You will be a crown of splendor in the LORD's hand, a royal diadem in the hand of your God. Is. 62:3
"The enemy, knowing the significant place God has given women, has feared our rising to our purpose and, therefore, has sought to keep us blinded, bound, and crippled. Luke 13:11 tells us that the bent over woman could do nothing to raise herself up. Unless God moved on her behalf, she would forever stay in that bent-over, crippled, limited position and would be unable to function as purposed and designed. She was healed and set free because Jesus took the initiative to make her whole."
Jesus is still taking the initiative today. Reach out and receive.
-Jane Hansen- From "Master Plan" *
Woman, you are called! Take up your sword and fight the battle that is set before you for you are NOT alone!
God will raise up a Deborah in you, a warrior, a prophetess, a woman who understood the times and seasons, and had the courage to do what men wouldn’t do. With obedience to the word of God, and in loving submission to our husbands, we must rise up, take hold of the promises He has for us and cry out like Hannah, believe like Ruth, have the courage of Esther, but fight like Deborah!
On her knees she is an army, the faithful woman of God is a threat to the enemy's schemes; he aims to weaken the army of God by crippling us and making us feel inadequate, out of commission, bent over, anxious, depressed, and tired.
heard Hannah, accepted Ruth, delivered Esther, healed the woman with the issue of blood, gave living water to the samaritan, won Deborah’s battle, didn’t condemn the adulteress, freed Magdalene from 7 demons, spared Rahab, forgave Bathsheba, AND made straight the bent over woman!
“When Jesus saw her, He called her over and said “Woman, you are FREED from your disability” Immediately she was made straight, and she glorified God!"
“He who calls you is faithful; He will surely do it.” 1Thessalonians 5:24
The enemy will use disappointment to steal your joy. But God’s hope kills disappointment, it eradicates doubt from the depths of our soul. "Call those things that are not as if they were” says the Lord. Instead of what you feel, speak what you believe, having faith and hope in what you do not see, for “hope that is seen is not hope”. God sees you. He knows of all your struggles, He has a plan and a purpose for your life. He is willing and able to heal your disability and finish the work that He started in you.
Today, hold firm to scriptural truth, shine a glimmer of hope in your soul, and believe that he Lord will work in your behalf, pulling you out of the pit into the battle field, for the rebirth of a kingdom of God focus is not only imperative, but imminent.
Pick up the book "Master Plan" by Jane Hansen here
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“Awake, Deborah, awake!” (Judges 5:12)
Yes! Awake! God is calling His people to rise and heed His call.
We are face to face with a battle while God’s army sleeps. Indifference, numbness, apathy, and “luke-warmness” run rampant in our churches today keeping us stagnant and inoperative. It’s understandable It takes courage to boldly say: "Lord! If no one else will go, I will go. Send me." But, when the anointing of the Lord falls on us, the call is no longer a laborious task, it becomes a desire of the heart and a life purpose.
“As the bridegroom was delayed, they all became drowsy and slept.” Matt 25:5
Let me tell you a quick story: I had an old pair of tennis shoes I used to live in. It dawned on me one day that because of the trials I faced with my health, unable to exercise, I had not worn them in ages. I lacked determination and the will to carry on. I was never known as the one who gives up too easily, however, and after a lot of prayer, the fire sparked again. Rummaging through the garage, I dusted them off and prayed for the strength to not give up. As usual, God heard my heart. The very next morning, a dear friend calls to offer prayer. Knowing my battles and struggles, she asked me to think of a woman in the Bible I admired most. Excitement filled my eyes when I thought of her. “Deborah!”, I exclaimed.
“Well, then wear her tennis shoes! If you are not strong enough to walk in yours, walk in hers! Take on her strength, courage, determination and start striding!” After she said that, I realized I had never even told her my shoe story. God always comes through.
I believe the church today faces a similar situation. Many of us lie dormant because of fear, oppression, and bondage, or contently sit in our comfort zones. A great number of God's people are accepting the ways of the world and distancing themselves from sound doctrine; they have taken a detour from the cross and said "yes" to what God clearly says "no". Whatever the case may be, I say: awaken, oh church, awaken! Come back to your first love! The bridegroom is at the door and your lamps have no oil. Hurry, therefore, and get right with God!
Before the cradle He knew you, and after the grave forever He'll keep you, if you don't give up.
Do you see yourself as Esther, woman of prayer, fasting, and courage? Because of her boldness and audacity to appear before the King in behalf of her people, the Jews were spared.
Are you more like Deborah, a warrior, prophetess, a woman who understood the times and seasons, and had the courage to do what men wouldn’t do? Fearless, and without hesitation, she marched into battle to defeat the enemy.
You may be like Ruth, determined, loyal, and compassionate, a Moabite who gave up the only life she knew to follow the God of Israel in spite of attacks and rejection from the Jewish people. Convinced of her decision to follow, she declared: "Your people will be my people, and your God will be my God".
Ruth was 'grafted in' and God chose her to be in the line of Yeshua the Messiah.
Or you may relate to Hannah, a woman of faith, a true worshiper who walked with an attitude of gratitude. With a heart filled with anxiety, she poured out her soul before the Lord, only her lips moved, but her voice was not heard. She knew God could hear her, He granted her petition, and she bore the prophet Samuel.
What could be the fruit of our labor? It’s time to put on the full armor of God and step onto the battlefield to find out! We could save a nation, raise prophets, win souls, revive the dead, heal the wounded, and restore the broken. Wear her tennis shoes and march on, knowing that God always equips the called and fights our battles.
Onward and upward!
"Then the Lord said to Moses, "Why are you crying out to me? Tell my people to move!" Exodus 14:15
In honor of my mentor...
Her sparkling personality and boundless energy are only met by her immeasurable desire to serve the King and others. Yet, whenever she sees you struggling up the mountain, she can briskly snap into commander's daughter and shout: "Now you get back into that innately strong person you are, young lady!"
Because of her I found my calling, I climbed a little higher and was made completely whole in Jesus.
"Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High, will rest in the shadow of the Almighty" Psalms 91:1
It's fall! My favorite time of the year for many reasons. Mostly because it's the season for the High Holy days, a time when God really showed up in my life to bring growth and restoration particularly in my relationship with Him and my family. He started by changing the most obvious and simple thing: My faith.
"If God is ok with it, I'm ok with it", a dear friend once said while going through a difficult time. I have never met anyone quite like him. He had a deep sense of his own immortality and he journeyed through life filled with unwavering faith. Even on his worst day, he decided - totally made up his mind - that there was no trouble or situation that God didn't know about and it could never take away the resounding peace he felt in the midst of trials. I am absolutely blown away by such faith. He whistled through the storms and danced in the rain. Even prolonged battles and troubles that seemed interminable weren't able to silence his lips from uttering praise. He couldn't be moved.
I whispered: "Lord, I want that faith".
I often say prayers like that without even realizing it. It's more like a desire of my heart, or a quick passing thought attached to a strong emotion. I do remember having a burning desire for the kind of trust that walks calmly into the lion's den, and for the faith to make the sun stand still. God "heard" that desire. I noticed those are the prayers He likes to answer best, the ones I never even knew I prayed. It reminds me of the verse:
"Take delight in the LORD, and He will give you the desires of your heart." Psalms 37:4
God started speaking. He showed me the importance of spending quiet time in His presence. I finally realized that my friend was a man of prayer, a man who understood what it meant to be attached to the vine, firmly connected to the source of life; and if I really wanted that faith, I would have to work at it like he did. He never went one day without reading his Bible or doing his devotions, but "walked and talked" with Jesus both through tears and laughter.
I made it a daily habit to spend precious moments with Jesus, not saying much, just praising Him and trying to listen. My faith started to grow as I learned to shift my focus from "me" to focusing on Him. Everything changed when I realized It's not about what I am going through and all my troubles, but about what HE went through. Typically, I would whine and cry asking for this or that, and complain in disbelief that He could even hear me. - I feel ashamed every time I remember how I used to treat Him like a drive-through restaurant, and get quite upset when I didn't get my order right -
This time I chose to simply get lost in His presence, praising Him for who He is, thanking Him for His provisions and for everything He accomplished at the cross. Gently, and ever so patiently, He started to show me that my battles had already been won at Calvary. He taught me to trust no matter what giant I faced. I learned to recognize His soft whispers could only be heard in my loud and cluttered world when I searched for Him in stillness. It is the father's deep desire that His people would quiet their racing minds and busy lives to spend more time alone with Him. As He Himself told Martha:
"Martha, Martha, you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed - or indeed only one - Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her." Luke 10:4
Faith insists in believing, it's the evidence of things unseen, and the substance of things hoped for. It reveals to any observer that we've been with Jesus.
Today I am more rooted and grounded in Christ. The question "Jesus, do you love me" was settled at the cross, and I will not dare ask that again.
"When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men HAD BEEN WITH JESUS" Acts 4:13
I could write so many blog posts about my war room testimonies, I should probably start writing "the war room series". Since I started making my time with Jesus non-negotiable, intentional, and habitual, life hasn't been the same. It's in the quiet times that revivalists are born: "These men and women are fire-starters, willing to take the personal attacks if it means stirring people’s hearts toward a hunger for God’s presence—which in turn, lays the foundation for a move of God." (Marcus Yoars).
Revival begins in the war room. It sure has stirred up my heart, deceitful above all, but now ignited by the fire of His spirit.
"Some people are surprised to realize that the Christian life is not a playground;
it’s a battleground! Like it or not, if you are a Christian, you are in a battle between good and evil. Spiritual warfare is real…and it’s intense!
We have a choice as Christians. It isn’t a choice of fighting or not fighting in the spiritual battle; it’s a choice of victory or defeat, advancing or retreating.
In the Christian life, either you are overcoming, or you will be overcome"
(The man with unwavering faith, J. L.)
That I may fall in love with You everyday,
even on my worst day,
to love you like the first.
But Zion said, “The Lord has forsaken me;
my Lord has forgotten me.”
“Can a woman forget her nursing child,
that she should have no compassion on the son of her womb?
Even these may forget,
yet I will not forget you.
Behold, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands;
your walls are continually before me.
Thank you, Lord, for the gift of your word. Through it you teach, exhort, bring comfort, and hope. Thank you for leaving us with this great treasure of knowledge containing the depths of your love for mankind. Open our minds to understand scripture and show us how to apply it in our lives. Lord, when our souls are disquieted within us, and the troubles of this world suffocate our faith so that we are not even strong enough to pray, how often do we cry: "Lord, where are you that you do not hear me, that you do not answer me?!" We find ourselves as orphans, lonely, helpless, alone. But you, in your infinite goodness, come and tell us that: even if a mother abandons her son and forgets him, you will not forget us.
This truth brings joy and rest to the racing heart, it keeps hope alive.
It's comforting to know that we are not alone in our trials. Asaph, in Psalms 77 has a moment of despair before the lord saying: "You don't let me sleep. I am too distressed even to pray! ... ... Has the Lord rejected me forever? Will He never again be kind to me? Is His unfailing love gone forever?" But then, he remembers all that the Lord had already done for him. He meditated on all of the Lord's mighty works and he was reminded that the Lord is good. "But then, I recall all you have done, oh Lord; I remember your wonderful deeds of long ago. They are constantly in my thoughts. I cannot stop thinking about your mighty works.
God is with us, both here and for all eternity. The Bible says He is before us and He is behind us and nothing can snatch us out of His hands. Meditating on His word in times of trials is the very best thing you can do to lift yourself up from the fog of agony. Like Asaph said he could not stop thinking about the Lord's mighty works. Think about it, meditate on it. Let it infiltrate your whole being and you will be transformed by the renewing of your mind.
When sadness, loneliness or despair try to bring you down, remember what Jesus told us: "Behold, I am with you always day to day, to the end of the world." Mt 28:20 Let this promise echo in your ears, penetrating deeply your inner man, warming and detoxifying your soul, as the psalmist did when he asked: "Why are you discouraged, O my soul, and why are you troubled in me? Wait on God, for I will yet praise Him. He is my health and my God. "Psalm 42:11
The Lords' mercies are new every morning! Everyday a new sunrise awakens us bringing joy and refreshment to our souls. Trust in Him. He has not forgotten you.
"But for you who revere my name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in it's wings, and you will frolic like well fed calves"
Peace! doubting heart, my God's I am,
Who formed me man, forbids my fear;
The Lord has called me by my name;
The Lord protects, forever near;
His blood for me did once atone,
And yet He loves and guards His own.
"You are blessed, because you believed that the Lord would do what He said"
There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy place where the Most High dwells....There is a fountain flowing with living waters, my soul drinks from it and never thirsts again...There is a place for the weary to be satiated, and for every sorrowful soul to be replenished...
Are you thirsty, weary, and tired? Is the busyness of life keeping you from experiencing God's fullness and all that He created you to be? When the evening unfolds into the quiet of night, is your mind still? Or is it racing and cluttered with shame, sin, and worry?
If the stagnation of anxiety has found a home in your heart and you feel like a prisoner of your own mind ... let me share with you what I have found ...
I pictured people sitting on benches inside a prison cell. The doors of the cell were wide open, inviting anyone to walk out free. Instead, they just sat there unwilling and unable to see beyond the dark cloud of oppression that laid so heavy on them. Truth and hope powerless under the gloomy shadow of fear. Oh, the lies we believe!
Garden of Gethsemane. Jesus is betrayed. Upon the ground, drops of blood fall from his face. The thought of the cross, I can't fathom the anxiety. His hands clammy, heart pounding.
We have been set FREE! Those the Son has set free are free indeed! We are no longer slaves! Jesus has already paid the price. He has already died on that cross once. How many times would He have to die for you to step out into freedom? It is finished. The battle has been won and He has overcome the world! We are hers with Him! Come out with a full heart and praise Him for what he has ALREADY done! You are free! Free to dance, sing, and worship! We were created to worship!
Sometimes, in order to free the body from feelings of being stuck, the best thing to do is to meditate and get moving. How about we do both?
Come for a walk with me... This is how I meditate...
I'll take you to a place where I have found rest for my soul.
Before we set off, try for just a moment to forget your troubles and anxieties. Whatever your mind is preoccupied with, try to leave it behind. Take a few long deep breaths and be fully present. When you are ready, start walking...
It's a beautiful crisp Spring morning, and you can feel the soft breeze against your skin. The sky is as clear as it's ever been... Around you there is nothing but flowers of all colors and shapes. His creation is surrounding you with breathtaking beauty. You can smell the sweet earthy fragrance of the soil and the only sound you hear is from the birds singing. You are amazed at what He has made. All you can think about is how wonderful He is. With every step, your heart gets warmer and you feel lighter and happier. Your soul contemplates the splendor of His majesty and you can't help but sing: "Your unfailing love, oh Lord, is as vast as the heavens; your faithfulness reaches beyond the clouds. Your righteousness is like the mighty mountains, your justice flows like the oceans tide! How precious is your unfailing love, oh God! All humanity finds shelter in the shadow of your wings!"
All is quiet, all is still... stop to smell the flowers, and take some time to meditate on His word. There is power in speaking the word of God. He spoke a whole world into existence. We have the spirit of love, POWER, and of a SOUND MIND. Don't take that lightly. Use the word of God to change your situation. By staying in constant dialogue with Him, we can become all He created us to be.
..."Dear father, in your word you urged us: Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls."
Truly my soul finds rest in God; my salvation comes from Him. In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, Lord, make me dwell in safety. Lord, you will refresh the weary and satisfy the faint. My flesh and my heart may fail, but you are the strength of my heart and my portion forever. For who is God besides the Lord? And who is the Rock except our God? It is God who arms me with strength and keeps my way secure! Dear Lord, you said your presence will go with me, and you will give me rest. I know that I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength. I will cast my anxieties on You because You care for me. You said that those who hope in you will renew their strength; they will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary; they will walk and not be faint. I will approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that I may receive mercy and find grace to help in my time of need. The joy of the Lord is my strength. In the day that I called, you answered me. You encouraged me with strength in my soul. How many times have you whispered "do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand." You make me lie down in green pastures, you lead me beside still waters, you refresh my soul. I will not fear, because you are with me.Thank you, Lord, for taking such good care of me. Forgive my unbelief. Renew and restore to me the joy of your salvation! I will not doubt!
Whenever a negative thought or worry creeps in, intentionally replace it with the word of God. Tell yourself you are a child of the most high God, that you were bought with a price. Do not underestimate the price He paid to give you freedom by worrying about your life. When you feel down, get up and go for a walk, look at a flower, smile, and be reminded of His love and grace for you. Talk to Him, seek Him, fill your mind with His word. Speak it out loud! It all begins with a thought. Don't let the old man in. He is supposed to be dead, remember? Exercise your faith by filling yourself daily with Jesus.
Christian joy is not based on circumstances
but on a growing awareness of God
and the certain (unquestionable, indisputable, definite, irrefutable) future of eternal life with Him
"Commit your ways to the Lord, and your thoughts will be established"
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.
“Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all. Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised."
Whenever there's a mountain in front of me and I can't see ahead, I trust in the One who can see on the other side of that hill to lead me safely over. If, however, He allows me to take the harsh wilderness path, even then I'm not alone. He will go ahead of me by day in a pillar of cloud to guide me on my way, and by night, in a pillar of fire, He will give me light.
But maybe, by the prayers of my mother, He'll let me take the shortcut, again. :)
Mom, thank you for your prayers! How many times have your tears moved the hands of God on our behalf. You are an example of unwavering faith, determination, and conviction. Thank you for being a strong tree, deeply rooted in the love of Christ. It's evident, it's inspiring, it leaves us longing for more in our own lives. We love you.
HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY!
"You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had"
If you are anything like me, you probably have lost your patience at one time or another. Maybe you overreacted to a situation and had a really poor attitude toward someone or even when faced with a trial.
When I read the following passage, it's hard to imagine that Paul was writing this from a prison cell in Rome.
"Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ” Philippians 1:27
Wow! Now that's having a good attitude no matter what! In the midst of difficulties, persecutions, and all kinds of hardships, Paul chose to keep a Christ-like attitude. Think for a second how you would act in face of such unfortunate circumstances. These days, when technology can drive a mom crazy, we get desperate and lose our cool for so much less than that. In Ephesians 5:1 Paul also says to be "imitators of Christ as dearly beloved children.”
How many jobs do people lose every day because of poor attitudes? How many are passed over for promotion because of the way they approach their work and the people around them? How many bosses lose employees for not knowing how to speak to them? How many marriages fall apart? It would be impossible to calculate. No one should ever lose a job, miss a promotion, or destroy a marriage because of a poor attitude. Why is it happening? Because a person's attitude isn't set in Christ.
The more time we spend with Him,
the more Christ-like we become.
Paul was only strong enough because He was in Christ daily. He knew what Jesus meant when He said "abide in me, for without me you can do nothing". Only being tightly close with Jesus can we have that kind of attitude in a prison cell. It's a choice.
You get to choose to stay connected to the vine. It's a daily thing.
Chuck Swindoll writes: "Attitude, to me, is more important than education, than money, than circumstances, than failure, than success, than what people think or say or do. It's more important than appearance, talent, or skill. It will make or break a company....a church....a home. The remarkable thing is that we also have a choice every day regarding the attitude we embrace for that day. We cannot change the past, we cannot change the fact that people act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the set of strings we've been given, and that is our attitude..... I'm convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it. Paul also said:
“You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness” (Ephesians 4:22-24).
Paul always approached people with love, grace, acceptance, and a heart to serve rather them be served. Seek Christ and love Him with all your soul, heart, mind, and strength, and you will start to see a new attitude emerge. One who stays calm and confident in the middle of adversity, one who is solid and stable when faced with a trial.
The roses you find on the way will remind you of His love and grace, and the thorns you step on will strengthen your faith and bring you closer to Him.
Keep a good attitude!
See also "Words have Power"
This is a great read! You won't be able to put it down!
"Let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. Put on your new nature, created to be like God---truly righteous and holy. So stop telling lies. Let us tell our neighbors the truth, for we are all parts of the same body. And don't sin by letting anger control you. Don't let the sun go down while you are still angry, for anger gives a foothold to the devil.....Don't use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them....Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you."
God gave you every emotion you have, including anger. But He wants you to handle it the right way. Note the word "let us...tell the truth." When you're angry, instead of denying it, use it to bring about positive change. Saying: "I've been feeling angry because I value our relationship and I'd like to talk about it," brings healing and solutions. Pretending you're not angry when you are is basically dishonest. So is exaggeration: "You never listen to me....You always ignore my wishes.....Nobody does anything around here except me." Such generalizations are untrue and serve only to aggravate and paralyze, guaranteeing the problem gets obscured and goes unresolved. God's will is for you to control your anger rather than letting your anger control you. [...]
"When my wife told me she was pregnant, only my nerves matched my excitement. What kind of world are we bringing our son into? Throwing a baseball, properly casting a rod, there were so many things I wanted to teach him; show him lifes little lessons. One evening, as we drove home, he gazed out the window, and with the inquisitiveness of only a child he asked: "why does the moon keep following us everywhere we go?" Immediately I smiled and gave chuckle. I thought back to my fathers car, where I would lie in the backseat and feel the familiar turns home while watching the moon chase us. It wasn't long before I asked my dad "why the moon seems to be following us everywhere we go" I gave my son the answer and watched as he continued to look out the window -seeming to digest his thoughts in his own little world. I began to think how he was building towards his future, learning and growing. Again I smiled, as I knew I was building a foundation for him. A foundation in Christ. I love you, son. Always will."
Just the other day I was sitting on the couch staring at nothing. Upon awakening from my usual dreamy abstraction, I turned to my husband and said: "you never say "I love you" anymore."
Bad timing for that comment. :)
Looking very engaged in his food prep, he checks the crockpot one more time and says: "see this chili here? It's being made with love" -as with all of his cooking - "it's also made with no tomatoes, the right amount of coriender seeds, which I ground myself, all your favorite vegetables, and the toughest part: you wanted it to be meatless. I had to get pretty creative... What did you ask me again?"
He's a bit sarcastic - They say Bostonians are like that. :) But, he had a point.
Have you noticed how easily we toss the words "I love you" out there? Still, I am not convinced that we can "love" so much, and yet find ourselves living in a world so full of hate - a huge cue that actions speak louder than words.
"Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things" Corinthians 13:4-7
The following words were written by my cousin, one of the most inspiring people you will ever meet. He is like that one great book of which you highlight every word...
"Simple as this...
It's easy to say "I love you". Many of us say it quite often, however, "living the I love you's" goes above and beyond a sweet 4 letter word.
I LOVE YOU is overcoming together the many hurdles of life; it's dealing with daily mishaps, which, believe me, are more common than not.
I LOVE YOU is knowing how to hush when we feel like arguing, screaming, and yelling.
I LOVE YOU is recognizing that there is no growth when only one is growing, in which case, we stretch out a loving hand and catch them up. After all, it's no longer "ME", it's "US".
I LOVE YOU is rejoicing with each other at individual achievements, even if small.
I LOVE YOU is listening, listening again and still be willing to hear the same stories over and over.
I LOVE YOU is knowing that your best friend, sometimes only friend, is the one you wake up with everyday.
I LOVE YOU is forgiving and asking for forgiveness.
I LOVE YOU is being thankful for constructive criticism.
I LOVE YOU is a continuing process of learning to respect and live with mutual understanding.
I LOVE YOU is so much more than just words.
May we forever live this kind of love, and may God be first in our lives ... the only way we CAN love or live forever."
By Frank Matos.
Undoubtedly, their grass is only greener because it is irrigated daily with the living water that flows from above. #truelove
Joseph had a dream, and when he told it to his brothers, they hated him all the more. He said to them, “Listen to this dream I had: We were binding sheaves of grain out in the field when suddenly my sheaf rose and stood upright, while your sheaves gathered around mine and bowed down to it.” His brothers said to him, “Do you intend to reign over us? Will you actually rule us?” And they hated him all the more because of his dream and what he had said.
Then he had another dream, and he told it to his brothers. “Listen,” he said, “I had another dream, and this time the sun and moon and eleven stars were bowing down to me.” When he told his father as well as his brothers, his father rebuked him and said, “What is this dream you had? Will your mother and I and your brothers actually come and bow down to the ground before you?” His brothers were jealous of him, but his father kept the matter in mind (Gen. 37:5-11).
-The time would come when these things took place. Joseph would rise up in a position of authority in Egypt and his brothers and father would bow to him there.-
"When the future is looming and I have so many dreams inside of me, the craving to fulfill the vision gains strength. There’s an urgency to materialize the “great plan” God has for me. With each step forward, however, the hills get steeper and the visions fade..."
I was only 13 the first time I really prayed.
Back when I was a kid the days seemed so long, I never knew, nor cared to know, what time or day it was. All I wanted to do was play. We got lost in time playing hide n’ seek or ringing our neighbor’s doorbells. We played outside all day -generation X, best ever! I remember my barbie dolls, mud puddles, street soccer (being from Brasil and all), and homemade popsicles, not a worry in the world.
As street lights began to flicker, mom's voice carried down the street. Dinner was ready.
Reality hits... homework, shower, brussel sprouts and bed. Least favorite being sleep time. Nothing said “party is over” louder than going to bed. - definitely not how I feel now after having 2 kids!- but back then it was no fun. Lights out, it didn't take long until I drifted off to sleep, tired anyone? Alarm was always set for 6.
One particular night was short. Waking to unfamiliar commotion in the house, I heard dad rushing out the door while mom laid in bed awake. I tried to gather enough strength to ask what was happening, and when I finally got up she said to me: “I just don’t think grandma is going to make it”.
Although I grew up catholic, well, I went to church on Sundays, we didn’t talk much about God and we never really prayed together, but yet none of us ever doubted His existence and power. I don’t really know how I learned about God besides attending CCD classes and having long conversations with my aunt, a devout Catholic, but I believed.
That night my faith was shaken. I didn’t want grandma to die. Laying back in bed, I started to pray. My faith was put to the test as I was faced with the biggest prayer request of my younger years. I prayed morning would unfold with good news and dad would be home from the hospital saying she was still alive and well. I didn’t think this was possible, but God said no.
I wished I knew the Lord better to understand all His ways, but at that moment, my faith was enough. I asked no questions. Although God didn’t grant me my request, I found no room in my heart to doubt, hate, or complain. I simply knew it was His will. Is it always that easy to accept it when things go wrong? Absolutely not! There are times in my adult life I have asked and He said no, but for some reason, it is a lot harder to accept it now than it was at 13.
I truly believe God does not want us to doubt, He wants us to have faith like a child, He wants us to put our trust in Him EVEN when we think things go wrong and we don’t get our way. The Bible says His ways are not our ways, His thoughts are not our thoughts. He is so much bigger, so much higher than we are. We only see a little bit of the whole picture, if any at all. He is the one with the planner in His hands, mapping out our future and guiding our steps, we must only believe.
In Corinthians 12:7-10 God very clearly said no to Paul. “My grace is sufficient for you”, God said. This does not mean God stopped loving him or taking care of him. The Bible says Christ's power is perfected in weakness. It’s amazing the strength I feel when faced with a trial. When I am in need and I simply cry out to Him, I feel like I soar right through the difficulties with ease. Sounds crazy, I know. But if you haven’t felt what it feels like to be carried by Him, I encourage you to reach out to Him in your own trial and see for yourself what God can do. He loves to give and do great things for us, that is fact. I don’t understand everything God does, why He does it and when, but I have learned this - No matter what happens, He will be there with me and that’s all I need to know. Either way I can’t lose, because with God, it’s always a win win situation. He is there when I call, He picks me up when I fall, He comforts me when I’m sad, He rejoices when I sing. He never leaves. He never sleeps.
"Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise Him, my Savior and my God” Psalm 42:5
May your faith be strengthened and your prayers answered, but if He says no... simply trust. (I really think He says yes a lot more than no though. smile)
Lord, I pray for those that are reading this right now and are faced with a trial, maybe you’ve had to say no to them. You always know best. Please teach us to trust like a child, and know that either way, with you all things are possible. Help us to never doubt that you, the God who opened the red sea, are still the same God who not only is able, but is also willing to do amazing things in our lives.
Confusion, panic, pain, suffering, and anguish
(many times self inflicted. ugh!). I was face to face with a giant at the dead end, it seemed. "Who will free me from this body of sin and death?" Where's my help, where’s my answer? I thought - How soon have I forgotten all He has already done?- The restless, ever searching soul in me kept on questioning. Could I have lost what I believed to be unwavering faith?
Many times I asked God to intervene in my situation wanting to be certain that there was hope in front of me, as there always was. Desperate, I searched for answers everywhere, failing to trust the God who thought of me as an only child, as the apple of His eye, who would never leave me to fight my own battles -"The Lord will fight FOR YOU; you need only be still" Exodus 14:14- I needed the blind faith that assured me He would be there to rescue me when I fell and enough trust to be still.
No word from the Lord, He was silent. "Lord, could you be working, or have you forgotten me? Maybe I have sinned against you, maybe you are testing me?". Questions filled my head. Why couldn't I simply trust? I cried out to Him for days, but inside I knew He was listening.
-“I love the Lord because He hears my voice, He hears my cry for mercy, and because HE BENDS DOWN TO LISTEN, I will pray for as long as I have breath” Psalm 116:1-2- He kept silent. I kept praying. The little knowledge I had of His word, and the many personal testimonies of His deliverance kept me strong even when I didn't feel Him. He has never once abandoned me or left me without answers. -"I was young and now am old, yet I have never seen the righteous forsaken" Psalm 37:25- The Lord knows I’ve cried and He ALWAYS comes through. I knew He had a reason for His silence. I understood He wanted to teach me to trust Him only, to depend on Him like a newborn needs his mom. Lessons are taught through suffering. It grabs our attention and draws us close to Him. The Lord only disciplines those He loves.
Trying to absorb every minute alone with Him, I started to understand and accept every lesson as they came. I can control my thoughts, I have the mind of Christ, I have the spirit of power, love, and of a sound mind. These thoughts kept flowing, replacing the old, and soon became my new way of thinking. Although days had passed before the terrifying feelings of anxiety started to subside; I was convinced God was preparing me for a future call and equipping me for it.
Many times God watches us quietly, BUT, many times, He shows up.
Sunday morning I prayed I would hear His voice. From the pew I watched happy members of the worship team make their way to the altar. Holding hands, they prayed. I joined silently from my seat and asked God to speak to me. As the keyboards made the first sound, a man walked up to the altar and boldly said: "I have a word from the Lord:
"These tough days will end, I hear all your cries, and I will make you victorious”".
GOD SHOWED UP.
When I came home, I put on quiet worship songs as I knelled to pray and thank Him for what He had just done. - I knew for a fact He was speaking to me - Wiping out my tears, I draw my attention to the words of a song I had never heard before. Speechless and amazed at the lyrics, as if strategically written for that very moment, I sat in awe of Him. Every word speaking directly at me. Eyes closed, tears running, arms wrapped around my knees, I bow my head in shame.
"Sigh"... Could I have been more ashamed at my lack of trust? He was talking to me - Again. His presence so strong I could feel His arms around me. Once more, humbled I say:
"Here I am, Lord, I doubted you again, and yet, you don't give up on me. You love me just as I am, You sweep me up before I fall, when I hang over the edge you turn me around. You restore and renew me over and over again, patiently and lovingly."
Heart quiet, mind still.
The Lord has not forgotten you. He sees ALL your troubles, He hears ALL your prayers and wipes ALL your tears. He hurts when you hurt. He WANTS to deliver you. He wants to show up in YOUR life. Take no advice from the one who keeps falling, but the one who keeps rescuing. He sees you and me like an only child, His deepest desire is to have a relationship with us. Serve Him and Him only and the troubles of life will pass, the storm will calm. It will pass. Learn all you can while you are in this boat fighting the waters of the raging sea. Talk to Him while it’s just the two of you. He wants to listen. He wants to show His power in your situation. He walked on water, He opened the red Sea, He multiplied. He will do the same for you. Lift up your head, cry out to our God, the one and only God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. The beginning and the end, the Alpha & Omega. He will give you the desires of your heart, He will make you whole again; and while you wait, you will soar with wings like eagles, you will run and not be tired. He will strengthen you every morning. While you wait, and pass through the storm, be sure of this: He is in the boat. Still.
May the peace of my Lord Jesus rest upon you. Much love and blessings to you.
Hi, I'm Debora. A lover of Jesus, a wife, and a mother of 2.
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