Tag Archive | Praise

Have You Remembered The Lord?

There is no doubt this posture of social/physical distancing and quarantine is impacting most of us in the world today.  Do you believe God is doing something in the land to get our attention? As I asked God to give me something to encourage myself and others, He turned my attention to the book of Jonah. You remember the story of Jonah and the whale, don’t you?

The Bible tells us that Jonah had been given an assignment from God to go to Nineveh to preach to people who were in desperate need of a life changing revival.   In the 1st chapter of Jonah, we learn the people in Nineveh were evil and that Jonah did not want to go preach to them.  Jonah made the decision not to go to Nineveh, and he boarded a ship to Tarshish in an attempt to flee God’s presence and to get far away from the people of Nineveh.

Jonah was on a ship with men who worshipped other gods. When a storm arose over the waters, they started praying to their gods. When the storm continued, they went to Jonah who was asleep.  They insisted Jonah call out to his god in hopes they would not perish.  They even cast lots to figure out who on board the ship may be the reason for the raging storm.

After casting lots that pointed to Jonah, the men knew Jonah was the one who had brought trouble upon the ship with the storm raging over the waters.  At this point, Jonah had to tell them he was a Hebrew and he worshipped the God of the heavens, the God who made the seas and the dry land.  The men realized Jonah was running from God’s presence and this brought great fear on them. When they questioned what needed to be done as the storm grew worse, Jonah told them to throw him overboard.  He knew he was to blame and this was the answer to calm the storm.  At first the men tried to throw cargo overboard and head back to shore. However, the storm continued and they threw Jonah overboard, as he had told them.  This was great for the men because the storm was calmed, but not so great for Jonah! Jonah knew he had to physically distance himself from the men and the ship in order for the men to survive.  Because their lives were spared, these same men who did not know the god Jonah worshipped, began to fear the Lord and make vows of sacrifice to Him.

The last verse in Chapter 1 of the book of Jonah tells us that a great fish swallowed Jonah and he was in the belly of this great fish for 3 days and 3 nights.  Jonah was running from God and from a god-given assignment, when he got quarantined in a belly of a fish for 3 days!  This was a quarantine orchestrated by God. God had Jonah’s attention and Jonah had to decide what he was going to do.

Chapter 2 of the book of Jonah tells us how Jonah started to pray while he was in the belly of this great fish.  He says he was distressed, and that he cried out to the Lord.  He was in the realm of the dead and waters swirled all around him.  Jonah said when he saw his life ebbing away that he remembered the Lord and his prayer rose to the Lord’s holy temple. Jonah knew God heard his prayers and God answered him.  Then Jonah began to praise God.  He said “Those who cling to worthless idols turn away from God’s love for them.  But, I with shouts of grateful praise, will sacrifice to you.  What I have vowed I will make good. I will say salvation comes from the Lord” (v.7-9).  Upon hearing Jonah’s prayers and praise, the Lord commanded the fish and it spit Jonah back onto dry land.

It would appear from Jonah’s story that he found himself in a situation where prayer was his best and only way to get God to answer him.  I truly believe this is where we are today.  We are in quarantined environments where the best thing we can do is remember God; remember who He is in our lives and pray so that He hears us in His holy temple.

During these past few weeks, have you remembered God?  Have you spent more time with Him? Have you opened up your Bible more and meditated on His Word? Have you remembered how He has provided and protected you over the years?  Have you remembered that He has never left you or forsaken you? Have you remembered He can speak to the wind and calm the storm? Have you remembered Who He is? Have you remembered He is Lord?

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Dear Lord, thank You for turning our attention back to You and reminding us of the love You have for us. Thank You for hearing our cries of distress and for answering our prayers.  Forgive us for clinging to worthless idols. Thank You, Lord, for giving us another chance to remember You.  Lord, we honor You with praise you so richly deserve.  In Jesus’ mighty name, amen!

Jonah 2:7 “When my life was ebbing away, I remembered you, Lord, and my prayer rose to you, to your holy temple.”

I Thought The Chair Was Empty

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As I write this blog, I am visiting a location near Cleveland, Ohio.   When I left South Carolina the other day the temperature was 81 degrees, and  when I arrived in Ohio the next day, it was 39 degrees.  Driving through the streets to get to this charming apartment in Ohio, I could see what was left of a light blanket of snow that had fallen the night before. It’s always fascinating for me to see snow blanket the ground and rooftops, especially before it gets too messy.

I share this with you because this morning, I find myself sitting alone at breakfast having a bagel and coffee. (It’s cold outside and right now I am not ready to venture out the front door.)  There are only two chairs at this table and the “empty” one is directly across from me.  As I looked at the “empty” chair, I began to think what if Jesus was sitting in this empty chair and what would I say to Him?

Immediately, I began to think I would tell Him about things in my life I did not get right.  I would tell Him about the wrong decisions I made and how my thoughts and actions often got me into some messy situations. I would let Him know that my heart had been broken a few times and how I had struggled with forgiveness.   I figured if I brought all of this up myself, He wouldn’t have to tell me about how I mishandled things.  As I looked across at what I thought was an  “empty” chair, I heard Him say to me “I love you”.  There was no bringing up the past.  There was no making me feel ashamed. It was just those three words, “I love you.”

As I sat across from this chair with tears and rejoicing in the revelation it was not really  an empty chair, I felt so blessed. It is such a great feeling to know you are loved unconditionally.  Others may bring up your past and remember all the bad stuff,  but not God.  The Bible tells us that He knew each one of us before we were formed in our mothers’ wombs. He knows all about us and He knows what we are going to say and do before we even utter a word or make a move.  He loves us in spite of the mistakes He knew we would make. He is such a loving and compassionate God.

As I took another look at this chair, I began to thank God for blessing me today with His presence, His love and His amazing grace.   The chair in front of me was filled with compassion, strength, joy, peace, hope and most importantly it was filled with the love of Christ.  Whenever Jesus is seated at the table with you, the chair is never empty.

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“Lord, You know everything there is to know about me.  You perceive every moment of my heart and soul, and You understand my every thought before it even enters my mind.   You are so intimately aware of me, Lord. You read my heart like an open book and You know all the words I’m about to speak before I even start a sentence!   You know every step I will take before my journey even begins. You’ve gone into my future and prepared the way, and in kindness You follow behind me to spare me from the harm of my past. With Your hand of love upon my life, You impart a blessing to me. This is just too wonderful, deep, and incomprehensible! Your understanding of me brings me wonder and strength.”

Psalm 139:1-7 The Passion Translation

 

 

I Was Broken 2b Restored

I am rejoicing today because the Lord blessed me to wake up on my 57th birthday, and because this is also the 7 year anniversary of Broken-2b-Restored.

I shared my first post on my 50th birthday on November 2, 2011.  When I prayed about starting this blog the Lord gave me the title Broken-2b-Restored.  I knew I wanted to write words to share some of my testimony in hopes my experiences would encourage and lift up others.  I also knew I wanted to share with others how to love God while also, learning to love yourself in spite of experiencing brokeness.

I must admit that in my younger years I was not sure how to love God and how to allow Him to love on me. I would feel that I was not worthy of His love.  I would wonder how could He love me when I didn’t spend time with Him like I should.  I kept thinking I have to get myself together in order for Him to love me and to bless me.  Also, I resisted feeling His love because of how others who said they loved me mistreated me.

I have since learned that no matter how broken or hurt I was, God has  always been there unconditionally loving on me.   When others have turned their backs on me, walked away and mistreated me, God was always there to lift me up and keep me going. When others did not tell the truth about me to justify their own bad behavior, God was always there to comfort me and to not allow me to wallow in self-pity or unforgiveness. When my own choices and decisions caused me hurt and pain, God has always  been there for me to lean and depend on.  God would not allow me to give up, give in or give out!

How could I not see His love for me and how could I not understand that in spite of my brokeness, He was going to love me anyway?  No matter how many times I experienced brokeness, God never left me.  I thank God for His revelation and  transformation in my life!

I was broken 2b restored and I was restored because of His love for me.

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Dear Lord,  thank You so much for another day in my life.  Thank You for all the grace and mercy You have shown me over the years.  Dear Lord, I know  I would not be who I am and where I am if it had not been for your precious love for me.  I thank You for the precious blood of Jesus that was shed for me.   I thank You for the comfort of the Holy Spirit Who abides in me.   I am so grateful that in my times of brokeness You have loved me and restored me.   I was broken 2b restored and I am forever grateful! In Jesus’ name, I say Amen!

“Your love, Lord, reaches to the heavens, your faithfulness to the skies.  Your righteousness is like the highest mountains, your justice like the great deep.  You, Lord, preserve both people and animals. How priceless is your unfailing love, O God!  People take refuge in the shadow of your wings.  They feast on the abundance of your house; you give them drink from your river of delights.  For with you is the fountain of life, in your light we see light.”   Psalm 36:5-9 (NIV)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What Now, God?

It’s been well over a year since I published a post on this blog.  Many things have occurred in my life since I wrote ” Moving Forward”.  I have moved to another state, gone through a divorce, become an empty nester and most recently, I celebrated my 55th birthday!  Over these months, I have thought about writing, I have wanted to write and I have been blessed with many topics to write about. However, for some reason, I have not been able to write. Even when I have tried to write, I could get no further than a few sentences.  In fact, I am in awe right now that I have finished a complete paragraph.  Praise God!

I have been asking God when do I get to write again?  I have been asking, what now, God, for so many areas of my life which also include continuing with writing this blog. Over and over again, I kept hearing, “be still” or “not yet”.  I have been spending quite a bit of time alone talking to God and trying to declutter my own thoughts so I could clearly hear Him. From my own spiritual perspective, I felt like I was stuck! I’ve been reading the Word of God, listening to message after message, reading devotional after devotional, playing worship music and trying to utter prayers in hopes of moving things along. As much of this as I have done, I kept feeling like I was stuck, like I was not really moving forward.

So today, the question, “What Now, God”, arose in my spirit again. After I left church service and thought about the Word that was ministered to us today, I kept asking “what now?”  This was not the theme of today’s message at church, but as I thought about some of the things the pastor said, I kept thinking what now, God?  And now, this evening as I powered on my laptop, and I started to draft this post, I started to read 2 Chronicles, Chapter 20 verse 12 when Jehoshaphat said “we do not know what to do, but our eyes are on You”!  Jehoshaphat was surrounded by his enemies. He was stuck, but yet He knew something had to be done.  He felt powerless, but yet he knew he could go to God and ask, what now?  (Of course, that’s not quite how he phrased it.)

And the Lord answered him with don’t be afraid or dismayed at how great the multitude, for the battle is not yours, but God’s!

Are you feeling powerless? Stuck? Is your back up against a wall? Heavy burdened? If so, it’s ok for you to ask, what now, God? Then, listen for His voice to say, my child, you don’t have to feel stuck, you don’t have to feel like I have left you alone, you don’t have to think that I brought you this far to leave you!  The Lord is saying to you, stop thinking that you won’t be healed, or you won’t overcome the depression or you won’t be delivered from the addiction or you won’t be set free from the shame or guilt.  Stop looking at how  the enemy has come at you with health issues, bad thoughts, family troubles and financial burdens.  Don’t let the enemy make you feel like you can’t finish school, or that you won’t get the job or the promotion. Let God work all of that out for you, let Him fight the battle for you!

In verses 16 and 17, God gave Jehoshaphat clear instructions about the next day. God said, tomorrow go down against them, you will see them coming up against you. God said, but you don’t have to fight, just position yourselves, stand still and see the salvation of the Lord!

Did you get all of that?  When you feel surrounded by the attacks on your life, when you feel overwhelmed by your circumstances, when your flesh is getting weak, ask God “what now” and get in position for your breakthrough! Your enemy is not prepared for your “what now” prayer!

God says, He is going to ambush those attacks coming against you. He is going to move you from that place of being stuck to victory!  He is going to defeat your enemy and scatter your naysayers.  You need to start praising HIM this evening for what HE is going to do tomorrow!  In verse 21,  Jehoshaphat appointed some to sing  for the Lord and some to praise the splendor of His holiness.  Their praise was “give thanks to the Lord for His faithful love endures forever.”

This is your notice, you have been appointed to praise Him!  Tomorrow is your day of victory!

When we ask, what now, God?   He answers with  “This is not your battle, this is the Lord’s battle and God will fight for you!”

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Dear Lord,  I thank You for my “what now” moment and that I can look to You for guidance, protection and a strategy for my circumstances. I thank You for letting me know this is not my battle, but Yours.  I thank You for getting me out of this place of being stuck and surrounded, and for ambushing my enemy!  Lord, I am going to praise You right now for the victory!  Lord, because You are fighting my battle for me, I have a great expectancy for tomorrow!  In the mighty name of  Jesus, Amen!

 

 

 

 

 

2015: Taking My Praise With Me!

As we approach 2015, I have read quite a few posts about what people will leave behind. Naturally, they want to leave the hurt, the pain and sorrow, disappointment, betrayals and all negativity behind.    I also started to ponder over what I would leave behind, but then I started to consider what I would take with me.   As I enter into 2015, I am taking my praise with me!

I am entering 2015 with praise and I am excited about all God has in store for me.   2014 has been a great year for me even in spite of some challenges and circumstances that came my way. Through it all, I made the decision to trust God and give Him praise even during the times when I was struggling, hurt and brokenhearted.  In the midst of tears flowing and wondering why I was going through what I was going through, I would tell God that I trusted Him and that I was going to praise Him no matter how I was feeling!  As down as I would feel at times, I would continue to praise Him because I knew that my joy was on the way. I knew that He had never left me or forsaken me. I knew He was restoring what was  broken and He was still blessing me.  I continued to praise Him even when I didn’t feel up to it and I continued to praise Him even when I thought He was silent in my circumstances!

I am definitely taking my praise into 2015. My praise gives me hope and peace. My praise tells God that I trust Him in all areas of my life.  My praise allows me to rejoice in Jesus who died just for me.

Psalm 100

Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth.
    Worship the Lord with gladness;
    come before him with joyful songs.
Know that the Lord is God.
    It is he who made us, and we are his[a];
    we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.

Enter his gates with thanksgiving
    and his courts with praise;
    give thanks to him and praise his name.
For the Lord is good and his love endures forever;
    his faithfulness continues through all generations.

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I pray, in the wonderful name of Jesus, that you enter 2015 with praise, and that you have a Happy and Blessed New Year!  I pray you shout for joy, because His love endures forever!

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!

I Am Still Here!

photo (2)  Today, November 2nd, is the two-year anniversary of Broken-2b-Restored.com!  I am grateful to all who have continued to read my posts and thankful for when you have shared them with others.  I appreciate every comment and every word of encouragement! I am thankful for all of the new followers of my blog! God blessed me to publish my first post two years ago on my birthday and I am praying for His continued inspiration as I move forward!  I am thankful to my Lord and Savior, because I know He has richly blessed my life.

Today, I am celebrating me and the 52 years He has given me! I am so glad He woke me up this morning!  Even with some hurts and disappointments I have had to endure, I am still joyful!  I still have a great expectancy as to where God is leading me!  Because of His love for me I am still here! Thank You, Jesus!

Psalm 18

I love you, Lord, my strength. The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.