Friday, September 5, 2014

Lyrical Friday - You Revive Me



Happy Friday! 

One word to describe the season I find myself in: Revive
A few definitions that capture the meaning are: 
  • to bring or be brought back to life, vigor, consciousness, or strength; 
  • resuscitate or be resuscitated 
  • to give or assume new vitality 
  • to return a flourishing condition, flourish again 
  • to make or become operative or active again 
If Revive is my word, than You Revive Me by Christy Knockles is my theme. Outwardly I have always been vivacious and ready for anything, but in last two years or so no one saw what inwardly was happening to me: bouts of depression, apathy, stunted growth, and a lack of desire all upon me. I felt like a potted plant neglected by it's keeper. And yet God was so gracious and kind, and contrary to my lack there of,  He filled me with joy. Continually! And moments when that ugly cloud came over me, He'd bring to remembrance scriptures that comforted me. Not once did God leave me alone, or forsake me. The Holy Spirit kept His promise to be my helper. 

May of this year God spoke loudly and clear to me words that were precisely what I had been desiring to hear from Him: I will revive you. In the past few months I have sensed the hand of God doing just that. 

I've been reading A Path of Suffering by Elisabeth Elliot, and she references plants a lot. A growing plant cannot remain in a pot for various reasons: it will create a growth stunt,a complacency of some sort, it will cripple, it will wither, and it will die. A plant needs room for it's roots to spread and it needs pruning. He has taken me, a potted plant, and planted me in His field where I can return to a flourishing condition. 

New vitality. 
God is doing really exciting things in my life right now. And there is no where else I'd rather be. 

You Revive Me, Christy Knockles


If you find yourself in a loss of vitality, vigor, or strength these following verses will help recharge you. Or it could be that you can relate more to that of a stunted growth in your walk with God, these verses are a great prayer guide to get you flourishing again. And if you have that dreadful cloud of depression over you and feel inoperative, these verses will be a great source of encouragement, comfort, and of hope for you. What ever your season may be, God is with you and He will revive you! May your deserts be rivers of joy.

You who have made me see many troubles and calamities will revive me again; from the depths of the earth you will bring me up again.Psalm 71:20 

Will you not revive us again, 
that your people may rejoice in you? 
Show us your steadfast love, O Lord
and grant us your salvation. 
Let me hear what God the Lord will speak, 
for he will speak peace to his people, to his saints; 
but let them not turn back to folly. 
Surely his salvation is near to those who fear him, 
that glory may dwell in our land. Psalm 86:6-9

My soul clings to the dust; Revive me according to Your word. Psalm 119:25

Turn away my eyes from looking at worthless things, and revive me in Your way. Psalm 119:37

Revive me according to Your lovingkindness, so that I may keep the testimony of Your mouth. Psalm 119:88

I am afflicted very much; Revive me, O Lord, according to Your word.Psalm 119:107

Your promise revives me; it comforts me in all my troubles. Psalm 119:50 

I rise early, before the sun is up; 
I cry out for help and put my hope in your words. 
I stay awake through the night, 
thinking about your promise. 
In your faithful love, O Lord, hear my cry; 
let me be revived by following your regulations. Psalm 119:147-149

For thus says the One who is high and lifted up, who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy: “I dwell in the high and holy place, and also with him who is of a contrite and lowly spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly, and to revive the heart of the contrite. Isaiah 57:15


Tuesday, September 2, 2014

shadow of his wings


Because you are my helper, I sing for joy in the shadow of your wings. Psalm 63:7


As meditated this morning on one of my favorite Psalms, this one verse stopped me in my tracks. How beautiful is this imagery of singing in the shadow of God's wings? Not from a mountain top, a valley, or a waterfront, but in the shadow of His very wings. You can't be far and be in His shadow. It can only happen in His presence. You must be near to share this intimacy. I long for the closeness David experienced with God. 

Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. James 4:10

What's more beautiful than David singing in the shadow of God's wings? You and I drawing closer to God and experiencing the same. Let's purpose this week to draw near to Him. And as we sing in this most glorious place, though in the wilderness for some, we will find fullness of joy. 


Friday, August 15, 2014

Lyrical Friday - A Little Longer

My lover said to me,
“Rise up, my darling!
Come away with me, my fair one!
Song of Solomon 2:10

The day I gave my life to God, I read three books in the Bible: Ruth, Esther, and Song of Solomon. I ended the night with the captivating relationship between the Shulamite woman and her love. I have to admit that I am a hopeless hopeful romantic… being that I am a romantic, this love story is what I knew I wanted to have with my God. And so, this verse in chapter 2 always takes me back to that night, and reminds me that God also longs to have this set apart relationship with me. He proposes daily, “Rise up, my darling! Come away with me!”

This reality humbles me. The God, creator of the universe, calls me to Himself. Me! He calls this mess-making, troublemaker, bad tempered me. He calls me, a sinner.

He calls you too.

He covets your hearts.

He desires your thoughts to be fixed on Him.

He is jealous for your time.

He longs and yearns for all you.

What baffles me is how tiny our offering can be at times. As we worship, or as we spend time with Him, do we really offer our all? I know that as for me, most of the time I don’t give God my full attention. I don’t focus as I should. I am easily distracted. I get busy. I worry too much and for too long. And what I end up giving Him is a half-hearted sacrifice. I don’t intend on offering so little, but it's what I have given. Then guilt kicks in. Other times I give more than He requires to make up for my short coming.

A Little Longer by Bethel Music is a reminder that God doesn't want more, nor does He think less of my scraps. He simply wishes for one thing: Me. Broken, Broke, Tired, Sinner me. That’s it. Not words. Not gifts. Not even a sacrifice.

I pray that these lyrics would penetrate your heart. I pray that it would remove you from a place of business, distraction, anxiety, and failure, and take you to a place of stillness and wholeness with God.



After these things the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision, saying, “Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your exceedingly great reward.” Genesis 15:1

But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you. Matthew 6:6

But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. Matthew 6:33
 Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth.  For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. Colossians 3:2-3



What can I do for You

What can I bring to You
What kind of song would You like me to sing
'Cause I'll dance a dance for You
Pour out my love to You
What can I do for You, beautiful King



'Cause I can't thank You enough
'Cause I can't thank You enough



All of the words that I find
and I can't thank you enough
No matter how I try
and I can't thank you enough



I hear you saying to me
Listen you, don't have to do a thing 
Just simply be with me 
and let those things go
'Cause they can wait another minute
Wait, this moment is too sweet 
Please stay here here with me
And love on me a little longer




'Cause I'm in love with you
I'm in love with you



Thursday, July 31, 2014

Ask what you desire


But if you abide in me and my words abide in you, you may ask for anything you want, and it will be granted! John 15:7

[That verse is an uncanny declaration. 

Absolutely unbelievable. 
Except, Christ said it—“ask what you desire.” 

And after all, He didn’t sacrifice one iota of His own integrity by making that promise, because it is predicated on a significant premise: abiding in Him. That isn’t some mystical position or some hard-to-arrive-at pattern of conduct. It isn’t a religious accomplishment or a pious performance. It’s just honest-to-God saying, “I want Your will.” 

His answer: “Pray, and I’ll work it.”]
—Jack Hayford 



Thursday, July 24, 2014

Ruth Bell Graham Collected Poems, page 154

















Manicured, styled,
expensively suited,
they stood
and they smiled
as if programmed, computed
by specialist fed;
yet I knew within each
beat a heart living-dead.
The smiles were a mask;
the lifestyles they led
at beast a brave showing,
pretending, not being,
while You Who created
are God, the Allknowing,
are God, the Allseeing.

Lord, we cannot see
as You see above,
behind and within.
We can only love.
—Ruth Bell Graham

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Incorruptible Beauty

Happy Wednesday Lovelies! 



I'm writing to you from my couch, with my cup of coffee of course! If you could see me, you might gasp. I have a homemade mask on... which my brother likes to call it caca-face, I call it chocolate. But that's not what today's post is about. The mask has a little to do; but not the chocolate, though now I have chocolate on the brain! 

I recently watched a news clip about the ever changing standard of beauty. It immediately caught my attention. As a Latin/Hispanic woman I cringed watching this clip. Take a look:


“I say that inner beauty does not exist. That’s something that unpretty women invented to justify themselves.” –Osmel Sosa

I think of all the young girls, who like myself at their age, believe the lie that our worth is found in a “standard” of beauty. To say that inner beauty does not exist, is to say that your personality, character, talents, and achievements are of no value. These are all God created and given, and God is beauty. 

If 14 year old Me would have pursued the standard of beauty that I longed for, I would most likely be dead because of the Anorexia. But most importantly, I would have missed out on discovering the many wonderful truths, lessons, and people that have added worth and value to my life:
Intimately knowing the love of God
Growing in knowledge of God’s purpose(s) for my life
Learning what my God given gifts and talents are
Developing those gifts and talents for the good of others
Using my not-so-standard-of-beauty body to serve others
Using my story to help girls and women
Traveling the world for pleasure and for missions
Loving and being loved by family and friends

My less than perfect life is also a complete life. And by complete I must include those moments of fear, loss, and trials. These have each taught me a lesson that add worth and value to my life.

I can’t help but think of Peter’s words:
Don’t be concerned about the outward beauty of fancy hairstyles, expensive jewelry, or beautiful clothes. You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God. 1 Peter 3:3-4 NLT

The New King James Version uses the words: Incorruptible Beauty

In other words, this standard of beauty is unfading, incorruptible, honorable, admirable, worthy, good, praiseworthy, estimable, wonderful, and exemplary.

I would do you a disservice if I didn’t quote Allie MarieSmith  on the definition of a woman who possesses an incorruptible beauty:
“Such a woman is at peace with her God. She trusts him completely a her number one relationship in her life. She understands where true value and worth lies- that it’s not in the clothes she wears, the guy she dates, or her socioeconomic background. She’s fully aware of her identity as a beloved daughter of God. Her spirit is at rest- gentle and quiet because she knows that no matter what trouble comes her way; her future in Christ is secure. No amount of striving, accomplishments, or external beauty can maker her more valuable or loved in the eyes of her Lord. That, my girl is a beautiful woman.” -HEAL, page 113

So here I am, with a facial mask on in an attempt to rid my face of acne. I’m also contemplating what nail polish to wear and what lipstick to buy. I’ve learned that being girly is ok, as long as my heart is in check. And though I love all things fashion, makeup, and dressing up, I love The Lord more. His standard of beauty is the one I seek and long for. 

And so I leave you Lauren Scruggs. She has a story that completely shatters Osmel Sosa and our society’s twisted ideals.





Friday, July 18, 2014

pray more

photo credit 

"I'm going to pray more."
It's been said before, and often. How did that go?

I can understand the prayer-less life of a person who has never experienced the power of prayer. But to those of us who have experienced the miraculous, the spectacular, the awe-inspiring power of prayer, we have no excuse. What possible excuse could we give to the God who gives all to us?

It has been in my personal time of prayer that I have grown in faith. For it takes faith to believe that God is who He says He is. It takes faith to believe that God hears my prayers. It takes faith to believe that God cares for the words I say. It takes faith to believe that He will answer, guide, and provide. It takes faith to believe that He has a plan, a purpose, and a will for all my petitions, concerns, and thoughts. And so with every prayer lifted to Heaven faith is increased, and my fears, doubts, and unbelief are shattered. 

Yet, if I only pray my benefit, than I have lost the greatest reward of all... I've lost Christ. It has been those moments that in prayer God speaks to me that have transformed my faith. Prayer is more than simply speaking, it's also about listening. I think this is why so many (myself included) claim to have prayer lives but are found spiritually malnourished. After all, Jesus did say that He is the bread of life. He longs to feed us as we pray.

Hunger for a transforming prayer life. 

Purpose with me to expect the miraculous. 
Purpose with me to seek spectacular conversations with God. 
Purpose with me to be inspired by His silence as much as His words. 
Purpose with me to pray more. 



Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Crisis

Doug Sauder: 
Crisis is a gift that nobody registers for, for obvious reasons.  But here's something that can't be denied: Crisis reveals true character. You never know the true nature of something until it is under duress or put to some sort of test. You'll never know if your roof is solid without a thunderstorm. And you'll never know the true character of someone apart from the context of crisis, and I would encourage all church leaders to embrace that reality. Here's why:
Crisis will reveal the true character in those around you, and you really need to know where people are in regard to you. Who is for you and who is against you? Nothing clarifies that like a crisis.
Also, crisis reveals the true character in you. Let's be honest, none of us are perfect and we all need to surrender and submit areas of our heart to the Lord's transformational touch. But we need to recognize what those areas are before we can yield to Him changing them in us. Nothing reveals those blind-spots like a crisis, because it's then and there that the "true you" is seen. 
Lastly, crisis reveals the true character of the Lord. God's character is constant and never changes. But there are times when we're more dialed-in than others to His voice and His actions on our behalf. Crisis is the time when our hearts tend to be most attuned to His, and He has a perfect track record of faithfulness towards those who trust in Him."


Excerpt from an interview with Phil Cooke: HERE

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