Who knows what lies ahead before you but God. You can be a risk taker by walking up to the door, opening it and walking through. Standing there won’t do much.
Faith without works is dead.
Like Esther, we can choose to do something about a situation we are faced with whether it’s good or bad.
Stepping out into unfamiliar territory can be scary. Even fearful. Ok maybe out of sheer laziness you just don’t want to do it. How about you are simply procrastinating. Raise your hand if I’m taking to you! (I raised mine.)
For a time such as this you may be called out to reach out to an enemy to bless them and pray for them.
For a time such as this the Lord may be calling you out to do a home Bible study, start a mens/womens ministry, go into the mission field where it may be dangerous. Thinking about giving up on love after a messy divorce? He can restore that calloused heart back to one that’s softened to one day bless with you that future spouse that was meant for you.
I can list a number of scenarios but the question that remains is: will you do it? Will you step forward no matter the cost? If God has called you to it He will equip you to get you through it. The Lord had a friend speak into my life many of times about some things and I kept brushing them off. I began to get the same things spoken into my life from others who didn’t know. The Lord even began to speak to me through devotionals.
I was like “Are you serious?!!”
I thank God that He’s loving, kind and patient. He won’t give up on you and the purpose for why He chose you.
God can do all things but fail. Trust Him even when you can’t see what will happen next. It’s not faith when you can see it. Step forward even if you are afraid to. If I can you can too.
Obedience is key. We will never know the impact that can be made in someone’s life if we choose not to move. I encourage you to move forward even if you have to do it afraid .
Blessings to you,
Honestly…we will not always know what life will bring or where it will take us. But rest assured, we are safe when following the guidance of the Lord. Our safety will not necessarily come packaged the way we think.
Do you trust Him enough to walk into the unknown, to move into areas you are not familiar with?
However it may come and whatever it may be we can move in strength. His strength.
Over the past couple months I have found myself moving for Him, stopping for Him, loving for Him and being alone with Him. I want to bring Him glory and honor. I want to be all that I am called to be in this life. I know that I won’t always get it right or do it right the first time but I push myself to go the distance however long it may take.
Dear loves remember that every road taken will not be easy. You may even find yourself facing obstacles and roadblocks. You even may find yourself hurt emotionally and physically along the way.
Believe me. I know all too well.
As children of the Lord, we will suffer because He suffered. Following Him comes with a cost but remember that the reward outweighs it all. In the end our treasures will be greater than what we can ever imagine.
Will you still go? Will you stop when the going gets tough?
Sometimes we will be taken out of our comfort zones. Expect it. You can’t grow doing the exact same thing or stay in the exact same place expecting bigger and better results. Do take note that the small results are just as important if not more important.
Faith the size of a mustard seed can move mountains. Obedience stretches us while teaching us some very valuable lessons. So whether it’s a lesson for us personally or a blessing for another to gain, God gets the glory from it all.
Our Lord will sustain you on your journey. He will not leave you without His strength for the road ahead.
Just take a deep breath, exhale and keep going.
The Lord God is my Strength, my personal bravery, and my invincible army; He makes my feet like hinds’ feet and will make me to walk [not to stand still in terror, but to walk] and make [spiritual] progress upon my high places [of trouble, suffering, or responsibility]! (Habakkuk 3:19 AMP)
Isaiah 26:3-4 AMP
You will guard him and keep him in perfect and constant peace whose mind [both its inclination and its character] is stayed on You, because he commits himself to You, leans on You, and hopes confidently in You. So trust in the Lord (commit yourself to Him, lean on Him, hope confidently in Him) forever; for the Lord God is an everlasting Rock [the Rock of Ages].
I just have to praise the Lord in the highest form….. Hallelujah!! Hallelujah, Thank you Jesus! We are here today alive and well. Won’t you give Him some praise?
“Dear Father, I just want to give thanks for all that You are and all that you do. My life is worthless without You and your presence. Lord, we as a people need your perfect peace. We need your steadfast and unmovable peace that only You can provide. Lord I thank you for being a hedge of protection over me, my family, friends, neighbors, the homeless, the sick and shut-in, the weary and downtrodden, the orphaned child walking the streets, the prostitute and girls being freed from human trafficking. I thank you for making a way through your people who bring the Gospel to the foreign lands where You are not known speaking in love telliing of Your love, sovereignty and Son who died for our sins. I speak peace, love, hope and strength and comfort into these very lives today. May our boldness and courage grow stronger daily as we seek You. You are the Rock of Ages. None can compare! Our trust is in you. Our minds are stayed on Your everlasting truths and promise. Jehovah-jireh is Your name. Indeed You are our Provider. Glory and honor be to Your name always and forever. Be lifted up higher and higher. Amen”
With my soul have I desired thee in the night; yea, with my spirit within me will I seek thee early: for when thy judgments are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness. Isaiah 26:9 KJV
I simply cannot explain these feelings that have been welling up in my soul lately as we approach Christmas. While Jesus is the reason for the season, like a flower blooming petal after petal, a swarming of love and adoration for Christ has covered me like an abundance of sweet honey reserved just for the best. Jesus Christ is our best. He is the greatest gift we could ever receive. Not just for Christmas, but for all time.
All I need for Christmas is Jesus.
Teaching my children why we celebrate Christmas is very important. While decorating for the holidays, giving and receiving gifts comes with tradition, the main focus is on Christ and His coming to earth in the form of man. (starting off as a baby of course). Lately I have being drawing closer to Him asking that my eyes be opened like never before and that my ears be tentative to my surroundings. Having a little talk with Jesus is like chicken noodle soup for the soul. That’s just my opinion.
I remember some years ago that I would become overwhelmed with the Christmas season approaching. It was more emotional than physical. I would become saddened and somewhat lethargic. I say this because my eyes were set on the wrong things and I was always “thirsty”.
I’m not one to do the Christmas shopping in my house for the most part. Thankfully it has always been my husband because no one would get anything most likely had it been left up to me to go out in the chaos and mass of people rushing, shoving, cursing and just flat-out been mean-spirited. Plus, I don’t have that kind of patience. Having 5 babies back to back kept me busy so it just became easier for my dear husband to do. I digress but for a moment!
My thoughts always went back to my childhood. While I had a pretty decent life growing up, I always felt something missing.
Jesus wasn’t there.
Feeling confused and happy at the same time was just weird. Plain old strange and yet I managed to get through another holiday season. I could not wait for the holidays to pass.
Recently, my heart was on a couple of senior citizens who were in need of some items that they needed. It was an article I caught in the newspaper that came from the aid of the Salvation Army. I told my husband about it and that I wanted to sponsor the people’s needs. While my eyes glazed over the many people young and old with a wish list, I wondered even more about those lost. The lost who needed Jesus; the very One who is our ever-present help, comfort and aid.
I began to cry. Not just because some cannot afford material needs and wants, but that many go lacking without a Savior.How often we walk daily without Him. As Christians and sinners alike ,but first as human beings, we find ourselves at times trying to do things on our own. We try to make things happen within our own power and might. We fix our eyes on higher prizes and treasures beyond our means. Some are just desires to want, want,want. Fleshly things. Things that will pass. Treasures that will not go with us on a U-Haul when we leave this old world.
Getting caught up over-shopping and over-spending will give anyone a headache and then possible regret for debt than may take a while to pay off when we “rob Peter to pay Paul”. That’s a saying I got from my Mom. Maybe you’ve heard of it before.
Nevertheless, we need peace and true joy. It can only be found in Christ Jesus. He will make us whole. He can satisfy our deepest needs. Will you invite Him into your life? Will you allow God to direct your life, your finances, your will, wants and your plans that they will align with His?
While I am not attempting to take away your joy of shopping for your friends and loved ones, I just want to provide you with the opportunity to receive the greatest gift of all this year as we bring 2013 to a close. Health may have fallen, bills may be behind and loved ones may have turned their backs on you but know that there is a risen Savior who is waiting to receive you today.
I want to share with you a song I heard on the radio yesterday. I don’t drive much if I can help it but when I do, I tend to listen to uplifting music to carry me throughout my day. This song about had me in tears. No matter what we are going through, we must know that we cannot do anything in this life without the Lord no matter how hard we try. I know for myself that I cannot walk without Him holding my hand. This song has become one of my favorite and it lingers within me to the point of praise.
All we NEED for Christmas is Jesus Christ. If we trust God, He will provide all that we need and bless us with our wants. By His grace we have what we have. May we be thankful for the little and great. Be blessed one and all. You are loved, cherished and prayed for.
“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?” But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.” Matthew 6: 26, 33 NKJV
To God be the glory now and forevermore,
He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. (John 7:38 KJV)
Photo credit: self/Divine Creations Photography
New King James Version (NKJV)
21And He changes the times and the seasons;
He removes kings and raises up kings;
He gives wisdom to the wise
And knowledge to those who have understanding.
God surely has a divine way of drawing us to Him through various cirmcumstances. Some of us will yeild right away and some of us won’t. I can honestly say that in the last week I have gone through some challenging times emotionally and physically. Good and not so good.
Routinely my family and I always have morning prayer together before we part ways for the day. Christ Jesus is our Foundation. We cannot stand without Him in our lives. This world is so broken and full of evil and idolatry. It would be selfish of us to only pray for ourselves so we always ask the Lord to work in the lives of others who are going through something whether it’s here in America or in another part of the world. My kids pray for their schools, teachers and classmates as well as themselves, asking that God be with them as a light shining around those they encounter personally or from a distance. They know that being a Christian that they are set apart when they choose to live for Him and not others.
In general, it is hard to see people self destructing. My heart aches to see people I love and care about just give up on life, to give up on God, to give up fighting for what’s right especially when it is so easy to follow the ways of the world and what it’s doing.
I have been very sensitive the last couple of days seeing the hand of God moving in my emotions and thought pattern. I am naturally a sensitive person who can cry “at the drop of a dime.” (is that saying correct?) My Lord surely has heard my grief and my prayers. He has also heard my praise and rejoicing. Things have been changing to a point that I really cannot put into words how His PEACE has kept me daily. I have cried out and asked the Lord to provide; to make my path known and clear. I have asked for wisdom and courage. His strength carries me in such a way that I cannot help but sing praises unto Him even if the water seems troubled.
Time after time God will remind me that He is in control. Not I. He will allow things to happen for a reason. I have to step aside and allow Him to do what He does best. All I have to do is trust and obey.
Some things have been going on in the life of my family back home. It has bothered me, it has even angered me and it has also brought me to tears. One thing I have not ceased to stop doing is praying. Not just for my parents and siblings but that also for extended family. As the days have passed and I continue to seek the Lord, I am starting to see more of my purpose and what He has called me to. My life at times seems to be an open book. This transparency seems to pour out with more courage as I share my faith, my hope and my trust in the Lord even when I fall or see myself falling into fear.
Amongst many things that I have faced, I have not stopped praising the Lord. Even when I do not see the outcome or have seen the fruit of my labor for some years now, I STILL trust The Almighty to work things out as He sees fit.
The seeds have been planted.
“Have Your way Lord! May I not trust in my own thoughts, plans and understanding but may they be of Yours for they far outweigh mine!”
Recently I learned that my dear mother has been bleeding internally and has had to get a blood transfusion. That stopped me dead in my tracks as I am listening over the phone to what has been going on. The first thing I thought was Cancer because she has battled various types since I was 13yrs of age. This woman has gone through some stuff. While I have yet to know what is going on, I am relieved that she is doing better. It’s hard not being close to home. She lives in Ohio and I in North Carolina. One thing I rest in is that prayer travels instantly. I do not have to be with someone in the physical for God to hear my prayers and before He lays His mighty hand upon them.
There is POWER in prayer. There is POWER in Jesus’ name which is above every name. Hallelujah!!! When I pray, it’s like a fire shut up in my bones that I just have to release. I can’t keep Jesus to myself. I can’t keep the goodness of the Lord covered. I have to let it out so that the world may know whether they receive it or not.
Dear reader, I encourage you to seek God and praise Him for the unknown and the unanswered. Remember that His timing is not ours and even if He does not answer know that there is a reason behind. So do not worry about things you cannot change. Pray and move on.
Related post: Bring the Rain
In one of those moments when I am unsure of myself, God sends reminders that He will be with me if I just be obedient. I don’t have to wait to see the outcome to trust Him. Faith is the step I take when it comes to the unknown. A couple of days ago I noticed my purple iris flowers budding and then one in full bloom early this morning as I got the kids off to school so I grabbed my camera as I gave kisses, hugs and words of blessings in route to them walking up the driveway.
This is the second part of my testimony.
The first part began a few years ago as I found myself always posting a message of encouragement to others on Facebook. Little did I know or realize that I was being watched. My words were taking root in the heart of many. My passion had always been in the children’s ministry at church. Babies have pretty much been my soft spot since a teen so I found myself nurturing that profession. Well one day a pastor’s wife that I am friends with pointed out this gift of exhortation that I seemingly carry.( this just shows how much I pay attention or at least paid attention to what I was saying and doing because it flowed naturally out of me. The pure joy I felt inside every morning I could not help but pour out to the world of Facebook people I encountered so I had no motives to gain attention of self but of the joy of the Lord.)
Before I knew it, things began to change as I learned things about myself in the Lord. Not exactly like a snowball effect but to some extent it seemed that way. Facebook would become something of the past for me. Little did I know I would be blogging and getting into photography. Now please hear me out. I am not tooting my horn because I have not one to toot! I went through some thangs! Happy, sad, frustrated, a little depression, lack of patience and confusion all mixed up into one. God was shifting me and taking me out of my comfort zone.
“What do I know about photography and blogging?” I asked myself. “Nothing!” All that I knew was that things were changing and I was uncomfortable with it initially. The blogging came first. The photography a little ways down the road. Oh my gosh! Tylenol became my BFF for a little while but in the process God brought people into my life to help me along the way! Thank you Lord!
Okay I see that I have 15 minutes to wrap this up before it hits midnight my time so let me get to my point.
I have a purpose for this post. God has placed upon my heart to open up a Testimony page/corner. Now I am still a bit lost at times on this blog set-up page but I know that I will figure it out soon. Now the reason is to encourage His children to always remember that His hand has been on you. Not just during the good times but just as much during the hard times. Our words carry weight. Our words can empower one another to press on and push through. We all have a testimony to at least ONE thing He has done in our lives right?!! I know there are more than just one because if we think back on how He saved us, provided for us and our families and our friends, the events we see on tv knowing that it was no one but Him who brought a miracle to light right before our very own eyes.
He has healed the sick when a doctor cannot begin to explain how someone’s body turned around miraculously. It was Jesus! It was He who placed it on the heart of others to financially bless someone who was in need. The spoken word, the seeds planted, the many prayers calling out to Him for a loved one to give their life over to Him for years had been answered, rebellious children, addiction to drugs and alcohol, broken relationships, homelessness, widowed etc. Do you see where I am going with this? I hope so!
We need to share with one another the goodness of the Lord. Whether it’s something that He done in our lives or that of someone we know we ought to share it. Give Him the honor and glory!! May we as brothers and sisters lift one another up in prayer and to also rejoice with one another when God has done great things!
With this said, had I not complied with the Lord and followed His guidance, I would not be here blogging today. I would not be finding myself outside in the rain, the heat and the snow taking pictures of any and everything! What I thought would never be possible for myself to say or do when put on the spot (in my own thinking) , God already provided. I just needed to walk in the direction He sent me and He would speak for me. He would show His love through my typing, my heart and my compassion as well as my desire to capture the nature of His creations on camera that was freely given to us. There are so many things that we take for granted. It’s good to sit still and just listen instead of telling Him what we think we can not do like Moses for example.
10 Moses said to the Lord, “Pardon your servant, Lord. I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since you have spoken to your servant. I am slow of speech and tongue.” 11 The Lord said to him, “Who gave human beings their mouths? Who makes them deaf or mute? Who gives them sight or makes them blind? Is it not I, the Lord? 12 Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say.”
We really have no excuse now do we? God will equip His servants. He will not leave us stranded or abandoned. He provides and is faithful as always. He keeps His word. I stepped out so here I am! Far from being a public speaker or famed writer but I speak from the heart and with truth of the things placed upon me to do. I am just a willing vessel wanting to share the goodness of the Lord and what He has done in my life in hopes to inspire another soul to be encouraged.
And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. Romans 8:28
Can I get an AMEN?!!
I look forward to setting up a page or at least a continual post so that we can fellowship with one another and share our testimonies! God is good all the time and all the time God is GOOD!
*My time has run out 29 minutes ago. Sorry!
Blessings one and all in Christ Jesus….
I posted these pictures on my photography blog if you care to follow or take a look a more I have not posted here. Thanks in advance. 🙂
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?
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,
- Be Still: In the Light of His Presence (livingsimplyinabundance.wordpress.com)