faith

Blessed Billboard

Greetings of peace and love for all who have stumbled upon this lowly blog. It is early morning, and my God woke me with an assignment. I crawled out of bed, made a routine pit stop, and made some fresh brewed coffee before I begin to log in and type. Let me tell you, that is as close to immediate obedience this gal can manage. Thank you Lord for showing me that I am useable.

God has turned my ears and heart to Him recently and spoken through authors, and Christians that make a living out of encouraging others; either through finances, mental health, or offering up meaningful prayers. I am writing this hopefully near the end of the covid-19 crisis, we have been social distancing and a shelter in place reality for 40 days. I just pulled out my calendar and realized that indeed today makes 40 days for us. Forty days in the Bible is a meaningful number, and it certainly makes me even more in awe of the fine details the Holy Spirit doesn’t want me to miss this early pre-dawn morning. The significance is not lost and I’m going to take that as a God wink.

I’m hoping by the end of this piece you would be able to hear Truth, perhaps convicted and respond positively to God. Remember way back when all adults pretty much carried around a checkbook and that is how you made purchases in person at stand alone retailers? (sorry, thinking about my buying habits and brown boxes delivered to my front door) Before duplicate checks, it was imperative to record your spending in a perfectly sized little register that was typically found above your actual checks. You would write down the date, the check number, payee, and the amount paid. If you were really thorough, you constantly had a running balance of the money you had in that account. Each month when you received your bank statement, a diligent responsible person would sit down and reconcile and balance their checkbook. Pretty much the process would mean that you made sure your checkbook register and the bank’s records matched. What if the bank and the account holders numbers didn’t match? For some of us that happened more than others, nowadays we call that operator error. I give you all this historical setting for the youngsters who may be reading to understand. Back in my early 20’s I heard something that has stuck with me through the years. The exact words, or from where I originally heard this escapes me, but the idea conveyed was simply look at that checkbook register and see where you spend your money, it says a lot about what you deem important.  Presently, you can log on to your bank account, perhaps pull out your credit card statement(s) too, look and see how often certain payees appear.

matthew-6-21.jpg

I didn’t receive a Holy nudge to get out of bed and write a message regarding money management. By no means am I an expert either! I did want to start there because if you have never heard it, well maybe it will stick with you for the rest of your life as it has for me. It should get your gears in that brain of yours going. In the same way you have an impartial paper trail record to inspect your spending, I would love for you to step back and take a look at the way you interact with the world. How do others see you?  Do the words you use build up, or tear down?

Ephesians 4 is a good read at this point. Grab your Bible, take the time to read for yourself, don’t rely on me to interpret God’s word. He is faithful, and will speak to your heart.

Want to know how others see you? Don’t ask them. You know why? Most people are either going to mirror what you think of yourself perhaps out of shared opinions, or they won’t be completely honest because they are “nice” or know of your short fuse and don’t want to make things uncomfortable for either one of you. Like that bank ledger, or credit card statement can speak of our spending habits, is there a way you can objectively step back and view your interactions with the world?

For many of us, you don’t have to look any farther than social media. Imagine a section, or entire timeline of your posts, likes, shares, and comments are printed out. For good measure, a sharpie has blocked out your name as the author and nothing could be traced back to you. Objectively, what could one ascertain about you? What are your habits, mannerisms, beliefs, dare I say political affiliation? What brings you joy?  Do you harbor hostility and hatred? Do you promote love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and last but not least self-control? Are you willing to put your self-righteousness to the side, and do some deep and honest reflections? Are you a follower of Christ? If so pray and allow the Holy Spirit living in you to help inventory your thoughts, opinions, and attitudes. Take some time for personal reflection and prayerfully ask for your eyes to examine your attitudes, opinions, words, and actions through God’s lens. Does our walk (your social media interactions) reflect Him well?

There was a time I wanted to put a bumper sticker on my vehicle that reflected my faith. However, I decided against it primarily because I sometimes speed, turn without a blinker, and either willingly or accidentally cut someone off. I can’t trust my driving to be impeccable every time I am behind the wheel, so I would not be a good advertisement for team Jesus. Does your social media support your claim of being a Christian? Do you reflect Him and His teachings well? Do you pray for your enemies, do you extend grace, or a poster-child for patience? My guess is probably not. What if ALL of us believers united and cleaned up our profiles and gave the enemy no room for a foothold? Remember, Satan is crafty and loves for us to be divisive. He is the accuser, and he is promoted when we devalue God’s creation.

I feel convicted to do some deep social media house cleaning.  All the ugliness will not just find a speed bump when it comes across my feed, but a full stop. I for one do not want to have anything to do with adding a log to the fiery furnace of the pit and gives a victory to the enemy. Our social media is a written and visual response to our world and how we interact with others of every background. I will continue to humbly pray and ask the Lord to prepare my heart, and mind and attitude to reflect Him in all I do. I want to be so filled up with the fruit of His Spirit, that when people scroll by me I splash a little encouragement, and love, and provide light to a dark and hurting world. I choose Jesus and I choose Joy! May these words and the attitude of my heart be reflected and received as a blessed billboard for the Kingdom of Heaven.

Parenting

Strugglebus

Peace and Blessings for all who read these words. They come from a place of deep love and obedience to my Savior Jesus Christ. I pray that God use my life experiences, testimony to give others encouragement and hope. May your ears be able to hear, and your heart willing to receive. 

I’m not sure where to begin. I know I am not alone in what I am currently witnessing and living through with the world, our country, state, and community during the Coronavirus aka COVID-19 quarantine. Each of us has a story. My heart breaks for the people who have lost a loved one, and I have heard that a whole family of 4 succumbed to the deadly virus. Mine is by no means the worst case scenario. I know this simple truth with every fiber of my being, but I am experiencing loss.

This is nothing as I had imagined my life would look right now. Nothing is going in the direction of the plans I had planned, looked forward to, and even paid-for. My youngest child is a senior in high school this year. We moved several hours away from a close-knit small town feel suburb of a large Texas city.  From pre-K through 10th grade my son was part of a school district of only 21 square miles where the students from Jr. High and High school merge and stay together as a class until graduation.

Are you familiar with “Bacon’s Law?”  I am not referring to the pork industry’s delicacy either. Bacon’s Law is the idea that everyone (or movie) is separated by 6 degrees (Kevin Bacon). Anyway, this place where we raised up our kids was at the maximum only 2 degrees of separation, most of the time 1 degree separated each resident. This in and of itself isn’t always the grandest, but it does have its advantages. You know people. People know people and can give you the 411 in a moments notice.

In one month my family of 4 moved in a hurried rush for my husband’s job to a school district that was so very different than the life my son had known. By comparison this new school district is 589 square miles. It is made up of 10 communities and one of the fastest growing school districts of its size. It is easy not to know anyone, we live on acreage and using the high school as the center moving outward students can live 20+ minutes away from school in all directions. Meaning a friend you meet could live 45 minutes away from you and that is traveling on roads where 60mph is the speed limit.

Junior year for my youngest was a whole new way of life, the school made up of very different demographics. It was to say the least a crazy roller coaster of a ride with some incredible highs, and really terrible lows that we have never experienced before and I would say or since, but its worth noting again, we are on shut-down due to Coronavirus. Once we lived through Jr. year, and a decent summer we were all looking forward to settling in and had a positive outlook that his senior year was going to be grand, right?

So much potential was just waiting for the 2019-2020 school year. He was settling in, made a few friends, was being invited to do some things. He had goals, and started crushing them one by one within the first few months! He finally had people over to hang out, watch movies, play guitar and the other various instruments in our house. All seemed swell, then without telling his story, he started making choices that were not good decisions. It started out with some rebellion, and procrastination, and missing deadlines for college applications. I felt like things weren’t quite right, I had suspicions and confronted him on more than one occasion. Right before Christmas break, he wound up in a ton of trouble. I was crushed. I went through so many emotions: grief, anger, sadness, loss. I do not want to give all the details about my son, because I have learned over the years that unless it is my story to tell; don’t tell it.

What I can tell you is that as a mom, I was immediately met with lies from the enemy. I started beating myself up. How did I fail him? What did I do wrong? Why was this happening now? Wasn’t my son destined for great things? Meanwhile, my husband would second guess the move, and verbalize that perhaps we should have stayed and not taken him away from the life and friends he had known for all those years. I could quickly tell my husband not to think like that, and that “the move” wan’t the issue. I knew the blame landed squarely on my son’s shoulders. He owned his choices. At the same time, I was reeling emotionally. In all honesty, if I wasn’t allergic to alcohol or dairy I think I would have drowned my sorrows in either vodka, Blue Bell, or both! I sought professional help through a counselor. I cried my eyeballs out y’all. I was a hot mess on steroids. I have tears now just thinking about how devastated I was during this time. Oh who am I kidding, we are still living with the natural consequences of his actions and it still hurts. We allowed him to fall and suffer the consequences and punishment that was given to him. We did not step in to rescue him in any way. Y’all he fell far, and lost a lot on the way down, that landing was hard and gut wrenching.

One of the first pieces of scripture that I found worth meditating on and repeating on endless loop was, “Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” The more I repeated it, and studied and was still before the Lord, the more I realized

train up a childI was obedient in raising up my son with truth from the moment he came home from the hospital. He has been taught and knows where to find truth. What I also had to realize is that there is typically a lot of life that happens between the child you train up, and when he is “old.” What happens during the in between time of life? I have concluded that we must each find our own way.  

Our Christmas was not one I will want to replay and remember. We hosted extended family and made the best of things, without uttering a word to the extent of our son’s circumstances. They did know he was in trouble, but that is all they knew. During the Christmas break, my boy got a job and it was a good thing. Since he was grounded, going to work and school was what he was allowed to do. He has great skills, is super smart, he was well admired on the job, and was recognized and given good feedback from employer, customers, and even his parents! Life started looking up, grades improved, he was allowed to start being social with his friends again. Trust was being formed slowly and surely. The end of school was going to be such an improvement from the first semester. The calendar was filled with all sorts of great exciting memory making events. He has never been to a school dance, and he and a group were planning prom. There was senior trip with the school to New York. We were looking forward to banquet, performances, on-location less formal senior pictures, graduation, parties, celebrations including a big cruise with a childhood friend.

Spring Break was going to be low-key and working to save up some money, but enjoyable because he didn’t have school. Who knew Friday, March 6th would be the last day on campus of his high school career? The last day he would be in class with other classmates for his senior year.  The reality is that seniors class of 2020 are not going back. They won’t get it back, EVER! No prom, no photos of all those milestones and special last performances and events. It isn’t a loss for them alone.  As a mom and certainly as a empath extraordinaire I am riding the struggle-bus right now.  In my efforts to make light of a difficult situation, I have suggested taking those funny pictures of cap and gown with mask and toilet paper. That is a hard, “NO” from my boy and it is absolutely not happening. He is refusing to take any photos at all. His hair is long (everything is closed remember) and, his 18 year old face sprouts hairs all over the place, he no longer has a job as he no longer felt comfortable being exposed, or perhaps part of the problem that could infect someone more vulnerable. Right now, if you were to ask him, he would say life is good. He is on his own sleep schedule, stays up all night playing video games, and has very little responsibility, and the work for a full week of studies can be crammed into a few hours of, “I do my best work under pressure.” These are really bad habits to be taking on before you go off to college.

Confession time: I am reminded as I write this that I used to laugh a bit at overly emotional mommas as their babies live through their last high school moments, or sobbing when they drop them off at college. I was like, “Woo-Hoo! Bring it on! I’m so excited!” Not anymore, I am right there with them, maybe for different reasons this year. I grieve the loss of the things my son misses, that I miss watching him get to experience. I will hoot and holler if and when he gets to move onto a college campus and be social again. I want this for him. Life is for the living.

I get a little side tracked, pardon me and lets circle back around. Live in the moment. I am reminded day after day to rely on God. I turn to Him. I trust Him. I know He alone is sovereign. I will continue to pray that whatever is happening during this time, whatever has happened to this point, or the challenges my son faces and the poor choices he will make along his journey will end in victory. Yes, I know he will continue to mess up because we are ALL human. He doesn’t have to conform to my ideology, but he will answer to God Almighty. Each of us will. I have turned him over in prayer to my Savior Jesus. I know what a mighty work the Lord has done in me and for my husband individually, and as a couple, that I have full hope that Jesus will be victorious in bringing about true salvation and a testimony through my son. Usher in Jeremiah 31:16, “This is what the LORD says: ‘Restrain your voice from weeping and your eyes from tears, for your work will be rewarded’ declares the LORD. ‘They will return from the land of the enemy.'” I am going to hold onto this scripture and pray expectantly that the JOY of my prodigal son returning will be so sweet. I may not even be alive to see it happen, but I do no good and I am of no use wallowing in sorrow and depression, especially for things I can not change. I will get up, and not let the enemy steal my joy from me. I will live my life as a living sacrifice, sweetly broken by allowing light to penetrate the darkness. In saying that I have had the Holy Spirit nudge me towards sharing my struggle as a mom by returning to blog my story.

Right or wrong, something else hit me along the way of dealing with the huge setback and punishment/consequences of my son’s actions this school year. I was so glad I wasn’t back in the small town community. As much as I missed it for many many reasons, I don’t think I could have withstood the judgement of so many. Maybe I was just too fearful because I myself had previously been critical of others. The speck in the eye vs. log situation. see Matthew 7:1-5

What have I learned through all of this? God has revealed the judgment that I have incorrectly held when learning of the poor choices of someone elses child, or spouse, or whomever. Another person’s behavior is NOT the fault of anyone else other than the one who made the choice for themselves. I have asked God, “why did I turn out the way I did when I wasn’t brought up in a God fearing home?” My parents weren’t just lucky, as I don’t believe in luck. I don’t know if I have a real answer to that question, but here is what I do know. I know that I am chosen. I am forgiven. I am known, and can not be snatched from His hand. He knows my name. He will never forsake or abandon me. He knit me together in my mother’s womb. I am not a mistake. I am worthy. He calls me His.

Moreover, He is in control and I am not! Let me repeat that for the people in the back, God is in control, and I am not.

I also know all those things above are promises for my son. My son is known. He was knit together in my womb. God chose me to be his mother. He is a blessing, even when I feel like pulling all my hair out and the real reason it is turning gray. God will pursue my son. Jesus offers a free gift; one with great reward of forgiveness and freedom, but the gift must be opened to be received. I can’t rescue my son, only Jesus.

Finally, I know that the promises that I hold dear and often times must remind myself of, are also true for you! God knows you. He created you for a purpose. You are a blessing. He calls you to Himself.  He has made a way through his son Jesus and his perfect sacrifice on the cross. His blood washes you clean as snow. Don’t be fooled by the negative talk the enemy likes to whisper to you; things like “salvation isn’t for you”, “your sin is too great,” or “you are of no worth.” These negative thoughts are lies Satan loves to plague you with and are so far from the truth. Friend, believe me when I say there is no condemnation in Christ! Lean in and learn to trust our Heavenly Father, that loves us so much “He sent his one and only son that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.” John 3:16-17

Chosen · Uncategorized

Eskimo Kisses

Recently in my routine stillness before the Lord, my eyes landed on a favorite photo. I have always loved the photo, but today as I gazed upon it, my eyes filled with tears. I felt the Lord lead me to write out what I was sensing. After doing so, I knew without a doubt that I would be sharing my experience here on this blog, and on this particular day. It is an honor to share what God has allowed me to experience, and hopefully serve as a blessing to someone else.

Today, February 11th is an significant day because it is my dad’s birthday. He has been gone just shy of 20 years. What is noteworthy, is that my father’s second wife shared the same birthday. My stepmother had a hard time celebrating her birthday after my father’s passing because for 24 years she had enjoyed celebrating with him at her side. My dad had been excited about becoming a grandfather for many years, but never got to experience that earthly blessing. The first Christmas without my dad, my husband and I announced that we were expecting our first child.

During my pregnancy I had a very vivid dream where my dad appears and sees my husband holding a baby girl. My husband tells my dad that the baby girl is his grand-daughter. With that being said, my dad nods in understanding and tells us that he knows who she is, and that he helped pick her out. The dream was so realistic and emotional for me. I remember calling my stepmom and telling her all about it. Later in my pregnancy, the doctor had asked during a sonogram if we wanted to know the sex of the baby, but I flatly refused. I knew that on delivery I would be a happy momma no matter what, but I also held a fear and didn’t want to be disappointed. As it turns out, I delivered a healthy beautiful baby girl that shares her grandfather’s initials.

I say all this to explain the photo that had me gripped with emotion. The framed image I see is of a beautiful bride in her wedding gown giving what we have always called eskimo kisses (touching noses) to the most adorable 3 year old girl. You don’t see the face of the little girl, just a profile, and the smile of the bride is genuine and full of love. I look at this familiar photograph of my stepmother and daughter in a completely different way now. I like to think that my precious little girl somehow met my dad (her grandfather) in the heavily realms before being born here to us. She is part of a living love legacy. In no way am I stating that any of this is Biblical, but I like to think my dad sent his blessing and approval for my stepmother’s wedding and future happiness via his beloved grand-daughter.

I miss my daddy, but I am blessed to have another man in my life. My stepmom’s husband is a man of great character; he is a man of great faith and integrity. He serves his community well, and his family even better. I thank the Lord these two found each other. They are a great example of a covenant marriage. My stepmom accepted Christ, and her heart is changed forever. Praise the Lord.

Thank you Lord for all my life experiences. Thank you for the backstage passes, and VIP seating in my stepmom’s life. I have no doubt You have called her to do great things in this life, and she is answering Your call. She is brave beyond her abilities. Refresh her and give her the strength to push trough adversity on the hard days. Thank you for the rocky roads we have traveled and let us be a united front to walk as sisters in Christ for the remainder of our journey here on Earth.

Eskimo Kisses and Birthday Wishes!

Be Still

Just be still

No matter what the circumstances, divorce is never an easy process. Add in children to the marriage and the crushing blow, and deep hurts are exponentially multiplied. In the process of a divorce, a key verse found in Exodus became hope in an otherwise difficult time in one woman’s life.

Exodus 14:14

The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.

Praying and clinging to these words originally offered to the escaping Israelites became a promise to claim personally in a modern day scary, and uncertain time. The words were prayed often, while holding hands with a close friend both in tears, over the phone, through countless texts, and various memes served as reminders.

As house hunting for something more affordable, and appropriate for a soon to be single mom of 4 there was one house that seemed to be the perfect lay out. The location too would satisfy the terms that were being spelled out by official papers filed in court. Passing through the laundry room of this occupied home, a wooden plaque was hung that displayed the words of Exodus 14:14. Its presence was not missed by the buyer. With some resistance, lots of prayer, and even asking for the laundry room sign to be conveyed if the seller agreed to the offer, the little house became the hers. No coincidences here, God received the glory! God showed Himself to be faithful, and He certainly fought for His beloved when she could not fight for herself.

Be Still

In the beginning…

For all you Sound of Music fans out there; Let’s start from the very beginning, its a very good place to start. Genesis is the very first book of the Bible and spells out the creation story, and in Genesis 2:2-3 God himself demonstrates the concept of stillness or rest. Even God was stilled, he rested and saw all that he had made, and it was very good.

“By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because he rested from all the work of creating that he had done.”

God leads by example. He isn’t asking us to do anything that He isn’t willing to do himself. Here is something else; God wasn’t tired. He didn’t require a day to “take a load off” so to speak, not even after creating the Earth and everything in it. God introduces a concept of Menuha (Hebrew word for rest). On the Sabbath day, He provided a portrait of fulfillment, completeness and blessing that would be the framework for Sabbath rest in generations to come. He actually commands his people later through Moses to keep the Sabbath day holy. His chosen people, the Israelites had to be reminded officially. We modern day Christ-followers are no different. God desires for us be still, connect with Him and experience rest.

28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give
you rest.
29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30 (NIV)

Do you need rest for your soul? Most of us are familiar with the Hebrew word for peace. Shalom is more than peace, it is also used to ask for silence or calm. Additionally, Shalom is used as a warm greeting or farewell. Besides no war zones between countries, peace is defined as the freedom from oppressive thoughts. Being still with God ushers in peace. I love Shalom being used as a greeting or farewell; like the bookends to our day, many believers have morning and nightly prayers. Without bookends of prayer, we are unable to remain upright and at peace for long.

Throughout history humans continually search for peace. Most all say with their mouths they want peace, but it is elusive. Can any of us go a full 24 hour day in keeping a peaceful heart and mind? Jesus’ words are recorded in John 14:27

“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.”

Throughout the Bible, God’s word reminds us to “Remember Him.” Sounds simple enough, but to truly Remember Him is more than just at the time we take communion i.e. the Lord’s Supper. To Remember Him, we must try to give him our burdens, and seek His help and guidance. In Remembering Him, we place ourselves in submissive humility to the God of the Universe. When we take time to be still before Him, we allow Him to mold us and shape us. We must give Him time to speak to us. We must be willing to be comfortable with silence, and fine tune our ears to listen. We can not understand fully, or experience the fullness of what God has waiting for His beloved children this side of heaven. However, He does not want to see us struggling and white knuckling life without Him. He cares for us, and the work of Jesus allows us to approach Him today. The curtain was torn from top to bottom. He is waiting for you to come near to Him and receive his peace and rest.

Read Psalm 46:10

10 He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” 

We are called to be still. Why? Not just because God Himself did so on the seventh day. Not just because He will help ease our burdens and give us rest. Not just because we can experience peace even when we are troubled. But because we need to know more of who God is, and He wants to reveal himself and His plan to His beloved followers. When is that last time you were still before the Lord? Anyone remember back in the 90’s the whole WWJD movement? Let your mind meditate of these last two facts:

  1. Jesus (God’s only begotten son) knows God best.
  2. The one who knew Him best, prayed the most.

 

Shalom my friends, I pray that you will carve out time to be still before your Heavenly Father today.

 

Be Still

stART of Stillness

You may be a Bible study pro, and some are just beginning to test the waters of your faith and exploring God’s word. Wherever you are, God desired for you to be here. God made it very clear to me that all the writing I did that none would go to waste. Much of what I worked on did not make the final cut for the Be Still bible study, but I will be sharing it here. It is my sincere hope and prayer that God will reveal himself more clearly to each one of us and that each one reading here will deepen their own personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Growing in your faith, and trusting in God not only brings us peace and the ability to be peaceful people, but as we will see all of our efforts will bring honor and glory to Him and Him alone.

God loves us and sent Jesus to bridge the gap that our human sin nature caused. The life, death, and resurrection of Jesus allowed believers the honor of close commune with the Father. Christ followers, are not just saved by grace, sealed for eternity in Heaven, but are awarded with the Holy Spirit. His very goodness can fill our weak fleshy bodies. The Holy Spirit gives us the means to experience a full life despite our Earthly circumstances. However, it is only by His power that we can reach a level of fulfillment, joy, hope, and peace this side of eternity. He isn’t just the God of the Old Testament, or the New Testament, but of the current and present age. He is active and alive. He longs to be in relationship with his beloved children. No matter where you are right now, I guarantee He longs for a closer relationship with you. Do you believe that is possible?

Open your Bible to read all of Psalm 46. This is where we will be parked today, so leave it open for easy reference.

Read through a second time and look for all the attributes, names, and descriptions of God. Record what you find here.

possible answers

 

  • refuge (v.1)
  • strength (v.1)
  • holy (v.4)
  • Most High (v.4)
  • Helper (v.5)
  • speaks/has a voice (v.6)
  • Lord Almighy (v.7)
  • fortress (v.7 & v.11)
  • peace (v.9)
  • exalted (v.10)

Verses 1-3 speaks of mountains shaking, landslides, roaring dangerous waters which are all too commonly experienced and even viewed in awe and fear while watching World News programs. On the heels of natural disasters, verse 6  speaks of nations in uproar and unrest. Literally, the forces of politics and government, threats of uneasy relations, and acts of war are also in our current reality. The forces of nature, and the condition of political instability are easily feared by many. The reality is that no matter how democratic a country we may reside, we must remember that at no point in time are natural disasters, or nations’ governments out of God’s control. He is sovereign over all. When we practice the act of submitting ourselves to the Father, and become still, the results are life changing.

Take an in-depth look at what Psalm 46 is calling us to do; it invites us to take some personal inventory, to step back and realistically examine our relationship status with Jesus Christ. By challenging yourself to dig deep into the study of this scripture, the journey can increase your dependence on God. From my personal experience, every moment you are still before The Great I AM will be worth all the time you have sacrificed and set aside for Him. All you do to develop a more intimate personal relationship with the one who loves us enough to die for us will be worth it every time. Unlike our Earthly relationships, God never gives stingily, or with strings attached. There is no manipulation, or withholding of love until you dot all the i’s and cross all the t’s. He is waiting arms outstretched. Are you ready to spend some quality with the lover of your soul? I sure hope you answered positively. He wants to reveal Himself to us. He wants to deepen your trust and faith. Are you ready to let him prick your skin and get under your skin for some fine tuning of your heart and mind?

Most often, where does your fear reside?

Most believers would agree they desire to live a life of great closeness to Abba Father. However, the actual reality seems to be something not easily realized.

Find some paper, perhaps a sticky note (whatever is closest to you) and write out Psalm 46:10. Feel free to be as artistic as you want. Make an effort to commit to hide these words in your heart.

Look at the words of Psalm 46:10 as your personal invitation to come sit at the Father’s feet. Accept Psalm 46:10 to know Him in a very up close and real way. Each of us have crazy, busy lives and He is calling you to BE STILL. According to this scripture, what should we experience when we are still?

What does Psalm 46:10 say will result with our stillness, and knowing God?

Like the famous question which came first the chicken or the egg, the same can be said of this continuous circle, and process of being still and knowing God. Please do not quickly make the assumption that this study is going to force you to add one more thing your daily “to do” list. The hope is that you would willingly turn to Him, and abide in Him on an regular and consistent basis. By practicing times of stillness with no other agenda other than getting to spend time with the Lord, your knowledge and heart will literally develop beyond your current perception and understanding of the Great I Am. As we increase our spiritual muscle we develop an internal strength to relinquish personal power to Him who is All Powerful. As we become more aware of His control, we can avoid letting circumstances control our responses because our God has it all under control. Unlike us humans, nothing, literally NOTHING (no thing) surprises God. He never acts out of haste, or with unwarranted wrath because He is righteous. It is easy for us to get carried away by emotions, fear, anger, and hurt in a moment of weakness. If we aren’t careful our responses can become unhinged and ungodly to say the least. Can you identify 2-3 triggers that can cause you to fly off the handle in anger, or become depressed, perhaps things you frequently worry about?

By the end of this study, it is my prayer that you will learn the art of remembering the very words of Psalm 46:10 and put your faith to work. It sounds like an oxymoron, but just as God is asking us to practice stillness, it is a call for our active participation with Him. By remembering God’s teachings, we allow Him to remind us to be still, even amid a flurry of activity and imminent turmoil. He calms all of our fears, he offers strength and direction in the moments of stillness. We are assured and can literally feel His presence, and have the courage to move forward. When we are in close communion we will even be able to hear Him speak to us. It seems unreal and unbelievable, perhaps even foolishness to those who have never experienced life in complete oneness with the Father. However, many Christ followers not only have encountered our Savior once or twice, we too are learning to lean in, being still and letting Him grow and groom us to be more like Him with every passing day. If this sounds like something you are yearning for, and you seek to know Him more, you must be learn to be still. By the way, He will get all the praise!

If you haven’t done so already, Write out Psalm 46:10 on a mirror, white board, chalk board, index card, or post-it note somewhere to be displayed so you can submit its truth to memory. Additionally, write out a prayer asking God to help you know Him better. If time is a factor, ask the creator of time to multiply yours. Confess any apprehension you may have to Him now regarding your apprehension to stillness. Remember, nothing you can say to Him will surprise Him.

Take the time to find and listen to the song Open the Eyes of My Heart by Michael W. Smith. 

Prayer

Finding My Voice (conclusion)

You can read Finding My Voice by clicking on the title link just provided. However, this post should be able to stand alone in its truth.

As I was preparing for what I was to share with the ladies of the first Be Still study, I went back to one of my earliest journals that I kept. My October 2, 2014 entry was written while at a 72 hour intensive women’s retreat. I read directly from it, and since it is a “prayer journal,” I asked the women gathered to please close their eyes as I read the words unedited from my journal. As I began, I asked these sweet sisters to listen carefully, and try to identify how God surely heard my words and has undoubtedly answered my requests.

Lord, Thank you for this time. I love spending time with you in silence, in the stillness. Despite my loud personality and at times non-stop mouth, my love, desire and need for time in the quiet with you and in prayer are what I yearn for the most. Better than glitz, glamor, and the like; You are my provider. You are the only thing that satisfies. You are the lover of my soul. I am Your precious child, and Your design.

How many times have I missed this? The business of busy-ness. I ask you now Lord to keep my focus on You. Drain myself of me! Instead, fill me with You, and You alone. Let me replace all my opinions of myself with the opinions, love, and adjectives You have for me. Surround me, embrace me with Your holiness, and righteousness.

For all the ladies here and for myself also, speak Your word and truth into our hearts. I no longer pray with my eyes closed, but rather with pen in hand. Let me be an instrument to be used by You Lord. Show me opportunities to share my love and faith in You.

I closed with this prepared prayer. “Oh Heavenly Father, thank you for letting me share and remember this prayer from over 4 years ago. Nothing is a surprise to You. You are here Lord, and you are in this place. Thank you for each woman here today. May each of them know they have been prayed for by many prayer warriors sitting in this room, and elsewhere. There is power in prayer! We have no doubt that You have hand selected this study for each one of us to be part of, and we are using this time of learning how to surrender all unto You. I pray each one of us can leave here encouraged to live out Psalm 46:10. May we humble ourselves, be deliberate and obedient to practice being still so that we can know the Great I AM. Take us deeper in our faith. Thank you for giving me a voice to make your name great. You deserve all our praise. You know everything about us, and love us STILL. You are our Mighty Counselor.”
In Jesus Name, Amen

For those of you readers old enough to remember Andy Rooney and his famous way of bringing us The rest of the story, I want to share with you a little God wink that the majority of those ladies were not aware of. The women’s director had let each one of us on the writing team have freedom in what and how we presented out little speech to address the women in attendance. She and another church staff would deliver the bigger teaching points for each week. We did not meet beforehand to discuss exactly what each of us were going to share to make a seamless flow. But you know what? God did! That week the ladies got to hear my testimony. I had talked about seeking help with a counselor, and later in the hour information was given on who to contact for counseling and other needs. It was like my testimony was a volleyball set for God to drive His point home about using the community of believers to help each other out along our journey. I don’t know if I adequately described how exciting and goose-bump giving this was for us; but it was not by coincidence, nor by chance. God orchestrated the timing and it was perfect. We knew at that moment along with many others along the way, we were operating in His will and obedient to His direction. We were serving as His vessels.

Today take time to ask the Lord to open your spiritual eyes, and be willing to go and do what He has planned for you. Remember, you are chosen, and you are His. You have been called out of the darkness, and into His glorious light! You have a voice. Carve out time to meet with Him to find what He wants you to share, and then don’t keep it to yourself. You matter to Him. You matter to others that need to hear your struggle and the victory you have found in Jesus.