Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Have you ever been in the middle of a storm? I don't mean just your average run of the mill rainstorm here. I am talkin' bout that storm that is so violent you can't see through the raindrops because there are so many and they are so fast and furious. I am talkin' bout the storm that creates waves that you know are gonna knock you right out of that boat you are in. The kind of storm that shoots lightening and bangs thunder and the skies become as black as night only it's early morning.
Well.....I am livin' in one of those turbulent storms right now. I go from step to step not knowing what is going to come flying around the corner ready to hit me in the face. I get to a point where I think I have it figured out and WHAM .... there is that reminder that not only do I not have it figured out, I don't even know where to begin looking for the answers.
But can I tell you the craziest thing? I have so much peace that I can't even really get ruffled. Seriously, God has just filled me with this peace that I can't explain, I mean couldn't try if I wanted to. Not only am I at peace, but He has reminded me that He is ALWAYS in control. Nothing that is happening to me right has surprised Him at all.
Aside from the peace He has instilled in me is the provision He has already laid before me. Do you know that before I can even get my mind wrapped around the next "problem" that He has already provided an answer. Do you hear that?!? God....yes my wonderful Father....already knows exactly what I need before I even know myself and doesn't wait for me to ask, no, He just provides it!
I heard this somewhere this week and it has just stuck in my head...
"Don't confuse your path with your destination. Just because it's storming now doesn't mean you aren't heading for sunshine."
How true is that! You know, the rainbow comes after the storm. The brightest sunshine, the wonderful smell of the grass and the dirt and the sun all the most noticeable after a storm. Even when the storm produces mass destruction, there is always something beautiful at the end.
This morning a friend sent me a message to read Psalm 91. I encourage you to read that today, but listen to just this little bit.
11-13 (ESV)"For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways. On their hands they will bear you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone. You will tread on the lion and the adder; the young lion and the serpent you will trample underfoot."
Father I just thank You for the protection You place on my life Lord the provision that You put in place and that God You don't just provide what we need You pay attention to the little details those little things that make all the difference in our life and You bring that to pass and I just thank You that even in this storm I know that You are my Shelter that You will cushion my fall that You are already placing the sunshine on the path ahead so that I can feel the warmth and comfort of Your love now and see where You have pulled me through at the end Lord I just thank You and I love You and I trust You with every step before me

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

The Camel's Knees

The Lord has been directing me to the book of James this week. Though only 5 chapters long, it is a very powerful book! It is a book that calls me to action! There are so many lessons to be learned in this book....don't just talk the talk, walk the walk; if you speak it, let your actions reflect it; if you are a leader you will be judged harsher than someone else; one's motives must be pure; don't seek after things of the world. But let me tell you what shouted out loud to me just today.....a shout that echoed in my soul....
This has been a struggle of mine all of my life. It seems as though that little bitty thing in my mouth just lives a life all it's own. There are times when my mind is thinking one thing and 'plop' comes some thing out my mouth that wasn't even ran by the rest of me first!
Well, today as I was reading Chapter 3 some things came about. First let me just share a bit from the Message.
Verse 5-6 "It only takes a spark, remember, to set off a forest fire. A careless or wrongly placed word out of your mouth can do that. By our speech we can ruin the world, turn harmony to chaos, throw mud on a reputation, send the whole world up in smoke and go up in smoke with it, smoke right from the pit of hell."
Have you ever had one of those moments where you knew that just the wrong word from your mouth could make or break the situation....or the heart of someone? I have! Matter of fact, there have been several times that I have spoken words to my children that as soon as they were out of my mouth and I saw their little eyes/faces reflect their feelings and I knew my words had done damage. Was that my intention? Of course it wasn't.
There have been times that in the heat of the moment, and sometimes just in normal conversation, my words to my husband have been anything but what I wanted to be said.
I realized that it isn't just the words, but the way in which that little rudder in my mouth makes those words sound that can be problematic. I also have come to realize that sometimes words just shouldn't come out at all.
You see I have this problem sometimes with just having to say something. Like something in me just can't let well enough alone, I just have to say something, anything.
Well in reflecting this chapter today it was impressed on me that I don't talk quite enough lately. I know that if you know me you are gripped in laughter right now....but really....
You see...my knees aren't callused! If my knees aren't calloused, then I am not talking to the One that will give me the words to use at just the right moment. I am lacking in prayer time. Yeah, I pray every day and yes I read the Word every day. But real prayer...gut wrenchin, soul searchin, spillin it all to my Daddy kind of prayin....well, there could be more of that. I don't want to open my mouth if He isn't telling me to open it.
James had a nickname. He was known as "Old Camel Knees". He spent so much time on his knees in prayer over the years that his knees became callused. His wisdom came from his time in prayer.
What an honor to carry that name! What a call to action! He was living it! He was practicing what he preached and he had physical evidence of such!

 Lord I love You and I want more of You! I want the knees of a camel and the reflection of You in my life God!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Change your clothes!!

So, I really feel like I just need to share this with you today. It is so empowering and God's love is so amazing. But I think we, at least I, sometimes forget that the power of the Holy Spirit is within us. We have only to ask and He is right here to guide, help, comfort, teach, and so much more.

The thing that stood out to me more than anything today, though, is that it is up to me to put on the clothes He has given me. I can choose to bow down to my circumstances and allow them to dictate the outcome, or I can put on the clothing that Jesus has made specifically for me and go out filled with His love and do His work. Seems like a simple enough choice, but some days are harder than others. So Father I lift up to You all those reading this and all those submerged in their circumstances that they just feel Your love right now, hear Your words speaking into their lives, and have the courage You place on them to go out into this world and effect a change for You.

From Love Letters from God pp128-129

"My dear child,

Arise! Arise and shine, for I have delivered you! And at this moment I am here with you. Yes, I am! I'm by your side, waiting for you to turn to Me. Waiting for you to allow Me to help you.

Let go! Let go of the burdens that you're carrying. Let go of the cares you have taken upon yourself. Just let go. Give them to Me. Give them all to Me. Give them to me one by one. Release those cares. Feel yourself lifted higher and higher as you give Me everything that has been weighing you down. Let go of everything that has you bound and depressed and discouraged. Those things are not from Me. In My Son's name, let go of everything oppressing you right now. Just let go! Let go!

That's right! Do it and be free in My Son's name. Be free to be what I've called you to be. My child, take a deep breath; hold it for a count of four. Now let it out. Slowly exhale and as you do, the tension in your body will be washed away.

Again, My child, breathe in deeply. Breathe in the Holy Spirit. Inhale love; exhale love. Allow the Holy Spirit to do a mighty work within you. Allow the Holy Spirit to cleanse you, refresh you. Just meditate on His indwelling you and filling you with peace and contentment.

Again, breathe in deeply, think of yourself as getting bigger and stronger inside as you allow the Holy Spirit to have full reign in you. As you exhale slowly, receive My love flowing through you to your surroundings. Now your presence has created peace in your own environment, because I am with you.

Love is there with you, in you, around you. People are affected by your presence because you walk in love.

Do not allow yourself to be bowed down with the spirit of heaviness. Instead, put on the garment of praise. Lift up those hands that hang down. Lift up your voice to God. Pray in the Spirit. Pray in understanding, and magnify the LORD.

Now close your eyes and continue to praise My holy name, for I inhabit the praises of My people. Shout Hallelujah! You're free because I have set you free.

Love, God"

author Robert Schluter

Sunday, February 6, 2011

so refreshing

I was feeling really stir crazy, so I bundled up and headed outside. It was wonderful! The snow was coming down....there were mounds of snow all over the place. I just walked and talked to Dad and really just felt so much stress leave me. The cold air is so refreshing and the sunshine reflecting off the snow so beautiful! I don't know, there is just something about being out in nature that allows me to get closer to Jesus. It is like the barriers just break down and there is nothing that is in the way of that connection. The noise of the world seems to just stop...even though there is noise out there it isn't the same as being confined somewhere. And when I just still my mind and focus I can actually hear the leaves and the birds and the air (I know that sounds strange, but stillness really does have a sound).
Thank You Father for the beauty that is nature and that I have the freedom to just go enjoy it whenever I feel the need. You are the greatest Artist! You are my Provider, my Healer, my Best Friend, my Love........I could go on and on, so easier said You are my Everything.

Momma said there'd be days like this....

Ugh! That is all I can say about this day thus far. But......I know that Jesus has promised better for me. I know that Jesus has already won this situation and there is victory in His Name that brings all glory to Him.
My normal response to this type of morning would have been to just start comforting myself with food....and not necessarily food that is good for me. I would have just started a pitty party for myself and let the thing last all day long if it felt like it could.
Not today! Today I have a different perspective. Today I know that with faith I can get through. Today I know that the food is not my comfort, my Father is. Today I know that His promises stand and I may not know what the outcome looks like but He does. He will not forget, He will not ignore. So......how can I worry about or stew in something that His hand is already on.
Plan for the day......continue to eat well.....maybe go for a walk in this beautiful falling snow....drink water as if it were coffee and love it.....smile! My God is with me and won't let me fail in His strength, so how can I not smile. He delights in me!!! See........there it is..........my smile! The world may not look as I want it to today, but my joy can't be shaken!
Have a wonderful day my friends!

Isaiah 62:2-4
The nations shall see your righteousness, and all the kings your glory, and you shall be called by a new name that the mouth of the Lord will give. You shall be a crown of beauty in the hand of the Lord, and a royal diadem in the hand of your God. You shall no more be termed Forsaken, and your land shall no more be Desolate, but you shall be called My Delight Is in Her, and your land Married, for the Lord delights in you, and your land shall be married."

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Healed in the Name of Jesus!

Last Saturday I was incredibly blessed. I was able to go to Carlinville to a seminar for one of my classes. I spent a wonderful day with Jesus loving people, and it was just incredible.
On my way home, I got a phone call from my daughter. She told me that my grandson was sick. She said that he told her that he started getting sick on Friday, but forgot to tell me. I called the doctor telling them the symptoms and they 3-way called my mom and daughter to ask many, many more questions. It was decided that I would bring him to the Pediatric On-Call as soon as I got in town.
I get home, and he was just as sick as what they said he was and in just the 2 hours it took me to get home had developed other symptoms. We went straight to the doctor's office and they took us right back. It was determined that they believed he had inherited his father's kidney disease and we were going to have to go to the specialist the following week. In the mean time, just in case, they wanted him on an antibiotic just in case there was any type of infection. I knew there wasn't any infection but put him on the antibiotic anyway.
The following day, Sunday, he woke up and his symptoms were continuing to get worse. He was exhibiting in a matter of 2 days all the symptoms of IgA Nephropathy. It came on him quick and severe. In 2 days he was at the stage of where my son was over a 4 year period.
I sat down and prayed. I put him on the prayer list at church. I just knew that I needed my brothers and sisters in Christ to pray for his healing.
In all this commotion, I had forgotten that our church was having it's first 3rd Sunday service that night. I was reminded when one of our pastor's responded to my request by asking me if I would bring him to that evening's service and let the elder's anoint Aiden with oil and pray over him. OF COURSE!!! I responded back and said we would be there. The Bible says "Are any of you sick? You should call for the elders of the church to come and pray over, anointing you with oil in the name of the Lord. Such a prayer offered in faith will heal the sick, and the Lord will make you well. And if you have committed any sins, you will be forgiven." (James 5:14-15)
Now let me tell you what happened next. We went to that service. There was an amazing time of praise and worship. There was an incredible word spoken. Then there was a call for prayer. We went forward. As I held my grandson, the pastors surrounded him and anointed him with oil and they prayed. One was at his back, he had both hands on him, one on each kidney. Some prayed in their prayer language, others prayed in English. But they were all petitioning God on Aiden's behalf. When they were finished, we returned to our seats and continued to praise Jesus. Within ten minutes, Aiden had to use the restroom. I took him in and EVERY SYMPTOM HE HAD WAS GONE! Praise Jesus he was healed! It has been almost a week now and not a symptom! He goes on Monday for renal sonograms and I can't wait to testify that there is nothing abnormal on that test.
When Aiden and I spoke about his experience, it was awesome. He told me that he was happy that the pastors were talking to Jesus for him. He said that his back was really warm, maybe a little hot, when those hands were on him. I explained to him that Jesus was touching him right then and was healing his kidneys at that moment. He said, "Jesus has the best hugs." LOL! He told many of what happened and he has no doubt that his Jesus loves him and healed him.
Praise God .... and do you know that faith like a child is where it's at!? That child didn't doubt for a second, he trusted Jesus. He didn't question how it had happened that he was healed or why. To him it was easy to believe that his Jesus loves him so much that he took his pain away and made everything all right again. Hallelujah!!!!

Did I forget to mention that my grandson is only 4 years old! He knew that "those men were talking to Jesus" just for him.....he interpreted the healing touch as a hug from Jesus.......and the doctor called on Monday to let me know that "the antibiotic was unnecessary, there was no type of infection found and so we will get him in to the specialist and go from there"
Praise You Jesus that Your name is greater than any other name....including the name of IgA Nephropathy! Hallelujah!

$20 from Jesus

I had the most incredible experience yesterday...
Our morning started off rushed. The boys and I just took too much cuddle time in the morning and then had to rush to get where we needed to be. In the process, I stuffed a $20 in my purse to stop and get gas on my way to work.
Well, I didn't end up stopping to get gas, I went straight to work. So, on the way to get the boys, my car started sputtering. I pulled into the next gas station and put $20 in the tank. I went to grab the money to pay and it wasn't there. I searched every compartment and nothing. I went ahead and put it on the debit card, knowing that I didn't have the money in the bank to cover it, but I had already pumped the gas and really had no other choice.
I got home and told my husband that I had somehow lost $20 today and then proceeded to go through each bag that had left the house with us that morning, as well as all of our coat pockets. Nothing.
About an hour later, I was in the kitchen preparing dinner. It just came over me that I needed to pray for whoever it was that found that $20. I stopped what I was doing and just thanked God that even though I really couldn't afford that money I trusted in Him and knew it would be ok. I asked that He just really reveal Himself to the person that found that money and that it would cause glory to fall upon His Name. I just sat there in gratitude and truly found peace in that moment.
A smile came over my face and I just started humming some worship tunes as I started to cook.
Now....if you know my house at all you know that I have a very small walkway that is between the stove and table and this walkway serves as the walkway between the basement (which is very used), the back door and Kelsey's room. So within this last hour this area of floor that I was standing on had been quite a busy place.
That said, I took a single step over to the stove and as I was humming felt something under my toes. I looked down and there on the floor under my toes is that $20 bill folded perfectly in half (it had not been folded, I just tucked into my bag as we were leaving).
I started laughing. I ran down the stairs and told my husband. He said he had been through there several times and that money was not there. The boys prior to my cooking had been on their knees with their cars, and that money had not been there.
Ha! God is good! He knows how big a sacrifice that $20 was to me, but I gave it to Him with a glad heart. I gave it to Him even though I didn't really know where it was, I just wanted it to bring glory to Him.
He is like that in every area of our lives! He wants us to take everything to Him, to share everything with Him, to live for Him. And when we do, He just blows our lives wide open with His greatness, with His presence, with His love.
Thank You Jesus for loving me so much!