Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Smiling~

Psalm 5:11

King James Version (KJV)

 But let all those that put their trust in thee rejoice:
 let them ever shout for joy, because thou defendest them: 
let them also that love thy name be joyful in thee.

It is important to know that whatever it is that threatens to crush your spirit~ and rob your joy today will not necessary be here tomorrow, next week or even next year. Life goes on~circumstances change. The sun will come up tomorrow.

This reminder is enough to bring a respite to the soul. From here perhaps a glimmer of light can peek through the darkness. We must never forget that God in His sovereign love and power~ holds our lives in His hands and works according to His will.

My security~ my hope~ my peace and my joy come from knowing that this true. God expects my participation in how that I perceive the events in my life. I decide if I am going to view my experiences in a positive or a negative lens.

If I choose to look at life through those negative glasses then my life will feel out of whack. I have a choice and so do you. I don't have to be down hearted ~ and sad when the sky appears dark. I have the option to smile ~chuckle~laugh~and look for joy in the dark places. 

Today I am smiling~ I pray you are too!
Have a good and Godly day :)



Tuesday, January 17, 2012

When I Am Weeping ~ He Weeps With Me






John 11:35 (KJV)


Jesus wept.



This is the shortest verse in the Bible but it carries an in-depth message. I think about it a bit different these days. Last Fall when my brother called with the news that my father had been found in his front yard and he was gone I wept like I have never wept. In fact~ I cried for weeks. My tears would not stop falling and still today they will start out of the blue as I grieve the reality that my Dad is gone. I can't call him ~ hug him ~ tell him I love him or that I need him. 

In this passage, Lazarus had died and his sisters were distraught. Lazarus was not old~it seemed he was gone all the sudden and way too soon. I get that~ my dad was only 63! I am sure many of you do too! Lazarus' sisters had questions. Why did Jesus not come earlier? He could have healed him if He would have been there~ Did He not care?

When Jesus finally arrives ~ Lazarus had been in the grave for four days. When Martha heard that their close friend ~Jesus was coming~ she ran to meet Him. She wanted answers. Last time Jesus had visited Martha grabbed her apron and headed for the kitchen. I get Martha. I am more like Martha than Mary. We are kindred sisters at heart. Knowing Martha personally, he gives her an answer~ He said, "Your brother will rise again." 

Mary, on the other hand, is the tenderhearted sister. She was the one sitting at Jesus' feet the last time He visited. She asked the same questions as Martha but she was weeping~ her heart was broken in tiny pieces. I now understand Mary a bit more here of late. Jesus sees her crying and He is so moved by her grief that He weeps with her. 

Two women with two different personalities ~yet a Lord who understands them and loves them both for who they were. 

Sometimes I am like Martha. I want answers for the pain and the hurt that is breaking my heart. I want to do something~ fix it or, at least, I can bake a pie.  Through reading the Word and praying, I find answers~peace ~hope and comfort. Jesus never lays out the complete picture for me but He does reassure me that He has it all under control. 

Yet ~ sometimes I am like Mary. My heart and soul are so broken that I don't need answers I just need to crawl up in His lap and weep. Just like Jesus asked Mary to come to Him ~He wants me to come to Him and in coming to Him, I don't have to be ashamed of my tears. In fact, my heart has a special healing just in knowing He weeps along with me. 






Wednesday, January 11, 2012

"Lord~Let Me Burn Out For You"


"Lord~ let me burn out for You."



MARK 8:35 (KJV)


 35For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel's, the same shall save it.


J. Oswald Sanders wrote in his book~ Facing Loneliness ~ 
The round of pleasure or the amassing of wealth are but vain attempts to escape from the persistent ache. . . . The millionaire is usually a lonely man, and the comedian is often more unhappy than his audience.”


He explains that being successful often does not make one satisfied. Which we can all see by looking around us. 


He introduces his readers to a man named Henry Martyn. Martyn was a  great scholar. He attended Cambridge University and was honored at the young age of 20 for his achievements in Math. He was given the highest recognition possible in that field. Yet ~ he acknowledged that he felt empty on the inside. He stated that he had "only grasped a shadow."


He ended up sailing to India as a missionary at the age of 24. When he arrived he prayed, "Lord, let me burn out for You." Over the next 7 years he translated the New Testament into the three most difficult Eastern languages. Now that was not a passing shadow!


No matter how great or small our accomplishments may be~ we will only find fulfillment in following Christ and being obedient to Him. A life lived fully to the Lord is all that will truly satisfy that longing in our heart.


Oh, I too want to say~ "Lord, let me burn out for You." 









Only Jesus Can Satisfy Your Soul

The world may try to satisfy
That longing in your soul.
You may search the wide world over
But you'll be just as before.
You'll never find true satisfaction
Until you've found the Lord,
For only Jesus can satisfy your soul.


Only Jesus can satisfy your soul.
Yes, only He can change your heart
And make you whole.
He'll give you peace you never knew,
Sweet joy and love and Heaven, too.
For only Jesus can satisfy your soul.

If you could have the fame and fortune,
All the wealth you could attain.
Yet, you have not Christ within,
Your living here would be in vain.
There'll come a time when death will find you,
Riches cannot help you then.
So, come to Jesus, only He can satisfy.


Only Jesus can satisfy your soul:
Yes, only He can change your heart
And make you whole.
He'll give you peace you never knew,
Sweet joy and love and Heaven, too.
Only Jesus can satisfy your soul.
Yes, only Jesus can satisfy your soul.





Have a blessed day~ 




Tuesday, January 10, 2012

"I Don't Have It In Me"~




1 John 4:13

King James Version (KJV)

 13Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit.


"I don't have it in me." ~ I whispered to God today. I was listening to a friend go on and on with the blessings, successes and achievements in her life. I smiled! But in my secret heart ~ the contrast of my own recent loss and burdened ~ broken~ shattered heart I fought the ugly temptation to sink into my very sad place I find in my spirit today. I could say sweet things and fake it~ but I really want to be real. I wanted to coax my heart to celebrate in joy with her.

How does one attend a baby shower~when they just buried their unborn baby? How does one celebrate a friends promotion when they have just lost their job? How does a person rejoice in another's miraculous healing when their body is full of pain?  Without saying ~ "What about me~Lord?"

But ~ as I try to rejoice with my very happy friend ~ I silently confessed to the Lord. "I don't have it in me." As I am talking with my God in the silent places of my mind the recognition filled me like a deep breathe of peace. Of course I don't have the power in myself ~ just as I didn't have the power to forgive those who hurt me~ or sing a song through a throat of tears~ or rejoice in my friends mountaintop place in life when life for me is deep in the valley. I can't do any of it!

But ~ Jesus can!  ~ Hallelujah ~ Praise God from whom all blessings flow~ HE LIVES IN ME!!

Tonight in my quietness my prayer is ~ "Lord, love through me. Help me to not focus on the issues in my life so I can rejoice for my friend. It is not in me~ but it is in you."


Psalm 3

 1Lord, how are they increased that trouble me! many are they that rise up against me.
 2Many there be which say of my soul, There is no help for him in God. Selah.
 3But thou, O LORD, art a shield for me; my glory, and the lifter up of mine head.
 4I cried unto the LORD with my voice, and he heard me out of his holy hill. Selah.
 5I laid me down and slept; I awaked; for the LORD sustained me.
 6I will not be afraid of ten thousands of people, that have set themselves against me round about.
 7Arise, O LORD; save me, O my God: for thou hast smitten all mine enemies upon the cheek bone; thou hast broken the teeth of the ungodly.
 8Salvation belongeth unto the LORD: thy blessing is upon thy people. Selah.





Friday, January 6, 2012

Remembering The Nail~



1 John 3:16

 (KJV)


Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.




This morning in my quiet time with God I read this story~



Emil Mettler, a restaurant owner in London, was known for his generosity. He often fed people for nothing. If a representative of a Christian organization came in and told him of a need, he would open his cash drawer and give a sizable donation.
One day Emil opened his cash drawer in the presence of a missionary official who noticed a nail among the bills and coins. Surprised at what he saw, the man asked, “What’s that doing there?” Emil picked up the 6-inch spike and replied, “I keep this with my money to remind me of the price Christ paid for my salvation and what I owe Him in return.”
Emil used that nail to remind himself that he owed the Lord a great debt of love and gratitude because Jesus had laid down His life for him (1 John 3:16-23). Emil used that simple object to stimulate his own generosity as he remembered the Savior’s sacrifice.

We are so quick to think about our rights and our feelings. Sometimes we fail to think about the sacrifice on Calvary~where Jesus paid the penalty for our sin with His own death on the cross. How often do we consider Calvary? 
Emil's example should inspire us day to day during our walk to not just remember the nails~ the thorns~ the torture but remember the loving heart that was behind this enormous sacrifice that was freely given for your sin and mine. What a humbling thought!

Christ gave Himself that you and I might give ourselves for others. 






Thursday, January 5, 2012

"I Am Not Getting Old"~ "Well Maybe I Am Getting Old"


Psalm 39:5
King James Version (KJV)


 5Behold, thou hast made my days as an handbreadth; and mine age is as nothing before thee: verily every man at his best state is altogether vanity. Selah.


 So if that verse don't convict my very hairs on my head~ for real! I think when you loose a parent it all the sudden makes one feel old. Somehow you see yourself as a child until your Dad or Mom is gone. Then all the sudden you feel like you have to grow up! Am I the only one who feels like that? I really have been kicking and screaming about it for a couple of months now.


To add insult to injury ~ my baby daughter is getting married and moving very far away in less than three short months. Now~ I am excited for Jacob and Hannah don't misunderstand me but I now know just how hard it is to see your child only once or twice in a year. It is even harder to not see those grandbabies but only once in awhile. I am just not ready for all this.


Old~ I am feeling old~ very old!


A wise man Named Charlie Wagner wrote the following. "It is not sad to grow old? Say rather it is a very difficult art, and one which few have ever acquired......To grow old is sad indeed if what you want is to hold back the receding years, to keep your hair from turning white, your eyes from becoming dim, and the wrinkles from chiseling their way across your brow."


Ok~ well I disagree with the hair turning to white. In fact I am wondering just who thought he was so wise.


There comes a time when we must grow up. And believe me~ I am
kicking and screaming but I am trusting the Lord to help me. To me it
sort of seems like growing up right now means letting go.......sigh***




The text tells us God is not hindered by man's age to work in or through our lives. So if you are like me and in the middle of nowhere wondering what God has in store next. Here is my encouragement today for you and me~


Moses was just getting started at 80. Caleb was looking into 
mountain climbing at 85 and Noah was about 600 when he saw the last
animal board the ark. Surely God has a plan for you and me!


So today I pray God will give you a job to do and a spring in your step.


It is going to be 65 degrees here today at Farming On Faith~ so unreal for the first week of January. Woo-hoo I am going to soak it up.


Have a great day!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

I Choose Life~



Ephesians 1:11

King James Version (KJV)

 11In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:


At some point all of us will encounter a situation that will forever alter our lives. A knock on the door, a call in the night, a diagnosis from the Doctor~ that changes the future as we know it.

The question is how do we respond to the new normal? Will we withdraw  from society closing the blinds to the world? Umm~ maybe for a little while. How long do we focus on our own personal pain and deep grief?

It seems to take a long time to find meaning and purpose when you are in the middle or just come through difficult circumstances. It feels much like you are dry to the bones in the middle of the desert.

Where do we start?  I think maybe it starts with choosing life instead of a slow death~ rediscovering hope.


John 10:10

King James Version (KJV)
 10The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. 




Jesus~Himself came that we may have life. Life instead of death. Hope instead of despair. Even joy in the midst of our sorrow. This year for me is a year for a new kind of living~harder, but better in some ways, than before. Maddening because we hate the process but richer because of the pain.

 Choose to Live ~ Pure and Simple. It's a choice~ a new kind of normal.

 My Brian sent me this picture of myself yesterday with a little note~ "Remember this?"  And of course I do. It was a photo he snapped of me on our honeymoon. We had the best trip of all times. The picture reminded me of the hopes and dreams we shared as a young couple. Just what I needed! This journey has not been without difficulties but it sure has been sweet.

Today I choose to live and live life to the fullest!

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