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Archive for January, 2015

We Have A Choice

Dear Friends,

As I read this devotion today I was greatly encouraged. In this world we will have tribulations, we just will. But we are not domed to be overwhelmed by them. Jesus reminds us that we have complete control over our hearts. We can turn the eyes of our hearts in any direction: to the problem and rehearse the difficulty, or to Him and be at peace. I am praying even now as you read this, that whatever difficulty you may be facing, you will choose to strengthen your soul and turn to Jesus. His love for you overshadows any trial. It is not that we just “don’t be anxious”, rather we continue to turn our eyes to the One Who loves us, and has promised to work all things for our good.

Psalm 16:8 ” I keep my eyes always on the LORD. With Him at my right hand, I will not be shaken.”

You Have A Choice   by John Bevere

Personally, I find one of the most startling things Jesus says tucked away at the end of the fourteenth chapter of John. He is preparing his closest friends (and soon-to-be-successors) for his departure. They still don’t believe or don’t want to believe he’s leaving. Here is what Jesus says to them (and to us):

“Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” (John 14:27)

 

Wait—do not let your heart be troubled? I thought to myself, We have a choice? We let our hearts be troubled? I’ve always assumed it was the other way around—that trouble strikes in some form or other, and our hearts simply respond by being troubled. I’ll bet this is how you look at it, too. Trouble descends upon you: your house is robbed, your daughter gets pregnant, you lose your job. In that moment are you thinking, “This doesn’t have to take me out. I’m not going to let my heart be troubled. No way”. We think “troubled heart” is unavoidable, appropriate even. But Jesus is talking about his coming torture, his death, and, following that, his departure from them. On a scale of personal crises, this is a ten. Yet he says, don’t let your hearts be troubled.

 Friends, this is important.  You have a say in what your heart gives way to.

 

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I was at our Ranch in California over Christmas, I wanted to  bring to my old home the rejoicing and worship I have come to live in since our time here in Colorado. I asked the Holy Spirit to help me, to usher me into praise.

There was no one home that morning as I walked around my living room. I had come here a hundred times before to have  my “quiet times”….I said out loud: “This is going to be different than before…mama is worshiping out loud now, because  I need to get past my mind and worship in my spirit.” 

Often when I have tried to “Rejoice evermore” I have been plagued in my thoughts with “this isn’t real, you don’t really feel this.”

Well. what my mind says is real and what my feelings are haven’t historically been that impressive.

So, I will shout out what is true, and I will sing out what is true, what my Father has shown me in the Word to be true,

what Jesus has revealed about Himself by His Spirit to be true.

I will get past my unreliable mind and speak so my spirit can hear.

I will rejoice in Your presence…In Your presence is fullness of joy.

Psalm 98:4-9

Shout to the Lord, all the earth;
    break out in praise and sing for joy!
Sing your praise to the Lord with the harp,
    with the harp and melodious song,
with trumpets and the sound of the ram’s horn.
    Make a joyful symphony before the Lord, the King!

Let the sea and everything in it shout his praise!
    Let the earth and all living things join in.
Let the rivers clap their hands in glee!
    Let the hills sing out their songs of joy
before the Lord,

Friends, I invite you to join me, to join the sea and the hills and the whole earth and sing and shout joyfully to the Lord.

Maybe our quiet times shouldn’t be so quiet.

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I read this excerpt from John Eldridge’s “Beautiful Outlaw” and am so grateful that the Lord is leading me into this lovely way of life. It is all so much more magnificent and more simple than we know.

Love HIm.

The best thing you can do at this point is simply begin to love Jesus.

Just love him.

It will open up your heart and soul to experiencing him, and to receiving his life. Just begin to make a practice of loving Jesus. As I’m driving in my car, I will simply tell him, “I love you.” Not once…but over and over again: “I love, I love you, I love you.” It turns my whole being toward him in love. When I wake up and the sunshine is pouring through the window, I’ll say,   “I love you.”  I’ll look at a photograph of some fond memory, or some beautiful place, and I’ll say, “I love you.”                        A breeze will caress my face ever so gently, and I’ll turn into it and say, “I love you.”                                             Anytime something makes me laugh…when I enjoy a movie. I love you, I love you, I love you.           

Find a few worship songs that lift your heart. Linger with them, play them over and over, and simply tell Jesus you love him. Put them on your iPod; play them in your car. The more you practice this, the richer it becomes.

 

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