New Creation

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You calmed the sea

and the heart in me

No striving or strain

No worry or pain

 

You showed me the way

In your name I pray

No fury or rage

No war left to wage

 

Your love is a light

In you I’m made right

No guilt, greed or shame

No hatred or blame

 

You are the I am,

in you all began

No ego or pride

No falsehood or lies

 

The giver of life,

the shepherd who loves

The father, the friend,

The savior of men

 

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Come Alive

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Do not contain it

Do not hold it in

Do not hold it back

Do not restrain it

 

What is in you now

Is more than you know

The more you let go

The more it will grow

 

You are filled by Him

You are fed by Him

You are blessed by Him

You were made by Him

 

He calls you by name

He ordained your days

He lived life for you

Then He died for you

 

Redeemed He forgave

All that is behind

All that is to come

Set free for freedom

 

Child of God stand up

Daughter of the King

Live loved by the Lord

You were made for more

 

 

Siren’s Song

Venus-godnessMemory a song that plays

Whispers love through time and space

Like a dream that never ends

The mind forgets, she pretends

Words like whispers, hard to hear

Echo waves of roaring fear

 

A dance that will not forget

Tangled pieces of regret

Her will has not been her own,

Moved by destiny alone

She leaves behind what was lost,

She’ll not stop to count the cost

 

Melody drowns out the day,

On the wind, carried away

Shifting rythmes change her view

She listens to something new

Composition from the deep,

Wake the dreamer from her sleep

 

Distant drumming in her head

Moves her closer to the edge

One more step and she will fly

Far away from earth and sky

Into something new and bold,

Story she has never told

 

Listen to her sirens song,

She was singing all along

Her voice breaks the silent night,

Leads the lost into the light

Promise that she never claimed,

Remnant of her hidden shame

 

A new day like breaking dawn,

Making right what once was wrong

Growing with a steady beat

Victory replace defeat

She is morning shining bright

She is hope and endless light

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Crucified

 

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This, the place I dare not go

This,  the face I dare not show

Here in the dark I’m torn apart

Here at the end my broken heart

This, the place I called my home

This, the place I first was known

Here is pain  and nothing more

Help me God to close this door

Give me strength to turn and leave

Give me strength to finally grieve

Hate must not be my final act

Keep me God from looking back

Lead me forward by your grace

Lead me to a better place

I give to you what I held dear

I turn to You and turn from fear

Jehova Rapha, God who heals

Lies and shame the Truth reveals

Death it steals the things we love

But help will come from God above

I am yours I love you still

Life obeys your sovereign will

Here is where I learn to trust

Here I see God good and just

I put to rest my former life

I surrender grief and strife

For You are love, good and true

You redeem the things we do

You make right was seems so wrong

When I am weak You are strong

This, the place I will begin

At the Cross new life in Him.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In God We Can Trust…

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Can you really trust God?  Can you trust that He is good?  That He loves you and cares for you?  Can you trust Him to provide for you?  Can you trust that He has a plan for your life?  Does He really hear your prayers?

People are imperfect and we let eachother down.  Relationships can teach us that trusting others is dangerous, risky, painful. Over time, we may hesitate to trust others and begin to guard our hearts not just against people but against God too.  We may perceive that God is letting us down when bad things happen but that is a lie from the enemy. 

The Word of God is the truth. If we believe that God is who He says He is, then we are called to put our trust in Him completely, holding nothing back, no area of our lives hidden or withheld from Him.

Can I trust God?  

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:5-6

Can I trust that He is good?

God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. 1 John 1:5

Does God love me unconditionally?

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him” 1 John 3:16-17

Can I trust Him to provide for me?

Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” Matthew 4:4

Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Matthew 6:26

Can I trust that He has a plan for me?

For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. Ephesians 2:10

Does He really hear my prayers?

When we pray our hearts must be right before God letting go of unforgiveness, confessing our sins, grateful to Him for all things.

And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. Matthew 6:12

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. Phillipians 4:6

Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus… 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

You can trust that God is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow.  He knows our pain and our hurts.  He knows how hard it can be for us to trust in Him, to act on faith alone.  But miracles happen when we step out on the water.  Jesus calls to us…

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“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?” Matthew 14:29-31

“You whom I have taken from the ends of the earth, and called from its farthest regions, and said to you, You are my servant, I have chosen you, and have not cast you away. Fear not for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:9-10

Dear God, thank you that we can trust you!  We love you Lord and know you love us.   Forgive us our sins and trespasses. Help us to let go any areas of our lives that we are holding back our trust in you; help us to bring our relationships, our plans, our jobs, our finances, our struggles, our hopes and dreams to you Lord.  Give us peace and courage as we lay them all at your feet.  In Jesus’ name, amen!

 

Practical Help for Provision:

http://www.lifeway.com/Article/Learning-to-trust-in-God’s-provision

Salvation

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I died a thousand deaths

In pieces I fell down

Torn apart and broken

A king without a crown

 

The treasures buried deep

Once rained upon my head

But all that I did seek

Is buried now and dead

 

The past a bitter pill

Swallowed like regret

Shame that haunts the night

Guilt that won’t forget

 

The battle never won

the fight that rages still

a peace that hides away

the victim of my will

 

A violent rain that fell

I turned my face away

The memory repeats

The words I could not say.

 

Lord When will I be free

Once and for all be done

To lay it down at last

This race I should not run

 

 You are the light of dawn

The whisper on the wind

You are the waters edge

The beginning and the end

 

 I lived a beggar’s life

Turned away from grace

Now I will reach for you

And seek your holy face

 

Where I go you stand

A shepherd on the hill

My life is in your hands

I surrender to your will.

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The Bunny vs. Jesus

What is a bunny compared to the greatest miracle man has ever witnessed?  I know, “but that bunny is so cute…and the colored eggs and treats…” What child can resist the bright colors and sweet surprises that the Easter Bunny promises?

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How can we, as parents, bring our children into the Gospel story in a way that does it justice and helps them relate to the true meaning of Easter?  What can we do to show them that the promises of God are far greater, than the ones the Easter bunny delivers?

Before we can lead our children we need to take an honest look at where we are with our faith.  Ask yourself these important questions:

  • Am I reflecting Christ inside our family home? 
  • Does my daily routine show my children that God is my top priority?

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 If not, Easter is the perfect time to re-dedicate ourselves to the Lord and ask Him to take back the throne of our lives.  

“No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other…” Matthew 6:24 [Full Chapter]


Our children need to know we know them and love them for who God created them to be.  The only way to accomplish this is by spending quality time with them just as we need to spend quality time with the God.

images-3“To be loved but not known is comforting but superficial. To be known and not loved is our greatest fear. But to be fully known and truly loved is, well, a lot like being loved by God. It is what we need more than anything. It liberates us from pretense, humbles us out of our self-righteousness, and fortifies us for any difficulty life can throw at us.” Timothy Keller

By spending quality time with them we will begin to  “train up a child in the way he should go…” Proverbs 22:6

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Here are 5 practical things you can do with your children to make Jesus the focal point of Easter:

  1. Find a great kid’s Easter devotional to do together as a family: http://www.lifeway.com/kidsministry/2016/03/11/free-easter-devotional-guide-for-families/
  2. Bake resurrection crescent rolls, sharing the symbolism and Easter story as your kids learn to make this tasty treat:  http://www.food.com/recipe/empty-tomb-crescent-rolls-293915
  3. Take art into nature and make a cross out of items you collect together. crossYou may collect seashells, stones, flowers, or other objects together. Take pictures to share with friends and family digitally. Say a simple prayer of thanksgiving, when you finish your creations, for Jesus dying on the cross for our salvation.
  4. Share your story with your children.  In simple terms, tell them why you believe in the resurrection of Jesus Christ.  Pray about how much of your story God wants you to share with them in advance.  They are not always ready to hear our complete testimony, focus on the key elements of your faith.
  5. Do make attending church the center of your Easter Day celebration.  When it is prioritized as the best part of your Easter celebration, you are pointing your children’s hearts toward God.  If you are not able to physically go to church, find an online sermon that you can watch as a family. Here are some suggestions:

Hillsong Church: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCSYGkbzVd5-EzAMEpf3EaGg

Bayside Church:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MdFz8W4dgHo


These 5 practical things will not only open the door for conversations about God with your children, they have the potential to bring you all closer to God and closer to each other.

The Easter bunny may make an appearance this Easter, but your children will know the true meaning of why we rejoice on Easter Sunday.

Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures. He told them, “This is what is written: The Messiah will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, and repentance for the forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations,beginning at Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things.”  Luke 24: 45-48

Unknown-1May you and your families be blessed this Easter with renewed faith, dedication, and love for our Risen Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ!

Happy Easter!

I Surrender!

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Have you felt restless, confused, or discouraged about the direction your life was headed? Like stepping off a subway only to realize you got off at the wrong stop. It’s funny how we can feel so unsettled and out of place in our own lives.  As a Christian, I desire to walk in God’s will. The trouble is, I can so easily get off track. The world is loud. So loud, in fact, that sometimes it is all we can hear.

Where is God?

I have experienced gnawing restlessness so strong that it made me anxious and full of doubt. I could not shake these unsettled emotions and worries about upcoming decisions. I was fearful and discouraged despite my faith and trust in the Lord. I was not able to sense God’s presence and His will for my life. These are common feelings in a world full of choices, changes, and distractions.  So what do we do about it?

The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” Deuteronomy 31:8

He is With Us

God is with us even when we are not sure He is there. During a recent time of confusion I felt I had all the answers right in front of me but could not find peace in any sort of decision.  The choices seemed very logical, as if  I should be able to just move forward in one direction or the other.   But one word kept popping into my head, “wait”.  I needed to seek God in prayer and faithfully expect an answer. I committed to doing nothing until I knew I had heard from God.

A pastor once said, “…people are God’s hands to meet your needs and answer your prayers.” This is a beautiful truth. As I was seeking God, my women’s small group decided to do a study by Priscilla Shirer called He Speaks to Me. The revelation and wisdom in this teaching came from God at the exact moment I needed to hear it!

prayer-888757_960_720In the midst of this study I came across a video of another Godly woman, Jennie Allen, speaking to a group of women on YouTube. She wrote a book entitled Restless. I bought the book and was struck with awe and wonder as each page I turned spoke directly into my heart and circumstances. God wove together the two teachings in a beautiful and amazing way for me. 

Surrender

Still searching for answers, I knew I needed to continue to position myself to hear from God.  Complete surrender was the next step. The ministry of these two gifted women led me to write a special prayer to God about the struggle I was in:

Lord, I am afraid to make this prayer. I know that you are good, but I don’t know if I have the courage to go where you will call me. The, “what ifs,” are holding me back, Father, but I have committed my life to you and want to live a life of obedience that will glorify you. So I pray; God, I will do anything, anything you ask of me.

Jennie Allen shares in her book Restless, that she and her husband said a similar prayer together. In fact, her first book was titled Anything.  I read and learned that they had walked where I found myself walking too, and, out of a heart of faith and obedience, positioned themselves to be used by God to bless others.

He Answers

The questions I was wrestling with about life decisions suddenly fell away in the weeks that followed my “anything” prayer. As we finished our Bible study I continued reading Restless, in place of this unsettled heart, God truly did give me answers, not the ones I was expecting, but ones that gave me peace and something I can only describe as Holy contentment. If I had not been waiting on Him to answer my prayer, I would have missed the blessing completely.

images-1If you are feeling like you don’t know where you are going, or what your purpose is at the moment, stop. God has something important to tell you. Simply ask Him, and you can be sure He will answer through His word, His people, and His Holy spirit. The answers God gives us are immeasurably better than the ones we come up with on our own! Trust Him, He has great plans for you…

“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. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.  You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back from captivity…” Jeremiah 39:11-14

Dear Lord, help us to remember that your ways are not our ways. Open our hearts and minds to whatever your purpose is for us. Help us to discern our gifts and strengths so that we may grow into your plan for us God. Thank you that we have a Holy purpose in this life as wives, mothers, children and so much more. Lord, help us to see the ministry right before us. Every person in our lives is there for a reason. Show us how to love and serve them Father that we may honor you and bring glory to you, in Jesus name, amen.

 

Child of God

 

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Cries of anguish long and deep

awake the dreamer from her sleep

shadows cast a bitter glare

a pain that crushes skin so fair

Violence stands a crown of thorn

before the day that she was born

the love that binds no longer strong

twisted, broken, shattered, gone

the comfort of the place we live

the value of the life we give

is taken by the things we hate

beaten down, help comes too late

innocence is somehow lost

the child inside will pay the cost

here she drowns in blood and tears

but is not broken by her fears

like tapestry they’re woven in

the day she fights to live and then

a light at last upon her face

As God shines down His holy grace

Sin abounds in homes of glass

like beggars taking out the trash

something born from sudden grief

something glimmers ever brief

it grows and reaches far and wide

the enemy of hope has died

God does not let go it seems

He calls us back to childhood dreams

Before the darkness fell so hardimages-1

before the terror in the dark

He sparks a flame and we begin

to reach for life, to live for Him.

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http://www.unitedmethodistwomen.org/domestic-violence

Why God?

I shared a story about a difficult Christmas in my last post.  It was our family’s first Christmas after my parent’s divorce.  Divorce is a difficult reality most of us will face either directly or indirectly.  It is the result of brokenness.  For many years I spent a lot of time crying out to God, asking him “why”?  Why was my family broken, why did He let this happen?  It tormented me and kept me stuck in my emotions and feelings of loss.

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The difficult Christmas night I sat in my car alone, watching a happy family through their window (really it wasn’t creepy), something in my heart was formed-  a strength and fortitude I would not be aware of until many years later.

In his book, A Grief Observed, C.S. Lewis wrote,

But suppose that what you are up against is a surgeon whose intentions are wholly good. The kinder and more conscientious he is, the more inexorably he will go on cutting. If he yielded to your entreaties, if he stopped before the operation was complete, all the pain up to that point would have been useless. … What do people mean when they say “I am not afraid of God because I know He is good”? Have they never even been to a dentist?

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God is for us.  Do not be deceived by the emotions in the midst of pain.  They cloud our vision and blind us from what is good.  It is hard to look for good when our hearts are broken, but it is there.  If we can not see it in the moment, have faith, we will see it in God’s good time.

Because I experienced the suffering of a broken family, I understood the cost of quitting.  When I got married several years later and took my vows, I understood every word; in sickness and in health, for richer and for poorer, to honor and obey, ’til death do us part.  I promised God to persevere through the trials of my marriage, because I knew too well the cost.  God knew I would need this resolve.  He knew my story before it began.  He knows yours too.

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What suffering have you endured that God has redeemed for good?  Or are you stuck in the middle of your pain, unable to see any purpose?  When we can’t see beyond our trial, we can’t see God.  He can not redeem what we do not bring to Him.

 

Jesus spoke to His disciples whom He knew would suffer greatly in his name:

 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned.”  John 15: 5-6

The worst thing we can do in the midst of trials is forsake the goodness of God because we are bitter, angry, or frightened.  God calls us to stay with Him and abide in Him, so He may uphold and guide us.  God answers our cries of “why” in Romans 5:

Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us. Romans 5: 3-5

And herein lies the redemption of our suffering.  It is for a purpose.  We may not see it, but it is there.

Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.  Galatians 6:9

Dear God bless the families who have endured or are enduring the trials of divorce and brokenness in their homes.  Pour your Holy power over them God and give them strength to save what can be saved and let go what must be released to you God.  Through faith in Christ we are adopted into your eternal family God.  I pray for the souls who read this and do not know you, that they will choose today to surrender their lives to you Father. Yours is a family that will never be broken. Heal the families afflicted by divorce God, bring others alongside them to minister to them and love them God, especially the children.  In Jesus’ name we pray, amen.