Psalm 147:1-6

Thank you Lord for this encouragement, hope, strength, renewal, and empowerment. Thank you for being for us, with us, and indwelling us. Praise ye the LORD! PRAISE THE LORD! Praise, praise ye the LORD! 

In Christ I am SHE {Saved. Hopeful. Empowered.}

the strength to obey

Obedience.

This word means many things to different people: for some it is a scary or dirty word, while others totally disregard it in any form, while others struggle with it but do sincerely try. 

Obedience isn’t to be feared if it is given, asked, taken, followed, submitted too under the guidelines of Scripture. Obedience is one of the foundational virtues that Jesus forms in those he calls. He gives us the strength to obey as we make the choice to obey.

Obedience is one of the chief ways we demonstrate our love for God. Not singing Christian songs. Not going to church services. Not having quiet times. Not taking mission trips or doing loving things for others. Yes, yes, yes, all of these are fabulous things — you should be singing to your Lord for that is one way you can give Him worship. You should be active in your local church, for that is where you use your God-given talent(s). You should be having daily quiet time alone with your Lord, for without that time with Him how will you grow? Taking missions trips will change your life forever (spiritually and mentally for you see more than yourself, your needs, your world, and you see God, his people and souls that need Him! We should be loving others — to our brothers and sisters in Christ, as well as loving souls so much that we tell them about our incredible Savior so that they may know Him too! But do you hear what Jesus said: 

“If you love me, keep my commands” 

(John 14:15).

Don’t you see? If you love HIM first and foremost all those other things fall into place. (the list above for just a few small examples)

“But seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added into you” (Matt. 6:33).

Our list isn’t finished yet…

There are some who have choose to accept, believe, and trust wholeheartedly what biblical obedience is, what it looks like, and how it is to be asked and given. Not because they are super spiritual but because they have chosen before God that despite what their flesh tells them, despite what they were falsely taught (unknowingly and knowing), how they feel, or what has happened to them in the past, God’s way is the best way. God knows what He is talking about, God is God, therefore, I will obey Him and trust in His Words. 

Obedience to Him brings freedom.

In Christ I am SHE {Saved. Hopeful. Empowered.}

a Picture of Hope

‘Tell Your Heart to Beat Again’* – the first time I heard this song/testimony of the heart surgeon was about two or three weeks ago through a Facebook tag from my middle sister. I listened. Then listened again and again. It was so powerful to my soul that I couldn’t even repost it because it brought such tears to my eyes – especially with the recent last of my Dad, it ripped into my soul in ways that I am still working/healing through.

Over the years, my husband and I have had many losses through death. Whether it was grandparents that we adored, my husband’s father, to our third child passing exactly a week after my husband’s mother who we loved so much, then my Daddy.

This is my Daddy (the picture). He entered into eternity suddenly on July 31, 2016. There were no warnings. No signs. Nothing. One second an earthly-citizen the next a 

 heavenly-citizen standing face to face with his Savior. The night we received that phone call, truthfully I don’t remember much except  a few things like first hearing that Dad had a heart attack – but remembering saying to myself “we will go and see him – he will pull through again.” Death wasn’t even on my radar. The next thing I remember is “I’m sorry (my name) your Dad didn’t make it.” Didn’t make it – that is impossible, they didn’t know who they were talking about! My Dad is stronger than strong. But, it was true. Dad was gone.

It has been an interesting wave-like several months. My sweet husband, children and I have faced many life changing events over this past year. New state. New job. Great incredible accomplishments. New church. Old friends gone. New friends are next to none. Away from the known. Extended family far away. Dad entered eternity. Oh, and I turned 40 (that wasn’t hard…lol).

Much to take in and digest when it happens all at once. Not impossible with Christ, the Lord has been incredibly good to us; He has protected us in a million ways, guided, and provided, but I must admit that humanly my faith has been challenged so intensely. At times the challenging’s have been so hard that it has scared me, but now; now, though I still don’t understand everything or his wise loving plan, this challenge of soul has sparked a journey in my soul that I couldn’t have dreamed of. My soul is literally burning with fire and sometimes it is all I can do to accomplish what I should be doing.

The passing of my earthly father has truly been hard – no goodbyes, no last hugs, no last anything’s – just gone. I miss him. It wasn’t in my plans for Dad to enter Heaven at 64 years old. It wasn’t suppose to happen that way. I struggle (some days more than others), but in my struggling it has brought me closer to my heavenly Father and ignited me in ways I knew not of. I couldn’t write it any better then the bridge of the song:

Let every heartbreak

And every scar

Be a picture that reminds you

Who has carried you this far

‘Cause love sees farther than you ever could

In this moment heaven’s working

Everything for your good

My soul is starting to beat again through the healing power of Jesus Christ. It is bursting into flames and how can I not speak boldly for on King? How can I not share Christ with others? Eternity is forever. Life is truly short! How can I not live in boldness to speak of Him? How can I not live my created God-confident life for this world is not my home for one day (sooner than I think) my time on earth is up just like yours is.

I could choose to take the reins of control and pretend to live this life as though I was the one in control, but I am not and neither are you. God is in control whether we want accept that reality or not. We are the creation and he is the Creator.

This life is not mine and I am choosing to not live another moment as though it is mine but rather I as simple clay – an instrument in His molding hands, willing. Obedient. Quick to respond to His Word. Putting on Christ. There is surety and intense hope in Jesus Christ for the future that I have never known before.

*disclaimer: I am so thankful for my precious sister posting this song to me via FB. This song has been an encouragement to my heart, but I must note, personally I do not support everything he (Danny Gokey) sings or produces nor have I seen or heard everything he has sung or produced.


 

Victory {or} Defeat

We are in a battle. The battle of the unseen. The battle of the world around us. The battle of the world within us. The battle is real and therefore understanding that battle, well…is half the battle. No punt intended.

Once you have accepted Christ as your personal Savior and believed what He did on the cross was for you (His death, burial, and resurrection) and you confessed with your mouth, asked God to forgive you of your sins, cleanse you and be your Lord and Savior — you became a new creature that very second (Acts 16:31; Rom. 10:13; 1 John 5:11; 2 Cor. 5:17).


Hinds sight 20/20, we know that we didn’t fully understand everything, did we, and rightfully so for truthfully that is normal and okay for God Himself knew our hearts. But our relationship with God doesn’t start and stop on the day we accepted His salvation through His Son, Jesus Christ. That day marked the beginning of our new life in Christ. That was the beginning of God’s first day of restoration with the love of His life…YOU! Yes, God’s love, His sending His Son to redeem mankind and restore us to Himself was for every human being, but do you realize it was for YOU! The day you became a child of God, Heaven was rejoicing, God did cartwheels (OK maybe not…But do you get how excited He was about YOU?) there were happy tears of joy and all because His love for you is beyond our comprehension. If you were the only person on earth…He would have died for only you that is how much He loves you (Luke 15:7; John 3:16; 1 John 5:13; Rom. 5:8).

Somewhere along the line, throughout the years our salvation: this incredible redemptive love for personal us gets lost in the midst of the happenings of life (whether good or hard if we are not careful). Oh, we are still God’s daughter for we can not lose our salvation, but take a little hear and some there we become distracted by godless things, we grow spirit-complacent, we allow life’s curve balls to draw us away instead of towards Him, we allow the hurts and wounds to be written in stone and our blessings written in dust (if we aren’t careful) I know the list could go on for your mind is already filling in the blanks (John 10:28-29).

But God — (all the while we journey this life) God hasn’t changed one ioda. All the while He is longing to carry us and walk along with us for His love is still the same as the day he created Adam and Eve. His love is still the same as He was on the cross. His love is still the same as the day you accepted His gift of salvation. His love is still the same the day you choose to be bitter instead of better. His love is still the same when you choose to lean on Him for strength rather then yourself. His love is still the same when that someone special entered into eternity. His love is still the same whether or not you reject or accept because He has never ceased to love you (Heb. 13:8; Jer. 31:3; 2 Thess. 2:16).
The battle is very real! Psalm 27:13 is such a precious verse to me personally because on a specific day in time past my family and I had a choice to make — God (better) or self (bitter and believe the devil’s lies about God). That day in the midst of enormous grief from the loss of our third child, I choose to believe in the goodness of God in the land of this living I was in. For God was still good, as hard as it was to walk through that valley (Jer. 17:7).

Sunday was a marker day in history for our family. Eight year later much has happened in heart, life and the growth of our family. My little love that is not seen by any but is my heart, fills my memory and I have the scars to prove it. I would have rather loved upon and nurtured our little love, but through God’s grace and comforting arms I can stand and say that I rejoice in my salvation and the hope of Jesus Christ for one sweet day we shall see each other again all because of Christ!! And that brings comfort to my heart (Titus 1:2; Titus 3:7; 1 John 2:25).

Life many times doesn’t go as planned, but that doesn’t make it wrong or make God the author of “my life is messed up now.” We are warriors in our King’s army. We serve under His command and must train for the battle. We can’t afford to take one step without putting on the full armor of God; we can’t afford to take one step without immersing our souls in His Word daily; we can’t afford to take one step without feasting in meditation on His Scriptures; we can’t afford to take one step without walking in willful obedience to our God. We can’t. For to not put on the armor is to forgo His power in our lives. It means settling for our own human limitations and weaknesses when we have His supernatural limitless strength at our access (Psalm 62:5; Eph. 6).

Sounds super silly to take our limited self over God’s limitless being, but so often we do because we step into battle with a defeatist perspective? We say things like, “Why even try?” or “It will never happen anyway.” and all sorts of other comments. Friends, what if we approached every battle (hardship, challenge, uncertainty, suffering) knowing the outcome is victory! Knowing that at the end — you win! Because that is our life in Christ. In CHRIST we are CONQUERORS. We don’t fight the daily battles wondering if we’ll defeat the foe. We are already victors! Christ won on our behalf! Our actions display our belief in this!
As children of God, we understand we have this spiritual armor of God and we are free to use it or not. We understand through Jesus Christ we can march boldly into battle with confidence knowing the outcome is victory. But we have a choice — reject or accept. Oh friends, allow God to demonstrate His mighty deeds in your life and experience God’s power and glory in a way you’ve never imagined for His love for you desires too.

My fellow warriors are you in? (Rom. 8:37) When most of us hear the word “desperate,” we wouldn’t put the word “warrior” in the same sentence. Surely, a warrior isn’t desperate, right? Remembering this world is not our home we are just passing though (John 18:36; Rom. 12:1-2; Eph. 2:17-22; I Peter 1:1). There is vast opposition between the world’s viewpoints and God’s ways. God will often allow us or lead us to a place of desperation (did God not lead His people into the desert?) so that He can show us His might in our lives (Jer. 33:3; Eph. 6:19-20).


You see, we’ve never been strong. It’s always been God manifesting His strength in us. When we are willing to let God be the mighty One then desperate becomes a powerful word (2 Cor. 12:10; Psalm 51:10; Col. 3:2; Jer. 33:3; Matt. 7:7-8; Isaiah 41:10). “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus…” (Eph. 2:10). Choose Him. You already have the victory. Stand firm my friends, stand firm.