Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Night Watches

I woke up from a dead sleep the other night. I felt God wanted me to pray. There was nothing in particular bothering me. (Because it was about me I am ashamed to admit!) I rolled over and went back to sleep only to be awakened again a short time later. Being the spiritual person I am ~I again wanted to go back to sleep.
"It's an invitation" the Spirit whispered. So I went to my knees and the reward was mine :)


The Lord had me praying for people very far away. I couldn't see their faces but someone was crying out to God and He had invited me to join with them in prayer. I sensed the urgency of their need as the Spirit again spoke "They are fighting for (or over) water." In my mind I saw the dryness of the land.


I take water for granted. I turn on a faucet and water shows up right on schedule. But what if there was no water? Not just at the faucet, what if there was no water for miles. What if when you did find water it was dirty and contaminated. What if your cup held death instead of life.
Water will not only be a tangible reminder to pray those who struggle for every drop of the life giving liquid. But also a reminder that God prompts us to pray for a reason. Accept the invitation!


Blessings,


Thankfulheart

After posting this I went on line to see if there was a more tangible way to help.
http://www.waterwellsforafrica.com/theneed.html

Monday, July 12, 2010

Complaint Department

WOW! Reading through the bible in 90 days is almost too fast to go through the Word. There are so many treasures and I want to dig them all up and have a look but there just isn't time. Occasionally a segment of scripture will jump out at you, almost as if it were electrified in some way and you have to stop and visit there for a while because you know you have stumbled upon something that's meant for your heart and not just for your eyes. Exodus 16:7&8 was that little chunk of wisdom that needed to soak down into my heart this week.
..."for the LORD hears your complaints which you make against Him. And what are we? Your complaints are not against us but against the LORD.”

ALL of those little complaints I harbor against the slow waitress, the thoughtless driver, the cranky child in the theatre, the rude person at the grocery store -verbalized or not - those complaints are really complaints against God! God sovereignly placed each of those people in my life for His purpose.
His purpose is to produce good fruit in my spirit and each of those people (and circumstances) was strategically placed along my path by a loving God to produce a bumper crop of love, joy, peace, long -suffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,gentleness & self-control in my life. Did I mention long-suffering and self-control?

Scripture is always an accurate mirror reflecting the true condition of our hearts. Our complaints against others (especially God's elect) truly are complaints against God! What I need to remember and what the Children of Israel tended to forget was that giving into the weakness of the flesh to complain against others travels directly to the ears of God! That to me is a very sobering thought!
Blessings,

Monday, July 5, 2010

El Roi

Today was the first day of the Reading Through the Bible in 90 Days Challenge. These first 16 chapters of Genesis reminded me of the thoughtful blueprint for creation that starts at Genesis 1:1 and reveals the relational nature of God as He lovingly creates a habitation for Adam and Eve; beautiful garden not just for them to enjoy and care for but a place for The LORD of all creation to walk in and visit along with the couple of His creation.
As I finished up my daily reading -chapter sixteen grabbed my heart. The story of the outcast, unwanted Haggar touched me so deeply. I found it easy to relate to this woman who wondered at times if God really saw her.
She gave this name to the LORD who spoke to her: "You are the God who sees me," for she said "I have now seen". The One Who Sees Me (Genesis 16:13)
.Haggar had met El Roi at the point of her greatest need and over the past couple of months I too have been touched deeply by the knowledge that God sees me and hears my voice at the point of my greatest need. He is El Roi-the God Who Sees Me.
Blessings

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Faith Like Jacob

I don't have many words these days, though I have tried to write on several occasions. I am in an introspective mood. I feel like Jacob wrestling with God. I CAN'T, I just can't let go until I receive the blessing!
There are things that God has promised and God will deliver on those promises-in His time. God's timing is very rarely~ okay God's timing is never~ my timing but it is nice to know all I have to do is endure in the race, to press in and press on! If God has promised He will deliver on His promises and nothing can keep them from coming to pass but I need to pace myself in this race.
The danger is getting discouraged along the way, loosing sight of the victory. Jacob didn't do that. He grabbed on for dear life and refused to give up! Jacob held on through fatigue and injury keeping a death grip on God and as a result he received God's blessing. For Jacob that blessing meant a new identity in God.
The enemy is going to be most active the closer I get to the goal. The track is laid out before me but that doesn't mean he isn't going to throw obstacles my way. The closer I get to the goal, the more he has to lose! So whatever it is you are believing God for press on in faith and don't let go! God is faithful.
Blessings,



Thursday, April 15, 2010

Little Things

Then Jesus asked, "What is the kingdom of God like? What shall I compare it to? It is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his garden. It grew and became a tree, and the birds of the air perched in its branches."
Little things really are important. The little things we do can can make a big difference in the lives of others. What small thing can I do today to bless someone else?
Blessings,

Monday, April 12, 2010

Doctor !Doctor!

How often I am the little girl who climbs up on my Daddy's lap. The last few days have been "Daddy's lap" days for me.
I have been struggling for some time with discouragement. I have had no joy in my life and prayer has been difficult for me.
When we are sick we often have symptoms that prompt us to go to the doctor. The doctor asks us about the symptoms we are experiencing
but he understands that symptoms are not the problem. The symptoms are clues that help the doctor to diagnose the underlying ailment.
"My symptoms Doctor, are that I am not happy and I have no joy. I am finding it hard to pray and when I do it seems my prayers are so self-centered. Doctor, I feel like I'm just going through the motions. What is my problem?"
Thankfully my Daddy is a doctor and a very good one at that. His answers are always the right ones but not what I want to hear at times.
" Child, I have promised you joy. It's right here if you want it, you know that. I love you. I have never withheld any good thing from you. Perhaps you feel you are entitled to feel the way you do? You can hang on to those feelings if you'd like to. If you would you rather wear the apron of a martyr or the bandages of the wounded than this beautiful crown of joy that choice will always be yours to make. I'll wait right here.

I have to wonder though if you have any idea how much I would like to see you walk in joy?
Let me ask you a question Child, be honest now, do you really want this gift I am offering you? It is yours, but you have to want it enough to reach out and take it. I have so much more for you too, you have no idea what is waiting here and now! Will open you open your heart and receive? Be courageous Little One and see what the mighty arm of God can do!"
Blessings!

Monday, March 29, 2010

I Got Me a New Attitude!

Easter for me this year is bittersweet because I so vividly remember where I was this time last year. Passion week last year found me at an all time low and yet God visited me in a way most miraculous.
I have at times set my focus on the circumstances of life letting my own emotions drag me down instead of believing that God was actively at work in my life, even when there was no outward evidence of it. Instead of adjusting the set of my emotional sails accordingly, I allowed myself to slip into despair, like a ship set a drift in a storm. The result was not only disastrous for me but brought others down with me.
I have since learned how destructive it is to let others control my behavior. As a mother and a professing Christian I need to keep a positive mindset. I am not talking about positive thinking for the sake of positive thinking either -but actually walking by faith -not by sight and passing off a tangible life skill to my children in the process!
As much as is possible I am resolved to keep my focus on the many blessings God has bestowed on me! I want to leave my children with the memory of a Philippians 4 mom. A mom who was strong enough to overcome the obstacles in life but who was gentle, gracious and kind. I want to teach my children how to love the roses of life without being mortally wounded by the thorns. .
We all encounter negative situations and negative people. I will however no longer allow myself to be weighed down by the negative mindset of others. Negative attitudes are very contagious and if I am not very careful I become a conduit that passes bad attitudes on to others!
Philippians 4: 4-8 is a Biblical mandate that tells me not only how to change, to be transformed by the renewing of my mind, but is insistent that I must change my mindset. It is my reasonable service, not contingent upon how I feel. I am to rejoice in the midst of my circumstances even when they are unpleasant. The only way I can possibly do this is to view my circumstances through the eyes of faith. We are not rejoicing in the circumstances so much as in the knowledge that Christ Jesus is the blessed controller of all things!
I am choosing this day by an act of my will to focus on what is true. Even if my circumstances look discouraging. I will rejoice in the Lord always. I will rejoice! I will let my gentleness be evident to all. Because the Lord is near. I will behave accordingly. I will not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, I will present my requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard my heart and my mind in Christ Jesus. Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable, excellent or praiseworthy—I will think about such things.
Blessings,

* Romans 12:1
* Phil. 4
* 1Timothy6:15


Sunday, March 28, 2010

A Visit to Neverland

I had decided to pay a visit to a dear friend of mine yesterday. She lives about an hour away. It was exactly what I needed to raise my spirit and renew my senses. It was as if all of nature was getting dressed in their Easter outfits and throwing on festive bonnets.
Assortments of wildflowers were in bloom along the highway. Golden poppies colored the sides of the hills and the valleys covered in lupines looked like lakes of purple water. Pockets of pink, purple and fuchia were splashed here and there like droplets fallen off the end of a giant paint brush. Even the scraggly old oak trees dressed up in a soft green for the occasion. Wild grasses-that in a few weeks would be dry and brown- moved gently to hushed song of the wind.

As I pulled off the main highway and headed into the hills the scenery began to change. The tips of the trees erupted with bright green as if they couldn't contain their excitement any longer about springtime. The creek gurgled along side the road and frogs croaked boastfully back and forth to each other.

Cattle of all sizes dotted the hillsides and gangly calves scooted back and forth across the road and a rabbit looked at me curiously from under the shadow of a bush. Not one of the creatures seemed in any hurry to get any where and their mood was contagious. By the time I reached my friends mountain home I was already feeling more upbeat and positive.

A felt like for a moment I was in another world. A slower paced world where it seemed if one would sit still for just a minute and listen they would hear the voice of God just as clearly they could hear the bullfrogs along the creek.

To be able to sit with my friend and catch up on life was good medicine. She showed me around her property and I met her menagerie of pets including a very vocal peacock that had claimed ownership of her patio and was as protective as any watchdog.

We had times of quiet and times of talking. We have been friends long enough that words are not necessary. Tears are allowed even expected at times. We don't try to fix each others problems we just offer each other a safe place to-be.

As I packed up to leave it was with some sadness. I would miss my friend. But the work God had been doing was becoming clear to me. It was one of those situations where you aware of something but you aren't quite ready to look it straight in the face. This was one of those times.
Sometimes having a quiet place to listen to your own hear or having a safe place to say things out loud can at times brings clarity to a troubled spirit.
Blessings,

Friday, March 26, 2010

Spiritual Defiance

I read this quote on a friend,s Facebook page recently,
"Prayer is an act of spiritual defiance of what is, in response to what God has promised. The shape of the future will be determined by those who can survey all its possibilities and by faith grasp one as possible. History belongs to the intercessors, those who believe the future into being. " Walter Wink
Operating in the gift of intercessory prayer I found this quote powerful and enlightening and wanted to use it so I went on a bunny trail last night to find the author. The bunny trail led me to a blog that had several videos posted including this one by Sunder Krishnan called Pray Big and Pray Bold. http://vimeo.com/8467883
I wanted to take this statement apart and look at all of the ideas that the author has expressed. I needed to do this for my own sake knowing my prayer life has suffered tremendously this past year. I knew God wanted to open my understanding the minute I read this short paragraph because it was pregnant with spiritual truths God needed to remind me of! I had been stomach punched so often by the enemy over the past two years I am just now getting my equilibrium back.I don't want to feel like a prisioner ever again to defeated mindset.
"Two men look out the same prison bars; one sees mud and the other stars." Frederick Langbridge
"I became acquainted with those martyrs whose behavior in camp, whose suffering and death, bore witness to the fact that the last inner freedom cannot be lost."Viktor E. Frankl
"Prayer is an act of spiritual defiance, " There is a rebelliousness in the human flesh that we are born with. As a kid I was the " I may be sittinging on the outside, but I'm standing on the inside" type of rebel. I was rebellious at heart but not confident in my convictions. Sort of a rebel without a cause until God really got ahold of me.
But Mr. Wink goes on to say that "Prayer is an act of spiritual defiance "in response to what God has promised." How do I know, how do you know what God has promised? In a word the answer to that question is the Bible. "God's word is God's will." There are times God has spoken to me mightily and personally from his word, there are times He has whispered something directly to my spirit but NEVER has he contradicted his word. God's promise are sure. God cannot lie, there is no darkness in Him at all. Scripture tells us Satan is the author of ALL lies, he has always been a liar and will always be a liar. Anything God tell us through His word is...yes and amen! We can go to our grave knowing God will NEVER leave us or forsake us. We can move forward in the promises of God with full confidence that what He started in us He will complete.We cannot allow the enemy to discourage us or cast a shadow on the character of God!
"The shape of the future will be determined by those who can survey the all its possibilities." Proverbs tells us that "where there is no vision, the people perish." God's people and intercessors in particular have to be people of vision. IF we set our focus on the things of earth and not the things of heaven we will at one point or another succumb to a depressed mind set! We loose our vision.
You cannot tailor make the situations in life, but you can tailor make the attitudes to fit those situations before they arise. Zig Ziglar
We cannot make the mistake of thinking of God like a super human. God is God and cannot be locked into a box. Don't make the mistake of believing that God will work within our limited expectations! Ask God to give you renewed vision. Ask Him to open your understanding to see beyond the walls of what you can see with your eyes! "and by FAITH grasp one as possible."
As God gives you vision hold on to it! I cannot tell you the number of promises, personal promises God has given me for the future. None of them line up with the circumstances of the present but I have grasped the vision and it sustains me through the tough stuff of life!
"History belongs to the intercessors, those who believe the future into being." I DO believe prayer makes all the difference. I believe the enemy's sole purpose in discouraging us is to cause us to release our hold on the vision God has given us and to make us despondent enough to quit praying. If he cannot keep us from salvation he wants to make us ineffectual as a role as Spiritually defiant men and women that storm the gates of hell and take back the things the Strongman has stolen from us.
Ask God for vision, BIG VISION. Ask Him to open up your understanding to ALL He has purposed for your life! Ask Him to give you the vision to see beyond the circumstances of life and show you how to see the spiritual amidst the physical, the divine amidst the mundane. Defy what is- and pray beyond what you can see with your human eyes! See the future through God's eyes! History is in the hands of the intercessors!
Blessings,

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Trust




I don't neccessarily write this blog for others. It is really a place for me to put my thoughts together and cement certain things in my own mind. Because it is public I know it is read by others.




Trust~confidence; a reliance or resting of the mind on the integrity, veracity, justice, friendship or other sound principle of another person.



While trust in the Lord has been the lesson learned my teachers have been other people. God has brought the most amazing people into my life the last couple of years. People that have taught me to love and to trust.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Feeling Like Job

I'm having a rough night tonight and it's probably not the best time to be putting thoughts down in cyberspace. Truthfully I'm not real sure what my thoughts or feelings are right now. I'm all sort of jumbled up inside.
On top of jumbled up feelings I've had this feeling of tiredness, it is deeper than the flesh, and deeper still than the emotions. No matter what I do I can't seem to shake it off. I think I am battle weary and I just don't seem to have any fight left.
A friend told me I sounded depressed. I'm not depressed. I do have hope. I know what it feels like to loose hope and I never, ever, want to be in that place again! I will admit to this, I desperately need a healing touch from the LORD.
I know when I pray God is faothful to answer and His answers are "Yes" and "Amen."
Since I've been feeling a little like Job lately , I know I can take comfort in his words, "Naked I came from my mother's womb, And naked shall I return there. The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; Blessed be the name of the LORD."
Blessings,

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Windows

I heard a saying that I believe was originally from a book by Randy Alcorn. It said in effect (paraphrased by yours truly) that when we look around at the ugliness of life: violence, oppression, hatred, incest, murder, cancer, heartaches of all sorts it is like looking through a small window into hell.
Conversely to experience the beauty of life music and laughter, love, friendships, joy, charity and kindness are like looking through a small window into heaven.
Something to think on. Blessings,

I Am Undone

Then said I, Woe [is] me! for I am undone; because I [am] a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts.
Then flew one of the seraphims unto me, having a live coal in his hand, [which] he had taken with the tongs from off the altar:
And he laid [it] upon my mouth, and said, Lo, this hath touched thy lips; and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin purged.
Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here [am] I; send me.
And he said, Go, and tell this people, Hear ye indeed, but understand not; and see ye indeed, but perceive not.

These words from Isaiah's sixth chapter were what I woke up to this morning. It was if Isaiah was speaking to me. I am not sure how these verses are going to play out in my life but I know that when God speaks, He moves.

Last year he spoke to me from 2 Kings "Thus says the LORD: 'Set your house in order... though at he time these words didn't make sense except in the context of the scriptures and Isaiah's admonition to King Hezikiah and yet there was an urgency in them SET YOU HOUSE IN ORDER! I remembered also what a dear friend taught me "When God speaks to you from His word you stay right there in that portion of scripture and listen."

I began to set about the task of setting things in order (and am still about the task sense the Lord has not said to stop) in all areas of life. This has been a huge undertaking for me. The Lord knew what was headed our way and I can see why the urgency was needed. Disaster was avoided in this case as a direct result of my obedience to God speaking from his word to my heart! This is only one of many examples I could give of God going before me and making a way where there seemed to be no way.

God speaks through His living word today if we will listen to the inward prompting of the Holy Spirit. The word of God is like a schematic diagram, *"a drawing intended to explain how something works, a drawing showing the relation between the parts" Should we not be applying it to our lives and relationships in a practical way?

Isaiah goes on to say "Make the heart of this people dull, ( King James says "fat.") 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."

I wonder how often my ears to heavy to hear that still small voice. Or my heart has been to dull to understand what God was saying? God speaks and then He moves. Are we listening? Am I?
Yeshua Adonai, prepare my heart for this new work you are doing. Make me clean in your sight and willing to go where you send me. Cause my heart to be sharp to understand and yet soft and pliable in your hands. Make my ears light to hear your softest whisper. Father God, don't let anything take root in my heart that can choke out the work of your Spirit in my life. Make me bold in prayer and wise in speech. Amen.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

A Slave to Wrong Thinking

Mother Teresa said "Work without love is slavery." How often I make myself a martyr by my own poor attitude! I find myself grumbling at times over situations that are entirely of my own creation.
Perhaps it is my lack of planning or dealing with the results of poor child training. Often it is because I have become absorbed in my own thoughts and missed opportunities to turn events of the day into learning moments.
Father change my heart and make the daily tasks of my life and outpouring of your love into the people in my life. Help me to see beyond my own pain to ease the pain of others. I don't want to be a self made slave but a bondservant to Jesus.

Blessings,