mamas summer survival…”Fill me up!”

for the mamas who might feel a bit ’empty…’

See God's Hand

God speaks, and yes, in the Bible it is recorded that His voice was heard audibly. God, (normally very quiet vocally,) has moments when He opens the heavens and speak words! Our Father in heaven speaks from the heavens, because His ‘children’ sometimes get confused. Do you remember what He said? “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Hear Him!”(Matthew 17:5), and this time the exclamation point is from God and not me.

Our Father speaks from the heavens with these words on more than one occasion. He really wants us to know that ‘THIS is My Son whom I love, He pleases me.'(Paraphrased of course,)But in Matthew 17:5, He adds, ‘Listen to Him!’ So, for us mama’s during these busy days with the kids, we need to make time to do just that, and why? Because what our kids need most is ‘love’ and it…

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That I might KNOW Him…

Sometimes we ask, and sometimes we don’t, but God seems to have His way, in that we might ‘know Him more.’

For those who have asked to ‘know Him more’, they  are often left confused when there is a diagnosis of cancer, or of some chronic disease, or a loss of a spouse or a child, or even both, or  for parent who has  a child  in a destructive path. Sometimes, we don’t even ask to ‘know Him more’, but ‘life happens’ and the rug gets pulled out from underneath us, perhaps, security is lost, or limbs are lost or even paralyzed.  These things happen, and yes, sometimes, to people who have prayed, “Lord, that I might know You more!”

It almost seems as if God is cold and uncaring. There is silence, there is quiet, there is s-o- m-u-c-h- t-i-m-e.  But there is time for stillness now. To be still enough to hear Him say, “Be still and know that I am God.” He has ‘made us to lie down’. But have you ever thought, how will we ever know that He delivers us in our fears and doubts, unless we go through fear and  doubt?

He IS answering our prayers, but it’s  hard to see that this is true  over the  losses, over pain, over  crisis, over the stress of it all! Waiting is not a favorite virtue of any human being! Waiting on people that we can see is hard enough, but waiting on an invisible God?

How are we to acquire ‘Ebeneizer stones’ unless we have had times of hardship that God has shown Himself faithful and able when we were not?

How is the beautiful pearl formed without the great irritation? Isn’t it true that the best diamonds are discovered in the dark, difficult rock? Perhaps, there was no time to be still. Perhaps, we cared a bit about God and His presence in our lives,but, perhaps, we never ‘really’ cared enough to bring us to a place of ‘stillness!’ But then ‘life happens’ or ‘tragedy’ and  ‘great amounts of anxiety’ and suddenly we find ourselves needing more. Perhaps we remember “The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want…”and all we know is, “I’M WANTING LORD!”

Is it not also true, though, that in the driest of deserts, that  every drop of water is precious? God’s word, it is living waters.

Are you dry as a desert? Are there many great irritations? Is there great darkness surrounding you? Let God’s word rain down: “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard,”Nor have entered into the heart of man,”The things which God has prepared for those who love Him.” 1 Corinthians 2:9.

We have been broken to a point that God does a deeper work, perhaps that He could not do before the affliction, so that “Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God.” 1 Cor 2:12.

“No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful,
who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make a way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.” 1 Cor. 10:13.
Who would have thought that the ‘way of escape’ would sometimes be the ‘fires’ of affliction, which finally have us running with focus, focus on God! Even though everything seems to be so ‘bad’ in reality, God uses it for ‘good’ because we are now closer to Him, and now He can pour out more grace.

All of a sudden, the words of Paul, “I rejoice in my infirmities, makes sense. Even though there are many moments of sorrow and pain and grief, ( and perhaps definite moments of ‘not rejoicing in the infirmities), but in between all of that, their is a most beautiful and perfect gift,the Holy Spirit, who makes His presence KNOWN and He walks every step with us and encourages us through the suffering, and lifts us up as if we were carried on eagle’s wings as He speaks truth into the depths of our beings. All of a sudden, ‘truth sets us free’ somehow.

All of a sudden we experience His ‘very present help’ in our times of trouble. And in the weakness and lack of all strength, there is a supernatural grace poured out. So much ‘makes sense’ now, that had no meaning before- We have been brought to a place where we KNOW that ‘our sufficiency is not of ourselves to think anything as being from ourselves, but our sufficiency is from God.’ 2 Cor. 3:5. We KNOW this to be true after a time of breaking.

And He has answered prayer, and He is answering prayer, because ‘we no longer preach ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord, and ourselves, servants for Jesus’sake.” 2 Cor.4:5.

Yes, we knew we were simply ‘clay pots’ so to speak, but now we are broken clay pots. The world might not think highly of us and we might not look great from the outside, but inside us,we are coming to KNOW that we have ‘this treasure in our earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us. 2 Corinthians 4:7. Exclamation point mine.(!) God allows all of this that we might KNOW HIM …God is faithful, He is and has been  answering prayer. That now we are learning to ‘count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord,

for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ.’ Phil.3:8

But not only that, but that we are also at a place where we can be ‘found in Him’… where as, perhaps we weren’t necessarily ‘found in Him’ before! And in our weakness  we cry, “Increase my faith, God! Increase my faith!”

I prayed that prayer over and over again, and God brought me to Jenny. And He increased my faith by opening my eyes… and yes, I saw with my very own eyes, this verse in real life in my friend: that I, may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship…
of His sufferings,being conformed to…His death. Phil. 3:9:10.
I saw a surrendered vessel, trusting and waiting on the ‘power of His resurrection’ to lift her from her ‘chair’ but instead He lifted her faith and she had intimate fellowship with Her creator, Her Husband, Her Friend in Jesus, which filled her with something so many of us, (that have so much), struggle to have…joy.
Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!” Phil 4:4.
That I might KNOW Him more, God gave me a ‘witness’!

“Watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong. Let all be done with love.” 1 Cor. 16:13,14. If Jenny can do this with no excuses,being paralyzed from the neck down, not just for a week, not just for a month, not just for a year, but for 5 and 3/4 years,then, so can we.
Has God allowed trial, trouble, pain and anguish, well, the ‘good’ about all of this is,
He takes away all of our ‘human’ glories and we are brought to a place ‘as it is written, “He who glories, let him glory in the LORD.” 1 Cor. 1:31.

And amazingly wonderful about it all, is…we grow to KNOW Him more. And in turn LOVE HIM INTIMATELY!

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and the perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider Him…” Hebrews 12:1,2,3.

What a friend we have in Jesus…

“What a friend we have in Jesus…”
Who else can we go to in the morning to ask, “Search me O God, and know my heart, try me and know my anxieties, and see if there is any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting” (Psalm 139:23,24). and still, He loves us?

It is absolutely amazing to think, that the Lord, who ‘searches us and knows us’, who ‘knows our sitting down and rising up’, who ‘is acquainted with all my ways, and that even ‘there is not a word on my tongue, but behold, He knows it altogether’ (Ps. 139) – and HE STILL LOVES…He loves me, He loves you, He loves every child born in this world…God loves, because God IS love.

What a friend we have in Jesus.
“A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.” Proverbs 17:17.This proverb is true always, when thinking about Jesus.
“I no longer call you servants, I have called you friends…” (John 15:15.

To think that these are His very words to you and me who have made a decision to ask Him into our lives, that He is a friend that loves at all times, that He calls us friends, even after searching us and knowing us because ‘God is light and in Him is no darkness at all’,(1John 1:5).

What a friend we have in Jesus, after He has searched me and knows my heart, and He can easily see all the wicked ways and thoughts I have, that He doesn’t walk off the scene, that He doesn’t say, “I give up on this one!” But instead, just like what He did to Peter, He literally ‘looked me in the eyes’ so to speak, as I was ‘fighting the oppressive and dark thoughts inside,’and ‘seeking His face’ in the midst of this hurricane of a storm, and making effort to cry out “Help Lord!”

He didn’t walk off, He ‘looked me in the eyes’ through the very eyes of the one I felt ‘trouble’ over! “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.” (Eph 6:12)

“Have we trials and temptations? Is there trouble anywhere?” (Or ‘everywhere’, my version during a hurricane!) the old hymn reminds us, “We should never be discouraged, Take it to the Lord in prayer: Can we find a friend so faithful? Who will all our sorrows share? Jesus knows our every weakness,…”
(The hymn, What a Friend We Have in Jesus).

It is true, ‘He knows our every weakness…’ Peter stood outside and warmed himself at the enemies fire while Jesus was being ‘tried in a ‘fiery furnace’ of sorts.Peter, a disciple that had only moments before spoke these very words, “Even if all are made to stumble because of You, I will never be made to stumble.”(Matthew 26:33).
What a friend we have in Jesus, He knows our thoughts, He knows our paths, even before we walk in them. His very words to Peter after that statement of faith and courage, “Assuredly, I say to you that this night, before the rooster crows, you will deny Me three times.” (Matthew 26:34).

And it is recorded so we can always take a look on Peter’s words, even though we know all that Jesus said came to pass, “Even if I have to die with You, I will not deny You!” And so said all the disciples. (Matthew 26:35).

And Jesus knew what was comin’!

Jesus is that perfect friend,
“A friend loves at all times…”(Prov. 17:17).’All times’ meaning ‘all’ times. What a friend we have…what a friend I have…

He touched me today, He didn’t walk off, He is here. He loves me, even though He knows all that is in my heart. He is gracious, He is compassionate, He is slow to anger, and abounding in mercy. He forgives iniquity and sin – because that is what His name IS. He is God and God is love. And He spoke directly to me,

oh yes, even though the words originally were for Peter, they were spoken directly to me, today. There is no doubt in my mind what Jesus wants me to do. He has made it crystal clear: “Toni, do you love Me.” … I believe I am still sweaty with all the wrestling I have been doing with Him, but I can answer, “yes, Lord, You know I ‘love’ You, as best as a ‘cracked clay pot’ can.

“Feed my Lambs.” “Do you love Me, Toni?”… “Feed my sheep.”

and a third time He asks, “do you love Me?” Oh Jesus, You know I do.
“Feed My sheep.” (John 21: 15-17).

He loves me, He loves you, He loves everyone – How? Because He is God and we are not! “Are we weak and heavy laden, Cumbered with a load of care? Precious Savior,

still our refuge,

Take it to the Lord in prayer: do thy friends despise, forsake thee? Take it to the Lord in prayer; In His arms He’ll take and shield thee; Thou wilt find a solace there.”(hymn, What a Friend we have in Jesus).

Proverbs 17:17, “A Friend loves at all times”. John 21:15-17, “Feed My Sheep.”

Oh Lord, You have searched me and known me…

P.S. (and furthermore…) I must write as I think of my dear friend Jenny, who couldn’t serve a meal, or prepare a feast for anyone for that matter, let alone her own children because of the paralysis, however, I witnessed and I heard her daughters own words at her funeral, that this woman ‘fed God’s sheep’ with an overflowing amount of Love that God filled her with. Jesus loves at all times, even when it doesn’t look like He does. But ‘today’ is all He wants me to be thinking about, so ‘today’ He asks, “Do you love Me?” and I want to answer as my dear broken friend so faithfully answered, “Yes, Lord, You know my every thought.”
“Feed my sheep.”Is what I hear today.
Well, Lord, everyone around here really loves fruit, so will will you repair the many ‘cracks in my clay pot’ with Your Spirit, and fill me to the full of Your love, like you did Jenny, so I can serve up some love,and joy, and peace, and patience, and kindness and goodness and faithfulness and gentleness and Lord, please don’t forget, can You give me an added measure of Self-control!

We need each other.

The attack came out of nowhere – much like a ‘flash flood’, and yes, I was moved. I was moved.
But I look back,(to what seems like yesterday, and it was),and I can see, I was not ‘greatly moved'(Ps. 62:2), but I was moved, yes… for a time.

I was moved, in a very short amount of time, from singing a ‘new song’, (literally, music written just the day before, with an upbeat rhythm and words of affirmation of “Living in the Presence of my Lord!” To, a complete stillness of music and only a cry of despair! How can that be? Is it only me? Like a flood, instead of having thoughts of ‘stillness and peace’ and being busy about the day – everything changed in an instant, within hours. Anxiety was triggered, and anger entered in, then the thoughts came flying, disguised as truth, oh yes, very much TRUE, but not the TRUTH- the thoughts I was thinking were lies but I was believing every one of them!

I didn’t recognize the same old ‘lie’ that the enemy of God,(and the one that hates me),uses every time. Every time, for me- it’s the same, I’m just now recognizing that it’s the same every time – the word is “forever”. When thinking about God, this word is amazing! It brings peace, it brings hope, ‘forever’ brings joy. But this word, ‘forever’ when walking this earth, can bring chains to my feet and knocks the wind out of all life. “This is how’s it’s been, ‘forever’. This is how it will be ‘forever’. Nothing will ever change, this is all you have ‘forever!’

Immediately,like a one engine plane happily singing in the clouds, “Lalalalalalala, la…” to a sudden malfunctioning of the main controls which bring about an instant plummet toward the ground! I am just writing it like it is. If no one understands, that is wonderful, because I wouldn’t want anyone to have to identify to this!

Why do I write of failure? Why do I waste words to even draw the pictures of such things? I do believe, that in all my years of being a mama, my kids have learned more from my ‘missing the mark’ and later saying, “I’m sorry, I was wrong, will you forgive me” than from my strength and might. I believe that God wants me to write down what I have learned, because He cares, He loves, and He knows…

we need each other.

This has happened before, many a time. But you see, God’s word even says, “He’s a friend that sticks closer than a brother.” But we so much, often times, need a friend – so God does just that, and the word even says, “A friend loves at all times, And a brother is born for adversity.”(Proverbs 17:17), and that can mean ‘sister’ too.It can mean a mother, or a father or a neighbor or someone far, but there is someone God brings to remind us we’re not alone, because He is always with us, He’s always there, we just need to be reminded, you see.
And what made it worse,on this particular ‘trial’, was I was suffering grief, grief of loss,loss of all kinds. Loss for my family, but also loss of my friends, who suffered so much but kept their faith to the end. Have you lost someone very dear to your heart? Has someone gone home? Yes, we rejoice that their days are heavenly now, but there is loss, loss for us here, especially if they were ones we drew strength from, while they victoriously persevered. “Be still and know that I am God,”I can almost hear her soft voice say, even though she’s not around, she still encourages me, ‘forever’.

So, in this time of ‘panic’ and stress and unrest, God again was faithful and a ‘present help’ He sent. One of my sisters reminded me that He will never leave me nor forsake me, that His hand is ever near to hold me, and she began to pray. And God’s word and God’s truth brought back some of my breath. And God brought a sister to remind me of a powerful book, yes, Nehemiah who set out to ‘rebuild’ the wall that had long been torn and burned down. And she reminded me that there were enemies not happy about the work that was being done, and she wrote down a verse that she wanted me to read, so I did and it helped me incredibly much.“And I looked, and arose and said to the nobles, to the leaders, and to the rest of the people,
“Do not be afraid of them. Remember the Lord, great and awesome, and fight for your brethren, your sons, your daughters, your wives and your houses.”(Neh. 4:14). Then, it was my friend that reminded me as well, that as they built the wall, one hand held a brick to rebuild, and the other hand, a weapon.

But in conclusion of this accumulation of words, which is always too many I suppose, I have to write down something amazing that God did. He had me read that story in the Bible,and He showed me something in the quite ‘boring’ chapter of Nehemiah 3. Well,(in my paraphrase) it starts by recording that the high priest rose up with his brothers and built the Sheep Gate. First and foremost, the very name of the high priest is recorded and it mentions ‘his brothers’ and they built together the Sheep Gate. That Sheep Gate is Jesus, He is the one who is the ‘door’, and He Himself said, “If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture.” (John 10:9). And what is crazy is, I turned to that verse in John and the very next verse God reminded me, “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy.” (John 10:10). God’s word is the sword! “The weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty for the pulling down of strongholds,”(2 Corinthians 10:4).

And listen to this, back in that book of Nehemiah, “Next to so and so, was the son of so and so,and they made repairs, and next to him was the son of so and so…and next to them,and they made repairs…” Neh. 3, the whole chapter is filled with one message: God, He knows our name, yes we have enemies, but He put us ‘next to’ our brother’s and sisters, and this ‘wall’, this work of God, these prayers that will continue to be prayed, these songs that will be sung, the rejoicing in the Lord no matter what will continue!

We need God, we need each other.”And it happened, when our enemies heard that it was known to us, and God had brought their counsel to nothing, that all of us returned to the wall, everyone to his work.” (Neh. 4:15).Together, God’s work is completed, with a brick to build in one hand, and a weapon in the other!

Putting it together in one little book…

Putting it together in one little book, isn’t that our desire so many times, when our lives have been made so rich by another. How we want to gather it all together and sit on the couch and open it up and live it all out, over and over and over again. That’s what God means when He says to talk, to talk of all His wondrous works that He does among us. That’s what He means, I am sure in my heart, so I am putting it together, all the words I have penned with time with my friend, for ‘Now and Again’.

I feel so priviledged to have been a part of this dear precious life, so I share, I pray simply, simply from my heart. It is my prayer, that these words are inspired by God, to draw you ever so closer, so closer to Him, because of His great love, that my friend and I discovered to be even greater than we imagined!
No, I didn’t plan to write it in prose, but it seems that with all the sharp edges in life, that this was God’s choice, because He is the whole reason her life had such flow. There was nothing sharp about Jenny, she was gentle, she was kind, but she had every excuse in the book to be impulsive and rude, yes, she could have chosen that road, but the ‘hard road’ she took, to trust God completely, to trust God…
completely and wait patiently for Him. Oh God, You’ve shown me true beauty, rich beauty within. You see, because I didn’t have it, so much of the time, God let me see it in this dear friend of mine. You probably think I was sent to help her, Oh, no, Not at all, I was sent to witness, God’s most gracious, loving hand.

What God did for my friend Jenny and me is so amazingly beautiful that I can’t hold it in and keep it just for myself. God wants the pictures drawn, all over again, so you can be right there with us in hospital room 609. Oh, He lifted us to His King’s chambers, yes He did, when all the circumstances were worse than dim, and other’s might perceive that God is unkind, He poured out His Spirit, He poured out His light, He opened my eyes to witness it all, and I am reporting that even though all around Jenny, it seemed only ‘night’ God’s Spirit filled her, God’s grace enveloped her in a miraculous way, I saw it with my own eyes, Jenny had a song and she was living in the ‘Day!’

The ‘DaySpring on High furnished grace invisible, yet visible to my eyes. I witnessed love, I witnessed peace, when naturally it would not be. God’s grace was sufficient for Jenny those days, I know He is telling me, it’s sufficient for today! We’ve heard His grace is sufficient, we’ve heard it but I’ve seen it- Jenny ‘believed God’ with every ounce of her being. He truly transformed her from the inside out- oh yes, Jenny was hurt and very lonely and tired, but she trusted and waited and hoped on the LORD! With faith in God, and He met her, He did. A very present help in her great time of need.

So God brought us together as sisters in times of affliction, and He had allowed us both to be broken and have bended knees. He met us together, as we worshiped and laid it all down. Like a Prince from His castle, He called us to Come and we both went together in love with His Son. We both rejoiced, we heard His voice clearly, “My fair one, I love you, come away with Me now!”

“Oh wow! was Jenny’s response, and mine along with her.She was waiting in yearning for God’s amazing work, and then He called her. Yes, He called her, He did, by her very own name, He said, “Rise up my fair one…” ‘Fair one’ is Jenny. Yes, her very own name! I am so happy for her, yes, I am. but I miss her so badly this dear friend of mine.
“God, thank you for Jenny, please help me to pen the words to the story of the great works You did, in and through my precious friend, may You receive glory, all glory to You, because that is what Jenny would want. She waited on You. Her faith did not waiver, You saved every tear. You answered her prayers – oh Yes You did! Oh Lord Jesus, may this story be read, and You strengthen others as they wait on You too.

For ‘Now and Again’ may these letters be read, to strengthen and bring courage to others, for now and always.

You are the Potter, we are…the clay.

There is a verse that breathes life into death, that waters a ground that is dry and upset.“And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God and are the called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28. At times we must throw ourselves on this very same verse, and remember what we’re made of, and hold on to what’s true.

How can we believe, when what we can see with our eyes, the picture is not good. How can ‘we know’ that ‘all things work together for good’, how can that be?
God gives us pictures, God helps us see, even in this broken world, God tells His story to whoever will read. So, I admit that at times the Bible can seem very dry, but if You ask God to help you understand, He opens His word with pictures and truth and the truth never lies!

Five hundred and twenty years before it actually came true, the words were prophesied exactly as it came. Zechariah was given ‘the word of the Lord, and he penned, “And the Lord said unto me, ” Throw it to the potter”-that princely price they set on me. So I took the thirty pieces of silver and threw them into the house of the LORD for the potter.” Zechariah 11:13. We’ve heard the story, what comes to mind? When we hear 30 pieces of silver we remember Judas almost every time. We think of ‘potter’s field’ and we think worthless and dry with all it’s broken vessels all chipped and marred, this is worthless ground where broken pots are found.

“Throw it to the potter”, what is His name? His name is Jesus, yes His blood was sold for 30 pieces of silver – the property was bought. 520 years before it even came to be, the words were written of God’s purchase of you and me.

God is the Potter, the field was purchased. Of course it is filled with broken and cracked and messed up clay, but God can use the very mess that we are, are remold and shape us in ‘twice baked’ pieces. He can mold us and make us and breathe in us life, by the water of the Spirit, His Word of Life.
God is the Potter, we are the clay. The field has been purchased for this very day.

Today is the first day of the rest of our lives, we can’t look at the past, we have to leave that aside. It’s filled with cracks and spots and hardness, it’s true, but God makes all things work together for good. Let us yield now to, the Spirit of God and walk in a manner worthy to Him who loves us so fully and reshapes us again.

Trust Him, receive Him, rest patiently in Him. He knows what we’re made of, clay is just not that smart. But if we forgive ourselves for just being ‘clay’ and realize the Potter just wants His own way, but don’t be so fret-ful and angry about that- The Potter knows best, He’s got vision we don’t. So rest in His gentle and loving great hands, oh clay, be renewed, reshaped, and all beautiful again.

Ps. 40:1-3, “I waited patiently for the LORD; And He inclined to me, And heard my cry. He also brought me up out of a horrible pit, Out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, And established my steps. He has put a new song in my mouth-Praise to our God; Many shall see it and fear, and will trust in the LORD.”“Sacrifice and offering You did not desire; My ears You have opened; Burnt offering and sin offering You did not require. Then I said. “Behold, I come; In the scroll of the Book it is written of me. I delight to do Your will, O my God, and Your law is within my heart.”Ps. 40:6-8.

Jesus, you purchased the field by Your sacrifice that was made, You delighted in God and His will You did. “Lord, mold me and shape me, and make me new. I want to be, Lord, my desire is to be like You. Thank you that You never give up on me, even if I am all broken and marred and messed up. You do make all things work together for good, can You ‘twice bake’ me and do wonders again, I sing a new song, for now and again. You are the Potter, and i am the clay. I rest in Your great hands, in them I will stay.

Yours and my, heart’s cry, has been written long ago…

The words are not new, they’ve been written long ago, but they are yours and my words,  how do I know?

Because they’ve been included and hidden in the Book, and yes, they’re for you, and for me, not just for the ancients, you know.

But maybe you don’t, so,  I’m telling you now, that your very heart’s cry has been penned in a song,

It’s a ‘Prayer for God’s Answer’ not for then, but for NOW!

“How long, O LORD? Will You forget me forever? How long will You hide Your face from me? How long shall I take counsel in my soul, Having sorrow in my heart daily? How long…?” This is a cry from your very own heart, and mine, but it’s written in Psalm 13, to breathe your exact words to the very ears of God. There’s something amazingly powerful when a weary soul reads the word, it refreshes and comforts and brings hope,

it somehow makes the broken…whole. King James Version may be more poetic and classical, but God’s message is pure and He uses everything. He’s got a Message, He’s got a Story, But amazingly we discover, He’s even writen our heart’s cry in a  song.

God is a very present help in times of trouble, it’s in the song, He’s written the cry, “Consider and hear me, O LORD my God; Enlighten my eyes, “(Ps. 13:3). “Enlighten my eyes!” is a poetic way to say, God, I can’t see, are You here to help me?” There are moments of doubt, great fear, great fright, but God has it written, the song we must sing, the problem is, are we choosing to think on these things?

So we cry out the more, “Enlighten my eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death Lest my enemy say, I have prevailed …”(Ps. 13:3,4). If it’s all about me, there is no win to this fight, but God, You’ve made all things ‘work out for good’, in that in this great brokenness, I’m calling Your name, and in this great battle, I see that You hear, so I’m calling, and calling “How long, O LORD, will you forget me, I’m finally here.”

You were calling my name for a time, but I was blinded by my  own unbelief, by my unbelief -OK! I couldn’t, wouldn’t believe that You cared. I believed that this trial, this great trouble of mine, was all up to me, that You simply left me behind.

I was left with silence, I couldn’t hear Your voice, so the enemy came in and lied about You, and filled me with doubt. But what changed it all, I don’t really know, it was even greater affliction, when I finally ‘let go’. So,  I call on Your name because it is Faithful and True, I’m calling Your name in Great mercy, I do. In this affliction I’m asking for grace., because You are gracious, and slow to anger, unlike me…O God, I trust in Your great  mercy.

Yes, it is written, these very words, thousands of years ago, but these are mine and yours now –  so I will conclude by stating as fact, as we  purpose in our heart to think on You now,

“I have trusted in Your mercy“, that is what I will do. Let us now think of the many, many times He did bring us through. We will ‘raise our Ebenezer stones of remembrance, and when the heat gets real hot and there is not an answer at hand, Oh, God, may we cry again,  “My heart shall rejoice in salvation.”

Lord, save me now, over and over, and over again, save me from myself- this pitiful enemy, save me O God. “I will now “sing to the LORD”, oh, yes, I will sing,

“Because You have dealt bountifully,

so bountifully, with me.”(Ps. 13:5,6).

And tucked away in an old, old hymn, that I have no idea the tune within, but the words, once again, tell it like it is, they are my words, even though they are not:

“All my life was wrecked by sin and strife, Discord filled my heart with pain, Jesus swept across the broken strings, Stirred the slumb’ring chords again. Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, Sweetest name I know, fills my ev’ry longing, keeps me singing as I go!” (exclamation point, mine!)

God, I thank you for the words, the words written so long ago, and for drawing me to them – yes, my very heart, You do know!

You’ve prepared a Table, and I’ve come…at last.”

I pray for many children because God puts them on my heart. Each and every day – He never let’s me forget them, He has me pray every day. And I pray that this little poem is a picture of a moment in time, when each of the children come, they come to the Table and are completely restored, completely renewed, and regenerated by the Spirit of the Living God. this is my prayer, this is my poem. Praying the children…come to the Table, as if for the first time, and receive You and Your love, and then refer to You as MINE!

See God's Hand

You’ve prepared a Table, and I’ve come at last, The broken bread, the poured out wine, were just memories of the past.

But today I’ve come, to the Table again, God, You know me, You’ve watched, I’ve broken Your heart, and not only Yours – Can I make a new start?

Which way am I going? Do I even know its end? It’s the end of ‘not caring’ – God help me care,  help me bend.

Revive me again, O Lord, You’re in my heart, but I’ve quenched Your great Spirit, forgive me, don’t depart.

I need you like all the old songs sing, like the flower needs the rain, refresh me again-

You forgive, You forgive,  You forgive evermore, take my hard heart and make it soft as before.

For You are the Potter, and I am the clay, mold me and break me and make me a new-…

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You’ve prepared a Table, and I’ve come…at last.”

You’ve prepared a Table, and I’ve come at last, The broken bread, the poured out wine, were just memories of the past.

But today I’ve come, to the Table again, God, You know me, You’ve watched, I’ve broken Your heart, and not only Yours – Can I make a new start?

Which way am I going? Do I even know its end? It’s the end of ‘not caring’ – God help me care,  help me bend.

Revive me again, O Lord, You’re in my heart, but I’ve quenched Your great Spirit, forgive me, don’t depart.

I need you like all the old songs sing, like the flower needs the rain, refresh me again-

You forgive, You forgive,  You forgive evermore, take my hard heart and make it soft as before.

For You are the Potter, and I am the clay, mold me and break me and make me a new- that I would once more give wholehearted Praise, in simplicity, to You.

To You alone, I give You Praise, revive me O LORD and change my ways.

That my feet, that my hands, that my lips that speak, would give glory to You, Oh, God – my flesh is so weak –

So I ask from my heart at Your Table today, revive me again, make my spirit willing, time…

and time…

again.

Be my Savior, forgive all my sin, and may Your face shine upon me, yes, shine upon me, forever – forever and again.

Thank you for preparing this Table for me,  even in the presence of all my enemies, but today I come and I have come at last, what took me so long, Your love is so steadfast!

I see Your sacrifice was made just for me, I love You Lord Jesus. Thank You for First loving me.

In Jesus name, Amen.

“Speak Lord, your servant hears…”(1Sam 3:10).The word, and Jenny…

Amazed how God opened my eyes and my ears to see and know Him so much more with and through…a friend. I thank God upon every remembrance of my friend Jenny.

See God's Hand

These words, “Speak Lord, your servant hears,” were spoken by a small child whose heart was tender and listening.  “Then the Lord said to Samuel…” (1 Sam. 3:11), then  we see that the Lord spoke to Samuel directly,  to him individually.

What I think is a most amazing discovery about God and His word, is He speaks to me – and desires to speak to you as well, individually and at times, specifically. There are times when I read the Bible and it doesn’t speak directly to me that minute, but, then later in the week, what I read was perfect with what I was going through.

You can imagine the deeper depth of listening that went on in Jenny these 5 1/2 years, as she battled being paralyzed and unable to even hold her Bible, or anything for that matter! All I know, is when I read God’s word…

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