A Father's Heart

Have you had a chance to watch ABC's new show Find My Family? It is a show that helps connect people who have been given up for adoption. Last night, my husband and I watched Evan reunite with his son (the full episode is available online episode 104). This particular episode was about a father finding his son after searching for him for 31 years. Evan, the father had gotten his girlfriend pregnant in high school. Her family moved away. He had been there at the birth and was under the impression she was keeping their son. When he contacted her later he found out she had given him up for adoption. So for the last 31 years he had been searching for his son that he never intended to lose.

There were several remarkable moments in the show. One moment was when the son found out through the show that someone was looking for him and he had assumed that his birth mother was searching for him. He was quite surprised to find out it was his father. The show host even commented, "It is not often that it is a father searching for his son." Another beautiful moment was the son's emotions when he met his father. He commented how wonderful it was to be loved just for being him and not based on anything he had done.

Of course, I could not watch the show without tears or without thinking of our Heavenly Father. People often say God does not need anything or want anything. That may be true but somewhere along the line he chose to desire us:

John 3:16
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son,
that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
And the emotion shown by the father last night reflects two of the deep desires described by Jesus in the parable of the Prodigal Son and the Lost Sheep:

Luke 15:20
But while he was still a long way off,
his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him;
he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.

Luke 15:4-7
Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them.
Does he not leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep
until he finds it? And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders
and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says,
'Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.' I tell you that in the same way there
will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over
ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.

God has been described as the hound of heaven. Last night's story gave a modern day visual picture of the heart of the Father searching for his son and not settling until he was found.
Finally, do you remember the son's comment about being loved for who he was and not what he did?

Romans 5:8
But God demonstrates his own love for us in this:
While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

If you don't understand the Father's heart towards you or the depth of His love for you take time to watch this episode. You have a Father who has searched high and low to make you His own, not because of what you have done but because of who He is. May you rest in your Father's love today.

Just a reminder to check out Get Healthy for Hope. Here is a video showing the condition kids can be in after open heart surgery. The Playroom would provide a place for their siblings to play while the parents are with the sick child.

Taking care of your own stuff

I had child care duty at church on Sunday. At 11:00 all the toys are put away and the children sit quietly and watch a movie while we are waiting for the parents to come. A little boy came up to me to inform me that a little girl still had a toy. I went ahead and took the toy away from the little girl. The little boy went back to his seat as happy as he could be. As I sat there watching, I looked at the little boy and lo and behold in his very own hand was a toy that he had not put away! I proceeded to to take the toy away from him and chuckled as I walked away, "He certainly didn't see that one coming." I shared the story with my other workers and they laughed too saying it sounded very similar to a Bible passage:

Matthew 7:1-5
Do not judge, or you too will be judged.
For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged,
and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.
"Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye
and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?
How can you say to your brother, 'Let me take the speck out of your eye,'
when all the time there is a plank in your own eye?
You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye,
and then you will see clearly to remove the
speck from your brother's eye.

It is so much easier to see the sin in other people's lives rather than acknowledge your own. It is easy to see what they are doing wrong and to talk to God about it "Lord, don't you see what so and so is doing. Would you please work on that with them?" The Trinity probably laughs between themselves and God says to the Holy Spirit, "Why don't you go down there and hold up a mirror for her?"

Unfortunately, like the little boy in the story, I often learn this lesson the hard way. One way to stay out of this place is to walk humility. Beth Moore describes humility as, "bowing down before His majesty (pg 59 Breaking Free)." When you are humble it doesn't leave much room for you to be looking at your neighbors and pointing out all the problems they have in their lives.

It is hard to be humble, it is hard to let go of pride but as Mary Poppins says, "A spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down." If you chose today to take a dose of humility medicine here is the sugar to help it go down:
Isaiah 57:15
For this is what the high and lofty One says—
he who lives forever, whose name is holy:
"I live in a high and holy place,
but also with him who is contrite and lowly in spirit,
to revive the spirit of the lowly
and to revive the heart of the contrite.

Where does God live? He lives high and seated on the throne in majesty but also with those who are humble in heart. His desire is to revive our spirits and our hearts. So today it is my goal to walk in humility, exalting the One who was, who is and who will be forever and to stop worrying about my neighbor.

In Christ,

Can You be too Holy?

Last night I read Mark Gungor's article Want More Sex? Resist the Devil article. I enjoyed the article and it got me thinking about a strategy of the enemy:

He likes to lay on guilt about not being "holy" enough.
Does God desire for us to live holy lives? Absolutely. Can we misunderstand what holiness is? Absolutely.
Romans 8:1
Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus
God has given us things here on earth to enjoy. He has given us money, sex, friends and family. The enemy can only operate by distorting and twisting that which is good. It is good to be holy and walk in holiness but if we don't understand what holiness is and means we can easily become burdened down and carry around a weight of guilt that is not from the Lord but from the enemy. One thing the enemy likes to do to Christians is make them feel guilty for not doing enough for God. You watched TV tonight instead of praying, you spent money on a pleasure item instead of giving it to the poor, you only went to 2 church meetings this week but 4 were offered. You are never doing enough.
Matthew 26:8-13
When the disciples saw this, they were indignant.
"Why this waste?" they asked. "This perfume could have been sold at a high price and the money given to the poor."
Aware of this, Jesus said to them, "Why are you bothering this woman?
She has done a beautiful thing to me. The poor you will always have with you, but you will not always have me.
When she poured this perfume on my body, she did it to prepare me for burial.
I tell you the truth, wherever this gospel is preached throughout the world,
what she has done will also be told, in memory of her."
You can be too holy when you are defining holiness as the number of things you do for God: you did 10 things for God this week, you are holy; you only did 3 things for God this week now you aren't holy. You can get yourself to the point where you are so focused on "doing things for the Lord" and "you saving the world" that you actually lose sight of the good and legitimate pleasures the Lord has created for you here on earth.
He is a good Father. What Father would give you gifts and not want you to be able to enjoy them? The disciples in the story above didn't hear what this woman had heard and didn't see what she had seen because they were too focused on building their kingdom that they missed everything that God had been trying to show them.
My challenge to you is to serve the Lord out of a place of love and not by being motivated by guilt to do the things you do. Learn to hear the voice of God (hint: it does not include condemnation) and let that lead you to do the things you do whether "in ministry" or just enjoying the daily life of just living. You can bring pleasure to the heart of the Father by enjoying life and the gifts that He has given to us.

Who I Am

Well I guess my vacation put some cobwebs in my head. I've thought and thought of what to post and I've got nothing:) So I'm going back to my archives for a moment and posting one of my favorites.
The Lord gave me this letter 2 years ago and it has held a special place in my heart. I had it posted on the side of my refrigerator for over a year and looked at it often. I gave my copy away but I think I might need to print it out again. If it touches your heart in the same way feel free to print it out and place it in a frequented spot.

Dearest Child,

What is it that you need? What is it that you are searching for?

Do you feel like your life is a mess?
I am your Redeemer.

Do you feel unloved?
I am the Lover of your soul.

Are you filled with sorrow?
I am your Comforter.

Do you feel alone?
I have promised to never leave you or forsake you.

Do you feel your story is incomplete?
I am the author and perfecter of your faith. Fix your eyes on me.

Are you afraid?

I am your Defender and Protector.

Are there situations in your life that you need to be rescued from?

I am a Warrior; I fight for you daily and will save you.

Do you feel unknown?
I have numbered even the hairs on your head ~ I know you.

Do you need to rest?

I have asked you to come to me when you are weary and I will give you rest.

Whatever it is you are facing ~ I AM.

I AM here for you to be your strong tower, a refuge.
I AM mighty and the one who can and will and does fight for you daily.
I AM full of love & provide a place to receive mercy and grace in your time of need.
Ask me your questions. I will answer you for

Your Heavenly Father

Redeemer: Isaiah 48:17, Jeremiah 50:34
Lover: Song of Solomon 2:14, 1 John 4:10
Comforter: Isaiah 49:13, 2 Corinthians 1: 3-5
Never leave: Deuteronomy 31:6, Hebrews 13:5
Fix your eyes: Hebrews 12:2
Defender: Isaiah 19:20, Proverbs 23:11
Warrior & Savior: Exodus 15:3, Isaiah 42:13, Jeremiah 20:11, Isaiah 43:11, Isaiah 45:21
Give you rest: Psalm 68:19, Matthew 11:38
Numbered hairs on your head: Luke 12: 6,7
I AM: Exodus 3:14
Refuge: 2 Samuel 22:3
Mighty One: Psalm 50:1
Gracious: Exodus 34:6, Psalm 116:5, Isaiah 30:18, Romans 8:32
Merciful: Deuteronomy 4:31, Micah 7:18, Luke 1:50, Titus 3:4-7

I'm Back

I'm back from 2 full weeks of vacationing!!! It was a beautiful 14 days (it was supposed to be 13 but thanks to a blizzard in WI we were able to steal one more day in Florida). Below are some pics.

Part 1 Anna Maria Florida with my family

Right to Left: Myself, Erica (sister-in-law), Wendy (sister), Laura (sister). This was the first time we had all been together since 4 years ago at Thanksgiving.

My sister-in-law Erica is a photographer, so she did some family photos on the beach for us. It was an extremely windy day!

Most of the cousins on the trolley. Isaac (behind pole), Mikey, Cade, Mercea, Jonny, Josh (my hubby), Mercea and Dustin (my brother).

Baby Ellie and I had a lot of bonding time. It was the first time we met but we clicked. I gladly
took on the duty of putting her down for naps.

Part 2: Disney with my husband's family
Weston, Nolan, Mercea, James and Brielle

My little princess Mercea with Cinderella's fairy godmother.

James loves the Chronicles of Narnia. Here he is with Prince Caspian.

Due to a blizzard in Wisconsin our vacation ended with an extra day at Disney a beautiful 86 degree day. The next day we flew home to 17 inches of snow in our city! The temperature as we drove home: 1 degree, with the windchill -20 degrees! It took 3 1/2 hours with a snow blower to clear our driveway so we could park in iy. Even so, it is still good to be home. Thank you for your prayers while we were gone. I hope you enjoyed the guest posts and thanks again to those beautiful ladies who stepped in! I hope to produce a blog post in the near future.

Guest Post: His Voice

I'm still enjoying my vacation. Here's another post by my Mom. She has lived in Florida for the last 3 years and she began taking care of feral cats when she moved to the island. Here is her thoughts on a lesson they've taught her, enjoy!

One of the joys of living in Florida has been the care and feeding of feral cats. Two of our Island’s many ferals— i.e. a domesticated animal that is ‘wild’--were cared for by the late owners of our home. As part of renting, I agreed to feed them.

Each cat presented with a unique personality: “Mama” kitty and her grown kitten “Tabby” were opposites. Mama was so timid that she came to eat only when no one was around. Tabby had been born on the property and was handled early by humans. She is so comfortable with people that she meows through the screen to let me know that she needs something.

While my neighbors traveled, I also fed their ferals. Before long, when I walked our dog, I noticed that I was being followed by cats! As I walked, I would softly call that cat’s name. I was overjoyed when I saw Mama Kitty following me, and--sweeter still--the times that she meowed back. My cats know me –they hear my voice and they follow me. Sound familiar? Jesus said,

“My sheep hear my voice. I know them,
and they follow me.
John 10:27

Every morning I open the window to the porch door and begin to softly speak the cats’ names. I continue to speak their names as I feed them. My voice relaxes them. I am sad when friends come around and my cats run away. Scripture explains that such

“will never follow a stranger; in fact,
they will run away from him because
they do not recognize a stranger's voice."
John 10:5

In the three years that have now passed, I marvel that, not only does Mama Kitty ‘know me’, but she finally trusts me to stroke her back.

In the same way that Jesus used ‘picture-book illustrations’ of himself as the Good Shepherd (and us, as sheep,) He has given me “living parables” in these small cats. My limited ‘farming” experience means I don’t know about sheep, but I do understand my relationship with these cats. And, whenever I interact with them, I better understand the Good Shepherd. My Sheep Hear My Voice.

Though technically these wild cats are not mine, I am devoted to their well-being. So much so, that when I hear their cries, I rush to their aid. Whether it be the neighborhood tomcat bullying in the wee hours, or the raccoon mafia marauding at midnight, I ‘do battle’ on behalf of these little ones. At any hour, my ears are attentive to their cry. I hear the Lord say

“the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous
and his ears are attentive to their prayer.”
I Peter 3:12

Verses flood my mind as I go about my daily regimen with my cats. I am constantly instructed me about the Lord’s “watch-care” over me. Poignantly, I am reminded of my inferior care, compared to the Lord’s. Scripture says,

“If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts …
how much more will your Father in heaven
give good gifts to those who ask him!”

I appreciate Jesus words,

“My sheep hear my voice … I give them eternal life,
and they will never perish.
No one will snatch them out of my hand.”

Unlike the Lord, I can’t guarantee that these cats will not die in my care nor can I even prevent something from snatching them ‘out of my hand’. Yet these cats are loved indeed. The lesson comes again: if I (who am evil) am doing all that is within my power to provide for these helpless little ones, how much greater is a perfect God’s provision? And what’s more, it is granted

“according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus!”
Phil 4:19
Do we, who are so weak and prone to failure, think more highly of our own reliability than that of the Master caregiver? Consider that God’s commitment BEGAN with the highest and best gift:

“He who did not spare his own Son, but gave
him up for us all--how will he not also, along with him,
graciously give us all things?”
Rom. 8: 32.

So, "do not be afraid, little flock,
for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom.
Luke 12:32

My cats are precious to me. I imagine that they love me because I love them. Likewise

“we love Christ, because he first loved us.” I John 4:19.

Like a feral cat with no particular value, God poured out his love (and blood) for me,

“demonstrating His great love in this:
that while we were yet sinners, Christ died.”
Rom. 5:8.

I join the Psalmist in his exclamation of praise:

“what is man that you are mindful of him,
the son of man that you care for him?” Ps. 8:4

Yes, my cats hear my voice, and they follow me. They in turn, teach me to follow the Good Shepherd.

Guest Post: The Armor Song

Hello All, I'm still in sunny Florida relaxing. I am thankful for all my readers and for those of you who agreed to help me rest by providing blog posts in my place:) I am especially excited about today's post by Karen Hopkins. She is one of my newest reader's and she has been a treasure and encouragement since day one. She liked me because I called myself an armour girl. If you enjoy what you read today and would like to see more of Karen's work stop over at Karen's Threads of Hope.

By Karen:
Today, go to your Spiritual Closet, and find your Belt of Truth - because the battle is always on the horizon, where the enemy is waiting to try to defeat the Army of God. But take hope, our spiritual " Belt " is the driving force behind our Victory over the Prince of Darkness - because that very BELT, worn around our middle, is what we hang our full spiritual armor on as we are led into the battle fray..

So today, as you rise up and begin your day, secure your Belt securely about your middle - for this is where you have all of God's Power at your disposal, to fight and declare Who is Victor in whatever the enemy throws in your direction today!

And as an added bonus, heres just a fun battle cry song as we go into war with the enemy, but we walk out Victorious in the Name of Jesus!! March on fellow Warriors!

A mighty battle is a brewin'
an ugly war rising o'er the hill
the Enemy's gathering up his minions
for its God' s people he wants to destroy and kill

But there is no victory for those in darkness
as the enemy lines soon will be broken down
for our God is the Mighty , Mighty Victor!
and with His troops , He comes from all sides to surround

For we've proclaimed God's mighty promise
that the enemy will lay trampled 'neath His feet
and as we cry "Holy! Holy!Holy " (is the Name of Jesus!)
The enemy has no choice but to fall away in sound defeat

Oh yes - prayer and praise used as our weapons!
as we march forward in the Name of our Mighty King
and with His Armor of protection fastened 'round us
Oh yes! Praise God , what a Victory Song we sing!

We'll cry No ! No ! No! No! No! No!
Our God is Mighty -He never will back down!
And we'll shout Yes! Yes ! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes!
as the enemy's been trampled neath' the ground

Oh yes-with prayer and praise as our Mighty weapons
we march victorious in the name of the Mighty King
and with God's Victory Call risin' o'er the hillside
Oh yes! a Song of Victory we sing

Guest Post: Put on your Shades

Hello! I’m Ms. Latina and I blog at Latina On a Mission. I met Jaime sometime ago and I’m glad I did. You see, I’m a new Christian, full of so many questions that For His Glory has answered.

That being said I have to admit, I was pleasantly surprised when Jaime asked if I would write a post. I did not feel up to it, but I did as she asked and prayed. I felt God told me I should; however, I wrote and rewrote so many posts I lost count! In fact, if Jaime was here right now and not on vacation (Lucky lady!), she would tell you she had to send me a few reminders!

During my prayers, the parable that kept coming to mind was “The Parable of the Talents”(Matthew 25: 14-30). If you’re not familiar with the parable, below is a brief synopsis.

A man has 3 servants. Since he’s going on a trip, he gives each servant “talents”, based on their abilities. To one he gives 5 talents, to another he gives 2 and to the 3rd and last servant he gives 1 talent. After some time, the man returns. The servants go to the man, their master, to let him know what happened while he was gone. The first two servants tell the man that they have doubled their “talents” by working diligently. The man is overjoyed by their hard work, exclaiming, 'Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master's happiness!' The last servant, unlike the others, did not work hard. In fact, he buried his “talent”! “Master,' he said, 'I knew that you are a hard man, harvesting where you have not sown and gathering where you have not scattered seed. So I was afraid and went out and hid your talent in the ground. See, here is what belongs to you.” The man was so incensed, he took away the last servant’s one talent and gave it to the one who had ten, stating “For everyone who has will be given more, and he will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him. And throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”

We are all given a “talent” or “talents” at birth, each according to our abilities, just as the servants were given theirs, however, so many of us choose to bury it like the last servant. We bury these talents for various reasons. Perhaps we were told we would not amount to much, or we’re scared of failing and rather not take the chance. Or maybe we want to fit in and don’t want to disappoint those around us. Don’t forget the economy! The unemployment rate is getting higher everyday and bills just keep mounting up don’t they? Why take a chance? Ahhh there are a million and one reasons we can come up with to bury our “talent”, but that’s the problem! We’re not seeing what He sees! We need to put on our Jesus glasses (very chic and best of all… FREE) then step out in faith, knowing that whatever “talent” we have received, whatever God has placed in our hearts, was done with foreknowledge. He does not start something without finishing it! So why would He, the Alpha and the Omega, give you a gift, without providing you with the means to use it?

The parable seemed appropriate since I was ready to bury my “talent”, my light, just as the last servant did, when Jaime asked me to write this post. Not because I thought my Master was unjust, far from it, but out of fear. I was scared of failing Him. Yet as the days went by, I realized that fear and faith cannot co-exist!

Knowing this, step out in faith today, just don’t forget your shades :) For the Master will return one day and you too will have to give an account of your “talent”!

P.S. (from Jaime) If you subscribe to my e-mail reader you got a blog post yesterday about the Playroom of Hope. The post was old (sometimes my feedburner randomly grabs old posts), thus the contest that was mentioned in the blog is no longer running. However, it just so turned out that Ms. Latina, just wrote a post sponsoring the Playroom of Hope called Inspirational Sunday: Love can Move a Mountain. She said will match up to $100 of donated funds towards the Playroom. So if you are interested in donating towards the cause this would be a great way to double your $. Thank you Ms. Latina

Guest Post: Are you Smarter than a 5 year old?

I'm in sunny Florida:) Hope you are doing well where you are at. Here is one of my guest posts to keep you entertained while I'm relaxing with my family.

This post was written by my mom, Vicky, enjoy!

Don’t kids amaze you with the things they say? During one of their Florida visits with us, my daughter Jaime’s family and I were making plans for the day. James, then almost five, chimed-in with a new vocabulary word: “perhaps”. We adults were tickled. Without having defined it, James had used “perhaps” correctly, much to our delight. Little ones constantly pick up words and their meanings from context without their parents even realizing it. We soon learn that we need to be careful about what we say.

At the end of each year, the American Dialectic Society and dictionary publishers take surveys on the “word of the year” (WOTY) including the most overused words or wrongly used words. It is fun to hear their lists, but I keep my own. At the top of my list for the most misused word is: “awesome”. Pay attention for a couple of days—and, keep paper and pencil handy. You will need it to keep score. I am certain you will hear awesome applied to everything from a child’s drawing to interior decorating to sports achievements to lunch.

Does anybody know what awesome really means? Thankfully, Merriam-Webster does:
1 : an emotion variously combining dread, veneration, and wonder that is inspired by authority or by the sacred or sublime 2 a : dread, terror b : the power to inspire dread

Are you surprised? If awesome is part of your daily vocabulary, do you use it correctly? Or maybe you wonder does it matter? I say “yes”--because the little ones are listening.
Before it became the most overused compliment of American English, this word was chiefly found in the Bible where awesome appears 34 times and awe appears 16 times. A few passages help us with context:

Do not be terrified by them, for the LORD your God,
who is among you, is a great and awesome God.
The LORD your God will drive out those nations before you…
throwing them into great confusion until they are destroyed. Deu 7:21-23

For the LORD your God is God of gods and
Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome,
who shows no partiality and accepts no bribes….
He is your praise; he is your God, who performed for you
those great and awesome wonders you saw
with your own eyes. Deu 10:17

If you do not carefully follow all the words of this law,
which are written in this book, and do not revere this glorious
and awesome name--the LORD your God--the LORD
will send fearful plagues on you and your descendants,
harsh and prolonged disasters, and severe and
lingering illnesses. Deu 28:58-59

You answer us with awesome deeds of righteousness,
O God our Savior ... those living far away fear
your wonders. Psa 65:5-8

Then Samuel called upon the LORD,
and that same day the LORD sent thunder and rain.
So all the people stood in awe of the LORD and of Samuel.
I Sam 12:18

My flesh trembles in fear of you; I stand in awe of your laws.
Psa 119:120

Your wickedness will punish you; your backsliding will rebuke you.
Consider then and realize how evil and bitter it
is for you when you forsake the LORD your
God and have no awe of me," declares the Lord,
the LORD Almighty. Jer. 2:19

Before using the word “awesome” again, I challenge you to read the remaining verses containing “awesome” or “awe” using an online resource such as http://www.biblegateway.com/. When you do, the context will convince you that this word can never apply to anything inanimate nor anything you or your preschooler can achieve. Awesomeness is an attribute of God and the word itself is one of the few adjectives that captures both the fear and power of the Almighty.

My prayer is that after reading these verses you will be inspired to a renewed reverence of God; one that will cause you to reserve this praise to God alone, seizing the many opportunities to carefully instruct and correct your child as to its proper meaning. Otherwise, if we continue to casually exclaim “awesome” when we really mean “cool”, “nice”, “way-to- go”, or “not bad”, how will our children understand that the AWESOME God is smarter than a five year old?


My family and I are heading to sunny Florida for 2 weeks!! The picture above was taken last spring when we were there; that is a real background and it really is that gorgeous in real life!! My parents have lived on an island across the street from the ocean for the last 3 years (and they aren't rich, just blessed by the Lord). They will be moving inland after our next visit (sniff, sniff) so we are going to live it up!! We will be with my WHOLE Family (minus 2 nephews and a brother-in-law) which hasn't happened in 4 years! I will be meeting my niece for the first time (she is already over a year old!). We are very excited. After that wonderful week we will be in Disney with my in-laws family! Another exciting week of events.

Since it is Thanksgiving I want to say that I am sooooooooooooooo THANKFUL for each one of you who grace me with your time and encouragement. I truly am grateful for each one of you and pray for my readers often. Because I love you so much I couldn't handle leaving you hanging for 2 weeks without hearing anything from For His Glory but I also don't expect a lot of free time with 7 kids, 8 adults one week, and Disney with 10 people the next week! So again I have some beautiful, lovely readers who have blessed me and agreed to write guest posts! So you will be meeting some of my favorite people in the next 2 week and hearing what they have been learning from the Lord: my Mom, Ms. Latina and Karen. I hope you enjoy and if they are anything like me they love to hear feedback from you, so if you have a minute leave a comment:)

I pray that you and yours will be blessed on this Thanksgiving holiday. You'll hear from me again in Dec,

Refining Fire

One thing that I have been learning during the last few months is that God really cares about our heart and His desire is for our heart to belong only to Him. This hasn't been a very pleasant lesson to learn but in retrospect I am very grateful for it.

Hebrews 12:26-29
"Once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens."
The words "once more" indicate the removing of what can be shaken—
that is, created things—so that what cannot be shaken may remain.
Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom
that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful,
and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe,
for our "God is a consuming fire."

During, my Breaking Free study Beth Moore discussed the refining process. The picture she used to describe the process really stuck with me. She said that when gold is refined, or put through the fire, all the dross is brought up to the top and then scraped off. After that process you are left with what is valuable, the gold.

Sometimes God sends us through the refining process. Did you see how God is described at the end of the above verses? "God is a consuming fire." During times of shaking, and being consumed let us not forget what God's ultimate goal is, to have us emerge as pure gold and as a vessel that He can use.

Isaiah 45:10
"Woe to him who quarrels with
his Maker,
to him who is but a potsherd among
the potsherds on the ground.
Does the clay say to the potter,
'What are you making?'
Does your work say,
'He has no hands'?

The Lord has been bringing up junk, putting things on hold and making me deal with many issues. What I am learning through this process is that He is doing this because He loves me. He still leaves us with a choice, though, we have the choice to allow Him to mold us and refine us, or we can jump off the wheel, or out of the fire and run away saying "What are you doing?", or even worse, "You don't know what you are doing."

As I said at the beginning, it has not been easy to be molded or to sit in the fire, but for me, understanding why He is doing what He is doing for has helped me to endure and cooperate with the process. If I can encourage you, I would encourage you to cooperate with the Lord. When you are in the fire and start seeing the junk rise to the top, do not freak out, that is how the process works. Instead, give Him your whole heart and let the All-Consuming Fire refine you. He is refining you in love and in order to have us stand and withstand the things to come.

PS Thank you to Debby from Heavenly Humor for giving me my 3rd blogger award: You Add Sunshine to my Day.

There are no requirements to receive it but I am passing it along to Karen from Karen's Threads of Hope Thank you Karen for the Sonshine you've added to my days.

Amazing Creator

I now know I’ve crossed the line to getting “older.” Yesterday, I watched the following video clip of Pranav Mistry telling about his sixthsense Technology (The clip is 13 minutes long, but it has some pretty neat stuff which makes it worth watching). As I watched the video clip I felt like technology was definitely advancing much faster than I am. I remember first hearing about the internet in middle school and not even understanding the concept. Now of course, I know how to use it, but the future ideas of how technology is advancing seems amazing and it is well beyond my understanding.

As I watched the video I was amazed by the intelligence of Pranav and his ability to come up with these ideas. But as I reflect on the intelligence of one individual person, it causes me to reflect even more on the intelligence of the One. The Bible says in Genesis 1:1

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

The meaning of this word Create means

to cause to come into being, as something
unique that would not naturally evolve
or that is not made by ordinary processes.
to make out of nothing (dictionary.com).

Have you ever noticed that man has never “created” something? He has never made something out of absolutely nothing. Rather man has discovered ways to use the information that has been hidden in this world since the beginning of time. Last spring I was riding in an airplane and I was amazed as I looked down at the ground. Here we were traveling across the United States from Florida to Wisconsin and the plane would arrive at its correct destination without any roads or signs pointing the way. Yes, the plane was using scientific instruments invented by men to help them navigate, but the instruments were responding to magnetic fields that were already part of the earth. In the beginning God created a road map in the earth's magnetic fields; that just amazes me. Men has invented technology but God was the One who originally embedded those abilities into the fabric of earth for man to discover.

Colossians 1:15-17 says,

He (Jesus) is the image of the invisible God,
the firstborn over all creation.
For by him all things were created:
things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible,
whether thrones or powers or
rulers or authorities;
all things were created by him and for him.
He is before all things,
and in him all things hold together.

Do you realize what a great and powerful God we worship? There remain millions of things yet to be discovered by man, which God embedded into the fabric of the earth when He created it. As time goes on man and technology will continue to amaze us as different men discover other ways to harness the amazing things God hid within the earth from the beginning. Let these discoveries continue to draw you in worship towards the amazing Creator of the universe.

Psalm 103

This Scripture ministered to me tonight. I thought I would share it with you:

Psalm 103

Praise the LORD, O my soul;
all my inmost being, praise his holy name.
Praise the LORD, O my soul,
and forget not all his benefits-

who forgives all your sins
and heals all your diseases,

who redeems your life from the pit
and crowns you with love and compassion,

who satisfies your desires with good things
so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's.

The LORD works righteousness
and justice for all the oppressed.

He made known his ways to Moses,
his deeds to the people of Israel:

The LORD is compassionate and gracious,
slow to anger, abounding in love

He will not always accuse,
nor will he harbor his anger forever;

he does not treat us as our sins deserve
or repay us according to our iniquities.

For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
so great is his love for those who fear him;

as far as the east is from the west,
so far has he removed our transgressions from us.

As a father has compassion on his children,
so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him;

for he knows how we are formed,
he remembers that we are dust.

As for man, his days are like grass,
he flourishes like a flower of the field;

the wind blows over it and it is gone,
and its place remembers it no more.

But from everlasting to everlasting
the LORD's love is with those who fear him,
and his righteousness with their children's children-

with those who keep his covenant
and remember to obey his precepts.

The LORD has established his throne in heaven,
and his kingdom rules over all.

Praise the LORD, you his angels,
you mighty ones who do his bidding,
who obey his word.

Praise the LORD, all his heavenly hosts,
you his servants who do his will.

Praise the LORD, all his works
everywhere in his dominion.
Praise the LORD, O my soul.

Did you notice that this Psalm ends with the same phrase it begins with ~ Praise the Lord, O my soul? However, I believe there is a significant change in the Psalmists' heart from the beginning to the end. In the beginning the Psalmist is probably going through a hard time, a moment of confusion and despair and he tells his soul to praise the Lord and not forget all His benefits. He then goes on to list many of the benefits of the Lord. The list is long and beautiful: He forgives, He is compassionate, patient, kind, He loves us, He knows we are but dust yet so GREAT is HIS LOVE for us (If you have time I would highly recommend going back and rereading each benefit and take the time to pause, reflect and pray on each one. It's a pretty incredible list and it will refresh you). By the end of the list the Psalmist is excitedly telling everyone to praise God, from the heavenly hosts, to the angels, to his very own soul. The change that takes place from the place of discouragement to the place of declaring, believing and understanding what is true: THAT HIS LOVE IS GREAT, so GREAT we can't help but praise the Lord, O my soul.


If you've been reading my blog for awhile you know I'm an armour girl. I believe God gave us Ephesians 6 for our daily use. I believe it is an essential tool to be able to walk in the daily freedom Christ purchased for us. Lately, the Lord has been overwhelming me with deeper insight into the value the armour holds.

Have you ever noticed that by putting on the armour we are actually putting God on us? Let me share Scriptures with you that confirm this thought:

Helmet of Salvation
I Corinthians 2:16 "We have the mind of Christ."
Philippians 4:11 "And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."
When we put on the helmet of salvation I believe it is an invitation for us to put on the mind of Christ. The only way we can walk in the freedom He has purchased for us is to think like Him:
2 Corinthians 10:5 We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ."

Sword of the Spirit: The Word of God
Deuteronomy 33:29 Who is like you, a people saved by the LORD ?
He is your shield and helper
and your glorious sword.
Who is our glorious sword? He is. Still not convinced? See how Jesus is described by John in John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning.
Jesus is the Word of God. When we lift up the sword of the Spirit in times of battle we are lifting up Jesus Christ.

Shield of Faith
Genesis 15:1 I am your shield, your very great reward.
(Look back at Deuteronomy 33:29)
2 Samuel 22:31 He is a shield for all who take refuge in him.
In the book of Psalms God is described as our shield 14 times.

Belt of Truth
John 14:6 Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life."
John 15:26 When the Counselor comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who goes out from the Father, he will testify about me.

Breastplate of Righteousness
Psalm 97:2 righteousness and justice are the foundation of his throne.
Isaiah 45:24 In the LORD alone are righteousness and strength.
Jeremiah 23:6 This is the name by which He will be called: The LORD our Righteousness.

Feet fitted with the readiness of the Gospel of Peace
Isaiah 9:6 For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
2 Corinthians 13:11 And the God of love and peace will be with you.
Ephesians 2:14 For he himself is our peace.
Colossians 3:15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.
I Thessalonians 5:23 May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through.

So there you have it. All the pieces of armour that God has provided for us are God Himself. He is our shield, our Peace, our Righteousness, the Truth, our Salvation and the Word. Why wouldn't you want to wear God? If I still haven't convinced you by now that there is great value in putting your armour on everyday, I give up (for today).

Praying like little children

Can I brag on my kids? Today my kids taught me about prayer.

This weekend we went to see my kids great-grandpa. He has been having problems with one of his feet that has ended up turning into complications throughout his whole body. Before we left on Saturday the kids and I prayed for him. Later we found out that shortly after we left he was sent by ambulance to the hospital. I must confess my thoughts went to "so much for praying!" We informed my kids that night that Great-Grandpa Rich went to the hospital. They, however, were not deterred. They have been faithfully praying for him since Saturday.

Today during school Mercea said, "After school I want to play the piano and pray for Grandpa Rich."

I said, "Okay" and we proceeded to have school for the next 2 hours. I then got busy making dinner and Mercea's request was forgotten by me. While I was making dinner, I heard piano playing in the background. I asked what they were doing,

"We are singing and praying for Grandpa Rich." I smiled.

A couple minutes later it was silent, I said, "Are you done?"

James said, "No, Mercea's praying." I went into the living room and here were both of my kids kneeling on the floor praying for their great-grandpa. My heart just melted. Here are two kids that believe in the power of prayer and haven't been deterred by circumstances.

Jesus said, Matthew 19:14 "Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these." Amen

On that note I would like to inform you of a prayer request. If you feel led to add this to your prayers it would be greatly appreciated:

Do you remember my post 3 Special Ladies? The post was about 3 incredible women in my family line that have withstood tragedy and kept their eyes on Him even during the hard times. The same day I wrote post I received devastating news. If I had written the post later I could have written about 4 special ladies. At that time, my sweet cousin Amanda who was about 21 weeks pregnant found out during her ultrasound that her baby has no kidneys, hence the baby's life will not be sustainable outside the womb. The syndrome the baby is diagnosed with is called Potter's Syndrome. Amanda was given the option to abort but they have chosen life. Her husband Nick and herself have been lifting up the name of Christ since they first heard and they are currently "cherishing every kick." Unless there is a miracle this baby will be entering heaven soon after his or her birth. Nick, Amanda and this precious baby could use your prayers during this season. You can follow their story at http://nickandamandakleoppel.blogspot.com/.

May we follow the example of the children: trusting in our powerful God, laying our requests at His feet as we pray for those walking through times of trouble.

In Christ,

Meditation on Psalm 5

During the last week I've been meditating on Psalm 5. I would like to share some thoughts that I have had from meditating on this Psalm.

Give ear to my words, O LORD,
consider my sighing.
Listen to my cry for help,
my King and my God,
for to you I pray.

In the morning, O LORD, you hear my voice;
in the morning I lay my requests before you
and wait in expectation.

Currently, I'm writing a blog post called "Wait on the Lord." All I have written down so far is the title "Wait on the Lord" the rest is still in my head (I'm still waiting :). Maybe you'll get to read it someday! Anyway, I love what verse 3 has to say, "In the morning I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation." How often is that the case for you? I often lay my requests before Him and then when I say "Amen" I pick them back up and head out into my day. Do you believe the Lord really hears your voice every morning and do you leave your issues before Him and wait? I'm still a working on this!

You are not a God who takes pleasure in evil;
with you the wicked cannot dwell.
The arrogant cannot stand in your presence;
you hate all who do wrong.
You destroy those who tell lies;
bloodthirsty and deceitful men
the LORD abhors.

This is one of the major parts that I really have been reflecting on. Do you believe "God takes no pleasure in evil and that with the wicked He cannot dwell?" This day and age you can hear lots of ideas about what grace in regards to Christianity means. What exactly is grace? Our church had an excellent sermon 2 weeks ago on the topic of "Applied Grace" by Sam Dharam (11/1/09). In that sermon he said that the majority of way the word grace is used in the Bible means, "God's enabling power." Did you know that? God's grace in our life isn't a blanket to cover over our sin to hide it, excuse it, keep it nice and warm rather it's His strong power to set us free. Jesus said, "Go and sin no more." Just because God has paid they price for sin does not mean sin is now okay with God. God still hates sin as much as He always has and He still doesn't want His children messing with it because it is DANGEROUS. That is why He went to great lengths to make a way for us to be free.

But I, by your great mercy,
will come into your house;
in reverence will I bow down
toward your holy temple.

Lead me, O LORD, in your righteousness
because of my enemies—
make straight your way before me.

We still all sin, don't we? These verses show us what to do when that happens. We can go boldly before the throne of mercy and fall down at His feet and say, "Lead me, O Lord, make your paths of righteousness straight before me." He more than gladly wants to do this. If you've been trying to walk out of your sin on your own, stop right now, you are just going to fall down in that giant pit again. Rather go before Him, He sees your nakedness and He is more than willing to lead you if you let Him. (If you are currently caught in a besetting sin please consider reading my three part series on Uprooting a Besetting Sin).

Not a word from their mouth can be trusted;
their heart is filled with destruction.
Their throat is an open grave;
with their tongue they speak deceit.

Do we see the destructiveness of sin? "Not a word from their mouth can be trusted." A friend of mine recently told me that she went through many of her old memories with the Lord and sorted through them. Each memory that came to mind she would ask the Lord whose voice was over that memory. He would answer "This was My voice or this was the enemy's voice." There is INCREDIBLE value in doing this. You have voices speaking to you everyday. There are voices of TRUTH that come into your life and voices of death. For you to have the ability to recognize and distinguish these voices is of GREAT VALUE. A word from the voice of the enemy CANNOT be trusted, it is filled with destruction, it is like an open grave. Beloved, if there is one thing I pray you get from this post it is to take the time to stop and sort through some of the voices you've been listening too. Is it from the voice of truth or is it from the enemy?

Declare them guilty, O God!
Let their intrigues be their downfall.
Banish them for their many sins,
for they have rebelled against you.

But let all who take refuge in you be glad;
let them ever sing for joy.
Spread your protection over them,
that those who love your name may rejoice in you.
For surely, O LORD, you bless the righteous;
you surround them with your favor as with a shield.

2 Corinthians 10:5
We demolish arguments and every pretension
that sets itself up against the knowledge of God,
and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.

These things will be the end result of you taking every thought captive. The Lord will demolish and destroy the strongholds the enemy has built and/or is trying to build in your life. May the blessings of the Lord and His shield cover over you.

Redeeming the Desert

I wrote the following post a couple days ago and just sat on it. I didn't know what I was waiting for but the Lord provided an article with a physical example to confirm that this is also what He also does in the spirit realm. So thank you God, and enjoy:)

A little while back I blogged about the topic In the Desert Places. In that post I said I felt I was in a desert time in my life. I still believe this to be true but as you probably know by now I cannot be satisfied with just knowing that. Exactly what is the point of being in the desert?

In the last post I said it was an opportunity to lean on God, learn about His love and to learn to trust Him more.

Song of Solomon 8:5
Who is this coming up from the desert leaning on her lover?

The Lord never takes us to the desert to leave us there, to punish us or to abandon us.

Isaiah 43:18-20
See, I am doing a new thing!
Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the desert
and streams in the wasteland.

One of my favorite characteristics about God is that He is a Redeemer. He takes what is broken and worthless and turns it into a thing of beauty. So if He has taken you into a desert place in your life, He is not going to leave you there. He is redeeming that place:

Isaiah 41:17-19
"The poor and needy search for water,
but there is none;
their tongues are parched with thirst.
But I the LORD will answer them;
I, the God of Israel, will not forsake them.
I will make rivers flow on barren heights,
and springs within the valleys.
I will turn the desert into pools of water,
and the parched ground into springs.

Did you catch the following article on Yahoo yesterday, Giant Crack in Africa Will Create a New Ocean? Scientists are predicting that a giant crack that has formed in the desert of Ethiopia is going to turn into an ocean! Did you catch what the Spirit of the Lord predicts will happen to our desert places?

The Lord has lovingly invited us as His bride into the desert places in our life. He's known these places have existed all along but now He is taking us to that place to redeem it. In that place He is showing us the gigantic cracked areas in our lives? Do you know why we have valleys, gorges and cracks here on earth? Because the mantle of the earth is constantly shifting. The foundation of earth is not a solid, secure foundation. So why would we have cavernous places in our spiritual lives? Because those are areas in our lives where we have not had Him as our foundation. He takes us to those places and shows us the depth of our needs and He says, "Watch, I'm doing a new thing. I will fill those empty places in your heart with the water, the water of my Holy Spirit, that brings new life and love."

I would like to finish this post with the whole chapter of Isaiah 35. It is titled in the Bible as the Joy of the Redeemed. May the truth of God's Word minister to your individual heart and may you know that He deeply loves you.

Joy of the Redeemed
The desert and the parched land will be glad;
the wilderness will rejoice and blossom.
Like the crocus, it will burst into bloom;
it will rejoice greatly and shout for joy.
The glory of Lebanon will be given to it,
the splendor of Carmel and Sharon;
they will see the glory of the LORD,
the splendor of our God

Strengthen the feeble hands,
steady the knees that give way;
say to those with fearful hearts,
"Be strong, do not fear;
your God will come,
he will come with vengeance;
with divine retribution
he will come to save you."

Then will the eyes of the blind be opened
and the ears of the deaf unstopped.

Then will the lame leap like a deer,
and the mute tongue shout for joy.
Water will gush forth in the wilderness
and streams in the desert.

The burning sand will become a pool,
the thirsty ground bubbling springs.
In the haunts where jackals once lay,
grass and reeds and papyrus will grow.

And a highway will be there;
it will be called the Way of Holiness.
The unclean will not journey on it;
it will be for those who walk in that Way;
wicked fools will not go about on it.

No lion will be there,
nor will any ferocious beast get up on it;
they will not be found there.
But only the redeemed will walk there,
and the ransomed of the LORD will return.
They will enter Zion with singing;
everlasting joy will crown their heads.
Gladness and joy will overtake them,
and sorrow and sighing will flee away

PS For my e-mail subscribers:
If you have a minute stop by my site For His Glory Alone and see my new background.
The last 2 Sunday's my feedburner has been grabbing old posts and sending them to you. Just so you know, I didn't ask it to do this, so I don't know if it will keep doing it or will suddenly stop. If it keeps doing it and the posts seem familiar, sorry.

Eagle or Seagull?

I was driving past a dump the other day. It was a windy day and above the dump were hundreds of seagulls "soaring" around the dump. I began thinking in my mind about the differences between a seagull and eagle and I began to wonder how we as Christians actually tend to live.

Seagulls are scavengers. They like to live above the trash and look at it all the time. They don't want to miss out on any of the junk. Like eagles they can "soar" on the wind but they choose to stay close to the earth and all the trash.

Eagles on the other hand build their nests high on the cliffs. When they soar on the wind they soar high above the earth. They have been given keen eyesight and when they need to eat they see the tiny item that they need to attack and they can dive down, grab and attack it with the strength of their legs.

As I said in the last blog I believe the Bible is the inspired Words of God and as a result I think God is very intentional when He chooses analogies for our lives. He chose an eagle on purpose and I think it is important for us to compare our lives to see if we are operating in the fullness of what He purchased for us.

Do you act like a seagull or an eagle? Both birds soar on the wind (the wind in the Bible is often compared to the Holy Spirit). But where do you let the Holy Spirit take you? Do you only allow Him to raise you high enough to see your trash and the trash of those around it? Are you obsessed with your sins and the sins of those around you and you sit with your Christian friends squawking about each others sins and the sins of this world?

Or are you like an eagle? Do you allow the Holy Spirit to take you to the heights, where the things of this world become strangely dim, in the light of His glory and grace (line from "Fix Your Eyes on Jesus")? Do you soar in the glory of the Holy Spirit and in the strength that He has placed in you? There are times when we do become aware of the things of this earth, our prey and we return to the earth with great precision and insight because He has pointed out something for us to attack and take. We attack with strength; it dies and then we return to the heights.
Isaiah 40:30-31
Even youths grow tired and weary,
and young men stumble and fall;
but those who hope in the LORD
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles.

Psalm 103:2-5
Praise the LORD, O my soul,
and forget not all his benefits-
who forgives all your sins
and heals all your diseases,
who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion,
who satisfies your desires with good things
so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's.

I pray you get the chance to soar today above the pits that you have been redeemed from into the beauty of the things He has for you this day.

The Bible: God's Word

The Holy Bible by Wonderlane

Do you believe the Bible is the Word of God?

I am not a theologian. I am not a philosopher. I am not an expert in any field. I am just a wife and mother. But from where I sit in this life, I would answer that question with a resounding YES.

The Bible to me is more than an amazing book of literature, a history book or a "self-help" book. If it was just literature would it have the ability to change lives? If it was just an accurate book of history, would people who read it learn how to live a better life? If it was just a "self-help" book would you be able to read it over and over and over again and still receive something new from it?

Let us say it is just a book of literature. What other book of literature has lasted thousands of years and its topics remain relevant? What other book of just literature can be translated into thousands of different languages and can still be interesting, meaningful and relevant to a poor beggar on the streets of India and a rich man on Wall Street?

If it is just a history book name one other history book that is accessible and interesting to little children yet can stump, challenge and astound scholars with their PHD's?

If it is just a "self-help" book for a better way of living why are so many people able to read it over and over and over again and still receive something new? What other self-help book would you be able to read everyday for 20 years and not get sick of it? Maybe you do have a good self-help book but could you really read it everyday for the rest of your life? And even if you could read it everyday could you find 100 or 1,000 other people who would be willing to read it everyday and still receive something new from it?

If you do not believe the Bible is God's word and contains something special to it I would challenge you to name just 1 piece of literature which can do all the things mentioned above? A piece of literature that has spanned cultures, age, race, time and economic status and has been able to reach, touch and change so many people lives.

What is the "secret" to the power of the Bible:

Hebrews 4:12
For the word of God is living and active.

Sharper than any double-edged sword,

it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit,

joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts

and attitudes of the heart.

The Bible has something attached to it that no other piece of literature has attached and that is the living, breathing, Spirit of God. The Spirit along with the Word gives the Bible the ability to be "alive" to you everyday. This is why you can read Psalm 23 100 times in your life and still receive something new, or have something jump out at you that you never had jump out at you before.

So let me ask you again. Do you believe the Bible is the Word of God?

If your answer is "YES," does your treatment of the Bible reflect this belief? Do you treat it like it is the alive word of God? Do you take time everyday to open the treasure of life that lives within your home? You have the ability to have God speak directly from His heart to yours everyday, do you take advantage of that beautiful opportunity?

If your answer to the question is, "I don't know, or a resounding NO" I would challenge you to find out more about the Bible and the fact that it is considered by scholars to be a beautiful piece of literature and a respected historical document. When you walk away with more "facts"about the Bible it might prompt you to read it more, and I guarantee it will change your life if you spend your life sitting before it. If you want to hear more facts about the Bible check out Difficult Questions - Mad City Church on Facebook for more interesting facts about the Bible.

I believe finding the answer to this question is worth finding out.

In the desert places

This year has been the hardest year of my life. In a span of 12 months I watched 5 people die (2 of which I was in the room while they were passing on to the next life) 2 people of cancer and 3 young children whose lives were torn away way too soon for earthly understanding. These events have stripped me to the core and has placed the desire in me to know God even in the midst of tragedy; are you still there God?

Throughout this year I've felt God's wooing presence but this weekend had an impact on me like no other. This weekend I attended my church's Women's Retreat and on Sunday the speaker, Barbara Sandiford, talked about being Betrothed to God. When I returned from the retreat guess what this week's topic in my Breaking Free just happened to be? Being the Bride of Christ. I just had to smile at God and say, "I hear you speaking, I'm starting to get it. I want to be your bride."

You might be starting to think what in the world does being in a desert place have to do with being the bride of Christ? What I've learned through this weekend's retreat and my devotional study has confirmed in me that the evidence of the desert places I've experienced has not shown an abandonment of God to me and my circumstances but He is right there and in fact He is inviting me to know Him and experience Him in an even more intimate way then I ever have before.

Jeremiah 2:2
I remember the devotion of your youth,
how as a bride you loved me
and followed me through the desert,
through a land not sown.

Ladies, do you remember what it was like when you fell in love with your spouses? You would follow them anywhere and do anything for them. In Jeremiah 2:2 God is reminding the people that when they understood His love they would be willing to walk into those desert places with Him, they would follow Him anywhere.

Hosea 2:14-15
Therefore I am now going to allure her;
I will lead her into the desert
and speak tenderly to her.
There I will give her back her vineyards,
and will make the Valley of Achor (trouble) a door of hope.
There she will sing as in the days of her youth,
as in the day she came up out of Egypt.
"In that day," declares the LORD,
"you will call me 'my husband';
you will no longer call me 'my master. '

There words have done untold wonders for my heart.

Even though I walk through the Valley
of the shadow of death I will fear no evil,
thy road and thy staff they comfort me (Psalm 23:4).

God does not abandon us in the valleys. He instead extends His hands towards us and invites us to know Him in an even more intimate way; to trust Him with our whole hearts and walk through those times holding His hands and letting Him love on us as a lover loves on His bride. I have said yes and taken His hand, how about you?

You are loved

Today is my 100th post! Thank you so much for supporting me and encouraging me over the last 10 months. You have been a blessing to me. The Lord began burning today's post on my heart last night and I think the essence of it sums up the purpose of For His Glory: to know who you are in Christ and from that place to be able to walk in the freedom and liberty with yourself and towards others. May you be blessed.

I've seen so many Christians walk around with brokenness as their identity. They see all the ways they fall short of the Bible and they walk around with a heaviness that they are not good enough. They walk around like they need to pay God back for all the ways they fall short. This view not only causes Christianity to be heavy for them, but it causes Christianity to be a problem for those around them. They see all the ways their brother and sisters fall short of God and suddenly those people don't only owe God a debt but they also owe them a debt for the their sin.

Beloved, the reason this happens is because we don't understand what Christ did for us and what it means. As Andrew Wommack describes it we have 3 parts to us we have a spirit, a soul and a body. As Christians our spirit is NOW 100% complete before God. This is the part of us that God views us and our lives through. Our soul and body, however, are not yet what they will be; those parts won't be perfect until we are in heaven. However, our opportunity here on earth is to bring our body and soul into unison with our spirit. Sin is sin, it still has negative consequences here on earth and negatively effects our body and soul. However, we have the Spirit of God within us and the Bible says, "Greater is He that is within me than he that is in the world." Beloved, so many of us focus on the depth of yuckiness in our soul and are so overwhelmed by it that it causes us to focus only on ourselves and the enemy and to forget the truth that we have within us something GREATER than that. We have the Holy Spirit within us and we have our spirits within us that are 100% right with God. We need to begin walking around out of this place and bringing our soul and body into unison with our spirit man.

The foundation of this all is to understand that our God LOVES us with an everlasting love. He truly loves us as much today as He will in 10 years. He isn't sitting at some remote place tapping His feet waiting for you to get it and once you are there He is going to embrace you. He embraces you today just as you are. Jesus removed our sin, it is finished, it is paid in full, all our sins past, present and future have been removed.

2 Corinthians 5:19
God was reconciling the world
to himself in Christ, not counting men's
sins against them
Your sins are forgiven.

Hebrews 4:15-16

For we do not have a high priest
who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses,
but we have one who has been tempted
in every way, just as we are—yet was without sin.
Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence,
so that we may receive mercy and find grace
to help us in our time of need.

Do you see it? God removed the barrier between us and Him sin, so that we can now come into His presence confidently. He will help us in our time need. When you are feeling weak and sinful you need to turn to God. He is asking you to come to Him!

Okay, so now we know our sin is not a barrier between us and God anymore. We can't earn His love, we can't pay Him back when we mess up. The fact that we know how He feels about us should and can effect how we interact with others. This knowledge will cause us to love God with our whole hearts, mind and strength and then as a result we will be able to love others.

In Matthew 18 Jesus tells the parable of the unmerciful servant. In this parable a man owes so much debt he can't pay it back and he will have to go to prison. He begs for mercy and receives it. 10 minutes after he is released from his debt he runs into someone who owes him way less money. What does he do? He demands full repayment! He received mercy but gave no mercy. Do you not see? Our sin has been fully forgiven by God, yet when someone sins against us we hold it against them. We have great bitterness against them and we don't want to forgive them until they prove to us that they have realized the error of their ways and made amends if at all possible.

I truly believe that when you grasp how God feels about you about you and the freedom that it brings you than you will have the ability to love others well. Let us really take time to ask God to help us understand who we are in Him and then love others well.

Daily Prayer

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