Thursday, February 26, 2009

new, New, NEW!

Ecclesiastes 1:1-11

“The words of the Teacher, son of David, king in Jerusalem:
‘Meaningless! Meaningless!’ says the Teacher.
‘Utterly meaningless! Everything is meaningless!’

‘What does a man gain from all his labor
 at which he toils under the sun?
Generations come and generations go, 
but the earth remains forever.
The sun rises and the sun sets, 
and hurries back to where it rises.
The wind blows to the south 
and turns to the north;
Round and round it goes, 
ever returning to its course.
All streams flow into the sea, 
yet the sea is never full.
To the place the streams come from, 
there they return again.
All things are wearisome, 
more than one can say.
The eye never has enough of seeing, 
nor the ear its fill of hearing.
What has been will be again, 
what has been done will be done again;
There is nothing new under the sun.

Is there anything of which one can say, 
‘Look! This is something new’?
It was here already, long ago; 
it was here before our time.
There is no remembrance of men of old,
And even those who are yet to come 
will not be remembered by those who follow.’"

Wow! What a depressing passage of Scripture! Have you ever felt this way, though? Like everything in this world is without meaning. 

The book of Ecclesiastes was written from the perspective of a man later in his life, looking back. When we’re older, what are we going to look back and see that we were chasing? What are we chasing now that is meaningless? Our efforts and pursuits outside of God working IN us and THROUGH us is completely without meaning to Him. I’m asking the Lord today to show me what it is I am chasing or pursuing or striving toward that is outside of His working in my life…will you do the same thing?

One cool thing occurred to me as I was reading this verse, though: The Lord gave me an answer to one of the questions above. Solomon asked, “Is there anything of which one can say, ‘Look! This is something new’?”

The Bible uses the word “new” many times, but this one is a favorite of mine:
“Yet I call to mind and therefore I have hope
Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, 
for His compassions never fail. 
They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness.”
Lamentations 3:21-23

His mercies are new every morning……He shows us new things in a New way at a NEW time!

Let’s enjoy the brand new mercies He has for us today, making every opportunity count for Him and not for ourselves. In doing so, our hope will be re-new, New, NEWed!

Help us to do that today, Lord. Be our Source, be our Guide. 
Be what we long for, crave and chase after this day……
In Your Name of Hope we pray, Amen.

***This is a revised reprint of a devo I sent out to my website edevo recipients in 2006. If you would like to sign up for these, click here: Edevo Subscribe Form

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Picture-Perfect Pause

Happy Word-Filled Wednesday!

If you could paint a picture-perfect place to take a "selah," what would it look like? By "selah" I mean a place to stop and reflect on your faith walk.

For me, it would look much like this picture my friend Peter let me borrow, which serves as the background for this week's WFW.  

Truth be told, when I ponder a picture-perfect pause, it almost always has this sort of scene associated with it. To lay reclined against that grassy hill, looking out over the blue waters reading my Bible, praying with my eyes open wide would be the ultimate Selah experience for this visual worshipper.

But oh, what I truly desire--is picture-perfect fellowship with my Savior. Nothing compares to that scene. To lay reclined in His strong arms, looking out over whatever situation I need to face, having Him speak His Word to me as I seek Him with my heart's eyes open wide...THAT is the daily Selah experience for this visual worshipper. And it is a glorious one when I choose it.

I'm going to dive more into what "Selah" means in the days to come. I used to think it meant "to pause," but it is sooooo much more than that. I'm wondering if I were to "Selah" each and every one of the Scriptures I read today, what a difference it would make in my life. Something to ponder...

For more Truth-filled Scripture pictures, hike on over to:

Monday, February 23, 2009

LauraLee's Lifesong Changes to "Selah~Pause. Ponder. Praise.

Hello, my friends,

I'm excited to announce my new ministry blog:
"Selah~Pause. Ponder. Praise."
Spinning cartwheels, virtually-speaking, of course.

My lifesong will keep right on singing, just not in the same way. As I've laid my priorities before the Lord this year, He has clearly spoken about how I need to change my ministry focus.

I wrote a devo about my commitment for 2009 right here. In case you don't remember what I'm referring's a small excerpt:

"In the Lord’s perfect wisdom, He has led me to a verse for 2009 that is a passionate cry of my heart:

“Teach me Your way, O LORD, 
and I will walk in Your Truth;
give me an undivided heart, 
that I may fear Your name.”
Psalm 86:11 (NIV)

I believe this is a year of simplifying, weeding out distractions, and allowing Him to teach me new things about Himself. Honestly, I believe He gave me this verse out of necessity for my emotional, physical and spiritual health. It may take the whole year or even longer, but the decisions and commitments I make will be a direct result of keeping in tune with this prayer."

Every single day I've laid this prayer before Him, and He continues to lead me to write, to teach, to exhort and to encourage. With three kids in the adolescent and teen stages, however, my spare time is much more scarce. The part the Lord has asked me to cut back on is the time spent online chatting and reading. One of my spiritual gifts is encouragement, and I'm also very social, so it's extremely easy for me to get trapped into "that part" of blogging, you know? This worked great when the kids were younger, and it may work again in a few years if something else in my life frees up, but right now, I'm "dropping balls" everywhere.

I hope you hear my heart. I love my blogging friends so much. I plan to set aside a day each week to read and comment as I can, and I hope we can keep up some through email and Facebook; however, I'm no longer going to hold myself to reading each day (as much as it will pain me not to do so). It's taken me this long to completely get the message from the Lord and follow through in obedience.

Back to some exciting changes: I will be using guest bloggers from time to time. Sometimes I read something that pushes the "Aha" button in me, and I just wanna share it. I'll be asking people permission to do that as the Lord leads. I also have a few memes (Word-filled Wednesday and Friday Fiction) that I'll keep participating in as time allows, because they cause me to worship, grow in an area of giftedness, as well as get a little social time in on a planned basis. Also, I've got about 10-12 blogs that really pour into me, so I'll probably continue to visit them more frequently than once a week.

And finally, my 200th post is around the corner. I'm going to be asking people to submit their testimonies, either by email or by posting on their blogs or Facebook note pages, for a chance to win a "Women of Passions" book and one other mystery gift that goes along with the Pause. Ponder. Praise. theme. (Yes, men, I still want you to enter if you can give the book to mama, auntie, wife or sister...and I'll make sure the 2nd gift is gender-friendly). I may also reprint the testimonies on my blog as I have the time. As I've said over and over and over...I truly believe a person's testimony is one of the most powerful tools for evangelism. I don't care if you think your testimony is boring or uneventful, or if it is a difficult one for you to write. Pray about it, and if the Lord leads you, I would love for you to enter. If HE is behind your words, it will minister to someone, THAT I know for sure.

I'm going to be writing my own salvation testimony for my 200th post, and the thing I've realized is that I've never actually done that before. Here I've been writing about God's Word for over five years, and I've never written my salvation testimony, though I've touched on it here and there. That is very strange to me, so I'm going to pray for inspiration and do it. I found this site, and I thought it gave some very useful information on writing one's testimony:
Write His Answer

Other great resources exist, I'm sure. If you know of one, leave it in the comment sections here.

How do you feel about all this? I'd love to know. I wish I could share my personal and intimate struggles with you more openly, but I am not able to do that on my blog for various reasons. I also wish I could be a Super-woman and do it all, but "God in me" has spoken, and I want to show myself willing and obedient. Please pray for me, that I would speak the Truth boldly, lovingly and clearly as the Lord continues to lead me on the path of ministry. I am so excited about the "newness" of this, an opportunity to redirect my focus.
"SELAH. His glory covers the skies, 
and His praise fills the earth." 
Habakkuk 3:3b
Dear Father, You are such an awesome God, and I praise You. I give You all the glory and the honor and the worship you deserve. In Jesus' name, Amen.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

If Walls Could Tattle

I'm so excited to be a part of Patterings Friday Fiction today! I haven't done so in quite awhile. I've been working on this story on and off in my spare time for over six months, and it's finally finished! I pray it reaches the heart of a family that needs the message it has to offer...

For more great fiction, go knock on Yvonne's Back Door. She's hosting the story-telling this week.

If Walls Could Tattle…

I always knew my bedroom closet was small, but now its walls were closing in on me. It was as though the blouses hung there only to smother me, the belts to strangle me.

What is wrong with me? How did I get here? I could hear the baby screaming in the next room, but she sounded miles away. Echoes of “Mom?” “MOM!” “Where are you, Mom?” came from the voice of my preschooler, but his voice was getting farther away, almost to the place where I could hear the Sesame Street theme song.

I just need a few minutes. Pleeease, Lord, please give me a few minutes. “God, what is happening to me?” I whined.

In double time, the activities from the week gone-by sprinted through my mind. I sat curled up and hunched over my knees on the floor, shoving the stinky shoes as far away from me as I could with my fists.

My heart was racing as I recalled each day, though I don’t know why. I spoke at a MOPS event on Monday. Couldn’t have gone better. Tuesday was Amber’s 18-month immunizations. Lots of tears, but no side effects like Joey had at her age. Wednesday, laundry and church. Now what happened on Thursday? Thursday was a blur, and my heart began to race faster. Thursday…was that yesterday?…Oh, I talked to my mother on the phone, then a nap. Or maybe that was two days ago…

I tried to breathe deeply, but I couldn’t drink in enough oxygen. A pain went through my forehead, while the pounding and thumping of my heart continued. Now the phone was ringing. I wanted to get up, but couldn’t. I heard my mother’s voice over the answering machine in the room beside me.

“Lori, hey, this is Mom. This is the third time I’ve called, and I tried your cell phone too. Are you okay? I’m starting to get worried. Please call me.”

I wanted to pick up, but knew I couldn’t. She’ll think I can’t handle being a momagain.

Joey was nearer than before. “Mom, where are you?”

Bare footsteps squeaked on the floor next to the closet. It was as if he could hear me breathing. Then a trio of knocks tapped on the door.


“Just a second, Honey,” I squeezed out of my falsetto voice, the only way I could fake a calm.

“Gramma, I found her. She’s in the closet, just a second.”

I heard him plunk the phone down on the bathroom counter and then tiptoe clumsily out of the room. Why did he have to pick up the phone? Pulling myself to my knees, then to my feet, I steadied my stance against the closed door. I took a deep breath to calm myself for the realities that lay ahead of me as I opened the closet door. The piercing sounds of Amber’s cries, no longer muffled, shot straight to my nerve endings. 

“Hello?” The mirror in front of me reflected a plastic smile, but it couldn’t reveal my bitterness toward this unwanted phone conversation. “Yes, Mom, I’m fine.” I combed through my matted, tangled hair with trembling fingers and rushed to comfort the baby. “I was in the closet because I was getting dressed, Mother,” I snipped, nearing Amber’s room.

It was as if I were fifteen again, and no one in the world could understand me. Not even me. But especially my mother, I thought. Her words fell on deaf ears. “How long has the baby been crying, Lori? Has she eaten? You know you’ve got to feed her more often than you did Joey, right? She’s not like Joey. Each child is unique, Lori.”

“Um-huh,” I said, trying my best to ignore the experience I detested in her. I knew I could never measure up to her perfection.

“Lori, are you listening? You know I love you, right? Is Dave helping you around the house? I’m worried you might have post-partum depression, Hon. Do you feel sad and overwhelmed?”

What would she know about overwhelmed? “No, Mom,” I huffed, “I’m not sad, and I’m not overwhelmed.” I bounced Amber up and down across my chest, nearly gagging over a whiff of her reeking diaper.

Joey walked in and handed me a remote control. “Mom, I can’t understand the TV. Can you fix it?” The sound of Spanish voices blared from the next room. “Hurry, Mom, I’m missing the best part,” he whined, pinching his nose to avoid the smell.

Interrupting her unsolicited expertise, I announced, “Mom, I’m gonna let you go. I gotta fix the TV and change a diaper, okay?” I paced back and forth as she droned on. “No, I don’t need your help. I’m fine. You just called at a busy time, that’s all. But I really need to go. I’ll call you later.”

Before she could start her next sentence, I handed the phone back to Joey, and I fought back the tears.


Two more of Joey’s favorite shows had passed, as well as two more tantrums from my toddler. And now the only sobs I could hear were my own. The bedroom closet, which held close my secrets of overwhelming sadness, had now become my closest companion.

Author's note: If you need help with postpartum depression, PLEASE stop lying to yourself, and do NOT hide. Your husband, a family member, your church, a licensed Christian counselor or a reputable doctor can help you find a solution. Even if you have not had postpartum with previous children, it can happen. I know, because it happened to me...

Also, I'd be happy to pray for you or even share my personal story if you need extra encouragement. Just press the "Email Me" button on my blog sidebar.

In the Key of HE,

VNC Accountability

Just over a year ago, my husband set up an accountability program (with the humble willingness of our son) to install a VNC viewer* on our computers. It's some pretty incredible software. So on any given day as I'm working on my computer, I can see what he is doing on his computer too. I can actually see a copy of his monitor on my monitor.

Brian and Austin talked about the need for accountability, and my son who is going through puberty, humbly submitted to it. He's learning that as he grows up, his curiosity and his freedom can lead him to places he's never been before--a great big broken bag of it.

Not long after we installed it, my son mentioned how comforting it was to know that he was being watched, because sometimes he feels weak.

I said, "You know, honey, I feel the same way."

He said, "You do?"

"Yes, of course, but in a different way. I struggle as a mom to do what I'm supposed to do and to respond to life the way I should. But it helps me so much to know I have three pairs of eyes watching me."

"Oh, yeah, I guess you do. Huh!" He hadn't thought about it that way before obviously. It clicked.

That was a great teachable moment for me to bring up the larger subject. I reminded him of a fourth pair of eyes: those of our Father in Heaven. "God is always watching our lives," I told him. "It's just like that VNC viewer, only He doesn't just see our actions...He sees our hearts too. And that gives us built-in accountability for all of life (especially seeing as we spend a lot of it without others watching)."

I told him that if we ask God for "ways of escape" and for help with our temptations, that He will be faithful to deliver them as He watches us and protects our hearts. It was a great reminder for me too, and I'm so thankful for this lesson from my Teacher and Father as well.

Do we get this, friends?

The Lord on High sees us. He's intimately interested in our hearts, our minds and our deeds. He's not apathetic, and He's willing to fight for our hearts to be completely undivided and focused on Him. I love it that He loves me this much, and I love it that He loves my kids this much--even when I can't be there to watch.

Because the Holy Spirit lives inside of us, we have

Victorious Never-Failing Christ-powered Accountability

Thank You, Lord!

Psalm 33:13-15 (NIV)

From Heaven the LORD looks down
and sees all mankind;

from His dwelling place He watches
all who live on earth-

He who forms the hearts of all,
who considers everything they do.

*For those of you interested in this software for your teen or younger's eyes, it is free for PC users and a small charge for us Mac Users. But WELL worth it. Click here for more info:

In the Key of HE,

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Leaning, Learning...Living

Happy Word-Filled Wednesday!!!!!

If you will, read the following verse, study the picture...

What part of it speaks to you?

"He offered up prayers and petitions with loud cries and tears..." 
Do you need to cry out to God?

"To the One who could save Him from death..." 
Do you need the Lord to save you from something?

Or maybe it's the picture of Jesus, face down, 
clawing His fingers into the rock.  
Knowing He was about to suffer, 
He cried out to His Father in a loud voice, 
and then pressed into Him, 
begging for strength and help in His pain.

"Reverent submission." 
Wowzer. There's a phrase you don't hear everyday. 
Jesus cried out for help and was 
reverently submissive at the same time. 
Does that strike a chord of wondering within you?

For me, the ending words are what grab me and don't let go. 
"He learned obedience from what He suffered." 
It's the act that flows from "reverent submission."

I have no problems crying out, trusting, leaning, grabbing onto Him for dear life. It is a habit, a dependence for many years.

And I learn--in my head, in my heart, even telling others what I've learned. But to take all that learning and somehow change my habits and priorities as a result? Well, lemme confess, He's still working on me there. It's about my need for comfort. My obsession with peace. My love for calm and personal space.

My earnest prayer is that He would minister to you through His Word today...reveal something hidden, great or small, that needs to come out in order to grow up in Him, in order to deepen your relationship with your Papa. I'm taking this opportunity that Word-Filled Wednesday has given me to crawl up on my Daddy's lap and ask Him to teach me while I sit and listen to Him talk. Will you do the same?

For more Word-Filled Wednesday leaning, learning and living, hike on over to:

In the Key of HE,

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Cafe Crazy

I went a little bit Crazy over at the Internet Cafe today...will you come and be Crazy with me?

LauraLee at the Internet Cafe

In the Key of HE,

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Once Upon A Time...We All Lived Happily Ever After

“He said to me: ‘It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To him who is thirsty I will give to drink without cost from the spring of the water of life.’”
Revelation 21:6
Imagine you’ve been given an amazing book to read in a super comfy chair with no distractions. You open it up and read the credits. The introduction then informs you that this particular book is self-timed, but it doesn’t let you know how long you have to finish it. As soon as you open it, though, you only have a certain amount of time to read it before it self-destructs. The timer has begun the moment you opened the book. How exciting!

The beginning is so thrilling that you are sitting on the edge of your seat and your heart is racing: “Once upon a time…” Your mood changes by the time you get to the middle of the story, and the words begin to run together. You hate to admit it’s even a tad on the boring side. You keep reading, however, because you’ve got an unknown deadline. As you go on, your boredom turns to frustration, then to apathy. When will I get to the exciting part?

It seems to me that this is often the way many of us live our lives on this earth. We’re here, in the middle of our life stories, knowing our days our numbered, and we’re just waddling through or struggling on until we get to the “exciting part” or even the end itself. We know that our Lord is the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, but we need fresh reminders that He is here with us every day in between, surely, to the very final chapter!

Our Alpha did not come at the beginning only to give us a promise at the end…He came to keep His promises in the middle as well. He says in John 10:10b, “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” And He gives us that fullness each and every day through the dwelling of the Holy Spirit in us and through us: “And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Counselor to be with you forever—the Spirit of Truth…for He lives with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.” John 14:16-18.

Let’s make a great start to this new day in the middle chapter of our life stories. It’s sobering to think that we have no idea how close to the end of our book we actually are. First, though, let’s take a pop quiz over the chapters before this one: “Who have been the main characters in my story? How have I blessed them? How have they made a difference to me? When was the last time I shared the gospel with someone, or even my story?”

And can you recall the plot? “Where was I when I gave my life to Jesus, and what details led up to it? How have I grown as a Christian since then? What sin struggles have been overcome, and which ones am I carrying over?” And on and on…continue to ask yourself some true or false questions and spend this time deciding which facts you need to leave behind and which ones you need the Lord to use to make changes in you today.
Here’s the happy ending: “Now the dwelling of God is with men, and He will live with them. They will be His people, and God Himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away. He who was seated on the throne said, ‘I am making everything new!’ Then He said, ‘Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.’” Revelation 21: 3-5
When we know the hope that exists at the end, it makes us want to live our now to the fullest. What stimulating characters, adventures and plots will our lives record this day? What struggles will the Lord allow to shape us and grow us up? Will we choose to be the conflict or the climax in others’ life-stories? Why should we waste a single moment we’ve been given? Let’s live on in the Spirit together, shall we? Until the “HAPPILY EVER AFTER!” So be it.

In the Key of HE,

Thursday, February 12, 2009

God's Box of Chocolates

Previously published in February 2007 

Everywhere I look near Valentine’s Day, there’s chocolate: boxes of chocolate in all the stores, chocolate on TV promising to be the only love you need, chocolate girl scout cookies—CHOCOLATE! I even saw chocolate Altoid breath mints in the grocery checkout aisle the other day! I think that’s what led me to remember the famous quote from Forrest Gump: “Life is like a box of chocolates—you never know what you’re gonna get.” (I even remembered it with his accent.)

In reality, that phrase can be true. We wake up every morning completely unsure of what the day may hold for us. We’ve made our plans. Sometimes they even happen the way we make them. But we never know for sure, do we? The days that come with caramel in the middle are my favorite…the ones with the strawberry goo are just so so…but the ones with coconut—YUCK! I’d rather go back to bed. Then there’s the days where tragedy or difficult times come out of nowhere, and the chocolate sits in the pantry untouched—there’s no sweetness to be had in those moments, it seems.

God knows that life as it pertains to circumstances is uncertain for us. That’s why He comforts us and reminds us so many times that He is our constant companion, our steadfast friend, our consistently loving God and Savior. He doesn’t keep promises the way we do…

“When people make promises, 
they guarantee them by appeal to some authority above them
so that if there is any question that they'll make good on the promise, 
the authority will back them up. 
When God wanted to guarantee His promises, 
He gave His word, a rock-solid guarantee—
God can't break His word. 
And because His Word cannot change, 
the promise is likewise unchangeable.” 
(Heb. 6:16-18, the Message) 

You see, no matter what chocolate we are “in the middle of” right now, He is there…with the certainty of His promise today as well as His hope of Heaven in the future. Listen to how the verse above continues to encourage us: (vs.19-20)
“We who have run for our very lives to God have every reason 
to grab the promised hope with both hands and never let go. 
It's an unbreakable spiritual lifeline, 
reaching past all appearances right to the very presence of God 
where Jesus, running on ahead of us, 
has taken up His permanent post as high priest for us...”

I love the visual picture of grabbing on to Him with both hands as He runs ahead of me to the Father. That makes me able to get up today and praise Him for whatever comes my way. This faith, this confidence, this hope is our unbreakable spiritual lifeline--HIS love for us no matter what, when, how or why. Let’s binge on His priceless box of chocolates today…the sweetest and most satisfying of them all.

“Taste and see that the Lord is good;
Blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him.”
Psalm 34:8, NIV

Ok, coconut lovers, I'm prepared for the too caramel haters. :D Just make sure the message doesn't melt in the process... ;)

In the Key of HE,

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Be His


I’ll never forget receiving the candy hearts on Valentine’s Day when I was in middle school. You know, the ones that taste a little bit like Pepto-Bismol? My friends and I would tear our little bitty envelopes open to see which hearts someone put inside with the generic card. Reading into every phrase, we fantasized of that special someone spending tireless efforts to make sure he delivered the perfect message and emotion to each of us. It was dreamy.

It didn’t take me too many years to realize that the boys’ mamas probably just threw them in an envelope for them, OR worst case scenario, picked out the girl SHE wanted for him to like via pepto-heart-a-grams. So much for dreamy.

The reality of the analogy the Lord laid on my heart today was not so dreamy either. I realized that He has written His message on my heart. It is forever inscribed and perfectly perfect, which is a beautiful truth. But when others look at my heart, so often I have covered up His words with my own unintentional messages.

Sometimes my heart begs, “Be mine,” when it really should cry out, “Be His.” Often it shouts out, “Love me,” when God begs me to “Love them” or “Love Him” instead. The mixed messages my heart delivers to others can leave them with mixed feelings about the heart of God.

This is deep stuff, I know, but bear with me. Luke 6:45b says, “…for out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks.” It’s saying that the ‘stuff’ we stuff into our minds gets stored in the treasury of our hearts, and eventually it begins to flow out of the heart via tunnel of the mouth. Then it is spread to others, and “round and round it goes, where it stops…?”

When I complain frequently, I have probably listened to a bunch of complaints. As I throw out a zinger in the name of humor, I realize I have maybe seen a few too many sit-coms. During those moments of pouring out flattery to others, could it be that I have enjoyed the empty, false praise that I have indeed received myself? What ‘line’ do others see displayed on the tablet of your life?

All the static this world has to offer us can cloud the message he has carved on our hearts:

Hebrews 8:10b
“I will put my laws in their minds, 
and I will write them on their hearts.
I will be their God, and they will be my people.”

Do you see His Valentine’s message for us? 


Make HIM our True Love. Let’s not mix His message with overflow from the world’s waste. Instead, let’s spread His Word, the Word that He has written front and center in bold letters on our hearts—the Word that we have fallen in love with so that we could keep from sin and love others God’s way.

Sometimes we just need to be reminded, friends. I know I do. The way we spend our time matters. The people we allow to rub off on us are important. The shows we watch and the websites we visit and the novels we read—it has an affect on us. Pray about it, allow the Lord to lead and guide you into the perfect balance of freedom and works. It is then, and only then that our hearts—the new ones He gave us when we became a Christian—will show the world that we are His.
Psalm 86:11
“Teach me YOUR way, O LORD, and I will walk in Your Truth; 
give me an undivided heart, that I may fear Your name.”
If you'd like to see a great idea on spreading the love of Jesus at Valentine's Day, visit Lori's blog at I'll Take It Lord, All You Have To Give.
Also, Sunny at A Damsel No Longer In Distress has added her own ideas to Lori's post. GREAT stuff flowing out of these two sisters' lives.

In the Key of HE,

Monday, February 9, 2009

What's Love Got To Do With It?

“Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth 
so that you have sincere love for your brothers, 
love one another deeply from the heart.”
1 Peter 1:22

"I LOVE that blouse!" "Ooooo, I love your hair!" "Didn’t you just love that movie?"

Tell me, what’s love got to do with it anyway? I love (not really) the way we’ve taken the one of the most powerful words of all and made it ordinary. Kind of ironic, isn’t it? Check out just a FEW of hundreds of verses about love as mentioned in Scripture:

Jeremiah 33:11- “His love endures forever.”

Lamentations 3:22- “Because of His great love, we are not consumed.”

John 15:12- “Love each other as I have loved you.”

1 John 3:16- “This is how we know what love is: 
Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. 
And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers.”

This sure puts “loving” a movie or a hairdo in context for me. What was really enlightening to me as I looked over some Scriptures on the topic is that many of them speak of “great love” or “deep love” or “how much” He loved us. Can we even truly grasp this concept?

The specific verse God laid on my heart one morning is the 1st Peter verse at the top. Before that day, it had never donned on me that we can have sincere love for one another without loving each other deeply. My mind is pooling over the great number of people that I claim to love. The list is long. 

But I wonder:

Can I honestly say that all of these people are someone I would die for as the verse in 1 John describes? And not just in the physical sense. What I envision when I picture dying for a "loved" one is really just dying to myself. Do I put their genuine needs before my own? Do I lay down my pride, my selfishness, my will to do things my own way? (Bear in mind, I am talking about healthy relationships, not codependent ones...this is a whole 'nother subject).

I can only love others on the deepest level when Jesus Christ, through the power of the Holy Spirit, loves through me. It all comes down to my life being surrendered to Him, growing in Him, knowing Him and loving Him first. Isn’t it amazing that every spiritual discipline comes back to our relationship with Him? It compels me to call on Him right now.

When we hit our knees to the floor today, can we all go together in unity, asking the Lord to show us the vast number of ways He has loved us deeply? His salvation will come to mind, of course. What else? How has He loved us in a way no one else has loved us before? How has He loved us when others have hurt us or let us down? How has His love changed our love for others? How can we love more deeply, whether in word or in deed? Is there someone specifically that He wants us to love more sacrificially?

What’s love got to do with it? Nothing, if we try to love in the flesh. Everything, if it has to do with Him loving through us. Let’s take root in His rich soil of perfect love this day, praying for one another to do the same.
“And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 
may have power, together with all the saints, 
to grasp how wide and long and high and DEEP is the love of Christ 
and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—
that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. 
Now to HIM who is able to do immeasurably more 
than all we ask or imagine, according to His power 
that is at work within us, to Him be glory in the church 
and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations,
Forever and ever! AMEN.

Ephesians 3:17b-21

In the Key of HE,

Friday, February 6, 2009


I want to introduce you to an extremely talented and wise young woman. She is a friend of the family, and a college student using her gifts for the Lord. She posted these notes on Facebook, and I asked her if I could share them. Can you feel her passion? I remember having some of these thoughts in my younger years, and I didn't face half of the junk they have to face now. Can we take the time to encourage her generation?

- Masquerade -

Can anyone hear me? Can anyone see past this mask I wear? This perfect disguise that hides my pain. Is there not one who will ask the hard questions? Is there not one who will stick it through with me? Who are these people who say they are my friends? Do they really care beyond the clothes I wear or the way I do my hair? Slowly my heart is suffocating, waiting for someone to save me, to reach out, to see my pain. Why can’t they hear me? How is it possible that I can feel so alone when surrounded by so many people? My heart is crying out in desperation. Does anybody see me? Does anybody love me? Can’t anybody see past this mask I put on to hide the pain? Am I the only one who feels this way? Certainly I can’t be. I am so afraid.

I am not like the others. They want me to dress like them, to act like them, to talk like them. But that isn’t me. I don’t want to wear their clothes or play their games, but I do anyways. They say they care about me, but I know they don’t. The pressure to fit in is everywhere, taunting and pushing me. I don’t want to, but I have to. So I dress like them, act like them, and talk like them, to try and fit in. I keep the real me locked inside. What if they don’t like me? What if they think I am a freak? Where will I go then? So I tell myself it is better to hide. Every day I wear my mask to hide the pain. And I ask ‘will someone see past this charade today? Will someone care enough to see the pain in my eyes?’ I am so afraid.

This is the cry of my generation. Who will save us? Who will be brave enough to reach out and answer our cries? What are you going to do about it? I am asking you to fight for us. We are worth it, even though most of us don’t believe that. Help us make a stand. Help me save my generation.

~~~A week or so later, Jessica wrote:~~~

So this wednesday night after youth God told me to write this down. It is His reply to what I wrote in Masquerade. How cool is that??!! God is totally moving!! How are you going to let Him use you in this revolution? RISE UP!

My Beloved,

I hear your cries; I see the pain in your eyes. I am here to tell you that I love you. In your darkest hour when you feel completely abandoned, I am there, waiting for you to cry out to Me. I will save you. I will never leave you. You can trust Me. I am God and you are My creation. There are no words to express the love I have for you. I have been waiting for this moment. I long to share My love with you. You are so beautiful to Me. I have heard your cries and I am answering them. Do not be afraid, for I am here. Let Me take away your pain. Give Me your burden. My heart longs to see your smile and to feel your love for Me. There is so much I want to give you. All you have to do is say ‘Yes. Yes, I will love You’ and I will take it from there.

It is time to take off the mask. I have made you for such a time as this. Do not be afraid. You were made to stand out; to be a light in the darkness. Go now and prepare your hearts. I will send them to you and you will lead them to Me. Show them My love. Tell them I am waiting for them; that I have heard their cries and I am longing to answer them. All they have to do is reach out to Me and I will be there waiting with My arms open. It will not be easy, but do not give up hope. Nothing is impossible for Me.

- God

Wowzer. It just doesn't get more powerful than this, friends.

In the Key of HE,

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

He Has Overcome!

It's Word-Filled Wednesday!!! I'm so thankful that, when the ick of life comes, I have Christ in me. "Greater is HE that is in me than he that is in the world." (1st John 4:4b) Thank You, Lord Jesus, for Your indescribable gift!


The Message translation of this verse and the ones preceding it is fabulous:

John 16:31-33 (The Message)
Jesus answered them, "Do you finally believe? In fact, you're about to make a run for it—saving your own skins and abandoning me. But I'm not abandoned. The Father is with me. I've told you all this so that trusting me, you will be unshakable and assured, deeply at peace. In this godless world you will continue to experience difficulties. But take heart! I've conquered the world."

For more Word-Filled Wednesday and for visual inspiration from Scripture, hike on over to:

In the Key of HE,