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Archive for the ‘one day at a time’ Category

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My daughter Sarah, gave me a beautiful pen for Christmas called a poetry pen.  I love the feel of the pen in my hand and the style suits me perfectly.  The style is vintage and it made me think of lovely ladies from another time sitting in their drawing room clothed in brocade trimmed gowns, writing poetry to be illuminated in books for keepsakes.

On my bookshelf I found two treasures this morning.  A Treasury of The World’s Best Loved Poems and The Book of Psalms.  I love poetry and certainly the sonnets of love are music to our ears when a wonderful romantic love is alive.  Yet, during my lifetime I have learned that romance wanes and sometimes romantic love disappoints.  The Psalms however, are written to remind us that not only does God love us, but He is there always in the middle of adversity.  He is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow.  His promises found in the scriptures of the Word of God reminds us how faithful He is to us, how He surrounds us with His angels, and He is always there to restore us.

Psalm 46 1-5

“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.  Therefore I will not we fear, though the earth be removed and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; though the waters thereof roar and be troubled though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof.  There is a river, the streams whereof shall make glad the city of God, the holy place of the tabernacles of the most High.  God is in the midst of her, she shall not be moved.  God shall help her and that right early.”

My favorite Psalm which has helped me through so many difficulties is Psalm 91 and I prefer The King James translation because of it’s poetic words:

Psalm 91:1-6

“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 my fortress, my God, in Him will I trust.  Surely He shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler and from the noisome pestilence.  He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust, his truth shall be thy shield and buckler.  Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night nor for the arrow that flieth by day, nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness nor the destruction that wasteth at noonday.” 

That Psalm is my shield and I rely on those words whenever I need comfort and protection. 

My favorite verse from Psalm 91 is verse eleven:

“For he shall give his angels charge over thee to keep thee in all they ways.”

In the book The Timeless Treasure, a commentary on the Song of Solomon Luann Dunnuck leads us through the Song of Solomon and how God has written this beautiful poetry to us.  She says “When I begin to feel discouraged and frustrated, I open my Bible to the Song of Solomon for encouragement.”  Her commentary is fabulous and leads you through each verse and interprets for us the meaning behind the symbols.

“When I found the one I love, I held him and would not let him go” Chapter 3 verse 4

When we finally understand how much God loves us, it is easy to read how He will not let us go.  In verse 9  it is written “The Beloved you have ravished my heart, my sister, my spouse; you have ravished my heart with one look of your eyes, with one link of your necklace.”  When I read the book of Ruth for my Bible study I could see how the love Ruth finds is so much like our Lord and Savior.  Ruth found a wealthy man who became her provider, someone who cherished her and gave her his promise of forever love.  Our Lord has given us His promise to love us forever, and God has a storehouse of blessings that He wants to shower us with.  I love that we are His Beloved, you are His Beloved and there is no greater love than the love of God.

“I am my beloved’s, and my beloved is mine.” Chapter 6 verse 3

I love this verse because it reminds me that I am God’s beloved, and so are you.  When I finally understood this, I stopped relying on the approval of people because I have God’s approval and that is the most valuable love you kind find.  In Isaiah 55 there is an invitation to come sit with God and read His poetry found in His Word and to come to know that He is Lord and He longs to spend time with us and to give us His rich blessings. The milk is His Word and the honey is His sweet promise to us. We can come to God without earning His reward, but come as we are to His throne and sit with Him a while, as He pours out HIs blessings through His Word.

 “Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost.

In Isaiah 55 He promises us that when we speak His Word and we listen to God speak to us, it will accomplish great things:

“So is my word that goes out from my mouth:It will not return to me empty,but will accomplish what I desireand achieve the purpose for which I sent it .

You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace;the mountains and hillswill burst into song before you,and all the trees of the fieldwill clap their hands.”

The poetry of scripture is a beautiful Word from God written to let us know how much He loves us.  No matter what the translation of the Bible you read, the poetry of God’s Word, will comfort you and renew your spirit when trials leave you weary.  The poetry of scripture will uplift your heart better than any love sonnet can.  To read God’s promises as He asks us to be still and listen to  His Word, will renew your spirit so that you may receive the blessings God has for you.  The poetry of scripture teaches us, His purpose for our lives and it fills us with hope and with His love.  David sang praises to God, he knew the love that God has for anyone who listens and hears the Word of God will be blessed.

“Give ear and come to me; hear me, that your soul may live.  I will make an everlasting covenant with you, my faithful love promised to David.”

Isaiah 55:3

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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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I gave my life to Jesus Christ twenty-five years ago. During my walk with the Lord I have studied the Bible, listened to sermons, discovered beautiful worship music and read many books. I truly found my best direction many times from my devotional. I started with Hearing God, by Lory Basham Jones and then added Streams In The Desert, by L.B. Cowman, and Springs In The Valley by Mrs. Charles E. Cowman which helped me daily to receive a message from God. To this day I read these three devotionals and I have added even more devotionals to my morning devotional time.

What I love about a devotional is that there is a daily message for that specific day of the month that you are reading, I can’t tell you how many times it fits absolutely perfectly with my circumstances. There is scripture and scripture references, which taught me how to study the Bible on a daily basis. When I discovered the devotional, I learned how others applied God’s word to their every day lives. In my first devotional Hearing God, I read every day what guidance the Holy Spirit was giving Lori Basham Jones. I also learned from that book how she would ask God in plain English, no flowering fancy prayer, to guide her. She begins with scripture, moves on to ask God about her circumstance and then includes how God directs her path. Through reading this little book, which is tattered and missing the spine now, I learned how to recognize God’s voice.

Streams of the Desert is truly amazing to me. Day after day, year after year I read the daily message and it never ceases to amaze me how the writing is so close to my circumstance. That little treasure is full of so many messages from people like us just taking life one day at a time. It is my favorite gift to share with others and give as a gift. This book has comforted me so many times in the middle of difficult times, and has taught me how to react to my circumstances.

My most recent additions to my devotional library are Starting Your Day Right By Joyce Meyer and Choosing Life, One Day At A Time by Dodie Osteen, and this divine little treasure Meeting God in Quiet Places, The Cotswold Parables by F. LaGard Smith, illustrated by Glenda Rae.

F. LaGard Smith has written a whole series of Meeting God in Quiet Places. My favorite is in the Cotswolds, in it he refers to everyday things and how he sees God’s parables all around him. He leads you through his words down the beautiful places in the Cotswolds and describes in detail how he sees God’s parables. It is the loveliest little book, and it has inspired me tremendously. Not only do I feel like I am walking through the Cotswolds, but F. LaGard Smith narrates how God’s parables are still alive all around us today. Max Lucado wrote the Foreward and it he writes:

“LaGard has invited us to walk with him through the countryside of England. But as you walk you will see much more than bunnies and sheep. You will see truths of Scripture come alive and the promise of God renewed with each sunrise.”

Today I own many devotionals and I still am learning to see God in the details of everyday life. My devotionals were the inspiration for this blog. I thought I would love to introduce others to the world of these little guide books called devotionals. I decided to write in my own devotional for you, how the Holy Spirit has and continues to teach, comfort, lead and strengthen me, as I walk the path following Jesus Christ. I wanted to write a devotional that would hopefully touch your heart the way that my library of friends has touched mine.

I believe I owe everything to my Savior. I hope my writings bless you and inspire you to never grow weary of following our Lord.

We all have the abililty to encourage one another just as Paul did thousands of years ago from a jail cell through his letters. Whether you are a new believer, a seeker, or feeling lost our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ will lead you. When I was first saved I was lost how to read God’s Word, where to begin and how to read the Word. My devotionals were my introduction how to understand scripture, and how to apply it to my circumstance.

I believe one of my favorite scriptures is in Jeremiah, chapter twenty-nine, verse eleven:

“For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”

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