11.25.2012

Grace Makes Room

“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.”James 1:17

God in His gentle way teaches us Kingdom principles through the practical. Like Jesus Christ while He walked the earth taught the twelve disciples, and the throngs who followed through parables. He made it possible for those of us who hear to take His teachings and make them applicable in our everyday lives. He’s a multifaceted God with straightforward instructions. The Holy Spirit doesn’t write in secret code, or like a puzzle that is near impossible to figure out, or a hard to find treasure within its pages. No, He’s much more loving and compassionate than others speak, write, or teach of. Moreover, He’s approachable and accessible than other generations before us made Him to be.

In weeks prior, God was coaxing me through the Holy Spirit both directly and indirectly through others that I was to make room in my life and my family’s life for others. The crux of the matter was the loneliness of my only daughter who was experiencing sorrow in great measure with each week that passed. It was a challenge to say our goodnight hugs and kisses without us both crying.

For far too many reasons a second child was not considered. The most evident was the age of my husband and myself, though I know God has never been concerned with age. Abraham and Sarah were clearly a good example of this. Still, sometimes we humans are persistent on having things are own way. There are countless scenarios and reasons why we do or don't do certain things, but the gist of what I’m saying is that our current circumstances are not always God’s best for us.

You might ask the question could it be better, could things in my life be enhanced to a status of joy and blessings that I hadn’t even considered. The answer is, “Yes! Yes! Yes!” Not by way of things either. He is determined, if we are willing, to expand our territory so that we can share His overflow.

“I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” John 10:10b

Through the extra effort made of including others in my family’s life for the sake of my daughter it seemed that God was pleased and taking notice. Though at first there was some resistance, I was being strengthened by the Holy Spirit to a healthy stance that easily won over antiquated thinking and routines that were now of little or no value. Simply said, what worked before doesn't apply. And I sense that God is saying this to His children on many levels and in different situations. I’m getting it, and I hope you are too!

On an ordinary Thursday morning on route to a client's home I spotted a Corgi prancing down a dirt road into a high speed common thoroughfare. I stopped my car without even a thought, got out, and invited the lost dog in my SUV. She was beautiful, but certainly panting and in need of rest. My spirit was unusually joyful with a slight mixture of hesitation. I can only describe it as follows, I’ve been trying to have a baby and that was fun, but now the doctor just confirmed I’m pregnant. Uh oh! Now what do I do!

Long story short, she was pampered and treated at my Vet’s office as well as my home until the evening when her people claimed her by way of Craigslist. I know her family was over joyed to be reunited with Gracie. Meanwhile, my daughter was experiencing a broken heart. It was a tender moment though fortunately didn’t last long. Somehow Gracie’s presence in our hearts and home, though for a day, gave way to the possibility and truth that having a dog was a right choice for our family regardless of the many reasons why we thought it shouldn’t or couldn’t be. I made up my mind to find a four-legged canine to call our very own. Though in years past we preferred felines, and the year prior had said goodbye to our lifetime friend of 14 ½ years, we were ready to move forward and in a new direction. Bright and early the next day my daughter and I met up with friends and then headed off to the humane society and came home with a lovable, playful, and loyal pooch that is a perfect fit for our small family. Gracie made room for Molly*!
 
God’s grace can make room in our life for joy and blessings unspeakable. Grace is God’s unmerited favor, and something we don’t deserve, but God in his goodness and sweet nature makes it available through Christ Jesus.

Have you ever made a decision to make room for grace? Are you perhaps in a season of giving grace room to grow while you step down and surrender? Let God’s grace -- mercy, love, and forgiveness through Jesus -- make a difference in your life today, and in your eternity.

“John bore witness of Him and cried out, saying, "This was He of whom I said, 'He who comes after me is preferred before me, for He was before me.' “And of His fullness we have all received, and grace** for grace**. For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has seen God at any time. The only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him.” John 1:15-18

*pictured
**Greek Transliteration: charis khar'-ece: acceptable, benefit, favour, gift, grace(-ious), joy, liberality, pleasure, thank(-s, -worthy).

11.16.2012

Hinds Feet on High Places

A dramatic interpretation based on the allegory Hinds Feet on High Places by Hannah Hurnard.

Book Description The story of Much-Afraid and her journey to the High Places with the Shepherd. Filled with exciting adventure and a triumphant conclusion.

Much-Afraid had been in the service of the Chief Shepherd, whose great flocks were pastured down in the Valley of Humiliation. She lived with her friends and fellow workers Mercy and Peace in a tranquil little white cottage in the village of Much-Trembling. She loved her work and desired intensely to please the Chief Shepherd, but happy as she was in most ways, she was conscious of several things which hindered her in her work and caused her much secret distress and shame. Here is the allegorical tale of Much-Afraid, an every-woman searching for guidance from God to lead her to a higher place.

About the Author Hannah Hurnard suffered from many fears and phobias. She even developed a stuttering problem that got worse when she had to speak in front of strangers. By the time she was 19, Hannah was deeply depressed. She even considered suicide, but her fears prevented her. God received the sacrifice of Hannah’s speech problem and used it for His glory. He took away her stuttering, so that she was able to share the gospel with others clearly. The Bible became a treasure and a delight even though she continued to wrestle with a spirit of fear. Over time, however, Hannah found deliverance as she continued to follow the Lord in obedience. Later, she was to write the best selling Hinds' Feet on High Places as a result of her experiences with the Lord. She went to Israel as a missionary to the Jews in 1932, and lived there through the war for independence in 1948. In Israel, she served as a housekeeper in a hospital—a kind of work she had detested before her surrender, but now loved.

11.14.2012

My Steps Are Ordered

Psalm 37:23 "The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord, And He delights in his way."

I'm overwhelmed with the goodness of God and where He's taking me. My steps are ordered by the Lord! There is no height of joy or depth of pain that can separate me from His love and His divine destiny concerning my life. I have come a long way, my journey not an easy one, but oh it will be worth the victory when I see Him face to face!

While praising God in my car singing I Smile on this beautiful sunny day I was filled with the truth that Jesus Christ is the center of my life, He is on the throne of my heart and mind. He reigns in me!

But to encourage those today who are weak and weary and still searching, know that those who are called according to His purpose are to be confident that we are More Than Conquerors.

Amen!

My Steps are Ordered - Fred Hammond (4.26 on don't miss the end!)

God is asking the true followers of God to step out and be counted. He wants to finish the work in you so that you may go and be effective for Kingdom work.

Numbers 23:19 “God is not a man, that He should lie, Nor a son of man, that He should repent. Has He said, and will He not do? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?

Prayer: God the Creator, God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, be it unto to me what you have purposed. I set aside my plans. I empty myself. I wait for the answer(s). I wait upon the Lord that He may direct my steps. I thank you that in the waiting I am growing and your plans for me hopeful. I will not be discouraged. I disconnect from all disappointment and doubt. I cling to the cross and confident that Jesus is my hope, which does not disappoint. In Jesus' Name I pray!

Wherever and whatever season you're in you have reason to praise Him. Be intentional and seek out and recognize your blessings in the ordinary day. You'll find that thankfulness gives way to a better perspective and the bonus is it's contagious. Begin to disconnect from disappointment and doubt and cling to the cross today and everyday. Because of Christ's redemptive work (He calls us. He saves us. He empowers us.) we look to eternity, and in Him we have hope that does not disappoint.

Alleluia!
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