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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.

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!