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Friday, March 23, 2012

I Know Who Holds Tomorrow


Trust in God; trust also in me. John 14:1, NIV 
"Jesus commanded His disciples to "trust in God; trust also in me."  

"When I toss and turn in the middle of the night, worried and fearful over something that is impending in my life or the life of someone I love, I am comforted and calmed as I meditate on Who God is. It helps me plant my faith in Someone Who is bigger than my fears. I just fall back on Who God is and rest in Him. He cannot be less than Himself! And my God is God! 

Next time you feel afraid, make up a list - not of your fears but of the characteristics of God. Find a Scripture verse or passage to substantiate each one as you reconsider your situation in light of Who God is. Then, if you feel it would be helpful to list your fears, make sure beside each one you write down the attribute of God that applies. The secret to peace lies in your focus." Anne Grahan-Lotz 

Many years ago, I was plagued with fear and worry. I'm not saying that I never worry or become fearful these days, because I am human. However, when I allow myself to think on God's promises and recall how far He has brought me on my journey of faith, then fear and worry become secondary to faith and trust. My life is in His hands and that gives me comfort and peace.  

I posted Anne Graham-Lotz's thoughts above because they express my own heart so much where fear is concerned. Below the prayer you will also find an old song entitled, "I Know Who Holds Tomorrow." What a comfort to know that God is in control and we can have peace in knowing He loves us enough to do what is always best in our situations.  

Prayer: Dear Father, thank You for a restful night and a beautiful day. Help each of us to walk in your strength, with your wisdom, and to allow ourselves to be guided by the Holy Spirit. Thank You that we do not have to hold fear in our hearts, rather, the assurance that You are in every situation that we face. We pray this in the name of our dear Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.





Monday, March 19, 2012

Disturb Us Lord

The following prayer entitled “Disturb Us Lord “was written by Sir Francis Drake, an adventurer, as he departed to the west coast of South America.  Tom, our small group leader shared it with us tonight and I felt it very worthy of passing on to my blog readers.  

Disturb us, Lord, when
We are too pleased with ourselves,
When our dreams have come true
Because we dreamed too little,
When we arrived safely
Because we sailed too close to the shore.

Disturb us, Lord, when
With the abundance of things we possess
We have lost our thirst
For the waters of life;
Having fallen in love with life,
We have ceased to dream of eternity
And in our efforts to build a new earth,
We have allowed our vision
Of the new Heaven to dim.

Disturb us, Lord, to dare more boldly,
To venture on wilder seas
Where storms will show Your mastery;
Where losing sight of land,
We shall find the stars.

We ask you to push back
The horizons of our hopes;
And to push back the future
In strength, courage, hope, and love.

This we ask in the name of our Captain,
Who is Jesus Christ.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank You for Jesus Christ, who is our Savior and Lord. Help us to always depend on Him to be the Captain of our lives. As Christians, may we not lose our thirst for the water of life that Jesus so freely gives. Keep our hearts focused on Him and not the distraction of worldly things which will not last. Give us a greater desire to serve You with purpose and passion. May the things of this world grow dimmer around us as we make way for the amazing light of our Lord Jesus Christ. This I pray in His name, the name above all names. Amen.


Saturday, March 17, 2012

An Irish Blessing

Since today is St. Patrick's Day, I felt it appropriate to share the following Irish Blessing, which my cousin, Patricia, posted on Facebook today.  May you be blessed with God's love, peace, and comfort each and every day.



May God give you…
For every storm, a rainbow,
For every tear,...
a smile,
For every care, a promise,
And a blessing in each trial.
For every problem life sends,
A faithful friend to share,
For every sigh, a sweet song,
And an answer for each prayer.


Prayer:  Heavenly Father, we thank You for bringing us through the storms of life.  Bless those today who are struggling with unbelief, bitterness toward others, illnesses, broken relationships, addictions that cannot be broken, and any other obstacle that might hinder their walk with You.  Please help each person realize that You are the strength they need.  Thank You for our Savior, Jesus Christ who loves us so much.  This I pray in His wonderful name.  Amen.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

I Will Praise You

“Praise the LORD, all you nations; extol him, all you peoples. For great is his love toward us, and the faithfulness of the LORD endures forever. Praise the LORD.”  Psalm 117:1-2 (NIV)

My husband and I have the privilege of attending a small group meeting each Sunday night.  This group of 18 people has become very special to us and reminds me so much of the “cottage prayer meetings” we had when I was a child. 
For those who might not be familiar with what I am referring to, a small group is comprised of individuals who meet together in a home rather than a church.  All over the city, we have these little pockets of meetings going on each Sunday night.  Our leaders, Bob and Katy are godly people, strong prayer warriors, and wonderful Bible teachers—plus a lot of fun! By meeting in Bob and Katy’s home, we are able to form a more intimate bond of fellowship with one another.  Our small group has Bible study and discussion, as well as a time for specific prayers.  Sometimes we sing some of the old songs that we sang as children or some of the newer choruses. Whichever we choose, the songs are always meaningful and very worshipful. At present all members of our group attend the same church. Our focus is to become more Christ-like by studying God’s Word, apply it to our lives, pray for our church, our loved ones and friends, as well as to reach those within our zip code and beyond with the message of Jesus Christ. 
Recently, at one of our meetings before our time of prayer, Bob asked us to do something a little differently than we had been doing.  He asked that we go to God in prayer and not ask for anything.  Our focus was to be only on God, His attributes and His Sovereignty.  We were to praise Him and thank Him for who He is and what He has done for us.  We could quote a favorite scripture which reinforced God’s Sovereignty, His power, His love for us or our love for Him. Coming to God with our minds focused on Him and not ourselves gave us an attitude of thankfulness and humbleness. Truly, this method of prayer ushered us into a wonderful time of fellowship with our Lord.  No one asked for anything.  And it was wonderful.
At one time or another, I am pretty sure that we have all been guilty of going before the Father in such desperation for His help with our own needs, that we fail to take the time to focus only on Him.  We exist for His glory alone and to share our faith in His Son, Jesus Christ.   I am certain that this type of sweet fellowship before His throne pleases Him.  When we recognize Him as the great I AM and ALMIGHTY GOD, we realize how much we need Him and depend on Him, which in turn makes us that much more humble and thankful for all that He has done, is doing, and will continue to do for us. We are His “dear ones” and His love for us is everlasting.
You are not going escape one of my favorite songs today!!  The song entitled, “I Will Praise You,” by The Collingsworth Family says it all.  I do praise Him for lifting my sights to heavenly things and I pray that each of you can say the same.
PRAYER:  Father, God.  Thank you for allowing me this time today to sit and think on You--to thank You for being such a wonderful heavenly Father. You are my one desire and I ask that it be the same for each person reading this.  Thank You for sending Jesus to die for my sins and the sins of the world.  Without Your great love in this manner, we would all be lost.   Save those who are lost and make them mighty men and women after Your own heart.  Help them to humble themselves before You and seek Your face.  I pray in Jesus name.  Amen. 


Saturday, March 3, 2012

Wonderful, Merciful Savior

“Blessed be God, and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort.” 2 Corinthians 1:3 (NKJV)
But God, who is rich in mercy, because of his great love with which he loved us.” Ephesians 2:4 (NKJV)
What a wonderful morning it was when around 300 women gathered at church for brunch and a time of renewal and refreshing in our spiritual walk with the Lord. Our former pastor's wife brought a message based on the verse of scripture found in Psalm 46:10, “Be still and know that I am God.” We were reminded that when trials come it is sometimes difficult to “be still before God” because we are inclined to search for answers and meaning on our own.  But, the wonderful thing is that through His love and mercy, God has a way of drawing us back to the place where we will find comfort in knowing that He has everything under control. 
The song entitled, “Wonderful, Merciful Savior” was sung so beautifully this morning by Dava, a member of our church.  Because this is such a worshipful song, I wanted to share a YouTube version of it with my blog readers. I apologize for any advertisement that might pop up during the song. YouTube is not perfect, but it has been a convenient source of sharing some of my favorite and more meaningful songs.
Jesus truly is a wonderful, merciful Savior, and He is the One that we should praise through every circumstance! 
Prayer:  Father God, You know what our hearts are longing for. Your infinite wisdom and mercy gives us peace, comfort, joy and the ability to be still before You.  We reverently and humbly ask You to take complete control of our lives.  We pray that at the end of each day, our path will lead straight back to You and that You will always be our perfect peace.  I pray this prayer in the name of Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.  Amen.

Friday, March 2, 2012

The 7 Ups

1.     Wake Up!!
Decide to have a good day.
“This is the day the Lord hath made;
let us rejoice and be glad in it.”
Psalms 118:24

2.    Dress Up!!
The best way to dress up is to put on a smile.
A smile is an inexpensive way to improve your looks.
“The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. 
Man looks at outward appearance,
but the Lord looks at the heart.” 
I Samuel 16:7
3.     Shut up!!
Say nice things and learn to listen.
God gave us two ears and one mouth,
so He must have meant for us to do twice as much listening
as talking.
“He who guards his lips guards his soul.”
Proverbs 13:3
4.    Stand Up!!
…for what you believe in.
Stand for something or you will fall for anything.
“Let us not be weary in doing good; for at the proper time,
we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.
Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good…”
Galatians 6:9-10
         
5.    Look up!!
…to the Lord.
“I can do everything through Christ who strengthens me.” 
Philippians 4:13

6.    Reach Up!!
…for something higher.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
and lean not unto your own understanding.
In all your ways, acknowledge Him, and He will direct your
path.”
Proverbs 3:5-6

7.    Lift up!!
….your Prayers.
“Do not worry about anything; instead
PRAY ABOU EVERYTHING.” 
Philippians 4:6

A Positive Thought
If God had a refrigerator, your picture would be on it.
If He had a wallet, your photo would be in it.
He sends you flowers every spring, and a sunrise every morning.
Whenever you want to talk, He’ll listen.
He could live anywhere in the universe, but He chose your heart.
What about the Christmas gift He sent you in Bethlehem;
not to mention that Friday at Calvary.
Face it, He’s crazy about you.
Payer:  Thank you God, for Your unconditional love.  Help us to put into practice the 7 Ups listed above.  May our lives always be a reflection of the things that are pleasing to You. I pray this in Jesus name.  Amen.
*The 7 Ups and A Positive Thought – Both have been quoted in sermons by pastors and forwarded over the internet, but the original author is unknown. 




Thursday, March 1, 2012

Resurrection Morn

Jesus said to him, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”  John 14:6  (NIV)
“Jesus said to her, I am the resurrection, and the life. He who believes in Me, through he may die, he shall live.  And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die.  Do you believe this?”  John 11:25-26  (NIV)
“This is the will of the Father who sent Me, that all He has given Me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up at the last day.  And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day.”  John 6:39-40 (NIV)
When Christ, who is your life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory.” Colossians 3:4  (NIV)
In some of my blog articles, I have included songs by The Collingsworth Family.  In fact, the last article featured their song, “I Found It All.”
My husband and I have been privileged to see The Collingsworth Family in concert many times over the past few years.  Their songs, as well as personal testimonies of God’s faithfulness, have ministered to my own spiritual needs and touched my heart deeply. These songs are worshipful and always serve as a reminder of His love for me, and my reliance upon Him. Because the songs of this family are touching my life, more will be included in upcoming blogs. 
The song featured in this blog is called, “The Resurrection Morn.”  What a wonderful promise we as Christians have that when we have run our race here on earth, we will see the face of Jesus, as He claims His own to live eternally with Him as King of Kings and Lord of Lords. 
Jesus was speaking to Martha in the verses of scripture found in John 11:25-26 referenced above. His question to her was, “Do you believe this?”  My question for you is the same.  “Do you believe this?”  I pray that you do and that you are prepared for this wonderful resurrection morn. 
Prayer:  Father God, we look forward to that resurrection morn when we will see Jesus face to face as our as King of Kings and Lord of Lords.  Help us to finish our spiritual race here on earth well, using our time wisely as we seek to tell others about this promise of eternal life in a land where there will be no more pain, no more tears, no more sickness, and no more parting.  I pray this in the name of Jesus, the One who died for the sins of the world and who is not willing that any one should perish.  Amen.