Monday, July 15, 2013

Monday Meditation~Don't Let Go

Yesterday my pastor preached a fabulous message on hope. As he shared his second point regarding "lasting hope," he referenced the account of Jacob wrestling with the Angel of the Lord. This made an impression on me that will last!

Here's the passage:
Jacob was left alone, and a man wrestled with him until daybreak. When the man saw that He could not defeat him, He struck Jacob's hip as they wrestled and dislocated his hip socket. Then He said to Jacob, "Let Me go, for it is daybreak."
But Jacob said, "I will not let You go unless You bless me."  Genesis 32:24-26 (HCSB)

Jacob wanted God's blessing. He was determined. He held on so tightly that the Angel of the Lord had to dislocate his hip! Still Jacob held on, saying that he would not let go until God blessed him.

Are we that tenacious? When we bring our requests to God, are we in it for the long haul? Are we willing to hold on, even when it hurts? Are we willing to wait for the blessing...of salvation of a loved one...of healing...for our marriage...for our children...for the fulfillment of our dreams?

Let's remember the words of David, who said, "Because You are my help, I sing in the shadow of Your wings. I cling to You; Your right hand upholds me."

May we hold on till He gives the blessing!

Friday, July 12, 2013

My Only Hope

Show me Your ways, LORD,
teach me Your paths.
Guide me in Your truth and teach me,
for You are God my Savior,
and my hope is in You all day long.
Psalm 25:4-5 (NIV)

As I stepped hesitantly onto the scales, I whispered to myself, "My only hope is that I exercised yesterday."

You see after two trips to the mountains and two trips to my favorite eateries...two blackberry chipotle barbecued pork chops over fried hashbrown and apple goodness, two appetizers of tortilla chips and the yummiest pimento cheese I've ever put in my mouth, two...okay, so three blueberry jam topped to die for biscuits, and TOO many other gastronomical delights, the odds were not in my favor.

I had to chuckle at my ridiculous statement.

My only hope.

How dramatic.

Immediately I felt such correction in my spirit. It was like God, all wide-eyed, said, "Um, I beg to differ. Your only hope is in Me."

He wasn't referring to those 5 or so pounds that I need to drop.

His concern was of far weightier importance.

I must grasp the reality that my only hope in this life is in walking closely with Him, actively pursuing His path and His Truth, and exerting obedience in whatever He calls me to do.

That's the exercise we must run after daily! Therein lies our true hope!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Wednesday Worship~Overcomer

This is love for God: to obey His commands. And His commands are not burdensome, for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world? Only He who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.
1 John 5:3-5 (NIV)

Do you need a word of encouragement today? Well, get your groove on! In Mandisa's new release, Overcomer, you will be reminded that you are not alone, that the Great I Am is holding you right now!! You will be challenged to "stay in the fight," clinging to His promises, fixing Your eyes on Him.

Our hope is in Christ! He leads us in victory! So hang on to your hope and press on!!

Joining with you in overcoming today,

Monday, July 8, 2013

Monday Meditation~Mommy Musings

For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
and your ways are not My ways.
Isaiah 55:8 (HCSB)

Do any of you Mommies out there ever hear God clear His throat, envision the tilting of His head and Him giving you the look that says, "Hmmm, My words exactly."?

You know, like when your little one does the opposite of what you told him to do and you say, "Why don't you just obey?"

God's gotten me on that one quite a few times.

Or, "Wouldn't it have been easier if you just obeyed the first time?"

Yes, He's said that to me too.

How about "I give you those rules to keep you safe."?

Did I roll my eyes?

How many time have you uttered, "Just be patient." to your child?

Ouch, my toes hurt!

Have you ever said, "I've been around a lot longer than you. I know about these things."?

God's surely got that one covered.

Have you wondered, "Are you ashamed of me? Do I embarrass you?"

My heart clenches when I think of the One who gave His life for my sins questioning me with that.

Father God, please forgive me for my wrong-thinking and wrongdoing. Fill me with Your thoughts. Draw me to Your Word. Help me to obey You. Immediately. Equip me to walk in Your ways. Help me to trust You. To wait on Your timing. And may I boldly bear the title of daughter of the One True King every day of my life! 

Friday, July 5, 2013

Look Up!

Lift up your eyes and look to the heavens....
Isaiah 40:26a (NIV)

From the mountain lodge, the kitchen sink lies beneath a picture window where I've washed many a supper dish while soaking in the majesty of a magnificent sunset.

Today the scenery was not so sublime. In fact, it was completely drear, although in a momentary respite from just another day of drenching rain.

Then an imposing streak of black and red grabbed my attention and drew my eyes upward.

I squealed for everyone to come and look at the massive woodpecker that came to rest on the tree just outside.
Photo by Dick Daniels, Ash, NC

Though he lingered just a moment, from that point on, my focus was not on the task at hand...the mundane, but rather lifted skyward. I was compelled to look up!

What a sweet reminder of the urging of Isaiah to "Lift [our] eyes and look to the heavens," to the LORD [who is] "the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth." And not to become weighed down by the tasks, mundane or not, that we face day to day, but to rest in the hands of the One who "will not grow tired or weary, [whose] understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. (Isaiah 40:26,28,29)

Creator God, how we stand in awe of all that You have made. Help us to recognize the power exerted in that creation which is available to us yet today. Lord, help us to rest and rely on You...the source of our hope and strength.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Wednesday Worship~America the Beautiful

Psalm 46 (NIV)

God is our refuge and strength,
an ever-present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear, though the
earth give way
and the mountains fall into the
heart of the sea,
though its waters roar and foam
and the mountains quake with their

There is a river whose streams make
glad the city of God,
the holy place where the Most High 
God is within her, she will not fall;
God will help her at break of day,
Nations are in uproar, Kingdoms fall;
He lifts His voice, the earth melts.

The LORD Almighty is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress.

Come and see the works of the LORD,
the desolations He has brought on
the earth.
He makes wars cease to the ends of 
the earth;
He breaks the bow and shatters the spear,
He burns the shields with fire.
"Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth."

The LORD Almighty is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress.

May we indeed "Be still, and know that [He is] God," the Creator of our great land. We pray His blessing and protection upon our country and on those who serve so bravely and selflessly. May all His peoples be drawn to Him and His loving care.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Monday Meditation~Let the Mountains Sing!

Psalm 98 (NIV)

Sing to the LORD a new song,
for He has done marvelous things;
His right hand and His holy arm
have worked salvation for Him.
The LORD has made His salvation known
and revealed His righteousness to
the nations.
He has remembered His love 
and His faithfulness to the house of Israel;
all the ends of the earth have seen
the salvation of our God.

Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth,
burst into jubilant song with music;
make music to the LORD with the harp,
with the harp and the sound of singing,
with trumpets and the blast of the ram's horn-
shout for joy before the LORD, the King.
Let the sea resound, and everything in it,
the world, and all who live in it.
Let the rivers clap their hands,
let the mountains sing together for joy;
let them sing before the LORD,
for He comes to judge the earth.
He will judge the world in righteousness
and the peoples with equity.