Know

Psalm 139:23

Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.

When we’re young we believe that we fully “know” who we are, what we stand for and what we believe. We’re on top of the world.  Living life to the fullest!  Truly not thinking about God throughout our days or how He sees us.

The ladies in this picture all know me well, along with several others not pictured.  They’ve seen the Ugly Beautiful and they still love me.  Just as I know and love them!  It’s a wonderful thing to have people in your life that “know” you.

I have lived thinking that I knew me best and then I realized………. I didn’t really like who I saw.  After several years of living in this world and weathering the storms of this life, the face staring back at me was distorted and angry. Even though in the open those around me may not have seen that face, it was there.  God was showing me who I was so I’d be ready for the changes He wanted to make in me.  He had to break me into unrecognizable pieces so my reflection would be more like Him.  But it wasn’t what was changing on the outside, it was on the inside.  Now each day I ask Him to show me who He wants me to be and rid me of the distorted and angry reflection so that my reflection would more resemble Him. But for Him to do those changes, I had to let go of who I believed I was. Seeking His guidance in my life, admitting that He knows me best!

Lord I come to You pliable each day!  Asking You to show me and change me into a better me.  I pray that I will walk the journey of my life letting go of the distorted and angry views of my mind allowing Your Spirit to dwell in my heart.  Helping me, guiding me and giving me deep down Joy.  Lord I pray that You will use me to reach those around me that are still looking at a reflection that they don’t like.  That I will be able to use the lessons in my life and help them find You in theirs.  Lord I pray for my family and friends.  This world can be hard, so I pray they will ask You into their lives so miraculous change can take place.  Amen!

Purpose

Philippians 2:12

Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.

What is my purpose?  Do you ever wonder that?  As I travel through my days, I question my reason.  The reason for me!  Why I’m who I am.  Why I’ve experienced my experiences.  Why certain things drive me crazy and why certain things bring joy.  The question, why?,  is a mystery. Some days I function just fine without the answers and some days the unknowing wants to drag me down.   Because I trust in the Lord fully, I think that I should not question the unknown.  But I realize that I’m just human.   The Lord has sculpted me in the same way that He sculpted the mountains in this picture.  If He can handle those rocks then surely He can handle me.  So, why then do I ask, “Why?”?  There I go again, it’s just human nature.  But at the end of the day, who do I trust?  In my joyous times and in my questioning times, the Lord is on my mind.  So as it says in Philippians, ” not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence- continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose”.

Lord I come to You trusting today!  Trusting that even in my not so joyous days, You are with me.  Molding me, sculpting me, teaching me so that I will fulfill Your good purpose.  I will never have all the answers to my “Why?”, until I’m sitting next to You and I simply need to be okay with that.  I know Lord that my family and friends carry around that same question at times.  I pray that You will give them the peace in their soul to be okay with the unknown.  Amen!

 

 

Persecuted

Matt 5:10-11

Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me.

We must stand tall with the Lord by our side.  It will not always be the most popular stance and some of the time we will feel isolated and alone in our standards of living. We can not falter in what is true! In the name of being “politically correct” there will be sacrifice in the word of God. Why should those that don’t strive to walk their walk with God have the most say and usually in an hate filled way when we have the truth of God empowering us to stand firm and be bold? There is no need to coward down. With the Spirit dwelling in us,  we don’t aren’t hate filled  and we speak His truth and hold firm to His ways. Love for the people in this world should be our motivator and eternity in heaven next to the Lord our goal!

Lord I thank you for giving me the truth! I thank You for giving me the word to show me how to handle any circumstance that comes my way and do it with love. There has been and will continue to be those that are not living for you and will test my strength and bring anger to the top but I will be able to draw from You. You will give me the wisdom that I need to show them that You alone are almighty and regardless of the persecution that I receive, I will not crumble to my knees.  I ask You to hold tight to my family and friends.  I pray they will stand tall for You.  Thank You Lord for being our strength! Amen!

Peacemakers

Matt 5:9

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.

As we go through our day, we are faced with situations that we must react to. Are we being attacked emotionally and feel that we must defend ourselves, are we witnessing abuse of someone else or are there others that are verbally bashing our faith and moral standards? Whatever it is that we are facing, we have a choice. To lash out in the same way or to do it in a way that will make a bigger impression. I have learned over the last 10 years or so that lashing out gets me no where. If I really want to change a situation then I need to take a step back, take a deep breathe and bring peace to the situation. Are we going to be peacemakers or are we going to be the “other”? What impact do you want to make on this world?

Lord Father, thank You so much for showing me daily how taking a step back and breathing before reacting can have a lasting effect on my life and the life of those around me. I pray Lord that today as I’m faced with life, that I will draw from Your wisdom and react in a way that will make a lasting impression. You only Lord are my guide! Amen!

 

Pure in Heart

Matthew 5:8

Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.

Pure-
1.free from anything of a different, inferior, or contaminating kind; free from extraneous matter: pure gold; pure water.
2. unmodified by an admixture; simple or homogeneous.
3.of unmixed descent or ancestry
4.free from foreign or inappropriate elements
5.clear; free from blemishes
6. unmixed, unadulterated, unalloyed, uncontaminated, untainted, unstained, undefiled, untarnished, immaculate, unpolluted, uncorrupted, modest, virtuous

In the world’s eyes, I am certainly not seen as pure but thankfully I don’t get my definition from the world. I am only what God sees me as. I am certainly not perfect but through the release of my will and seeking the will of HIM, I am made pure. It’s a daily decision to keep myself from that which draws me from the will of God. I choose to focus my mind on the good that He has made of me instead of the ugliness that the world wants me to believe. He alone can purify my heart. He alone knows my every part regardless of how easily I can be pulled down. He alone will save me from myself. I know that He alone is for me, even when everyone else around is against me.

Dear Lord I thank You today for being steadfast, hanging in with me when my life gets messy. I can depend on You to bring me back out of the mud that I waller in and make me pure again. I dwell on this Lord because I want to be with you forever. Amen!

Merciful

Matt 5: 7

Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.

I don’t know about you but the Lord has shown me mercy more times than I can count. In fact this past weekend, particularly Sunday, was all about the mercy that our Lord has shown us. This world is so full of sin and Satan is hard at work pulling us in with his subtle ways, that we don’t even realize it sometime until it hits us in the face. I know in my life time I have prayed for mercy from God and from others, and have received it. Then there has also been times that I have asked for it from others and didn’t receive it. Not such a good feeling. But today I’m challenged to show mercy like I have been shown. As I look up what mercy means, I ask myself, “Do I look like this……benevolence, blessing, charity, forgiveness, generosity, goodwill, grace, pity, sympathy, tolerance, favor, forbearance, gentleness, godsend, humanity, kindliness, lifesaver, mildness and softheartedness.

Lord, today I thank You for giving us Your Son! Without His willingness to give himself up and take our place on that cross, we would be lost forever. There is no way Lord that I can ever repay that sacrifice I have been shown. But Lord I can do my part in showing that to others. I pray that I will show the mercy, that You have given me so freely, to others around me. In my humanness it may not feel like the other one in front of me deserves mercy but neither do I, Lord   Amen!

 

Hunger and Thirst

Matthew 5:6

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.

As this world continues to struggle with sin and at times seems that sin is winning through the lives of people in this life pursuing idolatry in so many ways. Lust for each other, envy, hatred, murder, alcohol, drugs, sex, thievery, power, gluttony, self sacrifice and money. Not caring if those around them get hurt in their aftermath. We feel like it’s within our own strength to be filled. Instead we should pursue the Lord and understand that He alone can give us what our bodies need. 2 Timothy 2:22 Run from anything that stimulates youthful lusts. Instead, pursue righteous living, faithfulness, love, and peace. Enjoy the companionship of those who call on the Lord with pure hearts. Seek the kingdom of God and we will be filled.

Dear Lord, I come to you today understanding that nothing of this world will take away this hunger in my life besides You. As I continue to struggle with sin, I seem to want to hold tightly to that of food. I have had 50 years of looking to food as my consoler. That which is tangible and easy to come by. I pray that I will give that sin over to you. That I will seek Your filling and not look to food or any other type of tangible thing on earth. I pray that my mind will be moldable to Your teachings and no other will be satisfying. I can’t do it on my own Lord! Amen!

Meek

Matt 5:5

Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.

Dictionary: Meek – humbly patient or docile, submissive or compliant; gentle and kind.

Is this me? Is this you? We are taught as children to speak up, don’t let others run over us, if we want something we have to ask for it and be proud of who you are. Were our parents wrong in instilling those things in us? I don’t think so. But those are teaching on how to live in this world, they are not teachings on how to have relations with our Lord. Even our Lord reacts in this manner when necessary. But we are told to be meek under God’s teachings. If we speak up and are proud of who we are as Christians, showing the world a likeness of our Lord each and every minute. Don’t let those in this world that don’t believe demonstrate their views openly, trying to force the evil that motivates them onto us, we should stand firm on the Lords teaching with a gentleness and kindness that overpowers the evils. This will draw people into us and allow us to share God’s spirit with them. Don’t be afraid to speak up, not letting others run over us and being proud of who we are, but only if we are showing the spirit of the Lord and the knowledge of His word.

Dear Lord, I pray that today I will exude Your Spirit. That my every action will be bold but with a meek heart. I live Lord to be with You forever but I know that I fall short more often than I would like. Lord I pray that I will remember when I fall that I don’t have to stay there, buried under the shame of failure because You are a loving and forgiving God, so that will give me the strength and courage to get back up, brush off and start again. Thank You for Your forgiveness. Amen!

Poor in Spirit and Mourn

Matt 5:3  Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Matt 5:4  Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.

We should never loose heart. Our Lord is with us in the bad times. We can go one of two ways. We can curse our God for the bad and painful times in our life, blaming Him for it or screaming “how could this happen”, if God is in control of my life or we can run to Him, understanding that the situation was caused by the evil that is on this earth and is is using it to draw closer.  God doesn’t cause pain but He will use any situation that we go through to show us that He is merciful, forgiving, understanding, wise, powerful, generous, gracious, loving, a healer and all we need. He will comfort us in our times of need and will rejoice with us in our times of happiness. Hang on tight to the comforts He gives so freely and in the times that those around us need that comforting we should give to them. Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. Use it, don’t waste the opportunity to grow!

Lord Father I love you. I am so grateful for the times in my life that I have had to grab hold of You for my strength, I am grateful that You have shown me comfort and I am grateful for the teachings that You have given me through them. I pray Lord that I will make myself available to those around me that need comforting and I will give to them in the same manner that You have given to me. I pray for my family and friends will turn to You in every situation in their lives.  Amen!

 

Soap Box

Ephesians 6:4

 Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.

I’m straying a little from my usual to stand tall on my “soap box”.  I stand on this soap box for God and the families in this world.

I witnessed a young boy who had just finished a program he was involved in and when he saw his mother, his first words were “where is dad”?  Tears immediately started streaming down my face.  My heart was broken for this young mother and for this little boy.  So many emotions running through my mind… sadness, empathy and ANGER!

God created man!  Man to be strong (protector), leader (direction) and to love (security).  Where has that man gone?  Why are they not stepping up to be the men God created them to be?

Now, I know you’re saying, “There are men in this world that are stepping up” and yes, I know that but the numbers sway heavy to the other direction.  And don’t get me wrong, I also know that it’s sometimes the women/mothers that don’t follow through.  But today, this moment, it’s the fathers that I want to speak to.

Our children today are losing out on understanding what a father looks like.  One that puts them first, just behind, God and his wife.  One that loves his child’s mother, showing her respect and providing an example to his family of what it is to love the Lord.  The Lord has made it very clear what the man’s role is to be in the family and how he should raise his children.  This role is being pushed aside for various reasons that are outside of God’s instructions.

Our children and our families will suffer the consequences for us not “stepping up”.   Life is hard out there and if we don’t teach our children how to lean on the Lord, they will get lost in the evil that will surround them.  They need to know that a father is dependable, trust worthy, loving and will be there even when the going gets tough. So please pray with me today for the husbands and fathers to “step up” and be the men God created them to be.

Lord I come to you today heartbroken for the families in this world that need You in their homes.  They need to know that even when the earthy parents fall short, they have You to run to.  I pray for the stand alone parents that are struggling to be who they need to be for You and for their children.  I pray for the hearts of the fathers, that they will soften to Your guidance and understand it’s not weak to need Your instructions.  I pray for the mothers, that they will stand strong with Your power.  And I pray for the children, who desperately need You in their lives.  Amen!