Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Worship Wednesday - Under His Wings

He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: 
his truth shall be thy shield and buckler. Psalm 91: 4 know my heart today. Our family has much to pray about this week. I am so thankful that you have us covered and under your wings we will trust your promises. I want to thank you for loving me, thank you for holding us close and for giving us victory in Jesus!!

Please pray.....
B's test results
Am's surgery
My Brother & his family in Venezuela 
Sis & school 
My mother 
and many other unspoken that the Lord knows all about.
Thanks :)  

(Visit Raising Future Esthers for the final days of God's love devotions - missed the rest of the month?? Go back to Feb 1 and begin - you will be blessed)

Monday, February 24, 2014

Prayers for Venezuela

My brother and his family are missionaries in Venezuela. And for those of you that don't know there is much political unrest in that country. He keeps in contact thru email, facebook and a blog on occasion. He has been asking for prayers for several weeks. 

The Lord woke me up very early yesterday morning with my brother on my heart. I began to pray for him and his family. We know very little of what is going on there, but we know that it isn't good. I read an article and someone said, "we are a very rich country, but we cannot buy a kilo of flour". Those words pierced my heart as well as reading about attacks on the innocent. 

I cannot imagine what it is like there. In my selfish, fleshly mind, I am thinking that boy just needs to pack up and get back to the states. I even sent him a message on Facebook that we were praying, as well as letting him know that he needed to get home. I tend to worry....I know those of you that really know me.... are thinking "tend"??? more like constantly. My mind does head to the bad and I can allow the enemy to come in and turn me upside down! Its a constant battle, but that story is for another time.

Not fifteen minutes later, B brings me my phone and its my baby brother!! (Isn't technology great?? its not even long distance!!) After getting my message he had to share with me what happened...or yet what didn't happen because of God's hand of protection. Assuring me that they are right where God wants them to be. Sharing Christ's love is why they are there. They are in the midst of people that practice Catholicism as well as worshiping 8-9 other gods all at the same time. Head over now to The Venezuelan Voice to read God's Timing is Perfect, my sister-in-law shares what my brother shared with me on the phone.

What faith! What love the Father has shown them and to those around them that they have been ministering to since they moved there in September. He was praising God for His protection, how He showed up and showed the lost that HE is God. My brother has such a peace about being right where he is. He is there to share Christ, and that is exactly what he intends to do. There is no safer place than being in the center of God's will. God's protection, provision. guidance, love, etc is what got them to Venezuela. He mentioned that they have about 3 weeks of food left, but he knows that God will supply all their needs. 

As I hung up the phone, I was putting chicken in my crock-pot. My heart was heavy. How selfish I am. How blessed I am. I can open my freezer and my pantry, get out food, and if I don't have what I want or need. I go five minutes from my house to the grocery store. 

I feel so unworthy. 
My faith is weak.

BUT, my Heavenly Father loves me unconditionally, even in my selfish state of mind. The Lord reminded me He is in control and He has a plan. I just need to trust Him in all the situations going on on Venezuela, as well as what is going on in my family. And most of all, I need to love Him with all my heart, mind and soul. 

Want to know more about God's Love - head over to Raising Future Esthers and check out Deidre's month of devotions.

Pray for my brother and his precious family. Pray for God's protection... provision of food. 
Pray for Venezuela. 

Be a blessing to someone today!!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Thankful Thursday ~ A Reminder

For the past couple of weeks, I have been working on writing my testimony.


I thought oh this will be easy, God has done so much in my life. Then I tried to think of where to begin..... Once upon a time a little girl was born to a loving mommy and daddy. 

And there it stopped. The fairy-tale ended. My parents divorced when I was 5. Lots of stuff came after that... (one day, if God leads me to, I will post the full version) I could not get over how hard it was to re-visit some hard places in my life. 

I thought of things that I haven't thought of in years. And some things that I know happened, I can't remember where or how they happened. Sad. Maybe my mind won't let me go there. Or my conscience has no intention of returning. 

Oh God had such a plan for me.... until I came along and decided to do things my way. NOT GOOD. 

Oh, but such a loving God that has a plan, one that took my mess-ups and turned them into good for HIS GLORY.

As hard as it was to write out, and re-live those tough places in my life. He reminded me of how he took each bad and made good from each one. Some, maybe I will never know the reason, but God will make good out of our bad. If only we will allow Him too.

Have you written you testimony out? If, for no one than yourself. Put down on paper to see your LOVE STORY. He loves us with an everlasting love. One that I, for the life of me cannot comprehend. But, I will accept and believe that His promises are true. He loves me and that is that!!

In all my wanderings, I was not unlike the Israelites....wandered in sin for a long time.....

I have to THANK HIM for being there no matter how far away I was. HE WAS THERE!!
And best of all He Never Gave Up On Me

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

I Can't Get Away....

No, I am not trying to ALL.

I can't get away from these words I read this morning....

"God will search the most horrible places for us. Not only will He save us from a life of sin, but He'll even wade through bitterness, pride, jealousy, anger and betrayal to rescue you!"

I was reading my friend Deidre's blog post for today. (If you haven't been following her February Month of Devotions - you should be!) And these words seem to echo in my head. It was if she was talking directly to me, reminding me of what the Lord had delivered me from, when I was in a deep pit, with only one thing to do, "Look Up" to HIM. 

He didn't have to search very far for me. Oh, He knew EXACTLY where I was. How I got there. How long I had been there. How far I would go. And then, I reached the end of ME. 

There I was, at the end of me, with no where to turn. I had tried to do it all on my own for years. My way. And I was nothing. Going nowhere fast. Useless. Unwanted. Terrified. Ugly. (just a few of my names at that time) Wallowing in self-pity. There was nowhere to look but up. And there HE WAS!! He lifted me out of that pit, and set me on a path to redemption, love, and grace. Once again HIS MERCY SAVED ME from that life of sin, sadness, brokenness, anger, unforgiveness, that I chose on my own, to love me and redeem me. 

I loved her post. It was so for me. A wonderful reminder of what God did for me. He loved me right where I was at that very moment. And He loves me right where I am today, right now. Even in the midst of trials and life. He will never leave me. He is always with me. 

Are you at a place, where you have no where to turn? Maybe you feel that you are not loved by a Holy God? The ONE true God? Oh, sure there are days I don't feel worthy of His love, and days I am just not enough. But, I do know this, HE DOES LOVE ME. He sent HIS Son to die for me. And that my friends, is more than enough! If you are at that place that you just don't know that God loves you..... join Raising Future Esthers  for the rest of this month as Deidre shares The Relentless, Transforming, Redeeming Love of God. (be sure to go back and read each day's will not be disappointed!!)

And if you haven't read Hosea..... you really should. And if you want a good read that is  "A powerful retelling of the story of Gomer and Hosea," Redeeming Love is a life-changing story of God’s unconditional, redemptive, all-consuming love.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

You Can Make A Difference

If you read this my post "I Hear an Echo" from the other day, this is sort of a continuation of that post. 

Yes, this is still echoing in my head, and my heart. I have been asking, "What is it Lord? Why does this continue to come up? I keep thinking, what is it that I am missing? How can I make a difference? It seems I am always, "doing something". So what is it. 

My husband and I have worked in Children's Ministry for a better part of 14 years. Over the years B has directed our children's summer camps and each year we meet with our counselors. One thing that I share with them year after year is the child that may drive you the craziest, is the one that needs you the most. We don't know what that child faces in his everyday life. Sad, but true. We hear, everyone is battling something. Well, children are no different. Except for the fact, they have a harder time fighting it. Another thing we share with our Ministry team is that we may never see the fruit of our labor, but there are those rare times that we see that we have made a difference in a child's life. Not all the children that have grown up in our ministry have stayed the course. Not all are faithful to the church or to God. But, there are others that you know "got it" as a young child, and we have seen them grow up physically and spiritually. Those rare ones that still seek the Lord are serving Him and walking with them. Oh, we would love to make a difference in ALL their lives, but that isn't always the case.

The Lord reminded me of how we make a difference in the here and now. We are not to worry about what happens tomorrow. We are to love those children, and to point them to Christ. Period. He will take care of the rest. He reminded me of this story.....

So, for now the answer to all my questions about, If not me, then who? If not now, then when?" is that I am to take each opportunity as it comes. Here I am wandering around, trying to figure out the BIG picture. It must be something BIG and GREAT that God is leading me to. But, for now that is not it at all. And that's ok. Because He is going to use me to make a difference, maybe not in the thousands., and certainly not to make this world a better place...but to make a difference for the here and now and to "make a difference for that one" that He placed before me.

We each have a purpose. God has ordained that. He chose us. In all this soul searching, I asked God to show me my purpose. He created me to praise Him. To glorify Him. Another answer came the other day when I made something my husband wanted. He said, "You take care of me don't ya?" As he hugged me, God nudged me...."there's your purpose".  I said, "Yes, I try, because, you are my purpose." Not only is my husband my purpose. But, my children as well. I tend to forget that they are my first ministry. So, you Mommas that think you don't have a purpose. God CHOSE you to be your child's mother. You... and He has a plan and a purpose for you in that. Everything else will flow from that ..... 
Do Something........anything 

Pray...send a a a pack of toilet paper, toothpaste, trash bags, etc and donate to a shelter...put someone else before yourself...God's word says to love one another....

so go.... love another...and

God will use you to make a difference! 

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Worship Wednesday-God's Love

The next video is a little long, but so worth listening to.....take a moment to focus on God's love for you.

Sometimes I struggle.
Sometimes I fail to understand God's love for me.
Sometimes I forget He loves me just as I am.
Sometimes I try to earn His love.
Sometimes I feel as I am just not worthy.

But, all those thoughts are nothing compared to HIS love for me....and for you!!! Are you struggling with trying to earn His love? Maybe you don't really understand His love. For His love is like NO other. Dig deeper into God's Redeeming Love at my real-life friend's blog  during the month of won't want to miss a post.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

I Hear an Echo!

I have something that has been "echoing" in my head, in my heart, in my everyday.......

In a sermon a while back an evangelist, David Ring (has cerebral palsy), used a very compelling example in his message. He asked for help for a drink of water, he asked 7 times before anyone came to help him get a drink of water. I totally blew it. I never thought to get up to help him. I did think maybe my son (who was sitting on the front row), or maybe my husband, or, someone. But, when he began asking a few people, "Why didn't you help me?" And he told them, "You blew it!" 

How many times have I seen someone that needed help?
How many times have I thought, "someone should do something"?
How many times have I questioned why a thought or a burden is in my heart?

Why didn't I? Or Why don't I?

More times than not, I blew it... or better yet still blowing it.

In another message by Pastor Todd Good not long after that he said, "If not you, then who? If not now, when? Talk about a statement.... I don't have a clue what he said after that....because that stuck in my head..... I wrote it down over & over. 

How many times has God put something in my heart?
How many opportunities have I missed?
How many times did I think that's someone else's job?
I sometimes think:
  • I could never do that....someone else would be better at that.
  • I am scared. 
  • That is out of my comfort zone. 
  • I don't think God means me.
  • What will people say? 
  • I have enough to do. (just being honest here) 
When I laid my head down that night, I accepted the fact that I had to step up to a situation that has been haunting me for over two years. I have been praying about this for a long time and questioning God as to why it was taking so long...... Over the years, I have learned to pray over things instead of jumping headfirst into it... of course that is what we should do. I am afraid that I have taken that to the extreme at times.

After putting some thought and prayer to that thought. Many times I have prayed that He would use me, place opportunities in my path, to show me my purpose.....and then and there He showed me some things that He had placed before me. But, it wasn't something that I wanted to do, or it was inconvenient, maybe it came with sacrifice, or it was too hard,  scary, embarrassing, etc. Guilty of not doing what God placed in my path, who knows the number of blessings that I have missed. I have blown it more times than I even know!! 

OUCH! a hard pill to swallow.

Situation after situation over the past few months the words "If not you, then who?" have echoed in my head. I have shared it with a couple people, even when they questioned what  they should be doing. And those words come up A LOT!! 

Just last night I got a text that said, "Go NOW and watch" (the following video) pay attention to the chorus lyrics

Needless to say... there is an echo and now I believe it is on REPEAT!!

What have you been praying so hard about?? Do you think that God will change His mind about what He is showing you? Would you stop and pray about helping a child across the street? Would you pray about helping a single mother that needs food for her children right now? If someone has fallen would you help them up, or would you stop and pray about it, or see if someone else helps? Sometimes God places those opportunities at that very moment. The moment that we have prayed for.

Each of us has a purpose, and maybe you are waiting on God to show you the BIG GRAND PURPOSE you think He has for your life. While you are waiting on that just ......


If not you, then who?