God Is Ready To Celebrate!

Last night after returning home from a church service, my son, who is the youngest of my 3 children, called me.  Interestingly enough, he had already called me earlier that day to see how I was doing.  Although I had some inclination of what he might be up to, I was not absolutely certain. Well, my wonderful suspicion was confirmed when I heard the doorbell ring while I was still on the phone with him!   He was the one ringing the doorbell.  He came home to surprise me and to visit with some of his high school friends.  Needless to say if you could have seen or heard me, you would have thought I had just  won the grand prize showcase on the Price is Right!  As you can imagine, I was very excited to see him.  You see, this is his first year in college and as I said before, he is the youngest.  And to be truthful, I just saw him about a month ago, but I have really been missing him and his 2 sisters.

Of course, after all the screaming, hugging and more hugging, my motherly instinct of asking questions kicked in!  How did you get home? What time did you leave campus?  Why didn’t you call me to pick you up?  He told me that he rode the Mega bus from Jacksonville to Orlando.  Well how did you get to the bus station all the way from campus?  He said, I started walking and I was going to walk to the bus station if I had to because I really wanted to come home.  Then he said, I realized that would have been a long walk so I stopped at a local metro bus stop and asked a man did he know if the next bus would take me downtown to the civic center. (Okay, so now I’m thinking to myself, didn’t I tell you not to talk to strangers!)  He said the man was very nice and told him exactly what he needed to do to get to the bus station.  (I thank God for this man who gave my son good instructions on how to make his way home.)

As he told me of how he made his way home, I just started thanking God for keeping him safe and for getting him home.  I sent a text to his sisters, saying ” the baby’s home”!  I posted on Facebook that I was feeling fantastic because my son was home!  I asked him, what do you want me to cook for you while you are home?   I guess you can tell by now that I was overjoyed to have him home for the weekend!  I wanted to celebrate my baby being home and whatever he wants his mommy to cook, I will be in the kitchen cooking it for him!

This morning  I  thanked God for waking me up and for keeping my children safe and especially for the protection He had over my son as he traveled home yesterday.  Then I heard this soft whisper saying,  “Jackie, this excitement you have of your son being home, is how I feel when one of My sons or daughters come back home to Me!  No matter what My children have done,  and no matter the road they travel to get home, I am just glad to have them come back!  As they start to journey back to Me, I will meet them with open arms, hug them and kiss them and we will celebrate!”

20 So he got up and went to his father. “But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him. 21 “The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’

22 “But the father said to his servants, ‘Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. 23 Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. 24 For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate. (Luke 15)

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My Dear Heavenly Father, today I am praying for Your children that are making the  journey back to You!  I am praying for Your children who think they are not worthy to come back home.  I am praying for the ones who just left home and will get into situations that will make them feel they can never go home again! I know You will keep them safe no matter where they are on their journey back to You.  Whether they are just leaving home, whether they have just hit rock bottom or have just made the decision to come back home, I know You are ready to run to them and welcome them back with open arms.  I am thanking You for the celebrations that will take place when they return home to You!  It is in the wonderful name of  Jesus, I am sending up this prayer!

A View Versus A Vision!

 

The Lord said to Abram after Lot had parted from him, “Look around from where you are, to the north and south, to the east and west. All the land that you see I will give to you and your offspring forever. I will make your offspring like the dust of the earth, so that if anyone could count the dust, then your offspring could be counted. Go walk through the length and breadth of the land, for I am giving it to you.” (Genesis 13:14-17)

We do not see what God sees.  We see what is currently in front of us and God sees our future, our destiny and our purpose. We have a view but God has a vision.  A view is the actual extent or range of your vision.  Vision is the power of anticipating that which may come to be! In the scripture above, Abram had a view of the land in front of him. The vision was in the length and breadth of all the land and the offspring to come.  The view to Abram was that he and his wife, Sarai, were too old to have children.  The vision was the offspring that would be too numerous to count!

Our view is so much different from God’s vision.  We see our current situation and God sees what will come to pass.

The view is the struggle; the vision is the victory!

The view is the cancer; the vision is the healing!

The view is the unemployment; the vision is the new business!

The view is living from paycheck to paycheck; the vision is the harvest!

The view is the  problem; the vision is the praise!

Abram was a man of great faith.  He made a decision to trust and believe in God’s promises to him.  As he walked through the length and breadth of the land, he experienced some setbacks and some situations, but he kept on walking in faith.   Are you focusing on your current view right now? Or has God given you a vision?  Continue walking in faith.  God has plans to prosper you and give you hope for your future!

Don’t give up!

Don’t let the view distract you!

The vision is so much better!

To the persecutors of Jesus, the view was death on the Cross.  The vision was eternal life and salvation!

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Dear Lord, I am thankful that you have better things in store for me than I what I can see right now. I am thankful that Your vision will bring me through this current view that I have.  I am leaning and trusting on You, Dear Father, as I take this walk of faith to get to where You would have me to be!  In Jesus’ name, I say Amen!

He’s Been So Good To Me!

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I am rejoicing!

He’s been so good to me!

I have unspeakable joy

He’s been so good to me!

I  delight in my Lord and Savior

 He’s been so good to me!

I have an overflow of praise

He’s been so good to me!

I am more than a conqueror

He’s been so good to me!

I am blessed beyond measure

He’s been so good to me!

I am the head and not the tail

He’s been so good to me!

I am fearfully and wonderfully made

 He’s been so good to me!

Again, I say, I am rejoicing

Because He’s been so good to me!

Moving Forward

  Sometimes we get to a  point in our lives, where we have to make a decision to either stand still, go backwards or move forward.  It would seem likely that we would choose to go forward, but in reality we don’t always make that our first choice. Hopefully, going backwards is never the choice. However, it’s the standing still that might cause other problems to arise or get worse.

I’ve recently had to make some personal decisions in my life and I chose to move forward.  This was not my first choice.  I had stood still in a situation for a long time.  I thought progress was being made but then I realized there had been little to no progress.  I made myself believe I was moving forward even when the same issues and problems continued to exist.  I was praying about it and I was still holding on.  When I came to the realization there was no progress, I knew it was time to take some steps. I did not want to stay in that same place and I refused to go backwards. I needed to move forward.

The hardest part about moving forward is that sometimes we have to let go of things and people we have had in our lives for a long time.  We allow ourselves to believe what we are going through is normal, when it’s really not. We allow ourselves to become comfortable in uncomfortable situations. We allow ourselves to accept less than what we deserve.  We convince ourselves to hold on because of the love we have for that person and we fear moving on.

My first few steps were tough. I felt like I had cement in my shoes and I had to lift one foot up and put it down before I could think about moving the other foot.  In taking these steps, I have  had to make my situation transparent to family and friends  who had no clue about what was going on in my personal life. I’ve had to deal with the questions, the surprised reactions, the silence, the sympathy and the gossip.  I had to move from what seemed normal and comfortable onto a path I had not expected I would be taking.  I am moving forward.

I take every day step by step. Some days are better than others.  Some days I get through the day without crying and then there are days I  ask God to stop the tears from flowing.  Even with the tears, I am moving forward.  I don’t have time to look back and wonder why for the rest of my life. I understand that I may not get answers to some of  my own questions, but I do know I am moving forward.

I have been told I am a strong woman.  It’s not that I am so strong, it’s because I have a God who has never left me or forsaken me. I have a God who strengthens me when I am weak and a loving God who wipes away all of my tears. I have a God who will fight my battles for me and who will not allow any weapon formed against me to prosper.  I have a God who will supply my every need. I have a God who gives me peace and joy.  I have a God who restores me even in my brokenness.  I have a God who has ordered my steps. I am moving forward.

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Dear Lord, I am praying for someone who does not know that it’s time to move forward. I am praying for the person who does not know how to take that first step.  Lord, I ask You, in the name of Jesus, to give them the will to let go of past hurts, disappointments, unforgiveness, shame and self-pity.  I pray they will no longer allow themselves to be accepting of the uncomfortable places they are in.  I am praying for their strength and determination so they can move forward and receive the blessings You have in store for them. I am believing for them that every stronghold of guilt, abandonment, neglect, mistreatment, and depression will be broken off of their lives.  I am believing You will restore their souls. I pray for their restoration of faith, hope, peace, self-confidence, and joy.  Dear Lord, create in them a clean heart and lead them on the path of righteousness.  I am praying this is the day, they surrender all to You and they move forward! In the powerful and mighty name of Jesus, I say Amen!

 

Didn’t You Hear Me?

The past few weeks have been very challenging to say the least.  It seems like I get over one hurdle and before I can get one foot on the ground, another hurdle is before me!  Today, when I got home from work I had to get to my prayer closet to have one of those heart to heart conversations with God.  Our conversation went like this :

Me:  Lord, what is going on?  Why do I feel like I am in several battles at one time?  Why do I feel that I am under attack?  Why do I feel such a heaviness is on me?

God: My child, you feel this way because you have not laid your burdens down. You have not trusted me to fight your battles!

Me:  Yes, I did turn all of this over to You!  Didn’t you hear my prayers the other night when I was crying out to You?  I laid it all down, every challenge, every struggle, every disappointment.  I gave it all to You.  You must have heard me!

God: Yes, my child, I most certainly did hear you crying out to me.

Me: Well, what’s the problem?

God: My child, as soon as you finished your prayer and said in the name of Jesus, you went right back to worrying about everything you prayed about!

Me: Did I do that?

God: Yes, you did do that! In fact, you did not give me a chance to let you know that I got this! I am God all by myself! I can fight all of your battles.  I can lift every burden!  I can wipe away all of your tears.  I can mend your broken heart.  My child, I can guide you safely through every storm!

Me:  Wow!  I didn’t even realize I picked my burdens back up.  Forgive me?

God: Of course, my child, I forgive you!  But now I need you to do something for me.

Me:  What would that be?

God: Trust me!  I got this!

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Dear Lord, I am trusting You with everything!  (The good and the not so good.) I am trusting You to work everything out.  I release all of my worries and struggles to You.  I release every distraction and stumbling block to You. I  put all of my trust and confidence in You to fight all of my battles! I declare peace in every area of my life!   In Jesus’ name I thankfully say, Amen!

5 Steps to Your Restoration!

worship_b_20-05-2012In a previous post I shared that God had placed three words on my heart for this year. Those words are  Release, Restore and Rejoice.  I have already written a post on Release entitled “Let It Go!” (See Broken-2b-Restored.com/Release)

Today’s post will focus on the word Restore!

When I looked up the definition of restore, I found several meanings.  Restore can mean to re-establish; or to put back; or it can mean to bring back into existence.  The definition that stood out the most to me was this one:  “to bring back to a former, more desirable condition.”

Are there areas in your life in need of restoring?  Have you been faced with an unexpected set back that nearly knocked you off your feet?  Are you holding on to some past hurts and disappointments that are hindering you from moving forward?  Have you been left with a broken heart and don’t feel that you can trust to be in love or to really be loved again?  In the midst of your setbacks, past hurts and disappointments, God can restore you and He will restore you!   Only He can restore you to a better place, a better position and a better condition than you were before!

Here are 5 Steps to your restoration:

1. Confess your brokenness! – God already knows what you are going through.  It’s just good spiritual therapy for you to get it out in the open with Him and to seek His forgiveness. Talking to God will strengthen your relationship with Him.   Isaiah 55: 6 says, “Seek the Lord while He may be found; call on Him while He is near!”

2. Trust God – In your time of restoration, take direction from Proverbs 3:5 which tells you to trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.  You may not understand why you have experienced your brokenness and you may not understand how He is  restoring you.  You just have to trust Him to work it out for your good and then you will be able to give God  the glory that is due to Him!

3. Forgive – Forgive yourself and be ready to forgive others.  Sometimes we think it is hard to forgive others, but I have also struggled with forgiving myself.  As I analyze the areas of my own brokenness, I have to admit, that in some cases, I was just as responsible as the ones who wronged me. I made some choices that led me down a path of being hurt and mistreated. There were times when I could have walked away before experiencing complete brokenness, but I chose to stay in the mess that I was in.  I have had to learn how to forgive myself.  As I am maturing in my relationship with Christ, I am also learning to be more forgiving of others.  It is not always easy to do but that’s when I talk to God and when I have to trust God.  I know I am being restored, when God will have me pray for the person who has wronged me.  Matthew 6:12 asks God to forgive us the wrongs we have done, and allow us to forgive the wrongs that others have done to us.

4. Stay prayerful – In your time of restoration, continue to pray.  In fact, pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17)! In your process of being healed, delivered, and/or restored, continue to pray.  Being restored is a process; it won’t happen over night.  When you are in the Potter’s  hands, He is molding you into a better and stronger vessel than you were before you experienced your brokenness.  As you go through the process, cast all your cares and worries on Him because He truly does care for you. (1 Peter 5:7)

5. Be thankful – when you can praise God in the midst of your brokenness and in the process of being restored, you are being obedient to God’s word.  1 Thessalonians 5:18 says that you are to give thanks in everything; for that is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you!  Remember that trouble does not last always.  So this should tell you that even in “your process of going through the process”, your outcome will be one of victory!  Just knowing you will be restored, no matter the place your are in right now, is reason enough to give Him thanks!

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My Heavenly Father, thank You for all that You have done for me and all that You are doing for me.  Even in my brokenness, I know that I already have complete healing and restoration because of You.  I thank You for Your Word that I can meditate on day and night.  I thank You for Your continued blessings as I go through the process of being restored.  Dear Lord, thank You for making me better and stronger than I was before.  In Jesus’ precious and mighty name, Amen!

It’s As Simple As That!

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God is great; God is good!

Let us thank Him for our food!

Bow are heads and all be fed.

Give us Lord, our daily bread!

This is a simple prayer I was taught as a child to bless my food before eating.  This is the same simple prayer, 30 some years, later I taught my three young children.  A few evenings ago, I was blessed to see how this simple prayer had impacted my 17-year-old son’s life.

When my son, Isaiah, came home from basketball practice the other night he was tired and hungry (or better yet, hungry and tired!)  It was still some time before dinner, so he made himself a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for a snack.  When he sat down to eat his sandwich, he bowed his head and blessed his sandwich.  As simple as that, he said a prayer over his snack!  I know that his prayers to bless his food have changed since I taught him the simple prayer cited above. The point is that he is still giving God thanks for his food, even if it was just a snack!  It touched my heart to see him bow his head and give thanks for something that most of us would take for granted, because it was of course, just a small snack before dinner.

1 Thessalonians 5:17-18 tells us to “pray continually and give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”  This means in all you do or in all you may be going through, that you are to be in constant prayer and thankfulness.  It does not matter whether it is a snack or a full course meal.  It does not matter whether you are in a good place in your life or in a not so good place.  It does not matter whether all your bills are paid or whether they are all past due.  What matters is that you are giving God thanks for His current and future provisions to you.  What also matters is that you are taking all of our requests and needs to Him in prayer and being thankful as you wait for God to move in your circumstances.  It’s as simple as that!

My son was praying and giving God thanks for a snack.  He had an expectation that God was going to give him more to eat later on that evening.  However,  he gave God thanks for what he had available to him at that time as he patiently waited to receive the bigger blessing later on!  It’s as simple as that!

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Dear Heavenly Father, I thank you for always giving me the opportunity to come to you in prayer.  I am thankful that I can make my requests known to You and You are an ever present help in my life.  I thank You for the small blessings as well as the bigger blessings.  I thank You for all You have done for me!  In the name of Jesus, Amen!

It’s as simple as that!