Thursday, December 29, 2016

Holy Happy- to be cont...

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If you are a subscriber you may have received a post in your inbox entitled Holy and Happy. 
Just one problem though- it seemed to stop short of the finish line.

and you perceived correctly-

Image result for joyI must have hit "publish" instead of "save" and voila!- Straight to you.
 So here is my formal apology for leaving you hanging. The rest will be following shortly behind.
Until them pursue holiness and pray that you find delight in just that.

Friday, December 23, 2016

First love

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You have patiently suffered for me without quitting.
“But I have this complaint against you. You don’t love me or each other as you did at first![a] Look how far you have fallen! Turn back to me and do the works you did at first. - Rev 2:3-5a NLT

Aww fresh love...

I lay in my bed and read a a book, something I rarely get a chance to do, while my husband enjoyed his new game a friend got him. I looked up over the edge of the book a few times when his heroic efforts on the screen were met with a match, who also fought for the glory of the win. Loud and sudden outbursts of victory or dismay always followed.

Nothing was wrong with this-
I realized this was sometimes the extent of us spending time together. And with the limited time together we have, it made me think that we could do better. Maybe.
Later that night I recalled how things were when we were first together in high school.
I tried to think of the lengths we would go to just to spend time with one another. I remembered the walks at the harbor and the bus trips into town, and the immaculately planned out picnics with Kentucky Fried chicken uh huh- fancy that he would plan just for us. 
I remembered how simply a hand hold was soooo romantic and a hug was out of this world. 
I remembered that I would squeeze his arm and lay my head on his shoulder and be in pure bliss. 
I recall the hours on the phone we would spend talking about everything and nothing. 
When we got married and moved into our first apartment we would always find a way to be connected. We would lay together all squished on the couch watching a movie and fall asleep peacefully crammed on the sofa.
See when you are freshly in love, the simplest things are the big things. Nothing at that moment is too much to do for your love.

SO I wonder

How can we get back to the freshness of love?

The Lord whispers to me to "do the works you did at first." 
"Do the works you did at first", he says to me again.
Remember the way you looked at him when he walked into a room. Remember the way you gravitated toward him when he was near. 
Give him the attention you gave him when you were first in love. Take part in the things he loves to do,  the way you used to. 
Yep,nothing was too much to do for him. I was willing to jump and deliver what I thought would please him. It was the same from him toward me. 

I then thought, "but God that was before- well- everything else. That was before bills, and jobs, and mouths to feed and projects to help with, and manners to teach, and fights to break up. So would you divinely grant me the grace and energy to do what i used to do? Would you reignite a fresh love inside my heart toward my husband that will compel me to lavish freshly inspired love-deeds on him once again? Let what pleases him bring me delight. 

So I've decided to be more intentional in my manifestation of the love I profess to have toward my spouse.

and toward my God.

I want my union to be sustained by more than just commitment, but motivated by love itself.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Intentional worship

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Sometimes I can be my own worst enemy. 
A negative thought enters the brain canal and before I can blink it couples up with another.
In minutes I am on the brink of depression.
I know with my intellect  and from experience  I need to flood out the negative with the positive. 
I know I need to shift my focus to rescue myself from the slippery slope of pity and gloom, but for some reason it feels good to wallow.🙎
It feels good to feel emotionally justified and, and entitled to my thoughts.
But before long I no longer own my emotions.
They own me, and without delay begin to drag me

I am faced with a decision. Remain here in the heavy darkness and feed my sense of entitlement, or return to the light and turn my hurts and anguish over to the Lord.

Now to do the sensible thing is not as easy as it sounds. Just because it's good for you doesn't mean it feels good to you.

Letting go of my justified feelings and giving them to God makes me feel like I am betraying myself. It makes me feel hypocritical- being dishonest about the way I really feel about some things. But I know if I don't let go I am going to be enslaved to what I could not let go of. It will become bigger than I can handle until things are out of control.

So I take a deep breath and with tears stinging I open my mouth to tell the Lord Thank you. 
I tell him Thank you for this cool fresh air, and a voice whispers "you're phony". I say Thank you , again, this time for the night sky, and a voice says "He doesn't care or you wouldn't be dealing with this". I shake my head and say "Thank you for this moment." Again the voice says "Is he real? Are you wasting your time?" 
 Then the word came to my mouth- "Though he slay me yet will I trust him... The Lord gives and the Lord takes away, Blessed be the name of the Lord." And again the word came through my lips " I will bless the Lord at ALL times. His praise shall CONTINUALLY be in my mouth. My soul shall make her boast in the Lord. The Humble shall hear thereof and be glad."

This time,there was no rebuttal. And I felt peace sweep in and a lifting of the heaviness took place.
I repeated the verse from Psalm 34 again out loud, exhorting myself to bless the Lord. I reminded myself that it is the humble that will hear the boasting of the Lord. If I can not hear my soul's boasting on the Lord, then I am in a prideful state and the Lord gives Grace only to the humble.

It's amazing what happens when we force our flesh to submit to the Spirit and the beckoning of God. Days of depression is swept away in 5 minutes of humble submission to the Word and Spirit of God.

Don't let your carnal nature rob you of peace and joy in the name of entitled feelings and emotions. If there must be a visit, don't live there. 
 Drag your flesh out of the pity party into a praise party. 
Trust him, give it to Him, and praise on purpose, and command yourself to praise.
I WILL bless the Lord.
Be an intentional worshiper.

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Thursday, December 8, 2016

Prayer Driven

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*image from web*

There are moments that drive you to your knees-
 push you to the foot of the bed in high tension.

the weight of the anger
the burden of  confusion

 bow you

and in that moment you realize
has driven me to pray

and suddenly a moment of vice
cunningly unfolds into a moment of blessing

that can only be unwrapped
 at the foot of the cross

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Inspire the Wonder part 3

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As I begin to type out this post the lyrics to an old hymn course through my mind. It says:

Have you been to Jesus for the cleansing power?
Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?
Are you fully trusting in His grace this hour?
Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?

Are you walking daily by the Savior’s side?
Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?
Do you rest each moment in the Crucified?
Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?

When the Bridegroom come[s] will your robes be white?
Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?
Will your soul be ready for the mansions bright,
And be washed in the blood of the Lamb?

Lay aside the garments that are stained with sin,
And be washed in the blood of the Lamb;
There’s a fountain flowing for the soul unclean,
O be washed in the blood of the Lamb!

Are you washed in the blood,
In the soul cleansing blood of the Lamb?
Are your garments spotless? Are they white as snow?
Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?

As I read through the each line of this song, the questions beg to be answered. 
Because the question we must ask ourselves daily is
"AM I...?"
Can my living declare a resounding, unquestionable, "YES" to each of these inquiries?

When our Christian walk is daily it testifies to the faithfulness of our Father. People take notice when we are consistent in our values, and beliefs. They become curious when we declare that we will stand on the Word of God, and it alone governs my living, my doing, my wearing, my interacting, my speaking, my engaging- yes, my entire being.

When our Christian walk is daily and intentional- it inspires others to the amazement of a relationship with the Father. 

So are you washed in the blood?
Then you are in the blood line of Christ, and his traits should be a visible marker on your DNA. 
Does your walk simply make people raise their eyebrows in wonder? OR does it inspire others to the amazement and wonder that is Christ?

Let each decision you make this week reflect the influence of Christ and his Spirit on your life. Every decision.
Then watch the impact on the people around you as they detect a faith and commitment that is solid and grounded -not in comfort, or familiarity, or preference- but in the unchanging Word.