Thursday, September 29, 2011

The God of Goodness

Time to rest. I made this day.

I know, Father. You are so good to me! Our morning walk was refreshing, encouraging. It's a skipping-in-a-field-of-sunflowers sort of a day, isn't it?

A sanctified day for My sanctified daughter.

A sanctified day....A day set apart for blessing and honor and devotion.
A sanctified daughter....A woman set aside for blessing and honor and devotion.

Early this morning when You called me from my bed, I had no idea that was Your plan. I was sipping my coffee and opening my Bible to I Thessalonians. Suddenly You drew me into Your Words. It exploded into my life as never before! It was awesome!

You couldn't stop reading and writing and soaking it up. It lit you up from the inside out.

I inhaled the whole letter! It's all about being a spiritual mother to me. It's so great!

My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.

And You give them eternal life, and they never perish.

Neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand.

John 10:27-29. Oh! You want me to study John next.

Come. Let us away.

Where You lead me I will follow.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Lauren's Lesson

Jesus is the same yesterday, today and __________.

"Monday!" answered Lauren, a friend's little granddaughter.

It's a good answer, isn't it?

Jesus is real and His acts are recorded in the history logs of yesterday. The Bible has been proven to be truth based on overwhelming evidence. The yesterday is easy.

Today may be a broken road or a skip through the green pastures, but I know Jesus is alive and walking alongside. His creation, power and involvement in my life prove Him over and over again each day. His Words are active and constantly amazing me.

But, forever? That stretches beyond my ability to understand. God is everlasting, eternal. He always was and always is and always will be. I believe it with all of my heart, but it is a thought above my thoughts. It is too marvelous for me.

But, Monday? I understand Monday. In becoming like a little child, I can wrap my mind around "forever". Jesus is the same yesterday, today and Monday at a time.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

The Princess and the Dragon


The evil one, the ancient dragon, set his sights on me early yesterday morning. Like a roaring lion, he stalked me, seeking to devour me. He was determined that I would not teach on spiritual warfare at the prison last night, wasn't he?

He was strategic in his attack. He weakened me physically, shook me emotionally, confused me mentally and challenged me spiritually far beyond what I could endure.

Oh, but You had prepared Your princess for battle! You had trained my prayer warriors to be alert and to battle with me. Hard blows had me down for the count. He had a plan for my destruction and more than ever before, I was aware of it. I trembled at his power and wanted to run from him.

Over and over, I whispered to you, "Do not be afraid. Trust me."

You have trained me to know Your voice even in the dust and noise and fray of battle. You had a plan for victory and more than ever before, I was aware of it. I delighted in Your power and wanted to run to You.

I brought victory, beauty and protection to a treacherous battlefield. I am the God who is able to do more than you ask or imagine.

Oh, Father, how I love being Your daughter, the child of the King of Kings, Ruler over all. You are sovereign, the Lord Most High. You alone are worthy of praise, the Conquering King!

Rest today, my soldier princess. I am the God who heals and gives rest. You are sweetly broken.

I know whom I have believed and I am convinced that You are able to protect that which I have committed to You.

Come. Let us away.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Step by Step

You're walking along, thinking everything is as normal as possible, then, "POW!" Out of the blue comes a blow that knocks you down and leaves you shaking in your shoes. Maybe it's a death or illness, maybe it's a betrayal or a job loss. Maybe the money just won't stretch to the end of the month or your child is having a rough time in a new school.

Over a cup of tea, Andrea choked back tears and confided softly, "I'm bitter and I hate it! Where is God when my heart is breaking?I know God is real. I know He keeps His promises. He sees and knows everything. Why does He make life hurt so much? Does He love me? Did he forget about me?"

A lifetime of walking with Jesus has taught me that we don't have all the answers any more than Job did when his life got hard. Being a Jesus follower does not entitle us to a life free from disappointments. We are not entitled to health, wealth, good marriages or successful careers. In spite of our pain and loss, our disappointments, it is still worth everything to follow Jesus.

Andrea is learning that God's heart breaks with her when bad things happen. He loves her perfectly, personally, protectively with the heart of a father. She doesn't have to know all the answers to know He is a trustworthy provider and a strong fortress. Though she is shaken and afraid, angry and discouraged, God is an ever present help in her time of trouble. He is a steadfast Rock for her to stand on. His work is perfect and all His ways are just.

Step by step, He leads, refining us and changing us from the inside out. Down the road we are not as surprised by the unexpected blow that comes at us out of the blue. Later on we are more surprised by the joy and peace that are available even when we are down for the count.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Inside Her Prison Walls

She was silently sobbing in a dark place in her innermost heart. Tears poured as if they had been locked away for years. Her young arms wrapped around her middle as if to hold herself together.

In the small prison chapel, the door to her heart squeaked hesitantly open and she peeked out from a lifetime of anguish. My husband and I ached for her as we answered her questions, shared the Words of God with her.

The voice of a rejected, damaged little girl dared to speak, "I think God is so mad at me."

"Oh, Father," I prayed, "Help me to meet her where she is."

"I love you," I promised her. "There is nothing you could say or nothing you could do that would cause me to love you any less. And if I can love you this much after only meeting you two times, know that God loves you so much more because He made you. He is real. He is the God who loves you and wants to forgive you."

Sad brown eyes looked up at me as the bare hint of a slow sweet smile appeared then quickly faded. Ashes from a lifetime of shame, torment and guilt, no longer buried, no longer smoldering, were stirred by hope.

Vulnerable, shaking with emotion, full of fear yet daring to hope, she pushed her heart's door open wider and stepped out.

"I, even I, am the One who wipes out your transgressions for My own sake; and I will not remember your sins." ~Isaiah 43:25