Thursday, December 31, 2009
Revelation 21: 5: Then the One seated on the throne said, "Look! I am making everything new." He also said, "Write, because these words are faithful and true."
For whatever reason, I am looking forward to this new year of 2010 than any other year I can remember. I think the last couple years have been such a blur for me. I was in survival mode, raising newborn, then infant, and now toddler triplets. I now have terrible two's to deal with but for the most part, we've got it down. Three doesn't scare us so much anymore. We just roll with the punches and as a team, Kris and I figure a way to handle things. I don't stress about them as much anymore and life seems to have settled down. Those are scary words to type...I may be jinxing myself here!
So with all of that said, 2010 looms shiny and bright in front of me. The unknown no longer scares me...it's now an exciting surprise! I believe change is gonna come...He is making everything new. His words are faithful and true. Miracles will be plentiful. Blessings will flow freely. Businesses will grow and be fruitful. Ministries will expand like wildfire and what was once a small group will reach worldwide. Love will break down walls and infuse hearts. Passions will increase...wisdom will guide us...favor will flow. New is coming.
What "new" thing are you waiting for? Write it down because His word is faithful and true! Have a safe New Year and I can't wait to start another year of Quick Word's with you. It's such a blessing for me to share with you in this blog and I hope this is only the beginning!
Friday, December 25, 2009
Luke 2:16-20: So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.
God's greatest miracle and plan for the world came that night in the form of a sweet baby boy. His plans are perfect, His ways are always right, and what He says always comes to pass, exactly like He said it would.
I loved watching my almost 2 year old children opening their presents and having fun with their toys. But the true meaning of Christmas isn't about how many gifts you have under the tree. It's about Jesus, it's about telling other about Jesus, it's about spreading His Word! I know my kids will be so excited every Christmas morning to see what the big man in red brought them. But I also want them to be excited about the miracle of Jesus' birth, His ministry during His life and His victory over death. I am so thankful for the greatest gift of all...Jesus!
I pray you have a peaceful and joyful Christmas with your family this year. I hope you spend time remembering the miracle of this day and all that it means.
I have so much to be thankful for...I will glorify and praise Him for all He has done, from that first Christmas to this one!
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
Luke 2:8-12: And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger."
I remember getting the call that my nephew was being born. I rushed to the hospital to find the rest of my family waiting outside my sister in law's room. We weren't allowed in but we knew it was going to happen soon. Hayden was the first grandchild. My first nephew. I had no kids at the time and I was so excited to meet him. We were all huddled together...quietly listening through the door. We heard the doctor, "One more push!" We hear Diane lightly moan....and then there is Hayden! Nothing like a newborn cry! We all busted out in laughter, tears, and cheers! His birth was such good news to our family and he brought us great joy.
So when I think of these shepherds, working all night with their flock, I wonder if they were waiting for their Savior to come. Wondering when it might be. Hearing rumors and hoping that He would come in their lifetime. All of a sudden, the glory of God shone around them and the news they had longed to hear was being spoken...to them! The ultimate baby shower was being held not too far away and God was inviting them! Can you just imagine the anticipation they felt as they walked towards that manger? There is just nothing more precious than seeing a sleeping, wrapped up, peaceful newborn baby. The innocence and sweetness is overwhelming. I cried as soon as I saw little Hayden, all wrapped up. His little button nose, pink cheeks and pouty little mouth. Love overtook me just looking at him. Can you imagine how quickly the strength left the shepherds knees as they stood there, staring at Christ the Lord?
The miracle continues tomorrow...
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Luke 2: 4-7: So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.
God's plans and His ways and His thoughts and His actions are always good and perfect, even if they don't make sense to us! I imagine Mary was pretty troubled to know that while she was about to pop, they had to journey to Bethlehem to take part in a census. Riding on a donkey is not how I want to be spending the last days of my pregnancy! There was no birth plan, there was no hospital. There was no hotel with comfy rooms for them to stay in. Mary had no insurance to pay for an epideral! It was her and Joseph together, a team trusting in God that He knew what He was doing. God brought them to exactly where He wanted them. Prophecy was being fulfilled. God brought those two together to accomplish His will. Everything came together so perfectly, yet while it was all happening, it seemed so unsettling and unknown. There was no colorful fanfare, no party, no triumphant entry. Jesus was not born in a palace, wrapped in the finest of linens and taken care of by His own staff of servants. There was no paparazzi...He didn't make the front page of the news...He was not the talk of the town. God brought the greatest miracle of all out of the lowliest of circumstances. A few select were told and were allowed to witness Jesus' first night of His life.
The greatest thing I have learned from reading about Mary and Joseph is that they went with the flow. They trusted the will of God and believed they were being used for a purpose. They were the perfect example of servants. As Mary held her first born son for the first time, I imagine she also knew she was staring at her Savior. Even though there was no room for them in the inn and they were stuck outside in a stable where they animals were kept, she was full of love and peace! She wrapped her baby up and placed him in a manager. The star was shining bright. They were coming to worship Him. It was beginning! Stay tuned...
Isaiah 9:6-7: For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David's throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the LORD Almighty will accomplish this.
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
Luke 1:46-49: And Mary said: "My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has been mindful of the humble state of his servant. From now on all generations will call me blessed, for the Mighty One has done great things for me—holy is his name.
Once Mary questioned the angel of how she would give birth being that she was a virgin and once she heard that the Holy Spirit would overshadow her and make her pregnant, I'm sure she thought all of this sounded very crazy! So the angel gave her even more information. He told her of her relative Elizabeth who was thought to have been barren was in fact 6 months pregnant! With this example, the angel proclaimed, "For nothing is impossible with God!" So what did Mary do, she hightailed it to Elizabeth's house to see if this was true. She told the angel she believed him but she just had to see this for herself! And as soon as she got there and greeted Elizabeth, her child leaped in her womb, I am assuming for the first time. The first time feeling your child moving and kicking is the most amazing feeling in the world! When Mary saw this, her heart couldn't hold in her song any longer.
In my experience, God has never given me information without following it up with evidence, directions, or guidance of some kind. He has never left me to figure out things on my own. I always feel him there with me, leading me down the right path and giving me the little nuggets of hope I need to carry on. Mary had the biggest news ever delivered to her so she definitely needed confirmation that she wasn't crazy. This was happening! There is nothing impossible with God! God's Will is always accomplished!
Mary finally realizes after seeing the miracle of Elizabeth getting pregnant that what the angel said was going to happen. The world was going to be changed forever...and it was beginning with her. Her soul rejoiced and her fear was replaced with singing and praise. From now on, all generations will call her blessed, not because she carried Jesus in her womb and gave birth to the Savior of the world. Elizabeth told her, "Blessed is she who has believed that what the Lord has said to her will be accomplished!" She believed! Her son was about to be born and she believed His Kingdom would never end! She trusted God even though she had no clue why He chose her, a humble servant.
Believe what God is telling you today and trust what He says will be done! He has done great things for you that will continue on for generations and generations. His miracle isn't done yet though...stay tuned!!
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
I feel led to focus on the miracle that is Christmas this month so thus begins the journey of our Savior's birth!
Luke 1:28-33: The angel went to her and said, "Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you." Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. But the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God. You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end."
I can honestly tell you that when I heard from God Almighty...a prophetic word regarding the birth of my son, I was floored, shaken and was rendered stoic after those words were spoken to me. And all I heard was, "You will give birth to a son and his name will be Elijah and he will be an important man of God." But can you imagine not only hearing, but seeing a glorious, magnificent, humongous angel speaking these words to you?! "Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you!" I am sure it was absolutely necessary that he said those words before he dropped the big news on her! "You will be with child and give birth to a son who will be called the Son of the Most High and His kingdom will never end!"
God's greatest miracle began with a young girl with a mighty destiny, unbeknownst to her. She received the message and praised God for it. Even though she was scared, knowing the ramifications of being pregnant without being married, while already engaged to another man! The disgrace. No one would believe her. The plans she had for her life had taken a drastic turn. She knew nothing would ever be the same again. Have you ever felt like Mary? I know I have! Today, God is speaking and wants everyone to know that His miracles begin in the most unlikely places and change lives forever.
Tomorrow, we will learn how Mary responded to this news...the news that would change her world and every other person's world...from generation to generation. His Kingdom will never end!
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Psalm 100: Shout triumphantly to the LORD, all the earth. Serve the LORD with gladness; come before Him with joyful songs. Acknowledge that the LORD is God. He made us, and we are His - His people, the sheep of His pasture. Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise. Give thanks to Him and praise His name. For the LORD is good, and His love is eternal; His faithfulness endures through all generations.
This is my all time favorite Psalm. It makes me happy. So does Thanksgiving. I just want to cry when I think about all that I have to be thankful for. My family is healthy, we have jobs, a roof is over our head, our house is warm and there is food on the table. Love abounds in my house and I have an awesome family. Tomorrow, we will all be together, eating and laughing and making memories. I just love this time of the year!
But what I am most thankful for is that Jesus forgave me, healed me, saved me, and made me a new creature. I am thankful that He died, just for me. And because of that, I will shout triumphantly to the Lord and come before Him with joyful songs. He is my God and I will praise and thank Him because He is oh...so...good! His love is eternal and will continue in my family for generations to come.
I pray you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving!
Friday, November 20, 2009
Joshua 1:9: Have not I commanded you? Be strong, vigorous, and very courageous. Be not afraid, neither be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go. (Amplified)
I've been needing a lot of reminding of this Scripture lately...have you? Seems as though I am always facing something terrfiying up ahead. But that only means God is using you and growing you and stretching you. Sure it doesn't feel good at times, but don't be dismayed! Facing the unknown can sometimes want to make you tremble in fear, but don't be afraid!
God reminds us this morning, "Have I not commanded you?!" This isn't a recommendation of how to live but a commandment! BE STRONG! BE VIGOROUS! BE VERY COURAGEOUS!
I have a photo shoot tonight that is probably my biggest and toughest task yet. It is outside of my comfort zone. What if I fail? What if I disappoint? STOP!
God is expanding my business and I will be strong, vigorous and courageous...full of confidence and ability! I will not be afraid of the unknown...instead I will embrace it. I do not have to fear because the Lord my God will be with me WHEREVER I go!
You may be facing something far bigger and daunting than a photo shoot today. Life may be so scary for you, that you are shaking as you read this. God is commanding you to stop and be strong, be vigorous, and be courageous. He is with you wherever you go and will help, complete and bless your situation in the most perfect of ways. His way.
Have a great weekend everyone and go ROCK this day today!
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Ephesians 2:8: For it is by free grace (God's unmerited favor) that you are saved (delivered from judgment and made partakers of Christ's salvation) through [your] faith. And this [salvation] is not of yourselves [of your own doing, it came not through your own striving], but it is the gift of God. (Amplied)
As we near the Christmas season, our minds are cluttered by what to buy our family and friends. This time of year beats you over the head with sales and marketing and savings and presents! Everything is new and shiny but seems to fade once the new year comes. All of those gifts are forgotten and you are usually in debt because of them!
But the gift that God gives is everlasting. It is meaningful. It is life-changing. It is fullfilling and satisfying. It is given freely just because He loves you. The faith that is inside of you takes hold of that gift and all of a sudden, you are made partakers of Christ's salvation! There is nothing you have to do on your own. It is simply a gift that you must reach out and accept. He does not beat you over the head. He does not lure you in with fancy andvertisments that don't live up to the hype. His gift of salvation will be the best gift you have ever received. You will want more of Him after the new year comes. All of your debts are forgiven and you will never forget how that moment felt when you gave your life over to Him and experienced that gift for the first time.
Sure it's fun to open present on Chrismtas morning but let's never forget the ultimate gift. Salvation wrapped up in free grace and opened with your faith!
To: My child
From: Your Loving Father
Because: I love you
Monday, November 9, 2009
Psalm 46:10: Be still, and that I am God.
Life bustling, thoughts racing, worry settling, priorities scrambling, hope failing, confusion invading, doubt creeping, passion fading, darkness looming, faith decreasing.
In the stillness of Him, life slows down, your mind is at peace, worry is given over to Him, priorities shift to Him first, hope is renewed, wisdom triumphs over confusion, belief stomps out doubt, passion comes alive, your world brightens leaving no trace of darkness, and faith increases and builds and shows you that you can conquer anything.
"They don’t have to understand you...be still. Wait and know I understand you...be still...be still."
Enjoy this Flyleaf song "Again" and go pick up their new alsbum. It is so good!
Friday, November 6, 2009
1 Timothy 4:14: Do not neglect the gift that is in you; it was given to you through prophecy, with the laying on of hands by the council of elders.
I cannot tell you how many times I have been in need and relied on the elders of my church to lay hands on me and pray for me. The first time I can remember was when I was a baby Christian. I went to a Vineyard church, all by myself. I think I was crying from the beginning of the service all the way to the end. God was just breaking me because I needed a lot of help! I responded to the altar call which was very unlike me. I stood in front of this couple who was probably my mom's age. I didn't know what to do! But they could tell I was in great need. And not neglecting the gift that was in them, they reached out to me and spoke out loud what God was giving them to say. "Do you know someone named Ryan?" I raised my head, tears are now streaming down my cheeks, and replied, "Yes...that is my brother." They asked what was going on with him and I started explaining the trouble he was in with drugs and how he was far away from us. I wanted him to come home. So we prayed and thus began the journey of God breaking my brother and bringing him back to Him...and to us. Just like we had prayed! Now, he is a worship leader at a church and is certainly not neglecting His gift of music and glorifying God!
I wonder what would have happened if that couple, who I don't know from Adam, had neglected their gift and didn't come to church that day. What if they had just given up and decided to be selfish that day? God needs people to use and He has given each of us a gift. It may not be to be an elder of a church, but He can still use you in other ways. Don't be surprised when He speaks to you to go talk to that person, or call someone out of the blue, or be friends with someone you may not like.
For me, my gift seems to be helping people, in whatever fashion that God tells me to. I have reached out to people who have wronged me and in turn, found out that they were hurting far worse than I ever was. My battle with infertility has led me to reach out to some great women and I have friends now all over the country. We've shared our struggles together and grew closer to the Lord. And now, He wants me to continue in spreading His word through this blog. It's something I do not have experience in, yet I will not neglect it. I do have a busy life...working two jobs and raising triplets can do that to you! But I will not neglect the gift that God has given me. Maybe one day, someone will remember and speak of me the way I do about that wonderful couple. Glory to God!
What gift has God given you? Don't neglect it!
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Psalm 55:22: Cast your burden on the LORD, and He will support you; He will never allow the righteous to be shaken. (HCSB)
I can't tell you how many times I have been shaken so bad that I was on the verge of falling. How many times I have stumbled. How many times I have taken the wrong road. How many times the right road seemed so bumpy.
So why was I so shaken if God promises that I wouldn't be? Because I never followed the first part of His command. I left the casting part out. I held on to my troubles for whatever reason. I wanted His support but I failed to give up my burden which was the one thing that was making my life so lost, so bumpy and so shaken.
The Hebrew word for cast is shalak and the literal definition is to throw, cast, throw away, cast off, shed, cast down. That throwing word keeps popping out and sticking in my mind. I am a very literal person and I like to see things so I can better understand. Maybe the next time my burdens are weighing me down and are getting to heavy for me to carry, I will literally take them off of my back, claiming this Scripture and praying over my problem, put them in a huge sack, tie it real tight, say my goodbyes and physically launch them up to God! He promises that He will catch them and forever take them from you. He promises He will support you. He promises if you do this, He will never allow you to be shaken!
It would ne nice to walk without feeling like you are about fall. The road is clear in front of you. You are light and free and without worry. You are dealing with problems with a clear head and a firm heart. You know your God is on your side and knowing that feels oh so good!
Get your big bag ready for that next burden seeking to weigh you down and cause you to fall over. Don't be shaken so bad that it causes you to leave the One who can support you and sustain you. He is the Almighty Catcher waiting for your best fastball!
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Mark 14:60-62: Again the high priest asked him, "Are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed One?" "I am," said Jesus. "And you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven."
All the things I could ever think or want to say about my savior, Jesus is in this 3 minute sermon. I wish I could have heard the whole thing. I bet it was amazing. I get goosebumps every time I hear it! Jesus is the Christ and He will be coming on the clouds of heaven. You don't want to miss that do you!?
Monday, October 19, 2009
Luke 23:39-43: One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him: "Aren't you the Christ? Save yourself and us!" But the other criminal rebuked him. "Don't you fear God," he said, "since you are under the same sentence? We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong." Then he said, "Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom." Jesus answered him, "I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise."
Whatever this man had done, it was bad enough to deserve to be put to death by crucifixion, the worst way a man could die back then. Even still, Jesus bore his chains and walked to Calvary for him. The reason Jesus died and the reason He came was for the life of that accused man, sentenced to die next to him. Surely, our sins are not so bad that they warrant death but even if they are, yes...Jesus came for your life too.
I love this song and the way the words play off of each other. It stretches my mind and gives me a new vision of how much that walk to Calvary must have torn Jesus apart. In all of my faults, frailties, and failures, He came for the life of me.
Thursday, October 15, 2009
Isaiah 42:16: I will lead the blind by ways they have not known, along unfamiliar paths I will guide them; I will turn the darkness into light before them and make the rough places smooth. These are the things I will do; I will not forsake them.
Seven years ago today, I was laying in a hospital bed, getting lots of love from my family, and getting ready to go into surgery to remove an ectopic pregnancy. In a matter of hours, I went from not knowing I was even pregnant, to intense pain and bleeding, rushing to the ER where I was told I was pregnant and that I would need emergency surgery...right away. My head was reeling. The pain was almost too much to take. I was tired. I was scared. I saw my husband scared for the first time in my life. This wasn't happening to me. It couldn't be. We had prayed for a baby and this is what we get?!
As I look back on these last seven years, I can tell you that I thank God for that little baby and the short life he/she had. For years I held on to that baby as "if only things could have been different". Now, I no longer live in the past but I celebrate what God has done by using that horrible night to benefit my future.
The good always outweighs the bad when it comes to God. Sure I had pain, and I was confused, and I still carry a hurt for that baby that only a mother can understand. But my husband and I grew closer together, I met the doctor that would one day deliver my triplets, our family prayed for us like they have never prayed before. God guided me down unfamiliar paths that I would not have chosen to walk down myself. He lit the right way before me and darkened the paths that I did not need to go down. I learned to lean on Him when the road grew rough and I watched in wonder as He smoothed them right before my eyes.
I shudder to think where I would have ended up had I gone through losing this baby, and the seven after it, without knowing the Lord was with me through it all. Life can painfully blind us at times, without warning or remorse. Who is going to lead you? How will you make it out? How will you get through the rough times?
God promises that He will do these things for you...He will not forsake you. He will not leave you where you are at. He can make that dark path before you illuminate like you have never seen it before! You may not know where you are headed but just take a hold of His hand and follow Him. He knows where you are going and trust me, it's a far better place than you could ever get to by yourself.
October 15th is ironically for me Pregnancy and Baby Loss Remembrance Day around the world. Check out this site and hug a friend you know is suffering today. If you have never lost a baby, hug your kids extra hard today for they are gifts from God!
To my crew of babies up in Heaven..."Momma loves you little angels and I can't wait to hug you for real one day. No matter how short your lives were, you were created for a purpose and I thank God for that!"
Thursday, October 8, 2009
John 20:27-29: Then He said to Thomas, "Put your finger here and observe My hands. Reach out your hand and put it into My side. Don't be an unbeliever, but a believer." Thomas responded to him, "My Lord and my God!" Jesus said, "Because you have seen Me, you have believed. Those who believe without seeing are blessed."
It took me a long time to believe and I feel like I went through many times where God was trying to show me His hands and asking me to put my hands in His side. But I just kept walking away and I kept ignoring Him. I was an unbeliever. In order to get my attention, He had to take over my mind one morning in the shower and gave me a vision that blew my socks off. Finally, I had seen His hands...I had felt those nail holes...I touched His pierced side. I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that He was real. I saw Him and I believed.
But it makes me so excited when I think about my children and their opportunity to believe without seeing. They will grow up very different than I did and hopefully, they will know in their hearts way before I did that He is their Lord and their God. They will be blessed in more abundance than I will ever be and have unspeakably awesome favor for their entire lives. Because they will believe without seeing. This is my prayer for them.
He will show you His hands and you can touch His side that was pierced for you. Don't be an unbeliever...be a believer!
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
Nahum 1:3: The LORD is slow to anger but great in power; the LORD will never leave the guilty unpunished. His path is in the whirlwind and storm, and clouds are the dust beneath His feet.
I love reading these short minor prophets' books. The Old Testament is so expressive and details how much God cares for His people. It hurts Him when He sees us turn away from Him. Yet He is still slow to anger. But don't mistake that for a lack of caring or that He is inept of taking action. He is and always will be great in power. Someone needs to hear that today! God will never leave the guilty unpunished. You may not see what is going on and it may not happen in your lifetime or on this earth. But those who have hurt you will not escape His judgment. How could one escape His path so big it is in the winds and storm? How could anyone flee from Someone so immense that the clouds are dust beneath His feet? The guilty cannot hide from the Almighty!
Now every time the wind blows my hair and I see the storms rolling in, I'll be reminded of God's great power. Every time I see the beautiful, majestic clouds being illuminated by the gorgeous sunset, I will know that God is busy punishing those who have hurt me. I don't have to dwell in the past over those hurts because God is on my side. He promises they will never go unpunished!
I hope that brings you peace today. The world is full of horrible news everyday and it is overwhelming at times. But our God is slow to anger and great in power. His path is in the whirlwind and in the storm and the clouds are the dust beneath His feet. He is in control, Hallelujah! Praise His Holy Name!
Monday, October 5, 2009
Revelation 21:2-4: I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, "Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away."
I just love the loving, almost romantic tones to this passage. God truly longs to see us, His church, beautifully dressed for Him. I seriously cannot wait for this to be our reality. To be able to dwell, to reside, to exist with God in the Holy City will be the end to all of our problems. No more tears, no more pain, no more death, no more crying. The old way that you are used to will no longer be.
This song describes this passage perfectly and when I listen to it, I can almost see the sky opening up and the new Jerusalem coming down. I can feel the tears being wiped away from my eyes. I am reminded of my eternal home that is awaiting me. I can see my loved ones that I have been separated from for far too long. I am pure and righteous before my God. I live with Him and He lives with me...forever.
"For eternity...all my heart will give...all the glory to Your name."
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Ecclesiastes 3:11: He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end.
My mind is always wandering, always planning, always trying to figure things out. My life right now feels as if it is in a holding pattern. I am in a place that is not neccesarily bad but also not a place I want to be forever. What I dream of doing and becoming is not economically or financially possible right now. I am in a holding pattern. Destined for greater things for His glory but stuck in the issues of every day life.
But I believe it is temporary. Why? Because knowing what I was about to face before I ever got to this holding pattern, I stepped out in faith and reached out to God. I prayed and had the elders of my church pray over my husband and I. And God met us there and gave us instructions. He is very cool to do that, especially with my wandering and always planning brain! "This will test us and our marriage," he spoke through His messenger. "But this is temporary and we will see what kind of family we are when this is done."
I would rather not be here. I would love it if it were financially possible for me not to work and to raise my kids at home. I would love the extra time to volunteer and work in ministries. I want my hour of just "me and God" time that I used to have. With the stress of working full time, taking care of my almost 2 year old triplets, finding time to spend with my husband, connecting with friends and fellowshipping, paying bills, grocery shopping, and cleaning the house, my "me and God" time has decreased to the 30 minutes I get driving to work!
But reading this verse puts my heart at rest knowing that He has ordained this time in my life for a reason and He will make it beautiful despite how I feel about it now. I know that one day I will look back on this time in my life and be able to see growth and mercy and provision and miracles! There is no way I can fathom why it has to be this way but I will not wallow in defeat or despair, wishing things were different. God knows my beginning all the way to my end. He knows my children's beginning, their end and all those who will be touched by their testamonies. God is using this time to change us in ways we cannot begin to fathom. I pray we pass the test and come out fresh and renewed on the other side. I pray we come out beautiful!
Monday, September 21, 2009
Isaiah 43:21: The people I formed for Myself will declare My praise.
God created you to be with Him. Simple as that. He won't relent until He has it all. Your heart, your life, your love, your worship, your praise. He is so in love with you...His love is as strong as death...His jealousy is as demanding as the grave. I've never heard God described so passionately as He is in this song. This is not a sweet, feel good worship song. It is deep and intoxicating, desperate and bold. "I don't want talk about you, like You're not in the room. I wanna look right at You, wanna sing right to You." If you sing these words, you'll begin to worship on a whole new level. You'll feel like you have a one on one audience with Jesus Himself. You'll feel like the only reason why you were put on this earth is to praise Him. And then you'll understand and appreciate Isaiah 43:21 even more!
This song by Jesus Culture is a lot longer than this video. Go buy their album, Your Love Never Fails and be ready to worship Him for real, be ready to come alive, be ready to sing a solo for the Creator of the universe.
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
Romans 5:3-5: And not only that, but we also rejoice in our afflictions, because we know that affliction produces endurance, endurance produces proven character, and proven character produces hope. This hope does not disappoint, because God's love has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.
This Scripture always reminds me of that praise and worship song that sings over and over again, "He gives and takes away. He gives and takes away. My heart will choose to say, blessed be Your name!"
We all will be afflicted with something during our lifetime. In fact, more times than not I find myself being afflicted by one thing or another. It may not be a big deal to most people, but you are afflicted by it. It is something you are bothered by and it is hindering you. How do you handle those afflictions, those irritations, those hiccups, those bumps in the road, those problems that won't seem to budge?
In these instances, you can either withstand and endure or wither and fall apart. God wants to see what kind of person you are. We would be a pretty boring people if we never had anything to overcome, to have victory over, or to make us feel a wide range of emotions. Yes, I hate having to always be afflicted by something but I know that if I rejoice and be glad for what I do have and choose to look at my problems positively, then my character will be proven in the eyes of God. How awesome is that?!
Sure I won't always get it right the first time. I may throw a pity party and want to pull the cover of my head. I may throw my hands up towards the sky and say to God, "Really? This too on top of everything else?!" But I quickly remember that this is just a test. He has never let me down before...why would He let me down now? So as I endure being afflicted, I do the things I know I am supposed to be doing. Praying. Trusting. Tithing. Believing. My character is proven righteous and all of sudden, there it is. Hope! God always shows up and gives you those nuggets to help you carry on.
He gives you hope that does not disappoint, Hallelujah! He pours His love out all over you, all over your problem and all over your future. You will not stay afflicted for long. Sure there are times when that affliction is major and the hurt is more than you can bare. I've been there too. It took me years to realize that if I truly rejoiced through my affliction, my whole outlook would change, my endurance would create proven character and that character would produce hope. But I can tell you that this has been the greatest thing I have ever learned. Once I really got a hold of this, my life has changed.
The afflictions will never stop coming but neither does the love that God pours out on me. What a great word today Lord, thank you!
Monday, September 14, 2009
1 John 5:14-15: Now this is the confidence we have before Him: whenever we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears whatever we ask, we know that we have what we have asked Him for.
Too bad it doesn't say "we have what we have asked Him for instantly"! That would be nice huh?!
In my experience, it usually doesn't happen instantly. In my experience, things that are special are worth the wait. In my experience, knowing He hears me and cares for me is more important than getting what I want, when I want it.
If you truly value God's will for your life over your own, then praying for what you want or need will happen. Trust Him. Have that confidence that at the perfect timing, He will come through for you. Be glad that your prayers don't just hit the ceiling. You don't have to go far when you are asking according to His will. He will hear you. He is listening. You will have what you asked Him for...in His perfect will and timing.
I hope this gives you confidence today. Keep believing and praying because He is still listening.
Sunday, September 13, 2009
Matthew 21:9: Then the crowds who went ahead of Him and those who followed kept shouting: Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest heaven!
These lyrics are my life's new motto. They've become my new purpose and call every morning when I arise to face each day. I hope they become yours too!
Heal my heart and make it clean
Open up my eyes to the things unseen
Show me how to love like you have loved me
Break my heart from what breaks yours
Everything I am for your kingdoms cause
As I go from nothing to Eternity
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
Psalm 130:1-2: Out of the depths I call to You, LORD! Lord, listen to my voice; let Your ears be attentive to my cry for help.
Yes, I am having one of those weeks. Financial worries. Household stresses. My children's health. One thing after another.
Have you ever felt like you had to cry out from the depths of yourself to God? You can't get through another moment without Him intervening. You are crying out for Him to listen to you.
It's in times like these when the devil is sneakier than ever on his hunt to overtake and destroy you. Have the peace of knowing that the Lord is attentive to your cry for help. The answer is coming. He has already planned your escape from that problem. The check is in the mail. Blessings are hurriedly on their way to replace the curse that is crippling you. Healing and wellness are already yours in the name of Jesus. He is making a way where there is no way.
Out of the depths I call to You God. You and You alone. I praise You in advance for the miracles that are coming. Thank You for hearing me this week!
Wednesday, September 2, 2009
Colossians 1:13: He has rescued us from the domain of darkness and transferred us into the kingdom of the Son He loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
The moment you invite Jesus into your life, you change instantly. The darkness you have known and are living in immediately disappears. You open your eyes to a new world. You are no longer dwelling in a dark pit. You are forever a resident of God's Kingdom. You have a new hope. You begin to see yourself and your life with a brand new purpose. Those mistakes you have made are no longer weighing you down and keeping you in the dark. For the first time in your life, you feel freedom because you've been released of the burden of sin.
He is the Almighty Rescuer. He can transfer you out of where you are faster than the blink of an eye. You belong with the Son He loves. Your home is waiting for you. Stop stumbling in the darkness and open your eyes to goodness and eternal light. Today is the day for redemption. You can be forgiven. He has already paid the price.
I promise it'll be the ride of your life and you'll wonder why it took you so long to be rescued.
Monday, August 31, 2009
Isaiah 48:17-18: This is what the LORD, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel says: I am the LORD your God, who teaches you for your benefit, who leads you in the way you should go. If only you had paid attention to My commands. Then your peace would have been like a river, and your righteousness like the waves of the sea.
I am sure I have more times than I can count where I did not pay attention to what God was saying to me. But one stands out above all the rest. I cannot know for sure but I believe it could have been a turning point in my life where peace would have flowed like a river and righteousness would have crashed over me like waves.
God spoke to me as I laid on my bed, curled up in a fetal position. I was lost...alone...scared. What He said was so simple and I am sure it was for my benefit...it probably would have changed my life. "Get up and go get your Bible." I said no. Not only did I not pay attention and act like I didn't hear Him, I answered back and refused the benefits He had for me. He was trying to lead me in the way I should go but I refused.
I ended up back on His path but I took the long route and trust me, it was not so scenic. Maybe if I had known who was speaking to me back then I would have listened. The LORD of heaven, my Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel thought I was important enough to guide and protect and love and save. He knew exactly what I needed at that moment in my life. All I had to do was pay attention.
I hope you don't make the same mistake I did. God has done amazing things in my life and I am blessed and highly favored. But every now and then, I think back to that day. I will always wonder what could have happened that day. What miracles could He have done? Where would I be right now if I would have gotten up and did what He asked me to do? I hope that is one of the things He will show me one day. But I will have to live the rest of my life wondering what could have been. Peace and righteousness can be yours...the Lord is speaking to you...let the river and waves flow!
Psalm 134:2: Lift up your hands in the holy place, and praise the LORD!
I've had so many people ask me if I go to "one of those churches" where you raise your hands. I heard a pastor say once before that just like we hoot and holler for our sports teams, we lift our hands in worship to our God. I've always liked that explanation but now I have Scripture to back it up!
I got to hear this song live last week and believe me there was not a hand I saw that was down by anyone's side! Shout out to God with a voice of triumph! Lift His name up today unashamed!
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
1 Corinthians 13:2-3, 13: If I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so that I can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. And if I donate all my goods to feed the poor, and if I give my body to be burned, but do not have love, I gain nothing. Now these three remain: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love.
I got to experience the band Hillsong live last night and this is the name of their new album. Faith + Hope + Love. The only way I can describe it was being a fraction of how the angels worship Him all day long. I never felt so close to Him as I did while I was praising Him with all of those people! It was really amazing. But they showed this video that went along with their new CD and it really got me thinking. I've always loved Chapter 13 of this book but I usually skim over this part and go straight to the famous description of love.
God has really opened my eyes to the importance of what is in our hearts. Are we doing everything that we can think of to appear "godly" or "Christ-like" on the outside but our insides are rotten? Do we fill our heads with "knowledge" and study so hard that we sound like Billy Graham but treat those closest to us as strangers? Are we really examples of Christ's love to those who really need to see it?
The one thing that all humans have in common is our need for love. God is really showing me that not only do people across the world need love, but there are people in my own family who need love. Am I going to focus only on me, or am I going to reach out in love to those who are closest to me?
Having faith and hope is so important...but more important is to have love. To be love. To show love. Does everyone in your family know that you love them? Do they all know that you love Jesus? Are you loving your neighbor like your brother?
God's love is life changing and He thinks it's the most important thing of all. Get Hillsong's new CD and I promise it will start to open your hearts to all the love God has for you. You'll have no choice but to start loving on some people!
Monday, August 24, 2009
Psalm 63:1: God, You are my God; I eagerly seek You. I thirst for You; my body faints for You in a land that is dry, desolate, and without water.
I have never been stranded in a desert but I don't think I need to be in order to understand how quickly my body would break down without the one thing it needs...water. I know that I wouldn't last a day being exposed out in the deadly sun. I've watched Planet Earth...I've seen the vast and dry deserts. It's the one place I do not want to be...stuck out in the emptiness where I have become the hunted. That is what the world would be without my God. I wouldn't make it a day without Him. Every day I find a reason to turn to Him. He helps me in so many ways. My body just doesn't work without Him.
God, You are my God...and I eagerly seek after You.
This song is a great example of this Psalm...Only You!
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
Psalm 55:16: As for me, I will call upon God, and the Lord will save me.
You may have already tried once to talk to God or see if He is really there. I remember doing that a few times in my life. But it was never really genuine. My heart was not in it. I was half joking. I still didn't want to let go of all that I was hanging onto.
But when you do get to that point, when all you were hanging onto is gone or doesn't mean anything anymore, try to talk to Him again. But this time, get serious, open your heart, and call with all you've got. He will answer you if your heart is contrite and sincere. When you finally get to that point when you really need Him, He will be there. He will save you. You may have failed before to come in the right way but He never fails to hear you, meet you or save you.
Monday, August 17, 2009
Matthew 16:24: Then Jesus said to his disciples, "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me."
This song is so moving, you truly can get lost in it. I love the desperation and longing that drives you to your knees in worship. There are some days when you just need to be with Him! You're coming after Him no matter what and I imagine that's exactly where Jesus wants you to be, all the time. I promise you won't be denied.
Sunday, August 16, 2009
John 5:16-17: Therefore, the Jews began persecuting Jesus because He was doing these things on the Sabbath. But Jesus responded to them, "My Father is still working, and I am working also."
When Pastor Leszek Mocha from Poland read this verse this morning at church, it hit me between the eyes. "God is busy", he declared. "God's not sitting on the Throne, drinking His royal coffee! He is busy...working!" He is building His Kingdom, He is revealing wonders, He is healing the sick, He is setting captives free, He is touching hearts all over the world at the same time, He is creating lives and ending them, He is performing miracles, He is making all things new. He is always at work. He is always busy. And He needs workers to work with Him.
Am I working? Am I taking the time to focus on the Heavenly things or am I too wrapped up in this world? I believe God has so much for us all to do but we don't have a very good work ethic. We are selfish and lazy. Stubborn and unmotivated. Content and distracted.
I listened to Pastor Mocha's normal life where he lives off of $500 a month and his people have very little. But they are working, they are giving, and they are making a difference. We are a very blessed people but we get so used to accepting the news of this world that we are receding and we never look up and receive God's news...that we are blessed and that we will prosper. With just the slightest bit of effort, we could make such an impact. Every prayer you pray, every dime you give, every meal you make, every hour of your time you volunteer to help some else know the love of Jesus Christ will only build your harvest that much more.
God's word was spoken today...stop looking down where you can only see the tips of your shoes. Start looking up to all the blessings that are flowing out of Heaven to those who are busy working. I love it!
God is oh...so...good.
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
Psalm 139:15-16: You know me inside and out, you know every bone in my body; You know exactly how I was made, bit by bit, how I was sculpted from nothing into something. Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth; all the stages of my life were spread out before you, the days of my life all prepared before I'd even lived one day. (The Message)
God woke me up at 5:00AM to do this Quick Word...I was not planning on getting up this early on my birthday! Kris has an alarm clock that the kids like to play with and we didn't know it but it was behind our bed with the alarm set for 5:00 this morning. Thanks kids! I even tried to stay in bed after Kris finally found it, all the while God telling me to get up. I'll just lay here for 5 more minutes God. Yes. I said that to God Almighty. Unbelievable! But then one of my sons cried really loud for like 2 seconds and I just smiled and said, "OK, I'll get up!" I like how God uses all sorts of different things for alarm clocks in our lives.
He has this Word for you today and I think it is sweet that He reminded me of this today on my birthday. God knows every bit of you, inside and out. You were sculpted in His image, just the way you are for a reason. He has been with you before your body was even formed up until now and He will be with you forevermore. If you do not know Him like I know Him, I hope this Word will shed some light for you on how loving my God really is. If you think there is no one out there that understands you, you are wrong. If you think you stick out and just don't belong, you are wrong. If you think there is no purpose for you, you are so wrong!
Now that I have kids, it's all about them. My birthday just doesn't seem as important anymore...and that stinks because I love birthdays! But my Mom told me yesterday my birthday will always be important to her, she remembers that first day she saw me like it was yesterday. But God does too. Every day of my life He has planned out and purposed...to bring me here...to help you see the character of God. You are special to Him or He wouldn't have gone to all the trouble of making you and knowing every detail about you before you were ever born!
On August 12, 1977 I was born in Honolulu, HI with both of my feet broken and bent towards my shins. I was whisked away and my mom laid there, clueless and scared. But God had it all planned out. When I was 10 years old, my parents got divorced and my whole world crumbled. But God had it all planned out. Through those lost years, He was there when I thought no one else was. When I was 21 years old, I married a young man I was head of over heels in love with. I am sure my parents thought I was too young and were worried. But God had it all planned out. I got saved when I was 22 years old and I am 32 years old now. I am coming up on my 10 year anniversary with the Lord! So many awesome things have happened with so many hard times in between. But God had it all planned out!
Don't waste another second without Him. Don't worry about what you are worrying about...God has you all planned out.
Monday, August 10, 2009
Ephesians 3:17-19: I pray that you, being rooted and firmly established in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the length and width, height and depth of God's love, and to know the Messiah's love that surpasses knowledge, so you may be filled with the fullness of God.
As I watch my children grow, they seem to do new things every day. I can't keep up with them! It just amazes me to see how smart they are and I am so proud when I realize they have learned something new. They are so proud too because when they do new things, they look to Mommy and Daddy for recognition and praise. And boy do we give it to them. We clap our hands and love on them and give them huge hugs!
I imagine that's how God feels when I finally get things or when I learn new things about Him or when I realize how much He loves me. I can just see Him clapping His hands and screaming with the angels, "Yea!! That's My girl!!". I can almost feel His huge arms wrap around me.
His love is better than life...it's amazingly powerful. Get ready, grab a hold of something and get ready for a wild ride. His love changes everything!
Isaiah 7:9: If you do not stand firm in your faith, then you will not stand at all.
Don't be surprised when you decide to walk this path where you follow Jesus that you will be given many opportunities to fall away...to quit...to make mistakes...to make the wrong decision. You will stumble...you will fail...you will fall, I promise you that. But will you get back up and stand firm to your faith? No matter what is going on around you. No matter how bad you messed up? Will you quit and leave when the going gets tough? Or will you stick it out and finish the race?
We all will fall short but if you don't get back up and learn how to stand though it, you'll never be able to stand at all. It is those tests and trials that we go through that teaches us how to stand firm so that we will be able to stand through it all. You think what you are going through is bad...there is always something bigger and worse around the bend. That is life.
Each trial I have faced felt like the worst ever...but I stood through it and never let my Jesus go. I survived and my faith grew. But the next trial was way worse...but I get through it...I stand firm. Maybe that is why I love this song so much. "Stand through the rain, stand your ground. Stand up when it's all crashing down."
Thursday, August 6, 2009
Revelation 3:20: Listen! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and have dinner with him, and he with Me.
I don't know if this happens to everyone but it did with me and my husband. I can remember a long time ago hearing my name being called but I was all by myself. I heard it clear as a bell...Allison. Go get your Bible. Unfortunately, I said no. I did not open that door when I heard His voice and subsequently, I went hungry for years after that.
I also remember one night laying in bed and my husband asking me if I had called his name. I was almost asleep...so it wasn't me! He didn't open the door at that time either. But thankfully, Jesus always waits outside that door. Thankfully, we weren't too late.
Did He call your name too? Maybe He is saying something else to you. But because of this Scripture, I believe Jesus is always speaking. But are we always listening?
I love that what He really wants to do is have dinner with you! Intimate...fulfilling...special...fellowship...connection...relationship. All over some good food and drink!
JESUS ROCKS! I hope you open the door and let Him in today. Don't wait so long like Kris and I did. Life is too short...don't let another day get away from you without knowing what it feels like to sit down and dinner with the Savior of the world.
Tuesday, August 4, 2009
Psalm 123:1-2: I lift my eyes to You, the One enthroned in heaven. Like a servant's eyes on His master's hand, like a servant girl's eyes on her mistress's hand, so our eyes are on the LORD our God until He shows us favor.
I've been learning lately through lessons and personal experience that ALL of my blessings and desires can and will come from the One enthroned in heaven. I heard a pastor define favor as "uncommon advantage". I don't know about you but I've been needing a lot of uncommon advantage lately in my life. It's nice to know that when I need it, all I have to do is lift my eyes to Him and wait until He shows it to me!
Why is my first instinct to worry instead of pray? I waste so much time and effort trying to fix things on my own when all I need to do is look up. If I would just learn to envision myself as a servant girl, watching and waiting for my Master's hand that beckons me to come. If I would see myself as a servant who relies solely on my Master to give me all that I need, I would be watching His hand at all times! But somehow I forget...for some reason my gaze slips down, back to the world.
So if you need some "uncommon advantage" in your life and can't seem to find it, maybe it's time to start lifting your eyes to the One enthroned in Heaven. Just wait...the favor will come.
What are your eyes fixed upon?
Sunday, August 2, 2009
Psalm 47:2: How awesome is the LORD Most High, the great King over all the earth!
God is so awesome and this song just says it over and over again. "Our God is an awesome God, He reigns from Heaven above with wisdom, power and love. Our God is an awesome God!" We captured our children dancing and worshiping to this song the other day and I thought I would share it for today's Musical Mondays. If you ever need instructions on how to worship God, just watch a child. They are carefree and honest...warm and happy...unashamed and limitless.
Have a great week everyone!
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
Isaiah 43:10-11: "You are My witnesses and My servant whom I have chosen, so that you may know and believe Me and understand that I am He. No god was formed before Me, and there will be none after Me. I, I am the LORD, and there is no other Savior but Me."
Whoa...no argument here! I can't think of a better Scripture for Winning Souls Wednesday! You can search your whole lifetime and there is no other Savior but Him. No Buddha, no prophet, no man or deity can save you. You are His witness and His servant that He has chosen. He wants you to stop looking elsewhere for answers and finally believe and understand that, "I AM HE!" I can just hear Him saying, "Look no further child, there was none before Me and there will be none after Me. I can save you...I am all you need!"
Monday, July 27, 2009
Lamentations 3:17-18, 21-24: My soul has been deprived of peace; I have forgotten what happiness is. Then I thought: My future is lost, as well as my hope from the LORD. Yet I call this to mind, and therefore I have hope: Because of the LORD's faithful love we do not perish, for His mercies never end. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness! I say: The LORD is my portion, therefore I will put my hope in Him.
I've been depressed before and have had my share of bad days, but can only think of one time in my life when I truly forgot what happiness was. That is not a fun place to be. When you've gotten to this point in life, you will usually be there awhile. This Scripture is not talking about your 24 hour deprivations of peace. This is the big time...you are in a hole of sadness...with no end in sight.
I was so close to never becoming a mother. I tried so hard to be positive, have faith, believe. But deep down, I was sinking into a trench where I couldn't remember what it felt like to be happy. The future that I had dreamed about for years and longed to have was lost. Year after year, problem after problem, failure after failure. Void of peace...unimaginable sadness...hopelessness.
But God never left me, even when I felt so alone. He always reminded me He was there. I remember having days when having a baby was all I could think about and many nights where I would cry myself to sleep. But I also remember those times when I could see my soon to be son's face, I swear I could. And I would press on. Hope would rise up in me, against all odds. I could have just given up...no one would have blamed me. But I held on and strived to get out of that black hole of sadness and hopelessness. The more I did that, the more I realized that as long as I had God's love, I would be alright. Even if my dream never came true, He would give me another dream. His love replaced that sadness and I found hope again.
I want to tell you today that His love can replace any sadness you have. You can have peace again. You can have hope in your heart again. You will remember what happiness feels like again. His never ending love is the key. His mercies are new every morning. Fight to get out of that pit...say it over and over again if you have to! The LORD is my portion, therefore I will put my hope in Him.
I have happiness again in my life, peace flows in my life, and I have hope in the Lord. Not because my dream came true...not because I finally became a mother. Happiness, peace and hope are mine because of God's faithful love for me.
I love The Message version so I'll close with it: I gave up on life altogether. I've forgotten what the good life is like. I said to myself, "This is it. I'm finished. God is a lost cause." But there's one other thing I remember, and remembering, I keep a grip on hope: God's loyal love couldn't have run out, his merciful love couldn't have dried up. They're created new every morning. How great your faithfulness! I'm sticking with God (I say it over and over). He's all I've got left.
Psalm 33:4: For the word of the LORD is right and true; he is faithful in all he does.
There are times when a person can only take so much. I've heard about so much death, so much sickness, so much pain this weekend. I just want to scream, and it's not even happening to my family. Even though I don't understand any of it, I do know that I know that I know that God is faithful. In the begininng, He is faithful. Through it all, He is faithful. In the end, He is still faithful. Whether we understand it or want to accept what is happening, He is faithful. He is good and loving toward all He is made.
Please pray for my friend Josh Ness who lost his step-dad just days ago from a sudden heart attack at the age of 55.
Please pray for little 5 year old Reagan, who has brain cancer with only weeks to live. She just got to have Christmas in July...read about her story here.
Finally, please pray for Stellan. This little guy has been through so much and he needs immediate prayers!
I love this song and it reminds me that no matter how bleak things look around me, my God is the Faithful One!
Thursday, July 23, 2009
Psalm 117: Praise the LORD, all nations! Glorify Him, all peoples! For great is His faithful love to us; the LORD's faithfulness endures forever. Hallelujah!
I just feel like praising Him today...
I have so much to be thankful for...
God loves me no matter what...
God never stops doing good for me...
He is faithful...let's praise Him...give Him all the glory...His faithfulness endures forever.
I hope you've had a wonderful day...I can't complain at all with mine!
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
Luke 21:27-28: Then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. But when these things begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is near!
I was praying this morning about what Scripture would be today's Winning Souls Wednesday and was surprised when the Lord dropped this into my mind. It didn't sound very much like a Scripture I would use to lead people to Him. When I think about the end times, I tend to get anxious and my mind wanders around the "what ifs" and the "how is it's". The world is bad enough right now and still the Lord tarries. How bad is it going to get before when we finally do see that magnificent cloud beaming gloriously in the sky?
But this Word speaks of not a scary time but of a joyful time! His children won't be shuddering in fear but standing courageously with heads lifted high. While the world is suffering, our chains are falling off and freedom is ours for eternity. The world will be afflicted with God only knows what kind of sicknesses while we are receiving our new bodies that will forever be perfect.
The more I think about it, the more I can see now how this is the perfect Scripture to lead people to Him. Jesus is coming and I think He is trying to get us ready. Verse 33 of this same chapter sums it. Jesus said, "Heaven and earth will pass away but My words will never pass away." I hope these words that He spoke over 2000 years ago will bring you to realize that they are true for you too. Your redemption is near!
Monday, July 20, 2009
Matthew 5:13-16: "You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt should lose its taste, how can it be made salty? It's no longer good for anything but to be thrown out and trampled on by men. You are the light of the world. A city situated on a hill cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and puts it under a basket, but rather on a lampstand, and it gives light for all who are in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven."
I love salt! I pretty much put salt on everything, even fruit. It brings out the taste in everything that I eat. I enjoy food so much more when it is salty! So I like to imagine myself as salt, being something that people like to be around and look forward to tasting. I like to think I bring out good in people and make things better when I am around. I hope that there is Someone inside of me that just oozes out to other people. They can't put their finger on it but they want to taste more of it!
Jesus is all light, there is no darkness in Him. So if He lives in us, His light should be shining forth from us at all times, illuminating the path for others to find Him. That is the whole reason why we are here and why we have come to know Him as Savior. If it were just for us, then the Kingdom wouldn't grow! It's our job to be the salt and the light of the world. Don't let your light be hidden under a "blanket". Don't let your salt lose it's taste. Let everyone see Jesus in you and give God all the glory!
Psalm 71:8, 23: My mouth is full of praise and honor to You all day long. My lips will shout for joy when I sing praise to You, because You have redeemed me.
I love this song so much. When I sing it, I truly feel like my lips shout for joy! Because I am no longer the person that I was, my mouth is full of praise. I could go on all day telling you the stories of how He has redeemed me. I pray this song becomes one of your favorites to sing to Him.
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
Psalm 116:1-2: I love the LORD because He heard my voice; He heard my call for mercy. Because He has turned His ear to me, I will call on Him as long as I live.
This is a special edition of Quick Word because today is it's one year anniversary! These are the verses I used for the very 1st Quick Word that was emailed out to just my friends and family and now it has spread to China, India, Africa, Malaysia, England, Italy, France, Central America and Canada. I emailed out that 1st Quick Word as my six month old babies napped and now they are 18 months old and are in daycare all day as I am now back working full time outside of the home. So much has changed but these verses still hold true! God is doing amazing things with me and my family. He is not done with us yet and neither are my appeals for mercy. He will always turns His ear to me as long as I live. His Word is spreading, He is working and moving and lives are being changed. If it's only mine, then it was worth it! I look forward to another year with you and I pray that the countries double and that we see new wonders that we've never seen before.
Please share with me your favorite Quick Word, whether it was emailed to you or here on the blog. I'd love to hear from you about what God is doing in your life!
I'd like to add another verse from the same Psalm that sums up Winning Souls Wednesday. Verse 13 says "I will take the cup of salvation and worship the LORD."
Take it...that cup is yours!
Romans 12:21: Do not be conquered by evil, but conquer evil with good.
Evil needs only a crack in the door to be able to come in. You won't even know it has entered at times. But before you know it, evil has taken over. It's won and you are conquered and you wish you could just go back and make sure that door was closed.
I wish I could not only go back and close that door today, I wish I could deadbolt lock it!
But you can't go back, you can only go forward. You can turn around, face your back to that evil, and simply decide to do good. That good will push that evil right back through the door, just like that. You can conquer it, no matter how long that door has been open. No matter how long that evil has been winning, you can be victorious.
Don't let it get the best of you...get the best of it by doing good.
That is my goal from now on...no more striding the fence. No more questionable movies. No more leaving that door unlocked. I have too much to lose and I will not be conquered. Good will ooze out of me at every opportunity and I will conquer over what is trying to destroy me. Thank you Jesus for giving us a way out and second, third, and fourth chances!
Sunday, July 12, 2009
John 8:36: So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.
There is no other worship song that gets me moving like this one! When the Son sets you free, He sets you free in every way. The Message version says, So if the Son sets you free, you are free through and through. Through your mind, all through your body, your complete soul, your marriage, any and all relationships. You are indeed free and that should make you want to dance! It should make you want to run with your hands held high, waiving happily that freedom and liberty are yours!
I pray this song kicks your week off on the right foot...dancing and free!
Saturday, July 11, 2009
Jeremiah 15:11: The LORD said: Assuredly, I will set you free and care for you. Assuredly, I will intercede for you in a time of trouble, in your time of distress, with the enemy.
Please join with me and pray for the Martino family. They are literally going through hell right now and need your prayers. Thankfully, God promises and assures us that He will care for us. He will stand in between you and the enemy when he is attacking you. When distress and trouble come, God intervenes and sets us free. I am sure it will be awhile before this family feels like they are free but with God's help, all things are possible. Right now, I am just praying that they will survive this time of trouble since to me, it is the worst time of trouble I can think of.
Hug your children tight tonight...remember there are those who would do anything to do that again and can't. Have a great weekend everyone!
Thursday, July 9, 2009
Matthew 5:6: Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they are filled.
It's only been four days since I am no longer a stay at home mom, with time in the morning to spend in my Bible and pray and study. How quickly I feel empty! How quickly I have become hungry! This week has been so full of changes but the one change I don't want to happen is for my quest for righteousness and to be close to God to wain or cease all together. It's only been four days and I need to be filled!
I promise going back to work will not interrupt my relationship with the Lord and what He has called me to do. The Quick Word will go on...I may not be on time every morning but I will do my best to keep sharing with you what God is sharing with me. And if I do that, I will be blessed. And that is what is most important to me!
Check out The Message version...I LOVE IT!
You're blessed when you've worked up a good appetite for God. He's food and drink in the best meal you'll ever eat.
I couldn't have said it better myself!
Wednesday, July 8, 2009
Matthew 11:28: "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest."
I will promise you that knowing Jesus as your Savior is the best feeling in the world. There is no other love like His. I can also promise you that even though you know His love, it doesn't exclude you from having trials and troubles. There are some days where you feel that you are forgotten. Some days seem too tough to handle. Everything seems to always come crashing around you at once, and over and over again! I remember having days like that before I knew Jesus' love. I was hopeless, never knowing if my circumstances were going to change. Never knowing if good was going to come.
I have had a rough past 5 days. Saturday, our A/C in our house went out. July in Texas is not a good time to go without air conditioning. Nothing we could do until Monday since it was a holiday weekend. So we packed up and moved in with my mom, triplets, dog and all! We also realized Saturday that our dryer had gone out too. So that was supposed to be fixed Tuesday. Monday came and it was my first day back at work, starting a new job. The kids' were starting daycare for the first time and we were busy getting them ready in the morning. I missed them so much and was so ready to see them by the end of the day. As soon as we got them home, the throwing up began. All three kids at the same time. Kris and I were going back and forth, cleaning up puke. Comforting babies. It didn't make things any better being that I was also sick! We scrambled to find arrangements for them yesterday since they would not be able to go back to school. It's been a crazy weekend and the week didn't start out like I had planned and wanted it to. But, the dryer got fixed, the A/C got fixed, the kids got better and we only had to survive one night of puking.
God took care of us. We were weary and we knew we had a place to go to get rest. We knew we would make it through. That is the priceless assurance of having hope. You can have it too by knowing Jesus as your Savior. Yes He takes your sins away. Yes He can heal you in every way. But He also has made Himself an open door, where you can always come and find rest. If it's been awhile since you came to Him and found rest, then I bet you have been weary long enough.
Thursday, July 2, 2009
Psalm 23:5: You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil, my cup overflows.
"The presence of my enemies" can mean so many things! You don't literally have to have an army beating down your door, waiting to attack you. Many things can feel that big to you: financial problems, marriage problems, self-esteem problems. Life is full of "the presence of my enemies"! Some days it seems like it's too much to take and even before you get out the door in the morning, you've already lost.
But God says He prepares a table for you right in front of, face to face with your own personal enemy! While that presence is bearing down, meant to destroy you, God says, "Take a seat! And not at just any old table. Sit at the King's table with Me." And while you are safely seated at His table, He will anoint your head with oil. The Hebrew word for anoint here is dashen, and the literal translation is to be fat, grow fat, become fat, become prosperous, anoint. While "the presence of my enemies" are waiting to attack, I am getting filled and becoming fat with prosperity...so much so that I am overflowing! Hallelujah!
The next time you sense that problem is turning into "the presence of my enemies", stop and see the table that God has prepared just for you. He is there with you...let Him anoint your head with oil and fatten you up with goodness and prosperity. You will be overflowing with Him so much those enemies won't stand a chance!
Wednesday, July 1, 2009
Romans 10:9, 13: That if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.
Such a simple proclamation, yet it feels like the biggest task in your life when you are about to make it. In fact, it is one of the most meaningful times in your life. You will remember it forever. Don't enter into lightly or flippantly. You are taking a stand in your life and declaring before the world not only what you believe, but who you are from here on out. Your life will change forever. You will be on a new roller coaster, different than what you've been on before, but this one is much more fun and satisfying. So, when you are ready, get alone with God, call out to Him and make this proclamation. Most importantly, read Matthew 13:1-23 about the Parable of the Sower. Make sure your seed falls on good ground! God wants to create purpose and passions in you and He can't do that if you are excited and joyful in the beginning but fall away soon after. This is forever...make sure you are ready for this commitment. Sounds like I am talking about having children right?! Well, to me it is very similar. The love we have for our children and the way we view them is the same way the Father loves us and views us. He wants a relationship with you that lasts an eternity. His Hand is ready to write your name in the Book of Life. Come and start your new life today!
Tuesday, June 30, 2009
1 Peter 5:6-7: Humble yourselves, therefore, under God's mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.
Next week, I'll begin working outside of the home, back in the mortgage business that I have been out of for two years. A lot has changed in two years! I've been worried lately about how I am going to do. Will I remember everything? Will I struggle in a job that I once excelled at? Will I be able to handle the pressure and stress of that job and still be able to be there for my family as a wife and mother? But in the midst of all those questions, I know that God's mighty hand is above me. I believe He can lift me up and help me to excel when everything around me says I am supposed to struggle and fail. I will give all these concerns over to Him. Why? Not because I am not strong enough and not because I am a weakling who can't handle any kind of problem. Because God cares for me! He doesn't want me to live each day, struggling on my own and taking care of everything I need to do, while being weighed down by anxieties and fears. He will gladly take them from us if we would just humble ourselves and give them over to Him. Knowing that those concerns are off my mind now, I can look forward to next week instead of being fearful of it coming. I love The Message version of this Scripture so I will close with it. I feel it speaks directly to me and I hope it does to you too!
So be content with who you are, and don't put on airs. God's strong hand is on you; he'll promote you at the right time. Live carefree before God; he is most careful with you.
Monday, June 29, 2009
Psalm 46:10-11: Be still, and know that I am God...The LORD Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.
I love when storms roll in. I love standing outside, listening to the trees painfully sway in the rising wind, watching the sky turn all sorts of colors, and seeing the beautiful but awesome lighting rip across the sky, illuminating everything in a way you've never seen before. When storms roll in physically and spiritually in your own life, things are very similar to the weather storms. Unfortunately, you don't get the opportunity to stand outside and watch it roll in and then go inside and hide from the devastating effects! Even though the storms come and hurt as we go through them, God is always with us. It is scary and terrifying, painful and crushing. But if we would just be still through it and know that He is with us, that He is our fortress, and simply that He is, then riding out that storm won't seem as bad.
I hope you are not in the midst of a storm right now, but if you are, I hope this song brings you comfort. I hope you are able to praise Him while you are hurting and scared. Trust me, you will get through this and you don't have to do it alone.
Friday, June 26, 2009
Galatians 3:14: He redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit.
I think we need to be reminded this morning of the blessings that are ours because of what Jesus did for us.
"You will be blessed in the city and blessed in the country. The fruit of your womb will be blessed, and the crops of your land and the young of your livestock—the calves of your herds and the lambs of your flocks. Your basket and your kneading trough will be blessed. You will be blessed when you come in and blessed when you go out. The LORD will grant that the enemies who rise up against you will be defeated before you. They will come at you from one direction but flee from you in seven. The LORD will send a blessing on your barns and on everything you put your hand to. The LORD your God will bless you in the land he is giving you. The LORD will establish you as his holy people, as he promised you on oath, if you keep the commands of the LORD your God and walk in his ways. Then all the peoples on earth will see that you are called by the name of the LORD, and they will fear you. The LORD will grant you abundant prosperity—in the fruit of your womb, the young of your livestock and the crops of your ground—in the land he swore to your forefathers to give you. The LORD will open the heavens, the storehouse of his bounty, to send rain on your land in season and to bless all the work of your hands. You will lend to many nations but will borrow from none. The LORD will make you the head, not the tail. If you pay attention to the commands of the LORD your God that I give you this day and carefully follow them, you will always be at the top, never at the bottom. Do not turn aside from any of the commands I give you today, to the right or to the left, following other gods and serving them." (Deuteronomy 28:3-14)
Doesn't that sound good?! All of this can be yours and there is no law that you have to follow. No restrictions, no guidelines, no hindrances. Jesus came and died so that we could be set free...all we have to do is believe! By faith we can receive these blessings. By faith we know in Jesus, we are one with Abraham and his relationship with God Almighty. By faith we receive the promise of the One Jesus said would stay here with us to help us and comfort us...the Holy Spirit.
We don't have do act a certain way or be good enough or go to the right church. Knowing Jesus as your Savior, believing He died for you, is all you'll ever need. Take hold of these blessings today...they are yours by the redeeming power of the blood of the Lamb!
Have a great weekend everyone!