Mercy

Do you ever feel like you are on a merry-go-round?  The same questions continually go through your mind over and over and over again.  You come to the point where you just want to scream let me off I have had enough!  I have been in this place.  It seems like I was always coming back to the same place and the same questions.  My mind was saying God why didn’t you handle things this way or even that way.  Why did this have to happen?  Why? Why? Why? 

Finally in desperation, knowing I had to let go of the why’s I cried out to God and He began showing me I needed to begin journaling.  When I write the ponderings of my soul come out of me and it is amazing they don’t necessarily come out the same as they are inside of me.  They come out in the form of a prayer, an answer, a declaration of where God wants me to be.  I find a lot of strength and courage in that because God doesn’t see me where I am, He sees me as He made me.  He sees me where He has designed and purposed for me to be.

I know this post is a little different than the ones I have been posting recently but I felt I needed to keep it real.  We all struggle.  We all deal with things.  It is just how we chose to deal with all that life throws us that makes the differences.

One lesson I have been learning this past year is mercy.  I have a strong sense of justice and when wrong becomes right or people get away with doing wrong with no consequences I cry “where is the justice?” Why is that person not being corrected for what they did wrong?  God in His loving kindness began showing me that I needed to become more merciful.  I needed to let go and forgive and allow room for Him to work and move.  The only person I could affect and change was myself and I would have to stand before God one day and answer the question, did you love well?

1 Cor 13 has been my plumb line for many years but recently God has been taking me new places in this chapter.  Love is not easily offended!! Love does not remember any wrongs to it.  These are not easy things to learn especially when our flesh cries out for justice but they are possible to learn with God on your side.

Together, lets learn to show mercy, love, and kindness towards all even those who have mistreated us.  May we remind ourselves, love; real love God’s love in us; is not easily offended and it keeps no records of any wrongs.  In fact God’s words says that love covers a multitude of sins.  So if God loves us and He forgets then we too can forget.

When I started this post I wanted to share the song You Can Have It All by Bethel but as I have been writing a different song came to my heart that I thought would fit this blog better and it is called Mercy.  The song was written by Matthew West but I love the version by Jenn Johnson the best. 

God’s mercy is as endless as the sea.  Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy Matthew 5:7

Be blessed as as Dr Robert Cook used to say on the King’s Hour “walk with the King today and be a blessing!”

Good Good Father

What marvelous love the Father has extended to us!  Just look at it – we’re called children of God!  That’s who we really are.  1 John 3:1 MSG

I love the song Good Good Father by Housefires.  It so perfectly describes God and his feelings toward us.

God is perfect in all of His ways.  He is good, that is who He is.  God loves us, that is who we are. We are loved by a wonderful and merciful God.

Take a few moments to just listen to the words of this song and allow the truth of these words to go deep inside of you until they are a wonderful truth that has displaced every lie you have ever believed about Daddy God.

Your daddy God is so pleased with you.  I can go on and on about how much He loves you but again that is a truth you need to get deep inside of your heart.  It cannot just be head knowledge you need to know how great a love God has for you.

God’s word is a great place to discover how much He loves each of us but if you would like another source there is a book called Heaven is Real and Fun by Kim Robinson.  Kim has done an amazing job of describing not only what Heaven is like but what our relationship with God should look like. He longs for us to just be with Him, to enjoy spending time with Him.  You can find the book on Amazon.

Listen to the song and allow God to reveal to you how much He loves you.  Open your heart to receive all that He has for you.

Oh, I’ve heard a thousand stories
Of what they think You’re like
But I’ve heard the tender whisper
Of love in the dead of night
And You tell me that You’re pleased
And that I’m never alone

You’re a good, good Father
It’s who You are, it’s who You are, it’s who You are
And I’m loved by You
It’s who I am, it’s who I am, it’s who I am

Oh and I’ve seen many searching for answers
Far and wide
But I know we’re all searching for answers
Only You provide
‘Cause You know just what we need
Before we say a word

You’re a good, good Father
It’s who You are, it’s who You are, it’s who You are
And I’m loved by You
It’s who I am, it’s who I am, it’s who I am
You’re a good, good Father
It’s who You are, it’s who You are, it’s who You are
And I’m loved by You
It’s who I am, it’s who I am, it’s who I am

Because You are perfect in all of Your ways
You are perfect in all of Your ways
You are perfect in all of Your ways to us
Oh, You are perfect in all of Your ways
You are perfect in all of Your ways
You are perfect in all of Your ways to us

Oh this Love so undeniable
I, I can hardly speak
Peace so unexplainable
I, I can hardly think
As You call me, deeper still
As You call me deeper still
As You call me deeper still
Into love, love, love

You’re a good, good Father
It’s who You are, it’s who You are, it’s who You are
And I’m loved by You
It’s who I am, it’s who I am, it’s who I am
You’re a good, good Father
It’s who You are, it’s who You are, it’s who You are
And I’m loved by You
It’s who I am, it’s who I am, it’s who I am

Because You are perfect in all of Your ways
You are perfect in all of Your ways
You are perfect in all of Your ways to us
Oh, You are perfect in all of Your ways
Oh, You are perfect in all of Your ways
You are perfect in all of Your ways to us
Oh, You are perfect in all of Your ways
So perfect in all of Your ways
You are perfect in all of Your ways to us (yes You are)
Always perfect in all of Your ways
You are perfect in all of Your ways
Oh, You are perfect in all of Your ways to us
It’s who You are…
(You are perfect in all of Your ways)
(You are perfect in all of Your ways)
(You are perfect in all of Your ways to us)
You are never changing, You are perfect
(You are perfect in all of Your ways)
…Always’ve been perfect, always’ve been loving
(Oh, You are perfect in all of Your ways)
O-ohh-o-ohhh… (You are perfect in all of Your ways to us)
Oh, You are perfect…
You are perfect in all of Your ways
Oh, You are perfect in all of Your ways
You are perfect in all of Your ways to us
Oh, You are perfect in all of Your ways
You are perfect in all of Your ways
You are perfect in all of Your ways to us

Let it all Go – Even When (IHOP)

Trust in the Lord completely, and not your own opinions, but with all your heart rely on Him to guide you and He will lead you in all the decisions you make.  Become intimate with Him in whatever you do and He’ll lead you wherever you go.  Proverbs 3:5-6 TPT

If God is for us, who can be [successful] against us? Rom 8:31

Even when my eyes don’t see it, You know what I need before I know I need it.
Even when I don’t believe it, I know You are for me.
Even when my heart’s uneasy, I’ll still follow tomorrow Lord as you lead me
Even when I don’t believe it, I know you are for me.

I will let go and follow, won’t worry about tomorrow
I let go, I let go, I let go

This song reminds us of so many promises from God’s word.  It reminds us to trust Him in all things, to let go of worry and fear and all that would hold us back from believing God through every season. This song reminds us that God is for us and if God is for us then who can be against us?

Take time to just listen to this song and then listen again and just praise God that He has it all covered, He is a loving Father.

To add a personal note to this post, I started listening to this song when I was having a very rough day.  There was a lot of chaos and confusion going on and this song helped me refocus my attention back to God, where it needed to be.  I am finding that Brandon Oaks is quickly becoming one of my favorite worship leaders at IHOP.  You too may want to check out some of his worship sets on the IHOP website, they are pretty amazing.

Unity

We are one in the Spirit, we are one in the Lord

We are one in the Spirit, we are one in the Lord
And we pray that our unity will one day be restored
And they’ll know we are Christians by our love, by our love
Yeah they’ll know we are Christians by our love
We will work with each other, we will work side by side
We will work with each other, we will work side by side
And we’ll guard each man’s dignity and save each man’s pride
And they’ll know we are Christians by our love, by our love
Yeah, they’ll know we are Christians by our love.

How truly wonderful, delightful, and beautiful to see brothers and sisters living together in unity. Psalm 133:1 TPT

This post has been a difficult one to write.  I know God has been laying unity in the body on my heart for awhile now but everything I have typed and erased and retyped so far appears to come across as a rant and that is not my heart for unity.

God commands us to love Him and to love each other.  I have heard for years we cannot love each other until we first learn to love ourselves.  While I believe that to be true I do know that love is also a choice.  We need to chose to love one another, we need to stop always finding fault and judging each other because God’s love believes the best of others (see 1 Cor 13).  We need to start seeing the gold and treasure in each other.  God loves all His children no matter which denomination they are a part of.

Recently I decided to stop looking at each denomination as a church and I began to start seeing them as different families in the body of Christ.  One day we will have a great big family reunion in heaven and we will worship God as one body.  That will be a glorious day

Some of my favorite times are being with other family members in the body of Christ that may not be in my immediate family (church).  I glean so much from them and enjoy our times together.  We may not always see eye to eye on all things but that is okay because we all love Jesus and want to follow Him.

God has laid two songs on my heart for this post.  The first is a new Jesus Culture Song called Make Us One and the second is by Laura Hacket called Love Makes Us Stronger.  May these songs bless you, may we learn to lift one another up and no longer tear each other own.  May we learn to allow God to bind us all together as one in love.  May we grow in our intimacy and love in our relationship with God!  Blessing

Learning to love each other

Love should always be the compass that guides us, especially for those who desire to live a life of love.  1 Corinthians 13 provides a great example in God’s word of what love is and what love is not. I love to read  these verses on love in different translations because each translation provides such great insight into this scripture.  Below I have listed the passion translations version, it is one of my favorite translations and I love the imagery it provides.  The other day as I was reading these verses in the Passion Translation I had the thought, “what if verses 8-10 came first prior to verses 4-7” that talk about what love is and is not.  I just thought that by swapping the verses we see how great an emphasis God puts on love.  Not only loving Him but loving each other.  Jesus sums up the commandments in these two statements:  Love the Lord your God and love your neighbor as yourself (see Mark 12:30-31).

When we love there is no jealousy, there is no offense (love is not easily offended nor is it easily irritated), there is no self promotion because we are honoring others.  I know I am not there yet because I can get in the way, but every time I feel myself go of course I remind myself what love is and what love is not.  I pray and ask God to help me love the one in front of me because He loves them.  No matter how people treat me or what they do my desire is to become love because God is love.  A few other great scriptures that direct us to love others are; Matt 22:37-39, John 13:34-35, Rom 12:10, 1 John 4-7-8, and John 15:12-13.  I know there are more than this but this is just a start on your path to loving God and others more.  Next time you have an irritating person in front of you remember they are not only made in God’s image but that He loves them. Push past the snarky comments or retorts and just breath and ask God to help you, I know He will because He continually helps me.

Love never stops loving.  It extends beyond the gift of prophecy, which eventually fades away.  It is more enduring than tongues, which will one day fall silent.  Love remains long after words of knowledge are forgotten.  Our present knowledge and our prophecies are but partial, but when love’s perfection arrives, the partial will fade away.

Love is large and incredibly patient.  Love is gentle and consistently kind to all.  It refuses to be jealous  when blessing comes to someone else.  Love does not brag about one’s achievements nor inflate its own importance.  Love does not traffic in shame and disrespect, nor selfishly seek its own honor.  Love is not easily irritated or quick to take offense.  Love joyfully celebrates honesty and fins no delight in what is wrong.  Love is a safe place of shelter, for it never stops believing the best for others.  Love never takes failure as defeat for it never gives up.

1 Cor 8-10, 4-7 TPT

Again I love how the Passion Translation reads.  I know tongues, prophecy, and words of knowledge are important and we can move and operate in each of these areas but without love it is nothing, a loud and crashing symbol.  God help us to learn to love with open arms like Yo do so we may display you well everywhere we go!!




Chasing You

I’m chasing you, I’m so in love, captivated, I just can’t get enough.  I’ll spend my days, running after your heart, your heart, your heart.  Whoa!
Do we spend our days running after God’s heart?  Do you know He longs to be in an intimate relationship with each and everyone of us?  Eden was created as a place where man could dwell with God and fellowship with Him.  Take a few minutes each day and begin to chase after God.  I know from experience as we begin to take steps to pursue Him, he takes a huge step towards us.  I am so thankful He is able to draw nearing to me as I draw near to Him.  Sometimes I see Him so extremely close I can lean in and kiss His face.  If you have never seen God’s face ask Him to show it to you.  It is such a beautiful and glorious face.  His eyes are so full of love towards everyone of us.
James 4:8 TPT –  Move your heart closer and closer to God, and He will come even closer to You.
Other translations read, draw near to God and He will draw near to you.
Today take time to draw near to God, pursue Him, chase after Him.  You will experience such joy and freedom, it is completely amazing!!  Don’t be afraid when He reveals Himself to you.  I know the first time I saw the face of Jesus it was inches from my face.  I jumped back at first and then leaned in and just beheld His beauty. It is the face of the one I love!!!

Clean Natalie Grant

Do you every hear a song that just makes you become undone?  Clean by Natalie Grant is that song for me.  When I begin to waver and see myself as less than how God sees me this is a great go to song.  The lyrics in this song remind me that I may see myself as a mess, I may see myself as unworthy but that is not how God sees us.  He sees us as beautiful, whole, completely worthy, acceptable, chosen, clean!!!

Take a moment to listen to this beautiful moving song.  You may need a few tissues on hand while you listen and just allow God’s love and truth of who you are wash over you!

I love the part that says “I’m coming alive with joy and destiny, cause You’re restoring me piece by piece.”  I know the process can be unpleasant but there is growth and maturity in the process.  Stop focusing on the why and what and just focus on Him.  Learn to draw close to Him and as you grow in your relationship with our loving Lord, He will begin to reveal His heart for you.  He will reveal His plans and purposes for you.  May we all learn how to just be.  After all we are human “beings” and not human doers!!!

Love and blessings

Trust in You

Do you ever have a-ha moments?  I had one this morning and it was so simple but so profound. Recently I have felt God directing me to become more faithful to writing this blog but I continually doubt my ability to make this happen.  Despite the positive feedback some of you have given me I doubt I have what it takes to be a good writer, to adequately convey all the God is doing in me and through me.

Well this morning God got all in the middle of me worrying about my ability and He reminded me to just trust Him.  He took me to 2 Peter where He tells us that He has given us everything we need and then He took me to Moses.  Moses was given the great opportunity to lead the people of Israel out of Egypt and introduce them to the presence of God, and they did not want it!  In fact after continually trying to introduce the millions of people he lead out of Egypt to the wonderful and glorious presence of God he was really only able to affect 2 people that we are aware of; Joshua and Caleb.

In today’s standards that is not much of a success but think about how Moses affected these two men. They were the only two of the original Israelite’s that crossed over into the promised land and they did so with the presence of God going with them.  Joshua was chosen to lead them into this wonderful promise and I know he must have been a little overwhelmed by the responsibility because God had to remind him at least 7 times to not be afraid (I know I counted them one time).

Whatever God is leading you to do, stop trying to lean on your own ability and talents and just trust Him.  He has given you all things that you need to accomplish what He desires you to do.  Don’t focus on the how or what just focus on Him.  Allow Jesus to lead and guide you, allow Him to direct every step you take down the path that He leads you down and then know God is with you every step of the way.  Maybe you will reach millions, maybe you will only reach 2.  No matter the number be faithful to do all that God has laid on your heart and enjoy every moment you spend with Him and getting to know Him more and more.

For His divine power has bestowed on us [absolutely] everything necessary for [a dynamic spiritual] life and godliness, through true and personal knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence.  2 Peter 1:3 AMP

As always, when God speaks to me He provides me a song that drives home the truth that He is showing me.  God speaks each of our love languages amazingly well, maybe because He knows us so well.  Take time to allow Him to speak to you in your love language.  Be blessed today and draw close to God.

Pastures Housefires

I love the group Housefires!  Their new cd is so amazing, loaded with songs that just make you draw closer to our wonderful God.  One of the songs on their new cd (yes I still refer to new music as a cd – I could really date myself and call it a record, ha!) is called Pastures.  The song, based on Psalm 23:2, talks about how God provides us a place of peace in Him.  When we dwell in Him we have found our home, our very being.  Isaiah declares that Jesus is the Prince of Peace and elsewhere in the Bible it says that Jesus gives us peace that passes all understanding.

Psalm 23:2  He makes me lie down in green pastures.  He leads me beside quiet waters.

Someone I know once made the observation that quiet waters are in the valley and not on top of the mountain.  If that is the case then when we are in our low places, when we are going through a trial or storm then we can also find our place of peace in an intimate relationship with Jesus.

If you are like me we love to find all of the promises in God’s word and stand on those amazing promises.  Do you know that John 16:33 promises us that in this world we will experience trials and tribulations?  Do you also know that Jesus said in this verse to take heart because He has overcome the world?

I know any trial or storm is never easy and I know our flesh can rise up and want to have its way but instead of grumbling, instead of complaining, instead of giving worry a voice begin to thank God instead.  Ask Jesus who He wants to be for you in this situation.  He will always provide an answer.

I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have (perfect) peace.  In the world you have tribulation and distress and suffering, but be courageous (be confident, be undaunted, be filled with joy); I have overcome the world. (My conquest is accomplished, My victory abiding.)  John 16:33 AMP.

As you listen to this song take a minute to close your eyes.  Allow the lyrics to speak to you.  Allow Jesus to fill you with His perfect peace, then ask Jesus, Father God, and Holy Spirit to give you a picture of the you together with all three of them.  Many times he will lead you to a pasture like setting but whatever He shows you it will be a special place for you and Him together.

Blessings.

LYRICS
Verse
You give me peace that surpasses all my understanding
and love that is deeper than all I know

Chorus
You lay me down in the greenest of pastures
I am found by the one my heart was after

Bridge
Where else can I go
In You I am home





You Define Me

I have been listening to Kim Walker Smith’s new cd On My Side.  I love all of the songs but one in particular has really been resonating with me.  The song is called You Define Me.  It makes me sad to realize that so many do not have a really understand how God sees them (how He defines them)

I have always known I am loved by God but because I have experienced life so many outside factors have defined me.  I have developed and become what the world and my circumstances have defined me.  I have become failure, I have become rejected, I have become unloved, and unwanted but that is NOT who God says I am.  That is not who He created me to be and that is not the good thoughts He is always thinking towards me.

For years now I have helped with a ministry called Sozo.  Sozo is a Greek word that is defined as healed, saved, and delivered.  It is a ministry to heal body, soul, and spirit.  Through this ministry the person receiving inner healing lets go of the lies that have been spoken over them.  The person receiving the ministry breaks ties with the wrong thoughts (lies) and we pray that the voice of the lie becomes unfamiliar to them.  At the same time the person seeks God for the truth.  The truth of who God says they are.  The truth of how God sees them.  The truth of how He defines them.  The person not only seeks God for the truth but also asks God to show them a picture of them together.  Most of the time when the person leaves they have a totally different countenance on them when they leave then when they came in.  They are set free from the lies that have bound them for so long and are beginning to walk in the truth.  The individual also has seen themselves with God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.  Even though God is three in one He has three distinct aspects and it is so amazing to see how each of them interacts with you.

So take a moment as you listen to this song to ask God how He sees you.  How does He define you?  What lies have you been believing about yourself?  What lies have you believed about Him?  Then ask Him for the truth to replace those lies.  God is so good to speak to each and every one of His children.  He is so good to show them a picture of them together.  If you are not comfortable asking God the Father, then ask Jesus to show you a picture of the two of you together and then ask Him to take you to the Father!!!  He loves showing you the Father and they both love showing you the Holy Spirit.

Know that God thinks about you a lot!!!  Psalm 139:17-18 says that He thinks about us every day and His thoughts toward us outnumber the grains of sand on every seashore.  That is a lot of thoughts!!!

Eph 3:18-19 in TPT describes God’s love for us as follows:

Then, as your spiritual strength increases, you will be empowered to discover what every holy one experiences – the great magnitude of the astonishing love of Christ in all it’s dimensions.  How deeply intimate and far-reaching is His Love!  How enduring and inclusive it is!  Endless love beyond measurement, beyond academic knowledge – this extravagant love pours into you until you are filled to overflowing with the fullness of God.  Eph 3:18-19

Remember that God is always about the one.  You are the one!!!  When Jesus walked the earth He went out of his way for the one all the time.  Consider this, when Jesus and the disciples crossed the sea of Galilee they were met by a man who was demon possessed that could not be chained or dressed.  Jesus crossed the water to set that man free and to allow him to be in his right mind.  Think about it, he got back in the boat after that event and went back to the other side.  I wish I could take credit for this insight but I actually read about it in a book called Draw Near by John Bevere.

Below are the lyrics to the song!  Read them if you want or just go to the bottom and click on the video.  Close your eyes, focus on Jesus and allow Him to fill you full of His truth about you are. Allow Him to tell you how He defines you.  Ask Him to show you a picture of the two of you together and then write down what He says and shows you.  Meditate on the truths He gives you until they are firmly rooted within you leaving no room for the lies.  Blessing!

You Define Me”

No whisper can accuse
No rumor can undo
The words You speak over me
No lie can ever break
No shame can ever steal
The words You speak over me
You’re speaking over me!

Only Your words, define me
You tell me who I am
Only Your love, can hold me
You make me who I am
You define me
You define me

The author of my days
You’re writing every page
With blood and scars
You heal my heart
Oh, You heal my heart!

Only Your words, define me
You tell me who I am
Only Your love, can hold me
You make me who I am
You define me
You define me

No fear, can hold me hostage
No lie, can keep me bound
My God has the final word
My God has the final word
No fear, can hold me hostage
No lie, can keep me bound
My God has the final word
My God has the final word!

Only Your words, define me
You tell me who I am
Only Your love, can hold me
You make me who I am, oh!…
Only Your words, define me
You tell me who I am
Only Your love, can hold me
You make me who I am

You define me
You define me, yes
You define me
You define me
You define me