Friday, February 20, 2009

You've Gotta Read This

http://proverbs31devotions.blogspot.com/

This is one of my favorite devotional places...and today's makes so much sense to me. I had been telling God when I woke up at 5:00am again - that I was hurting and tired. My baby came and got in bed with us and as I wrapped my arms around him I was comforted. I am so thankful for my family.

I rolled out of bed once again and grabbed my Bible...I went to Proverbs 31 devotionals and the Word of God comforted me even more. This life, as vain as it seems sometimes, has a purpose...and that purpose is to ready me for eternity. I know that I am not ready yet...but OHHHHHH how I want to be!

2 Corinthians 4:

7 But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. 8We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; 9 persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. 10 We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. 11 For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus' sake, so that his life may be revealed in our mortal body. 12 So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you.

13 It is written: "I believed; therefore I have spoken."With that same spirit of faith we also believe and therefore speak, 14 because we know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus from the dead will also raise us with Jesus and present us with you in his presence. 15 All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God.

16 Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. 17 For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 18 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

The Strength That Becomes MY Strength

Psalm 59:16-17

16 But I will sing of your strength,
in the morning I will sing of your love;
for you are my fortress,
my refuge in times of trouble.
17 O my Strength, I sing praise to you;

you, O God, are my fortress, my loving God.

I woke up weak this morning. My mental capacities are depleted, even my bones feel tired. I had no direction...felt blase' about everything. I woke up at 5:16AM. I laid there looking into the blackness and tried to shut off the mind and find that warm fuzzy place that is between waking and sleeping. Couldn't find it.

So, I rolled out of bed and came downstairs. My first thought (unfortunately) was to go and check e-mails. But something within me (my dear Savior's prompting by the Holy Spirit) told me to get my Bible. I thought about my plight. What can this Book offer me to go on this morning?

Strength...I need strength - strength of mind, strength of body, strength of spirit. So in looking up strength, (and there are countless verses about the strength of God) I found several that spoke to my heart.

Psalm 18:31-33

31 For who is God besides the LORD ?
And who is the Rock except our God?
32 It is God who arms me with strength

and makes my way perfect.
33 He makes my feet like the feet of a deer;

he enables me to stand on the heights.

Psalm 73:25-26

25 Whom have I in heaven but you?
And earth has nothing I desire besides you.
26 My flesh and my heart may fail,

but God is the strength of my heart
and my portion forever.

I am exceedingly and abundantly blessed. And what a relief to know that this day does not depend on my strength - because it is insufficient. I am so relieved to know that it is not up to me. The next step I take is in the strength of the Lord and he will bring his will to pass, in spite of me, but more excitingly - through me - with his strength.

I can go wake up my children and trust that I will get done what I need to - for this morning - my eyes are on the Lord and my dependence is on him. What a great place to be.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

A Safe Haven

So...a couple of weeks ago, I was laying on the couch because I was sick. The boys were in school, my husband was at work and I was taking advantage of it by resting. I had the phone next to me and it rang and I picked it up and said, "Hello". No one answered...but I could hear someone - so I said..."HELLOOOO" again. Then I said..." I can hear you" and he answered back. This man told me he had followed me home and wanted to meet me. Of course I sputtered out that I was having the call traced and calling the police, and he hung up.

I did call the police, I did TRY to have the call traced to no avail. The police told me they would patrol the neighborhood. They said to keep my cell phone with me at all times and to be aware of who was behind me and around me even when I was driving. I should not let the kids wander about on their own but there was nothing more they could do to find this person since the number could not be traced.

Let me just say that the shows on TV have totally portrayed the wrong thing. Believe it or not, not every call can be traced. Apparently if the persons phone company allows them to block information about themselves then it will not be revealed to your phone company. This is shocking to me...but it is what it is. I will have to live without knowing who this fellow is.

My world was rocked for a few days. I felt exposed and incredibly scared. I was worried about who, why and how. There was no safe place. Until I came upon the Word of God...it is the Word that I have claimed in my times of fear before as well...but it is amazing the power it has to still my racing mind and give me peace:

Psalm 46
1 God is our refuge and strength,
an ever-present help in trouble.
2 Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way
and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,
3 though its waters roar and foam
and the mountains quake with their surging.
Selah

4 There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
the holy place where the Most High dwells.
5 God is within her, she will not fall;
God will help her at break of day.
6 Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall;
he lifts his voice, the earth melts.
7 The LORD Almighty is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress.
Selah

8 Come and see the works of the LORD,
the desolations he has brought on the earth.
9 He makes wars cease to the ends of the earth;
he breaks the bow and shatters the spear,
he burns the shields with fire.
10 "Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth."
11 The LORD Almighty is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress.
Selah

My God is an awesome God - in his hands I place my life and all that happens to it. My trust on Him is stayed.

I will be vigilant. I will keep my eyes open. But I will not be scared. I will not allow fear to rule my life.

1 Peter 3:
13 Who is going to harm you if you are eager to do good? 14 But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. "Do not fear what they fear; do not be frightened." 15 But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect,

I am indeed, blessed.

Hopelessly Overwhelmed or am I?

Hopelessness - especially these days is easy to fall into. I feel it too...and overwhelmed. I don't know how I make it to the next moment sometimes, much less getting to the next moment well - in a godly manner. With all the kids do and my husband busy at work...finances, my job, wanting to accomplish some of my own personal desires (book) and then there is housework...and (ugh) laundry...I get bogged. I end up doing nothing. I am doing my best not to be there though.

2 Peter 3:13-15
13 But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, the home of righteousness. 14 So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with him. 15 Bear in mind that our Lord's patience means salvation, just as our dear brother Paul also wrote you with the wisdom that God gave him


This tells me to look forward to a new heaven and a new earth and to keep myself all repented up - here I will find peace.

Philippians 2:13
for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.

2 Thessalonians 1:11

With this in mind, we constantly pray for you, that our God may count you worthy of his calling, and that by his power he may fulfill every good purpose of yours and every act prompted by your faith.

These are good for me today. They make me realize that I have the power to accomplish whatever God sets before me...that's loving my husband well, meeting my children's needs, the laundry and this book - if it is what God would have for me! This certainly dispels the hopelessness. Just on to the next thing with the thought in mind that God has given me the ability to get done what he wills. The rest can wait.

Hard to remember that in the midst of this life - it is just so....daily. But giving in to despair of never accomplishing what I see for myself is overwhelming. So, my best bet is to do the next thing in the light that is given for that moment...then on to the next...this takes intentionality. And intentionality is something we have to practice.

2 Corinthians 4:
16 Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. 17 For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 18 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

This is SUCH a relief!