Saturday, December 31, 2011

A Year In Verses

Hello Friends and Good-bye 2011.
I have spent all morning reading and reflecting over my journals for this year. The faithfulness of the Lord is so wonderful. His Holy Spirit remains my greatest strength and my best friend. His Word continues to heal, mend and lead. His promises stand true forever and ever.
As my last post of the year, I would like it to be about what I love most. I love God's word and all who know me know this to be true. I love reading it, treasuring it in my heart, learning from it, teaching it and sharing it. For the last 6 years I have purposed to text morning verses and I have. This year I surpassed 300+ people that I text daily. And though time consuming, it is a joy in my life to be able to deliver God's word to so many. I date and journal the verse I send out and so here you will find my year in verses. One verse from each month. 
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Read my 2010 verses, and 2009 verses
January 31, 2011
"...that you may love the LORD your God, that you may obey His voice, and that you may cling to Him, for He is your life and the length of your days..." Deuteronomy 30:20
February 4, 2011
The Lord GOD has given Me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season to him who is weary. He awakens Me morning by morning, He awakens My ear to hear as the learned. Isaiah 50:4
March 11, 2011
So we fasted and earnestly prayed that our God would take care of us, and he heard our prayer. Ezra 8:23
April 7, 2011
That Christ would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man. Ephesians 3:16
May 5, 2011
Our help is in the name of the LORD, who made heaven and earth. Psalm 124:8
June 13, 2011
By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.  John 13:35
July 29, 2011
And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written: How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, who bring glad tidings of good things! Romans 10:15
August 7, 2011 
Friends, when life gets really difficult, don't jump to the conclusion that God isn't on the job. Instead, be glad that you are in the very thick of what Christ experienced. This is a spiritual refining process, with glory just around the corner. 1 Peter 4:12-13
September 9, 2011
For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith. 1 John 5:4
October 10, 2011
But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you. 1 Peter 5:10
November 5, 2011 
The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD, and He delights in his way. Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down; for the LORD upholds him with His hand. Psalm 37:23-24
December 23, 2011
Wisdom and knowledge will be the stability of your times, and the strength of salvation; the fear of the Lord will be your treasure. Isaiah 33:6
My 2010: "The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly." -John 10:10. As I reflect on this past year, I was given an abundant year full of life, joy and blessings. Was it the year I would have planned for myself? No. But it was the year God planned for me and I lived it abundantly. 
So till next year dear friend. 
May your heart be turned to the Lord and His Word. 

Friday, December 23, 2011

Lyrical Friday - When Death Dies

Happy Friday to you and Merry Christmas! 

Today's post come from the talented and musically genius Gungor Band. This song tells the best part of the Christmas story. I pray it inspires you today to rejoice and be the bearer of glad tidings!

Christmas story time. 
Whether its playing on TV/ being read in a classroom/ played as a skit/ or shared to a church body, the Christmas story is being told. What sweet glory this time of year is, when even heathens declare the birth of our King. How tragic though to leave the story half way told. The birth of a King and the gifts He received wasn't the end of it all. He grew, He lived, He died and He rose from the dead victorious. And because He lives, those who believe in Him, live as well. 

Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed— in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. Then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: 
“Death is swallowed up in victory.” 
“O Death, where is your sting?
"O Hades, where is your victory?”
The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.
1 Corinthians 15:51-52, 55-58

I challenge you, tell the complete Christmas story to all the people around you. The end of the story is the best part, for the end of the Christmas story includes your name and mine, 
"...and  [your name here]  too has risen from the dead and will life forever and ever with Jesus."

When Death Dies, Gungor Band

Like the waters flooding the desert
Like the sunrise showing all things

Where it comes flowers grow
Lions sleep, gravestones roll
Where death dies all things live
Where it comes poor men feast
Kings fall down to their knees
When death dies all things live
All things live

Like a woman searching and finding love
Like an ocean buried and bursting forth

Where it comes flowers grow
Lions sleep, gravestones roll
Where death dies all things come alive
Where it comes water’s clean
Children fed
All believe
When death dies all things live
All things live

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Sentence Tusday

A person is only beautiful 
when their own beauty is reflecting on to others.
-Tara Grady

click HERE to learn more from Aunty Katie who is a Mom to 14 orphan girls in Uganda at 'The Journey' blog

Monday, December 19, 2011

Morning and Evening

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Rend your heart, and not your garments. Joel 2:13
GARMENT-RENDING and other outward signs of religious emotion, are easily manifested and are frequently hypocritical; but to feel true repentance is far more difficult, and consequently far less common. Men will attend to the most multiplied and minute ceremonial regulations-for such things are pleasing to the flesh-but true religion is too humbling, too heart-searching, too thorough for the tastes of the carnal men; they prefer something more ostentatious, flimsy, and worldly. Outward observances are temporarily comfortable; eye and ear are pleased; self-conceit is fed, and self-righteousness is puffed up: but they are ultimately delusive, for in the article of death, and at the day of judgment, the soul needs something more substantial than ceremonies and rituals to lean upon. Apart from vital godliness all religion is utterly vain; offered without a sincere heart, every form of worship is a solemn sham and an impudent mockery of the majesty of heaven.

HEART-RENDING is divinely wrought and solemnly felt. It is a secret grief which is personally experienced, not in mere form, but as a deep, soul-moving work of the Holy Spirit upon the inmost heart of each believer. It is not a matter to be merely talked of and believed in, but keenly and sensitively felt in every living child of the living God. It is powerfully humiliating, and completely sin-purging; but then it is sweetly preparative for those gracious consolations which proud unhumbled spirits are unable to receive; and it is distinctly discriminating, for it belongs to the elect of God, and to them alone.

The text commands us to rend our hearts, but they are naturally hard as marble: how, then, can this be done? We must take them to Calvary: a dying Saviour's voice rent the rocks once, and it is as powerful now. O blessed Spirit, let us hear the death-cries of Jesus, and our hearts shall be rent even as men rend their vestures in the day of lamentation. 

Morning and Evening devotions by Charles Spurgeon 

Friday, December 16, 2011

Lyrical Friday - Beautiful to Me

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Happy Friday!

I first want to wish Stephanie Landa a happy birthday. She is a faithful reader, great prayer warrior and friend. May the Lord's beauty and light continue shinning in you and through you.

As always, I must be honest with you. I had heard of Kerrie Robert but not listened to her music. Upon "youtubbing" her today I felt a bit disappointed with her lyrics, lots of words yet not much substance to them. That all changed when I stumbled upon 'Beautiful to Me' and it stirred up within me so many memories and took me back to a place of loneliness, pain and hopelessness. The greatness of this song is that it didn't just lead me down a sad memory lane, but to the promise land. The place where God took my pain and brought about beauty and wholeness.

Isaiah 43:1-2 // But now, thus says the LORD, who created you, and He who formed you: 
      Fear not, for I have redeemed you; 

      I have called you by your name; 
      You are Mine. 
      When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; 
      And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. 
      When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, 
      Nor shall the flame scorch you. 

Isaiah 43:25 // I, even I, am He who blots out your transgressions for My own sake; and I will not remember your sins. 

Isaiah 49:14-16 // But [your name here] has said, “The LORD has forsaken me, 
      And my Lord has forgotten me.” 
       Can a woman forget her nursing child, 
      And not have compassion on the son of her womb? 
      Surely they may forget, 
      Yet I will not forget you. 
       See, I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands;
      Your walls are continually before Me. 

Isaiah 51:3 // For the LORD will comfort Me
      He will comfort all 
My waste places; 
      He will make 
My wilderness like Eden, 
My desert like the garden of the LORD; 
      Joy and gladness will be found in it, 
      Thanksgiving and the voice of melody. 

Isaiah 54:4-12 // “Do not fear, for you will not be ashamed; 
      Neither be disgraced, for you will not be put to shame; 
      For you will forget the shame of your youth, 
      And will not remember the reproach of your widowhood anymore. 
      For your Maker is your husband, 
      The LORD of hosts is His name; 
      And your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel; 
      He is called the God of the whole earth. 
      For the LORD has called you 
      Like a woman forsaken and grieved in spirit, 
      Like a youthful wife when you were refused,” 
      Says your God. 
      “ For a mere moment I have forsaken you, 
      But with great mercies I will gather you. 
     With a little wrath I hid My face from you for a moment; 
      But with everlasting kindness I will have mercy on you,” 
      Says the LORD, your Redeemer. 
      “ For this is like the waters of Noah to Me; 
      For as I have sworn 
      That the waters of Noah would no longer cover the earth, 
      So have I sworn 
      That I would not be angry with you, nor rebuke you. 
      For the mountains shall depart 
      And the hills be removed, 
      But My kindness shall not depart from you, 
      Nor shall My covenant of peace be removed,” 
      Says the LORD, who has mercy on you. 
       “ O you afflicted one, 
      Tossed with tempest, and not comforted, 
      Behold, I will lay your stones with colorful gems, 
      And lay your foundations with sapphires. 
      I will make your pinnacles of rubies, 
      Your gates of crystal, 
      And all your walls of precious stones."

I have suffered from a broken heart many a times. The cause that wounded me deeply were many: death of a loved one, death of dreams hoped for, death of a career, death of a friendship, death of a romantic relationship, deaths of many kinds. There was much confusion overtaking my mind and uncontrollable fears. Even my health was falling apart. My heard bled in silence, I cried and barely felt alive. Depression kicked in, held me captive and bound me with chains. But the Word of the Lord did not fail me and Isaiah became my most intimate companion. God loosened the chains, captivated me with His wonders and removed my reproach, He healed my broken heart and mended my wounds.

Beloved Sister, beloved Brother I am in tears for you. The Lord sees your pain, He knows your affliction and He cares. He is holding your broken heart, all and every single piece. If you allow Him to, in His length of time, He will heal and mend. He will restore you to wholeness. No sin is too great that God cannot forgive. I beg you to forgive your offender, even if the great offender is you. God can and will restore. 

If you have no other place to go, or can't find the strength to open your Bible, print these verses out and read them till you believe them. I know that Jesus, who personally knows pain, will comfort you. I know how hard and how terrifying a healing process can be. You don't have to do it alone. Invite Him today to be your Healer. He is gentle and loving, full of mercy and overflowing with compassion. I can attest to this great truth. He healed me and continues to do so. His promises are yes and amen, so why not hand over your burdensome pain? If you need someone to talk to or someone to pray with, contact me. 

He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. Psalm 147:3

The Lord will hold you in his hand for all to see—
      a splendid crown in the hand of God.
Never again will you be called “The Forsaken City” or “The Desolate Land.”
   Your new name will be “The City of God’s Delight” and “The Bride of God,”
   for the Lord delights in you and will claim you as his bride. 
Isaiah 62:3-5

My promise to you: I will not stop praying for your until your righteousness shines like the dawn, and your salvation blazes like a burning torch. Isaiah 62:1

Beautiful to Me, Kerrie Roberts

So much I don't understand
That I’d change if I wrote the story
How pain can heal and death bring life
How defeat can bring such glory
You didn't hold back one breath
You even gave Your last one
So I’d live

It's beautiful to me
Your holy mystery
I'm standing here in awe
Of how you make everything
So beautiful to me
Someday I will see
How You hold this wounded heart
And make it perfect and complete
And it's beautiful to me

I don't deserve Your suffering
I should be the one who's bleeding
But Your broken body gives
This broken spirit what it's needing
You reach through time with Your sacrifice
Your wounded hands holding this fragile life

This ache, this longing
This heart that I've been searching
In this moment while I'm breaking
Show me
What Your plan, Your promise
A pain that has a purpose
I let you in to use it
And just like Your hands built heaven’s hall
You’re making me so beautiful

It's beautiful to me
Every mystery
I'm standing here in awe
Of how You make everything
So beautiful to me
So perfect and complete
You hold this wounded heart
Someday I will see
And it's beautiful to me
Beautiful to me
Beautiful, beautiful
Beautiful to me
Beautiful to me

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Ruth Bell Graham on faith, doubt and pain

Into the heart of the Infinite can a mere mortal
hope to gain access,
what with no part of me geared to His greatness,
to His vastness my infinite less?
Yet the longing for Him was so wide and so deep,
by day it crowded life’s thronging,
by night it invaded my sleep.

Then came the pain:
again …
and again …
and again …

As if a wing tip were brushing the tears
from my face
for the breath of a second I knew the unknowable,
glimpsed invisible grace.

And I lay where for long in despair I had lain;
entered, unshod, the holy There where God
dwells with His pain –
alone with the pain of the price He had paid
in giving His Son for a world gone astray
– the world He had made.

My heart lay in silence,
worshipped in silence;
and questioned no more.

Ruth Bell Graham

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

sentence tuesday

This is the joy we have today-that we are saved in Him; and if this joy is satisfying, 
why would we think of changing? 
-Alistair Begg 

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Monday, December 12, 2011

a missing child

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A few weeks ago, my Sister and I were walking out of a crowded local mall when a woman ran outside yelling like a crazy person. I turned around to find the most heart-breaking scene. Pale faced, tears covering her eyes and urgency in her steps… she quickly ran back inside. The air felt thick, the sky gloomed and the cold heart of those around was revealed as they turned blind eyes to this woman’s agony. I looked to my sister and we both turned around. 

As we reentered the mall, we looked for the woman. Her frantic cry could be heard as she sobbed her daughter’s name. We approached her and asked her if we could help. The words rolled off her tongue as she stumbled over her them. This woman was not from here and the language barrier was an obvious obstacle. She stood out; the veil, the makeup, the accent. So many people passed by her. They starred at her as if she was crazy. Others knew she had lost her child and turned their faces. Many didn’t even look her way though they brushed arms with her.

She had another child with her, a little girl about 7 years old. Her eyes were tearing and fear could be read through them. She just looked out into space. I could tell my sister quickly connected with her, older sister to older sister. She comforted the little girl and reassured her that God was going to help us find her sister.

I ran into a store and asked them to contact Security and the Police. A small child was missing and the worst of scenarios could have happened. Was she kidnapped? Was someone hurting her? Was she crying in a store? What if she thinks her Mother abandoned her? Could she communicate? All these questions crossed my mind. In a nonchalant tone, the store attendant told me she didn’t have Security’s number. I’ll be honest with you; I wanted to ring her neck in the face of this great tragedy. I kept calm for the sake of the Mother. Eventually another store employee found a number and Security was on its way. But how much time could pass before someone did anything to find this missing 4 year old.

We decided to split. The woman remained around the entrance of the mall, her friend went down one hallway, my sister and I took another. We both took every other store. As I left each one, my heart grew anxious and desperate. Hope faded. Tears filled my eyes. Anger was rising. Mixed emotions overtook my mind and heart. Why wasn’t anyone else helping? What if everyone united and helped in the rescue of this little girl? I felt like yelling and scorning the people. A child was missing and they only cared about their agendas. However, the search continued.

As we approached the end of that corridor, my sister sees two security guards coming. Sure enough they are holding a little girl, each holding one tiny hand. Relief and joy filled our hearts and we began to run back and tell the woman the great news. Her child was lost but now is found. We see her standing where we left her and told her the good news. They were taking her to the store that called in the missing child. She shook as she waited for her daughter. We broke down in tears as the little girl made eye contact with her mother. She was still at a distance.

Mother, daughter and sister are reunited, they hug, they cry and I cry. Relief settles in and we say goodbye to this woman. One last word with her, “I told you God would bring back your daughter. God bless you.” It was apparent that she had a lot to say to us but overcome by emotions she was at a loss for words and simply said, “Thank You.”

We walked out of the mall very and into the car. My “righteous” anger towards the people in the mall quickly turned in to compassion for them, how could I ask them to help me find a missing child when they too where lost people. Waves of thoughts came over and up until now haven’t really settled in my mind and heart.

When I am with those who are weak, I share their weakness, for I want to bring the weak to Christ. Yes, I try to find common ground with everyone, doing everything I can to save some. 1 Corinthians 9:22

The world we live in is much like this missing 4 year old, they have a home, they have a parent and a family longing for them but they are lost. They wander around aimlessly, walking on a path that seems right but in the end leads them farther from home.

We who claim to love Jesus and carry His name are doing a terrible job at bringing them home. We are aware of the need yet we turn our faces from them. God has placed us where we are today to lead the lost home. Just thinking of the agonizing cries of the woman puts us to shame when we look at it through spiritual lenses. Are we crying out to God for the lost? Is their an urgency in our hearts for the lost? Are we relentlessly searching for the lost? I pray that we would be a different generation, not passive in reaching the lost and proactive in searching for them. You have been blessed and baptized with both the power of the Holy Spirit and with fire (Matthew 3:11), don’t be afraid nor ashamed to reach the lost. 

Friday, December 9, 2011

Lyrical Friday - Out of Reach

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Happy Friday!
Having a bad day? Having a bad week? month? year? life? I tend to live in the past. I live in the regret of yesterdays, the mistakes of long ago and the pain of the past produces fear in me. I have lost count at how many times I have intended on changing a certain area of my life or even embarking on a new journey and I don't do anything because my past has a hold on me. Is this you? Are you being held captive by your past? Have you been hurt and continue wounded? Have you failed and fallen and haven't gotten up? Is yesterday not allowing you to live today? Be encouraged, for God can make all things new.

Anorexia, my silent killer, has been one of the toughest obstacles to overcome. Shame kept me from opening this area of my life to anyone. My thoughts of relapsing was a vicious cycle that caused me to hate myself. And the fact of the matter that I had not forgiven myself condemned me from living in freedom. That is until God led me on a heal journey, literally a HEAL journey. God has a heal journey for you too. It begins with a willingness to surrender your past, bury it and rise above it with the Holy Spirit's guidance and help. God's Word is critical in overcoming the past because God has so many promises for you and your future. If you need prayer, please email me.

Sarah Kelly wrote this very song in a moment where she was being healed by God from the wounds of her past. In her case, she had been married to an abusive man who landed her in and out of the hospital many times. Deeply rooted wounds are hard to overcome, but allow this song to give you courage as you not only meditate on the words that Sarah Kelly now lives by and I live by too. God bless you.
Out of Reach, Sarah Kelly

No more words to singNo more contradicting melodyNo more cheap goodbyeNo more golden lie
Nothing to defendEyes, it's time to learn to cry againDrawing out this lineFor the millionth time
Behind me I seeA broken world andDead end dreams
I'm out of reachI'm out of the reach of yesterdayFade awayAnd I have changedI have changed, so on with today
Following my heartNo where but the honest truth to startWhat have I become?What could I become?
Failure or successWelcoming the test to prove my loveGrowing in my faithLord please grant the strength
Thankfully, I'm breaking freeFrom all the chains that are holding meI never knew how good life could beSo this is peace

I'm out of reachI'm out of the reach of yesterdayFade awayAnd I see lifeI see lifeAheadNot behind

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

sentence tuesday

Often the most beautiful people 
are those who have once been broken. 
-Allie Marie Smith 

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Friday, December 2, 2011

Lyrical Friday - Glorious

Happy Friday! 
For the past few weeks, the Lord has been working the discipline of worship in my heart. And by worship I mean worship by thanksgiving, worship by praise, over all, worship by words. Eventually all our works here on earth will be judged and if our works were good than we shall be rewarded. Worship is a good work and I don't want to fail God in this area. By no means am I encouraging anyone to do good works in order to earn a reward, for what greater reward than eternity with God!? But this is where God has me, He is molding me to be a worshiper in spirit, in truth and as a good worker. 
For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, you are God’s building. According to the grace of God which was given to me, as a wise master builder I have laid the foundation, and another builds on it. But let each one take heed how he builds on it. For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each one’s work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one’s work, of what sort it is. If anyone’s work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward. If anyone’s work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire. 1 Corinthians 3:9-15
I don't know about you, but I want my works of worship to endure all throughout Heaven and eternity. I have determined to worship God with excellence, focus and purpose. I encourage you to do the same as you meditate on the lyrics of this song. May your worship be a sweet-smelling aroma unto the Lord; a worship that pleases Him. 

Glorious, Bryan and Katie Torwalt 

Hope fills my soul, and the love that youʼve shown
Brings refreshing like the rain
Peace floods my heart, Iʼve known nothing apart
Apart from Your goodness God

You are Glorious, 
You are Holy, Holy 
The heavenʼs shout, You are Worthy, Worthy
My soul cries out, You are Holy, Holy
The Nations will shout, You are Worthy, Worthy

Verse 2 
Your Love frees my soul, and fear has no hold 
For You have broken the chains 
Now Joy fills my life, Your Spirit Your Light
Iʼm undone by the Kindness of Christ

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