Tag: truth

God meets us – right where we are

Thank You, God, for meeting me right where I am…

my-lakeI have been lamenting the fact that I can no longer walk around the lake, the beautiful lake where You spoke to me so many times and showed me things about my own life and about You through Your creation there…the birds, the flowers, the trees, the sky, the mountains. You used each one of them to convey a message to me about who You are, and who I am, and how I should live.
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And then I look at my yard and garden, and lament that I no longer have the ability to work in my garden where You spoke to me so many times through seeds, growth, planting, watering, weeding, and the beauty and abundance Your provision.

bed-1846251_960_720And even as I do this lamenting, I find myself rejoicing! For even here in my bed where I spend more and more time each day due to the loss of energy and good health, I find that You are speaking to me here too. Of resting, reflecting, readjusted, reprioritizing. And I can find delight in Your willingness and ability to reach me wherever I am, whatever the circumstances of my life.

Each time I moved out of a phase I worried I would lose the revelations and inspiration You brought me. I would cling to each stage because of the beauty and the blessing You shared with me wondering if I would ever hear from You again. The truth is, as I moved through my life You have always been there beside me whatever the stage or phase I was going through. Meeting me wherever I was and now wherever I am. And the tears flow for the time I’ve spent lamenting what I had, instead of embracing what I have.

I am finally believing that when You say You will never leave me, that’s exactly what You mean… You really mean it! That You will be with me wherever I go even if I can’t go to the same places I used to go to be with You. You will come to me.

The truth is You always did. It was never me going to You where are You were. It was always You meeting me right where I was.

I no longer need to strive to get back to those places or the circumstances where I heard from You before. In truth, You are everywhere! You are as close as a whisper, as present as the air I breathe. And whatever comes, I know now that my hearing from You is not dependent on me or my circumstances but it is, and always has been, simply a condition of who You are and that You are true to Your promises.

womanbackpackarmsraisedIs there a time you were hearing from God more clearly? Have you struggled to get back to that place or put yourself back in those circumstances?

It’s not the place or the circumstances that matter. God is right here beside you. You need only reach out and ask Him to speak to you.

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He is not limited by your location.

He is not constrained by your circumstances.

He is only awaiting your invitation to speak into your life.

Tell God You’re listening…

Invite Him now.

What a season!

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What a season we are in! And I don’t mean winter.

question-mark-5470199_640human-5480043_640We are in a season of media frenzy and we have been for some time. Stories pop up on my phone constantly, and call for me to read them. Many inflame and upset my heart and my mind and bring confusion to my thoughts. So many issues seem unjust, unfair, just plain wrong. And they offer no solution.

My solution, is to be still to listen for God’s voice. I take a walk and lift my eyes to the mountains or to the sky. I watch the clouds, or the pine trees bending in the gentle wind. I watch the geese wintering here from Canada.

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I sit quietly and read scripture. Some I read out loud, looking for the truth of who I am, created by God; and who He is and His love for me and every individual He created in the world. And I let the truth wash over me.

praying-5406270_640From within the truth I look out onto the world with compassion and I pray for it: its leaders, its people, the issues that so perplex and confuse us because of the false news and misinformation being propagated.

I pray for the hearts of men and women and children to be turned to the Lord. And for God to speak to those in power who control governments, the media, the militaries, the corporations, the churches, synagogues and mosques, and the field of entertainment – and for those people to listen.

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For me, it has become a season of prayer.  And of listening more intently for God’s Voice.  He does speak.

And especially now, I’m listening.

What armor are you wearing? Part 1

warfarehelmetsThe armor makes a difference!

Part 1  The Armor of God

I believe there’s a battle that we can’t see going on in the world today.

God gives believers armor and weapons to wear and use as protection, and as offensive and defensive weapons against the evil one and his schemes against us.

Many picture the battle for the world as 2 near equal powers fighting for control – as if on a see-saw, where any little thing could easily tip the scale in one direction or the other.

 

   <-  Us  ->

God                                                  Satan

/\

    World

 

NO WAY ! !   That is far from the truth! 

 

As a created being, the devil is in NO WAY equal to God

not in power, stature, character, not in any way.

If you are a believer, you’re on God’s team.  The truth is: once we join Jesus’ team by accepting his free gift of salvation, we NEVER return to satan’s team.  The enemy, satan, knows this and he looks for ways to trick or discourage us to keep us sidelined and out of the game.

Ephesians 6 talks about the pieces of armor.

Paul wrote his letter to the Ephesians while in Rome, under house arrest.  He was guarded by Roman soldiers.  Every day, he saw men dressed in armor, bearing the insignia of their authority.  The Holy Spirit must have inspired his analogy of a Christian “soldier.”

Ephesians 6:10-18 tells us the armor we should have in place.

Belt of Truth – a wide, tight band around the waist, this holds pieces of armor in place, as well as the sword.  With it we are constantly girded about with the truth – God’s truth, and can recognize a lie from the evil one when it’s launched as a half-truth or outright lie.  With it we can hold anything up to compare it to scripture, the plumb line for truth.

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Breastplate of Righteousness – protects our heart and vital organs (a forerunner of the bulletproof vest).  It is the righteousness of the Lord Jesus Christ that forms a protective cover that halts darts and arrows, and deflects blows directed at us.

Shoes of the Gospel of Peace – In our homes, we often remove our shoes as a sign of relaxation.  So, to put on shoes is a sign of readiness or preparedness to accept marching orders to stand for the gospel of peace we have in Christ Jesus.

spartan-1494365_640Helmet of Salvation – bears the insignia of our authority and who we serve, the army in which we fight.  It protects our heads and guards our minds so we can reject thoughts placed there by the enemy who would like nothing more than to sideline us with thoughts of fear, doubt, insecurity, or unworthiness. “as you think, so you are…” Pr 23:7 KJV.  It allows us to take every thought captive to be sure it is God’s truth before accepting it.

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Shield of Faith – not some puny little garbage can lid with a handle, but a head to toe protection, repelling the enemy’s offense – when the shield was anointed with oil it would reflect the glare of the sun and blind the enemy.  This shield covers a soldier from top to bottom, side to side and can join with others to form a wall of protection that will fend off an attacker.  On a wooden frame, its thick covering can stop projectiles and extinguish flaming arrows.

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Sword of the Spirit – our offensive weapon, the WORD of GOD.  We can use the very words of scripture to fight against, repel, harm and defeat the enemy.  Jesus used these very words to overcome satan’s temptations.  There is power in the Word of God.

Wearing this Spiritual Armor prepares us for and protects us in battle.  So, arm yourself with the armor daily.

Speak each piece on in prayer. Out loud so the evil one hears you!

Here’s a sample prayer for the armor.

Lord Jesus Christ, with the belt of truth fastened around my waist, I say that I will not believe the lies satan would try to use to confuse me.  Give me clarity and an understanding of what is the truth in this situation.

The helmet of salvation I wear will guard my mind, and I take every thought captive to you.  Help me see past what the world and others tell me, to what you want to say to me.

The breastplate of righteousness I place over my chest protects my heart, so I can hear you with my mind and my heart.  I believe satan is tempting me with lies and half-truths so I will stand on Your promises and Your truths.

I wear the shoes of peace to say that I am ready to receive my marching orders  from you and to obey what you tell me to do.

I take up my shield to repel all the arguments the evil one would send against me.  Father, You have taught me right from wrong, help me cling to what is right.

I take up the sword, the Word of God, and say that satan has no power over me.  Lord, You are my Master, my Commander, my Creator, and it is you who I will follow and obey.  You have created me fearfully and wonderfully, and you alone are worthy of all my praise.

Father, anoint me with the Holy Spirit so I may truly hear and understand your words.  Send the Holy Spirit to guide me in this decision and to silence all the voices that are not from you.

In the name of the LORD JESUS CHRIST, I thank you for hearing my prayer.  I yield my will to You and wait to hear from You, listening with my heart and my spirit. Amen.

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Live in the Light

Spring is coming!

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This is my favorite time of the year.  Maybe because the First day of Spring is my birthday!

But also because it brings me out of the cold and dark time of year and into the warmth and light.

Especially this year, I am ready to be delivered out of the darkness of this last year and into the light of new promise.

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Last year saw much illness: the diagnosis of an auto-immune disease that came with unkind medications and breast cancer, and my father’s last battle with lung disease and then his death.  It saw diminishing energy, fatigue, and discouragement over many losses.

God was good to give me some bright spots. Two sons’ weddings and a trip to Hawaii were very joyful.

But I am ready for life in the full sun.  Just as teachers and kids everywhere are enthusiastically counting the weeks till school is out, I am ready and eager for being done with cancer, and medication’s side effects.

2 Peter 1:4 tells me “I have given you very great and precious promises.” So, I am ready to draw my strength from God and those promises.

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The first thing that gives me strength is my identity in Christ.

 

Contrary to that little voice I sometimes hear reminding me how stupid I’ve been and how worthless I am, I know that in truth, I am a daughter of the King of the universe!

Among other things, Scripture tells me:

I am chosen of God, holy and dearly loved.  Colossians 3:12

I am a daughter/son of light and not darkness.  I Thessalonians 5:5

I have been made righteous.  2 Corinthians 5:21

I am free forever from condemnation.  Romans 8:1

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Next I need to know His promises.

 

Some promises are for all Believers, so I can draw strength from knowing that:

I may approach God with boldness, freedom and confidence.   Ephesians 3:12

I have been given the spirit of power, love and a sound mind.  2 Timothy 1:7

I am God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do the work, which He has prepared in advance for me.  Ephesians 2:10

To know His personal promises to me, I need to be in His Word so I can hear Him speak them.  Sometimes a new meaning becomes evident in a scripture I haven’t noticed or understood before. Or maybe a familiar passage suddenly has a unique application to something in my life.  Sometimes I feel a conviction telling me to pay attention, that this is for me.

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And finally, I need to live and act as if I believe those promises.

So since I believe I am a daughter of the King, I need to think and behave that way.  Because I believe I have been given a spirit of power and love then I will act in love and be empowered when I come up against a challenge.

Knowing that I am God’s handiwork gives me confidence to step boldly into the light this Spring.  And like Paul, be ready to “take hold of that for which God has taken hold of me.”  Philippians 3:12

I pray that you too will be energized and empowered by the light that Spring brings.  And will live and walk in the light of your true identity from God and in His promises.

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Use your Panic Button

panic-button-1375953_640Wouldn’t it be great if we all came equipped with a “Panic Button”?

We could press our buttons to send out a message that says, “Please come quickly, I need help.”

 

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I remember when cars first came out with built-in car alarms and that button on the key fob that said “Panic.”  A small, black piece of plastic housed the advanced ability to lock and unlock your car doors from a distance, and set or set off  the alarm.

If you pressed the button a loud, fairly high-pitched sound came from the car that people all around could hear.

There have been times when I sounded the “Panic” button just for fun, and times when I needed help in locating my car in a large parking lot.  Thankfully though, I have never had a real emergency where I needed to use it to summon police or other assistance.

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But it started me thinking . . . What a wonderful gift it would be to have the assistance we need at the push of a button.

How many times have you really needed some help, but didn’t ask someone?

 Do you keep piling on responsibilities until you are at your breaking point?  A lot of us do.

Do you try and make it look like you have it all together and are in control, when nothing could be further from the truth?

Do you just collapse in a heap feeling overwhelmed and hopeless?

The truth is, we all DO have amazing resources we can use as “panic buttons.”

call-us-1817506_640More often than not, people you have met and connected with are ready and willing to help you when they can.  And it is totally OK to ask for help.

You may need practice saying the words “I really need some help.”  Or “Can you help me?”

Practice by saying it to your children. It will teach them that it’s ok to ask for help, and will also give them the joy of being able to help you.

superhero-2503808_640Practice by saying it to your husband or wife. The truth is, they WANT to help you; to be your Superman, your Wonder Woman, your hero.

Practice by saying it to a friend.  You’ll be surprised how willing people are to help you if you ask.

But your best resource is God.  In the Psalms, the Bible tells us He is our ever-present help in trouble, our refuge, our strength.  Psalm 46:1

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We need only call out to Him.   Romans 10:13 tells us For everyone who calls upon the name of the LORD will be saved. 

If you don’t have a personal relationship with God, know that He loves you, and He is waiting to hear from you.  He will not force His way into your life, but will wait for you to ask Him to come in.

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You can do that in a simple prayer.  Prayer is just talking to God.  Sometimes out loud, sometimes silently in your heart.  You can do it on your own, any time, and He will respond.  You can also talk to a pastor or Christian if you want to know more or have questions.

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As our Savior, our Lord Jesus Christ knows what we need, and is waiting to be asked for His help.  We are also told that He grants wisdom to all who ask in faith for it, and that when we call on Him, He will answer us and tell us great and marvelous things which we do not know.

He has resources that we can’t even imagine.  And He wants to give us good things.  He has a plan for our lives, to prosper us and not to harm us; to give us a hope and a future.

It’s OK to call for help. Ask friends, they will respond to you.

Push your button.

Call on the Lord.

He will answer.