His Presence or His Presents: Which Are You Asking More Of?

Question.

In which direction are you extending your hands more towards Him, up or out? Let’s be honest because I’m quite sure as we have grown in the Lord, we all have been guilty of wanting His “presents” more so than His “presence”. Don’t get me wrong…God loves to bless us with the desires of our hearts, but He also wants us to be in His presence fellowshipping with Him. Wouldn’t you want someone who you love to spend time with you rather than to always be expecting something tangible?

Be Anxious For Nothing
Photo Credit: Divine Creations Photography

Christ tells us in the Book of Luke : “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Luke 12: 34)

What brings me to this post today has been my away time in solitude. While I thought that entitling the post about solitude would fit, I seen that above title His Presence or Presents: Which Are You Asking More Of ? pretty much summed up the same thing. Believe it or not, the draft with the question has been sitting since the early part of last year I believe. ( the date changed as I began to type so I cannot say exactly when. Sorry!)

So there has been many moments lately that I have found myself speechless, typeless and clueless in regards to reaching back out to the multitude which is YOU the audience. Back and forth I became stumped so I withdrew once again. There is a season for everything and God’s timing is evidently right when we walk according to His plans. In my solitude over the past month I have drawn closer to the Lord unlike any time that I can remember. Some of it felt like going through a wilderness experience while others have been just about being before Him simply because I need Him, simply because I want to learn and gain some wisdom. With that said my hands have been up towards the heavens praising Him for Who He is and being thankful that He has loved me enough just because I am His child and that He chose ME flaws and all!

Lately I have been behind the lens. Behind the camera lens that is. While I am a big fan of the great outdoors loving to enjoy the beauty of the Lord through His creations, I have found myself deep in thought and awe of His love and His care for those that He loves. I captured these pictures in sport mode (rapid shooting) one day while my family and I was at a local park with walking trails. My heart was calling out to the Lord while my lips did not utter much, yet He knew just what I needed. God has a way of speaking and comforting us in the least obvious ways. I can only hope that I am spiritually sensitive and alert to all these times though I know I will miss some opportunities because of my human nature to expect things in a certain way that’s very apparent and logical in our own thinking. My prayer is that I will seek Him more intimately and more sensitively as I move forward in my daily walk. I pray this for you too.

Here are a few scriptures that continue to feed my soul every time I glance at these pictures or think back on how His lovingkindness has wrapped me in the gentleness of His love and in the security of His love, truth and promises.
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:6, 7 NKJV)

Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble. (Matthew 6:26, 34 NKJV)

Then Jesus said to his disciples: “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. For life is more than food, and the body more than clothes. Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds! Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life ? Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest? “Consider how the wild flowers grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more will he clothe you—you of little faith! And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it. For the pagan world runs after all such things, and your Father knows that you need them. But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well. (Luke 12:22-31 NIV)

Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up. (James 4:10 NKJV)

To my brothers and sisters in the Lord as well as those seeking and in need of a Savior, I beseech you to always trust in the sovereignty of God for He is most faithful and our very best friend in times of need and comfort. Every day will not be sunshine but trust and believe that if you stay under His cloud of direction that you will come out just fine no matter the situation whether it is a matter of the heart or worldly needs that He has not taken a blind eye to. Seek His presence more than His presents and remember that all other things will be added unto you. It is good to suffer for righteousness and holiness when we want to live out our lives for the Lord and to deal with matters in a way unlike the way the world would. Jesus went away many of times to pray often to His Father. We should too so solitude is not always bad when we have perspective. Allow your tears of mourning to become tears of joy and the aches of your heart to become rays of sunshine overflowing into the lives of others as you walk in midst of the Most Holy One. In that they will see that God is more than able to provide. (Jehovah- Jireh) Be patient in all things and wait on the Lord.

Blessings, love and prayers to you all in Christ Jesus,

Terra

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Advertisements

Merry Christmas to all my Blogging Friends, Readers and Followers!

Dear Reader,

It has been a journey in 2012 as I have come to know some of you personally outside of the blog, though I have been honored to fellowship with you all over time. What a bountiful blessing I have received. Thank You Lord for all these special lives that I have been impacted by in one way or more.

Today as we all celebrate Christmas may we always be in prayer for those whom have lost loved ones this year while keeping our hearts and minds centered on why we celebrate such an occasion.

Jesus is the reason for the season! And as our First wrapped gift, may we always be thankful and content if we receive nothing else. There is no greater gift one can receive than Christ our Savior and Redeemer!

God bless each and every one of you today, tomorrow and every day that is bestowed upon you and your family. Let us continue to go forth sharing the Gospel and being a light in such a dark world. Keep your light lit and not hidden for there are still many souls in need of being saved. Let LOVE drive you to press forward with perseverance, courage and humbleness as you run this Christian race. We will always have HOPE when we keep our trust and faith in God. He believes in you and so do I.

I count it joy, I count it all a blessing for the many friendships I have made, kindred spirits that continue to shape me into the woman/sister in Lord I have been called to be, the many prayers I have shared with you and for you on your behalf to the Father. Thank you for inviting me in with such warm and kind words of encouragement this year.

With love I wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

~Terra

*if I had enough postage stamps to go around the world, you all would have received a Christmas card in the mail. This is best I could do. I hope this is suffice! 🙂

20121225-182237.jpg

Keep Me Lord Jesus

All I can do is lift and stretch my hands towards heaven in adoration of my Lord and Savior! Something always makes me want to cry in a rejoicing sense from this song. O’ Lord I just thank you for keeping me!

I shared this song posted below on my sister in the Lord’s blog site  for Wednesday’s Praise and Worship. Please stop by and share in fellowship and in love as we lift up the Lord and encourage one another! (site posted below)

Along This Journey of Ours

Like an onion that is peeled away in layers, God heals, restores, builds up, comfort, grows and strengthens His children as we draw nearer to Him. May our days be well spent as we make time in our hearts and lives putting our Lord first and foremost before any person or tasks this world places before us as we seek His face, His presence and guidance.

I received an early morning text from a relative who has been on my heart for weeks now followed up by some uplifting music that lifted up my very soul as I was getting ready for church this morning. I even tweeted a scripture that was favorited instantly by a fellow blogger who lifts my spirits with such encouragement that the Holy Spirit inspires her to write. Everything was unfolding so beautifully and in such a loving and delicate way that I could not help but tear up and tell the Lord “Thank you.” My heart rejoiced and danced within me. I could not wait to get to church from that point!

What can I say but To God be the glory!

It’s been about a month since I last wrote a post now that I really think about it. Go figure.

While I do not get caught up in stats and such, my thoughts, actions and words are challenged to focus on the Lord and where He leads me. Every day living brings forth good and not so good days. Even some storms mentally and physically will meet us unexpectedly. We never know one minute to the next.

My heart has not left this blog, my fellow brothers and sisters in the Lord as well as those seeking Truth. You have been in my prayers and I trust in the Lord to always supply for you what you need from Him through whatever sources He sends your way.

Today was another breakthrough as the passing days have gone by.

We cannot or should not lean on our own timing of when the Lord should show up and make things happen in our lives. Well we can do it if we choose to but I rather see God’s hand at work to give Him all the glory. I rather see how wonderful the rainbow is at the end of the storm because I know it was no one but The Almighty Himself Who brought me through. This is just my opinion. We all have our own journey and testimonies to think on, live through and come out of with the grace of God that upheld us when we know we could not have done it by ourselves.

People change, seasons change, circumstances change but God never does. He’s the same today, yesterday, tomorrow and forevermore. He cannot go back on His word for His word is truth.

With this said, I encourage you all to keep pressing forward no matter what comes your way. God is our present help, our source of strength, our refuge, our Solid Rock and foundation to draw from. Look up and remember from where your help comes from.

God bless you richly as you continue on this journey called LIFE.

He is always within our reach if we want to live life to the fullest in love, peace and prosperity in Him.

“And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.” (Jeremiah 29 :13 NKJV)

Psalm & Worship Song for Encouragement

I will lift up my eyes to the hills From whence comes my help? My help comes from the Lord, Who made heaven and earth. He will not allow your foot to be moved; He who keeps you will not slumber. Behold, He who keeps Israel Shall neither slumber nor sleep. The Lord is your keeper; The Lord is your shade at your right hand. The sun shall not strike you by day, Nor the moon by night. The Lord shall preserve you from all evil; He shall preserve your soul. The Lord shall preserve your going out and your coming in From this time forth, and even forevermore. (Psalm 121:1-8 NKJV)

Mission: Possible

20120914-082352.jpg
A LIFE FILLED WITH AN ABUNDANCE OF ENCOURAGEMENT, LOVE, PROSPERITY, TRUTH and INTEGRITY IN CHRIST JESUS.

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. (Philippians 4:13 NKJV)

0100 HOURS ( 1:00 a.m. )
* give about 10 min later out of sheer laziness to pick up my phone to make notes because I’m prone to forget things placed on my heart by the Lord.

20120914-083712.jpgIf you choose to receive this mission, know that you will not go through it alone. Our heavenly Father above has already planned this course.

You will be equipped, strengthened and comforted as you proceed. The Comforter ( The Holy Spirit ) will be your Help and your guide to see you to the end.

This mission will not always be smooth. There will be bumps and unforeseen roadblocks along the way. The Deceiver (Satan) will try to get you to abort your mission through discouragement, lies and false truths. DO NOT fall into this trap.

Go in faith believing that the Word is a lamp to your feet and a light to your path. (Psalm 119:105 NKJV)

faith
[feyth]

– noun
1.
confidence or trust in a person or thing: faith in another’s ability.
2.
belief that is not based on proof: He had faith that the hypothesis would be substantiated by fact.
3.
belief in God or in the doctrines or teachings of religion: the firm faith of the Pilgrims.
4.
belief in anything, as a code of ethics, standards of merit, etc.: to be of the same faith with someone concerning honesty.

SCRIPTURE: Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. (Hebrews 11:1 KJV)

FAITH has a wide spread base to effectually bring about change in your life if you hold fast to it.

Allow me to share with you my own challenges and sufferings wrapped up in a short form if you will. Over the last month I have been going through some changes and challenges spiritually, emotionally and physically. It has not been comfortable at all.

I remember one late night/early in the morning encounter with the Lord. I found myself repeatedly speaking a set of words as I woke up. Getting up frequently through the night is nothing out the norm for me but this was different. It was something I had not experienced in a while. In my heart, I knew it was biblical but it was something I could not recall reading before. Perhaps I did and it never surfaced as a means of how it affected my life, especially at the current time.

“Speak of things that are not as though they are.”

While I was speaking this set of words/scripture in my head and with my mouth in what seemed to be a different translation/tongue, I finally found what I was looking for in the Bible with the help of Google and the YouVersion Bible app on my phone after praying and the countless times of trying to remember word for word what I said when I was awake for good. (do you see why I need to just get up and write when something comes to me right away?!!)

As it is written: “I have made you a father of many nations.” He is our father in the sight of God, in whom he believed–the God who gives life to the dead and calls things that are not as though they were. (Romans 4:17 NIV84)

While this particular scripture in Romans is about Abraham, it also is applied in context to how this world came to be. In Genesis, God SPOKE things into existence. He BELIEVED in what He said so therefore it came to pass.

I encourage you to read the story about Abraham and Sarah if you are not familiar with it. ( Abram and Sarai were their names before God changed them.) While I seen this story in a way I had never seen it before, it applied to my life in such a way that it blew my mind. I was beside myself! What an inheritance we have people!

Glory to God! Wow. This may turn into a part 2 but I may try to wrap it up in this one. We will see.

Just to let you know, I have some injury to my shoulder. I believe I initially dislocated it and I heard it pop back into place but I eventually went to the ER to get checked out. I have something going on with my rotator cup. This has been a very painful ordeal to go through. Sleepless nights and hours of being uncomfortable and somewhat frustrated on top of dealing with other things in my life. I really wondered how much more could I take in general before I found myself isolating myself.

Isolation is something I have a hard time dealing with. Now I am not speaking it as if it’s a permanent fixture in my life, but it has been something that has been like a thorn in my side. I can say that I have gotten better with how I deal with matters more than what I use to. Thank you Jesus.

Let me tell you…. I am far from perfect but through my own challenges and storms, I can testify to God’s goodness and His promises. His word is bond. It cannot go out void. Believe me.

Through this season I face, I know the hand of the Lord rest upon me. In moments of uncertainty, I had to put the word of God to use. It had to be spoken with faith and applied with action. Needless to say, here I am. Back doing the mission set out before me. God gave me this gift of exhortation. How can I sit back and not use it? How dare I not trust in Whom can deliver us all from the hand of evil, from the multitude of thoughts that perplex us on a daily basis, the snares laid out to capture, condemn and kill us from living a life thriving and full in Christ Jesus?

We are not promised to have all good days while we live this temporary life here on earth but may our outlook on life and our trust in the Lord be steadfast and immovable. May we find peace in the middle of trouble, rejoice in hardships knowing that in our weaknesses we are made strong for our God is mighty to save. He is our refuge.

With all of this said and thought about even when I felt like I had no one to encourage me, I had no one to reach out to because I started to lose trust in others as well as feeling like I have been nothing more than a pit stop for a dose of encouragement, God provided. I had to rebuke the negative thoughts and lies, separate truth from false, allow the light of the Lord to shine in where I wanted the wounds to be covered and healed in my way and my timing.

As always, my way never pans out. Fighting with thoughts and ways will lead to destruction.

God’s ways stand the test of time. It always has and always will. Forever.

The trip to my prayer closet has been effectual. My fervent prayers for you all, myself and my family has been well with my soul. That of which I labored had not been in vain. Separating myself for the sake of being in communion with the Lord to get myself back on track paid off and will continue to as long as I stay before Him.

Speak life into yourselves dear brothers and sisters in the Lord. Encourage yourself in Jesus. Stay in the Word and allow it to minister to you. Pray without ceasing. Find fellowship with those like-minded whose heart is for you. In due season, the storm will pass and the rainbow will appear.

*My mission was being walked out though I felt as if I was still on the Potter’s wheel. I may still be on the wheel. I’m just not resisting the uncomfortable feeling of being reshaped once again in my life.

There is purpose for every good and perfect way of the Lord when it comes to refining His children. He knows us better than we know ourselves. He knows what best.

The Lord makes firm the steps
of the one who delights in him; though he may stumble, he will not fall,
for the Lord upholds him with his hand. (Psalm 37:23, 24 NIV)

Your words were found, and I ate them, And Your word was to me the joy and rejoicing of my heart; For I am called by Your name, O Lord God of hosts. (Jeremiah 15:16 NKJV)

Final Exhortation

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you. (Philippians 4:4-9 NIV)

Being transparent is not easy but I will set aside my thoughts and ways in hope that you all will find an inkling of encouragement in the Lord. It has been my hearts desire to see lives lived, loved, encouraged and changed in the Lord. We may never meet on this side of life but we will fellowship for eternity in glory.

God bless each set of eyes to see and ears to hear. May your hearts receive the mission plan the Lord designed for you before your life came to be, even before the creation of the world.

With love and prayer I stand in faith that you too will receive and carry out your destined journey.

~ Terra

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. (Jeremiah 29:11 NIV)

If You Love Me You’d Tell Me the Truth

20120810-082654.jpg
Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend. (Proverbs 27:17 KJV)

This scripture could not be more poignant.

Amazingly, the Lord’s hand has still been upon me even when I have become frustrated, even when I have shed tears out of compassion and a lack of understanding with the questions of Why, What and How juggling around in my brain. I know I’ve said “amazingly” but in all knowing, it has been His mercy and grace that has kept me. It has been His compassion and patience to show me the very things I needed to hear and see through His eyes and understanding.

Cast your burden on the Lord, And He shall sustain you; He shall never permit the righteous to be moved. (Psalm 55:22 NKJV)

If we love someone, we will not give up on them. If we love them, we will do what’s right for the sake of righteousness.

May we be merciful upon those who bring strife, upon those that seemingly make something out of nothing, upon those who fall away from what’s right to start walking, talking and acting as if they never knew God’s truths. If they are not a believer and follower of Christ, the fruit we show bears witness to Whom we belong to and how we live out life as an example.

We all hurt and express our pain and emotions in many ways. Through our longsuffering, love and patience with others, a heap of coals could be removed from their heads if we treat them in a Christ-like manner.

No one is perfect.

Jesus met us right where we were in all of our mess waiting to clean us up, love on us, be our Friend who would never lie to us just to make us feel better. He sharpens us more than any other friend we could ever have in our lives just to give us a life that would be easier to bear spiritually by living right and doing so accordingly.

Love Above All Else

20120810-090047.jpg

Meeting in the Clouds

While I’m not really sure where my recent fascination with clouds came from, I do know that I have always enjoyed looking at them since I was a kid. As of late, I have been going outside taking pictures of the sunsets or any type of cloud formation that I find interesting around the perimeters of my home. Occasionally I will take pictures if I am out with my family and my camera just so happens to tag along. This photography hobby has been keeping me preoccupied and it gives me a broader outlook when I capture God’s creations in still form.

I have noticed that the more I think about creation, it was and is by One source that all this came to be.

God created the heavens and the earth! I enjoy living simply in abundance of His blessings. Truly!!

There are some days that I find myself going to sit outside during the day or as the sun starts to set and have a “meeting in the clouds” with the Lord. I find myself singing or praying while smiling with a heart filled with gladness knowing that I have favor upon my life. What a reason to be thankful….. because He surely did not have to give me anything.

I take the time to converse with the Lord about my day, my thoughts and prayers for others who are in need of Him. Many are laying up in hospitals, some are literally lost due to being kidnapped, children are being forced in sex-trafficking, someone is plotting to take the lives of innocent people for no just cause, a new life has been brought into this world, a lost soul just gave their life to Christ after fighting the desire to live by the ways of this world. So much to think about. So much to be in prayer about. Much to rejoice in as well as times to mourn with others.

We only have one life to live. May we not take it for granted. It can disappear before our very eyes.

PRAYER IS KEY. It is our lifeline of communication with the Lord. It’s a time of communion and fellowship with our Creator.

Will we forsake the glorious ways of our God, his majestic splendor, his love and mercy? How awesome is He?!!

Our God is “the Man with the master plan”. He’s “all that and then some”. You get what I am saying.

Jesus tells us : Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Therefore do not worry, saying, What shall we eat? or What shall we drink? or What shall we wear? For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble. (Matthew 6:30-34 NKJV)

My front porch

So whether it is on your front porch, outside taking a stroll or just sitting still thinking, take some time to thank the Lord for all He has done. Today may not be all that it could be but at least you are still here. You can choose to make the best of it or wallow in pity. Someone has it worse right about now. Someone is on their death-bed and the clock still keeps ticking. When they pass on….. they will never be able to say that they wish they could have done things differently in their life. We all will go through various things in our life time. Storms do not last always. You cannot have a rainbow without the rain.

Make the best of today and live it like there is no tomorrow. God is good. He is faithful and He is present.

Creative photshop editing after a thunderstorm

Will you go meet Him in the clouds today?

Enjoy the slideshow of pictures (< link) amongst others that I have taken over time. I stand in awe of the works of His hands. What a wonderful God of heaven and earth!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

*Here’s a song I’d love to share with you. I can’t help but lift up my hands and worship the Lord for He is Glorious!