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Archive for September, 2007

Live full

“Take in with all Christians the extravagant dimensions of Christ’s love. Reach out and experience the breadth! Test its length! Plumb the depths! Rise to the heights! Live full lives, full in the fullness of God” (Eph. 3:18–19  the message).

 whew!  What a Word!  Let’s do this! enough said…….

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It’s all about Him

Oh, dear friends in blogland, how are you? I pray you are well this evening. I pray you are full of His joy, and peace. I am so thankful for a quiet evening at home tonight, in the midst of a very busy week. In reading some emails just a bit ago, I was thanking God for particular friends of mine. You know the ones…..you have loved them for a long time, and though you may live many miles apart, a quick phone call, or an email bridges those miles, and reminds you of how blessed you are by your friend. As I was reading this one email from a dear friend, I was struck by his prayer request. (I copied his prayer request down below for you). It really resonated in me as what we all should be praying. Though I don’t lead worship like he does, I do want to meet with God, and to live my life in such a way that it’s really all about Him, to glorify Him.

“please pray for tonight. that the Lord would meet us and that it would not be about me or anyone else in the band, or how the music sounds, or how i look, or how much work we put into it, but that it would all resonate for one purpose and that is to glorify Jesus. it’s all about Him and please pray that i would fervently pursue that. ”

So, yes, to my dear friend, I am praying all that for you – for me, and for each of my friends. For each of you who stop by this blog. That we would fervently pursue Him. That we would ask others to pray that for us, as well. That He would be our heart’s desire. Let’s do this thing, friends, together – “May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of unity among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus, so that with one heart and mouth you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Romans 15:5,6

Have such a great evening…..

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His comfort for you today

Yesterday, I read this in one of my devotionals, Daily Light. It was a profound combination of Scriptures to me, and I was led to email it to a couple friends. I feel His leading to post it today for you. Do you need to hear it? Are you struggling with a challenge today? Could you ask the Lord a big, fat, WHY? to something in your life? Are you weary, dear one, and just about to give up? Don’t – seek Him, and share all your pain and frustration with Him – He cares so so much. Let His words wash over you and refresh you – energizing you and giving you hope.

“Let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. * Now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ. * We also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope. * It is good that one should hope and wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord * You have a better and an enduring possession for yourselves in heaven. Do not cast away your confidence, which has great reward. For you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise. * Our Lord Jesus Christ Himself, and our God and Father, who has loved us and given us everlasting consolation and good hope by grace, comfort your hearts.”

James 1:4; 1 Peter 1:6-7; Romans 5:3-4; Lamentations 3:26; Hebrews 10:34-36; 2 Thessalonians 2:16-17

May He indeed comfort your hearts…….

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Refuge

My home church has a yearly fall retreat for students. Our high school retreat is called Refuge, and just happened this past weekend. We get to board un-airconditioned school buses (fun!) and drive 1-1/2 hours up in the piney woods of East Texas, to this really great Baptist encampment. I’ve been to every Refuge weekend for almost a decade. It is one of my favorite weekends of the year – and really gives me joy in anticipating it each year.

Let me report that this year was one of the best – we had an amazing leadership team – Afshin Ziafat, Justin Cofield Band, and an illusionist, Jared Hall. An amazing collection of men who love Christ and are called to minister to students. What a gift to the body of Christ that they are! What a blessing to us this weekend. Our theme was Consecration – “solemnly dedicated to or set apart for a high purpose.” I believe this is an area that we are always in need of fine tuning, no matter how old we are, or how long we have loved Christ. I am working on it even more now.

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfector of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:1-2

“fix our eyes on Jesus”……my goal for this day. this week. for my life. I pray to do this always. If you see me, and I’m not fixing my eyes on Jesus, please remind me!

ok, a little side note here – just for you who don’t know – I absolutely LOVE music – worship and praise especially. I’m close to being obsessed with it, to be honest. Anyway, about a week ago, I came across this new cd – new artist to me – Jeff Johnson. There is this song on his cd called “Glorious Day”. I am definitely moved and touched deeply by this song. Let’s just say, I must hear it several times a day. I devoured it for the last week. obsessed. compelled. Totally caught up in it. love it. So, here’s the tie in to Refuge weekend. We’re in the middle of worship on Saturday, and all of a sudden, in the midst of this hymn, come familiar words. My ears perk up. hmmm……I know it, but can’t place it – what is that song?!!! Ohmygosh, it’s GLORIOUS DAY!!!! Just a little snippet, a little insert, into the hymn we were already singing, but to me, a lavish demonstration from my great God of His love for me – in my very own love language…..so sweet. I was amazed. Now, you may think that’s being a bit over the top dramatic – after all it’s just a song, right? nope. sorry – not dramatic, but I take it as a deliberate precious touch from the Lord. Just like when I see such a great sunset, and take it personally. He loves me. I am indeed blessed. So are you. So, how do I respond to this God? I fix my eyes on Him. I pray that for you this week as well.

“Consecrate yourselves and be holy, because I am the Lord your God.” Leviticus 20:7

“Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do amazing things among you.” Joshua 3:5

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“So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you. Take your everyday, ordinary life – your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life – and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for Him. Don’t become so well- adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what He wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.

I’m speaking to you out of deep gratitude for all that God has given me, and especially as I have responsibilites in relation to you. Living then, as every one of you does, in pure grace, it’s important that you not misinterpret yourselves as people who are bringing this goodness to God. No, God brings it all to you. The only accurate way to understand ourselves is by what God is and by what He does for us, not by what we are and what we do for Him.” Romans 12:1-3 the message

wow. really. I’m so thankful for the Word – honestly! aren’t you?!!! What in the world would I do without It?!!! This Scripture blows me away – so many portions that I’d like to comment on, however, I would prefer for the Lord to speak to you about it. Read it again. Outloud, if you can. What is He saying to you through this passage? What is His call for you today? What would He love for you to lay down for His glory? I am changed by His Word. Ministered to by His love and comfort found here. My prayer for you today, for me today, is that we fix our attention on God. Fix. our. attention. on. God. period. amen.

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a hope and a future……

I pray all is well with you, as we enjoy our Sundays together! I have had a bit of time to study His hope, plans and future – I did it as an encouragement for a friend, and found encouragement for my own soul. I pray that these familiar words from our God do a new work in you as you trust in Him.

“Consider the blameless, observe the upright; there is
a future for the man of peace.” Psalm 37:37

“There is surely a future hope for you, and your hope
will not be cut off.” Proverbs 23:18

“I know that You can do all things; no plan of Yours
can be thwarted.” Job 42:2

“The Lord Almighty has sworn, ‘Surely, as I have
planned, so it will be, and as I have purposed, so it
will stand.'” Isaiah 14:24

“….but this happened that we might not rely on
ourselves but on God…..He will deliver us. On Him
we have set our hope….” 2 Corinthians 1:9-10

“‘For I know the plans I have for you’, declares the
Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans
to give you hope and a future. Then you will call
upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to
you. You will seek Me and find Me, when you seek Me
with all your heart. I will be found by you,’
declares the Lord, ‘and will bring you back from
captivity.” Jeremiah 29: 11-14

“‘so there is hope for your future,’ declares the
Lord.” Jeremiah 31:17

“But those who plan what is good find love and
faithfulness. All hard work brings profit.” Proverbs
14:22-23

“What I have said, that will I bring about; what I
have planned, that will I do.” Isaiah 46:11

“May He give you the desire of your heart and make all
your plans succeed. We will shout for joy when you
are victorious and will lift up our banners in the
name of our God. May the Lord grant all your
requests.” Psalm 20:4-5

“But the plans of the Lord stand firm forever, the
purposes of His heart through all generations.” Psalm
33:11

“Make plans by seeking advice…..” Proverbs 20:18

“Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your
ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, ‘This is
the way; walk in it.'” Isaiah 30:21

“So we make it our goal to please Him….” 2
Corinthians 5:9

So, dear friends, whatever you are dealing with, whatever you may be uncertian of, be confident of this – God has a great plan for you, and thus, you have much hope!

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Do you know that my mother used to not reveal her age to anyone? Never talked about her age. Even to her closest friends. Crazy to me – but even as she was dying, she made me promise not to tell any of her friends how old she was. (and I didn’t, of course!) Her sister, my dear aunt Maudie is 98. 98!! I’ve finally encouraged her to wear that proudly – such a great accomplishment! Seriously, back in the day, she lied about her age. I’m not kidding. Constantly. So much that she couldn’t remember how old she was. I’m so serious. So much so, that a few years ago, we had a most difficult time finding out her birth year. Once we did, we reminded her that is was a blessing to achieve such number of years.

But even with my lack of understanding this attitude of theirs, I believe it must still be in me in some small way. And I don’t want it! Thus I write this post. For today is a milestone for me. Nope, not my birthday, but the last day I will ever spend in my 40s. ever. wow. Just writing it, I’m tempted to delete this whole thing, and start over, talking about recipes, or tell you about mowing my yard this morning, or something! I mean, I really don’t have to tell you this, do I? But I do not want the enemy to shame me into hiding who I am, and even how old I am. I want to be authentic, and real. So, here goes……..

It’s true – tomorrow I will be 50. five – zero. Half a century. Many qualify that particular age as “old”. (just ask my kids!) But the funny thing is, I don’t really feel “old”. I still feel really young. I feel like my 40s were really good. And that my 50s will be even better. Oh, how I pray so. I am eager to spend each day finding more and more joy in Jesus. I ask that He be my delight, peace, and passion. May He be yours too.

By the way, I told you about my mom, and aunt, and their fear of telling their age – please know they also passed down to me a whole lifetime of great things. And I am thankful to pass those along to my own kids. But I want to also teach them to be thankful for each day, each year, as they collect into decades. For them to be able to count the greatness of God for all their days.

“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.” Proverbs 9:10

“I will utter…sayings of old which we have heard and known, and our fathers have told us. We will not hide them from their children, telling to the generation to come the praises of the Lord, and His strength and His wonderful works that He has done.” Psalm 78:2-4

“I lift You high in praise, my God, O my King! and I’ll bless Your name into eternity. I’ll bless you every day, and keep it up from now to eternity. God is magnificent; He can never be praised enough. There are no boundaries to His greatness. Generation after generation stands in awe of Your work; each one tells stories of Your mighty acts…..my mouth is filled with God’s praise. Let everything living bless Him, bless His holy name from now to eternity!” Psalm 145:1-4, 21 the message

Enjoy each and every day of yours, as they collect upon one another. Be thankful for God’s goodness in each one. Thanks for letting me share……..

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