Friday’s Question

Do we spend more time anticipating the miraculous that we miss the day to day joys?

Psalm 23:1-4

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The LORD is my shepherd, I lack nothing.  He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the darkest valley,I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.

 

2 Corinthians 9:8

And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.

 

And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

I don’t know about you, but I’m a dreamer.  I love to dream about the possibilities if………………..  We each dream about the future for different reasons.  I think for me, I dream because I feel my past was so heavily consumed with the evils of life that I didn’t have the knowledge of the good He was doing.  But what if my dreams are coming true right here/right now and I’m missing them because I am dreaming about what ever I have conjured  up in my head for the future.  Whatever I think will heavily consume my past.  And I’m not watching for how God is blessing me today.   So for me, I’m not going to STOP dreaming of the possibilities if………………  but the possibilities are going to be filled with the expected dreams of what God is doing right here/right now.  I can now see that even in the evils of my past, God was walking through them with me, marking out my path and watching me grow stronger in Him.

My dreams can never out shine the dreams that God has for me.

Lord Jesus, You are my dream come true today! Amen!

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Hidden Spaces

Psalm 16:11

You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.

Hebrews 12:1

Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,

Colossians 3:1-25

If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. Put to death therefore what is earthly in you:   (click for FULL CHAPTER)

Hidden spaces in our soul.  Most of us know what this space is.  Most of us live with spaces that we don’t want to come into the light.  Out in the open for the world to see. Most of us live in the darkness of our sin or the sin committed against us. The darkness can overtake us, keeping us in the shadows of fear and shame.  The pain of that sin can over take us, Keeping us Hidden.

But there is a way out of that darkness, those Hidden Spaces. And His name is Jesus.

No longer living under the weight of the sin and no longer living in the Hidden.  Asking Jesus to come into our presence.  Inviting Him into our heart, our soul, allows Him to envelope us. Covering our darkness with His light.  Never to be hidden in darkness again.

Lord, I’m grateful. Grateful that You have shown me a way out of my hidden-ness. Helping me feel the shame, guilt, and pain but not allowing it to over take me.  Not letting the sin cover up Your Goodness but allowing Your Goodness to cover up the sin.  I’m grateful!  I pray Lord that You will guide me to others that need Your light.  Give me the courage and fearlessness through knowing You to show others the way out of their Hidden.  Help me be bold in You and in You alone.  Amen!

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Friday’s Question

How do you know when God is pushing you to move?

Exodus 29:19-21

“Now take the other ram, and have Aaron and his sons lay their hands on its head.  Then slaughter it, and apply some of its blood to the right earlobes of Aaron and his sons. Also put it on the thumbs of their right hands and the big toes of their right feet. Splatter the rest of the blood against all sides of the altar.  Then take some of the blood from the altar and some of the anointing oil, and sprinkle it on Aaron and his sons and on their garments. In this way, they and their garments will be set apart as holy.

I found out tonight!  He showed me that I’m listening to him but he wants me to listen a bit closer, stretch a bit further and move a bit beyond.  Opening myself up to NEW. Opening myself up to UNCOMFORTABLE. Opening myself up to feelings of UNQUALIFIED. Just to remind me that I’M HIS, I’M WORTHY and I’M CAPABLE.  He will never push me to move into an area without going on the ride with me.

In the first step tonight I learned……

It’s okay to remember

There is satisfaction to be found

Even in the ugly

God is close

Change and freedom is mine

New life

Welcomed

Serving

God is Close

Blessed

Who am I

The possibilities

Singing and Surprises

Some joy Some hard

Write to show who you are

Write because Jesus made right, all the wrongs

With his hands on me

My past was killed

And I was made right in his eyes

His blood was sprinkled on my soul

My hollowed was filled.

Thank you Lord for Stretching me.  I pray that others will feel your tugs and move where you lead. Amen!

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Our Sin is a Symptom

Have  you ever asked yourself “Why”?  Why do I act this way?  Why do things keep happening to me? Why ……………………?

Maybe, just maybe, the answers are easier to find then we think.  The answers are within us!

Openly examine and confess my faults to myself, to God and to someone I trust.

Matthew 5:8  Happy are the pure in heart.

But it’s not easy or I would go as far as saying “it’s impossible” to go it alone.

Do I _____________________?

live in denial

justify my behaviors

continually repeat bad behaviors even though I’m convicted to stop

live more concerned about others thoughts

withdraw within my own 4 walls

self seek

or

Do I ______________________?

seek out Jesus’s love and guidance and insight

admit when I have done wrong

ask others to help hold me accountable

wait for God to show me my weakness

search out lasting, strong relationships with others

serve others

My sin is a symptom of my choices.  The unseen things that are harboring in my heart. Things I haven’t given over to God.  So I’m choosing to seek out God to help me make better ones.

Lord, Where would I be without you?  I shutter to even think.  I am grateful for your steady hand in my life.  Help me to look beyond myself and be that hand for others.  Amen!

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Can you Imagine?

Luke 24:32  They asked each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scripture to us?

“I can only imagine” by Mercy Me (click to listen)

As I’ve gone through this week, with the resurrection of Jesus Christ heavily on my mind, I wonder if I had been born in those days of Jesus, would I have believed?  Or would I have been one of those that doubted?

The same questions can be asked today.  As He works in my life, as I see His love carry me through, as I see His great miracles of this century, do I believe?  I sit in quiet places, asking Him to speak to me and guide my steps, and He does.  He still speaks!  His scriptures are available to us now. And is my “heart burning within me while He talks?”

I can only imagine the pain that they must have felt as the man, Jesus, hung on that cross.  The loss of HOPE that they must have had.  But to walk into the tomb 3 days later to find Him gone. Was there immediate response fear? Or was there great anticipation?

Luke 24:45-49 click to read on  bb0426db8457b4301c6e9ab4fc778351

He rose again to show us that we can still have the Hope of Salvation in Him.  And He has given us the Holy Spirit to walk us through our days.

Lord, I so look forward to the day that I can stop imagining and see you FACE TO FACE. Amen!

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Sweet Aroma

Sherri McReynolds:  She is my rock!  My stable ground.  When I need a gentle word and a steady voice, she is the one I call.  God only placed her in my physical surrounding for short period of time but he placed her there at just the right time.  She has been my “hiding place” (literally) and my place to go for rest.  She has supported me during some pretty tough situations and never wavered in the trust she placed in God for our direction.  And now that she has been many miles away from me for a lot of years, I still can hear her sweet voice and feel her hugs.  I so look forward to the day when we can be in the same physical place again.  My friend forever!

30562“I’d like you to write a post for my website….The story of your life with God. Would you do it?”      “Oh my!”, was my response. It made my heart race at the thought! I had never sat down and put pen to paper about “my story”. Did I have one, I wondered? They say everyone has a story to tell, but others seem to have much more interesting stories than mine! Yet, here I sit in the quiet of an early Monday morning, strong coffee with just the right amount of cream and my Bible open. The view out my dining room window indicates fall is in full swing, and in many ways mirrors my life stage. I passed my 50th birthday this last summer along with a few more wrinkles, and gray hair masked by a bit of color.

The summer of 1966 was my grand entrance into this world. The last of five children, born in a small Texas Panhandle town, to a pretty, 28 year-old mother, and a 29 year-old handsome, young preacher. I’m told my mama had to sweet-talk my daddy into the last 3 children, and I’m so glad she did! My parents would gather us all into the living room every night for a devotional. Daddy would read scripture, we would sing “Abide with Me”, and then we would each take turns praying. God was becoming more real to me, even at that tender young age. Sundays were my favorite day of the week in that small Colorado town where we now lived. I vividly remember running into the bathroom where my mama was getting ready for church and excitedly asked her, “Do you know what my favorite day of the week is? Sunday!”.   I was too young yet to understand the gravity of the struggle in the world outside in the early 1970’s…bomb threats due to racial tension that sent my older brother and sister home from high school, inflation, Vietnam, etc. My world was secure, safe, and warm. I knew nothing of the impact of sin. But then I started Kindergarten. The sweet, little 5 year-old girl found herself wrapping her beloved doll in a blanket from the play area of the classroom and standing in line to go home. The teacher asked, “Is that your blanket, Sherri?”, to which I replied softly, “Yes”.  Stealing…lying…oh my! I knew it was wrong, but buried it in my young heart and kept it there. A year later, a friend named Missy, taught me how to smoke in the back alley of her house. I was a mature 1st grader, and she a 2nd grader. Why did it seem so easy to give in to temptation? Sin. I buried this guilt in my heart, too. These sins and others began to burden my heart so much, that I finally got the courage to ask my mom one Wednesday night after church, “Do you ever need to tell someone about your sins?” She took me privately into their bedroom, where I sat on the edge of the bed and confessed everything I could think of. She was so gentle, as always, and prayed with me, and hugged me as I cried. The heaviness finally lifted from my heart! Confession really is good for the soul!

When I was 11, I had a very strong conviction to be baptized. I was a private girl and hadn’t shared with my parents about the decision I had been wrestling with. But “something” took me out of that pew that Sunday morning, and my daddy baptized me into Christ. Oh, what a feeling! My sins had all been washed away! I will never forget that day. Never had I experienced that feeling of feeling so free, light and so joyful!

“Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.” I Peter 5:8.  Wait. Who? Me? Yes, me. Many times in the course of Jr. High and High School I was in a spiritual battle. More lying here, a little deception there, and covering up, and burying deep.  I tried to hide from God. Shamefully, I ceased praying to Him and confessing my sin, allowing Satan to deceive me into thinking, “God isn’t listening to you!”.  But Satan is the father of lies, and makes it his mission to keep us believing those lies. But God has a way of getting our attention to call us back to Him.  He got my attention at that time by moving a young man to town when I was 16.  I’m convinced he was placed there, at that particular time, by God. He and his family only lived there for eight short months before his parents decided that cold, little part of Colorado was not for them and headed back north to Denver. We had only been dating one month before they moved, but that was enough time for God!  Matt needed Him, and little did I know that He would use me. Could God actually use me– broken, flawed, and at times living in out-right rebellion? Yes, He could and He did! God also knew that I needed to be called back to Him and used Matt to do that. It was not an immediate change for either one of us, but our relationship grew through the long distance, and after graduation I moved to Denver. We had many conversations about God, our past mistakes, and what we dreamed of for the future. He was baptized into Christ four months before we married in May of 1986. Matt and I learned to grow in Christ together as we began our married life, and had 2 beautiful children. These “children” are now nearly 27 and 24 years of age, and are my pride and joy! As they grew and were being shaped by God, He was shaping me right along with them.  I, by no means, have mothered them perfectly. So many mistakes have been made. But God is always reminding me of how far He has brought me, and that His grace is sufficient for me.15085547_10211140271962987_6575471649633036569_n

Our family has been through a lot of changes over the past 30 years. Job losses, moves, deaths, divorces within our families, etc.  With every one of these challenges, God has grown me more and more. He has put wonderful, godly women in my life at just the right time, along with families in the body of Christ to share joys with, as well as struggles, and to help carry one another’s burdens that living in this flesh can bring.

There is nothing more vital in this world than living a life of faith in Christ Jesus! Struggles come so that we can see God more clearly. Nothing can ever take the place of the treasure we have in Christ. Yes, even I, in this cracked jar of clay, have a treasure, “….to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from men”. 2 Cor. 4:7.

Through each season of the year, and of my life, may the LORD continually help keep my eyes on Him. No matter how much I mess up, He is faithful. “For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So, we fix our eyes on not what is seen, but what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” 2 Cor. 4:17-18

Lord, You always have the best timing and know who we need to have.  Thank you for giving me Sherri.  Be with her as she ministers to those around her and help her know that she is a part of Your great story.  Amen

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I am God’s Masterpiece

Ephesians 2:10  For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.

Every moment I get to enjoy the out doors, I do it!  My garden of beauties is my HAPPY place!

And as I’m enjoying the greatness of God’s creations, I’m reminded that I too, am one of His creations.  I too have beauty.

I have lived a life not void of the ugliness of this world but I choose to live abundantly, acknowledging that Abundant Life is what God has planned for me even before I came into existence.  Just as I marvel at the beauty that surrounds me in my happy place, my God marvels over me even in my messed up life.

So enjoy the beauty that He has placed in front of you today.  And acknowledge the beauty that He has placed within you.

I hope that you enjoy a few pictures from a day in my life where I simply enjoyed the beauty.

Love You Lord!

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Set us Free

Isaiah 44:22

I have swept away your sins like a cloud. I have scattered your offenses like the morning mist. Oh, return to me, for I have paid the price to set you free.

“In this life there will be pain”.

John 16:33 

I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”

Jesus paid the price for us and He has overcome the world but we must take action to change our circumstances.  We can turn to him, accepting that he is our Lord and Savior and commit to seek and follow His will, but believing takes action.  We have to recognize our sins, we have to recognize our situation for what it is, we have to want to turn it over to Him.  Understanding that the change may bring some additional pain but staying in the mess only promises more. Once we turn it over, it’s the beginning of our freedom.

Philippians 1:6

And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.

Renewing of the soul, with His Spirit leading us and the truth will set us free!

Just take ‘ONE DAY AT A TIME” seeking Him fully.

Lord, You are my Hope! Amen!

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