Wednesday, May 27, 2009

In The Hands of God

Still breaking away from the blog & resting & planning, but I wanted to post this song this morning. It always ministers to me. Love the chorus:

"In the hands of God we will fall
Rest for the restless, and the weary
Hope for the sinner
In the hands of God we stand tall
Hands that are mighty to deliver
Giving us freedom..."

In The Hands of God

We have raised our hopes and our cities high
We have followed fragile dreams
But only One could take the measure of our goals
And we've stumbled over the trials of life
And we've wrestled the unseen
But only One can calm the storm inside our souls

In the hands of God we will fall
Rest for the restless, and the weary
Hope for the sinner
In the hands of God we stand tall
Hands that are mighty to deliver
Giving us freedom

When our strength gave way to the weight of guilt
'Til we strained for every breath
Only One could lift our shame and make us well
And when all is finished and we face
The fearsome power of death
Only One has overcome the gates of hell

You're amazing
You're amazing, You are
And we praise You, Lord
For what Your hands have done

Monday, May 18, 2009

Revolving Thoughts--Internet Cafe

Hi friends,

I'm having a good blog break and realizing how much I needed it. Anyway, I would love for you to come over and join me at the Internet Cafe today. This is a very special devotion to me, as it was a pivotal time in my relationship with the Lord. It was also my first published article in a magazine (Just Between Us, July 2008).

I pray it ministers to you and the Lord is glorified through this devotion:

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

A Celebration: Time to Weigh and Measure... :D

Drumroll please...

It's my one year BLOGoversary today! 
Thank YOU, Lord, for a great year of spreading Your Word 
and bringing praise and honor to Your name! 

I prayed about how to celebrate. A big ole giveaway? A series of old posts?

He landed me on this:

Pause. Ponder. Praise.
Time for Selah.

How cool is that?

I still haven't told you what I believe the real meaning of Selah is. Do some research on it, because it is a fascinating study. Many say it is an interlude or a break in the musical instruments of the Psalms, others say it means "pause" or "break" in the music. Still others say it puts the "Amen" or the exclamation point on a phrase.

I've decided that the research that most resonates Truth to me is that of Tony Warren from Mountain Retreat. He says the following: 

"Selah, [celah], is from the primary Hebrew root word [calah] which literally means 'to hang,' and by implication to measure (weigh). This is readily understood because in Biblical history, money, food and other valuables were 'weighed' by hanging or suspending them on a type of balance (the equivalent of our measuring scale) to determine their value."

He goes on to say: 
"And despite claims to the contrary, there is no substantive Biblical evidence that Selah is an interrupter to pause the music while voices continue, nor is there sound evidence that it is for the pausing of voices while the music continues. These ideas are based upon the conjecture and theories of it being a music stop. It is a presupposition rather an well researched conclusion. But what we do know is that it is a word which means to weigh or measure. 
And in these contexts, to weigh the preceding words of God and wisely consider them. It is a signature exhortation from God for our thoughtful reflection and weighing of what we have just read."
I love that.

So what does that mean for me? It's time for me to take a break in the sense that I need to take some time "to measure" all that is going on in my life and ministry. I will pause and ponder the Lord's message to me and His priorities for me. I will surrender my time and ministry completely to Him and see if He would have me make any adjustments. This is always my goal, but somehow a break makes me more intentional and accountable to it.

Will you join me in prayer about a few of the things He's laid on my heart already?

1. I need to get organized household & health wise. Have some adjustments to make.

2. I'm preparing for a God-sized ministry commitment. He's led me to go on a missions trip to Cambodia in late October for ten days, and I have a TON of research, planning and training to do before I go. I will be leading kids in teaching and worship while I'm there. Please pray. I have never been on an overseas missions trip. I don't even have a passport yet. Completely going with God's leading on this one. Like I said, God-sized.

3. I'm heading to She Speaks/She Writes in late July, and I need to prepare my two presentations, as well as prepare for a publisher's meeting for a few of my manuscripts.

And there's so much more. Books to read, SUV to drive with the kids out of school, Writing Projects to submit for pay, scheduling for fall, etc.

What do you think about this? Crazy, eh? But His ways are not mine, and I would rather obey than end up in the belly of a big fish, so I'm off to Selah for awhile, a month or so...with the exception of one post for the Internet Cafe on the 18th which I'm setting up in advance. :D 

I look forward to what God will do with my extra time. He always surprises me when I obey Him. Thank you for celebrating and praising the Lord with me today! I pray that in the spirit of God's leading for me, you will consider taking the time to weigh and measure exactly what He has for you as well. He will not withhold anything good from you as you seek His face.

Psalm 84

"How lovely is your dwelling place,
O LORD Almighty!
My soul yearns, even faints,
for the courts of the LORD;
my heart and my flesh cry out
for the living God.

Even the sparrow has found a home,
and the swallow a nest for herself,
where she may have her young—
a place near your altar,
O LORD Almighty, my King and my God.

Blessed are those who dwell in your house;
they are ever praising you.

Blessed are those whose strength is in you,
who have set their hearts on pilgrimage.

As they pass through the Valley of Baca,
they make it a place of springs;
the autumn rains also cover it with pools.

They go from strength to strength,
till each appears before God in Zion.

Hear my prayer, O LORD God Almighty;
listen to me, O God of Jacob.

Look upon our shield, O God;
look with favor on your anointed one.

Better is one day in your courts
than a thousand elsewhere;
I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God
than dwell in the tents of the wicked.

For the LORD God is a sun and shield;
the LORD bestows favor and honor;
no good thing does he withhold
from those whose walk is blameless.

O LORD Almighty,
blessed is the man who trusts in you."

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Pause...For a Blessing in my Stormy Weekend

A Blessing in the Storm…MD messed up my life and made me whole by Lori Laws has been on my mind to read for quite some time. The moment I saw it had been published as an e-book, I purchased it. Life got in the way, though, and I had not been able to get past the title page.

This weekend, a stormy weekend oddly enough, I had some down time and was determined that this would be my opportunity to start it. Start it? I couldn’t put it down (yes, I printed it out). I finished it. It’s that gripping.

Lori’s memoir, underneath the surface, is not really about her struggle with Muscular Dystrophy, though it is the catalyst for every message in it. It’s mostly about her plight spiritually. She writes in her introduction: “This book is for anyone who is suffering with anything.” I whole-heartedly agree.

Ever wrestled with pride? Self-righteousness? Unbelief? Vanity? 

Have you ever enjoyed a destructive lifestyle?

Do you suffer with chronic pain of any kind, whether it be physical or emotional?

Do you have guilt or dysfunction from your past that clutters your heart and mind?

Have you given in to your circumstances or allowed them to identify you?

Are you convinced that God doesn’t listen or doesn’t know what He’s doing?

Do you have a hope unfulfilled? 

If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, then Lori’s e-book will encourage you more than you could ever imagine. The instant I read the foreword written by Lori’s husband, I knew that this would not be a book of pat answers for someone struggling with disease. Rather an authentic testimony of hope found amidst the struggle.

And Hope is the paper this story was written on…

Lori is genuine, honest, purposeful and direct with her memoir. It’s filled with day-to-day stories and experiences that have carved her into a beautiful woman of God, one who is still learning how to lean and showing others how to do so right alongside her. Lori writes, “Remember that nothing ahead of you is bigger or stronger than the power of God behind you.” That God-power is what has made her God-strong even with a disease that has the potential to leave her feeling powerless and weak.

My insights on Lori’s testimony and message cannot do them justice. I encourage you to see what God has in it for you. Even if you are not a believer in the God of all hope and comfort, I encourage you to read her story. If you are someone who thinks you have it all together, there could be a jewel in it for you too. If you find yourself not knowing what to say to a friend who is struggling, or if you are a spouse or relative to someone with chronic pain or illness, Lori’s book has the potential to lead your heart to greater insight and perspective regarding these relationships.

Though a Kleenex or two is needed along the way, she will lead you to a place of Hope if you are willing to stop there. She will show you the place where, in her words, “God saw me, and in His great mercy saved me and brought the sweetest peace.”

Click here to purchase or find out more about A Blessing in the Storm. Lori gives 20 percent of the proceeds to her local crisis pregnancy center.

Friday, May 1, 2009

A Mother's Work Is Nevah, Evah Done! *gasp*

It's Fiction Friday, and Dancin' On Rainbows is hosting.  Here is my contribution...a little something special for the mama's out there. Please feel free to print off and give to your mom (or your husband--eh, hem!). Anyway, enjoy!

Nevah, Evah Done! *gasp*

A Godly mother’s work—nope—never done. There’s no

Mistaking that. For when she ends
One worthy task, another’s one’s begun.
To-do list long. Chores mile wide. That’s not the
Half of it.
Eyes on roam, and ears up tall, she’s
Ready to outwit.

Socks from the dryer, matched, then put away, but

Wait, “I need that special shirt tonight,” her Honey calls to say.
Ohhhhhhh…can you hear her dismay? “Mayday! Mayday!”
Reality invades her--and fast--as she hears her daughter screaming.
Keenly, Mom’s able to redirect,

Incite her child’s mind to dreaming.
Satisfied, she sits for a moment…(tick tock, tick tock)...

Never mind the clock--Its ticking, her
Enemy. Dinner must be started, though,‘cuz she’s a
Volunteer at church this evening.
Even there, no reprieve—she’s on call, don’t you see—a
Ringtone or text away. And come what may,

Every wandering thought
Veers home anyway.
Endless energy
Required. Lasting love of Christ transpired.

Does a Godly mother’s work ever meet its end? Well, let me begin, with my
No. It is only a beginning to a larger end. That day, when her Lord
Exclaims, “Well done. Good and faithful servant”
Well done, Mom.

Head on over to Dancin' On Rainbows for more great fiction!