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Archive for the ‘praise’ Category

“But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.” John 14:25-27 

Sometimes I get lost in the busyness of life and forget just how big  God really is, and how much He is with us in even the smallest details, as well as the times of adversity. I was reminded of just how much the Holy Spirit guides us, warns us, and prepares us, if we are sensitive to the still small voice within.

On Monday, I awoke in the morning with one of those feelings that mothers know so well. I sat up in bed and recalled the poem that little Sarah used to love to recite when we read the book Madeline. I could hear Sarah at three reciting with me… “In an old house in Paris, that was covered with vines, lived twelve little girls in two straight lines, they left the house at half past nine…the smallest one was Madeline.”

I always loved it when the nun, Miss Clavel, who took care of Madeline sensed something was wrong. That evening, the girls are tucked into bed for the evening. Miss Clavel goes to bed too, but she wakes up with a fright, “something’s not right”.  In the story, as Miss Clavel runs to the bedroom where the orphans are asleep, she discovered that Madeline has had an Appendicitis attack.  It seems her feelings were accurate, something was wrong.  I had been feeling like that since the night before.

I sat up in bed and read the Bible to comfort my soul. I said “Lord, I feel so anxious today, like something is wrong, but I trust that you will keep us safe.” In my prayer I prayed for my family and I knew in my spirit that I should rest. I stayed home all day and just rested for a change. No crafts, no art, no telephone, no computer, no rides in the country or form of busyness, I just rested. 

Then at exactly 6 o’clock the telephone rang, “Mom, there was a terrible car accident”. It was Sarah, my nineteen year old daughter who attends college just an hour away. As she explained how much damage was on her car, all I wanted to know was that she was okay. She has not a bump, scratch or hurt, even though her car looks like a truck hit it and she is terribly upset about her car. 

I quickly phoned my other daughter to tell her I was on my way to Sarah. Ashley said “Mom I was in a car accident too, I was just going to call you. I’m okay and my car only has a scratch, the policeman was nice and the guy who hit me too. I got all the information, Mom”. Just sixteen and so mature. Sarah called back to say that the tow truck had arrived and I waited for her to phone back with directions. When the phone rang again it was Ashley, “Mom, I am on my way to pick up Sarah, you don’t have to worry”. They came home, we ate, we talked and I was so thankful.

I got down on my knees and praised God for keeping my girls safe. I didn’t even want to think about what could have been. Prayer is a might covering, it doesn’t always mean that adversity will be magically brushed away.  Rather, prayer helps us to be bathed in the protection of the Lord.  It opens the window for His peace, so that we can be still in the middle of adversity, and have faith that He will see us through.

As I relived the day and the night before, I was so aware of the promptings of the Holy Sprit.  My husband was away on a business trip, and usually I go on a day trip while he is away.  Yet, I felt so led to just stay home and rest, and therefore I was available for my girls when they called.  That feeling inside that something was wrong prompted me to stay in prayer and on put my armor of mindfulness.  That feeling I just used to think was fret, was actually a warning that I must stay close to the Lord.  I always find such peace when I read the Bible, and often I am able to recognize a scripture that meets my current needs.

Tuesday morning I awoke with such a peace and a spirit of thankfulness. All that I can say is Thank you. Thank you Lord, every now and then I sing His praise for always being there, but today I want to shout it from the top of the mountains.

 

“O come, let us sing unto the Lord: let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation.”
Psalm 95:1

 

 

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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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Prayer That Works


“Ask and you will receive.  Search and you will find.  Knock, and the door will be opened to you.  Everyone who asks will receive. Everyone who searches will find.  And the door will be opened for everyone who knocks.”

Matthew 7:7-8

 

I believe in the power of prayer, but sometimes I don’t know the exact words to pray for someone else.  One day I received a beautiful prayer taught to me by my favorite Bible teacher, Charles Stanley. When Charles Stanley pointed the way to this glorious prayer, I felt alive in the power of prayer.  Between knowing the exact words to bless my beloveds and being able to stand on the Words right out of the Bible, I felt His strength in every word. I promise to pray this prayer every day.  There is power in the Word of God, and when we say these words, we know that God will answer our prayer and that by saying this prayer we have surrendered the outcome to God.  In the book of Colossians we read about Thanksgiving and Prayer, and this beautiful prayer.  You can substitute the person’s name when you read the word “you”.  I say this prayer for my children every day.

“Because of this, since the day we heard about you, we have continued praying for you asking God that you will know fully what he wanted. We pray that you will also have great wisdom and understanding in spiritual things, so that you will live the kind of life that honors and pleases the Lord in every way.  You will produce fruit in every good work and grow in the knowledge of God.  God will strengthen you with his own great power so that you, will not give up when troubles come but you will be patient.  And you will joyfully give thanks to the Father who has made you able to have a share in all that he has prepared for his people in the kingdom of light.  God has freed us from the power of darkness and he has brought us into the kingdom of his dear Son.  The Son paid for our sins and in him we have forgiveness.”

Colossians I verses 9-14

 

I recently heard a wonderful sermon preached by Gloria Copeland on receiving God’s blessings.  She said that it takes more than just asking God in prayer…it takes believing that you have already received what you have asked for.  This new teaching really struck a note in my spirit.  Truthfully I had prayed many times for my children, family, friends and for guidance and help.  Yet had I really believed when I asked God for anything?  I think I kept asking and asking and asking, saying the prayer over and over again.  When I should have just believed I had received and thanked God even before I saw evidence of the answered prayer.

If I could give you a blessing today it would be that I know Jesus will strengthen you when you say this prayer, and whoever you are praying for will receive new guidance. He will shed clarity on all the decisions that you and the person you are praying for need to make.  He will mark His path with diamonds that will reflect His will for your lives.  He will give you His blessings and you and your beloveds will have God’s favor shining on your every step.  Expect great miracles for the Holy Spirit to brighten your thoughts and to renew your mind.  Believe you have received and thank God for your answer before you see the evidence.  Expect a miracle, and that miracle will strengthen your faith.  Thank God every day for answering your prayer and do not let doubt steal your miracle.  I have been praying the prayer from Colossians for a very long time, yet I had forgotten one important thing, to pray this prayer with the spirit of joy believing that He will answer my prayer and in the spirit of thanksgiving that my prayer is already answered:

 

“And you will joyfully give thanks to the Father”,

 

I must pray always with praise and thanksgiving believing that God is already answering my prayer as I speak the words.  

 

Thank you Father for giving me the words and teaching me about what spirit I should come to your throne with and believing with faith that you have already answered my prayer.  Thank you God for giving me the opportunity to share this new teaching with others and for sewing this blessing into their hearts so that their prayers are answered.  We give all the praise, honor and glory to your name in Jesus Christ. Amen

“And all things you ask in prayer, believing you shall receive.”Matthew 21:22 

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“And be constantly renewed in the spirit of your mind [having a fresh mental and spiritual attitude],” Ephesians 4:23

Recently I have endured one trial after another, leaving me quite weary. The Lord is faithful though, He knows how my faith is depleted and has sent me wonderful messages and messengers to remind me of how important it is to keep my faith. Just because I get tired doesn’t mean that He does. He is the same yesterday and today, it is my feelings that vacillate.

I had been aware that I was just existing instead of living in Joy every day. To me when I am just existing and getting through each day, I am not living in Faith. When I am full of thoughts of great promise my Faith sings. I was waiting for this period of weariness to pass, and then I remembered that it was my choice to dwell on the trials or remember God’s promise. It was not dependent on how I feel, but rather how I renew my mind until I am back on the road where I belong. How many times has he led me through difficult times and rewarded me with His blessings at the end of such a chapter. Yet if I am not renewing my mind consistently I fall into the same trap of sadness, despair and hopelessness. These feelings stoke the fire that dries up my faith.

I listened to the audio book Extravagant Worship by Darlene Zschech, she speaks at great length of praising the Lord and thanking Him in Faith. Praising Him in our pain even before we see the purpose for the trial and the blessing.

I watched a sermon by Joyce Meyer, in it she said: “And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.” Hebrews 11:6

I read my book Blessed Beyond Measure by Gloria Copeland, “If you will keep going with God, refusing to be drawn off by disobedience or unbelief, you will find yourself walking in your dreams. You will look around and see the goodness of God poured out in every area of your life. You will see His goodness everywhere you turn. You will be living out His plan, and enjoying His provision and dwelling in the place He prepared especially for you.”

I read in my devotional Streams In The Desert: “Blessed are those whose strength is in you…As they pass through the Valley of Baca, they make it a place of springs.” Psalm 84:5-6

“When the shadows of night needed night, gather over the garden of our souls, when leaves close up and flowers no longer reflect any sunlight within their golden petals, and when we experience even the thickest darkness, we must remember that we will never be found wanting and that he comforting drops of heavenly dew fall only after the sun has set.”

I just couldn’t find my way back to Joy. Someone approached me recently and said let yourself go, what are you afraid of…Live life to it’s fullest. I felt ashamed because I am usually the one cheering others on in their walk of believing all things are possible.

I had a dream two days ago that I was beneath this field of golden flowers. I could hear joyful laughter of those that were walking in this field. I was attempting to climb to get to the field, but I could not. I could just peek into the golden field beyond my reach and hear the joyful laughter in the distance. The Lord walked up to me and asked “Why have you lost your faith now?” When I awoke from this dream I wept, selfishly I wanted to stay in that beautiful field with the Lord. I felt sad that He had asked me that question, even in my sleep I felt ashamed that I had lost my faith after so many lessons of blessings. Yesterday I had struggled yet one more day looking around me for my answer going through a trial. Then I found a poem that made me see that I was choosing to dwell on the gloom and not on the promise:

One Day At A Time

Just for one day I will promise
To see God’s love in all things,
In the calm, the joy, and the peaceful
In the burden, the pain and the sting.

I will look to His love in the moonlight
In the wave of each swaying branch,
In each breath, in each step, in each moment
I will pause to my Lord and give thanks.

Though the turbulent waters surround me
I’ll be still as a calm peaceful lake,
For if He is in charge of this temple
Then the outcome to all will be great.

So with my new mind I’ll sing praises
And release alleluia’s sincere,
For if God and I are this temple,
Then the outcome to all will be clear.

So do not sway for a moment
When dark clouds are somber and gray,
Just look to the sunshine beyond them
And just let the Lord have His way
.
Chris Zambernard

Suddenly it was all clear…I had forgotten the basic rule in maintaining Faith…I had forgotten to count my blessings. I had forgotten to Thank God for my trial and that I believed in Him and that He had a purpose for my suffering. I ran to get all my journals to read, reminding me of countless times like this when He had allowed me to go through a trial for His purpose. He had always blessed my life and shown me why He had allowed me to go through a particular trial. I had my answer, even though He has not revealed the purpose yet for this trial, He clarified what I must do to climb back to Faith. Back to the golden fields of the Lord’s promise, back to walking on the path of golden fields with the right mind believing in God’s promise.

A Recipe for Finding Faith

To remember the Blessings the Lord has given.
To Praise Him in the middle of a trial,
To Believe that the Lord has a reason for any suffering,
To Choose Faith instead of Doubt mindfully,
To Renew my mind with the Word of God.

I stopped today and for the first time since I had that dream, I no longer wished that I had remained there. I knew now that we can have that dream on earth. When we look at the gloom all around us and fall beneath the fields of gold we cannot be blessed with joy. We walk through golden fields of heaven and laugh in joyful song when we have Faith in Our Lord and Savior. It is in the renewing of our mind that we build up our faith. We must keep things in perspective and focus more on the good, renewing our mind with the Word of God.

I remembered the verse from Romans chapter 10 verse 17:
Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ.

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“May God, the source of hope, fill me with all joy and peace by means of my faith in him, so that my hope will continue to grow by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13

In the book The Kiss of Heaven written by Darlene Zschech she writes, “God’s promise and oath are our hope, and this hope is an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. If we give God everything, including our cares He will work everything together to complete His plan for us.” I love this book because in it she writes about God’s favor, which is the Kiss from heaven. Ever since I started putting my focus on God first, I have experienced such favor. Darlene is my favorite singer, she wrote the much loved song “Shout to the Lord”. Her book is written with the same poetic words with a rich understanding of how God works in our lives. She is a gifted singer and wrtier and has a keen sense of what worship really is and can lead us in praise and thanksgiving through her words. Her song “Shout to the Lord” was written at a very low point in her life. Perhaps that is why the depth of that song registers in so many souls and hearts.

She taught me that when I am troubled and something has defeated me, when I begin to thank God for that adversity, even when I don’t feel like it, my burden is lifted. Lifted by believing with all of my heart that God only intends good for my life. When I begin to thank God for something that is hurting me, and trusting that God is in control, my spirit is lifted from that adversity. Perhaps my circumstance has not change, but my perception of that circumstance and the way I react to it has changed. When I trust that God will give me an answer, believing even when I see none in sight, He always comes through. An answered prayer led me to write a thank you to God, to remind me to always keep my focus on Him. To write the words that will remind me every time I face some adversity that God has been faithful before and He will be faithful again.

How many sweet things dwell in my mind?
Placed there by your precious Holy Spirit’s guidance
and whispered into my soul.

How much inspiration your angels have whispered into my Spirit?
Ideas that I dare not claim to be mine,
but perhaps I have sometimes.

How much Glory have I denied you Lord?
Because your guidance, as I walk thru this avenue called life
deserves all the glory.

How many sweet times have you waited for my company?
And I foolishly busied myself instead with idle tasks.

How many times have I suffered needlessly?
Instead of turning to your Word,
or inviting your sweet presence to visit within.

How many times have I disappointed you Lord?
Yet you are always there when I call on you.

How can I express my love for you? When you have your Glory
honored by more faithful and gifted servants than me.

My heart is full Lord, tears of spirit well in my eyes for the gratefulness I feel. And I am so small in your presence that all that I can do is bow down and praise you.

Amen

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