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He Knows All About Me!

13 For you created my inmost being;  you knit me together in my mother’s womb. (Psalm 139)

Psalm 139 is one of my favorite Psalms.   It clearly tells me that God knows all about me.  He knew me  even before my mother and father met.  When I really take time to think on that, I can’t help but to be in awe of how amazing my God is!  The scripture above  tells me that He knit me together in my mother’s womb.  The word knit means to unite, bond, fuse or even to mend.  To me, that means He took the time to consider how He wanted me to look physically; not just at birth but as I would grow older.  He  took the time to consider how He wanted me to sound when I would speak.  He knew what He wanted my smile to look like on my face.  He decided the shape of my eyes and what color they would be.  He took time to consider my height and how I would walk.  He took the time to make me just the way He wanted me to be!

Psalm 139 states He created my inmost being!  Not only did He knit me together in the physical, He also took the time to consider my behavior, my thoughts, my dreams and my desires!  He went so far as to put me together to know how I would deal with  a broken heart, neglect, abandonment and abuse.  Even before He allowed me to be birthed, God reached down into the depths of my soul and He created me!

He created me in such a fashion that I cannot hide from Him.  I cannot hide from His love even when it is hard for me to love myself.  I cannot hide from His grace and His mercy, even when I mess up along the way.  I cannot hide from His comfort, when the tears are streaming down my face.  I cannot hide from Him when I am angry or disappointed, because He is the One who is always there to give me peace.   He knows all about me!

14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;  your works are wonderful,  I know that full well. (Psalm 139)

Dear Lord, I thank You for taking the time to create me the way You want me to be.  I know that I am still a work in progress, but you already know what the finished product of me will be. I am thankful that You were mindful of me and you have given me this life with all the joys and heartaches to make me stronger in You. I am thankful that you are always with me and that you know my thoughts even before I think them.  Father, I am thankful that I cannot hide from you because where would I be without you on my side!  Thank you Dear Lord, for letting me know that I am fearfully and wonderfully made!  You know this because You know all about me!  You created me to be your daughter! In Jesus, name I am forever grateful!

The Lord’s Special Day!

Don't give up

A couple of weeks ago I had the pleasure of going to dinner with a dear friend and her 8-year-old daughter, Layla.  Before our food came to the table, I asked Layla if she would say the blessing.  Without hesitation she gave me this big grin and asked us to bow our heads.  It was if she knew I was going to ask her to pray.   We bowed our heads and Layla proceeded to thank the Lord for His special day.  She said it was a great day and everything was good because it was His special day.  You could hear the joy in Layla’s voice telling God about His special day.  I can’t tell you how many times she said to the Lord that it was His special day but as you can see it was enough for me to write about it. ( And, yes, she did eventually bless the food!)

The Lord gives us a new day every morning when He so graciously wakes us up.  With each day, He gives us another chance to correct the wrongs we have done and seek forgiveness. Everyday, He gives us another chance to let our family and friends know that we love them.   He gives us another chance to spend time in His presence and to worship Him.  For the last couple of weeks, I have looked at each day differently.   I knew before that particular evening that I am not promised each new day, but something hit deep inside me when Layla kept saying it was the Lord’s special day.  It was not just another Monday.  It was not either of our birthdays.  The restaurant where we were dining was not at all spectacular.  But, as Layla so eloquently spoke it, it was the Lord’s special day!  We were blessed to be enjoying each other’s company.  We were blessed to be able to talk about the Lord. And most importantly, we were blessed because it was the Lord’s special day.

The Bible says

Genesis 1:5  And God called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.

Lamentations 2:22-23  It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not.  They are new every morning; great is thy faithfulness.

Psalm 19:1-2 The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth His handiwork. Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night uttereth knowledge.

Genesis 2:1-3 Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them.  And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had made; and He rested on the seventh day from all his work which He made. And God blessed the seventh day, sanctified it: because that in it He had rested from all His work which God created and made.

Psalm 118:24  This is the day which the Lord hath made: we will rejoice and be glad in it.

The Lord blesses us with His special day every morning! We need to embrace each day with joy and gratefulness.  Mondays should be no different from Fridays simply because He creates each day.  I am thankful each day that He wakes me up no matter what comes my way.  Each day is His special day and He gives me another opportunity each time He wakes me up in the morning.

At the end of our meal, Layla, asked to pray again!  She still had more she wanted to speak to the Lord about His special day. This time she prayed for her parents, her grandparents and all of her friends, and she prayed for me.   It was obvious Layla had a good day and although it was about to come to an end, she was excited about the next day.  She was excited about the next day because she knew it was going to be the Lord’s special day!

He Won’t Let You Give Up!

Psalm 116

1-6 I love God because he listened to me, listened as I begged for mercy. He listened so intently as I laid out my case before him. Death stared me in the face, hell was hard on my heels. Up against it, I didn’t know which way to turn; then I called out to God for help: “Please, God!” I cried out. “Save my life!” God is gracious—it is he who makes things right, our most compassionate God. God takes the side of the helpless; when I was at the end of my rope, he saved me. 7-8 I said to myself, “Relax and rest. God has showered you with blessings. Soul, you’ve been rescued from death; Eye, you’ve been rescued from tears;  And you, Foot, were kept from stumbling.” (The Message Bible)

Are you feeling like you are ready to give up on yourself? Are you ready to give up on your hopes and your dreams?  Have you experienced so many disappointments that you just don’t care anymore? Do you feel like you are a disappointment?  When you reach these points in your life, what do you do? Sometimes your closest friends and family don’t understand how you feel or what you are going through.

Has someone betrayed you? Don’t give up!  Jesus was betrayed too but He did not let this stop Him from what He had to do.  Have the doctors given you a bad medical report? Don’t give up! God is a healer! Ask Him to heal your body.  Are you out of work and can’t seem to make ends meet?  Don’t give up! Trust God to supply your every need. Have you made poor choices and bad decisions that have pushed you into a dark corner? Don’t give up!  God’s love for you is unconditional.  His love is full of grace and mercy. Ask Him to forgive you and then seek Him for direction.

God wants you to know He is with you.  Take all of your troubles to Him. Let Him hear your cries and let Him wipe away all of your tears. He truly cares about you and your outcome.  Don’t give up!  Allow Him to bless your soul and your spirit. Let Him save you!  Tell God you trust Him.  He won’t let you give up!

Jesus said “Peace I Leave With You”

7 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. John 14:27 NIV

lakes-hills-trees-

This is what Jesus said to the disciples before He was to be crucified. He said. ” Peace I leave with you, my peace I give you”!  Jesus left  peace with the disciples knowing peace would comfort them and encourage them along the way.

This is what the Lord wants you to have as you embrace this New Year. He wants you to know that He has blessed you with peace.  He tells us His peace is not the peace that comes from others in the world.  His peace is more than a parting  greeting of good-bye; it is more than an ” I will see you later. ”

What the Lord wants you to know is that He has left you with peace during the good times, peace during the bad times, peace during your struggles, peace when you face disappointments and yes, even peace when you have to confront your enemy and your own negativity.

In 2012, most of us faced some hardships and a few challenges.  However, in order to move forward and to prosper in the New Year, we need to have the peace the Lord has left just for us. There are some negative people and even negative mindsets that we should have left behind and not allowed to enter into the New Year with us!   We can’t erase bad things that have happened and it may even take time for us to forgive others and to move on. But God wants us to be blessed! He wants us to be encouraged and He wants us to be victorious.  He wants us to have peace in all that we do and in all that we may go through in this New Year.

Philippians 4: 7 says ” And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”  In all the trying and hurtful times we have gone through in 2012 and in all we have held onto from past years, we should not allow the enemy to rob us of our peace. We must embrace this gift of peace and take it with us wherever we go in this New Year and in this life.  We must take it with us on our jobs; we must take it with us to our schools; we must take it with us to the malls and theaters. Wherever we go, we need to take the peace of God with us. The peace of God should be deep within our hearts and minds.  And as Jesus said, “Do not let your heart be troubled and do not be afraid.”  He said this because He was leaving us with peace to handle whatever comes our way.

In the Book of Numbers Chapter 6 verses 24-26 the Lord gave Moses a blessing to give to Aaron and his sons.  I will leave you with my edited version of the words from this blessing.

“May the The Lord bless you and keep you in 2013. May the Lord make His face to shine on you and be gracious to you in 2013. May the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace in 2013”.

As you face each day and as trials come your way, do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.  He has already given you peace in every situation.

He Was Born!

11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” (Luke 2:11-12 NIV)

He was born of a virgin

He was born to be a light unto this world

He was born to bring us joy

He was born to be  our Lord and Savior

He was born to be  our King of Glory

He was born Jesus, The Christ!

 

What Will We Do Now?

As we continue to mourn the loss of the innocent lives lost on Friday, what will we do now?  How will this unfortunate event really change our lives? Will we live differently? Will we love our friends and families more passionately? Will we show love to people we don’t know? Will we reach out and help others more? Will we respect our educators and law enforcement more? Will we embrace each precious moment we are given?  Will we complain less? What will we do now?

What Will We Do Now 001

As I watch the news and read stories on the lives that are no longer with us because of this tragic event, I know I want to see a better world for all of us to live in.  I want to know that we can work through these tragic moments and see brighter days ahead.  I want to know that we, as believers, will continually come together in prayer across state lines, across nations and be connected in prayer by the Holy Spirit as we pray for healing and restoration in God’s land. I want to know that those innocent lives lost were not lost in vain.  What will we do now?

When the events of 9/11 unfolded, we came together and helped our neighbors and we made pledges to live better lives. What will we do differently this time? When events like this occur we are reminded that none of us are promised tomorrow. We know strange things are happening all over the world.  We would be fooling ourselves, if we believed that evil only occurs in what we have associated as evil places.  We know the enemy is running rampant all over the world.  We know that evil things happen to good people and even to our precious little children. We know that we can’t always prevent evil things from happening. But the question remains, what will we do now?

Has any of the world’s most recent events drawn you closer to God? Have you had a conversation with Him since Friday’s events? Have you called upon the name of Jesus in the last few days? Have you asked God to forgive you for any wrongs you have done?  Perhaps you have decided to pray more or to study the Bible more. Perhaps you have decided you want to go to church or go back to church to fellowship with other believers.  If so, will you make a committment to yourself and to God to do better and to live better?  Will you worship Him more?  What will you do now?

What we can do now is pray more, love more and strive to be more like Christ in our day-to-day walk.  We can teach others about the love of Christ.  We can reach out and help each other more. We can find joy in the little things in life instead of worrying and complaining about the big things that tend to weigh us down.  We can thank God every day for the blessings He has given us and not take anything for granted in this life.   We can forgive more often and hate less. We can smile more and not frown so much. We can speak positive words into our own lives and into the lives of others. We can rebuke any negative thoughts that enter into our minds and hearts.  We can help someone in need and not dismiss that they may have a problem.  We can trust God more. We can put on the full armor of God:

10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your *waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. (Ephesians 6:10-18 NIV)

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The picture above was posted on Facebook and the owner of the picture, George Asencio, asked that it be shared so that we would focus on remembering the names of the innocent lives taken so early. Let’s continue to keep those affected by this tragedy in our prayers. God’s love and mercy endures forever.

Release A Praise!

                

I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth. 2 My soul shall make its boast in the Lord; The humble shall hear of it and be glad. 3 Oh, magnify the Lord with me, And let us exalt His name together. (Psalm 34)

The Lord deserves your praise. Psalm 34:1 says that  “I will bless the Lord at all times.”   As you read this scripture, place emphasis on the words “at all times”. The Lord deserves to hear you praise Him and He deserves to see you praise Him. In fact, there should be times when you allow others to hear and see you praise Him.  You should not get in the habit of limiting your time of praise to when He blesses you.  You should praise Him when you are hurt and broken in spirit. Praising Him during your times of struggle and disappointment shows you have faith that He is going to work things out. You should give Him advance praise because you trust that He will restore you from your brokenness.   His praise should continually be in your mouth!  No matter what season you are in right now, you should release a praise!

Dear Lord, I praise Your holy name. I thank You for all You have done for me and I thank You for what You are going to do for me. Lord, You are strong and You are mighty!  I thank You for being so gracious and merciful to me.  I delight, Dear Lord, in being Your child and I thank You for keeping me and caring for me.  I sing and shout praises unto You, Heavenly Father, just for who You are. You are great and You are wonderful. Lord, I release this prayer of praise to You for You truly have been good to me!  In the name of Jesus, I pray and say Amen!

Let everything that hath breath praise the Lord. Praise ye the Lord. (Psalm 150:6)