved. Even though I don't know what tomorrow holds and even though I sometimes feel like nobody in this world understands how painful it is to be alone, I will trust You. I will wait. (FYI - I'm not looking for anyone, this is an example.)

Maybe you've been ill for a long time, and you've almost exhausted yourself at the feet of Jesus, waiting for the illness, pain and suffering to lift. Know that God works all things together for good and He's not only going to manifest the healing that He's already provided for you, He's going to bring some other good things from that trial as well ... like the fact that people are encouraged when you go through instead of giving up, and giving you compassion to pray for others in similiar situations. (FYI - I am awaiting healing in several areas of my health.)

We may be tempted to take things into our own hands, but we must learn to trust our God, to say with the Psalmist, I trust in You, O Lord; I say, 'You are my God.' My times are in Your hands (Psalm 31:14,15). We must cling to Jesus' promise in Luke 18:7 where He said, God will always give what is right to His people who cry to Him night and day, and He will not be slow [according to His perfect timing] to answer them. When we experience seemingly endless times of waiting we need the patience of the man who prayed, God, I cannot grasp Your mind, but with my whole heart I trust Your love.

We need to be HUMBLE. To wait for someone is to realize that I'm not in control. I'm not calling the shots; the timing is not up to me. To grow in times of waiting on God we must remember that we are not in charge. We're the creature. He is the Creator. He is the Potter. We are the clay. This is the principle that Proverbs 3:34 refers to when it says that God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble. It's right that we should wait on Him for when we trust God with this kind of quiet humility we are saying that we understand that He is able to take care of us in the waiting times. God's God and we're not. He sees the big picture and we can't.

We need to have an inextinguishable HOPE. Hope believes that things will get better eventually. It gives us the strength to endure until tomorrow again and again. Romans 5:3-5 says, Suffering produces perseverance; perseverance produces character, and character produces hope. Hope is the fuel that keeps a person going in tough times. While waiting, we need to act on what we know, obeying God as though we can see the outcome. When we do this we become more confident in His instruction, more hope filled people.

Thomas Merton wrote, 'The more we seek God in daily prayer; the more we study His Word; the more we trust Him enough to follow His commands ... the more we see that He is worthy of our trust and then the more hopeful we can be - even in times of waiting.

We don't get to know God and then do His will. We get to know Him more deeply BY DOING His will. We enter into an active relationship with Him. And in this relationship we develop a faith that is ... sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see (Hebrews 11:1), a faith that is confident that He who began a good work [in our lives] will carry it on to completion no matter how long it takes (Philippians 1:6).

Wait ... patiently. For it's in the waiting that we gain our strength (Isaiah 40:31).

Prayer: Father, I pray that even though I may be having a tough time waiting on You, You will help me to find peace in Your timing and Your ways. Give me the hope and the strength that I need to continue, and to make right choices. Help me not to grow weary in well doing. In Jesus' name, amen.

Nov 26, 2010

Gotta Look Out

Keep and guard your heart with all vigilance and above all that you guard, for out of it flow the springs of life. The heart is where life starts. Don't talk out of both sides of your mouth; avoid careless banter, white lies, and gossip. Keep your eyes straight ahead; ignore all sideshow distractions. Watch your step, and the road will stretch out smooth before you. Look neither right nor left; leave evil in the dust. Proverbs 4:23-27

As I was spending time with the Lord in the Word the other morning, I remembered a time a few years back when my friend's son was little. I'll come as close as I can to remembering the story right.

He had a computer that he used a lot and my friend was concerned about the things he might be exposed to. One day, she came in, sat down at the computer, and typed one little suggestive word on the keyboard, just to see what might come up. She said that the thing went crazy, pulling up all kinds of websites, tons of pop ups and instant messaging some of the vilest things she had ever seen. She tried everything she could to get the things to close, but the more she tried to 'x' out the more popped up. She wondered how all this could come from one little word. It had grown so vast, she could no longer control it or get rid of it.

Panicked, she sat on the floor crying and called out for her husband. He ran in and asked what was wrong, and as she tried through the tears to explain what happened, he ran to the outlet and just pulled the plug on the computer.

She was frustrated and angry that the world could have that much influence over her son with just typing one word.

Though she pled the Blood of Jesus over her mind and cast down the thoughts and visuals when they came to mind, she just couldn't get some of the pictures off her mind. She imagined what it must be like for a young, vulnerable, inquistitive child.

The Lord instructed my friend to pray the Psalm below every day for a month after this situation happened.

Psalm 101

I will sing of Your love and justice: to You, O Lord, I will sing praise.
I will be careful to lead a blameless life - when will You come to me?
I will walk in my house with a blameless heart.
I will set before my eyes no vile thing.
The deeds of the faithless men I hate; they will not cling to me.
Men of perverse heart shall be far from me; I will have nothing to do with evil.
Whoever slanders his neighbor in secret, him will I put to silence.
Whoever has haughty eyes and a proud heart, him will I not endure.
My eyes will be on the faithful in the land, that they may dwell with me;
He whose walk is blameless will minister to me.
No one who practices deceit will dwell in my house;
No one who speaks falsely will stand in my presence.
Every morning I will put to silence all the wicked in the land;
I will cut off every evildoer from the city of the Lord.

Guard your heart from compromise people. We need to be careful of the sin that we let creep in. The things that we think are no big deal or just this one time. The things that we watch on TV. The things that we listen to on the radio - the music with suggestive words. The tweets that we read and send. The billboards that we see. All the tings that we think are okay or seem so innocent. All that we put through our eye gates and ears affects our soul, in one way or another. One thing usually leads to another.

Be careful what you put before you.

Prayer: Father, I pray that you guard our eyes, hearts and spirits. Protect us and our families from things that we shouldn't see, divinely if You have to. Lead us not into temptation. Strengthen us according to Your Word, that we might not sin against you. May we not compromise. Help us to just say no. In Jesus' name, amen.

Nov 20, 2010

Please Keep My Mom in Your Prayers

Jesus was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon Him; and with His stripes we are healed. Isaiah 53:5

My mom's red blood cell count and platelets have been real low. The doctors say she must be slowly bleeding somewhere but haven't figured out where yet. The only thing they've suggested it might be is cancer.

I took her for an endoscopy this past Wednesday and all it showed was gastritis. I'm praying that it might have been her stomach bleeding and that the Lord healed it, thus not showing on the test. She's going back in for a colonoscopy next week. After that will be a bone marrow test. I so appreciate your prayers and please keep praying for healing and strength. FYI - she's 70 yrs old and her name is Virginia.

Prayer: Father, I pray that You continue to bring healing, peace & strength to my mom. Give wisdom and direction to the doctors. Thank You that You are our Healer, Lord Jesus.

Sep 23, 2010

Shoot – We Ain't Got No Reason to be Fearin'

Be not afraid, neither be dismayed,
for the Lord is with us wherever we go.
Joshua 1:9

The presence of God in our lives helps us overcome fear. If we know by faith that God is with us, we can take on any challenge with confidence and courage. The basis for not fearing is simply this: God is with us. We may not always feel God's presence, but we can trust God's Words and remember that He'll never leave us.

Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff they comfort me. Psalm 23:4

We have a big job to do (spreading the Word) but don't let it intimidate you – fear not.

For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. 2 Timothy 1:7

God is trustworthy – we don't have to know what He's going to do, simply knowing He's with us is more than enough.

Trust in the LORD with all your heart; and lean not on your own understanding. Proverbs 3:5

Fear is a spirit that produces feelings like sweaty palms or butterflies – but to 'fear not' means to do what you need to do anyway. Do what God's called you to do – even if you're afraid. When fear attacks, just go ahead and do what God's telling you to do anyway. I think it was Joyce Meyer that said to simply – do it afraid.

Meditate on scriptures from the Word of God on peace and on God's love when you feel afraid or are facing an overwhelming situation. God's Word will strengthen you to keep pressing forward, no matter how you feel.

Fear used to come against me so strong when I had heart trouble that it would literally consume me. I told the Lord, I'm rebuking the fear, telling it to go. I know I have authority, how come it's still here paralyzing me? The Lord gave me such a simple answer, 'You're telling the fear to go, but you're NOT BELIEVING it's gone when you command it to. BELIEVE!'

Don't be afraid. I am with you. Don't tremble with fear. I am your God. I will make you strong, as I protect you with my arm and give you victories. I am the LORD your God. I am holding your hand, so don't be afraid. I am here to help you. Isaiah 41:10,13

God just loves us SO much, you know – no matter what.

Prayer: Father God, my Lord, You are just SO amazing. I humble myself before You and worship Your holy name. I pray that You bring peace to us and our situations. Help us to know who we are in You. Help us to receive the perfect love that You have for us, that casts out fear. Give us grace & confidence as you perform Your will through us. In Jesus' name, Amen.

Aug 2, 2010


Philippians 2:10,11 - At the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

In his letter to the Philippians, Paul tells us that one day every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.

One day, everyone in every corner of the world will recognize His power and authority over everything. Either willingly or unwillingly, everyone will one day admit that Jesus is God and Master over all.

Don't wait - bow your heart and life to Jesus and confess that He is Lord.

Prayer: Father, I pray that You woo us by way of the Holy Spirit. Lead us to repentance. Draw us close to You. Help us to call You Lord and Savior, for You are worthy. Give us grace to follow You and to be obedient. We submit ourselves to You, completely and relinquish control. In Jesus name, Amen.

Jul 23, 2010

Just Praise Him - That's It

Psalm 37:4 - Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires and secret petitions of your heart.

I told the Lord yesterday that I was tired of begging for things that I'm believing for. He told me, 'stop begging and start praising for the answer, its on its way'.

I told the Lord I felt like a wall is put up to stop me every time I try to do something. He reminded me the 'wall of Jerico' fell with praise.

No matter how thick your 'wall of Jerico' is, it's gonna fall.

So ... I'm praising and forgetting all that other stuff.

Psalm 27:13,14 - I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and He will strengthen your heart: wait, I say, on the Lord.

Do not give up - your miracle is in the works.

Prayer: Father, give us strength to praise You, especially when we don't feel like it. You are so worthy of our praise, whether You ever do anything past salvation for us or not. Thank You for working and moving in our lives. In Jesus' name, Amen.

Jul 14, 2010

You Might Fool People, but You Don't Fool God

Romans 2:13-16 - For merely listening to the law doesn't make us right with God. It is obeying the law that makes us right in His sight. Even Gentiles, who do not have God's written law, show that they know His law when they instinctively obey it, even without having heard it. They demonstrate that God's law is written in their hearts, for their own conscience and thoughts either accuse them or tell them they are doing right. And this is the message I proclaim - that the day is coming when God, through Christ Jesus, will judge everyone's secret life.

If you have to hide to do something, it may be wrong, inappropriate or dishonest.

Sometimes people get so caught up in their lies they don't remember who they told what - it can be exhausting trying to keep it all straight. You can end up with self-deception & you wind up not really knowing what the truth is yourself & you loose a piece of yourself.

What's wrong with just being yourself and letting people make their own decision about whether to like you or not? Sometimes we don't even give people a chance, don't give them much credit.

Isn't it time to let the 'image' you've made of yourself go?

People have been thru so much hurt & pain, so why would so-called friends want to put you through more?

God sees all and knows all.

Ephesians 5:12 - For it's shameful to even mention what the disobedient do in secret.

Matthew 10:26 - So do not be afraid of them. There is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known.

Prayer: Father, help us to be the type of person that You would want us to be. Help us to be the type of friend to others that we expect from them. Help us to be open and honest, not telling or spreading lies about ourselves or others. Guard our lips to only speak the truth. GIve us grace, Lord. Forgive us if we've hurt others with the stories we make up, and help us not to do it anymore. In Jesus' name, Amen.

Jul 9, 2010

Why Can't We Hear? *

Surely the arm of the Lord is not too short to save, nor his ear too dull to hear. But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden His face from you, so that he will not hear. Is 59:1,2.
Sometimes there is so much "noise" in our lives that God simply can't hear us. But wait a minute. We're talking about the Almighty God, here. What could possibly plug up His ears so that He can't hear?

Sometimes we plug God's ears with our sins. Often we come to Him, expecting Him to hear us and answer our prayers but we aren't willing to let go of the things that are keeping us apart, that are keeping Him from being able to hear us!

And just what are those 'things'? Pretty much any sin will do, but the book of Ezekiel offers further insight: 'Son of man, these men have set up idols in their hearts and put wicked stumbling blocks before their faces. Should I let them inquire of me at all?' Eze 14:3
Is there something that you put in a higher place than God? Do your priorities always reflect a "God first" attitude? Is there something you just aren't willing to let go of? If so, then it is causing interference, and God simply can't hear you. If it seems God isn't answering your prayers, search your hearts for pet sins and for "other gods".

But what if that sincere heart search comes up empty? What if there aren't any pet sins or "other gods" in your life, and you know God hears you? Why, then, can't you hear His voice?

The reason we often can't hear Him is that there is so much interference in our lives. The interference is sometimes caused by worry and sometimes by stress.

Sometimes it is caused by our personal desires or the fact that we are focusing on our problems instead of on Jesus. But whatever the cause, He hears us and He answers us, but something keeps us from understanding His voice.

So what's the solution? Move closer to the person you're speaking to. Turn your ears towards His mouth, cupp your hand around your ear, and put your full concentration into listening.

What happens? You'll eventually understand what He's trying to tell you!

When you can't hear God's voice, you need to move closer to Him. You need to focus your attention on Him and Him alone. You need to focus your faith on Him, forgetting the problems all around you, ever believing that He will come through with an answer. You need to push aside your personal desires and be willing to let Him lead in your life. Only then will His voice begin to resound, crystal clear.

Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Heb. 12:2

Prayer: Father, help us to slow down & listen for Your voice. We choose to lay down things we've put before You. Forgive us for our sins. Speak to our hearts, Lord & help us to understand what You're saying. Help us to be willing & obedient. In Jesus' name, Amen.
* via Lyn Chaffart (except 4 prayer)

Jun 1, 2010

God's Training Camp

For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. Ephesians 2:10

God's preparing you for the ministry He has for you. He works at both ends of the process - in your life to prepare you for a unique role of service, and He's preparing ahead of time the work He'll give you. In His timing, of course. So wherever you are right now is God's training camp for future service.

Joseph's prison term prepared him to be God's man on Egypt's throne. Moses' years in Pharaoh's court equipped him for his tasks as leader of Israel. For years Joshua served as Moses' aide, and Elisha did the same for Elijah; God was preparing them both as successors. Paul's years in Arabia were readying him for years of missionary service. Even Jesus experienced an extended period of preparation in the carpenter's shop of Nazareth.

Wherever you are right now, God is giving you experiences that are training you for future service. It may be over a long period of time or only a few minutes, but He equips us with what we need to serve Him.

Think of your circumstances today as God's training camp.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, things get so overwhelming sometimes. So often nothing seems to go right and we just get frustrated. Help us not to grow weary or despise small beginnings. Renew our hope today, Lord and remind us that You're in charge of our lives if we've submitted ourselves to You - so there's no reason to worry anymore. Help us not to sweat the small stuff. In Jesus' name, Amen.

May 18, 2010

Prescription for Depression

As the deer longs for streams of water, so I long for you, O God. I thirst for God, the living God. When can I go and stand before Him? Day and night I have only tears for food, while my enemies continually taunt me, saying 'Where is this God of yours?' My heart is breaking as I remember how it used to be: I walked among the crowds of worshippers, leading a great procession to the house of God, singing for joy and giving thanks amid the sound of a great celebration! Why am I discouraged? Why is my heart so sad? I will put my hope in God! I will praise Him again - my Savior and my God! Now I am deeply discouraged, but I will remember You - even from Mount Hermon, the source of the Jordan, from the land of Mount Mizar. I hear the tumult of the raging seas as Your waves and surging tides sweep over me. But each day the Lord pours His unfailing love upon me, and through each night I sing His songs, praying to God who gives me life. 'O God my Rock,' I cry, 'Why have You forgotten me? Why must I wander around in grief, oppressed by my enemies?' Their taunts break my bones. They scoff, 'Where is this God of yours?' Why am I discouraged? Why is my heart so sad? I will put my hope in God! I will praise Him again - my Savior and my God! Psalm 42

Life can be hard on us and when things don't happen the way we want them to or expect them to, we can get very disappointed. As a result of the disappointment, we get discouraged. Left unchecked, that discouragement turns into depression, which is anger turned inward.

The cure for depression is a prescription plan that the Lord gave me based on the Psalm above:

Pill 1 - hope in God, not man

Pill 2 - remember what God's done previously for you

Pill 3 - praise Him

Pill 4 - encourage yourself

Following this prescription, we can put depression in it's place, often before it even begins. If you are battling with life's experiences and find yourself in a state of depression, odds are you are an encourager. For the enemy throws the opposite of what we are at us.

It's time we start encouraging ourselves like we do others. We all need to be uplifted sometimes.

Prayer: You are the lifter of our heads, Lord (Ps 3:3), so I pray that You help us, Father, to put on the garment of praise for the spirit of mourning and heaviness (Is 61:3), to arise from the depression and prostration that circumstances have kept us - help us to rise to a new life (Is 60:1) and I pray that You rejoice over us with Your joy, oh Lord (Zeph 3:17). Thank You that weeping only remains for a night - joy does come in the morning (Ps 30:5). Help us to praise You, Lord, whether we feel like it or not - for You are always worthy of our praise. In Jesus' name, Amen.

Need someone to talk to?  National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255)

May 12, 2010

Do You Hate Yourself?

If we don't forgive - God does this: Matthew 6:14,15 - For if you forgive people their trespasses [their reckless and willful sins, leaving them, letting them go, and giving up resentment], your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their trespasses [their reckless and willful sins, leaving them, letting them go, and giving up resentment], neither will your Father forgive you your trespasses.

If we don't forgive - the enemy does this: 2 Corinthians 2:10,11 - If you forgive someone, I will also forgive them. For if indeed I have forgiven anything, I have forgiven that one for your sakes in the presence of Christ, lest Satan should take advantage of us; for we know very well what his plans are.

We are commanded in the Word to love one another, but I ask you, do you love yourself, or do you hate yourself?

When I first got saved, the Lord brought me through deliverance of many things. When He started walking me through forgiveness, I heard a sermon on it. Like I try to do with all sermons, I wanted to apply it to myself. So I asked the Lord who I needed to forgive.

I wasn't expecting the answer I got, 'yourself'. Ok. Had never even heard of that before. So many don't know that we need to forgive ourselves. But as the Holy Spirit started ministering to me, I realized that I hated myself. So how in the world could I forgive myself? I had hated myself so much and what I had become that I didn't even clean the mirrors in my house, for I couldn't stand to look at myself. I sure couldn't look in my eyes, 'cause they are the windows to the soul. And it just wasn't very pretty what I'd see.

After the Lord revealed to me that I needed to forgive myself, I reluctantly chose to, by an act of my free will (not my feelings, because I didn't want to) to forgive myself. The Lord then led me to stand in His Presence for a minute to actually receive that forgiveness. I felt such a weight lift from off my shoulders, I couldn't believe it. Coming to Him and asking for forgiveness set me free. Period.

All these years I've subconsciously been trying to punish myself by hating myself and holding on to the guilt. I was trying to make up for the work that Jesus had already done at the Cross for me. That work was enough, Jesus didn't need my help. Jesus became the guilt offering for me, so I don't have to carry around all that guilt and condemnation for all my sins and wrong choices that I've made in life. Since Jesus did all the work for me at the Cross, who am I to say I can't forgive myself?

The Word actually says that we are loosed to the tormentors when we don't forgive (see Matthew 18:21-35). I've felt that torment and at times through my spritual eyes could see it. It's scary. And the enemy has plans to use us not forgiving ourselves to cause us harm and all sorts of pain and anguish. Some cut themselves. Some commit suicide. Some abuse others. All trying to relieve the feelings of torment from within.

We even wear masks to make us look different to people, thus more acceptable. Sometimes we wear too much makeup, or hang our hair over our eyes, or pretend to be something that we're not, all because we're hoping that people don't see what we believe to be the ugly inside if they could really see us/knew us.

We forgive others every day. Can we not do the same for ourselves? Isn't it time we forgive ourselves, and let ourselves off the hook? For whom the Son sets free, is free indeed!

Prayer: Help us, Lord to see ourselves as You see us. We choose to lay down our anger, bitterness, resentment, self-hatred, guilt, condemnation, and shame for ourselves and wear the robe of righteousness that you have provided for us when we give our life to You. We choose to forgive ourselves. I love You, Lord. And thank You for helping me to be able to face myself, live with myself, and love myself in a healthy way, 'cause it's been a long time coming. For once in my life, I want to live.

May 10, 2010

Step Away ... from that Stale Cracker!

John 8:36 - If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.

When we become involved with someone, we form ties, called soul ties, with them. A soul tie is a tie or a bond between two people in the realm of the soul, which is the mind, will and emotions. There can be good soul ties - that are healthy, and bad soul ties - which can be very destructive.

We have a soul tie with everyone we've slept with and those in close non-sexual proximity, too.

Godly soul ties are those in which we lift up and encourage each other and not put down, abuse, take advantage of, or control each other. These are healthy relationships.

And then there's the ungodly soul ties. Maybe you got involved with a person that abused you, controlled you, kept you from your family and friends. Or maybe you were molested/raped or had some other type of bad experience with someone.

Maybe you've split up with a person that wasn't abusive, maybe they were good and you messed up. Or you both mutually decided to go your separate ways or divorce. Or maybe they passed away.

If you have ungodly soul ties in your life, you need to break them now. For those who have been raped - the soul ties need to be broken now. For every person you've ever sleep with, if you're not in a godly relationship with them right now, it needs to be broken. No need to hold on to that person or persons any more. It's safe to let them go.

For bad soul ties, if God's delivered you from a relationship with someone, don't lower yourself by driving by their house to see who the new 'miss thang' is in their driveway now. You're not just belittling yourself, you might be keeping soul ties attached that way, that you need to be cutting and leaving severed.

Keep it real ... you'll be fine without that person that hurt you. No need to reminess or hope for the way it used to be. If God's removed someone from your life, let that stale cracker go! Remembering those few little good things about the relationship or feeding thoughts that 'it really wasn't all that bad' or longings for them can open a door the Lord probably wants to remain closed. And it can unintentionally cause you to go running back. Don't do it!

Quit dredging up that old stuff. Step away from that stale cracker. God's got something new for you, but you have to let go of that old thing first. Were they really all that great, anyway? Were they ... not working, unattentive, abusive, rude, demeaning ... PLEASE, PEOPLE ... don't go back to that! Believe better of yourself than that. If you keep going back, you're basically abusing yourself just as much as they were.

Seemingly innocent conversations, sharing intimate vulnerable details and becoming emotionally dependent on a person and always thinking about them and thinking that you can't live without them are all signs that you need to step back and re-evaluate your relationship with that particular person.

Be careful who you hang around and be careful who you share your heart with.

Proverbs 4:23 - Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.

Prayer: Father, in the name of Jesus we pray that by way of Your Holy Spirit You bring to our remembrance anyone that we need to break a soul tie with. We call out each name to You, Lord and we break that soul tie with _________ in the name of Jesus. We pray that the tie stays severed and that we don't try to go back to try to reattach them. We believe in You, Lord and trust You and Your judgement as far as who to let into our hearts and lives and who not to. Thank You, Lord for protecting us and keeping us from getting involved to deep with those You don't want us to. In Jesus' name, Amen.

May 3, 2010

He Heals Us ... Anyway!

Isaiah 57:18,19 (NLT) - I have seen what they do, but I will heal them anyway! I will lead them and comfort those who mourn.Then words of praise will be on their lips. May they have peace, both near and far, for I will heal them all, says the Lord.
For those of us who think we deserve where we're at or what we're experiencing because of what we've done ... we need to take the above scriptures to heart and receive them personally for ourself.

It's the Lord speaking in these scriptures, and He wants us to know that He hasn't forgotten us or left us to wallow in the mess we've made for ourself.

Instead of saying 'you made your bed, so lie in it', our unfailing, merciful, loving Father wants us to know that because we're His, He's going to rescue us out of that in which we've gotten ourselves in to, and He's going to heal us and give us peace ... anyway ... even though we may have put our on selves in the position we're

A good friend of mine wrestled with guilt for years because she married a man that she knew the Lord was telling her not to. She suffered years of torment and abuse at that mans hand that could have been avoided if only she had obeyed the voice of the Lord.

Thank God, just like these scriptures say, even though she disobeyed and got herself into the situation that she was in, the Lord had mercy and compassion on her ... and got her out. He's since brought her much needed healing and peace. Now she's free ... and the words of praise are on her lips.

We serve a loving and compassionate God, and when we submit ourselves to Him, He restores us, bringing healing into our lives. He’s gonna take that bad situation, turn it around, and use it for good.

In verse 20 of the same chapter, it says that for those who choose to still reject the Lord, they'll be like the restless sea, and they will have no peace.

I received this word from the Lord on Sunday, and I shared it with the friend mentioned above just before we went into the prison in Dayton to do the chapel service. The Lord led her to share this with the inmates and I believe that they can identify with this because so many beat theirselves up and live with guilt and believe that they deserve the punishment of being in prison for what they did to get there ... maybe according to the law, but God STILL forgives and restores - regardless.

Our sweet, Heavenly Father's gonna love us out.

It's time we forgive ourselves, let it go and move forward from here.

Prayer: We humble ourselves before You this day, Lord. Thank You so much, my Almighty Father, for loving us out and for taking the Holy Ghost broom to clean up our messes and to right the wrong decisions we've made in life. Thank You for healing us despite ourselves and giving us peace. Help us choose to forgive ourselves and move on. Amen.

Apr 26, 2010

He Anoints Us

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my [brimming] cup runs over. Psalm 23:5

There was a note about this scripture in my Amplified Bible. It says:

It is difficult for those living in a temperate climate to appreciate, but it was customary in hot climates to anoint the body with oil to protect it from excessive perspiration. When mixed with perfume, the oil imparted a delightfully refreshing and invigorating sensation. Athletes anointed their bodies as a matter of course before running a race.

As the body, therefore, anointed with oil was refreshed, invigorated, and better fitted for action, so the Lord would anoint His "sheep" with the Holy Spirit, Whom oil symbolizes, to fit them to engage more freely in His service and run in the way He directs--in heavenly fellowship with Him.

Prayer: Thank You, Lord for covering us with Your blessed Holy Spirit. We need all the preparation and protection that we can get. I love You, Lord. You're my life. In Jesus' name, amen.


Apr 22, 2010

God Really Does Come Through

The Lord is my Shepherd {to feed, guide, and shield me},
I shall not lack. Psalm 23:1

The Lord really is our Shepherd. Not the government, our spouse, our job, our paycheck (or lack there of), or our bank account. HE alone supplies all our needs. And, it's up to Him what avenue it comes.

Because He's our Shepherd, we have everything we need. We don't have to be moved by the changing times or economy. The Word says that even in the time of famine, we won't lack anything (Psalm 37:19).

Prayer: Thank You, Lord for Your perfect peace, especially right in the middle of all the turmoil of uncertainty. It's good to know that You're still on the Throne and still in control. I so appreciate the way that You take care of me, and thank You in advance that You always will. Bless us, Lord. And help us to use appropriately what You bless us with. Amen.

Apr 19, 2010

Can He Really Do It?

Romans 8:28 - And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose for them.

So can He? Can God really do it? Can He really cause everything to work for our good? Such an awesome scripture of hope, that even if we're in a bad place right now, the Lord IS going to have good come from it if we're His.

So many studies have been done on this scripture, in part because so much comes against us and we need someone or something to give us hope. Only God can turn our messes into masterpieces. With that in mind, looks like I'm going to have a lot of art work lying around, 'cause there's so much overwhelming me and coming against me right now. The Lord led me to this passage this am when I asked for a scripture of hope for what I'm facing right now.

God has a plan and a purpose for each of our lives. Don't doubt Him. He can make something good come from your situation. Don't spend your time trying to figure out what God is going to do. Just make sure you recognize it when He does it.

He cleans up our messes. Don't go by what you see ... go by what you know ... your God loves you and will never leave you. To God be the glory that delights in His children and wants to pull us from our ashes.

Lean on the Father ... He can be trusted.

Prayer: Thank You, my Lord, for the stillness of Your presence. It quietens the storms that are within. I pray that You help us all to hold on while You are working everything out to bring us victory over the enemy. Help us not to grow weary.

Apr 18, 2010

Are You Willing?

Esther 4:14 - If you keep quiet at a time like this, deliverance for the Jews will arise from some other place, but you and your relatives will die. What's more, who can say but that you have been elevated to the palace for just such a time as this?

We all have a calling. We all have our area of the world, big or small, that we can impact. We must see that God loves us all and is using us, even at this very moment, if we're His and willing.

The word 'elevated' in the verse above stands out for me ... we have been placed in the positions of authority that we are in because of our Lord. Whether it be minister, parent, boss, older sibling, the person in our friends group that people look to for leadership, the librarian that checks out books. Whatever place you're in, the Lord put you there. Will that position be wasted?

This is the question that the Lord woke me up with, burning in my heart ... 'are you willing, Michelle?' I told Him to help me, that I was scared, but that I was willing.

Are you willing to go the extra mile to further His Kingdom, so that you can take a part in His will being done? We may not always understand His leading or have all the answers, but we serve a God who knows all and that we can trust with everything that is in us. Surrender your all to Him, and don't look back, for you've been summonded here by God, my friend, for such a time as this.

Do it ... afraid.

Prayer: Help us, Lord, to be willing to follow Your voice and do Your will, despite our fears and questions. Calm us with Your love as You lead us. May Your Kingdom come on earth as it is in Heaven. Amen.