Sunday, August 25, 2013

Downside Up!

"This I recall to my mind, therefore I have hope. Through the LORD's mercies we are not consumed. Because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness. The LORD is my portion, says my soul, therefore I hope in Him." Lamentations 3:21-24

Are you living above or under your circumstances?

When we are living under our circumstances, it means that our worries, our concerns and our troubles are weighing heavily upon us and they have control over our behavior, our emotions, our relationships and our countenance. When we are living above our circumstances, the circumstances do not control our emotions, our relationships or our behavior because our focus is on the LORD and that enables us to rise above our circumstances rather than suffer under our troubles.

"Everyday presents us a new opportunity to discover and experience more of God's love." Commentary

Even in the midst of the worst circumstances, look for signs of God's mercy and refocus your eyes and your heart upon the great faithfulness of God who is full of compassion, mercy, love and hope.

The writer of Lamentations, the prophet Jeremiah, remembered God's faithfulness when he was full of anguish and that brought a change to his emotions - so much so - that he was inspired by God to write the above encouraging and hopeful scriptures.

When you feel down, look up - downside up!

I hope you enjoy this song that I have linked below :)

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Help Me!

"My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest." Exodus 33:14

There are times when we are in situations that require God's help-so we pray and call upon Him. However, when God provides the answer, sometimes we don't see it. Many times we expect God's help to come to us in big packages, big promotions, and for God to send us big ships in order to help and rescue us from our "BIG" problems. But God sometimes doesn't send help in the form of BIG packages, but in small packages.

Have you taken the time to see the many ways that God has sent help to you? Did you see that smile that God sent your way? Did you see your dog wag its tail because it is happy to see you? Did you see that you have food on your table? Did you see the beautiful sunset? Did you feel the warm breeze? Did you smell the aroma of the beautiful rose in your garden? Did you taste the nutritious food that God provided for you to survive another day? Did you hear the beautiful birds singing outside your window? These are only but a few of the ways in which God tries to refocus us to what is important and what will bring us peace.

Many times our problems are not as "BIG" as we make them out to be. Many times the solutions to our problems do not require a "BIG" action but only a realization that God is there, will always be there, and has always been there for us all along!

FATHER, when we are in situations that we feel overwhelmed in and when we feel the solution is beyond us, allow us to see the various methods and forms in which You send Your help our way every single day. LORD, allow us to have a grateful heart because when we have a grateful heart, our perspective in life changes. Thank you for your patience and for the tender love that you always send our way. We love You and we thank You. In Jesus' Name - Amen.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Immeasurable And Inexhaustible!

"I pray that out of His glorious riches He may strengthen you with power through His Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord's holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge - that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God." Ephesians 3:16-19

"God's love is....

Wide - it covers the breadth of our own experience, and it reaches out to the whole world.

Long - it continues the length of our lives.

High - it rises to the heights of our celebration and elation.

Deep - it reaches to the depths of discouragement, despair, and even death."
Bible Commentary

God wants us to understand His great love for us so that we will be totally secure in Him!

May we be reminded today that God's love for us is immeasurable and inexhaustible!

"For I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from His love. Death can't, and life can't. The angels won't, and all the powers of hell itself cannot keep God's love away. Our fears for today, our worries about tomorrow, or where we are - high above the sky, or in the deepest ocean - nothing will ever be able to separate us from the love of God demonstrated by our Lord Jesus Christ when He died for us." Romans 8:38-39

I hope the words of the song, attached below, ring in your ears all day :)

Monday, August 12, 2013

Walk With Faith

"Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of Him to the other side, while He dismissed the crowd. After He had dismissed them, He went up on a mountainside by Himself to pray. Later that night, He was there alone, and the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it.
     Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. When the disciples saw Him walking on the lake, they were terrifeid. "It's a ghost," they said, and cried out in fear.
     But Jesus immediately said to them: "Take courage! It is I. Don't be afraid." Lord, if it's you," Peter replied, "tell me to come to you on the water."
     "Come," He said.
     Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, "Lord, save me!"
     Immediately Jesus reached out His hand and caught him. "You of little faith," He said, "Why did you doubt?"
     And when they climbled into the boat, the wind died down. Then those who were in the boat worship Him, saying, "Truly you are the Son of God." Matthew 14:22-32

I love that Jesus immediately reached out His hand and saved Peter! What a great reminder of Jesus' love for us! My Bible commentary gives good encouragement: We may not walk on water, but we do walk through tough situations. If we focus on the waves of difficult circumstances around us without looking to Jesus for help, we too may despair and sink just like Peter did. To maintain our faith when situations are difficult, keep your eyes on Jesus and do not be distracted by the conditions surrounding us!

JESUS, thank you for your patience when our faith can be so small. Thank you for encouraging us to take steps of faith through uncharted waters. Help us to walk with faith and to trust You no matter what. In Your Name I pray - Amen.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Big Shoulders

“Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30

To all of those who are burdened and weary...and who need to be reminded that you are not alone. You have a gentle and powerful PARTNER who loves you and who is up front with pulling power!

“Jesus doesn’t offer a life of luxurious ease-the yoke is still an oxen’s tool for working hard. But it’s a shared yoke, with weight falling on bigger shoulders than yours. Someone with more pulling power is up front helping. Suddenly you are participating in life’s responsibilities with a great PARTNER-and now that frown can turn into a smile, and that gripe into a song.” Bible Commentary
May you enjoy the song below and may your soul sing to your Savior, Partner, LORD, Father and Friend!


Monday, August 5, 2013

Sweet Waters

“...and the water became sweet.”  Exodus 15:25

I have never forgotten what I heard a pastor say many years ago.  I don’t recall the pastor’s name but I haven’t forgotten his message. Whenever I am tempted to have the wrong attitude, I remember the above scripture and the simple story that the pastor shared and my heart begins to change.  Maybe after I share the story with you - it will bless you too.

First I must take you back when Moses just had led the people on from the Red Sea and moved the people out into the wilderness of Shur.  As they were traveling through the wilderness, they went three days without water. After finally arriving at the waters of Marah, they discovered that they could not drink from the pool because it was bitter. (That is why the place is called Marah – Marah means bitter.) The people turned against Moses and said, “Must we die of thirst?” They demanded that Moses give them water.

The Bible says that Moses pleaded with the Lord to help them, and the Lord showed him a tree to throw into the water, and the water became sweet and drinkable.  The LORD did not need the tree to make the water sweet.  However, the use of the tree made the miracle of the cleansing easier for the people to perceive.

The pastor shared this story and then said, “When people are bitter (harsh, resentful, cynical, hard to bear) all they need to do is turn to Jesus and He will make your bitter waters sweet.” Sometimes however, that is not our first response when things are not going our way or when we feel we have been mistreated.  As was with the people who were traveling through the desert, sometimes our first response is to have an unbelieving, grumbling, and sour attitude.

The definition of sweet is: Pleasing, delightful, amiable; kind or gracious, dear, beloved and precious – just writing these words puts a smile on my face.

When we are being tempted to become bitter in our approach to life, resist the temptation - turn to Jesus and ask Him to make your bitter situation, sweet and delightful!  

“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.” Isaiah 43:18-19