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Monday, April 30, 2007

He Heals Our Brokenhearts

I was talking with a friend once about the battle that takes place in our mind and thoughts.

I had been struggling with depression and discouragement.

I told her how I had forgiven someone, but I could not seem to get past the pain. I knew that in my heart I had forgiven, I was even able to see that person and not have anger in my heart. So why was I still hurting?

I was praying on a regular basis for God to reveal to me if there was more that I needed to do in the situation, but it seemed I was without direction. Did I really forgive them? Was I just fooling myself? I didn’t think so, but still I couldn’t get past it.

My friend spoke to me from the heart of God, she said ‘I think you have forgiven, you’re not doing anything wrong, but it sounds like you need healing from a broken heart.

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

I knew right when she said it that it was from the heart of God.

It hit me like a fresh wind. I was so excited that I got off the phone with her right away and got alone with the Lord. I poured my heart out to Him and asked Him to heal every wound that was hurting me.

Once again I prayed for those that had hurt me and thanked God for completely healing my heart. It was wonderful! I know that He did a deep healing in my heart that day. For weeks I didn’t hurt and joy overflowed in my heart.

But, satan (lower case 's' on purpose- he gets no respect from me!) lurks and waits- he’s more patient than we are, and a day came when I had an opportunity to once again pick up the pain from the past.

As if I was rehearsing for a play, I re-enacted scenes in my mind of what this person had done, how I would respond and what they might say. Before I knew what was happening, the hurt started to creep back in. This time though was different than all the rest, because I knew that God had healed me and I realized that satan was trying to get me to fall back into that pit of pain and depression.

I stood my ground and started to pray. I cast those thoughts out of my head and thanked the Lord for healing my broken heart.

2 Cor 10:5
bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ

I believe that I could have fallen into that pit and started the horrible cycle of pain all over again if I would have continued on that thought pattern. I am so thankful that the Holy Spirit helped me recognize that attack.
He will do the same for you.

God is so good!

Friday, April 27, 2007

33 Miles

If you like the country music and the sound of Rascal Flatts or Lonestar, you will love this new Christian group. They’re name is 33 Miles and they are awesome!

Chorus from "Stand Amazed":
When all the lights go down and the world is quiet
No one is around
I want to be the same man that will serve You then
Like I serve You now
That my convictions never change
Oh let my need for You remain
As real as the moment I was saved
So I will always stand amazed

Here is their website 33 Miles, and you can download them off itunes, or order at CBD.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Freedom to Grow

Have you ever had a garden? I’ve never grown food or vegetables, but I really like my flower gardens. Many times when I am out there pulling weeds, I think about God’s Kingdom. I think about how the weeds grow so much faster than the flowers.
I notice that the roots on the weeds tend to wrap around the roots of the flowers to better anchor themselves. I realize that the tall weeds will surround and smother my flowers to the point that they can’t get the sunlight that they need to grow. I think about the fact that if I don’t get rid of the weeds, I won’t have any flowers at all, which makes me think about God’s Kingdom.

Jesus tells a story in Matthew 13 about a farmer who plants his seeds. Some fall among thorns that grow up and choke out the tender blades. Jesus tells us that the thorns represent cares and worries. I believe that in the midst of every ‘storm’ there are thorns. There are fears and worries that sprout up and try to choke out the simple faith that first brought us into God’s Kingdom.

I get frustrated sometimes when I think about the fact that weeds and thorns seem to have so much strength and stamina to survive. They never seem to need watering, they steal all the good soil, and will take over an entire garden if left alone. But then, there’s my precious flowers. They have all the beauty but the weeds try to destroy them. My flowers need time, attention and nourishment. It seems like an unending battle that I’m not sure I want to fight day after day.

Like a tall weed blocking the sun from reaching a tender blade, fear towers over us intimidating us to stop fighting the good fight. Fear clouds our judgment. Like that flower, we no longer see the Son, only the fear. Cares and worries try to stop us from believing God.

I love John 15:1, Jesus says:
I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener.

Just like my flowers will not survive without my help, we cannot survive without the help of the Father. He sent Jesus to take away the power of those cares and worries and He tells us to cast them on Him. His Word gives us the truth that we need to see beyond our (weeds) circumstances and storms.

Through all that Jesus did for us, and God’s amazing love, we don’t have to live a life smothered under fear. Don’t live under the control of fear and worry for one more minute.

1 Peter 5:7
7 Casting the whole of your care [all your anxieties, all your worries, all your concerns, once and for all] on Him, for He cares for you affectionately and cares about you watchfully.

Let the beauty of the flowers thrive in the sun-SON!

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Mother Teresa's Daily Prayer

Dear Jesus,
Help me to spread Thy fragrance everywhere I go.
Flood my soul with Thy spirit and love.
Penetrate and possess my whole
being so utterly that all my life may only be a radiance of Thine.
Shine through me and be so in me that every soul I come in contact with may feel Thy presence in my soul.
Let them look up and see no longer me but only Jesus.
Stay with me and then I shall begin to shine as You shine, so to shine as to be a light to others.

I love that! Especially the first line!

Monday, April 23, 2007

The Fields are Ripe for Harvest

This kept going over and over in my mind this weekend. Sometimes we get so busy with "stuff", even good stuff, that we forget the reason we are on this earth.

Mark 16:15
He said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation.

And Jesus also said:
Mark 12:30-31
30 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.'
31 The second is this: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no commandment greater than these."

Lord. let me hear the cry of those who don't know You! I recognize it may not sound like a hurting cry, but let Your Holy Spirit lead and guide me to hearts that need a Savior, and let Your love pour out of me and onto them.

John 4:34-36
Do you not say, 'Four months more and then the harvest'? I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest.

Does Anybody Hear Her?

She is running
A hundred miles an hour in the wrong direction
She is trying
But the canyon's ever widening
In the depths of her cold heart
So she sets out on another misadventure just to find
She's another two years older
And she's three more steps behind

Does anybody hear her? Can anybody see?
Or does anybody even knows she's going down today
Under the shadow of our steeple
With all the lost and lonely people
Searching for the hope that's tucked away in you and me
Does anybody hear her? Can anybody see?

She is yearning
For shelter and affection
That she never found at home
She is searching
For a hero to ride in
To ride in and save the day
And in walks her prince charming
And he knows just what to say
Momentary lapse of reason
And she gives herself away

If judgement looms under every steeple
If lofty glances from lofty people
Can't see past her scarlet letter
And we never even met her

Written by Mark Hall ©2005 Club Zoo Music (BMI) / SWECS Music (BMI) (admin. by EMI CMG Publishing)

Saturday, April 21, 2007

It is an honor just to be nominated!

Wow! I'm IT...I have been tagged by Monkey Giggles (who I would nominate if I could!!). She awarded me with the Thinking Blogger Award. I am so honored, I don't know what to say except thank you and (((hugs))), that was so sweet of you to think that I am a thinker! You might be the first!!! ;D
Or was it - I make YOU think... well anyways, somebody's thinking!

I have a long list of people to thank, but I'm just sure the music is about to start and cut me off!

So, now it is my priveledge to pass along the honor to 5 of my favorite blogs that make me think. For those of you that I've tagged,here are the rules.

The rules are:

1. When you are tagged write a post with links to 5 blogs that make you think

2. Link to this post so that people can easily find the exact origin of the meme

3. Optional: Proudly display the 'Thinking Blogger Award' with a link to the post that you wrote.

Okay, here they are in no particular order, the blogs that Make Me Think.

I WILL be exalted in all the earth!

The mountains of Israel in the spring.

Psalms 46:1-3 & 10

1 God is our refuge and strength,
an ever-present help in trouble.
2 Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way
and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,
3 though its waters roar and foam
and the mountains quake with their surging.

10 "Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth."

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

All day Wednesday...

Many of you are already familiar with Heather who was diagnosed with a brain tumor last week. Heather is a young mother of three who has already had to deal with unbelievable medical challenges with her daughter Emma Grace, and now she is facing a very tough battle of her own.

Heather has an appointment at Mayo Clinic in just a few days, and BooMama-click here to donate is coordinating an effort to raise funds to help Heather and her family with expenses associated with the trip. You can make a donation via PayPal by visiting BooMama's blog on Wednesday, April 18.

Our thoughts and prayers are with Heather and now we have another opportunity to be there for her and her family.

Monday, April 16, 2007

How Great Is Our God

My heart is heavy by the tragedy that has happened in our nation today. As a mother of a college student, I grieve with those parents and cannot begin comprehend what they must be going through. My prayers are with them.

There are so many questions…why, why, why. It makes us feel some sense of relief to understand some of the “whys” but truly, we’ll never know what was in that mans heart and head. The thing that we do know is that satan hates each and everyone of us. He is not discriminate. Mankind in general is a threat to him and he knows that if he can hurt us, he can hurt the heart of God. His ultimate goal is to hurt our God.

As a worship leader, I struggled after the attacks of 9/11 as I picked songs for the prayer services. I know that it is not appropriate to sing upbeat-“happy” songs to a heavy heart. I felt a strong sense of the Lord telling me to ‘honor His Majesty.’ I specifically remember the song “Praise Adonai” being so powerful to myself and our church. At a time when the world seemed to be falling apart, we declared that we would praise Adonai, the One who was and is and is to come.

The song that comes to my heart at this time of tragedy in our nation is “How Great Is Our God.” I hope this video blesses you as it does me.

Lord, bring comfort to the hurting, bring peace to the fearful and Lord bring salvation to the lost.

He's Our Comfort in the Storm

(I had a girls weekend with Mom and visited her church this week and saw several people baptized. It was the most precious thing! These people were so broken and you could see the effects of a hard life on many of them-but also a HOPE for a future that would be different. The joy in their faces after coming out of the water was the most beautiful thing. They were not taking this lightly, they were giving all they had to God.
Oh Lord please remind us of that joy we felt at the cleansing and renewing of baptism!)

Here is what I have on my heart this morning, for so many people I care about that are hurting:

John 16:33
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world, you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” NIV

Make no mistake about it, you will have trouble. If you are reading this, there is a good chance you are in the middle of a storm right now. God’s word tells us that we will have trials and then tells us to rejoice in them.

Rom 5:2-5
3 Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.

I used to believe that God never wanted us to walk through anything hard and that if we did He would ‘rescue’ us if we prayed, rebuked, and confessed the Word enough. However, the truth is that He allows some storms and trials to develop perseverance, character and hope in us. Think about the three Hebrew children, I am sure they would rather have avoided the fiery furnace altogether, but if they had, they never would have walked together with the Son of God. And they came out…I love this…not even smelling like smoke!

What about Daniel? I am sure he was shaking in his boots just a little as he was thrown into a den filled with hungry lions! That is not my idea of a walk in the park-what happened to leading me to green pastures beside cool waters? After all, Daniel was doing the right thing! He did not deserve punishment like this. However, Daniel ends up making friends with the lions and hanging out with angels. God did not forget about him, God was right there with him protecting him the whole time.

Are you seeing a pattern here? God never leaves us.

When we feel pain, we assume that God must not be with us, because surely it would not hurt if He were here. We forget that He told us, “In this world you will have tribulation.”

Webster’s dictionary defines tribulation as: distress or suffering resulting from oppression or persecution. Tribulation is painful! So the promise that He is with us, is life changing!

We need to know that He is walking through every trial with us, and that His Word is more trusted than the words of our closest friends or enemies! He loves us infinitely more than we can imagine!

Saturday, April 14, 2007

This one's for Daddy!

We are Cobra motorcycles dealers (the little ones that the 4-10 year olds ride) and Daddy can't wait for his little Lauren to saddle up!

Friday, April 13, 2007

Come to Me...

Matt 11:28-30
28 Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

29 Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.
30 For My yoke is easy and My burden is light."

That is one of my favorite verses. This word has walked me through many hard times when I have felt overwhelmed and discouraged.

We don't find rest in anyone or anything but God!

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Where's spring???

It's going to snow here today, but I'm going to dream about my garden from last summer!

By faith, I'm believing...

Song 2:12 Flowers appear on the earth; the season of singing has come, the cooing of doves is heard in our land. NIV

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Happy Birthday to ...Josh?

It was Josh's 17th birthday and Lauren had to get in on the action!

She was just sure all the singing and celebrating MUST be for her- after all she is the princess!

But when we got to the "Happy Birthday dear Jo--osh"...and he blew out the candles...she completely deflated!
It was the saddest/cutest thing you ever saw!

She got over it real quick though when she got to eat her piece of cake.

Monday, April 9, 2007

Who likes CHANGE??

Yesterday my husband preached his last message as Senior Pastor of the church we planted over 6 years ago. It was bittersweet. On one hand, I see the Lord leading us out but on the other hand, it’s much like a child that I raised and now I have to walk away from. It is a lesson in trust for all of us.

It is also a lesson on CHANGE.
We don’t tend to like change too much, especially when it messes with some of the foundations that we build our lives on.

Sure- I love to change my furniture around and the décor of my house or even my hairstyle. Those are fun changes! But, start messing with my comfort zone and we have a problem!

Change shakes us up, and many times a “shaking” is just what we need. Here’s some of the things that “shaking” does for us:

1. Shaking can bring us down to our foundation.

After a strong earthquake, we always see pictures of the survivors walking around the ruins of buildings that once were tall and glorious, only to become piles of rubble sitting on the bottom floor.

When our lives are shaken up by change, it brings us right down to our foundation. To the things we have built our lives on. Sometimes it’s a person or people, sometimes it’s a job or position but ultimately God wants it to be Him.

Sometimes a shaking is to wake us up to the fact that we’ve been building on a foundation other than Him and His Word.

Matt 7:24-27

24 "Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock.
25 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock.
26 But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand.
27 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash."

Why did one house fall?
Was one of them not built as well as the other? It doesn’t say that.
Was one storm greater than the other? It doesn’t say that either.
One house built on solid rock and one built on sand.

We tend to look at our “storms” as the problem, but God sees the foundation as the problem.
God’s right!

2. Shaking can mix things up and ultimately unify.

When I make a cake I put all the ingredients in a bowl and I mix it up. Why? Because on their own the ingredients don’t taste very good, but if I put them together and bake them- yum!
Same goes for us!

Sometimes God shakes things up to bring unity!
The outcome of that is much more delicious than the way we taste individually – all doing our own thing!

Rom 15:5-6
5 May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of unity among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus,
6 so that with one heart and mouth you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

3. It can expose parts of us that we were not aware of before because they remained hidden or dormant.

Have you ever seen a family digging through the wreckage after a storm? They come across things that they probably would see everyday, but now consider them priceless treasure because they have survived the storm!

God may want to expose something in you. Maybe it’s a treasure, or maybe it’s a weakness.

1 Cor 4:5
He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of men's hearts.

If He brings it to light during a “shaking” then we need to deal with it. Maybe it’s unforgiveness or rage or a selfish ambition. Don’t beat yourself up when these things come out- He’s exposed them for a reason. So that you can bring it to the cross and lay them down!

4. Causes you to grab on to something for stability.

What/who do you run to when you experience a shaking? We all have something or someone that we cling to when times get tough. Spouses, family or friends, that’s good.
But what’s even better is that we FIRST go to God. He wants to be our source of security and trust.
People will let you down, their human, they can’t help it. But God will never leave you or forsake you.

We all need a little flesh and blood to hold, but we can’t let others become our security. God needs to be the one who we grab on to when change comes our way.

Jonah 2:8 "Those who cling to worthless idols
forfeit the grace that could be theirs. NIV

Heb 4:14 That is why we have a great High Priest who has gone to heaven, Jesus the Son of God. Let us cling to him and never stop trusting him. NLT

Lord, help us to cling to You as we face change, because God You never change!

Saturday, April 7, 2007

Are you living like an orphan?

John 20:1-2
2 So she came running to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one Jesus loved, and said, "They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we don't know where they have put Him!"

They are about to realize that our Lord has risen, but I want to look at something else here.
I love how John refers to himself as the “one Jesus loved”. He says that several times.

He obviously believes that he IS the one that Jesus loved.

Do you wake up every morning and think to yourself, ‘I’m the one Jesus loves’?

When you look in the mirror or see your reflection in a window, do you think ‘I’m the one Jesus loves’?

How would you describe yourself with regard to the Lord’s feelings for you?
Maybe you think- ‘I’m the one Jesus is disappointed with’ or ‘I’m the one He’s angry with’?

My 2 year old loves the movie Annie (the original). We watch it at least once a day. There is a line that Carol Burnett says to Annie that just gets me every time. She holds her head in her hands, looks her in the eye and says;

“Why any kid would want to be an orphan is beyond me!”

I can’t help but think that so many of us live like orphans.

John 14:18
18 I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.

Those are Jesus’ words, He also said:
Eph 1:3-6
4 For He chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in His sight. In love 5 He predestined us to be adopted as His sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with His pleasure and will-

Are you living like an orphan? Do you struggle to believe that He loves you and wants to be a Father to you?
His Word says that He’s chosen you.

As a Mom that has give birth to 3 children and then adopted one, I can tell you that the love for my adopted daughter is very unique. It’s not that I love her more because I’m crazy about all my kids. But there is something so special about knowing that you’ve specifically chosen this child and you want to give her the best life possible.

Last night while putting her to bed, she said ‘I love you’. She can’t talk very well because of her cleft palate, but she was signing it and saying it and it brought tears to my eyes!

We went through so many issue with attachment that when you see and feel her reciprocate love- it blesses your socks off!!

On a much larger scale, that is true of how the Lord feels for us also. He offers His amazing love to us and hopes that we will receive it and fall in love with Him too.

Why would any one want to live like an orphan when we can wake up every day saying- I’m the one He loves!!

1 John 4:9
9 This is how God showed His love among us: He sent His one and only Son into the world that we might live through Him.
Let this Easter be a time that you recognize how much He loves you and because He died for you and then rose up from the grave, you don't have to be an orphan, you can be adopted into the family of God!
Ask Him to come into your heart right now, if you already have- start living like "I'm the one He loves!"

Friday, April 6, 2007

Cute little lion cub...

Isn’t it cute? Don’t you just want to pick it up and snuggle it?

This lion cub is a metaphor for what sin can represent to us. It starts out seeming so sweet and cuddly and safe, but when it grows up- and it will- it can destroy us.

I have sat with a few different women who were involved in an adulterous affair or on the threshold of one. They would tell me how wonderful this relationship is, that it makes them feel so good and how could anything that feels so good be wrong?

Ladies, any time we are entertaining the thoughts of another man and how much we enjoy spending time with him and look for ways to connect with him- it is dangerous!We have to recognize that satan doesn’t come in like an attacking lion- he comes in like a sweet, wonderful, playful little lion cub. He says to us, “What harm could it do?”

John 10:10
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. NIV

There’s nothing sweet about sin. It is bitter all the way to the grave.

Unforgiveness and gossip are just as dangerous. Our words can seem so harmless, but they can lead to bitterness which can harden our hearts and render us lifeless and devoid of the fruit of the Spirit; peace, love, joy…

Acts 8:23
For I see that you are full of bitterness and captive to sin." NIV

1 Peter 5:8
Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. NIV

Ladies, I woke up at 4 AM and this was stirring in my heart. I knew I was to share it with you. I pray that these images will stick with you and remind you of the fact that when the enemy is tempting you with sin that seems so sweet- it’s ultimate goal is to “grow up” and destroy your life.

Thankfully, we have a Savior that died to set us free- then He raised up from the grave and gave us victory over the sin that satan wants to hold us captive with!

Gal 5:1
It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. NIV

Father, I pray that you would open our eyes to the traps that satan sets for us. Like Jesus Himself prayed, “keep us from temptation” and help us to walk in the freedom purchased for us at the cross. Lord, we desire to do Your will, give us wisdom and discernment in all situations. We love you Lord. In Jesus name we pray, amen.

Thursday, April 5, 2007

Praise and Coffee

Two of my favorite things to do; praise God and drink coffee! Although my affection for coffee can't come close to my love for the Lord, I sure do enjoy time with the Lord and my cup of java!

I love spending quiet time- that turns out to be not so quiet- with the Lord. Reading His Word, studying what it means and that almost always turns into a time of praise and worship to Him.

So, pour yourself a cup and we'll chat about this dance we call life.


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