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Archive for September, 2007

I sat down to write something for my daily blog and started writing a whiney kind of piece that made me feel anxious even as I wrote it. As I went to copy something, I stumbled upon this piece I had written a while back. As I read it my spirit quieted down and I knew that this was what the Lord wanted me to post instead:

There is a place deep within my soul where the gift of creation lives, dreams kissed by images too enchanting to leave behind. When I awake from a deep slumber, the images of the night greet me and lead me to the canvas or pen and ink, I find that when I let go of my surroundings and the characters in my play, I find His presence waiting for me like an old best friend.

Spending time with Gods’ voice, I can retreat into the deepest part of my spirit. When I wander deeper still the muse of my heart gives birth to beautiful images, He is there and He always leads me to the window of my soul. That window is the entrance to heaven, where all beauty is born.

To be an artist is a gift, an ambassador to recording the images of Gods’ creation. When I am surrounded by the stillness and surrender to His will, I can capture the beauty I see, and create its’ memory. I wish I knew the path to Gods’ grace, so I could find my way whenever I pleased, so that I could create in the presence of His glory at my will. But being inspired is a gift painted by Gods’ Grace and given to us only when it is His will.

Deep within my suffering at times, He paints His beauty within my soul. as if He reminds me, you’re almost there, remember heaven awaits, your hope lies in your salvation. He whispers “I am with you always in your pain, using it to paint your life’s canvas and to write the poetry of your life.” I see myself sitting high on a mountain top, as Jesus stands by my side. I am seated at an easel as He points to something beautiful and instructs me to look beyond my circumstances and paint what I see.

Whether I paint what I see or place words on a page to recapture the beauty of the moment, He is with me, showing me the way, dancing with me as I try to find meaning in this life. There is a place deep within my soul where the gift of creation lives…but only my Savior can lead the way.

When I was finished copying the writing into my post, I looked for the perfect photographs to compliment the writing. I realized I had just photographed the lake earlier in the morning, and I had posted the perfect photo yesterday on flickr. The photo was of a window graphic which opened up revealing this magnificent view of Martha’s Vineyard.

Then I then found scripture that spoke to my heart:

“Yes, God will give you much so that you can give away much, and when we take your gifts to those who need them, they will break out into thanksgiving and praise to God for your help.” Corinthians 9:11

I was pleased with the post and knew that I had been able to create it so quickly and effortlessly that God must have someone in mind to speak to with this writing. I found a perfect piece of music to compliment the post by Josh Groban called The Prayer. Satisfied that my daily blog was written I decided to spend some time reading my own devotionals. I opened up one of my favorite devotionals called Choosing Life, One Day at a Time written by the lovely Dodie Osteen. I opened up to this page:

Love The Prisoner
“…I was sick and in prison, and you visited me.” Matthew 25:35-36

“It has always touched me deeply to receive letters from those who are in prison. One particular letter said, “We watch you on Sundays and any other time we can. It has made such a difference in my life. I thank God for leaders like you who take time for people who are locked away. It makes me feel special and wanted when your program comes on the air. You tell us that you know us, and welcome those of us who are watching from prison.”

We love to minister to those who are in prison. We are glad that our program can go inside even prison walls to take the message of love to these precious friends of Jesus. How thrilling it is when prisoners who have watched our program are released and visit us at Lakewood Church, an Oasis of Love.

What a disappointment it would be to keep the truth of Jesus’ love to ourselves and not be willing to share Him with everyone we possibly could. Share Jesus with someone today. Many people you will meet today are in one sort of “prison” or another. They may only have the opportunity to meet Jesus through you. Don’t let that WINDOW of opportunity pass you by.

“Father help me share Jesus with someone today. Everybody needs You, God, but sometimes they don’t know it. Help me to love others with Your love and be Your hands extended.

The phrase “window of opportunity” jumped off the page. The photo I had chosen for this piece is of a window. I knew then that somewhere out there on the Internet was someone who needed this message today. I then wrote this devotional and posted it here. You need to know how much God loves you and that He had me write this today especially for you. That’s just the way He is, it is said that if God only thought that one person needed salvation, Jesus would still have gone to the cross. The greatest love I have ever known is the Love of Jesus Christ. I hope He fills your soul with the peace that passes all understanding and that something written here touches your heart. You are so loved, and God’s grace is sufficient.

I usually have the song, One Day At A Time playing on this post, the song link is on the sidebar. I felt that I should play something different today, and when I found this song I knew that it was perfect…just like the words, If You Were The Only One.

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“Rejoice in the Lord always, and again I will say, Rejoice.”
Phillipians 4:4

Getting back to joy, that is exactly what I set out to do when I realized that I was just living one day at a time, but not living it with joy. I have been thinking about how do we get back our joy when we might be living one day at a time suffering with depression, enduring a troubled marriage, coping with a sick or difficult child, failing health, facing the death of a loved one, battling addictions, and facing all kinds of adversity. Living in such an uncertain world, I thought is it truly possible to not let these circumstances effect our joy? Relying on the Lord living one day at a time is the way we need to live, but to live one day at time does not not mean to just get through the day and survive. One day at a time with the Lord means that we can walk through fields of gold no matter what our circumstances. I have faith, but sometimes I don’t have joy.

“Whenever you face trials of any kind, consider it nothing but joy.”
James 1:2

Recently, I heard a sermon about joy. In the middle of the sermon he said “If you want to get your joy back, re-joy.” RE-JOICE! This is exactly what a did, I had felt like I was just getting through the days, studying the word, doing the right thing…waiting to feel joy. Feel joy? I remembered all the times that the Lord’s Word says that it doesn’t matter how you feel, we should count it all joy. But it was the pastor that said, if you want to get your joy back, no matter how you are feeling rejoice. I remembered wonderful Darlene Zschech and her story of writing Shout to the Lord, which was written in one of her darkest times. The song is all about praising God, shouting our voices in praise, even when we don’t feel like it. Learning this lesson, it made perfect sense…after all, when we are in the depths of a storm and we raise our voices in worship or thank Him with our words, aren’t we really demonstrating the ultimate sign of faith?

“Be glad in the Lord and rejoice, you righteous ones, and shout for joy, all you who are upright in heart.”
Psalms 32:11

I started getting up each morning and thanking Jesus for my blessings. When things would go wrong in the day, I would say “Jesus, thank you I know that you have a reason for this, even though I can’t see it now.” I started concentrating on the feelings in my heart for the Lord, rather than the feelings provoked by my circumstances. As I began to thank Him, step by step I was reclaiming the joy I had once known at the beginning of my walk in faith. I would say to Him “Lord, I don’t know what the reason is for this adversity, but thank you Lord because I know that you have a plan, a plan for my life to prosper.” I made a stack of all my books and resources about Praise and began my study. I listened to music that would connect me back to joy. I remembered All things are possible.

Recently, the Lord has blessed me with a new Bible Study in the home of this wonderful couple. The other night they broke out in song and sang “The Lord Will Make A Way.” All week long that song has covered me, and when something has come up to steal my joy, I can hear them in my head singing that song. That’s what the Lord does, He covers us in His infinite Love, all we have to do is ask. This is the door to miracles and blessings, just ask Him to do something and He answers, but expect that He will shower you with even more than you asked for…His storehouse is full just waiting for us. As I walked my way back to praise I was renewed with the reminder I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me. I looked for the music to add the link, but none could compare to the pure heart of this couple singing these lyrics:

God will make a way
Where there seems to be no way
He works in ways we cannot see
He will make a way for me
He will be my guide
Hold me closely to His side
With love and strength for each new day
He will make a way….
He will make a way

Oh God will make a way
Where there seems to be no way
He works in ways we cannot see
He will make a way for me
He will be my guide
Hold me closely to His side
With love and strength for each new day
He will make a way…..
He will make a way

By a roadway in the wilderness
He’ll lead me
And rivers in the desert will I see
Heaven and earth will fade
But His Word will still remain
And He will do something new today

Oh God will make a way
Where there seems to be no way
He works in ways we cannot see
He will make a way for me
He will be my guide
Hold me closely to His side
With love and strength for each new day
He will make a way…
He will make a way

With love and strength for each new day
He will make a way….
He will make a way

This reminded me that another wonderful way to renew your mind is through spiritual music. It took me a long time before I started to listen to contemporary Christian music. When I was a new believer the music that was offered to me was lovely praise music and gospel music. I am one of those people that always need a soundtrack to match how I am feeling. Contemporary Religious music gave me a modern sound with words and lyrics that renew my spirit and remind me of God’s Word.

Now I have learned that no matter what you are going through, there is an uplifting piece of music out there that will renew your spirit and let you know that you are not alone. Lovely upbeat music that serenades our heart and lightens our spirit reminding us that the Lord is so Faithful. Even when we are facing a huge trial, it is so inspiring to know that He wants to give us our Heart’s Desire.

I have been following Jesus for twenty-years and yet, I remember when I didn’t know Him. When I hear certain songs I cry, not because I am sad, but because I am so thankful that Jesus is in my life. He has slowly changed me, from a broken heart and taken away the hurt, bitterness and confusion. He gave my life direction, purpose and restored me to a child-like heart.

Hope is born from a broken heart, the blessing He has poured into my life overwhelms me even now. I praise you Lord, thank you for changing my life and leading me in JOY one day at a time. I promise I will love you Evermore

Another great story of someone writing a praise song out of adversity is the song “I Can Only Imagine”. It was written by a grieving son, Bart Millard of the group Mercyme. He wrote the song after losing his father, trying to console himself, by thinking of what his father was experiencing in heaven. I found a beautiful flash movie with the wonderful song, it cleansed my spirit and reminded me, that when I get to heaven, I can only imagine what it will be like when I meet Jesus face to face.

Listening to Christian music, reading the Word of God and having the ability to sing Praise in church next to other believers in a country where we are free to worship, we need to ask ourselves, how can we not live one day at a time in JOY?

How do we get back our joy when we might be living one day at a time suffering with depression, enduring a troubled marriage, coping with a sick or difficult child, failing health, facing the death of a loved one, battling addictions, and facing all kinds of adversity? Living in such an uncertain world, is it truly possible to not let these circumstances effect our joy? I found the answer to these questions in God’s Word…

“The joy of the Lord is your strength”
Nehemiah 8:10

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