Believing the Promises of God - in His Word

Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed… Without weakening in his faith… Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had power to do what He had promised. ~ Romans 4 [selected 18-21]

Monday, March 31, 2008

Evaluation Day

Do you ever think of the new places that God is setting your feet? We (believers) are here on earth to claim our 'Promised Land' territories - just like those in the OT. God has places He has given us. Just like the Israelites of old, we must fight the enemy that stands on those areas of our life that God has already given us. The Israelites had to fight every single enemy to claim their promised land. Are you willing to fight for yours?

Joshua 1:3-9

3 I will give you every place where you set your foot, as I promised Moses. 4 Your territory will extend from the desert to Lebanon, and from the great river, the Euphrates—all the Hittite country—to the Great Sea on the west. 5 No one will be able to stand up against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you.
6 "Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their forefathers to give them. 7 Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. 8 Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. 9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go." [emphasis mine]

Today is the last day of this month. I always pray differently on the last day of the month and on the first day of the next month. It's a time of reflection of what God has done, what He is doing right now, and what He intends to do in the future for His kingdom purposes.

On this last day of March look back and answer these questions:

  • Did I fail in my love and obedience to the LORD? (our obedience is proof of our love)
  • Did I give Him my all? (He doesn't want half-hearted souls or lukewarm soldiers)
  • Is my love relationship with Him stronger today than yesterday?
  • Have I asked forgiveness for my failures, repented and turned back to Him? (His mercies are new every morning)
  • What did God teach me these last few weeks that He wants me to establish as a permanent path in my life? (He doesn't teach us things for nothing)

Tomorrow is my birthday... yep, April Fool's Day!! It's also the 1st day of a new month giving hope of a new land to be conquered, a new area of our life to have victory. When tomorrow comes, read Psalm 25: 4-10 all over again. Can you then check off these bullet points?

  • I learned something new about myself and about my God.

  • I obeyed what God was asking of me.

  • My obedience brought great blessing to my life.

  • I know & love my God even more than I did yesterday!

  • I spent more time in prayer and praise to my God!

  • My God is an Awesome God, worthy to be praised and magnified!

Jeremiah 29:10-14

10 This is what the LORD says: "When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will come to you and fulfill My gracious promise to bring you back to this place. 11 For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 12 Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek Me and find Me when you seek Me with all your heart. 14 I will be found by you," declares the LORD, "and will bring you back from captivity." [emphasis mine]

May we be found faithful in our love for Him as He is always faithful in His love for us!

Choosing JOY,


Friday, March 28, 2008

All Things GOOD

Psalm 25:4-10

4 Show me Your ways, O LORD, teach me Your paths;
5 guide me in Your truth and teach me, for You are God my Savior, and my hope is in You all day long.
6 Remember, O LORD, Your great mercy and love, for they are from of old.
7 Remember not the sins of my youth and my rebellious ways; according to Your love remember me, for You are good, O LORD.
8 Good and upright is the LORD; therefore He instructs sinners in His ways.
9 He guides the humble in what is right and teaches them His way.
10 All the ways of the LORD are loving and faithful for those who keep the demands of His covenant. [emphasis mine]

Not much more I need to add to this. The scripture says it all! Praise God - for He is faithful!

Choosing JOY,


Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Take Courage

Several friends of mine are having a discouraging week. How about you? Should I add you to that list?

Inside the word "discouragement" - we see the word "courage". When the enemy is standing on the "Promised Land" territory that God has clearly promised to you, take courage and move forward following all the guidelines in this passage. This is real stuff here, real instruction and guidance that works!!! Joshua had learned some key things from Moses, prayer was one of them. That is why God was having this One-on-one conversation with Joshua. He does the same for us (in prayer). He meets us right where our need is. Take courage, my friends.

Joshua 1:1-9

The LORD Commands Joshua

1 After the death of Moses the servant of the LORD, the LORD said to Joshua son of Nun, Moses' aide: 2 "Moses my servant is dead. Now then, you and all these people, get ready to cross the Jordan River into the land I am about to give to them—to the Israelites. 3 I will give you every place where you set your foot, as I promised Moses. 4 Your territory will extend from the desert to Lebanon, and from the great river, the Euphrates—all the Hittite country—to the Great Sea on the west. 5 No one will be able to stand up against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you.
6 "Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their forefathers to give them. 7 Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. 8 Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. 9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go."

PRAYER.... activates what God has already purposed in your life. (Psalm 57:2)

PRAYER.... joins God in the heavenly realms where His purposes are accomplished. (Rev. 8:3)

PRAYER.... is an invitation to meet God - One-on-one! (2 Chronicles 7:14)

Praise God for the work He is doing in and around you. Join Him there in prayer first, so that He too can send you out to be more than conquerors, giving you victory over your enemies and claiming the very land He has promised you.

Choosing JOY,


Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Her Name Was Barbara

Many people were praying for me yesterday as I participated in the jury process in Atlantic City. I had several legitimate reason's that would have allowed me to "get off" - to get out of the process of serving. But in praying over it, I really felt God asking me to follow through even though God knew what a 'hurdle' that was for me to climb over. For three weeks ahead of time I was very nervous about just getting there on time and to the right place. God in His mercy, provided my transportation. Just a few days before Easter I asked the LORD to take away my anxiety and replace it with His peace. He did just that. I told several people that I believed God wanted me to go there for "something" He had planned. Of course I thought it might be for some important case that might need my discernment. [You can laugh now]!

God did want me there, but for a very simple thing. I was one of the first of 130 people to get a badge and sit down to wait. When the line was almost done (this took 2 hours) an older lady came over and sat next to me. She had stumbled a bit when she climbed over me to find a seat. When she sat down she sighed deeply. I could see she was a bit frail and I asked her if she was OK. She told me that she had fallen outside - during the long walk from the parking garage to the courthouse. I gasped and asked what had happened. "I tripped and fell on the sidewalk," was her reply. Then she waited in that line for those 2 hours to be processed. I asked her where she hit when she fell and she proceeded to pull back her hair along her temple. To my horror there was a golf ball size egg on her head that was all purple. She had not told anyone what had happened. I told her to sit still and I would get an ice pack for her. It took a few minutes before the Sheriff on duty was able to bring a paramedic officer with an ice pack. Her husband had driven her there and was waiting outside in the hall. They took her information and then told her to sit back down. She was shy and embarrassed but I tried to make her feel better and as we talked she told me that her husband was a pastor and he was writing his sermon while in the waiting area. Finally, the head of jury management, a very kind man, came out and told her she was free to go. She was 74 years old. She thanked me and then disappeared holding the ice pack next to her temple.

I then sat through several hours under two different judges waiting to be selected at random. While all those around me were hoping not to be selected, I kept praying silently, LORD, please let them pick me, please, please, please, O please? I want to serve! God had other plans.

I never did get selected and my jury service is now officially over for another 3 years. God did not put me there for some grandiose task that day. He just asked me to show kindness when I saw a need. Her name was Barbara. Now I will pray for her as I see her gentle frail face in my mind. I can still hear her sweet voice.

Jesus summed it up well when He spoke of what God expects of us as believers:

Matthew 22: 36-40
36 "Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?" 37 Jesus replied: " 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments." [emphasis mine]

What a privilege we have to be Jesus' hands and feet - even in the most simple task. His love compels us!

Choosing JOY,


Sunday, March 23, 2008

GOD IS Science

For years scientists have tried to prove or disprove God. Yet through His Word we see and know that He doesn't need to be proven.......... because God IS science!

It all began with the work of His Hands!

Job 38:1,4-12,18-21,31-33

The LORD Speaks

1 Then the LORD answered Job out of the storm. He said:
4 "Where were you when I laid the earth's foundation?
Tell me, if you understand.
5 Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know!
Who stretched a measuring line across it?
6 On what were its footings set,
or who laid its cornerstone-
7 while the morning stars sang together
and all the angels shouted for joy?
8 "Who shut up the sea behind doors
when it burst forth from the womb,
9 when I made the clouds its garment
and wrapped it in thick darkness,
10 when I fixed limits for it and set its doors and bars in place,
11 when I said, 'This far you may come and no farther;
here is where your proud waves halt'?
12 "Have you ever given orders to the morning,
or shown the dawn its place,
18 Have you comprehended the vast expanses of the earth?
Tell me, if you know all this.
19 "What is the way to the abode of light?
And where does darkness reside?
20 Can you take them to their places?
Do you know the paths to their dwellings?
21 Surely you know, for you were already born!
You have lived so many years!
31 "Can you bind the beautiful Pleiades?
Can you loose the cords of Orion?
32 Can you bring forth the constellations in their seasons
or lead out the Bear with its cubs?
33 Do you know the laws of the heavens?
Can you set up God's dominion over the earth? [emphasis mine]

Easter is always the 1st Sunday after the 1st full moon after the Spring Equinox (which is March 20). This dating of Easter is based on the lunar calendar that Hebrew people used to identify passover, which is why it moves around on our Roman calendar.Based on the above, Easter can actually be one day earlier (March 22), but that is pretty rare. Here's the interesting info. This year is the earliest Easter any of us will ever see the rest of our lives! And only the most elderly of our population have ever seen it this early (95 years old or above!). And none of us have ever, or will ever, see it a day earlier! Here are the facts:1) The next time Easter will be this early (March 23) will be the year 2228 (220 years from now). The last time it was this early was 1913 (so if you're 95 or older, you are the only ones that were around for that!).2) The next time it will be a day earlier, March 22, will be in the year 2285 (277 years from now). The last time it was on March 22 was 1818. So, no one alive today has or will ever see it any earlier than this year! Who is Jesus? HE IS JESUS !









The Greatest Person in History........
Jesus had no servants, yet they called Him Master.

Had no degree, yet they called Him Teacher.

Had no medicines, yet they called Him Healer.

He had no army, yet kings feared Him..

He won no military battles, yet He conquered the world.

He committed no crime, yet they crucified Him.

He was buried in a tomb, yet He lives today.

Oh, how we humans think we know it all! In reality, we know nothing because God.... in His power, His might, and His ways, is far beyond what our finite minds can comprehend. Yet, He desires a relationship - a very personal one - with us. He even made a way for that through His Son, Jesus. He's pursuing you this very day! How will you respond?

"He is Risen......... He is Risen Indeed!"

Choosing JOY,


Saturday, March 22, 2008

The Compelling Love of Christ

2 Corinthians 5: 1-14 ....... The Message

1-5 For instance, we know that when these bodies of ours are taken down like tents and folded away, they will be replaced by resurrection bodies in heaven—God-made, not handmade—and we'll never have to relocate our "tents" again. Sometimes we can hardly wait to move—and so we cry out in frustration. Compared to what's coming, living conditions around here seem like a stopover in an unfurnished shack, and we're tired of it! We've been given a glimpse of the real thing, our true home, our resurrection bodies! The Spirit of God whets our appetite by giving us a taste of what's ahead. He puts a little of heaven in our hearts so that we'll never settle for less. 6-8 That's why we live with such good cheer. You won't see us drooping our heads or dragging our feet! Cramped conditions here don't get us down. They only remind us of the spacious living conditions ahead. It's what we trust in but don't yet see that keeps us going. Do you suppose a few ruts in the road or rocks in the path are going to stop us? When the time comes, we'll be plenty ready to exchange exile for homecoming.
9-10But neither exile nor homecoming is the main thing. Cheerfully pleasing God is the main thing, and that's what we aim to do, regardless of our conditions. Sooner or later we'll all have to face God, regardless of our conditions. We will appear before Christ and take what's coming to us as a result of our actions, either good or bad.
11-14 That keeps us vigilant, you can be sure. It's no light thing to know that we'll all one day stand in that place of Judgment. That's why we work urgently with everyone we meet to get them ready to face God. God alone knows how well we do this, but I hope you realize how much and deeply we care. We're not saying this to make ourselves look good to you. We just thought it would make you feel good, proud even, that we're on your side and not just nice to your face as so many people are. If I acted crazy, I did it for God; if I acted overly serious, I did it for you. Christ's love has moved me to such extremes. His love has the first and last word in everything we do. [emphasis mine]

One of the enemy's strongest ploys is to bring us to a place of compromise. He also tries to counterfeit everything that God does. Knowing God and His word and being obedient to it will keep us from believing the lies of the enemy. What draws your attention these days? If it's anything other than the love of Christ, you might want to reexamine your relationship with Him. He hasn't let go, He hasn't moved and He hasn't changed. Have you?

I Praise God that I can say with a sincere heart: (vs 14) "Christ's love has moved me to such extremes. His love has the first and last word in everything I do."

American Express Card used to have a saying, "Don't leave home without it."

My saying: "Christ's love - don't leave home without it."

May the love of Christ compel you today...

Choosing JOY,


Thursday, March 20, 2008

Feasting on the Word

My friend, Darlene, is known for all her great dessert recipes that have been passed around for the last 27 years or so. If you have a sweet tooth like me, you scout out for the best. As I look back in my old recipe book collection, I have found that most of our family favorites have come from Darlene. One of our family favorites is Peaches 'n Cream Cheese Pie.

Today as I was reading God's word along with a workbook study on prayer, I came across this quote:
There are three stages of Bible reading (1) the cod liver old stage when you take it like medicine; (2) the shredded wheat stage when it's nourishing but dry; and (3) the peaches and cream stage when it is consumed with passion and pleasure.
~ Albert M. Wells ~

All I could think of was that Peaches 'n Cheese Cream Pie! That's the stage that I'm in - consuming God's word with passion and pleasure. This has been busy week in my home because of the celebration funeral service for my father-in-law, as well as all the family that is staying here. My entire routine has been shifted. Today I was able to sneak in my Bible study time when no one was around. I crave God's Word so much that when I finally dug into it today - it was like eating half that pie!
I recalled a memory of more than a year and a half ago when God had me studying the Old Testament, one book at a time, in a very short time frame. But I couldn't get enough of it. I remember reading and devouring all of Deuteronomy (all 34 chapters) in one day. It was like being at the movies with pop-corn and candy. I couldn't wait to see what happened next as I turned the pages of those chapters and took it all in. God's Holy Spirit revealed the Word to me with new understanding and revelation that God was using to apply to my heart and life. That pattern of reading became my way of life. I wonder why?

Psalm 1:2-3

2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD,
and on his law he meditates day and night.
3 He is like a tree planted by streams of water,
which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither.
Whatever he does prospers.
Psalm 63:1-2

1 O God, You are my God, earnestly I seek You;
my soul thirsts for You, my body longs for You,
in a dry and weary land where there is no water.
2 I have seen You in the sanctuary and beheld Your power and Your glory.
3 Because Your love is better than life, my lips will glorify You.

Deuteronomy 7:11-12

11 Therefore, take care to follow the commands, decrees and laws I give you today.
12 If you pay attention to these laws and are careful to follow them, then the LORD your God will keep His covenant of love with you, as He swore to your forefathers.

2 Timothy 3:16-17

16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

May you consume and feast on His Word like that Peaches 'n Cream Cheese Pie!

Choosing JOY,


Tuesday, March 18, 2008

The Work of Prayer

I am so encouraged by reading and praying from The Valley of Vision - A Collection of Puritan Prayers each night since last November. These prayers were originally inspired by the Holy Spirit and are all taken from many passages of scripture. Here is just a portion of one of the prayers from this week.

Can you identify what scriptures they come from?

Living By Prayer
The Valley of Vision
– Puritan Prayer Journal

Let me know that the work of prayer is to bring
my will to Thine,
and without this it is folly to pray.

I can only succeed when I pray according to Thy
precept and promise
, and to be done with as it
pleases Thee, according to Thy Sovereign will.

When Thou commandest me to pray for
pardon, peace, brokenness,
it is because Thou wilt give me the thing promised,
for Thy glory, as well as for my good.

Help me not only to desire small things
but with holy boldness to desire great things
for Thy people, for myself,
that they and I might live to show Thy glory. [emphasis mine]

Choosing JOY,


Sunday, March 16, 2008

Into Jerusalem

It is the 16th of March - a Holy Day unto the Lord and though many cheered and sang "Hosanna to the King of Kings" that day so long ago when Jesus entered Jerusalem on a donkey - there were also many who mocked and jeered and sought to kill him. Jesus wept over the city before He entered.

John 19:41-42

41 As He [Jesus] approached Jerusalem and saw the city, He wept over it 42 and said, "If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace—but now it is hidden from your eyes. [emphasis mine]

Palm Sunday 2008 - what a glory day for my father-in-law to meet His maker - God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit, face to face as he danced his way into the heavenly city of Jerusalem at dawn this morning! My husband, Bob, [Monte's son] was also there to greet him! That's what I call a heavenly reunion! I can't even imagine what this day was like in the heavenlies!

In honor of March 16th, 2008 - Monte's Glory Day - Psalm 16
Read it as Monte's Prayer

Psalm 16

A miktam of David.

1 Keep me safe, O God,
for in You I take refuge.
2 I said to the LORD, "You are my Lord;

apart from You I have no good thing."
3 As for the saints who are in the land,

they are the glorious ones in whom is all my delight.
4 The sorrows of those will increase

who run after other gods.
I will not pour out their libations of blood
or take up their names on my lips.
5 LORD, You have assigned me my portion and my cup;

You have made my lot secure.
6 The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places;

surely I have a delightful inheritance.
7 I will praise the LORD, who counsels me;

even at night my heart instructs me.
8 I have set the LORD always before me.

Because He is at my right hand,
I will not be shaken.
9 Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices;

my body also will rest secure,
10 because You will not abandon me to the grave,

nor will You let Your Holy One see decay.
11 You have made
known to me the path of life;
You will fill me with joy in Your presence,
with eternal pleasures at Your right hand. [emphasis mine]

Monte's theology finally met his heavenly reality!

All praise, honor and glory to the one true God, King Jesus!

Choosing JOY,


Saturday, March 15, 2008

A Finished Work

When God brings you to a "place of contentment" it does not mean that He has brought you to a "comfort zone" where you will stay in for the rest of your life. Just the opposite. It’s a place where He wants to stretch and grow you - by taking you to new levels with Him that you never thought possible. As long as you are attached to the Vine, daily seeking His desires and where He’s working, then you will be content in the places He asks you to go. Will you be scared at times? Of course. Any time God moves the peg, it must humble us and cause us to remember who we were and really who we still are (sinners). But God sees us in our finished state – complete (on earth as it is in heaven) as His new creations with all the potential that goes with it.

Just like God did with Gideon:

Judges 6:11-16

11 The angel of the LORD came and sat down under the oak in Ophrah that belonged to Joash the Abiezrite, where his son Gideon was threshing wheat in a winepress to keep it from the Midianites. 12 When the angel of the LORD appeared to Gideon, he said, "The LORD is with you, mighty warrior."
13 "But sir," Gideon replied, "if the LORD is with us, why has all this happened to us? Where are all his wonders that our fathers told us about when they said, 'Did not the LORD bring us up out of Egypt?' But now the LORD has abandoned us and put us into the hand of Midian."
14 The LORD turned to him and said, "Go in the strength you have [God’s strength] and save Israel out of Midian's hand. Am I not sending you?"
15 "But Lord, " Gideon asked, "how can I save Israel? My clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my family."
16 The LORD answered, "I will be with you, and you will strike down all the Midianites together." [emphasis mine]

Gideon saw himself as weak, and the least in his family with no power to do anything for Israel. But God called him a Mighty Warrior. God saw him as a finished work - complete. God told him to “go in the strength you have.” God was not saying to do it in his own strength but over and over God said HE would be with Gideon. It was God’s strength and God’s power that would deliver them from the Midianites.

Peter is another example of Jesus seeing him as the completed work of God even while he was still yet full of sin (denial). Read about that in Luke 22:31 and Matthew 16:17-19

Wouldn't it be something if we could see those we love - the way God sees them? There are several people right now that God has put in my path to point them to Jesus and His ways. They desire to love and serve God but have a past life of sin that they sometimes find hard to get over even though they know God's forgiveness. Yet God sees them in their finished and completed state of Christ's purpose for them. May we all seek to encourage those around us to believe who they are in Christ and what His purposes are. May we pray for them to be in the center of His will where God can complete the very work He has begun.

Philippians 1:6

...being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. [emphasis mine]

Choosing Joy,


Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Finally BROKEN

I few months ago I wrote about how I had asked God to strip away everything in my life that did not please Him, or was not useful for His kingdom purposes. I was sincere in my prayer but I had no idea how bad this pruning would be. When I had told my pastor what I asked of the LORD, he relied with raised eyebrows, "You asked what?" He assured me then, that God took my prayer seriously and would do the work He intended to do. I asked him how long it would take - but God was the one that replied with the answer a few days later saying, "When I am finished."

A week or two ago I felt God showing that He was coming to the end of this pruning season (for now). I shared with you about the evergreen tree that had been stripped of its branches [CUT DOWN - Feb 6th] and I felt that was God's way of showing me His pruning process in my life. Well, last week we had a very bad storm one night where the winds kicked up and the rains came down in torrents. The next morning I looked out the window and two of the main trunks on that evergreen tree were lying on the ground. They were huge. I could barely lift them. As I dragged them to the back property I kept saying over an over to the Lord, this can't mean me, can it? These are the main trunks, the very life of the tree. But when I looked back at the evergreen, as full as it had been with those two large branches in the center, I could hardly tell that they were missing. It still stood tall and seemed to sway with the wind in a more gentle fashion. Do I now allow the Holy Spirit's gentle wind to blow into my life a little more often? Will I respond sooner to His leading?

The very day I wrote about coming to A Place of Contentment in my life, God showed me about the complete brokenness of my spirit. We must break down any altar where an idol stands in the place of God.

I looked up the word "broken" in scripture today and realized how many ways and how many things that God must break - in us and around us - in order to do His full and complete work. I challenge you to do the same, but here are a few verses of hope that show a long pruning season is worth all the pain it causes - when the process and the results are left to the LORD of Heaven.

Psalm 51:16-17

16 You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it;
You do not take pleasure in burnt offerings.

17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit;
a broken and contrite heart,
O God, You will not despise. [emphasis mine]

Daniel 12:6-7

6 One of them said to the man clothed in linen, who was above the waters of the river, "How long will it be before these astonishing things are fulfilled?"
7 The man clothed in linen, who was above the waters of the river, lifted his right hand and his left hand toward heaven, and I heard him swear by him who lives forever, saying, "It will be for a time, times and half a time. When the power of the holy people has been finally broken, all these things will be completed." [emphasis mine]

Amos 9:11-12

11 "In that day I will restore
David's fallen tent.
I will repair its broken places,
restore its ruins,
and build it as it used to be,
12 so that they may possess the remnant of Edom

and all the nations that bear My Name,"
declares the LORD, who will do these things. [emphasis mine]

When we are finally broken, we can approach God's throne of Grace and know that our God will rebuild, restore and renew our lives. We then become vessels fit for His use to be filled and poured out as He chooses. And we can stand tall with our confidence solely in Him.

Choosing JOY,


Monday, March 10, 2008

Content at Last

As I have shared recently, God has brought me to a new place of prayer with Him that has changed everything in my life. Each time I think that I have finally arrived to this new place of prayer, He moves the peg just a little bit higher. I really fought this at first because it was out of my 'comfort zone' (especially the sleeping one). Getting up earlier to spend an hour in prayer is hard. I only committed to 10 weeks of this - but I can already see that it is a place that God is showing me is permanent. I won't be going back to my old ways - because I have followed Him into His perfect ways.

Philippians 4:4-7, 11b-13

4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
11b ...for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 12 I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13 I can do everything through him who gives me strength. [emphasis mine]

God gives us instructions on how, when and even where to pray. He tells us the results that will follow, and how to hear them.

In sharing all of this I have to say that today a question came up in one of my study workbooks [A Woman After God's Own Heart - by Elizabeth George] that measured how far God has brought me. She asks:

What is lacking in your life that robs you of joy and contentment?

I could honestly answer: NOTHING.......praise God, because I have finally come to the place where no matter what state I'm in, or what stage of life I'm in, or what season of life I'm in - THERE... RIGHT HERE, is where I am content. If God is THERE - then I am filled with great joy and contentment.

Aren't you glad that God chose to dwell in the hearts of His children?

Choosing JOY,


Saturday, March 8, 2008

Feed My Sheep

Have you ever tried to run your car on empty? It can't be done.

Have you ever tried to go an entire day without food just because you forgot to eat - being too busy to take the time to fuel up your body?

Have you ever been so busy in God's work that you ran out of spiritual fuel?

A few weeks ago I was to that point - I was exhausted spiritually - drained by all that God was doing in and through me. Then I read a page from Oswald Chambers, My Utmost From His Highest, from February 9th. Here is an excerpt from that day. I hope you will take time to read the entire thing on your own. It really helped put things in perspective for me.

Chambers writes:

[Whether or not you experience exhaustion will depend on where you get your supplies. Jesus said to Peter, "Feed My sheep," but He gave him nothing with which to feed them. (John 21:17)

The process of being made broken bread and poured out wine means that you have to be the nourishment for other people's souls until they learn to feed on God. They must drain you completely --- to the very last drop. But be careful to replenish your supply, or you will quickly be utterly exhausted. Until others learn to draw on the life of the Lord Jesus directly, they will have to draw on His life through you. You must literally be their source of supply, until they learn to take their nourishment from God. We owe it to God to be our best for His lambs and sheep, as well as for Him..... You have no right to complain, "O Lord, I'm exhausted." He saved and sanctified you to exhaust you. Be exhausted for God, but remember that He is your supply. "All my springs are in you" (Psalm 87:7)] [emphasis mine]

Many times God calls us to "be still...." when it's the last thing we want to do. But it may be so that He can replenish us in His word by His Holy Spirit so we will have more to pour out the next time. It's OK to become exhausted as long as we take time to 'be still' and get replenished by our spiritual supplier - Jesus Christ!

John 15:5b [Jesus said] ...apart from Me you can do nothing.

Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me.

1 Peter 5:10 And the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will Himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.

Choosing JOY,


Thursday, March 6, 2008

Praying in the Heavenlies

For the last several months God has been showing me some startling and wonderful things about prayer that I never knew before. He has taken me to a deeper place of understanding of how HE works when WE pray. I know I have only scratched the surface with what God wants to reveal to me but I am open and willing to listen, learn, and grow into the kind of prayer dimension that He desires for me (and all of us) ... one that will make a difference and be affective for kingdom purposes!

Things I'm learning:

  • Prayer is most effective in the early morning because we begin our day aligned with His will and His purpose.
  • We must believe the prayers we pray and wait in expectation for God to answer them.

Psalm 5:3

In the morning, O LORD, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before You and wait in expectation. [emphasis mine]

  • Prayer......... Activates what God has already purposed in my life. (Psalm 139:4)

Psalm 57:2

I cry out to God Most High, to God, who fulfills {His purpose} for me. [emphasis mine]

  • Our prayers are prayed in heavenly realms where they become affective in what God is doing.

Matthew 6:8-10

...for your Father knows what you need before you ask Him.
"This, then, is how you should pray: " 'Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name, Your kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. [emphasis mine]

  • Prayer keeps our focus off "self" - and ON GOD's will! (John 7:16-18)

John 7:16-18

16 Jesus answered, "My teaching is not My own. It comes from Him who sent Me. 17 If anyone chooses to do God's will, he will find out whether My teaching comes from God or whether I speak on My own. 18 He who speaks on his own does so to gain honor for himself, but He who works for the honor of the One who sent Him is a man of truth; there is nothing false about Him.

  • Prayer brings JOY (John 16:23-24)

John 16:23-24

23 In that day you will no longer ask Me anything. I tell you the truth, my Father will give you whatever you ask in My name. 24 Until now you have not asked for anything in My name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete. [emphasis mine]

Choosing JOY,


Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Changed in the Process

Psalm 4:3

Know that the LORD has set apart the godly for Himself;
the LORD will hear when I call to Him.

Amos 3:4

Surely the Sovereign LORD does nothing
without revealing His plan
to His servants the prophets. [emphasis mine]

God is ALWAYS at work all around us. He never stops - except to invite us to a deep and intimate relationship with Him as well as giving us an invitation to participate (our faith in action) in all that HE is doing. Our "doing" means nothing - if it's not part of His plan.

When we draw close to the LORD we can't help being changed by Him! Let's join Him in His plans and His ways - it's the only WAY to live abundantly!

Choosing JOY,


Sunday, March 2, 2008

A Lightbulb Moment

Can you even imagine what it must have been like to be in the shoes of these two men as they walked with Jesus, to have it all spelled out for them and then having their eyes opened - just when He disappears? I can hear them now, "But..... Wait, don't go yet... we finally understand!"

Notice all the truths of promise, prophecy, fulfillment, doubt, rebuke, hopelessness, faith, hope, love and grace that are shown here - all at the same time! Only GOD!

Luke 24:13-31 NLT

The Walk to Emmaus

13 That same day two of Jesus’ followers were walking to the village of Emmaus, seven miles from Jerusalem. 14 As they walked along they were talking about everything that had happened. 15 As they talked and discussed these things, Jesus Himself suddenly came and began walking with them. 16 But God kept them from recognizing Him.
17 He asked them, “What are you discussing so intently as you walk along?”
They stopped short, sadness written across their faces. 18 Then one of them, Cleopas, replied, “You must be the only person in Jerusalem who hasn’t heard about all the things that have happened there the last few days.” [God's sense of humor shows here]
19 “What things?” Jesus asked.
“The things that happened to Jesus, the man from Nazareth,” they said. “He was a prophet who did powerful miracles, and He was a mighty teacher in the eyes of God and all the people. 20 But our leading priests and other religious leaders handed Him over to be condemned to death, and they crucified Him. 21 We had hoped He was the Messiah who had come to rescue Israel. This all happened three days ago.
22 “Then some women from our group of His followers were at His tomb early this morning, and they came back with an amazing report. 23 They said his body was missing, and they had seen angels who told them Jesus is alive! 24 Some of our men ran out to see, and sure enough, His body was gone, just as the women had said.”
25 Then Jesus said to them, “You foolish people! You find it so hard to believe all that the prophets wrote in the Scriptures. 26 Wasn’t it clearly predicted that the Messiah would have to suffer all these things before entering His glory?” 27 Then Jesus took them through the writings of Moses and all the prophets, explaining from all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself.
28 By this time they were nearing Emmaus and the end of their journey. Jesus acted as if He were going on, 29 but they begged Him, “Stay the night with us, since it is getting late.” So He went home with them. 30 As they sat down to eat,
He took the bread and blessed it. Then He broke it and gave it to them. 31 Suddenly, their eyes were opened, and they recognized Him. And at that moment He disappeared! [emphasis mine]

Oh to have been there that day - to have the Son of God explain all the scriptures concerning Himself. But wait............ we can be there every time we open the Word of God. His Holy Spirit speaks to our open hearts. May we understand and allow His Word to change those tender hearts - to a heart like His!

Choosing JOY,