wonder Words part 5

 

Ever have those days where God seems farther away?

If so, I can relate.

I realize that too many days spending so much time on everything else the exclusion of spending quality time with Him, I end up feeling distant from God.

But that’s because I put space between us, not Him.

Which makes me want to cry over my stupidity when I come to my senses.

Today’s verse? Blew me away at how perfectly it matched my current need:

I heard a voice thunder from the Throne: “Look! Look! God has moved into the neighborhood, making His home with men and women! They’re His people, He’s their God. He’ll wipe every tear from their eyes. Death is gone for good—tears gone, crying gone, pain gone—all the first order of things gone.” Revelations 21:3-4 MSG

What I take away from this Word?

  1. Truth THUNDERS from His Throne!  I don’t about you, but thunder always catches my attention when I hear it.
  2. When His Word mentions LOOK twice, I better take a closer look at what the next words are to follow.
  3. GOD had moved in with us. We are now His HOME!  And if that is not enough, He claims us as HIS! #wonder
  4. God WILL wipe every tear from our eyes.
  5. God has DEFEATED death – so tears, crying & pain WILL end!
  6. The fact these verses are in REVELATION reminds me how important it is for me to continually seek Him, and be listening for and to His voice.

I have been so thankful that I heard His direction on what verses to take a closer look at this week. He has truly revealed Himself to me in a greater and deeper way, which is leaving me filled with joy and wonder at the end of this crazy week, instead of feeling exhausted and drained!

How marvelous and wonder-filled Your Word and Presence are, God! What a blessing You are to Your children – present with us through everything, blessing and loving us, caring and guiding us, always!

#hopefortheharddays

celebrate

 

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wonder Words part 4

(This post was intended for going live last night. But as we all know, sometimes life happens 🙂 Thanks for extending me some grace.

There are days when all I want to do is climb back into bed and remain warm, safe & secure.

Yesterday was one of them.

After a restless few hours of sleep, I headed into work, and realized quite quickly that anything that could pop up to slow me down at work was well on its way to trying to derail my day.

I pressed through, knowing God was with me, and managed to get 90% of my tasks done before the power outage hit.

When almost all your work is done on a computer, that became an issue, especially when the generator failed to kick in.

I am grateful for God’s intervention at that moment, for He reminded me He was with me through the verse I was to ponder for the day:

Like a shepherd, He will care for His flock, gathering the lambs in His arms, hugging them as He carries them, leading the nursing ewes to good pasture. Isaiah 40:11 MSG

Not only did He reassure me He was my shepherd, this verse goes on to share four key characteristics of our God:

  1. He CARES for the ones He calls His own – for we are His flock!
  2. He GATHERS us in His arms, signifying His might & strength. We are safe in His embrace.
  3. He HUGS us as He CARRIES us through the rough times. I am reminded about a paper I wrote years ago on shepherds, where I learned that the shepherd would carry those lambs, which needed to be taught to heed and obey his voice, by temporarily not allowing them to walk.
  4. He LEADS those pregnant to good places as part of how He care for them.  Without regular and healthy amounts of food, the next generation of lambs will not be born as strong.

Nothing I go through escapes my Shepherd’s vision, nor His attention and care.

What a timely verse for my crazy day.  For my day continued with dealing with a meltdown (not mine), being crammed as a sardine on the bus home, a quick change then a three hour volunteer shift outside in the unexpected windy evening.  It also included getting to know a new coworker better, hearing an motivational speaker, and an  unexpected early night’s sleep!

But God knew I would need a Shepherd to help me through that, and every day!

I was able to handle things, because I know He was handling all the details of what mattered the most – His care for ME!

I am learning the more I let go to allow Him to flow through me, the more I am capable of doing with His focus, strength and heart. How about you?

#hopefortheharddays

wonder Words part 3

Some times, He prepares us ahead of time for things that are to come. So that we can be ready to offer the comfort He gave us to those who are about to need it.

Yesterday, my brother & his wife unexpectedly lost their beloved dog.

When I initially heard their news, it struck a deep chord within me.

Since last December, I have lost two cats which were precious to me over a six month period.  The loss is still close to the surface at times.

Then I read through the verse that I felt I was to ready today, and my heart leaped despite the raw echoes of my grief.

If your heart is broken, you’ll find God right there; if you’re kicked in the gut, He’ll help you catch your breath. Psalm 34:18 MSG

I love how the Message version starkly captures how pain, (emotional or physical, mental or spiritual) feels.

  • Brokenhearted.
  • Reeling from a sudden life event kick which takes your breath away.
  • Real, raw pain.

But even better, how the Psalmist reassures the reader, the hearer of these words, who is hurting that:

  1. God is with us in our brokenness.
  2. He will help us breathe through the pain.

The Hebrew word for “breath” in this verse is “neshamah,” a variation of the word “nasham,” which means to gasp or pant.

God literally will help us breathe when the hard moments try to steal our breath away.

Whether you have just got the news that a loved one has died, you have lost your home or have hit rock bottom in your marriage, God is with you.  And not only is He close beside you, comforting you? He will literally help you to keep breathing.

For the One who gave us the breath of life to bring humanity to life, and died on the cross to bring us new life again, He WILL enable you to keep breathing through the pain.

I am in no way saying your loss will not be painful. I am saying that God promises to comfort us, hold us and supernaturally give us the ability to keep breathing, even when we feel our heads are submerged underwater.

God has healed me of much of the known hurts I have experienced in my life. He has helped me to breath through life moments when all I wanted to do was hide away and weep until I ran out of tears. Moments when I thought I might not live through them.

Part of why I share my story with you is so that you can know that He is there for you.

If you are hurting and keeping it all in, so much so that your situation is making it painful to breathe?

Go to God.

Better yet, run to Him.

He is waiting to help you through, as He joins you right where you are. He longs to help heal you, and met your exact needs, whatever they are.

Knowing this to be true? Leaves me filled with wonder and hope.

Let the breath of heaven pour His breath into you again as you lean on Him – brokenhearted, grief stricken or pain ridden.

#hopefortheharddays

wonder

 

 

wonder Words part 2

Today’s Word is full of praise and promise, for which I am exceptionally grateful today.

For many of my family and friends are hurting – physically, emotionally, mentally, financially or relational-ly. As am I most days, if I am to be completely transparent.

And I am desperately in need of comfort when I feel the weight of what is happening in a particular moment or season, just like you.

But these verses have awakened me to a few truths I tend to gloss over in my own need, or when I am focusing on needs versus who He is.

All praise to the God and Father of our Master, Jesus the Messiah! Father of all mercy! God of all healing counsel! He comes alongside us when we go through hard times, and before you know it, He brings us alongside someone else who is going through hard times so that we can be there for that person just as God was there for us. 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 MSG

  1. God is WITH US when we are going through hard times. You can depend on His consistent Presence, for He promises over and over He is with those He loves!
  2. He is the Father of ALL MERCY!   He does not give us as we deserve, but meets us with mercy and grace in our moments of need.  So thankful for this truth, for which of us isn’t grateful when our Father shows grace when we feel the heaviness of conviction?
  3. He is God of ALL HEALING COUNSEL!!!  ALL healing comes from and through His wisdom. All of it, as He leads. His plan has always been for our wholeness and well-being, completely.  We can approach Him with our healing needs knowing that His desire is to heal us, always.
  4. God WILL bring someone to us for US to comfort as He comforted US!  In an amazing picture of paying it forward, God reminds us that we are to offer those hurting around us the comfort He offers us when we are hurting and in need. And we can do so, because He will show us how through how He has met our need!

May we never forget He is our source of comfort in our times of distress.

As His arms, ears, and shoulders of comfort here on earth, let us continually ask for His comfort to flow through us into the broken and hurting ones He brings our way.

#hopefortheharddays

words day 2

 

 

wonder Words part 1

Ever come across verses in the bible which kind of grip you with wonder? As in you wonder why you didn’t hear them before, and how amazing they are?!

Yesterday evening, Holy Spirit whispered to me to pay attention to a few verses during a presentation I was viewing, The Father’s Love Letter.

So I wrote them down (there were five days worth) and figure this week, I will unpack them and see what He has to say to me through them.  God led Word study, here I come!

May Jesus Himself and God our Father, who reached out in love and surprised you with gifts of unending help and confidence, put a fresh heart in you, invigorate your work, enliven your speech. 2 Thessalonians 2:16-17 MSG

What a wallop!  What strikes me about this jam packed encouraging Word?

  1. Jesus Himself and my Abba Father are the ones being INVITED here in this prayer to do whatever follows. If it starts with God, I know I should pay close attention, because it means God is about to do something, or is reminding me of something He has already done!
  2. God reaches out IN LOVE – so again, whatever follows is gonna be a blessing for me. Because when someone loves you, they have good things in store for you, right?!
  3. These verse remind me that God has surprised & continues to surprise me with not one but TWO gifts – unending help AND confidence!  I can be assured He will always come to my rescue, so much so I can be confident in His love & help!
  4. These verses of blessing were written by Paul to the relatively new believers in the Thessalonians church (51-32 AD is the commonly held time of writing) to ENCOURAGE them, despite turmoil and persecution, to hold fast to what they have been taught. As persecution of the Church is at an all time high in the world today, we can take this to be encouragement for us today as well.
  5. This blessing invites God to PUT A FRESH HEART in us.  As His children, we are to follow His lead in love, action and with obedience.  Asking for Him to give us a new heart will help us to follow Him, walking in the Spirit.
  6. This blessing welcomes God to INVIGORATE our work. Receiving His strength to go through our day and complete the work He has for us will keep us on track and properly focused.
  7. This blessing encourages us to allow God to ENLIVEN our speech.  The word “enliven”suggests “uplift” in this context.  When we are listening for His Words, especially for others, before we speak, we will be able to uplift one another on the journey.

So when the temperature (both literally & figuratively) rises, I am reminded today that His Word will always hold #hopefortheharddays for those who look to Him for their hope.

study time

Great E-xpectations #girlswithsWords

The final part of this series on how to BATTLE as one of His daughters actually was stumping me for a bit.  I didn’t like the original E word I had chosen, as it wasn’t resonating within me.  As I was involved in a local community event this past Friday & Saturday, I decided to wait on His leading instead of pushing to finish by my deadline (last Friday).

God decided to tremendously make this E post both personal and relevant last night at my first night at Cleansing Stream, a discipleship program currently being offered at my home church.  The video speaker made a comment which took my breath away, right before I read this quote:

Love me when I least deserve it, because that’s when I really need it. – Swedish Proverb

Love me when I leastdeserve it, for that iswhen I really need it.

Beloved, His expectation for us is to become His.

That’s it.

To love Him.

We put so much expectation on ourselves to do this and do that, when God’s first priority is for us to love Him and be loved by Him.

For which of us doesn’t like spending time with those we love?

So yesterday it hit me.

God accepts me just the way I am. Right now. Today,  All broken, messed up, slightly older modeled me.

He loves us:

  • when we need it most
  • when we feel the most unlovable and unworthy of it.
  • when we do the wrong things, say the wrong words, make the wrong choices

..for His love is unconditional.

But here is the point in relationship to battle, friends.

We can trust Him to fight for us, exactly and especially because He loves us so!

So, when you are in the battle and feeling low, please take His Words to heart. He loves you so much He gave His only Son to make the way for you to come home, to cover you in clean robes of righteousness, and promises to be with you always…and so much more!

Our greatest weapon? To stand firm on Whose we are, as we allow Him to lead us into the battle, and fight only as He commands.

His expectation is for us to love Him, be loved by Him & follow Him as we love those about us & share with them His great love.  

May we all seek Him for the path to go, the steps to take, the strength to follow and ability to hear, sense, & see Him as we join Him on this journey together!

 

Take the TIME to TALK with Me – girls with sWords

One of the hardest lessons for someone who is an introvert like me (Yes, I am. It has taken a lot of work for you to wonder that that statement is, in fact, true!) is sharing how I really feel.

For years, I kept everything tightly under lock & key inside, until God blew the doors to my heart open wide when I encountered Him as a young adult.

The more passionate I am about the thing that bothers me? The harder it is for me to talk about. You see, fluff is easy to share, but not always the things that matter the most. And especially when you are upset or angry about what is going on.

Jesus modeled how He wants us to handle these kind of things. By going to go in prayer, knowing God is listening to us – because we matter to Him.

Even if its something that we know isn’t life or death, but how we feel about it.

Unsure that God wants you to spend TIME with Him, time where He is waiting for YOU to do the TALKing?

Check out these 10 verses, and be reminded and reaffirmed that God loves it when we make the TIME to TALK with Him.

Luke 18:1

Proverbs 15:29

Romans 8:26

2 Chronicles 7:14

1 John 5:14-15

Jeremiah 29:12

Mark 11:24

Psalm 102:17

Psalm 145:18

May you too find relief in unloading your burdens, knowing you are loved, heard and cared for, and may you clearly hear His response – for God loves to have a two way conversation with His beloved!

#hopefortheharddays #TimetoTalk #girlswithsWords

talk to me

Inviting Him to ACT – girls with sWords

When I get upset or angry after being hurt, I used to immediately take action. And almost always made things worse.

God has been reminding me of late that He is a God of ACTION, and He is more than ABLE to not only comfort me, but battle for me as He actively involves Himself in whatever situation I invite Him into.

So I have been learning to not impulsively act when I am hurting or pissed off, but to wait until I can talk the situation over with Him.

For every time I do, He reveals something I wouldn’t otherwise have known, and actively directs me on how to respond.

I received an email a while ago which really upset me.  And my usual initial surge of upset indignation and irritation immediately swelled to full alert.

But I didn’t let it out. I gave it over to God, and waited for His direction. I went to a wiser person who was aware of the situation, and asked them to help me wait to respond until I heard from Him.

I have not needed to respond, actually. God took it out of my hands and highlighted the issues higher up the chain, where they needed to be addressed.

GOD moved into action on my behalf, and removed me from the situation.

Not how I would have initially handled it, exactly how it needed to be dealt with.

As His daughter, I need to trust God will move into ACTION on my behalf for the best results for me.

My best weapon for defense is God as my offense.

#hopefortheharddays  #girlswithsWords

(In case you missed my pun, we are to be girls with swords, with His Word being our primary weapon! That’s why the “w” is capitalized. 🤓)

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Be – preparing for battle #girlswithsWords

Feeling broken in heart or spirit, hurting and/or heavy with grief, shame or pain?⠀

You are not alone.⠀

  • Please know that as much as the enemy tries to tear us down, God is there to build us back up.⠀
  • As often as the enemy calls you names, God speaks His Name & its power over you.⠀
  • When the enemy tells you all is lost, God reminds us He has good plans for us and His plan has a great future up ahead.⠀


As women especially, God is stirring us up to battle.⠀Following His lead.⠀

  • Jesus stands ready to cover us & be our shield.⠀
  • Our Abba actively empowers us as He pours His love into us.⠀
  • Holy Spirit highlights truth as He wisely guides us. ⠀


I was reminded that God asks us to be His girls as we carry His sword. ⠀

For His Word is our weapon of protection. ⠀

So sisters? Don’t give up on the hard days.⠀

Don’t let the enemy steal the joy of knowing God is with you, for you, within you and going before/behind you.⠀For God with us in our source of joy, no matter what else is happening.⠀

Be comforted by this truth. Let it warm you to your core as it soaks into and becomes a part of you.

Today, we celebrate that with God, we can BE who He wants us to be, with Him beside us! ⠀

B is but the first word of BATTLE. ⠀

Stay tuned for the rest of these lessons of how His Word in our hands, wielded as He intends, reveals how we were meant to be His #girlswithsWords

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finding Your patience as i seek mine

Somehow, You meet me in ways I could never imagine through the hard times.

  • When sorrow rises, You calm me with Your presence.
  • When the unexpected suddenly hits, You reassure me You have my back.
  • When pain surges to the forefront, You soothe me with Your love.

The times when I have not patiently sought You?

Those are the ones that always seem to leave the deepest scars. Because when we allow infection to linger as long as possible, damage occurs within.

Seeking patience means I need to patiently wait for You to make the first move, whether its to calm the storm about me, or calm the storm within me.

Somehow, You meet me in ways I could never imagine through the hard times. And I am forever grateful You never stop being patient with me through this process of becoming a more patient person!

#seekingpatience
#hopefortheharddays

 

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