Tuesday, October 14, 2008

For Whom the Bell Tolls

"Now is the judgment of this world.
Now the ruler of this world will be cast out.
John 12:31

I know I just posted here a couple of days ago, but my devotional reading was just so wonderful this morning I just have to share it! Hope it is an encouragement to someone else as well.

"The enemy has no right to hold you back from realizing any of the benefits God has promised you in His Word. They are yours. And yet, it's quite likely that you are vividly aware today of an area of real captivity in your life.

I urge you to come before God with boldness today, asking Him in Jesus' name not to let the enemy steal one bit of the victory God has for you. We must not allow intimidation or fear (
bold lettering mine) to imprison us in any area. Remember, Satan can presume no authority in your life. He will do his best to bluff you. Don't let him. Instead listen closely. The liberty bell is ringing."

There is victory in Jesus. The bell of freedom is ringing today!

(Devotional from "Breaking Free Day By Day: A Year of Walking in Liberty", Beth Moore, copyright 2007, B&H Publishing Group)

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Friday, October 10, 2008


"Therefore I am now going to allure her;
I will lead her into the desert and speak tenderly to her."
Hosea 2:14

The Lord has brought the above verse to me three times in the past week. I really feel like this is what God is doing with me during the two weeks that I have "come home". Not only have I come home to my family, but I have come home to my Father.

"Allure" means "love affair". Don't we as women long for an intimate love affair? We want to be passionately in love and have someone enraptured with our beauty. Jesus is that Prince on the white horse, who has come riding in and swept me off my feet. He has taken me into the 'desert', a good place, a needed place, a place of solitude, with no distractions, and He is daily speaking tenderly to me. My heart is so full. He is drawing me so close that I can hear His heartbeat.

Do you hear the sound of approaching hoofbeats? Does He need a little 'desert time' with you?
To read more visit my other blog by clicking here: Ponderings

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Saturday, September 20, 2008

Going Home

"...go back to your family..."
Luke 8:39

After months of turning a deaf ear to God's command, this morning I am turning in humble surrender. God has strictly instructed me to "go back to my family". Go back from where? From living secluded in solitary confinement before a computer screen.

Over the past several months I have been living in a house with two precious people - two who mean so much to me, yet I have been absent from their lives. I have missed countless opportunities of enjoying their company, pouring into their lives and living with them. I have also ignored God's call to 'let go' and follow Him in an area where He has said, "it is time".

I have explained myself on my other blog, "Ponderings" and I ask that you would take a journey over to read what God has impressed on my heart.

I will only be posting here once a week, sharing truths He ignites in my heart as I embark on this intimate following.

Whether you understand or not, I must obey. People pleasing has held me captive too long and as Melissa reminded me on Thursday, my life is to be lived for an Audience of 1.

As I've been sitting here writing this, God miraculously confirmed this 'about face' moments ago in an message I received from Teri, which still has my hands shaking and my heart beating wildly. She wrote, "Precious Joy, In my morning prayer time, I saw your face and your name over and over. You need to know that the LORD Almighty is with you. You need to know it deep down in the marrow of your bones. Let it go deep inside of you. The LORD Almighty is with you. Be joyful in all things."

So, with that word I am trusting Him with the outcome of this following.

Gord and Chris, I love you and I am coming home.

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Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Sitting By

"And it came to pass on a certain day, as he was teaching, that there were Pharisees and doctors of the law sitting by..."

Luke 5:17 (KJV)

Sunday afternoon I had opportunity to chat with a very dear friend. Easily, four months had passed since our last conversation, yet after only a few brief minutes of 'catch up' regarding our families, conversation turned to the sharing of God's Word and to truths we were currently applying in our lives. With my Bible open on my lap, she and I traced God's goodness and promises. We talked of the 'new Word' he had spoken into our hearts. We shared doubts and fears. There was no idle chatter. Eternal matters were the topic. Our hearts were burning within us to do more than listen, for living is our lot.

In the verse above we see the posture of passivity. The Pharisees were "sitting by" while Jesus was teaching. Matthew Henry writes, "How many are there in the midst of our assemblies, where the gospel is preached, that do not sit under the Word, but sit by! It is to them as a tale that is told them, not as a message that is sent them; they are willing that we should preach before them, but not that we should preach to them."

Beth Moore questions: "Can you recall a time when you attended a Bible study or church service that profoundly affected a few of the people you were with, while others in attendance were completely unmoved? Like the Pharisees and teachers of the law, sometimes the unaffected can be the most 'religious' people in the room. Could the difference be that they were sitting by rather than sitting under God's Word?"

In Beth's book, "Jesus the One and Only", she encourages the reader to sit under God's mercy instead of sitting by with a critical eye. She writes, "If you will actively engage yourself in every message you hear or read, you will never hear or read another ineffective message."

Where are you positioning yourself? It's not so much a physical location, but a spirit's surrender. Think of the foyer conversation you indulge in at the close of Sunday's sermons. Do your words reflect the passion of one who has longingly sat 'under' the revelation of God's Word or impatiently sat 'by', checking your watch to see the time, oblivious to the miraculous? Words are falling around you, but not within you. Don't be satisfied with less when God wants to give you more. Sitting by makes you an observer. Sitting under makes you a participant.

What Word has He revealed to you that requires action today? Don't be caught 'sitting by'. Do something!

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Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Setting out for Jerusalem

"As the time approached for Him to be taken up to heaven, Jesus resolutely set out for Jerusalem."
Luke 9:51

I read this verse earlier today and my heart was saddened. You see, I know from reading the rest of the story that Jesus made it to His destination. He didn't just 'set out', He arrived. Jerusalem for Jesus meant persecution and death, yet He was determined to go there. He set out resolutely and didn't change course. He didn't give up. He didn't surrender, withdraw or retreat. He had a mission and He fulfilled it.

My heart was saddened because of how often I have 'resolutely set out' on a new task only to find myself abandon the desire along the way. God's call is clear and my resolve is strong, but as I travel to my "Jerusalem" I face roadblocks and detours. Fear. Insecurity. Failure. Disappointment. Judgement. Doubt. Peer pressure. The assurance I knew at the start of the journey has waned and I'm questioning whether I even heard His voice at all.

I look back at others who responded. Fisherman who dropped their nets immediately to follow. A young man named Daniel who 'resolutely' bowed on his knees before an open window unafraid. Three who entered a fiery furnace without turning back. The names recorded in the "Hall of Faith" in Hebrews who didn't waver but stood firm in their following.

I too start out with passion and excitement and then the pain that accompanies "Jerusalem" begins to accuse, ridicule and hurt. Arriving in "Jerusalem" means going the distance. It demands hard work. A "Jerusalem" road always insists upon sacrifice. It means braving the struggles that will appear along the way. It requires committing my heart to the destination and not giving up.

This morning God has called me to 'pack my bags' and begin a trek in answer to His call. The road ahead looks long. Rejection is inevitable. Hardship is certain. Yet, for the joy set before me... What joy? The joy of knowing I'm walking in obedience. The joy of shadowing footsteps that are trustworthy to follow. The joy of knowing I don't begin this venture alone.

Lord I'm frightened. Frightened of looking foolish by others. Frightened of starting a journey I feel so inadequate to finish. Afraid that a big 'incomplete' will be stamped across my attempts and I'll fail You again. Father, this time, with Your help, let me reach the "Jerusalem" You have chosen for me.

"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."
Philippians 1:6

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Thursday, August 28, 2008

Clean Sweep

"It is I who sweep away your transgressions for My own sake and remember your sins no more."
Isaiah 43:25
"I have swept away your transgressions like a cloud and your sins like a mist."
Isaiah 44:22

Yesterday I did a 'clean sweep' of my home, dusting, mopping, scouring sinks and showers, steam cleaning floors, but today Lord, You are calling for a deeper clean. A clean not of the visible, but the invisible. A confessing of the heart. Father, You are calling me to repentance. Not a generalized, "Forgive me for my sins", but a specific acknowledgement of transgressions.

Your Word says that we are to confess our sins to one another (James 5:16), and Lord, I'm nothing if I'm not genuine here before friends who have come to mean so much to me. How easy it is to write words on a page and appear spiritual at a distance. How difficult it is to live out that life day by day in a world where feelings get hurt, pain happens and wrong choices are made.

Lord, today I confess the attitudes, actions and reactions of my heart over the past couple of weeks as I've been giving extra needed care to my parents. Lord, I confess my impatience, frustration, resentfulness and anger. Lord, I confess words not spoken, but thought. Unkind words. Words harbouring jealousy, envy and gossip. I confess my selfish need for recognition and acknowledgement as I bow on my knees now in humility. I confess personal desires that made me turn to others for empathy, wanting my reactions justified.

Father, I feel so far from who You created me to be. I fail so often. I choose my way. Father break me again of self. At this moment begin a new work in me. Strengthen me for obedience. I confess that serving is hard and self is strong. Today, Lord, help me make choices that honour You, living authentic in Your forgiveness. Only You can make the necessary changes in my heart. I surrender again to You. Thank You for the promise of a clean sweep. A fresh start. A new beginning.

As I leave and head over to my Mom and Dad's in just a short time, Father fill my heart with Your love for them. A love that 'washes feet'. A love that listens. A love that understands. A love that forgives. A love that abandons me and lives for You. Have Thine O way Lord.

"May Your righteousness flow like a river
May Your justice run like a stream
Your love it floods my thirsty soul
And Your grace rains down on me".
Jason Russ

***Friends I must add a postscript: I pushed "Publish Post", wondering if I should be sharing this today and where to draw the line with how real I become in 'bloggy' world. I took a journey over to my e-mail. One message was there. A devotional I receive daily. This is what I read:

"God’s plan for your growth and freedom includes other Christians. Authentic, honest fellowship is the antidote to your lonely struggle against those sins that won’t budge. God says it is the only way you’re going to break free: “Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed” (James 5:16, NIV)

"Do you really want to be healed of that persistent temptation that keeps defeating you over and over? God’s solution is plain: Don’t repress it; confess it! Don’t conceal it; reveal it. Revealing your feeling is the beginning of healing. Hiding your hurt only intensifies it. Problems grow in the dark and become bigger and bigger, but when exposed to the light of truth, they shrink. You’re only as sick as your secrets. So take off your mask, stop pretending you’re perfect, and walk into freedom." Rick Warren

In response to confession of sins, the people prayed. May I ask for your prayers today?

Thank you dear friends.

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Friday, August 22, 2008

At Night

"And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.
And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid."
Luke 2:8-9

Did you happen to notice when the angel appeared to the shepherds abiding in the field? It was 'at night'. It was when darkness dulled all other distractions.

Yesterday my friend Elaine, wrote a beautiful post, "The Dark Side of Genesis", that deeply touched my heart. She wrote about darkness being created to cause the needful longing of the light's approach...the Light's approach.

I don't know about you, but darkness sharpens my senses. Distractions and busyness of day surrender to the quiet, calm of night. I listen more intently. God's Word tells me He brings treasures in darkness, (Isaiah 45:3), and I love in the Psalms where it says that darkness is as light to the Lord. There is no darkness with Him (Psalm 139).

Darkness has a purpose, whether just the going down of the sun for needed physical rest, or dark nights of our soul where we learn to trust in Him. The prince of darkness will one day be forever subdued and we are promised that, in heaven, there will be no night there.

If dark clouds have caused 24 hours of 'night', don't lose hope. Beth Moore writes that, "Sometimes in the contrast of the night, we can best see the glory of God."

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Saturday, August 2, 2008

Confidently Confident

"At daybreak, Lord, You hear my voice; at daybreak I plead my case to You and watch expectantly."
Psalm 5:3

I've always heard it said that if God repeats Himself in His Word then you really need to listen and heed His teaching. Well this morning, the verse above was not only the key verse in the first devotional book I opened, but it was the theme verse in my other reading as well.

What so blessed my heart this morning was that before I even opened either book, or my Bible, I had bowed my head and earnestly prayed that the Lord would speak to my heart. Over the next two weeks while we are on vacation, my deepest prayer request is that God will give some clear direction in regards to this upcoming Fall. As I surrendered my plans and schedule to Him at daybreak and pleaded with Him to provide guidance, I just really needed to have that assurance that He heard me. What a delight it was to my soul to open my eyes and read this verse, not once, but twice. The Lord was speaking directly to me and giving me His guarantee that He heard me.

Not only that, but He is telling me to watch expectantly. Oh, how that Word thrills my heart. The Lord IS going to speak. I don't know how, where, when, through what means, but I need to keep my ear tuned to His heart. I can't wait to share with you His Word to me. Beth Moore talks about being "competently competent". Well, this morning I am "confidently, confident"!

What are you waiting to hear from God today? Rest in the knowledge that He has heard your cries for help and keep seeking. His answer is on the way.

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Monday, July 14, 2008

Eat up!

"Like newborn babies, you must crave pure spiritual milk so that you will grow into a full experience of salvation. Cry out for this nourishment, now that you have had a taste of the Lord's kindness."
1 Peter 2:2-3

This verse today reminded me of what I wrote here in my last post about the Israelites. They had to taste the new food in the Promised Land before the manna ceased. They had to eat it for themselves, a personal tasting. Second-hand savoring wasn't good enough.

God's Word provides all the nourishment we need and the more we feed on His truths the more our spiritual appetite will increase. One way to mature in Christ is by feasting on His Word. Nibbling and sampling doesn't suffice. As my Pastor shared with us a few weeks back, God's banqueting table is full. Every imaginable delicacy is available. Are you coming hungry in need of His filling? There is no need to ever walk away empty. He is our constant supply.

Life for today requires the provision of God today. Yesterday's manna will not satisfy. Apetite is developed through consistancy. Daily intake prevents spiritual starvation. Sadly, we too often eat out of habit, and not out of hunger. Ask the Lord to increase your desire for Him, so that you will have a constant craving. With desire comes the delight of knowing that God is more than enough.

"Every one who thirsts, come to the waters;...Why do you spend money for what is not bread, And your wages for what does not satisfy? Listen carefully to Me, and eat what is good, And delight yourself in abundance." Isaiah 54:1-2

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Thursday, July 10, 2008

Bridging the Gap

"He brought us out...to bring us in."
Deuteronomy 6:23

The Lord opened up so much teaching to me through this verse this morning. I want to share with you a little of what Kelly Minter writes in her Bible Study, "No Other Gods".

"If it takes faith to say goodbye, it takes faith to say hello. The real travesty is going through all the pain of a goodbye but never enjoying the fulfillment of a new hello." "...every follower of Christ will have to walk through the desert at times in life - it is the bridge between the old and the new. But the idea is to go through the desert, not to attach there, and that takes faith." (bold print mine)

"He brought us out...to bring us in." "We make room for God to fill it. We say goodbye to say hello." "...as we release our idols from the clutches of our hearts, I believe the Lord cheers, saying, 'Now I can do amazing things. I'm ready to take you to the other side.' The question often is, do we want to go?"

As Kelly explains in her study, even the Promised Land required a fight. It didn't just drop into the laps of the Israelites. Sometimes I find I stay in my 'desert' because it is familiar. I don't necessarily enjoy being there, but it takes work to get up and travel through dry land. We may even know what our "Promised Land" is and where God is leading us, but we can't surrender the change required to make the trek. Beth Moore writes, "If your prayers have gone unanswered, perhaps what you need is within your reach. Pray instead for wisdom to see it and the energy and motivation to do it."

Just a couple of days ago, my friend Susan wrote a post about 'discipline'. Often God has shown us what He desires, but we need to take the initiative. Like the Priests who had to set foot in the Jordan River before it opened to allow the Israelites to pass through, and like the children of Israel themselves who had to taste and eat of the food in the Promised Land before the manna ceased, we must act in obedience. We need to "taste and see that the Lord is good" in the new land.

Kelly writes, "The Lord will not allow us to be in the desert forever. Manna is only for a season. If you are going through a lean time of wafers on your tongue and burning sand beneath your feet, this too shall pass."

"Take hold of the blessings God has put in front of you."

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Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Guaranteed Hope

"Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life."
Proverbs 13:12

I've always said a loud "Amen" to the idea of a hope deferred making the heart sick. So true. When I'm holding out for something I want to happen, eagerly anticipating an event, outcome or possibility, and the result disappoints or is not what I had expected, my heart truly is 'sick'. Sadness surrounds me. I feel defeated. The world seems unjust and unfair. However, as I read this verse yesterday morning, the Lord began opening my eyes to a new interpretation of it's meaning.

Where was I placing my hope? In my agenda, my ideas, my plans. I was looking to my own abilities to give me hope. I have placed my faith and hope in so many other things beside the Lord, and they have all let me down. When hope is deferred and placed in anything or anyone other than Christ, our hearts will be sick...homesick for Christ. My life belongs to the God of all hope (Romans 15:13). It is only when I let go of my dreams and desires and place them in His loving hands, can I experience the joy of fulfillment.

Today I want to sing with surrender, "My hope is based on nothing less than Jesus' blood and righteousness, I dare not trust the sweetest frame, but wholly lean on Jesus' Name."

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Monday, July 7, 2008

We Have the Power

"The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds."
2 Corinthians 10:4

This morning I've been thinking about the strongholds that hold me captive. Fear so often has me encircled and bound, yet according to Scripture I don't need to remain living as a prisoner. God's Word says that I have access to weapons that are "out of this world". Not only are they incredibly unique, but they are intentionally useful, having the power to completely destroy strongholds.

What is keeping you from experiencing freedom in Christ today? If you have received Jesus as your Lord and Savior, you have also received all you will ever need to combat bondage. Are you accessing the power available to you today? Can you say with the Psalmist, "You are God my stronghold", Psalm 43:2.

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Saturday, June 28, 2008

I'll be Back!

Hi Sweet Friends,

Sorry to interrupt this wonderful series of posts - and I know the suspense will be killing you - but I'm leaving for vacation today and won't be back until July 7th. I had originally planned on taking my lap-top and continuing posting daily, but God spoke to me very cleary this morning through my friend Melissa, that I was to leave my computer AT HOME! So, I'm off for a week of "fun in the sun" (although the weatherman is reporting rain...)....but it will still be "fun in the Son" as I spend refreshing time with my Lord and Savior.

Hugs to you all,

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Thursday, June 26, 2008

God's Specialty

"With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God"
Mark 10:27

This verse came alive to me this past weekend. Friends, these are not just words on a page written years ago, but God's Word is living and active (Hebrews 4:12). His Word is true and His promises sure. Absolutely NOTHING is impossible with God.

Where do you need to trust Him today? What mountain is standing in your way? The words "impossible" and "can't" are not part of God's vocabulary. My God is ABLE. My God sees endless possibilities. There is nothing too hard for God. He sees the unseen. Nothing catches Him by surprise. Luke 18:27 puts it this way, "The things which are impossible with men are possible with God."

Don't question His ability today. Where you are weak, He is strong. Where you doubt, He gives direction. Where you fear, He offers faith. Where you are empty, He longs to supply. He is fully aware of your situation and the answer is on the way. Although you may not see it, it's there - trust God!

To read the story of God's "possible" over my "impossible" last weekend, click here.

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Wednesday, June 25, 2008


"Send some men to explore the land of Canaan, which I am giving to the Israelites."
Numbers 13:2

I find there are many times in Scripture were God gives a promise, but the receiving does not come without reason to doubt. The verse above speaks of the Israelites entering the "Promised Land". Regardless of what their exploration revealed, the possession was already secure. God had already confirmed the giving.

In Genesis 18 God promises Sarah a child. In the New Testament God promises the disciples that they will get into a boat and He will take them to the other side. Over and over again we can recount examples of God's promises to His people, yet often, because of present realities, they forgot promised revelations.

On March 18th the Lord gave me His promise. "The LORD will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore." Psalm121:8 That was the very word I needed to hear to register for "She Speaks" in North Carolina and face my fear of flying. God was promising me His presence and ever watchful eye as I trusted Him and booked my flight. That scripture didn't promise a smooth ride, (travelling home was horrendous as this small plane was tossed around by violent storms), but He promised to be with me. I had to have faith that God would fulfill His promise despite the obstacles and wind calling me to doubt.

God's promises sometimes aren't fulfilled without struggle. During these times He is calling us to a deeper trust in Him. What has God promised you? Have faith to believe that He will do it.

Be sure to check my other blog, "Ponderings" for a more personal reflection of how I experienced God in a Big way!

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Tuesday, June 24, 2008

The Forgotten Remembered

"They soon forgot His many acts of kindness to them."
"Yet how quickly they forgot what He had done."
Psalm 106: 7, 13

How long do you remember the great things God has done for you? I know that when God shows up in some miraculous way in my life, I think 'Lord, I'll never forget that', but sadly time passes and unfortunately and unknowingly I do. Days turn into months, months into years and that once cherished remembrance is forgotten by crushing realities and present circumstances.

Yesterday morning I fell on my face before the Lord, tears streaming down my face, begging the Lord, imploring Him with earnestness, to please, never, NEVER let me forget all that He has done for me over the past several months as He's called me to journey from fear to faith. I want to recall every detail. I want to relive every feeling. I want to cherish each Word and treasure that was unearthed from His storehouse of riches.

Praying today that the Lord will intensify my memory and with each retelling of His miraculous provision forever stamp His Word over my life that I will testify of His goodness and love for me.

Ask God to awake in your heart today a cherished memory of a time, maybe even not that long ago, when God revealed Himself to you and share that God story with one other person before this day comes to an end. God stories are meant to be shared.

"Remember the wonders He has done." Psalm 105:4-5

Be sure to check out my other blog "Ponderings" for more indepth coverage of Finding Joy in a BIG God.

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Monday, June 23, 2008

God is Bigger

No matter what size you see God today, know one thing - God is Bigger!

Be sure to visit my other blog, Ponderings, along with this one over the next several days as I share my on going journey from captivity to freedom.

A picture is worth a thousand words:

(Hugs to my friend Carol who welcomed me home with this testimony declaring that I found joy in a Big God!)

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Thursday, June 19, 2008

Letting Go and Letting God

Hi Friends,
Just wanted to let you know I won't be back now to post until Monday. Leaving early tomorrow morning for North Carolina to attend the "She Speaks" conference. Would so appreciate your prayers. As many of you know, I'm nervous about flying, but I won't be travelling alone - the God of the entire Universe will be sitting with me.

Wanted to share one verse today before I leave: Colossians 3:15, "And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts..."

The thing that struck me about that verse as I read it now is the word 'let'. That word implies that the peace is already right there - available - but it's up to us to allow it to flow in our lives. It's up to us to permit it to have access to our hearts. That involves surrender. In order for the peace to move in gently, we must open the door and welcome it.

Where do you need His peace today? Let go, let God, and let His peace flood your heart.

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Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Bigger Still

"He never asks you to bear something that is bigger than the strength he puts inside of you through his Holy Spirit."
Rick Warren

Read that quote again! That line jumped off the page at me this morning! He that is in me, is greater than anything that can come at me - bigger than circumstances, bigger than relationship struggles, bigger than health challenges, bigger than fear! He's bigger than the waiting, bigger than anxious thoughts, bigger than pain. He's bigger than lonliness, bigger than financial concerns, bigger than job insecurity. With the Holy Spirit within me, the strength to endure whatever my greatest concern is today, His power is bigger still!

Where do you need to see His strength today? His power within you is able to accomplish all that concerns you today.

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Tuesday, June 17, 2008


"Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour."
1 Peter 5:8

Yesterday was an horrific day, hence my silence. I was being devoured by the evil one and had no strength to resist. Sleepless nights have claimed strength. Fear has positioned me defenseless and vulnerable. Struggling and feeling alone, weak and helpless I've been fodder for the enemy. He convinced me I was a failure because of my overwhelming anxieties. The sad thing is, I believed him. I bought into his lies and spent a day in the valley of despair. (To read more about my day, click here.)

This morning as I reached for God's Word, tired and exhausted, He again has breathed life into my parched soul. I read John 8:44 that tells me that Satan is the Father of lies. He deceived me yesterday because my defenses are down. The Lord then reminded me in Hebrews 6:18 that it is impossible for God to lie. I must hang onto His truth. I need to be vigilant in knowing His truth. Yesterday I was imagining and acting out scenarios in my mind that hadn't even happened yet, but was living as if they had.

Thankfully the Lord sent many friends to surround this little lost sheep so that attacks were defused. The Shepherd Himself has come and picked me up in His loving arms and cradled me close. When my hope was gone, friends were loaning me theirs, holding me up and carrying me on.

Lord, may your staff and Your rod comfort me today.

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Sunday, June 15, 2008

3 Word Sunday

Well, after a sleep deprived night I was going to write, "I need prayer", but after spending some quiet time with the Lord this morning and laying my fears and anxieties at His feet, looking ahead to Friday and trusting God I write,


For what do you need to hold on to Him today. We can trust Him. Greater is He who is in me, than He who is in the world !!!

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Saturday, June 14, 2008

Voice of Truth

In keeping with all that has been consuming my thoughts these days, this song calls me to listen and obey the Voice of Truth.

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Friday, June 13, 2008


"Then you will delight yourself in the Lord, and I will make you ride over the heights of the land."
Isaiah 58:14

The above verse quenched my dry and thirsting soul this morning. For any of you who have been following my journey through my other blog "Ponderings", you are well aware that a week today I face one of my greatest fears. As I woke early this morning, consumed with apprehension and that familar gnawing in the pit of my stomach, the Lord has called me to once again fix my eyes on Him. He has called me to delight in Him and enjoy His presence.

His Word tells me, "If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast."
Do I believe God's promises? Do I trust His Word? Do you?
"For in him every one of God's promises is a 'Yes'."
2 Corinthians 1:20

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Thursday, June 12, 2008

It's not about me!

"...consider others..."
Philippians 2:3

Yesterday was a day filled with prayer requests. Big requests. Demanding needs. Hurt. Pain. Loss. Confusion. Hope deferred. Heartache. Tears. Questions.

Hearing of circumstances and situations that others are currently facing gave me a fresh dose of perspective. I have recently had my eyes selfishly fixed on me, myself and I. Fear has blocked my view and kept me self-centered instead of ministering to others. I have been so consumed with my own anxieties that I have missed opportunities to show compassion and genuine concern to others. I have now turned the magnifying glass from my heart of fear and I'm looking into the eyes of others. Coming along side their suffering. Shedding a tear with them. Listening. Embracing.

It took a completely selfless prayer request from a special friend to grab my attention. Father forgive me for the many times I've neglected those so dear to me and been more concerned about my own interests. Lord teach me how to reach out with Your love.

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Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Refiner's Fire

I read the following quote this morning:

"God has brought pain in my life. But as I have surrendered to it, He has used the flames of hurt to burn away the parts that need not linger."
Kelly Minter

As soon as I read that the words to the chorus, "Refiner's Fire" began going through my mind. "Refiner's fire. My heart's one desire is to be holy, Set apart for You Lord, I choose to be holy, Set apart for You my Master, Ready to do Your will."

Pain's purpose is to purify, yet we fight the process. No-one willingly welcomes pain. It's hard. It hurts. It often leaves us questioning. We feel like God has abandoned us. Yet, it's often during these times that God is doing some of His best work in our lives.

What painful situation are you facing? Remember, God has not abandoned you regardless of how things might look and feel. He is with you and He is working out His best for your good and His glory. Hold on.

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Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Safely through the Night

Ominous clouds were approaching. The meteorologist had warned of severe weather all day. My heart beat faster. I'm not a storm girl. I have friends who love to watch them, but I'd rather be in a room without windows.

As I lay awake last night claiming every "Don't fear" verse I could remember and desperately trying to place my trust in God, my husband and son slept. To me that is the ultimate victory and demonstration of faith in God. Sleeping through a storm. Having so much confidence and hope in God that although storm clouds threaten the way, peace is your companion.

I remember someone else who slept through a storm as well. Matthew 8:24 says, "Without warning, a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping." Jesus was sleeping. The disciples woke Jesus as they were certain they were going to drown. Jesus replies, "You of little faith, why are you so afraid?"

I'm sure Christ asks that question of me often as I battle my constant enemy of fear. Joy, why are you so afraid?

Lord, I don't want to be. I long to have the trust in You that banishes all fear. Your Word says, "I will make peace flow to her like a river". (Isaiah 66:12) Lord, I want to experience that peace. A peace that isn't boring and dull like a stagnant pond, but like a river. Beth Moore writes that "Few bodies of water are more exciting than rivers! When God used the analogy of a river, He described a peace that can be retained while life twists and turns and rolls over boulders. It means to have security and tranquility while meeting many bumps and unexpected turns on life's journey."

Thank You Father for bringing me safely through the night. Keep calling me to trust You and give me courage to rest under the shadow of Your Wings.

"Have mercy on me, O God, have mercy on me, for in you my soul takes refuge. I will take refuge in the shadow of your wings until the disaster has passed."
Psalm 57:1

Is there a reason you need to find rest under the shadow of His wings today? Come join me. The Lord's wing span can accommodate us all.

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Monday, June 9, 2008

Bow the Knee

Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Philippians 2:9-11

Yesterday was a wonderful day of praise, worship and celebration! A musical presentation entitled, "How Amazing Is Your Love" was shared through those in Worship Arts Ministry at my church.

I couldn't contain my tears as the truths of each song rang clear in my heart. I serve a God who does miracles so great! He is God alone! He is worthy of all praise! But the culmination of it all for me was in the last song presented. One day Presidents and Royalty will bow at His feet and acknowledge that He is God!

Why wait for that day? I get down on my face before God every morning before I start my day in humble admiration and recognition of who He is to me. Take a moment to bow your knee today and let your heart sing that He is Lord!

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Sunday, June 8, 2008

3 Word Sunday

In keeping with my thoughts this week, 3 words come to mind:


Have you been found? If so, rejoice in being His chosen child today!

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Saturday, June 7, 2008

Treasure Island

I've viewed several blogs that post songs on Saturdays - "Then Sings My Soul" Saturday's. I like that idea and think I will follow suit. Songs often speak to my heart deeper and longer than the spoken word. I trust you will take time to listen to this song today and remember that where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

Let's set sail together for "Treasure Island".

Click here if video doesn't work.

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Friday, June 6, 2008

"As Is"

"Just as I am, without one plea,
But that Thy blood was shed for me,
And that Thou bidst me come to Thee,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come."

Have you ever gone looking to buy a used car and read the qualifier, "As is"? In other words, there are probably some repairs that need to be made, but the buyer is recognizing this and if anyone chooses to purchase the vehicle, the seller is freeing themself of any further obligation. Should the purchaser buy the car in it's present condition, there is no liability to the previous owner.

My heart is still grieving for the young girl I wrote about yesterday in my "Chosen" post. As I continue to think about her, the Lord has impressed another truth on my heart. He accepts me "As is". He doesn't ask me to make all the necessary "repairs" and get my life running smoothly before I come to Him. His Word says, "Whosoever will, may come".

My life can be dented. My "engine" can be running rough. My "tires" could be slashed. The "windows" to my soul may have painful memories. Certain fluid levels could be low. I might have a lot of baggage in my trunk. I could be a very ordinary, "four-door sedan"; haven't won any races; not decked out with all the accessories that some of the more attractive models possess, but God isn't deterred at all by my present condition. He accepts me "as is", but sees all that I can become in Christ.

"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!"
2 Corinthians 5:17

To read all the lyrics of the hymn above click here .

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Thursday, June 5, 2008


Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God's grace that he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding.
Ephesians 1:3-8

I sat behind her last night. She sat erect Back straight. Head held high. Hands clasped. With each name called I saw the longing. She sat in hopeful silence. Barely breathing she waited. Yearning written all across her appearance. Her hands sometimes figeted in nervousness and anticipation. Until the last name was called. She stood with poise and refinement and left quickly. She had not received an award.

My heart ached for her. That was my High School story. Being second or third didn't bring the accolation. "Close" or "Almost" didn't receive the medal. She wasn't chosen.

This morning as I prayed for this young girl, feeling her disappointment, rejection, failure, I was reminded of the beautiful passage from Ephesians above. Whatever you are going through today remember that you are special to God. You are blessed, loved, chosen, adopted, favoured, redeemed and forgiven.

Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.
2 Timothy 4:8

If you know Christ as your Lord and Savior, one day your name will be called and the reward you will receive will be greater than any earthly trophy. He's applauding and given a standing ovation for you today - Well done, good and faithful servant.

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Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Who's the Boss?

"He will extend his power over many countries; Egypt will not escape.

He will gain control of the treasures...."

Daniel 11:42-43a

What is gaining control of your treasures?

Last night, just before turning off the computer and heading to bed I was visiting a blog of a dear friend who had experienced a hectic few days with unexpected illness in her extended family, along with all the other challenges of being a wife and mother. As she began to inform the reader of her absence from this "bloggy world", she wrote, "These blog posts can begin to feel like such pressure!!"

Her confession immediately hit a sensitve nerve with me. I am all to familiar with the pressure to maintain the expected. I too often allow other's opinions to dictate my agenda. I want to have time for it all - and do it all well, but at what expense?

What has control over your life today? What is causing you to feel pressured? Where are you sensing the heavy hand of oppression? What has become too powerful and important, robbing you from other activities, stealing joy and replacing freedom with guilt? It could be your position, materialism, money, pleasure, consuming thoughts, a goal, a dream, an unfulfilled dream, acceptance, technology, an addiction, _______ (you fill in the blank). Ask yourself, What is taking preeminence over family, church, friends, and my quiet rest with my Lord? What currently is receiving the focus of my time and attention? As the verse above warns, do not allow it to gain control of the treasures in your life...the treasures of relationship, surrender and more of Christ.

Remember, God's yoke is easy and His burden is light.

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Tuesday, June 3, 2008

False Security

"Let the beloved of the LORD rest secure in him, for he shields him all day long, and the one the LORD loves rests between his shoulders."

Deuteronomy 33:12

Last evening my son was working on a school project which included designing a map. On the map he was creating a Legend to represent different aspects depicted on his diagram. He suddenly asked me, "Mom, what can I draw to portray security?"

Without hesitation I said, "Well, I know what I would draw. I would sketch either an empty tomb or a cross because my security is found in Christ alone."

This morning as I sat with God's Word open before me, the Lord reminded me of this response. He spoke a question to my heart. "Joy, if I am your security, why are you so afraid?"


I am professing that God is my security, my refuge, my safe place, that I can trust in Him, yet in reality I am clinging to other people and things hoping for protection. Growing up in the church my mouth easily gives the correct response, but my heart reveals the truth.

I'm worshipping God, yet serving my fears.

Who are you truly worshipping today?

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Monday, June 2, 2008

Hallelujah Anyway

"Though the fig tree doesn't bud
and there are no grapes on the vines,
though the olive crop fails
and the fields produce no food,
though there are no sheep in the pen
and no cattle in the stalls,
yet I will rejoice in the LORD,
I will be joyful in God my Savior."
Habbakuk 3:17-18

Dear Friends, I don't know what is going on in your life this week, tomorrow, this moment, but this is the Word the Lord has clearly spoken to me over the weekend. Regardless of feelings or circumstances, fears within and trials without, the Lord is calling me to praise Him. The Lord gives and the Lord takes away, blessed be the Name of the Lord. I don't have to wait until everything is peachy-keen to praise Him. I can praise Him in the uncertainties and in the darkness. I'm not to wait...but praise Him "Now" - Psalm 134:1, "Now praise the LORD..." God added no qualifier to that directive. We don't just praise Him for His blessings, we rejoice IN THE LORD. I am joyful IN GOD MY SAVIOR. It's not because of what He's done that I praise Him, but because of who He is!

The Lord gives us treasures in darkness and when we praise Him in the night our praise becomes a battle cry of victory. Our worship defeats the enemy.

Let's go out today with shouts of praise! We can sing Hallelujah Anyway!

"When the oceans rise and thunders roar
I will soar with You above the storm
Father, You are King over the flood
I will be still and know You are God,
I will be still and know You are God"
Still by Reuben Morgan

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Saturday, May 31, 2008

A Genesis Moment

In the beginning, God created...

It's interesting to me how this blog has come to be. God, in His perfect timing, has orchestrated it's birth. He is the Origin and the Designer.

Psalm 127:1 says, "Unless the LORD builds the house, its builders labor in vain..."

This is a gift from God to me, but it's also my desire to use the gift of writing He has given me as my gift to Him. It is my longing that this be a sacred place of surrender. A quiet refuge where His Word is pondered and treasured. I pray that my thoughts will not just be words on a page, but encouragement, comfort, a soothing balm, a refreshing oasis to any fellow traveller who sojourns here. I pray they not be "my words", but God's thoughts impressed to me as I commune with Him.

I sense God calling me to share here often - not so much about my life, but His life. Truths from His Word as He reveals Himself to me each morning as I sit as His feet and learn from Him.

I trust you will visit often. You are always welcome and there's always room for one more.

Lord, I pray You will meet us here.

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