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Thursday, March 26, 2015

Your Love never fails

 I've been reading on prayer.  Why pray if God already knows what is going to happen?  Does prayer change God or does it change me?  Does it bring my will more in line with His or am I praying to change His will?

In my struggles to understand prayer more, I have come across one complete truth - God's love.  God doesn't withhold things from us because he loves us less.  He Loves us completely and His love will never fail.  Things we pray for may not be in His will.  He may allow hard times in order to teach us to lean into Him more.  

Truth - bad things happen.  We live in a fallen world.  

Truth - God loves us.  His love will never fail.

When we don't get the answers or results we want, we think God loves us less than others.  We think our sin is keeping us from His blessings or from His favor.  If you read the Bible you will see that God used BROKEN, messed up people to carry out his ministry.  He left it in the hands of 12 men who were imperfect.  Who sinned.  Men who denied him, doubted him, questioned him.  

Realizing this made me realize its ok to question God.  Its ok to doubt Him and wonder why things happen.  The one thing it doesn't do is change the one thing that remains:  His love never fails, it never gives up, it never runs out on me!!
 I love music.  Music brings me to a place of complete surrender to God.  This song by Kristian Stanfill and the Passion Band brought me to tears.  I sat, listened, raised my arms and closed my eyes and sat in the presence of Jesus this morning.  I share it with you hoping you realize what I did this morning...The Great Love of Jesus for ME!  Doesn't matter what I'm going through, what prayers I'm not getting answers to - the one thing that remains is Gods love for me.  

So, why pray? Because it aligns my will with the will of my Father.  Even Jesus struggled in the garden of Gethsemane - begging God to take the cup away from him - the imminent beatings and death on the cross.  But, in submission, "Your will, not mine, be done, on earth as it is in heaven".  That's my prayer.  Your will God be done.  But, through it all, I know that He loves me.  That will never change!

Monday, March 23, 2015

Chasing God

Psalm 23:6 (msg)  "Your beauty and love chase after me every day of my life"

Wow!!  That verse in that version stood out to me today. 

We all know Psalm 23 - The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not a way it has become the go to Christian verse quoted when someone is going through a hard time, is experiencing difficult circumstances and we don't know what else to say.  We even pray it ourselves. 

But, reading it in a new context, in a different version of the Bible, it shows me how much God CHASES after ME!

Yes - he chases me.  What an awesome feeling.  He has made a way for me of soft bedding and abundant resources - he feeds me and gives me living water "You find me quiet pools to drink from".  He is at my side, guiding and directing my steps, even when the way seems dark.

When I start to stray, he gently pulls me back with is Shepherd's crook.  When my head hangs in shame or in sadness, he lifts me up and fills my cup with overflowing blessings.

And He chases me.  He longs to be with me.  Spend time with me. Speak to me. Shelter me.

As a single woman, I've found that my eyes get downcast when I feel no one here sees me.  I have prayed for and longed for a Godly man to want to chase me.  For a man who longs to spend time with me.  Who will want to shelter me.  But, today - today God showed me I have that and have had it all along. 

I have the Prince of Peace, the Alpha and Omega, Mighty God, Lord of Everything, The Great I am chasing me, protecting me and loving me every minute of every day.  What more could I want??  Psalm 23:1 says "I dont' need a thing".

Taking time to sit down and re-read a verse with new eyes has given me new hope.  Hope that God knows what He's doing and while I wait, He is sheltering me, protecting me, and leading me. 

Feeling pretty blessed today!! And abundantly loved!

Friday, March 6, 2015

I may be weak

I've been in a situation where I've had to deal with difficult relationships.   We all go through it at one point or another in our lives.

As parents, we want the best for our kids.  We want them to have healthy relationships that build them up, that encourage them, that are positive and caring.  But sometimes they allow people into their lives that are toxic.  

This toxicity causes problems with parents, with siblings, with the other friends they have.  It brings them down and turns them into someone we don't even recognize.

I'm seeing it happen  - evil corrupts good more often than good changes evil.  Lies are told, secrets are kept.  Nothing about the relationship is healthy. 

What, as parents, do we do?  How  do we get our youth to see what we see? How do we protect them from the inevitable hurt we see coming?  

I don't have that answer.  I pray.  A lot.  I counsel and say the hard stuff that they don't want to hear- and it makes them mad and pushes them away.  "I don't' want to talk to you anymore".  "I can't stand you - get away from me".  or we get SILENCE.  Deafening silence.  Withdrawal.  

I sat down to journal this morning and Proverbs 3:5 popped into my head - as clear as if someone spoke it to me.

   Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean NOT on your own     understanding.  In all your ways, acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.

 God has the answers.  I think when we look at our teens and wonder what in the world they are thinking, God looks at us at times and wonders the same thing.  My child, if you would only listen to me, you wouldn't go through this pain and hurt.  My child, you may not understand what I'm doing, but TRUST me, my ways are not your ways.   My child, I love you.  I'm not trying to keep you from good, I'm trying to keep you from harm.  

God loves us MORE than we love our own kids.  He can see where we are going and what we are about to encounter.  He wants to guide us just like we want to guide our kids.  But, unfortunately, just like our kids, we don't want to listen at times.  We think we GOT THIS.  We can make our own decisions and do what we want and we will be fine.  Oh, as I look back on my life, I wish I could take back so many of MY decisions!!  And, as parents to teenagers, we see where they are headed and know that someday they will look back and wish the same thing - that they had listened to wisdom and truth.

So, take heart parents.  If you are struggling with a rebellious teen - take it to God.  He understands.  He deals with us daily.  We can be rebellious too.  He can guide your paths because He knows what you are going through.

As I was journaling, I heard the words "I may be weak" made me think of an Elevation Worship song "Give me faith".  Watch it below.  Let it be the prayer of your heart today.