Sunday, April 29, 2012

The Joy of the Lord

Then he said to them, “Go your way, eat the fat, drink the sweet, and send portions to those for whom nothing is prepared; for this day is holy to our Lord. Do not sorrow, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” (Niehemiah 8:10, NKJV)

For the last 2 weeks, I've been fighting a battle with depression. Though it's been hard and I've had times where I've just wanted to throw in the towel, I've refused. I've refused to sink down to Satan's level. He wants me to be depressed constantly, he wants me not to look up to the Lord. After all, he knows that when I look to God, I'll be renewed in my spirit. Our text tells us not to sorrow, that the joy of the Lord is our strength. I've said several times over the last 2 weeks that "I don't have any strength left." And I don't. If I try to do it in my own strength, I'll fail; I'll be tired and weary of the fight. While I'm still battling right now, I choose to say that, "yes Lord you're my strength and I trust You to get me out of this pit." Do you have something you're facing today? Maybe it's not depression. Maybe it's unemployment. Maybe it's abuse. Maybe it's loneliness. Let me tell you ladies, the joy of the Lord is your strength. While your problems won't go away, they'll surely be easier to bare.

Lord thank You for giving us Your strength when we're tired and Thank You that we have You to call on when noone else is around. Lord we love You and we praise You.weary of this journey.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Part of the Plan!

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. (Jeremiah 29:11, NKJV)

It happened without reasonable explanation. It was a God-thing, no question! Let e take you back. Picture the day before Thanksgiving of 2011, excepting a seemingly ordenary friend request on facebook. But, it was anything but was extraordenary! From that point, that friendship has turned into something I will treasure for the rest of my life. When we finally got to meet in person for the first time just over 2 months ago, that sealed it for us both. My point to this story? My point is that God knew before either of us that we were going to be introduced on facebook by a mutual friend, who in turn has changed both of our lives. He knew that over the months after Thanksgiving, we'd need one another's love and support like never before. Do you have someone in your life that you know without a shadow of a doubt that God placed them there? You can't explain it, but they're there each time you need a friend? Ladies, let me encourage you that if you don't have someone like that in your life; ask God to send you that special friend you can call on at any time of the day or night.

Lord, thank you so much for the friends you've placed in my life. Thank you that it was by devine appointment that they're placed there. I ask for each of my readers that you send a special person that they can call friend and know they can call on her at any time. Thank You Lord! Amen.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

He Loved!

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. (John 3:16, New King James Version)

As children, this is one of the first verses we learn. We are taught to memorize it in Sunday School, and sometimes we're rewarded for how well we have it committed to our memory. But, do we really comprehend it? Do we really grasp the truth of its words? I really don't think we do. I don't think we get it. It's such a familiar verse that we say it as if we're going to Wal-Mart to pick up a box of cleenex. But ladies, there's such power in those words. I once heart a teacher quote the verse in this way:

"For God so loved me! that He gave His only begotten Son."

Do you know what that says to me when I think of the words in these terms? It says that if I had been the only one, He would've went to the cross anyway. He would've laid down His life for me. He would've let them pierce his hands and feet with the nails just so I could be free for all of eternity. Wow! Do you have goosebumps yet? I know I do. Ladies, let us remember today the truth and power in the words of this verse.

Father, thank You that if I would've been the only one, You still would've went. I can't praise You enough for that fact. My words aren't adequate enough for you. Lord we love You and we praise You. In Jesus Name, Amen.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Captive or Courageous?

A guest post by Susan Stilwell.

I'm afraid of snakes. I hate them. Slithery, creepy, tongue-flipping... Eww. I know they serve a purpose in the food chain, but in my opinion those links in the chain can be lopped off.

Snakes aren't my only fear, unfortunately. If I let my mind wander, it will ricochet with "what ifs" that swing from the normal (rejection by those I love) to the bizarre (meteor landing on my head).

I love this quote by Nelson Mandela:
"I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear."
When fear rises within me, it doesn't have to take me captive. God's Word reminds me:
For God has not given us a spirit of fear, 
but of power and of love and of a sound mind.
~2 Timothy 1:7 (NKJV)
His Word also commands me:
Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy - meditate on these things.
~Philippians 4:8 (NKJV)
I can choose the things I let into my mind. Snakes, rejection and meteors? Or beaches, friendships and sunshine?

Heavenly Father, we thank You for Your Word and for Your Spirit. We thank you that we don't have to be taken captive by our fears, but that You give us what we need to conquer them. Help us to hide Your Word in our hearts so we can be transformed and walk in Your strength.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Who Likes to Suffer?

ThatI may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, (Phillippians 3:10, New King James Version)

Do you like to suffer? I know I don't. When we started out on this journey however, we knew there'd be suffering along the way. We want to know Christ in a more intimate way, but we don't want the suffering to get there. We want to be closer to Him, but we don't necessarily like the path He may take us on. Remember, He didn't say it would be easy, He only said it would be worth it. Ladies, if Jesus could go to the cross to suffer on our behalf, how much more should our suffering mean? Our suffering may mean saving someone the harship of making our mistakes. It may mean saving someone else's life. Let me assure you, whatever you're going through today, it's not in vain. God has a purpose in it.

Lord, I ask you to be with my readers today in their trials. Let them know that the suffering they're facing isn't in vain. In Jesus Name, Amen. 

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Under the Shadow

 He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress; My God, in Him I will trust." (Psalm 91:1-2, New King James Version)

In my Bible, the heading is "safety of Abiding in the Presence of God. What a great comfort, that we're abiding in His presence. When I think of this verse, I picture a mother bird protecting her babies. What is she protecting them from? She's protecting from all harm; she's protecting them from the pestilence that want to cause harm to them. That's the same way with God when it comes to His children. Not only is He protecting us, but this verse says "You are my fortress and my God, in You do I place my trust." That means that David was placing his trust in noone else! Do you need to place your trust in Him and Him alone? Let me encourage you to do that. It's very simple to do. He didn't make it complicated. All you have to do is repeat a simple prayer.

Dear Lord thank You for what you did on the cross. I commit (or recommit) to putting my trust in You and in You alone. Help me do that daily. In Jesus Name, Amen.

Ladies, I can promise you that He'll give you the strength to place your trust in Him and in no other.

******I wanted to let everyone know that due to my visual impairment, I am unable to respond to the comments you leave on this blog. I do assure you however that I read each one you leave and they're a tremendous blessing to me. Thank you for stopping by!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Unconditional Love

The Lord has appeared of old to me, saying: “Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love;
Therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you. (Jerimah 31:3, New King James Version

"I love you under these conditions. I'll love you if you do this certain thing." Those were the words that Carrol heard from someone close to her. You see, this was based on a condition. She'd get the love if she...

That was a human being's kind of love. The love that God has for us is much more than that. His love is unconditional and without stipulation. Do you need to be reminded of God's unconditional love for you today? Unlike the person that told Carrol she'd receive their love if she did a certain thing, God stands ready and waiting to offer His love. He was so ready and willing that He hung on a cross to display it! Wow, what wonderous love is this! Let me encourage you, as we near Resurection Sunday, if you've never experienced that unconditional love; take hold of it and run with it!

Lord we thank You today for offering us such sweet love. You tell us it's unconditional if we'll just humbly come to You. Thank You Lord for being so willing to offer us that love. Lord we love You and we praise You. Amen.

******Names have been changed******

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Take Up Your Cross

Then He said to them all, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me. (Luke 9:23, New King James Version)

This is Jesus speaking, and he gives us a choice. He says that "if" you want to follow me, here's the things you'll have to do. This isn't an easy verse to do. Sometimes, we don't like the cross He gives us to bare. We want something different, but He says "take up your cross." That means whatever that cross may be. Another part that we really don't like to do is to deny ourselves. We're so self-obsorbed at times, that to think we have to deny ourselves isn't very appealing. But, in order to follow Christ, we have to do what He's commanded. If we don't, there will be consequences. And the consequences won't be pleasant. Do you need to take up your cross and follow Him today? Perhaps you need to do that for the first time. I invite you to do that. It won't be easy, but it will be the greatest decision you'll ever make.

Father, help us all to take up our cross, deny ourselves and follow You. Help us to do it in a more intimate way. Draw us closer to You. In Jesus Name, Amen.

******Last week, I had the privelege of giving away an autographed copy of my friend Edie Melson's new book, "Fighting Fear: Winning the War At Home When Your Soldier Leaves for Battle. I'm proud to say the winner of the book is...Susan Stilwell! Susan, just email me your address and the book will be on its way!