Sunday, April 29, 2012

God's Promise to The Humble

“Humility is the gateway into the grace and the favor of God.”
(Harold Warner)
Humility is a word that defines how we should submit and respond to trials, fear, rejection, and disappointment; not my will but yours God! So often we face situations and feel scared, inadequate, or inferior and react with pride and self-importance, or anger and aggression, rather than obeying and submitting to God and trusting that He has a greater plan; and in the end He always wins! I can think of times when I didn't act with humility because during the situation I wanted to do it my way. I have never liked being around prideful people, however pride has many symptoms that are often hard to see even in myself! Many times those who dislike pride the most are the ones who find it most difficult to be humble. Rachel Olsen says it perfect, "Humility can be defined as the absence of pride. In that sense, we can think of humility as what's left when our pretense is stripped away."

 "Yes, all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility, for God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble. Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time." (1 Peter 5:5-7)

Our pride carries our worries, stresses, and daily struggles within instead of trusting God fully with our lives. We all have our crosses to bear, and we are called to take up our crosses daily and follow Him. But these crosses can crush us if we try to carry them ourselves! Trust and humility is the confidence that the mighty hand of God is not over you to crush you, but to care for you just like His promise says. When we cast all of our anxieties on God, it means that we trust in His promise that He will take care of us, and that He has the power and wisdom to put that care to work in the most glorious way. It takes faith, trust, and humility to completely submit to God and die to ourselves, because we can’t be full of God if we are full of ourselves!

"God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble." (James 4:6)

I believe that nothing is hidden in God's eyes, and He is there for all of us who are struggling, in pain, or whom the world rejects. God is humble and He doesn't have favorites! He takes delight in blessing all of His children regardless of their wealth, fame, poverty, handicaps, or intelligence. Rather that react in a prideful manner just for self-approval or for the sake of popularity, God blesses those who are humble. I know that many times when I am not feeling as close to God as I would like, even when prayer, fellowship, and/or worshiping is not softening my heart, it's more than likely that I am just in need of a bit of painful humbling. There are so many times in my life that I need to (sincerely!) confess to Him and admit that I need to change; to be willing to do so! It takes humility to turn to God in repentance and recognize that He cares, and can handle all my anxieties and struggles. What I must realize is that I am dependent on God for everything good in my life, and that His recognition counts more than human praise. I need to be humble enough to release all pride.

"Obedience is the road to freedom, humility the road to pleasure, unity the road to personality." C.S Lewis

Linking up with Spiritual Sundays and The Beauty in His Grip

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Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Sounds of Spring

The arrival of spring is always a reason for joy. What is more delightful and refreshing after a long winter than when we open our windows to the sounds of spring and sunshine beaming through our windows? It’s not just the warmer weather that brings joy into my heart, but the many sounds that seem to magically signify the arrival of spring.

…..spring comes alive with so many sounds…..

“Beside them the birds of the heavens dwell; they sing among the branches.” (Psalm 104:12)

The birds are all busy chirping and chatting up a great noise, and it’s impossible to ignore the joyful sounds of fluttering flocks of birds outside our windows! They seem to be saying, “we’re back, we’re back; spring is here!”


“Laughter is the sun that drives winter from the human face” (Victor Hugo)

The joy of hearing my grandchildren’s laughter as they finally make their way outdoors on a beautiful spring day is powerful stuff!  As I stop and listen to children’s happy wonderful voices it makes me smile and creates an instant sensation of laughter. Do you notice how laughter instantly lifts all our moods, makes us feel great, and gives us more energy!

Another one of my favorite outdoor sounds is the sizzling of food on the BBQ grill (not to mention the addictive smell!) The arrival of spring brings out my giddy excitement about changing our weekly menu, and I always wait with great anticipation to fire up the grill when spring announces its arrival.  It’s a great time to bring families and friends together after being stuck inside and enjoy the sounds of friendship, laughter, and games.
“Then I will give you your rains in their season, and the land shall yield its increase, and the trees of the field shall yield their fruit.” (Leviticus 26:4)

What better way to end a beautiful day in spring than to relax to the soothing sound of rain and (even better!) a thunderstorm? As the clouds and rain start to roll in I can’t help but to step outside and listen to the rain start to pour, hear the music of the winds, followed by the crackling sounds of thunder.

…Spring is when life’s alive in everything…

Spring is a time for renewal, and all of the flowers and trees that bloom, and the magical sounds of joy and beauty this time of year are a reminder that God gives us renewal through faith in Jesus!

Linking up with Tracy at "My Daily Walk in His Grace" on Winsome Wednesday!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

God Has Something to Say About Our Day!

“The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness; He will quiet you by His love; He will exult over you with loud singing.” (Zephaniah 3:17)

Who’s in charge of your day?

There is nothing more fulfilling than being rested and ready for the brand new day that God has planned for us. I love to start my day with thoughts of having Him by my side and helping me with whatever the day brings. God has something to say to us the minute we start our day, and if we begin our day without setting our minds on what He has to say, we simply don’t start out on the right foot. God can soothe, comfort, and embrace us with His never-ending love and desires to draw near to us. When we give our day to Him we are calmer, more organized and in control of being the kind of person He wants us to be. One of my favorite verses to start my day is Psalm 143:8: “Cause me to hear your loving kindness in the morning, for on You do I lean, and in You do I trust. Cause me to know the way wherein I should walk, for I lift up my inner self to You."  If we focus on being thankful in all things, and enjoy all He created throughout our day, we can embrace an attitude that will bring honor to Him. I know that if I do what God tells me to do, He will bless me with joy, peace, rest, and wonderful relationships.

“I will always show you where to go. I’ll give you a full life in the emptiest of places-firm muscles, strong bones. You’ll be like a well watered garden, a gurgling spring that never runs dry.” (Isaiah 58:11)

I feel so humbled to have God on my side helping me handle whatever comes my way. I have found that my days start off so much better when I give my day to God. Life would be so much better if we didn’t feel we had to be in control of everything all of the time! What a relief knowing that God has a divine plan set up for our lives, and that He will guide us every step of the way. Even in the midst of our despair, He is always by our side, encouraging us and giving us strength as long as we communicate to Him through worship and prayer. He leads us to where we are supposed to be, and He is going to be with us every step of the way. As we look ahead and wonder about the future, we have hope in all things, because we know this single truth: God Himself planned it long ago. God has a rich and wonderful plan for us, and He will bring His plan to a perfect completion; I’m pretty excited to see what His plans are! 

“Great is His faithfulness; His mercies begin afresh each morning” (Lamentations 3:23)

Linking up with Joan to Share His Beauty! 

Beauty in His Grip Button

Monday, April 16, 2012

Never Say Never

“Everything is possible for him who believes” (Mark 9:23)

I recently read this quote…
“Never say…
God I have a big problem!
But instead say…
Hey Problem, I have a big God!”

What “nevers” do you need to hand over to God?

“What is impossible for people is possible with God.” (Luke 18:27)

We need to be careful when using the word “never” with God because it limits His ability to work in our lives, and I have learned that I must never let the words “I can never do that”, or “I will never be able to handle this problem” come out of my mouth. We should never say never when it comes to what God can do! God’s power is displayed in our weaknesses and that should give us courage and hope; when we allow God to fill us with His power, then we are stronger than we could ever be on our own….

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (Philippians4:13)

When we say “I can’t do it”, God says “You can do all things!” Strength comes to those of us who desires to follow God’s path, and we must forsake the things that block His presence no matter what the circumstances or obstacles are that stand in our way.  Sometimes we just want to throw up our hands and say, “What’s the use; I can’t beat this thing; it’s too big for me to handle.” But we can’t roll over and quit because as God’s people we have the spiritual assurance to live free of fear; there is no “Never” that God can’t break through!

“Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you (Hebrews 13:5)

Is there something new on our paths that we feel led to pursue? What’s stopping us? If we want to be more active and engaged in our lives, then we need to find the courage, faith, and trust to pursue our hopes and ambitions. When we really explore and face our excuses and fears we may realize that they aren’t real; they are just a by-product of worry and not believing in ourselves. God’s promises are very clear; His purpose is to strengthen us no matter what the situation may look like. Drawing near to Him insures us that His strength will dwell in us because His presence will be with us, and we have to have courage and faith when we draw near knowing that it is His will to make us stronger and to clear a path for us. Let’s quit saying “Never Lord”, but instead cling in faith to the promises that come from Who we put our trust in!

 “Never say never, for if you live long enough, chances are you will not be able to abide by its restrictions.  Never is a long, undependable time, and life is too full of rich possibilities to have restrictions placed upon it.” (Gloria Swanson)

Linking up with Joan to “Share His Beauty”

Beauty in His Grip Button

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Silence is Golden

“For God alone, oh my soul, wait in silence, for my hope is from Him”  (Psalm 62:5 NIV)

Everyone is so busy these days; we pack our schedules with more and more activities and things on our to-do list that there is just not enough room to spend quiet time with our own best thoughts, let alone quiet moments with God. If we would just stop for a little while and reacquaint ourselves with the person we are inside; you know…..spend some time with us! And what about making our daily quiet time with God a pleasure instead of a duty? God knows that we live busy lives and that a great deal of our time involves taking care of business, homes and relationships, but here’s the thing; when we rush through making daily quiet time with ourselves, it can also become a habit that pushes us away from Him little by little. The oh-so urgent concerns of our daily lives can wait for a little bit so that we can enjoy some time to sit, think, reflect, relax, and let our minds allow God to refresh and renew our spirit, soul, and body for the coming day!

“When I find myself racing around, trying to fill a day with mindless tasks or petty entertainment, this is usually the time that God whispers to my heart to draw away with Him and to silence my heart as He wishes to speak.” (Katherine Walden)

I love a day that is busy and filled with excitement and activity, but I have learned that my days are even better when they are balanced with quiet and peaceful times. And I can’t allow myself to just “find” the time, because by the time I have accomplished everything and communicated with everyone I set out to do, I am too exhausted to take time out for God and for myself. One thing we all have in common is the same amount of time each day, and it’s all about our view of time and life itself, and how we use the time we have. Are we really too busy to spend time with God? If our daily agendas are allowing to drive us away from seeking the Lord, then we are setting ourselves up for failure and we are closing the door and separating ourselves from the source of our strength. When we find quiet, undistracted time throughout our day to gather our thoughts, we have the opportunity to give more value and support to the things that matter most. It’s the time when we can let down our defenses and expectations, remove all the different “masks” we wear throughout the day and just be ourselves.

Whatever the case may be, when we are too busy to spend time alone with God, then we are just too busy. We need to remember the story of Mary and Martha. Martha was very busy and would have fit in beautifully in our world, but Mary chose to spend time with Jesus because she knew what would matter in the course of forever.
Deepest communion with God is beyond words, on the other side of silence. (Madeleine L’Engle)

Monday, April 2, 2012

Are You Good Enough?

“For You are my hope; oh Lord God, You are my trust from my youth and the source of my confidence.”
(Psalm 71:5)

What do you do when…..
  • life is coming down hard on you?
  • you are worried or afraid?
  • you are challenged with something of great importance?
  • you aren't sure about yourself?
Sometimes I am faced with a new circumstance or challenge that frightens me to death! Will I be good enough, will I express myself in the right way, and will I succeed? I consider myself a pretty confident person, but I think I often let the opinion of others and the challenges in front of me outweigh my abilities and limit the potential that God has created in me. Does this sound familiar? Sometimes it is easier to just back off, and that’s when we begin to drift and coast along in the wilderness ignoring God’s purpose in our lives. That’s when we start feeling unfulfilled, and our lives will remain in the wilderness until we understand and submit to the heart and goal of the God who is in control of everything that touches our lives. Just like a garden that has great potential for growth and beauty, we can also blossom and grow if we make room in our hearts and minds to trust in His strength and look beyond everyone and everything that disables us to see ourselves as God sees us.

“We may all face times when our wings feel clipped, or where we experience difficult flight, where we would rather just sit and recoup. But life is to be lived feathers not to be stuck on a solely branch, to grasp each moment and enjoy it for all we can.” (Catherine Pulsifer~Fly Again and Soar)

Lacking self-confidence is all too familiar for some of us, and we struggle with it to some degree. The purpose of God is to make us stronger with an unshakable confidence, and to be successful in our lives, our confidence must originate from the right source! God believes in us even if we don’t believe in ourselves, and even when we are facing some pretty hard things in life (and it’s easier to just sit on the sidelines and watch), confidence will open the doors and free us from countless hours of wasted worry. By choosing to trust God no matter what, we can say and believe that in any situation we can accept ourselves as we are and grow to become the person He wants us to be.

“For the Lord will be your confidence and will keep your foot from being caught.” (Proverbs 3:26)

~Linking up with Joan to share His beauty~

Beauty in His Grip Button