Wednesday, February 26, 2014

If You Believe You Will See

I'm certain that you've read or have heard of the man named Lazarus. Lazarus was a friend of Jesus who became very ill. When he wasn't recovering his sisters, Mary and Martha, sent for Jesus with the hope that Lazarus would be healed. But Jesus didn't arrive in time.

By the time Jesus arrived in the town where the three siblings lived, Lazarus had sadly already passed away 4 days before! Mary, Martha and the locals were in the midst of mourning for Lazarus when word came that Jesus had arrived. Martha immediately ran to him.

Her first words to Jesus were: "Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died." (John 11:21)

Martha's first thought was that Jesus failed her. If he had been there her brother would still be alive and kicking, but no. Jesus didn't come through on time so now she was in this great sorrow!

How often have you felt that way? That you prayed, you sought open doors, you begged God to get there and to work before it was too late; yet, no matter how hard you tried nothing happened. God failed you...or did he?

What happened next in the story is something Martha never expected.

"Jesus said, 'ake ye away the stone. Martha, the sister of him that was dead, saith unto him, Lord, by this time he stinketh: for he hath been dead four days. Jesus saith unto her, Said I not unto thee, that, if thou wouldest believe, thou shouldest see the glory of God?"

John 11:39-40 

Notice the underlined part of that verse. Jesus gently reminds Martha that she must keep believing in order to see the glory of God- even long after it seems possible. When it's hard to believe that God will come through you must not give up. For the only way to see God come through is by believing that he will work! What is that belief called? Faith. 

"Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." 

Read the rest of Hebrews 11 to see what faith did for people in the bible. Sometimes I like to do that just to remind myself of what God has done and still can do! 

"...but with God all things are possible." 
Matthew 19:26b

The only things preventing God from working is us! And yes, it is much harder when it feels like he hasn't come through on time. But remember, God is not on our time table. he sees a much bigger picture than we could ever imagine!

"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord." 
Isaiah 55:8

Keep believing that God's Got This and that he is one time...maybe not our time...his timing is perfect.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

New Book Started

I've been working on a book for about a month now. It's interesting how it came about as it's the usual way things come about for me....a rough day. Sometimes I really wish God would just give me the inspiration without having to go through the pain that taught me the lesson!

I'd had a really rough day. So bad that I didn't even do the dishes before I went to bed! Now I love and need to come out to a clean kitchen in the morning or my day is hindered by the load of dishes that have to be cleaned. So it is my preference to have all that done before I slid into my comfy bed for night of sweet, precious sleep.

The only time I don't actually get the dishes done is if I'm way too tired, don't feel good, or have company over. Other than that I strive to be faithful in that one task. Well, after my rough day I left the dishes there and for once yes, I did have about two of my above mentioned excuses, but I also thought that maybe, just maybe tomorrow I'd want to have some moments to think before me day.

Love it when a thought like that happens- I call them 'God Thoughts' as it isn't until later that I realize why I thought a certain thing.

Anyways, the next day I woke up feeling emotionally drained and unmotivated. After being reminded of the dishes waiting to be washed, I decided to take the time and get them done. I used that time to talk to the Lord about what I was feeling. I told him how frustrated I was that the day before had been so rough. Have you ever noticed that when you wash dishes it just gives you time to think?

Well, this was a moment where God suddenly allowed me to have idea after idea for the book I'm working on. Then later in the day as I worked on the book I realized that I needed some assistance for research. I asked someone for help and a few days later they responded with the help I needed! 

Confirmation after confirmation took place letting me know that the doors were open! So I've been working on this book and more ideas have's been like a flowing river of ideas!

I've also had the opportunity to do further research into biblical characters which has been super amazing! Getting up close with God's word brings joys and knowledge you knew was there, but never imagined how much deeper it could go.

Overall, it's been challenging, but very fun doing this new project. Can't wait to share it with you all!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

The Potter

The newest song I just finished is entitled: The Potter. I actually wrote the song all through the year of 2013. The Chorus was written on February 1st, the verses on September 30th and then I had some revisions in October 7th and 24th.

One thing I've learned from writing is that you can't rush it. It may take a day or a year or many years before it's done, but it will be finished in God's timing. The same way of thought can be added to how we view our life.

We are so used to the fast-service way of life- meaning when we want something we want it now! We've been spoiled by fast Internet, fast food, fast cars...everything has to be fast. But in reality, it takes a lifetime to do what you're here to do.

Constantly growing, learning and improving our life; and it's not easy. Especially if you desire to serve God with your life. But by trusting that he is working, even when we can't see it, can make the difference between living a life of victory or defeat.

I have to say, this song is one of my favorites right now! Here it is:

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Believing God's Got This When It's Hard To Believe

"God's Got This" has been something I've often had to purposely remind myself of during the start of this year. In life so much can get out of control so quickly and grabbing onto that peace and knowing that God is in control......well, I'd love to say it's all rainbows and butterflies, but it can be difficult for our flesh.

I keeps saying that God has everything under control, but my body keeps feeling stressed, frustrated and annoyed. Our stomachs grow heavier as it twists and does flip flops from all the fretting and worrying. How can we keep  faithful in word and deed during those times? How can we stay strong in our faith?

I'm currently going through something right now where I am struggling with those very questions. It's not the first time I've struggled with my faith during a difficult moment, but it's certainly a situation that has me stressed a lot more than I usually am- even in previous stressful situations!

I was supposed to do something, it's something that you can't say no to, but due to a health challenge I was unable to. Now I'm in a situation where I could be in some trouble if things don't work out right. I've been stressed all day and worried...but wait! Isn't there a song we sang in Sunday school that says, "why worry when you can pray"?

Well, I prayed, my family is praying, but I'm still worried and my health is being made slightly worse by the stress of the situation. I know that God uses everything- even the things he hates, such as hurt and pain- to bring about something that I can use for him. And I chose to look at this situation as a circumstance where I can see Him work!

I was talking to the Lord the other day about how I feel that some of the spark in our relationship wasn't there. I missed it. I desired it. Well, last night I tossed and turned, but because of that I was able to talk with the Lord most of the night. It felt so good, despite physical discomfort, to be talking with him all night- the quiet moments where it's just Jesus and me and no distractions-other than me dozing off here and there when I'm able to! :)

Today I'm overwhelmed with something completely out of my control and from that I'm once again talking to the Lord through the day and practicing my faith.

Faith is very important in our walk with God and it only increases and strengthens through continuous practice. I declared at the beginning of the year that "God's Got This" and that means when trails I must  believe that He's Got This!

So what do I do when I have no problem saying it but my heart and body has trouble implementing it?

I give it to him. I have to be honest here, sometimes I feel so dumb as in two minutes I'll have half a dozen conversations like this, "Lord, I'm still struggling with this, but I believe you are in control. I cast this care (I will name exactly what it is) on you, because I know you care for me. Please take this burden, I don't want to carry it anymore! In Jesus name amen."

Let go of your problem and give it to him. So often we wonder why we are so cumbered with our cares and it's because no matter how often we give it to Jesus, we take it back when it suddenly pops into our head: "Oh, I have this problem today" and we then remember how big the problem is.

The nice thing to remember is that while I may say that prayer all day long- God does know that we are dust. He looks on us as his children. So when that seed of worry begins to grow do as a child would when they are scared or worried- run to him!

Do you remember the story in the bible where Peter stepped out of the boat, to walk on the water, to go to Jesus? It wasn't until he took his eyes off the Lord that he fell. When we take our eyes off a God who is bigger than our problems, our problems become bigger in our eyes.

I'm no expert and have to practice this often: keeping my eyes on Jesus, casting my care on the Lord, letting go of the burden, forgiving myself for my weakness (more on that in a different post).

Trust, believe, have faith that God's Got This!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Welcome Home, Sweet Home

As you all know, if you've been reading my posts from the last two months, as 2012 came to a close I began to feel very unsettled about the beginning of 2013.  As the clock ticked closer and closer to midnight I wanted to pull away and not have to face the new year.  We all have ups and downs in life and over the last few year I've felt as if there haven't been very many ups. When the down times and trials overwhelm it's so hard to stay encouraged!

No matter how hard I pulled away, 2013 started anyways; and it was pretty rough.  Not even a week into the new year a family- that has been a great blessing to my family and that we've grown close to over the years as friends- went through a very difficult heartache.  It brought to the forefront so many emotions and feelings, that I didn't even realize I'd been ignoring and pushing down, about my dad passing away.  I felt like I was going through all of the pain all over again only this time I was experiencing those emotions and that pain in a way I don't think I even had back in 2002- when my dad's passing was fresh and new to our lives.

Since then it feels like everything has hit me harder from special events that my family has had to decisions I have had to make for my life.  When April rolled around, my dad's birthday month, I became very emotional and the emptiness of him being gone just filled my heart so much that I literally cried day after day.  For those of you who know me pretty know I always have a challenge crying.  I want to and need to cry, but tears never come...very annoying...especially for a girl!  Let's just say I thought and felt like I was going crazy as tears couldn't stop flowing!

My heart aches and my heart grieves, but God never allows anything to happen without a purpose. Experiencing those emotions again has allowed me to focus a lot more on the books I've been writing.  In fact, I've made more progress due to the pain and struggles during the last six months!

 One of the songs that has been on my heart a lot in the last week or so is one that God used to show me that my dad had gone onto heaven.  Here's an excerpt, from a chapter of one of the books I've been working on, that tells how that came about:

"My mom went on the ambulance with my dad, while my siblings and I were left in an empty house.  I called a few people I knew would start a prayer chain and then tried to focus on what should be done next.  For a few minutes, I walked around unsure of where I should even start.  After having so many paramedics and first responder volunteers coming and going the house seemed especially quiet and emptier than it normally did.  That’s when God showed me the first hint that my dad was gone.

I had always wanted to write a song that would be a comfort to someone who lost a family member or friend.  Earlier that year a family we knew lost a little baby girl and God gave me the song I had desired to write.  A song that could give comfort during the loss of a loved one.  Often I would play and sing it at home.  There were times when my dad would be preparing his messages for Sunday and I would stop playing the music as I knew he like it to be quiet so he could concentrate.   Many times he would call out or stick his head out of his office and tell me to “keep playing, don’t stop!”

As I blindly walked through the house from room to room, my eye caught sight of the paper with that song, sitting on the piano.  I stopped and sat on the bench in front of the piano and read through the words.  My heart gripped me and a breath left my lungs as the thought came to me that my father was gone.  

I remembered the knowing look that that the volunteer gave my siblings and me, he had been the first to arrive and one of the last to leave the house, but he couldn’t tell us anything that had happened in my parents room.  Only a doctor could make the call that that someone had passed away.  Instead, as he walked out to his truck he glanced our way with a face filled with sadness as he knew what we didn’t-that my dad was gone. 

But once again, in that moment as I read those words and the realization came that my dad had gone home, I wasn’t filled with fear or terror, but a feeling of peace came over me; a calm knowing that God had a purpose, and would get us through."

God always brings comfort along. Sometimes we have to seek him to find it, other times, when we are at our weakest, he knowingly and faithfully brings just what we need.

Here's the video for Welcome Home, Sweet Home. A song originally written for the comfort of others long before I realized it was truly written for me.

Friday, February 14, 2014

With The One Who Loves Me!

Today the Lord gave me a new song-and I actually started and finished writing it all in one day!  It just made me realize that when God is moving you need to be ready-in season and out of season to move and do what He has given you to do.
When I woke up this morning I was thinking about all the tasks I needed to accomplish.  I had woken up a little late as I was up into the wee hours of the morning.  Instead of getting those tasks done-which I was already woefully behind on-God gave me a song to write and sing.
A friend once told me something that changed my view on singing.  She said, "If God gives you a song, it's because He wants to hear you sing it!"

When we sing music to our Lord we are lifting Him up in worship and praise.  Always be ready for God to move and to be in and apart of your life.

Yes, I still have those countless tasks to catch up on and I will still be behind in them tomorrow.  But then I am reminded and I see how much God loves me.  He wants and desires to spend time with me. Some of the time we spent together today was making music....forget those tasks and duties, it's no big deal...I want to be with the one who loved me and gave His life for me.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

50 Posts!

I know I don't have many readers...yet....but I thought I would celebrate my 50th blog post! YAY!!!!! Wohooo!!!(Can you hear party music and blowouts?) Okay, okay I know it's not a huge accomplishment to some, but I've been making an effort to post more often and it feels good to have reached 50 posts! :)

Anyways, I've been working on a book and it's been simply amazing! Doing the research has caused me to delve deeper into God's word and learn so much more about the people in the bible. It's been...I have no words to describe it....overwhelming!

I hope I can share some of what I'm working on sometime soon, but until then please just pray that I will have wisdom and clear ideas for the words that I need to write. I feel like Jeremiah when he said that God's word was in him like a burning fire and he was weary with forbearing and could not stay. Translation: He HAD to share what God had given him. He couldn't just keep it inside no matter how hard he tried. 

I'm so grateful that I've actually had the time to sit and work on the things God has given me to share and I am claiming that it will be used for him to encourage and uplift those who are hurting and need Christ love!

Till next time, keep safe and warm- we are currently under a winter advisory so there's a lot of white stuff flying around!