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Knowing God. . .

The Christmas season is here.  Most of us happily look forward to this time of year.  We know the reason for the season is Jesus.  This is a time we spend with our families and remember past Christmases and reflect on memories of those who are no longer here to celebrate with us.  And yet, when we look around, we see there is so much turmoil going on in the world today.  Disastrous weather, violence in our communities, wars in other lands, the list could go on.  Yesterday’s tragic news of the mass shooting at an elementary school has stopped most of us in our tracks as we think of and pray for those affected by this tragedy.  And if you did what I did, you thought what if this had happened at my child’s school?

I saw so many posts on Facebook yesterday of parents joy in picking up their little ones from school or daycare.  That kiss or hug we got from our children yesterday was even more precious as we thought of those parents that received their last hug, kiss, or smile yesterday morning. I can only imagine the extra affection that was bestowed upon children yesterday.  My heart grieves for those who lost a loved one and I especially grieve for them because this is supposed to be a season of joy and love.  How do the mothers and fathers of the young lives lost get through this? How do they explain to their other children that their brother or sister is not coming home? Let’s not forget grandparents, aunts and uncles, and the other classmates. How do the spouses and children of the adults who lost their lives find comfort at this time? How do the teachers and administrators at the school continue their calling to educate our children?  How does the community come together and rebuild from what they are now experiencing in front of the whole world?  How do those of us looking from the outside help our neighbors?

The answer to all of these questions rests in our faith in God. We can only pray that as every day goes by, they will find comfort in knowing that God’s love endures forever. And yet, for some it may be hard to comprehend God’s love during times like these. Knowing God goes beyond what you hear from your Pastor every Sunday. Knowing God goes beyond prayers that others may speak for you. Knowing God goes beyond you being able to read and quote a few scriptures. Knowing God has to get to the point that it is personal between you and Him.  You have to know the Lord for yourself. You have to know Him during the good times as well the bad. You have to be able to take all of your broken self to Him and ask for peace and comfort during a time of devastation and hurt.

16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. (John 3)

6 For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called    Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. (Isaiah 9)

15 He will call on me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him. 16 With long life I will satisfy him and show him my salvation.” (Psalm 91)Dear Lord, there are times we don’t understand why things happen. We ask that You comfort us and give us peace. We pray that You will wrap your loving arms around us right now. We know weeping may endure for a night but joy will come in the morning. As the tears flow and we wait for the morning to come, please keep us close to You. We know You gave your only begotten son so that we may live. We know as our Father, You feel our hurt and sorrow when devastating things happen in our lives. Please wipe our tears away.  We know there is restoration and healing in knowing You. And although we may not understand, we trust You. In the wonderful name of Jesus, Amen!

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)

Give Thanks To The ONE!

Give thanks to the One who created you

27 So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them;

male and female he created them. (Genesis 1)

Give thanks to the One who loves you

16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son,

that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. (John 3)

Give thanks to the One who sustains you

The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. (Psalm 23)

Give thanks to the One who forgives you

34 Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing. (Luke 23)

Give thanks to the One who helps you

2 My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth. (Psalm 121)

Give thanks to the One who strengthens you

1 God is our refuge and strength, an ever present help in  time of trouble. (Psalm 46)

Give thanks to the One who died for you

10 He died for us so that, whether we are awake or asleep,

we may live together with him. (  1 Thessalonians 5)

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Dear Heavenly Father, today and everyday,we want to thank You!   We thank You for your love.  We thank You for your grace and  your mercy. We thank you for your faithfulness to us even when our faithfulness to You falls short.   And Dear Lord,  we most certainly want to thank you for Jesus! (For where would we be had He not died for our sins?)  Dear Lord, we thank You for this day of Thanksgiving.  In the sweet and precious name of  Jesus, Amen!

Celebrate With Me!

 I am praising God today for my life!

  I am celebrating me because I am fearfully and wonderfully made.

I am celebrating me because of the life He has given me.

I am celebrating me because I am blessed with family and friends.

I am celebrating me because of the gifts He has given me!

I am celebrating me because He has always taken care of me.

I am celebrating me because He is my Father and I am His daughter!

I am celebrating me because of Jesus!

I am celebrating me because even in my brokenness,

He loved me enough to restore me!

This is the day the Lord has made;

Celebrate with me!

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It has been one year since God blessed me to present  Broken-2b-Restored. And, today is my birthday!  I am so thankful for the support and encouragement I have received along the way.  Thanks to those of you who have been inspired to share my posts with your family and friends through email, Facebook, Twitter or your own blogs.  Thanks for all of the positive feedback and encouraging words.  It truly has been a great year! I have enjoyed writing each post and I look forward to God blessing me to write even more.

I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength (and so can you)!

Why Does It Have To Hurt So Much?

Have you ever experienced an excruciating physical pain and wondered why it had to hurt so much?  This is the type of pain that goes beyond a mere “ouch”.   And what about the pain that digs deep into your emotions?  The pain that breaks your heart and pulls at every part of your physical and emotional being. This could be pain that comes from a serious illness, a failed marriage or the loss of a loved one.  And how about that deep pain we feel due to our own bad choices and subsequent regrets?

Have you ever cried out to the LORD and asked why does it hurt so much?

The pains we experience in life will sometimes cause us to withdraw from a particular activity and/or withdraw from people. There are some athletes who become injured playing their favorite sport.  However, if they experience a torn ligament or broken limb, they may not feel up to returning to their sport for fear of being injured again and feeling that same unpleasant pain.

If you have ever experienced pain inflicted by another person, this could cause you to withdraw from building other friendships and keep you from trusting others.  I have been in this situation a few times.  I have believed someone was my friend only to find out they were doing things and saying things about me that would not meet the definition of friendship.  I have fallen in love and been married only to feel the heartache that comes from harsh words and hurtful actions that caused my heart to break and my trust to be broken.

When you experience a deep hurtful pain, it’s only natural to wonder why does it have to hurt so much? With any pain, whether physical or emotional, there is a healing process.  When you seek medical treatment you have to explain to the doctors and nurses what hurts and give them a level from 1 to 10 as to how much it hurts.   You also have to follow the directions and orders given by the doctors and nurses in order to assist with the progression of your physical healing.

When you have experienced the pain that digs deep into your emotions, you can also seek counseling from a trained professional.  Most of us tend to shy away from counseling because we feel it sends a message something is wrong with us.   This should be a matter of choice for you and perhaps talking to someone on a regular basis is just what you need to help with your healing.  Trying to go it alone may not be the answer for you, so hopefully there is  a ministry or a person within your church that you can call on to help with your healing process.

When I have experienced that deep pain and wondered why did it have to hurt so much, I have trusted in the Lord.  I know the hurt I feel will eventually go away, but I also know that it has also made me stronger.  I have survived the abuse; I have survived the ridicule; I have survived the disappointments and I have survived the dishonesty. I have survived the brokenness!  I can talk to God better than I can talk to anyone else and I know He listens to me even though He already knows what I am going to say.   I know He cares for me and He wants me to trust Him with all of my heart and soul.

Psalm 51:17  says “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, thou will not despise.”

When I have wondered, why it hurt so much, I am reminded of Jesus.  I know that the beating He took, the carrying of the cross and being nailed to the cross had to hurt.  I know that the sneers from the crowd and the crown of thorns on His head caused Him some pain.   But, He endured that pain for me.  So when I am hurting and I am wondering why, I pull my strength from my Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.  I know that although my tears are flowing, He will give me joy in the morning.  I can wonder why it hurts, but I know the pain is what will draw me closer to  Him.

I was broken and He restored me!

Your Help Is Already Here!

When there is an emergency situation occurring around you, have you ever heard someone say “Help, is on the way!”  This means there is a time of waiting for someone to aid, comfort or assist you. But when it comes to wanting or having a relationship with God, your help is already here!   When it comes to an immediate need or feeling of His presence, your help is already here.  When your body needs a healing, your help is already here. You just have to trust and know that God is able and that He is your ever-present help and He will take care of you!

Psalm 46:1

God is our refuge and strength, an ever present help in trouble!

Deuteronomy 31:6

Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; He will never leave your or forsake you!

Psalm 23:4

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!

Psalm 121:1-2

I lift up my eyes to the mountains, where does my help come from home? My help comes from the LORD, the maker of heaven and earth!

Psalm 139:7-10

Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there.; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.  If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me; your right hand will hold me fast!

Matthew 28:20

And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age!

When you need God, you don’t have to make an appointment, you don’t have to get on a list and wait your turn,  and you don’t have to “phone a friend”! You just have to call on the wonderful name of Jesus and tell the LORD you need Him! Just simply say, LORD, I need help. I can’t do this without you!

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My Dear Father in Heaven, I need You! I need Your grace; I need Your mercy and I need Your love.  I need You in the morning; I need You at noonday and I need You at night! I need You when I am at home and I need You when I am at work.  I need You wherever I go! I need You, O LORD, when I am full of joy and I need You in my brokenness.  I need You in my healing and I need You in my breakthrough!  I need You in my peace and I need You in my storms. LORD, I need You all the time! I know You are my ever-present help.  I call on You because You are strong and mighty.  I know that my help is You and You are already here.  In the wonderful name of Jesus, I say Amen!