Prayer Changes… You

It has been a few months since I last posted.  God has been busy, but then, so has the devil. I have had challenges, not spiritually, but personally. People can be cruel and hurtful.  I trust God, my faith rests in him not in people.  There have been nights that lack sleep, but he is always there.  I know he is faithful, and, I know he walks with me every step.

I have woken up in the middle of the night, sometimes for a little while, sometimes a long time.  My mind goes on and on, it seems to race, there are loved ones on my heart, some I know well, some barely. It does’t matter how well I know them, because, they love and serve the same God I do. Cancer, the loss of spouse, more illnesses and disease, treatments that are life altering… for the patient and the family.  These issues all have been weighing heavy on people I care about.  I wake up, I pray, I wonder why am I so blessed and these friends have this to deal with.  I realize that and personal attacks are pointless and meaningless when there are real issues to pray about.  God has a way of putting things into perspective.

I have seen God move in powerful and mighty ways through prayer.  Today a couple of photos were posted.  They were of school kids, maybe high school, they were praying. Heads leaning down on desks, kids standing holding hands in a circle, their number are growing in a mighty way.  Prayer; prayer for another life affected by cancer.  So many #prayingforamiracle. There are miracles every day; the miracle of God’s mercy and amazing grace, the miracle of his loving me when I had no regard for him, the miracle of family united in the bond of love, God’s love. #miracleoflife #miracleoflove #praying

Prayer, it doesn’t change God, it dosen’t change his mind or plan.  It does change people.  It moves hearts toward gentleness and compassion.  It moves hearts toward love, his love. It changes lives, it changes hearts, it moves people in his direction.

PRAYER > Purpose, Rely on God, Always trust, You are loved, Effectually pray, Respond to His love for you  >  Prayer changes you!

I pray, Lord may you be at the center of hearts in this world. Lord, may the miracle of your grace touch those who need to feel your presence in their lives.  Thank you Lord for being who you are, for loving, for grace, for forgiveness.  May your grace abound in my life.  May your children, who are called by your name, grow deeper in their relationships with you, through their joys and through their struggles.  Touch their hearts Lord.  Thank you Lord that we can come to you in prayer, that though we may not understand, you are always there carrying us.  Amen

O Praise The One

 

 

 

Living Sacrifice

relaxing with a cup of cocoa

I have just completed reading the book of Matthew, fresh in my mind is the Lord’s last days.  The sacrifice he made for me, the sacrifice he made for you.  Now I begin the book of Leviticus… not knowing what to expect… how will it speak to me, a book of laws that the Jewish people would not be able to full fill completely? Chapters one and two showed me Jesus! Pure, loving and perfect.

God was very specific in how sacrifice was to be made, whether it be a blood sacrifice or a grain offering.  It was to be pure and perfect.. Jesus was that!  It of course then would be held as important to the one offering it… Jesus again! In these chapters of Leviticus, the offerings made would be a sweet aroma to the LORD.

Jesus’ sacrifice was an atonement for our sins, it was to restore a right relationship between God and us.  In all of our shortcomings, Jesus pain, suffering and crucifixion  was an act of love for us, a gift of grace.  So, I think about this all, and focus on that gift…

With all the things going on in our day to day lives, we can get distracted from his grace.   Sacrifice ~ made for me ~ love ~ grace.  The Old Testament can seem old, just as it is called.  But it is filled with pictures from what is new!  As a new Christian, one of the first verses on my own I committed to memory was Romans 12:1-2 “I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.  Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” ESV

I am reading through the bible with Good Morning Girls. (http://womenlivingwell.org/2015/04/introduction-to-leviticus-resources-chapters-1-5/) We are being guided to look at Leviticus as a book of Worship… I looked at that verse I memorized so many years ago and wanted to see it in a fresh new light… so on to more modern translations I turn.  I love that we can see the word in so many different versions!  Here, The Message puts it so clearly,

“So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.”

This also goes along with what our message was about on Sunday in King Solomon’s life.  Things around us can pull us away slowly, gradually. The key words I took from that was “start well ~ finish well”.   When we Focus on Grace,  keep our attention on God, he brings out our best!  Our best attitudes, our best character, it gives us gratitude for what he has done for us and given us.  It helps us to look at all things around us, things going on in our lives that may seem like interruptions, and see them as opportunities! It will help us to finish well!  I hope to live my everyday, ordinary life for Him, as a living sacrifice.  As I do that, I have peace and joy because of his mercies and grace.

Whatever season you are in, God is on the throne!  He is able, he is faithful.  Focus on His Grace and live in gratitude. Pace your live before him!

  

Rich History of the Past

If you have not figured this out yet, I do keep telling myself I want to be more consistent with posting, but it hasn’t worked.  Winter in the northeast has not been kind during this past month and they are telling us we can expect another storm this weekend.  So be it, if it does come, it will be good to stay in and do some reading!

The reading plan I have been going through with Good Morning Girls has had us in Exodus.  I am a bit behind because I keep going back to what I thought I finished.  There is such rich history, and I have been in God’s instructions to Moses after leaving Egypt.
The Tabernacle, I used this picture on Sunday. It was my turn for Communion meditation. I used this song by Kutless to set the focus… 
The hight priest was only allowed to enter the holy of holies one day a year. He was the only one allowed that one day, and it gave him a time of exclusive fellowship.  He entered into a place filled with all of the glory of God, bringing a blood offering for the sins of the people. The thing is, what he did had to be done over and over, every year. The offering of blood covered over the sins of the Israelites, but was never enough!
The Holy of Holies contained the Ark of the Covenant; inside the Ark were items representing sins of the people. Things to remind them of their need for forgiveness, their ugliness, their rebellion against God.  God didn’t stop there though, his instructions continued that the ark be covered with pure refined gold, lovely and perfect.  This covering was called the mercy seat or the atonement covering.  So,while the interior represented the sinfulness of man, the covering represented a place of forgiveness, mercy and redemption.  The ugly sin inside the Ark is not what the priest saw when he entered, he saw the pure and lovely, beautiful gold.

Jesus blood covers us with mercy and grace.  When we come into the presence of God, he sees not the ugly inside of our hearts or the rebellious attitudes we hold on to. He sees us pure, and clean, and lovely, covered with the blood of Jesus.  The Ark of the covenant, a beautiful picture in history showing what would be to come, showing Jesus the Messiah, the one who would free the people of their sins once and for all.  Jesus frees, the law condemns.  There is now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus!

What a plan God had for us! You can read in Exodus 26 the detail God laid out for the tabernacle, even detail in the curtains alone separating the ark from the priest. This was all done so that on that one day he could rip the veil in two, eliminating the separation, giving us direct access to him… not on one day a year, not one day a week, not only when we meet around his table, but every day and any time we choose. What a joy to be able to call God my Father… to be able to call out Abba, Father (Daddy, Daddy!).

In the Old Testament here is so much to treasure! I love seeing reflections of the New in the Old, this is rich! We are richly blessed indeed!

Thank you Lord for providing this path for us to choose. Thank you for setting up everything so precisely. Thank you for your grace and mercy over me. Thank you for not seeing the ugly in me but for seeing me pure and refined through Jesus. As we are entering the season that we celebrate the victory he has over satan, we remember the suffering and pain Lord Jesus that you experienced because of how much love for me you have. May I live a life worthy!

Additional reading :

  • Exodus 24 – 27
  • Hebrews 9-10

If you enjoy meditating on music, this version of Take Me in is a long version, but worth it! 

Pondering the Psalms

It is the time of year we are all busy in our preparations for Christmas.  Shopping to be done, decorating to be finished, cookies to be baked… yes busy, busy, busy!

Oh, but in our reading through the bible we are in Psalms this month.  I am seeing David, a servant of God.  Imperfect, like all of us and so many before him.  But, he gives his praise and worship to God.  God is the creator of the universe, he is seated high in the heavens.  David talks of humility and being righteousness, the fact that we are crowned with glory and honor.  He talks of the pride of the wicked but finishes off Psalm 10 with this reminder…”The Lord is king forever and ever

Pondering the Psalms…at Christmas.  Most would choose to read about the prophesies or the life of Christ.  We celebrate the birth this month, the birth of the King of Kings, the Lord who is king forever and ever.  No matter what we see happening in this world we live in, Jesus came here in complete and utter humility.  A baby is completely dependent for life.  Dependent on the love and nurturing for nourishment, protection, provision. Jesus showed us what humility is.

We are to be humble before God.  Let us not get lost in all the glitter and glitz of the season.  Let us not forget that the reason we celebrate is because God loved us so much he sent his son to suffer and die in our place so we might have a relationship with God the Father.  What a savior we celebrate!  Grace ~ the gift sent from above into a stable so many years ago, born that we might have life!

“FOR SUCH A TIME AS THIS”

“For such a time as this.” These words came back to me today as I was reading on a Facebook page.  If any of you have done the Beth Moore study on the book of Esther, they will be very familiar to you.  In Eshther 4:14 these were the words Mordecai said to Esther.

I have, as I am sure you all have, friends that are going through new seasons in their lives.  Seasons that they are uncertain of, seasons that seem unsettling.   Although I can sympathize with them, I cannot say I know what they are going through because my life is not their life.  It is hard on us when we have friends walking in hard times, whatever they may be.  It is harder on our friend, but they need to feel our support and our love.

There is a time for everything under heaven, a time to be a friend to someone who needs you.  A time we may not be walking in their shoes, but certainly, a time to give them our love, encouragement and support.  The focus this week in the Good Morning Girls Bible Study, “Intentionally Focused” is Friendship, so it is on my mind.

We have the greatest friend in Jesus, “There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” John 15:13 NLT  I cannot attest to being that kind of friend; I do know that Jesus did it for me, and, he did it for you.

There are times for us to hold on to our friends and to hold on for our friends.  God gives us the grace to do that.  He gives us all we need to be a friend to those in need of our friendship.

Do we always see the need?  Do we look for where we can be a friend?  How to be a friend?

What ever is going on in your life or in the lives of your friends, God has placed you both where you are for such a time as this.  Whether you know what that time is now, or see it later, you will see it when it is necessary.

As you walk along this path, be a vessel for him, allow him to use you for such a time as this.

God will direct you and lead you down the path you are meant to follow…for such a time as this.

My One Word

Proverbs 4:25 ESV “Let your eyes look directly forward, and your gaze be straight before you.”

Focus on the new!

Focus on the new!

I never was one for making New Year Resolutions, I prefer to call them goals, which, by the way, can really be set anytime…so who needs a resolution anyway?  Last year I did something new for the year,  I chose a word to be my theme. It was Intentional and I might add that it was good.

This year I chose focus. What would you focus on if that were your word for the year?  I want to focus on the wonderful  gift God has given me through grace!

Because of that gift, God deserves my best. He deserves the first of my day, the first of my wealth, and he certainly deserves his temple to have the best.  I have my reading plan set, and my journal begun.

This year I will focus on planting his word in my heart, putting real food into my body and being active as I was created to be.  I will live a focused lifestyle.  Because of His grace I can do all things.

Yes, I believe that in 2014 I will glean (and do) just what I need to make it sheen! 

I pray you to have a successful New Year at whatever level you choose to make it!