Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘It’s All About Jesus’ Category

Good morning friends. Lately I have become so aware of the power of and the battle in our minds. While reading the book “Switch on Your Brain” by Dr. Caroline Leaf , I see how scripture instructs and encourages us that by the power of God’s Spirit we CAN change the way we think and therefore the way we live. I cannot encourage you enough to read this book. Also below is an excerpt from the book “Becoming Myself ” by Stasi Eldredge. ( I added a few modifications) ” In order for us to live in freedom and become the people we are to become, we need to receive God’s love even in our lowest places. Spiritual warfare is designed to separate you from the love of God. Its goal is to keep you from living in the freedom that Jesus has purchased for you. Satan whispers to us when we have failed or sinned or are feeling horrid that we are nothing and no one. He is a liar. And our fight for our freedom involves exposing him for who he is even when the lies feel completely true. The battle is waged and won in our thought life: in our minds and in our hearts. So what are you thinking? (right now.) Descartes famously wrote, “I think, therefore I am.” How about you? What re you thinking? Fill-in-the-blank in each phrase. I think I am ______, therefore I am ______. I think I am kind, therefore I am kind. I think I am chosen, therefore I am chosen. I think I am becoming more loving, therefore I am becoming more loving….or I think I am forever bound to sin, therefore I am forever bound to sin. I think I will never be able to love the way they need love, I think my marriage was a mistake so I should never hope for more. I can’t stand my job, my house , my body…. What we think about ourselves, others, or a circumstance literally informs our brain as to how we will perceive it, which informs the way we experience it. Our thoughts are crucial. ” We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” (2 Cor. 10:5) We see here that the enemy will first plant thoughts in our hearts that are not true about God. That’s what he did in the garden in the first of countless attacks against God’s children. Basically it was this: “He doesn’t really want your good, He is not for you” So, what do you think about God? What do you think about who are you to Him? What do you think life is about? What do you think is true? Because what you think informs your reality and has a direct effect on how you live your life. What we focus on, we move toward. What we look at, esteem, molds us in its direction. What we think is true plays out in our moment-by-moment existence.” Oh friends, there is so much hope that we can live more freely than we have ever known. Ask the Lord today to help you believe what is true. I am praying that for you right now.

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

We often host weddings out here on our Ranch. This morning my Reb and I were helping lay tablecloths on a dozen tables for the event. The wind was making it difficult for me to lay the cloths correctly, but I  watched my Reb do it with ease.

“How are doing that!” I asked.  “I made the wind my Ally”, he said.

I watched as he stood and found the direction of the wind and used the wind to lay the cloths perfectly.

“I made the wind my Ally.”

I felt the Lord speak to my heart: “You will have winds in your life, storms, difficulties… But you can make them your allies, you can make them work for you rather than struggling against them. Recognize the direction the wind is coming from and use it to bring your heart to Me, to My love.”

Oh my friends, I know there is wind in your lives; many of you are buffeted by great winds. I am praying for you right now that you will not struggle by facing the wind, but turn your back to it and let it bring you to the loving arms of Jesus.

”I have said these things to you, that in Me you may have peace. In this world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

Take heart. Make the wind your Ally.

Read Full Post »

I listen to a Daily Devotional, “Solid Joy”, by John Piper. I had to share this one with you my friends. You see, I believe the Word is given to us not to “show us how to live our lives”, or to give us the rules to be a “good Christian”, oh no, but rather for the one marvelous purpose of revealing God…revealing who He is and what His heart is for us. This morning it was His pleasure to open my eyes again to who He is. Oh, I love Him.

“Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.” (Luke 12:32)

The reason God wants us not to be afraid concerning money or other things of the world is because that fearlessness — that freedom from anxiety — will magnify five great things about him.

First, not being afraid shows that we treasure God as our Shepherd. “Fear not, little flock.” We are his flock and he is our Shepherd. And if he is our Shepherd, then Psalm 23:1 applies: “The Lord is my Shepherd; I shall not want” — that is, I shall not lack anything I truly need.

Second, not being afraid shows that we treasure God as our Father. “It is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.” We are not only his little flock; we are also his children, and he is our Father. He really cares and really knows what you need and will work for you to be sure that you have what you need.

Third, not being anxious shows that we treasure God as King. “Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.” He can give us the “kingdom” because he is the King. This adds a tremendous element of power to the one who provides for us. “Shepherd” connotes protection and provision. “Father” connotes love and tenderness and authority and provision and guidance. “King” connotes power and sovereignty and wealth.

Fourth, not being afraid shows how free and generous God is. Notice, he gives the kingdom. “Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.” He doesn’t sell the kingdom or rent the kingdom or lease the kingdom. He is infinitely wealthy and does not need our payments. So, God is generous and free with his bounty. And this is what we magnify about him when we are not afraid, but trust him with our needs.

Finally, not being afraid — not being anxious — shows that we trust that God really wants to do this. “Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.” It delights him. He is not begrudging. It makes him glad to give us the kingdom. Not all of us had fathers like this, who were made happy by giving instead of getting. But that sorrow is not the main thing any more, because now you can have such a Father, and Shepherd, and King.

So, the point of this verse is that we should treasure God as our Shepherd and Father and King who is generous and happy to give us the kingdom of God — to give us heaven, to give us eternal life and joy, and everything we need to get there.

If we treasure God in this way, we will be fearless and God will be worshiped.

John Piper April 22, 2018

(You can subscribe and listen to a reading aloud ever morning…I will be joining you)

Read Full Post »

A friend recently told me about a book: “Take Hold of the Faith You Long For”, by Sharon Jaynes. In it there is a picture of the Israelites marching around the city of Jericho. Day One, Day Two, Day Three, no seeming difference. Day Four, Day Five, who knows the mocking they endured? Day Six, what discouragement might have crept like a fog into their hearts? But they kept going. And then Day Seven dawned and  the stronghold was broken; the walls came crashing down; they saw the power of the God they had been proclaiming.

My friend encouraged me about the marching I have been doing. I have prayed over a loved one for years, proclaiming God’s goodness and power and purposes over her life. But the fog had rolled in these last few months, shadowing her life in a deep darkness and shadowing my vision of it ever being any different.

Our brother Paul encourages us in Galatians 6:9 “And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.

“Do not grow weary”….This could be day seven.

The friends of Jesus had watched their Beloved tortured and crucified and then resurrected. But they had not heard from Him in a while. Were they discouraged? In John 21:6 we see that they went back to what they knew, what was familiar. They went fishing.  As they had done for years, they threw out their nets: once, twice, three times… all night the arduous labor of throwing these heavy, water soaked nets into the sea and dragging up emptiness. Then a strong voice from the shore called out to throw their nets out once again. Weary and discouraged from a night of labor; confident in their experience that casting a net in daylight would be of no use, they none-the-less threw their nets out one more time.

Could it have been the 7th time?

You know the rest of the story.

Friends, I am praying over your hearts right now. And I thank you for praying over mine. Let us not grow weary, but keep listening to our beloved and trustworthy Shepherd. Let us keep marching around the seemingly impenetrable situation, keep casting out our nets, keep forgiving, praying. loving… For who knows?

This could be Day Seven.

 

 

Read Full Post »

Jesus was angry, clearing out the temple, knocking over what had been “set up”.
I just love what He has shown me of His heart in this.

He said to them: It is written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer.”
”My house”, the place where God dwells.
This is a picture of our hearts.

Our hearts were created to be a place of prayer, a place of communion, of relationship.
Our Father wants us to pour out our hearts to Him and listen to His.
Oh friends, what have we “set up” there instead?

Too often our hearts have become a place of busyness, of bartering, and spending of the coins of our life in the exhausting desperate hope that we might have something to offer.

He does not want these offerings; our busyness breaks His heart and misses the created point of ours. His house, our hearts were intended to be a place of relationship.

Oh Spirit of Jesus, in your mercy, come and cleanse our hearts. Be relentless.

Psalm 139:23,24 “Search me, oh God, and know my heart;…see if there be any grievous way in me, (may we truly see that our busyness grieves His heart) and lead me in the everlasting way.”

Oh Jesus, lead us like the Shepherd You are. We have an enemy who deceives us and we have believed his lie. On own we cannot find the “everlasting way”, the way of relationship with You, the way our hearts were created to live. The way of Love,

We still our hearts and ask for these things in Your name.  Amen

My friends, I have been so strengthened in my “journey of the heart” in the book by Brent Curtis and John Eldredge: “The Sacred Romance”. I cannot encourage you enough to get this book and read it slowly, allowing your heart to believe it could be true for you.

Read Full Post »

My friends, I am praying for someone right now that I love dearly. I have been praying for her for years but especially during these last few months. Others have sensed  the urgency to pray for her as well and have joined forces with me. As we began, the Lord gave me this scripture: 1 Samuel. 16:7
” The Lord sees not as man sees; man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.”

Jesus spoke to my heart as we began this prayer assault on the enemy’s stronghold of this dear woman’s life, that I was not to look at what I would see; that things would appear disastrous and  that I would be tempted to despair. He assured me that He would be working to capture and heal her heart. I was not to be distracted by what I saw, but to keep praying, not in “my own understanding”, but to search the scriptures for His leading as to how to pray.

 I wonder if you too are praying for someone and it appears that your prayers are not  being answered and the situation is getting worse. That is how it is looking to me today. But I will be encouraged,  and I want to encourage you as well. For often, perhaps most often, God is working at a heart level, and what we can see does not represent His hearing us nor does it represent His responding to our prayers. He hears and He is moving. 

“Let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.” Gal. 6:9

Father, comfort and steady my heart; comfort and steady the hearts of my friends, and by Your Spirit remind us of Your faithfulness, power and love in these situations that we are bringing to Your  hands today. In Jesus name and with confidence I pray, Amen. 

 

 

 

Galatians 6:9

 

Read Full Post »

Good morning friends,

I often find myself waking in the morning with self-assessment.

How did I do yesterday? Did I live the day in a way that really reflected my values? Did I truly love well, or did I just busy myself to fill the day with doing things that would cause others see me as loving and therefore think well of me?

Was I disciplined in my reading time, eating well, drinking water, exercising, household chores, checking my planner…or did I live the day doing what was easiest or what came up at the moment? How did I do? How will I do with this day?

Here it is again, daily self-assessment for the sake of a sense of well being.

Then the thought came to me, “Well, at least I ….”

“At least I read the Word and journaled.”

“At least I got my walk in and drank two liters of water.”

“At least I wrote the letter to the children I sponsor.”

“At least I cleaned my kitchen.”

“At least I spent time with my children.”

“At least I got the bills organized and paid.”

Self-assessment for the sake of a sense of well being.

What is the “At least…” that I can do today so I will feel alright with myself?

Then the Lord spoke to my heart…”Nothing, nothing is what you can do today so you will feel at peace. I love you , I gave myself for you to cover all your efforts that would never be enough to give you peace.”

I saw the two-fold danger of this “At least” living.

The constant striving to do “at least” something so I would feel less disappointed with myself  would keep me from living in the only sense of peace for which I was created…I am loved, so very loved by my kind and generous God.

And secondly, whatever “at least“ I was able to accomplish would be the measure that I would hold up in judgement against others,

“At least they should be…”.

Oh Father, free us from the quick-sand of “At least”. Cause us to be amazed at Your grace and affection towards us. Help us to stand and rejoice and live each day at peace in the overwhelming reality of Your love. Help us to live in kindness and mercy towards others.

Believing this is Your will, I pray in the hope and authority of Jesus.

Amen

 

 

I often find myself waking in the morning with self-assesment.

How did I do yesterday?

Did I live the day in a way that really reflected my values?

 

Did I truly love well, or did I just busy myself to fill the day with doing things that would cause others see me as loving and therefore think well of me?

 

Was I disciplined in my reading time,eating well, drinking water, exercising, household chores, checking my planner…or did I live the day doing what was easiest or what came up at the moment?

 

How did I do?

How will I do with this day?

Here it is again, daily self-assesment for the sake of a sense of well being.

 

Then the thought comes to me, “Well, at least I ….”.

“At least I read the Word and journaled.”

“At least I got my walk in and drank two liters of water.”

“At least I wrote the letter to the children I sponser.”

“At least I cleaned my kitchen.”

“At least I spent time with my children.”

“At least I got the bills organized and paid.”

 

Self-assesment for the sake of a sense of well being.

What is the “At least…” that I can do today so I will feel alright with myself?

 

Then the Lord spoke to my heart…

”Nothing, nothing is what you can do today so you will feel at peace.

I love you , I gave myself for you to cover all the efforts that would never be enough to give you peace.”

 

I saw the two-fold danger.

The constant striving to do enough so I would feel less disappointed with myself would keep me from living in the only sense of peace for which I was created…I am loved, so very loved by my kind and generous God.

And secondly, whatever “At least“ I was able to accomplish would be the measure that I would hold up in judgement against others,

“At least they should be…”.

 

Oh Father, cause us to be amazed at Your grace and affection towards us. Free us from the quick-sand of “At least”. Help us to stand and rejoice and live each day at peace in the overwhelming reality of Your love. Help us to live in kindness and mercy towards others.

Believing this is Your will, I pray in the hope and authority of Jesus.

Amen

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »