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Archive for March, 2017

Good morning friends, Today I risk the simplicity of sharing this message. I do know what it is like to walk with a broken heart, and would never want to be insensitive to the pain of others. But it is my hope that you will be lifted as I was today when a friend reminded me of the nearness and the power of Jesus. 

 In the familiar story of the paralyzed man lying by the pool of Bethesda, Jesus asks the profound question:

“Do you want to be made well?”

Thirty eight years this man had been suffering, waiting for help, watching others thoughtlessly pushby him, ignoring his pain and need. 

His response: “Sir, I have no man to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up; but while I am coming, another steps down before me.”

Oh friends, how often we look to others to help us, convincing ourselves that our wholeness is dependent upon their words, their actions and relationship with us. How we have believed our continued brokenness is the result of the thoughtlessness of others .

Jesus said to him, “Rise, take up your bed and walk.”  And immediately the man was made well, took up his bed, and walked.

Lord Jesus, help us see today where our hope is directed, show us if we looking for help from another to finally ease the brokenness in our lives. Reveal to us, in Your kindness that You are standing here before us, You have proclaimed that You are very near to the brokenhearted and that in You presence we can truly “rise up and walk”.

 

 

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Isaiah 29:13 “…their hearts were far from Me”

Luke 13:34   “…how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing”.

Oh my friends, if we could only come to believe that we, (and those we loved), were not created to just be good husbands or wives, good fathers or mothers, good sons or daughters…good anything…but that we were in fact, created for Love.

Ah, to live as though we knew that our destiny was to be loved by Perfect Love, and then that we would live out our live’s destiny by loving Him and all those around us.

This is the heart of “Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done…”

This is the reason that “the gates of Hell shall not prevail against it…”.

This is the Battle that we were born into on this planet, (the enemy has been on a mission to deceive us about Him from the beginning in the Garden).

And that Battle is: To know and make known the truth of who God is. The truth that He is in fact Love.       1 John 4:8

I recently shared at a Women’s Retreat, a message  that I have become convinced is the heart of the Lord for us.

“What If I Really Believed I Was Loved By God?” (available in CDs at familyministries.com)

We spent 3 days together looking into the Word and praying that the truth of God’s Love would heal, delight, change and empower us to live the lives for which we were created.

The following devotion from Ransomed Heart Ministries echoes that same heart cry.

What does God want from us?

“The gospel says that we, who are God’s beloved, created a cosmic crisis. It says we were stolen from our True Love and that He launched the greatest campaign in the history of the world to get us back. God created us for intimacy with Him. When we turned our back on Him He promised to come for us. He sent personal messengers; He used beauty and affliction to recapture our hearts. After all else failed, He conceived the most daring of plans. Under the cover of night He stole into the enemy’s camp incognito, the Ancient of Days disguised as a newborn. The Incarnation, as Philip Yancey reminds us, was a daring raid into enemy territory. The whole world lay under the power of the evil one and we were held in the dungeons of darkness. God risked it all to rescue us. Why? What is it that He sees in us that causes Him to act the jealous lover, to lay siege both on the kingdom of darkness and on our own idolatries—not to annihilate, but to win us once again for Himself? This fierce intention, this reckless ambition that shoves all conventions aside, willing literally to move heaven and earth.  

We’ve been offered many explanations. From one religious camp we’re told that what God wants is obedience, or sacrifice, or adherence to the right doctrines, or morality. Those are the answers offered by conservative churches. The more therapeutic churches suggest that no, God is after our contentment, or happiness, or self-actualization, or something else along those lines. He is concerned about all these things, of course, but they are not His primary concern. What He is after is us—our laughter, our tears, our dreams, our fears, our heart of hearts.

Remember his lament in Isaiah, that though his people were performing all their duties, “their hearts are far from me”.

How few of us truly believe this. We’ve never been wanted for our heart, our truest self, not really, not for long. The thought that God wants our heart seems too good to be true.”

Father, I pray that Your Spirit would war over us to convince us of Your Love. I pray that the miracle of believing Your Love would create new brain pathways in us and cause us to become powerful in the battles we face. I pray, believing it is Your delight and intention to do this, in Jesus’ Name and  authority,   Amen

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Good morning friends, I don’t know about you, but I was raised in a denominational church in which Lent was offered as a lovely spiritual practice. I don’t remember understanding anything about it really (except I was supposed to give up sugar or TV or something like that); my parents weren’t believers, but my sweet mama took the three of us girls to church because I’m sure she thought it the right thing to do. That actually defines a lot of my life now that I come to think of it…” I’m not sure why I am doing this, or not doing that, it just seemed the right thing to do”.  As I read this devotion today by David Timms, it made be hunger (no pun intended) to understand this invitation to intentionally setting apart a season to make room to hear from the Lord by saying “no” to something and “yes” to Him. Will it be saying “no” to something I eat or something I do or a way I think…(this may be anxiety or fear or an orientation to protect and provide for myself). I am asking Jesus about that right now. I just know I want to see Him more.

I hope this encourages you as it did me.

“Can you see anything now?” (Mark 8:23)

In one of the more unusual miracles in His ministry, Jesus takes a blind man by the hand, spits on his eyes…lays His hands on the man, and asks this simple question: “Can you see anything now?”

It strikes us as unusual because the man does not experience immediate and full healing. He sees better, but everything is still rather fuzzy. So Jesus lays His hands on the man’s eyes a second time to fully restore his sight. We have a rare instance of a two-part miracle.

Today is…the first day of Lent. Many of us may start this season of fasting with less than 20/20 spiritual sight. We face challenges. We carry concerns. We lack clarity. We have questions.

If only we could see better.

Perhaps you have decided to observe Lent this year because something significant looms before you. Or perhaps you’ve been stuck in spiritual apathy. That happens to us all from time to time. A cloud descends upon us like the fog that rolls in overnight. We didn’t see it coming, but when we head out the door in the morning we feel rather engulfed by a certain gloominess; disconnected from the brilliant sunshine that we’ve experienced at other times.

If only we could see better.

In so many ways, the unnamed man in the Gospel story serves as a metaphor for us all. The blind man knew of Jesus, but couldn’t see Him. Don’t we have similar days?

If we started Lent today with the assumption that we should have all of our spiritual ducks in a row, this simple short story comes with great encouragement. While we may struggle to see Christ, He is nonetheless with us. And while we may feel the burden of suffering, He comes to us with compassion and healing. It may not happen overnight, but we will see.

On this Ash Wednesday — a day of penitence — perhaps it’s our sin that has kept us from seeing Jesus. Take a moment, confess your sin, repent of your sin, and turn afresh to Him with a soul ready to receive grace and a heart eager once more for His Presence.

We will see better.”

It is His heart to reveal Himself to us. With much affection, Beverly

 

 

 

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