This love.

There is a love.  It’s a love that’s hard to fathom, until you know it.  It seems out of reach, until you’ve attained it.  It appears surreal, until you’ve experienced it.  Yes, there is a love like no other.  It’s unconditional, unearned, unfailing, unending.  It is freely given, but at a high cost – a cost that has already been ransomed.  This love.  There is nothing like it.


 

For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:38-39)

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All scriptures from Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 or New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson

Not a diversion, but a part of His beautiful masterpiece

I sat crying yesterday as I re-read the pages of a journal I had started in February about this wonderful new season God was leading me into.  A season of discovery, a season of healing, a season of running forward into the plans and purposes He designed me for.

As I read the pages of that journal it wasn’t tears of disappointment or tears of discouragement; it was tears of awe in God.  A reminder just how much He loves each and every one of us and looks upon each of us individually.  As I had written my thoughts on paper in February, I didn’t know what was coming up in the world, but He knew. As I was reading my own words I realized just how relevant they are for today.  He was settling things on my heart that I never would have imagined would bring comfort to me as I sat on Easter Sunday reflecting on the past month.

It’s been a month to the day when I got the notice that schools would be closing for two weeks, and on that day I couldn’t have known what that notification was the beginning of – where we were headed as a community, as a nation, as a world.  God knew.

Today was to be the start of a “week of ministry” for healing God revealed to me in January of this year that I need.  See below excerpt from my February 1 blog post titled “This time of seeking… Full access to my heart, I’m in awe.” describing this healing:

So, during this time of seeking He has revealed much to me. He has revealed my need for deeper healing and He has said I have been progressing and progressing over these past few years, which is great, but I have run into a wall and have progressed as far as I will progress until that wall is broken down. God has revealed this wall to me and He has revealed that now is His timing to break it down. Praise God!

When I wrote that blog post on February 1, I was excited that April 13, 2020 would be the start of a week of Him breaking down that wall.  Such a short time away and I was full of anticipation and excitement!  On February 25, about this wall, in my personal journal, I wrote, “I have to be patient. He is going to break it down. My RTF week of ministry is April 13-17. That is not too far off. I can be patient. I can wait on the Lord. This will come soon, very soon.”

The Lord had spoken so clearly in January as I was seeking Him in prayer and fasting and I was excited about all I was hearing.  He had put it on my heart to travel this year, something I have never done, and explore the beauty of His creation.  Another excerpt from my February 1 post:

During this time of seeking He has been telling me now is a time for discovery – discovery of who I really am in Him and more discovery of who He is. He has put it on my heart to travel with my son and, in doing so, He tells me it will help in this discovery of who I am and more of who He is.

The following is very personal and I’m being very transparent as I share this, but what the Lord has shown me, it is truth for all of you too.  I hope you can be encouraged by what I’m sharing.  If someone who doesn’t know the Lord happens to read this, I hope you can see a glimpse of what it’s like to have Him by your side.  For those who are walking with the Lord, I hope my own personal experience is a reminder to You that He is in control; He sees you, He is near to you and He is working all things for your good.  He looks upon each of us individually.  He loves each and every one of us in such an amazing way we can’t fully fathom it.  This level of detail He has put forth in my life, He does the same for you; you just have to have your eyes and heart open to see His hand in your life.  He is there and every word He speaks is truth.  He truly is working all things for your good.

So, here it is (if you can read my sloppy writing):

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I hadn’t picked up that journal in fifteen days until yesterday when I decided to go back and process anything I had heard from God since beginning the journal, which I had started in early February specifically to take note of and process anything God might be speaking to me.  I got to these two pages and the tears flowed.  A note of what I really thought today would look like…  my healing.  This part He led me to write, “His ways are higher… When I look around at this world, there is so much beyond our understanding… Everything in His Word, even when it is complex and beyond our limited spectrum, is complete and solid truth.”  Such truth for today.  My own words, “I can be patient.  I can wait on the Lord.”  Such a timely reminder for today.  The scripture He placed on my heart on February 26: “Wait on the Lord; Be of good courage, And He shall strengthen your heart; Wait, I say, on the Lord!”  (Psalm 27:14 NKJV).  There couldn’t have been a better scripture for me to read yesterday. 

These two pages from my own journal are just what God wanted me to be reminded of today and I am thankful to Him that He led me to put those words on paper, when I didn’t even realize that today there would be significance in what I had written down back in February.  God is so good and faithful!  This is a perfect example of how He cares so deeply for us and comforts us and guides us.  He is so good!

There was a potential I could have woke up discouraged this morning as I am not where I thought I would be today (in Tennessee starting my week of ministry and having that wall broke down in the way I thought it would look).  You could potentially be in that place of discouragement right now as some things you were hoping for haven’t turned out the way you thought they would.  But, please be encouraged, God is in control and everything you may see as falling apart or as a diversion, may very well be a big part in the masterpiece God is favorably working in your life.  Don’t let what you are facing discourage you or cause you doubt; God is still working for your good and He will fulfill every promise He has spoken.

Glory and praise to God!

 


— So I have to add this, as God just comforted me even as I am reviewing what I just wrote and listening to worship.  I have the Spotify free version so I do not choose the song and this is no coincidence.  This song just came on called “Take Courage” and the lyrics she is singing go along with the scripture I just shared above from my February 26 journal entry.  God is so good!  He comforts us and He is always near!

“Take courage my heart
Stay steadfast my soul
He’s in the waiting
He’s in the waiting
Hold onto your hope
As your triumph unfolds
He’s never failing
He’s never failing”

(from song, Take Courage by Bethel Music, Kristene DiMarco, from the album “Starlight.”)

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All scriptures from Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 or New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson

Coronavirus – Faith, Not Sight.

Well, this is definitely a different time for all of us.  This day ends and I know I’m not the only one thinking, “this has been surreal.”  Having to hunt down usually basic groceries such as toilet paper, rice, canned goods etc., as it was announced schools will be closed for at least a month, gatherings of 250 people or more not allowed, and other closings.  There’s such uncertainty about where this is headed and the affect it could have.

I have strong faith.  Two years ago I faced a lot of trials in a small period of time and one thing that season did in me was give me a lesson in God’s faithfulness and in trusting Him beyond what we see in the natural. “Your love, Lord, reaches to the heavens, Your faithfulness to the skies. (Psalm 36:5)

We walk by faith, not by sight. (2 Corinthians 5:7)

In any given moment there is so much we can see or perceive in the natural, but there is also so much we cannot see.  As children of God, we have to trust His ways. As He says in His Word, “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts.” (Isaiah 55:9)  His Word says, “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.” We will not always have understanding, but we can always trust.  

We know God numbers our days and that we have an eternity to look forward to with Him, we know that He is in control and that His Word is truth. We know, as His Word says, “we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.”  Yes, we know these things and we have to stand firm on these truths.  God is faithful! We can trust Him!


Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us,  fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before Him He endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider Him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. (Hebrews 12:1-3)

Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. (Romans 12:12)

Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love Him. (James 1:12)

You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what He has promised. (Hebrews 10:36)

Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.  So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. (2 Corinthians 4:16-18)

Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 3:12-14)

So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. (Isaiah 41:10)

but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. (Isaiah 40:31)

Psalm 91:
He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.

I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress; My God, in Him I will trust.”

Surely He shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the perilous pestilence.

He shall cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you shall take refuge; His truth shall be your shield and buckler.

You shall not be afraid of the terror by night, nor of the arrow that flies by day, nor of the pestilence that walks in darkness, nor of the destruction that lays waste at noonday.

A thousand may fall at your side, and ten thousand at your right hand; but it shall not come near you. Only with your eyes shall you look, and see the reward of the wicked.

Because you have made the Lord, who is my refuge, even the Most High, your dwelling place, No evil shall befall you, nor shall any plague come near your dwelling;

For He shall give His angels charge over you, to keep you in all your ways. In their hands they shall bear you up, lest you dash your foot against a stone.

You shall tread upon the lion and the cobra, the young lion and the serpent you shall trample underfoot.

“Because he has set his love upon Me, therefore I will deliver him; I will set him on high, because he has known My name. He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him and honor him. With long life I will satisfy him, and show him My salvation.”

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All scriptures from Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 or New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson

This time of seeking… Full access to my heart, I’m in awe.

I am in this season of seeking. On January 10, I reached an “end of myself” moment and I knew, “I HAVE to seek God.” This has been a different level of seeking than I’ve ever done before and I have done quite a bit of seeking in my walk with God. I think the difference in this time of seeking is my desperation. I reached this moment where I felt a desperate need for God and I knew in that moment He is the only one who can help and heal me.

I started my seeking on January 13 and it has been an amazing three weeks! I’m telling you, God has me in awe. He seriously looks upon each of us individually and He wants to speak to each of us and reveal His plans to us. He wants to do this but we have to give Him access. Over these past three weeks, I have really given my heart over to Him in a new way; I have given Him complete access to do whatever He desires in me and through me.

So, during this time of seeking He has revealed much to me. He has revealed my need for deeper healing and He has said I have been progressing and progressing over these past few years, which is great, but I have run into a wall and have progressed as far as I will progress until that wall is broken down. God has revealed this wall to me and He has revealed that now is His timing to break it down. Praise God!

After being saved almost six years ago, during my very first time of fasting and prayer, He told me has He has plans and purposes for me which He has uniquely designed me to accomplish. Specifically during this time of seeking Him, He has been telling me that same thing and has said that He is going to be revealing gifts and talents to me that I didn’t know I even had within me and that I won’t be wasted; He is going to use me. He’s expressed that He is going to be awakening my creative side. You see, my life has been such that when I got saved it was, metaphorically speaking, as if I had just crawled out from living my life in an attic to see this whole beautiful new world I had never known.  During this time of seeking He has been telling me now is a time for discovery – discovery of who I really am in Him and more discovery of who He is. He has put it on my heart to travel with my son and, in doing so, He tells me it will help in this discovery of who I am and more of who He is.

I have definitely been discovering more of who He is. As I have given my heart fully to Him in this time of seeking He has given confirmation after confirmation after confirmation of what He is speaking to me. Words He has spoken into my heart, a prayer from a friend a couple weeks back with the same words, an email with the same words, me getting prophetically spoken to from a speaker in a crowd of hundreds with the same words. All this in this short time of seeking Him. Not only is He making it a point to get across the words He is speaking to me, He is showing me just how much He cares for us each individually.

We are all special in His sight and He has plans and purposes for each and every one of us. He loves us so much and He desires to speak to us. He is there ready to do a work in us and through us. It’s our choice. Are we going to be focused on things of this world and let Him be drowned out or are we willing to give Him full access to our hearts?

I’m willing. I pray you are too. He has amazing plans to accomplish through me and He has the same for you! Let Him have full access! He is waiting to reveal much to you, much about who He is and much about who He has created you to be in Him. 💗


He fashions their hearts individually; He considers all their works. (Psalm 33:15)

You will seek Me and find Me when you seek Me with all your heart. (Jeremiah 29:13)

But if from there you seek the LORD your God, you will find Him if you seek Him with all your heart and with all your soul. (Deuteronomy 4:29)

I love those who love Me, and those who seek Me find Me. (Proverbs 8:17)

And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose. (Romans 8:28)

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All scriptures from Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 or New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson

Trusting God’s way, not our own…

God could have immediately delivered the Israelites from their enemy (the Egyptians).  He could have done this in an instant, in the same fashion He destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah in an instant, but instead He worked their deliverance in such a way that they had to face hardship in the process.

When Moses and Aaron first told the Israelites that God saw their turmoil in Egypt and would deliver them, they bowed down and worshiped the Lord.  Isn’t that quite often our response when God reveals to us He is about to make a powerful move in our lives?  We praise Him and worship Him and are excited about what He is going to do.  Then, somewhere along the way, while God is still actively working behind the scenes making the move He said He would, we get discouraged in the waiting and so often trials come against us.

Right after Moses and Aaron revealed to the Israelites they would be delivered and right after they had worshiped the Lord, the Egyptians increased their workload and beat them for not meeting quota.  Then they questioned Moses and Moses in turn questioned God, “Why have You brought trouble on this people?”  We so often question God when we see things aren’t going the way we, in our narrow mindedness, thought would be the best case scenario; all the while amidst our questioning, God is still at work beyond what we can see.

We have to trust God’s way and God’s timing. Yes, He could deliver us from all our troubles in an instant, but there is so much more at stake, so much more than meets the eye, so often a powerful work being done within us through the troubles we face.

I can personally say I look back on all of my trials I have faced since knowing the Lord and I can see much needed growth that God did in me through each and every one.  I wouldn’t trade that for anything.  I’m thankful for the trials!  Part of our testimony which leads others into the loving arms of our Savior is the troubles we’ve been through and how we have overcome them by God’s grace and love.

We know that after the Israelites went through much trial and tribulation, God delivered them from the Egyptians just as He said He would.  He could have delivered them in a moment, but would they have known their need for God in the long run; would they have appreciated the depth of it, or would they have seen it as a simple thing?  God was growing their faith in Him through their adversity, just as He grows our faith in Him.

If you are facing trials, I encourage you that God’s Word is true and that includes for you.  His Word never fails!  You can walk by faith, not by sight, knowing He is working all things for your good!  We have an eternal home and the trials we face in this life are not only growing us to be able to accomplish the plans and purposes God has for us here, but also preparing us to be ready to step into eternity with Him someday.  Keep pressing forward.  God is faithful!

 


By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be known as the son of Pharaoh’s daughter.  He chose to be mistreated along with the people of God rather than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin.  He regarded disgrace for the sake of Christ as of greater value than the treasures of Egypt, because he was looking ahead to his reward.  By faith he left Egypt, not fearing the king’s anger; he persevered because he saw Him who is invisible. (Hebrews 11:24-26)

Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the l hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. (Romans 5:1-4)

For we live by faith, not by sight. (2 Corinthians 5:7)

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. (James 1:1-3)

Call upon Me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify Me. (Psalm 50:15)

Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord. (Psalm 27:14)

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All scriptures from Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 or New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson

God’s great love!

“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)

“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.” (Isaiah 41:10)

“Though my father and mother forsake me, the Lord will receive me.” (Psalm 27:10)

For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:38-39)

“The Lord looks from heaven; He sees all the sons of men. From the place of His dwelling He looks on all the inhabitants of the earth; He fashions their hearts individually; He considers all their works.” (Psalm 33:13-15)

“But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8)

“For You created my inmost being; You knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” (Psalm 139:13-14)

God’s truth about His love for YOU. Straight from the Word.

Praise God for His unfailing love!

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All scriptures from Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 or New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson

As He leads

I have pondered some big questions lately.  What is my place in this world? How can I help the hurting?  What does God have for me to accomplish?  I am different than the average; how can I really be used?

As I have pondered all this, There is one solid conclusion I have come to.  Jesus.  Jesus is the only answer.  He defines my place in this world, He is the only answer for the hurting, God has much for me to accomplish because of my faith in Jesus and He has led me to embrace my differences and realize that my differences equate to Him being able to use me in a different way.  God wired me the way I am and He has purpose in the way He designed me.

I dont know exactly what all He will call me to do, but He has been lovingly revealing to me over the past few years that I am someone He can and will use to accomplish His purposes.  He once told me, “what you see as your weaknesses, I see as your strengths.”  He has been growing my faith tremendously over these past few years as I have stepped out in faith and obedience and as I have realized my complete dependence on Him.  I’m not afraid because I know He is with me.  I have complete trust in Him and He gives me strength.  When I face worries and uncertainty, I know that because I am submitted to and trusting Him everything is working out for good.  I walk by faith and not by sight.

When I was just starting my faith journey, a little over five years ago, He gave me a vision of how my journey would look and He gave me a ‘life scripture’:

 “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 direct your paths.” (Proverbs 3:5-6)

I saw a vision of an incomplete brick path in the process of being laid.  It looked rather rough as if it had been there waiting to be worked on a while.  At the time I received the vision, I was having worry over stepping outside of His will – of missing it or taking a wrong step.  He told me that I do not have to fear taking a misstep because, while a step off the path would cause delay, as I focused on Him and trusted Him He would rework the path so my feet would be on it once again.  He showed me my feet on the incomplete path and I saw my foot take a step and as I took the step He laid a brick below it before my foot hit the ground.  As I took the step, the path no longer looked old and abandoned!  He was completely directing and establishing my path as I took a step.

I have been seeing this vision take place in my life.  He speaks something to me and as I take a step in faith and obedience, He truly directs my path.  I see good come out of these steps of obedience.  I see His strength overcoming my weaknesses in these steps of obedience.  I see His purposes being accomplished in these steps of obedience.

I just recognized this right now, seeing that unfinished path that hadn’t been worked on in a while was an invitation.  It was an invitation for me to be a willing servant, for me to be obedient in lifting my foot to take any step He calls me to take.  Over these past few years, I’ve had to overcome some worry and I’ve had to allow Him to do some much needed growth in me, and now I’m at that place where nothing holds me back.  I am willing to step as He leads.

May His good, pleasing and perfect will always be done in me and through me. For His glory!

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All scriptures from Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 or New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson

Keep enduring, keep pressing forward; your breakthrough is coming.

When God is about to do something big in or through our lives, there is a real enemy who will try and come against it.  I once heard someone put it this way, “God has defeated the enemy, but the greatest way the enemy can get to God is to stop one of His kids from fulfilling His purpose for them.”  The enemy can see when we are growing closer to God and the enemy can see when God is aligning things for victory in our lives or when God is aligning us in a position to be used by Him to let Him bring victory into the lives of others.

God’s plans are to prosper us and not to harm us, to give us hope and a future.  God’s plans are to work all things for our good and turn what the enemy meant as harm to us to be used for good.  God’s plans are for us to come to a knowledge of the truth and be saved.  God’s plans are for us to share Him with others and bring glory to Him.

The enemy does not like any of it and will do anything to stop God’s plans for us.  The Bible says the enemy comes only to steal, and to kill, and to destroy.  We have to be on our guard with an awareness that as we are pressing forward in God’s will for us, we will face opposition.  I have experienced this time and time again in my own life, and right before I have experienced the greatest growth or breakthrough, I faced a tremendous amount of opposition.

Don’t be afraid of this opposition because God is with you. He will never leave you nor forsake you.  His word says, “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.” (Isaiah 41:10)  Keep enduring, keep pressing forward.  Breakthrough is coming!  Victory is near!

“Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.” (Ephesians 3:20-21)

Be blessed!


“I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy ; nothing will harm you.” (Luke 10:19)

Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” (James 4:7)

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.” (Ephesians 6:10-11)

“You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.” (Genesis 50:20)

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.” (Romans 8:28)

“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.” (Jeremiah 29:11)

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All scriptures from Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 or New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson