Category Archives: Love

April 23, 2019 goliaths

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Good morning, DearHeart.

Growing up, did you have this Little Golden Book, too? You know the story of David and Goliath, right? And, you can relate to David so easily – because you, too, have giants in your life.

People out to destroy you.

Addictions.

Issues.

Bullies.

Heaviness.

Stupidity.

Read again the familiar story of David and Goliath. Goliath is described as a nine foot champion (1 Samuel 17:4, NLT), a seemingly formidable foe for young David. He had struck fear in the hearts of many a man:

“When Saul and the Israelites heard this, they were terrified and deeply shaken” (verse 11).

Goliath taunted the Israelites every day and night, for forty days, continually. He knew he could wear them down with his insults and fear would get the better of them sooner or later.

David had to be aware of his age and size, for he was the youngest of his brothers. The day he went to the battlefield to bring his brothers food, David heard the usual taunting of Goliath to the army of Israel.

“Don’t worry about this Philistine,” David told Saul, “I’ll go fight him!” (verse 32)

David displayed courage (verse 32) which contrasted Saul’s fear (verse 11).

Goliath taunted David just the same, if not worse, than he had the army. But David knew whose Name and power had truly armed him for battle. David’s advantage was not his weapons but his God. David stated with confidence,

“You come to me with sword, spear, and javelin, but I come to you in the name of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies – the God of the armies of Israel, who you have defied.”

“Today the Lord will conquer you.”

“And everyone here will know that the Lord rescues his people, but not with sword and spear. This is the Lord’s battle.” (verses 45-47).

We fight a battle everyday and the enemy will taunt us as well.

There are battles that are not ours to fight. They are won by and through the Name and power of our Lord. We would be wise to let Him fight them for us.

As we faithfully and continually lean on God, we will not topple. We may wobble a bit, but we won’t fall down.

May we stand.

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;

in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.”

(Proverbs 3:5-6, NIV)

Wake up.

Lean in to God.

The battle is His.

He is doing work you can’t see.

Necessary work.

Heart work.

God wins.

Go.

April 22, 2019 engraved

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Good morning, DearHeart.

The need to choose to follow or not follow Father God is imprinted on our very cells. It is a need like breathing. To breathe means life or death to our body. The follow Christ … far more serious … it brings life or death to our spirit.

A call to the Almighty for rescue sets in motion a blast through the thickest walls to a place of knowing Him from the bones outward. A place of togetherness with the Savior where we experience Him cheek to cheek, with Him and within Him. He knows how to rescue – He knows you – He holds you – You are His.

“See, I have written your name on the palms of my hands.” Isaiah 49:16 NLT

Wake up.

Know you belong to Christ.

Go.

April 16, 2019 stones are moving

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Good morning, DearHeart.

I love it when I read the Bible and something new gets noticed – its gift of new ruffles on my heart!

“Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the entrance.” John 20:1

Such a simple sentence & yet it says more than what meets the eye. Go deeper with me.

Mary Magdalene got up early, even on the first day of the week. Every day of the week He waits … “Listen to my voice in the morning, Lord. Each morning I bring my requests to you & wait expectantly.” Psalm 5:3 NLT.

The stone had been removed. The resurrection empowers that same gift to you and me to remove stones that are a hindrance in my life. I am so thankful that Jesus is still removing stones today. Nothing can ever hinder the work of the Holy Spirit in my life. “The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you. And just as God raised Christ Jesus from the dead, he will give life to your mortal bodies by this same Spirit living within you.” (Romans 8:11 NLT).

God is at work, even in the darkness. I LOVE THIS!!! Mary went to the tomb while it was yet dark. The stone was already removed. Even though it may still look dark or our circumstances are yet clouded,

God.Is.At.Work.

He is always at work.

Jesus, when harassed by the Jewish leaders for breaking the Sabbath rules, tells them: “My Father is always working & so am I.” (John 5:17 NLT).

Mary Magdalene went to the tomb. She went in search of Jesus. Jesus wants us to come to Him with everything that is on our hearts & minds. “Come to me, all of you who are weary & carry heavy burdens, & I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28 NLT)

It is as we come to Him, in the midst of our struggles, seeking Him, that we will find He has been at work & the stones are moving. They are rolling away. And they give way to new life. New situations. New solutions. New relationships. New connections.

Wake up.

The stones are moving.

Go.

 

April 15, 2019 the day after

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Good Morning, DearHeart.

5,000 ladies and I are waking this morn on the heels of a Falls Creek high. Just like the days of our youth for those of us that had the opportunity to experience the week long camps as teens. And, the timing … so appropriate as yesterday was Palm Sunday. The day of Christ’s triumphal entry into Jerusalem, the city He loved and caused Him to weep. The people hailed Him as King, praising God for all the wonderful miracles they had now seen. We saw miracles this weekend. We heard about them. We felt them. We became them. Followed by Palm Sunday.

And, so marked the beginning of Holy Week. Or Jesus’ final week of life on this earth.

I woke this morn with one thought on my mind …

What did Jesus do on Monday?

Seriously, what does one do after a reception and celebration such as He had been given?

My search into scripture … and, this is interesting to me … the next story in both Matthew (chapter 21) and Luke (chapter 19) is of Jesus entering the Temple. Perhaps it was Monday or Tuesday, we don’t know for certain. With as good with details as Dr. Luke was, he does not pinpoint the day for my quizzing mind.

What we do know for certain is Jesus was not happy with the activities being held in the Temple. He turned over the tables of the money changers and those selling doves. To them He said …

The Scriptures declare, ‘My Temple will be a house of prayer’, but you have turned it into a den of thieves.” (Luke 19:46, NLT)

After His triumphal entry, Jesus went right back to His Father’s business.

Monday was a normal day.

No fanfare.

No taking a day off.

He cleansed and restored the Temple to its original purpose – to be a place of worship.

“Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body.” (1 Corinthians 6:19-20. NLT)

We may not know for certain which day of the week Jesus restored the Temple to a place of worship. What I do know is that He still restores temples today.

He still restores US today.

Let that sink in a minute.

May we let Him clean our temples, turning every corner of it over so nothing remains hidden and uncleansed.

“But the time is coming – indeed it’s here now – when true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth. The Father is looking for those who will worship him that way. For God is Spirit, so those who worship him must worship in spirit and in truth.” (John 4:23-24, NLT)

Wake up.

In Spirit and in truth.

Be restored.

Business as usual.

Go.

April 12, 2019 Wonder Woman

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Good morning, DearHeart.

I giggled as this verse happened to be the first I thought of this morn …

“Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib …” (Genesis 2:22a, NLT)

Here is why: I was in the kitchen last night and heard a commotion coming down the hall. I turned to look and a two year old Wonder Woman was twirling in to see me! Head to toe (with a few princess jewels thrown in) our Liv was totally decked out in full red, blue, and gold regalia. And, let me tell ya, she was spot on and working it!

I watched Wonder Woman once a week growing up and always dreamed of being Linda Carter, too.

Wonder Woman – the founder of The Justice League, a team of superheroes who fight crime and seek to maintain peace and order. In the DC comics, Wonder Woman was sculpted from clay by her mother … much the way God formed the first woman from a rib of man, already formed, and the dust of the earth. She was a character with all the strength of a man yet with all the qualities a good and beautiful woman could possess.

Wonder Woman has been loved by many for her beauty, for her strength, and for her love of humanity. She is strong-willed – knowing what needs to be accomplished and not backing down until it is done. She is a lover of peace but will fight for people, for a cause, for justice. But she was also created to be the nurturer of The Justice League, molding it to be all it could.

She’s a warrior woman yet an ambassador of people.

With that said, Olivia Jo, our own in-house version of the super-hero … may you truly grow up to be a Wonder Woman. A woman who will…

fight for justice,

defend the weak

and the forgotten.

May you be a woman of God-given strength yet have a tender and compassionate heart.

May you be fierce yet a woman who will support and encourage those around you.

May you be a woman who loves God above all else and then His people.

May you ladies be a true Wonder Woman, too … and as my FC First Girls prepare our hearts to leave for our Falls Creek Ladies Retreat this morn … may there be a little of Wonder Woman in us all!

“Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib …” (Genesis 2:22a, NLT)

Wake up.

You are a wonder, too.

Work it. Go.

April 11, 2019 soon

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Good morning, DearHeart.

I’m thinking of the things I have prayed for that haven’t happened yet. Sometimes, I just wonder if I should give up on them.

Do you ever go through trials that you think will never end, too?

The angel says to Manoah’s wife Judges 13:3: “Even though you have been unable to have children, you will SOON become pregnant and give birth to a son” (NLT).

Soon. We tend to think it means in a short while,

before too long,

or eventually.

But with God it means –

the opportune time.

The time most favorable, perfectly timed in which He works and moves in our lives.

We all have the “soon” moment we are waiting for in our lives … the door we are waiting for to open … the answers to a “why?” …

the right job,

a question answered,

the means for a need to be met,

healing,

a new place to live,

a prodigal to come home,

a relationship restored,

a marriage,

a pregnancy,

a ministry opportunity …

“Even though you have been unable to find a job, soon …”

“Even though you have questions, soon …”

“Even though you have been unable to find a new place to live, soon …”

“Even though you have been unable to have contact with your child, soon …”

“Even though they do not appreciate you, soon…”

“Even though you have been unable to mend that relationship, soon …”

Nothing is hidden from our God.

“So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up.” (Galatians 6:10, NLT)

What is your “soon” that you are waiting on God for?

Your Creator is moving on your behalf. Not only in His way but in His time.

And it will be the right time.

Wake up.

Don’t give up.

Believe.

Go.

 

April 9, 2019 river

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Good morning, DearHeart.

Take a deeper breath. Fall deeply within your heart and picture yourself crossing a bridge over a creek to enter into an old farm cabin that sits just behind your heart… once you cross over, you look back and the bridge is gone and there is only silence. A deep and pure quiet wraps you as you step into the cabin. There’s a glowing flame in fireplace and a chair and quilt nearby beckons you to sit.

Stay.

You hear a Voice that quiets you deeper still and you know that you are with God. In the silence your Creator says, “I have been waiting a long time to be with you in this silence.”

Imagine the embrace of the Divine as You feel Him say “My child, I have a question for you – and it will change your life.” And deep from within God says -“what have I given you in this life that is too much to carry? – tell Me what I have given you that is too much to carry and give it back to Me … release it to Me … release it to Me.”

The God Most High says “I place My hand on your head, My Child, and the Grace of God and heaven runs through you and releases

the diseases that assault your body,

the suffering that assaults your heart,

the grief that grips your soul,

the pain that plunders your body. Now feel the grace from heaven consuming you from the inside out and surrender it all – simply let it go.

God, grant me the grace of awe and honor for my life so that I may be grateful I am alive.

God, allow me the grace of reverence so that I see every human being as Your child.

Grant me extraordinary understanding so that I can see beauty and truth in my relationships with others.

Grant me the grace of fortitude so that I have the mettle to answer when You call my name.

God, give me the grace of Your wise counsel so that I can hear You when You guide me.

Pour into me the grace of knowledge to understand the higher meaning of things.

Download into me the wisdom to see clearly the choices I need to make.

Let nothing, Father, disturb the silence of peace in my heart.

In the Holy and Precious name of Jesus, I ask for Your river of calm to flow in me.

“He stilled the storm to a murmur, and the waves of the sea were hushed. They rejoiced when the waves grew quiet. Then He guided them to the harbor they longed for.” Psalms 107:29-30 HCSB

Wake up.

Meet with Him.

Sit in His river of calm.

Go.

April 8, 2019 linger

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Good morning, DearHeart.

Do you work off of to-do lists, too? It is impossible for me to fight the distraction of the lists. My grandmother, Mom Coon, drank coffee every morning with her neighbor Lela or her sister in law, Aunt Edna. They had a unique gift of cutting away time to simply be together. To linger together. Every day. Sometimes, they did it again in the afternoon.

We will always have tasks to do each day. If we allow ourselves to be distracted we will miss what God has for us each day. “How wonderful to be wise, to analyze and interpret things. Wisdom lights up a person’s face, softening its harshness” (Ecclesiastes 8:1, NLT). Wisdom, analyzing, interpreting come from time … with Godly people. My bible commentary has this to say about this verse: “Anxiety, anger, sorrow, and frustration can harden one’s face, but the enjoyment of life and wisdom will lighten it.” Wisdom comes from the Lord and He will give us wisdom, thus lightening our burdens, easing our minds, and changing our very countenance as He changes our souls. My goal this week is to look at each item on my to-do list (because throwing it away would do me in) as opportunities to share and worship Christ. Opportunities to linger … to use it as a prompt to linger in the presence of the Holy with others. Somebody else needed this thought … this reminder … this permission to put relationships ahead of the ‘to-do list’, right?!

Wake up.

Linger.

Go.

April 4, 2019 gopher hole

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Good morning, DearHeart.

There is meaning hidden in the small events of everyday life. The ordinary builds. Each bump and pothole and even each little victory comes with hands of transformation from the Creator. I can always relate when I notice a soul asking questions, poking his head out of the heaviness of the daily worries this life brings … as if peeking out of a gopher hole – my heart soars that they are asking. How many times have I asked the questions, too? The journey into the woods of change and transformation is an inner one. It is not celebrated in our world where being “professional” often resembles being cold, and unfeeling, and distant.

The unsettling within is a call from the Holy to:

walk into faith,

step into the woods,

and wake up …

feel more alive …

feel something that spurs us beyond our fear.

Sometimes you and I resist that walk into faith with everything in us until a crisis or tragedy slams us and gets our attention. We get shaken enough out of the habit of an ordinary day to listen deeply, and to answer the call … “To him the gatekeeper opens. The sheep hear his voice, and He calls His own sheep by name and leads them out.” (John 3:10)

When we look for Him in faith, we will find Him. And, He leads us out of the habits that came to kill, steal, and destroy. He leads you and me into an abundant life.

You are being called, DearHeart.

Wake up.

Take the step.

Be led by faith.

Go.

April 3, 2019 still

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Good morning, DearHeart.

Rain in the forecast. Maybe some storms. What a clever reminder of His presence … of being washed in grace.

Sometimes I forget to get still and simply FEEL God … to feel loved by our Creator … held by God Most High. I know He is with me, but sometimes I fail to truly experience Him in my mundane.

“GOD said, “My presence will go with you. I’ll see the journey to the end.” Exodus 33:14 MSG

Just simply, easily pausing in His presence. This body … this skin is your earthly home to your soul … set aside a moment and in your mind, see your Maker’s very bright light above your head. Let His holiness wash down over you,

over your head,

your shoulders,

down your back,

arms,

and legs.

You are allowing His light to wash through every cell, every major organ of your body. His light holds you in safety as He releases

every block,

every negative thought,

and every bitter expression.

He prepares you for gratitude. He loosens up the darkest areas for release. He created the universe from nothing, therefore, you can trust Him completely to give you all the controls you need to release the any harmful thought, or pattern, or habit. He allows you to bring the gift of gratitude, and forgiveness, and compassion, and joy home to your heart. Just sit with Him a moment. Let Him remind you He is with you every moment of this earthly journey. Gosh. He is so good to His children.

Wake up.

Pause in His presence.

Go.