“I don’t have time,” said no one in Heaven.

Embrace your Hidden Place

Time. It’s a precious commodity. We value it. We use it–regardless of how profitable we are with it. We demand of it. We long for more of it. We even complain about it. Yet we have absolutely no control over it for we are its recipients, yet a steward.

Earth is time bound. Time happens, one tick-tock after another. Try as you may to stop it, slow it down, speed it up, time itself does not change. 24 hours is 24 hours. Time is a gift from the Creator Himself.

Maybe it’s just me, but have you ever gone through a day where you’ve wondered, “What in the world is going on?” It seems like everything is  coming unglued…you included. For me it is usually certain stressers or the pressure of time (we’ve gotta go…sort of thing), those are my triggers. 

  • What are yours?
  • Do you know your triggers?
  • If not, seriously pray about it and ask God to reveal them to you.
  • Why?? How can you fight a battle when you don’t know who or what the enemy is? 

For me like I said, those pressured times or just being stressed (stressing myself out is more like it…dumb, I know!) that is when my true colors come out, therefore, revealing how my relationship with God is going.

When I am stressing out or feeling that pressure from time constraints, my patient and loving husband asks me just one simple ‘stop-me-in-my-tracks’ question, “Have you had your devotions today?” 

Usually in those states of mind, my answer is sadly, “NO, not yet!” Then he lovingly says to me, “Go. Go and have your devotions, I’ve got this (whatever I am doing at that time).” 

We must learn to love, desire, long for, and see our own need for our own secret place above all for out of that ‘closet’ produces a life that can respond, thus live in Him, through any issue of life…any!

If we love the spotlight more than our secret place, if we think we can do or perform without Him, if we think ‘I’ll get to you later God’ heart attitude, were in trouble because it means we care more about pleasing people than pleasing God. 

We call this an idolatrous heart in action. 

Want to thrive? Embrace Christ.

Embrace your hidden place.

  • Matthew 6:6 “But thou, when thou prayest, enter into the closet, and when thou hast shut the door, pray to the Father which is in secret; and they Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.”
  • 2 Kings 4:33 “So he entered and shut the door behind them both and prayed to the LORD.”
  • Matthew 26:36 “At that time Jesus went with His disciples to a place called Gethsemane, and He told them, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.”
  • Psalm 91:1-2 “He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and fortress: my God; in Him will I trust.”
  • Psalm 34:15 “The eyes of the LORD are on the righteous and His ears are attentive to their cry.”
  • Daniel 9:18 “O my God, inline Your ear and hear; open Your eyes and look at our desolations and the city which is called by your name; for we are not presenting our supplications before You because of our own merits and righteousness, but because of your great mercy and compassion.”

We do not make requests of God because we are some how righteous, but we are able through God’s greatness and mercy. Daniel knew this all to well. His life was a walking display of such God-mercy inwardly and outwardly, even being a captive. Daniel valued God. Daniel valued his time with God. Daniel valued prayer. It was oxygen. God was life to Daniel.

Unlike Daniel, we stand here today in 2018, having been washed, cleansed, forgiven, and empowered through the shed blood of Jesus Christ on the Cross of Calvary, filled with boundless hope. We have redemption through His blood. How are you living today? Would Daniel, or for that matter God, be appalled? Would they or others see a difference in you from the world?

God desires the same deep intimate relationship He had with Daniel, with you. Just like Daniel, this requires a commitment on your end. Relationships just don’t happen. They take time, energy, resources, and communication! We must remember, God is the Creator, the Potter; we are the creation, the clay. God owes us nothing. We owe Him everything! When God answers a prayer it is because of His love, His mercy, and His undescribable goodness towards us. What a awesome God we serve!

Embrace Christ!

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

Maybe We Should Rethink Prayer?

In real life, healthy communication doesn’t happen in a vacuum. It just doesn’t happen on its own, it is learned. It is practiced. Simply put, it takes an active decision on one’s part to stop oneself, listen intently, wholeheartedly, without selfish ambition when spoken too; when speaking, our goal is to speak so clearly and articulately that your hearer(s) can repeat the very words you just spoke to them with your intent in mind. Communication, it takes time. It takes effort on both speaker and listener.

It’s work, but when done Biblically (which is God way thus honoring to Him), it brings forth some pretty awesome results! (Side note: if you’ve never tired it, you should!)

So it is with God yet times millions upon trillions! In spiritual life, healthy spiritual communication (prayer) doesn’t happen in a vacuum. It just doesn’t happen on its own, it is learned. It is practiced.

Simply put,

  1. It takes an active decision to come to the foot of the Throne of Grace.
  2. It takes an active decision to stop and place oneself at the feet of Jesus.
  3. It takes an active decision to listen intently to the Holy Spirit’s wooing (speaking) in your soul.
  4. It takes an active decision to be still. To listen.
  5. It takes an active decision to open your heart and mouth wholeheartedly without reservation, without selfish ambition and speak to Jesus Christ, our Savior.

I will not lie to you, it baffles me that He loves us to such extent; that He desires to have such an intimate relationship with His Creation. It is so incredibly beautiful, yet it makes me quake inside knowing my sinful state and knowing His love state for me. The Creation talking to it’s Creator, “Yes, YES!!!!, God says, “that’s exactly how I wants it!”

If you do not pray, I will be very frank. You are the one missing out! God is waiting for you to speak to Him. He has spoken to you, answer Him. God wants you. God desires you to come, sit, and chat awhile, but you have said ‘no’ for whatever reason. You have gained nothing, my friend. You are the one who losses out, and sadly, you are the one who has no clue you are the one who is missing out on the coolest, most greatest, intense, intimate resource ever made available to you through Jesus Christ, our Lord, God, THEE most powerful Creator who ever was, is, or ever will be, who we call Father.

Maybe we should rethink prayer!

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

this is my prayer for you

 

For anyone who’s prayed a thousand prayers
And still can’t find the answer anywhere
Fighting off the lie that no one cares
For anyone who’s out there losing hope
Feeling you’re forsaken and alone
Clinging to the last strands of your rope

May God give you eyes to see, He’s still greater
Courage to rise and believe He’s able
May God be your peace in the fire you’re walking through
This is my prayer now
This is my prayer for you

For all of those with tired and weary souls
But still have faith to ask for miracles
Choosing to believe He’s in control

May God give you eyes to see, He’s still greater
Courage to rise and believe He’s able
May God be your peace in the fire you’re walking through
This is my prayer now
This is my prayer

May your eyes be ever on the Lord, your helper
May you find your refuge in the Lord, your shelter
May you find Him closer than a brother all your days
All of your days!
And may your eyes be ever on the Lord, your helper
May you find your refuge in the Lord, your shelter
May you find Him closer than a brother all your days
All of your days!

May God give you eyes to see, He’s still greater
Courage to rise and believe He’s able
May God be your peace in the fire you’re walking through
This is my prayer now
This is my prayer for you!
For you!

This is My Prayer for You — written by: Alisa Turner


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

Thy Will Be Done: You are God & I am Not

Thy will be done. Though I may never understand why my broken heart is apart of your plan; though my mind and heart may not agree; though my circumstances around me may scream otherwise; though my flesh may fail me and my spirit challenged beyond words, may my heart, soul, mind, thoughts, actions pray…THY WILL be done for YOU are GOD and I am NOT!



THY WILL

written by: Hillary Scott; The Scott Family

(1) I’m so confused
I know I heard you loud and clear
So, I followed through
Somehow I ended up here
I don’t wanna think
I may never understand
That my broken heart is a part of your plan
When I try to pray
All I’ve got is hurt and these four words

Thy will be done
Thy will be done
Thy will be done

(2) I know you’re good
But this don’t feel good right now
And I know you think Of things,
I could never think about, It’s hard to count it all joy, Distracted by the noise, Just trying to make sense, Of all your promises
Sometimes I gotta stop
Remember that you’re God
And I am not
So…
Thy will be done, Thy will be done, Thy will be done

(Refrain) Like a child on my knees all that comes to me is
Thy will be done
Thy will be done
Thy will…

I know you see me
I know you hear me, Lord
Your plans are for me
Goodness you have in store
I know you hear me
I know you see me, Lord
Your plans are for me
Good news you have in store

So, thy will be done
Thy will be done
Thy will be done
Like a child on my knees all that comes to me is
Thy will be done
Thy will be done
Thy will be done
I know you see me
I know you hear me, Lord

Songwriters: BERNIE HERMS, HILLARY SCOTT, EMILY LYNN WEISBAND© Warner/Chappell Music, Inc., Universal Music Publishing Group

{Graditude} God, Veterans, & USA

As we all know, this Monday will be Memorial Day. Many throughout the country have plans set or at least something in the making via plans — whether it is a parade, picnic, family gathering, or time spent doing nothing. Perhaps, maybe you are scheduled to work because you are a nurse or aid — whatever the case may be we all know that it is Memorial Day and the weekend is upon us.

I am reminded once again of our great country. Oh, I know we can easily find fault in it somewhere or in someone, but before we get sidetracked, let’s not — for we do indeed have much to be thankful for! Like our freedom!

  • Before I even continue any further, I would like to thank all of you who have either served our great USA in the past or today are actively serving. Though we may not personally know one another — in our home, your sacrifice (your families sacrifice) is not forgotten. We rejoice in our God-given freedom and know that freedom is NOT free, nor will it ever be. We thank YOU!
  • I think of those who gave their lives, WE REMEMBER; for you have not given in vain. Though your families grieve the most [which we grieve with them], in our home, we choose to remember and not forget we are free — our lives would be far different if it weren’t for brave men and women who didn’t serve this great country we call America! Thank you!
  • There is one other person I’d liked to thank…my Navy man. I am proud of my husband and his service to our country. He stands strong as a reminder. He is a truly a man of God. [super-incredibly-thankful for him!] Thank you! 

So the weekend is happening. Monday is fastly approaching. Whatever plans you may have — or not have, may I encourage you to STOP and take a few minutes to: 

1) Thank the Lord for your freedom. 

  • Seriously, you could be living in another country where let’s just say, things could be MUCH different! You are blessed!

2) Thank a veteran.

  • Whether it is at a parade, in a checkout line or at a gas station or your neighbor — thank a vet! Maybe invite one to your picnic!

3) Take time to pray for our country.

  • America needs our prayer.

  • America needs to keep God first.

  • Psalm 33:12-13 “Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord; and the people whom he hath chosen for his own inheritance.  The Lord looketh from heaven; he beholdeth all the sons of men.”

  • 2 Chronicles 7:14 “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”


Have a safe, memory-thankful-filled Memorial Day. 

the Armor of God: Prayer [Really???]

What is the armor of God and truthfully, do we really need it?

Have you ever wondered why we need to fight or for that matter ‘wear’ such spiritual garments? Why we must do this so-called fighting that quite frankly we do not even ‘see’ – or do we?

I believe we all would say that we have fought a battle or two in our life time whether it was with our kids, our in-laws, our parents, possibly our spouse, or maybe even God.

But one of the most troubling battles we face [more than we care to realize] are not the things that we ‘perceive’ with our five sense – but rather everything else that is unseen. Don’t get me wrong, we certainly wrestle here on earth and it’s directly related to the visible and invisible, but we must not forget that the invisible is REAL – much more than we care to reckon. So before we disregard its presence, let’s take a little look.

My Pastor, who is also my husband, said a few months ago in a Sunday morning worship service, “Remember who your REAL enemy is! It is not those sitting next to you here at church; it is not those who live in your home or extended family members; it is not the workplace, the store, that slow driver in front of you that is ‘making you late’; it is not people; it is not God – it is the DEVIL. Your real enemy is the devil!” [Pastor Richard Woodruff] We must remember who the real enemy is!

The devil (aka: satan – who is the great deceiver) wants you to ignore the spiritual reality behind your physical reality. Why? It is to his best interest and your greatest destruction; for he knows that as long as you are focused on what you physically ‘see’ with your eyes, he can continue his dirty deeds and run rampant underneath the surface. This only happens when we are personally distracted, unfocused, (mind, heart, spirit) on the things that do not matter most.

Isn’t that so wicked – oh wait a minute…he is wickedness, he is not our friend…he is the greatest deceiver! Following me, yet?!

My friends, it is not for us to live in fear over the devil, but rather live in wisdom, knowledge and understanding of who and what our enemy is and capable of – but more importantly resting in the power of knowing who our God is and who we are through Jesus Christ.

Remember we have already won the battle, but don’t live foolishly – the enemy may be invisible, but he is not fictional. He is present. Real. He wants to destroy you! He is persistent. Consistent.

Do not think for one moment that because you are a believer in Jesus Christ you have immunity; quite frankly you have a bulls-eye on your forehead. You are the target. Don’t allow this to scare you but rather remember WHO resides within you? GOD! This means you are fully loaded; fully empowered; 100% equipped, power-filled by the Father Himself [now if that doesn’t give you goosebumps] to defend anything and everything, even when we don’t understand — yet we trust. [what God-love. God-grace. God-comfort!]

So, how does one defend, reload, and stand strong?

  1. PRAY! [Yep] Pray! You may be laughing at me right now, but it is true. You may be thinking “how in the world does praying help you win the battle?” For starters, read Ephesians. Paul highlights one of the most important [yet most overlooked aspects] spiritual armor – PRAYER! Without communicating with God over the battles – you’re done! Without His inward strength coming through us from time spend in prayer and in His Word – you’re done! Prayer brings His plan. His vision. At times His purpose. We cannot do what He wants if we do not know what He requires. Communication! Paul esteemed prayer so critical to the victory over satan’s power in our lives/during these battles – maybe we should take note, just maybe! [what do you think?]
  2. Study out the armor of God – allow it to become you!
  3. You want to see personal victories – PRAY – for there is victory in spiritual warfare when prayer is practiced. Don’t be afraid of it – just do it!

    “I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, [19] and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe. These are in accordance with the working of the strength of His might [20] which He brought about in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, [21] far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come”

    Ephesians 1:18-21.

    Me & My Rake

         It’s 12 noon. My heart is heavy and my soul has been fighting a battle for the past couple of hours and honestly, it feels much later than noon. The battle has been in body, soul and mind — all warring within. I must confess, my fighting battle has been over leaves.    Yep, you read me right! LEAVES! 

         Can I set the scene for you? You see, we live in a wonderful neighborhood. A very lovely, quiet street filled with homes built around the 60’s and 70’s, two cul-de-sacs, only one way in and that same way out. You are fully aware of every person that passing your house whether it is your neighbor or someone seeing your neighbor, or the UPS/FedEx driver or the mailman. Anyone else is a ‘stranger’ and everyone on our streets knows it. Our street is lined with the gorgeous, aged, mature oak trees, nicely decorated lawns and turkey’s that come every night at 5pm. We even have occasional deer that pass through.

         These oak trees are lovely in full bloom. In the Spring, we are reminded of new life and God’s goodness. In summer, we are drawn to give thanks for the cooling shade they bring to our back yards. But there is dark side to these majestic oak trees that I wasn’t aware of — they bring hours of work! As beautiful as fall is, I have begun to realize that oak trees have a lot of leaves and where oak tree are, there are leaves; and where there are leaves, there is a lot of work come fall. This is where my struggle began yesterday morning.

    Can you picture it?

    Blue sky. The sun is warm. All is peaceful. Even the squirrels are happy. Then I gaze. (you most pause here and picture it…I gaaaaaaaaaaaaze) I look at our awesome neighbors. I see their John Deer tractors; I hear their leaf blowers; I see them using their machines that suck up the leaves off their lawns with such ease and the to dispose those leaves — that’s a piece of cake! 

    Then I choose.

    Me.

    I look at my rake.

    Me and my rake! I gaze at our yard and see it begin to magnify before my very eyes.

         The task begin. One stroke at a time. I was trying. Really I was. Trying to conquer our very large yard all by hand, but it didn’t take long before it started. My mind and heart started very own battle. The war of discontent. Envy. Bitterness. Complaining. It all started to fester and what was seen was all the work that needed to be done and all what we didn’t have to complete this leaf-task job. I might as well have climbed Mt. Everest. It didn’t matter. It was huge!

         I struggled because I knew that I shouldn’t be thinking such thoughts, but it happened…discontentment had taken root. “We must be the poorest folks on our street – well at least financially” I told myself. (I did try to spiritualize it) “What a waste of my time, I could be doing….(and I had a whole list of things that I told myself).” “There are a million other things I could be doing right now” and “Why doesn’t our neighbors help us, don’t they see?” “Leaves! More leaves. I don’t want to rake another leaf in my life ever again!” Then the pressures of my “to do list” did begin to mount. There I was. Outside on this beautiful fall day with that baby blue skies. One of the kids was helping Daddy, the others at play and singing, and there I was complaining to my rake (yes, I was talking to my rake!)  Painfully, I did indeed finish my piles – all four of them – all half of the front yard! But, I was done — attitude and all! 

       I went inside after rounding up the children and told them I needed to pray. I knew my heart attitude and thoughts were wrong, but sadly they didn’t change until I went into the house and chose to pray! I needed to go into the sanctuary of God (at this point it was my bedroom with the door closed) It didn’t take long for God to reveal my sin. (God has a sense of humor and a way with my heart!)

         As I began praying, in love the Lord began revealing this girl’s true colors. My heart was so filled with self, discontentment, complaining, pride, comparison, envy, anger, and I confessed right there and then {with a lot of tears}.

    How foolish I was today! Very very foolish!

    I wish I could turn the clock back. Reverse my selfishness, my foolish choice to rather bathe in discontent (and all the above) and replace it with seeing God’s goodness, provisions, and blessings. I wish I could take back the time I wasted, but I cannot. Those moments lost — lost forever.

         We all know that time lost is lost time. We can never get it back. It is forever either wasted or forever wisely used. Though forgiven, my decision to waste this precious time on such foolishness is time lost and it hinder my relationship with God — I lost out! It bring sadness to my soul for I could have done so much more than murmur and complain. My rake and I could have had God and I time.  

    Phil. 2: 11-17 “And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure. Do all things without murmurings and disputings: That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world; Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain. Yea, and if I be offered upon the sacrifice and service of your faith, I joy, and rejoice with you all.”  Ephesians 5:16 “Redeeming the time…” 

    My I never talk with that rake ever again — unless it is giving God the glory for the leaves it is helping to clean up. My this soul of mine remember to be thankful in all things!

    How are you doing?

    Praying for you friend, Colleen

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