Waymaker

 

Yesterday was Pentecost Sunday, and especially in Pentecostal churches, there is always a focus on the work of the Holy Spirit. Our First Lady (pastor’s wife for those not familiar with that term) is also our worship leader and she brought a new song to us. The song is called, Waymaker, and the congregation just soaked that song in! It has been running through my mind since yesterday, and I’m letting it sink deep into my soul.

I’ve included a link to a You Tube video on this song, and if you’re not used to Pentecostal services, it could be a little overwhelming, but don’t let it scare you because God will touch your soul deeply!  https://youtu.be/KeXcHAurv5A

Isaiah 43:19 says, “Behold, I will do something new, Now it will spring forth; Will you not be aware of it? I will even make a roadway in the wilderness, Rivers in the desert.” (NASB) God has promised to make a way for us in whatever situation we find ourselves. We can have confidence in knowing that whatever is going on in our lives is not unnoticed by God. He knows, and He cares. We have several people in our congregation that are currently going through some pretty devastating illnesses. Some are going through difficult circumstances in their lives, but all of these people have strong faith that God will see them through. One of my friend’s is right now battling leukemia and praising God for a Christian doctor who prays with her. God is working a miracle in her life. She has a form of leukemia that, as far as I know, has no cure, BUT GOD, is healing her! The last report she gave us was that the chemo is working and the tests on her blood shows great improvement. We all are believing God that she will beat the predictions of the doctors and that God will heal her completely!

Each of us has gone through some devastating things, financial crisis, marriage difficulties, loss of loved ones, horrible illnesses, situations that seem unsurmountable! But God has promised that He is doing a new thing in our lives, He’s making a way, a new path, creating circumstances to be placed in our lives to bring about a greater faith in Him and for our good! I love the part of the song that says, “Even when I don’t feel it, You’re still working! You never stop, never stop working!” That is such a powerful phrase that we can lean upon. We can trust that He will keep us in His hand, He will guide us, He will make new paths for us to travel and new ways for us to trust Him.

Pastor’s sermon was called, “Infusion”, and he talked about allowing the Holy Spirit to be infused into our hearts and into our lives so that others may see Jesus in us, and that we receive power from the Holy Spirit to reach others for Him. Our purpose as Believers is to witness. That can take various forms, one on one speaking to someone about God, living in a manner that reflects God in our lives, through music, through the spoken word on radio and television stations, and even in the written word through books, devotionals, websites, and blogs. Whatever way we witness, it is our “job” if you will, to reach others for Christ. Jesus’ last words to His disciples was to “Go into all the world and make disciples.” (Matthew 28:19)

So, as I think about infusing the Holy Spirit into my life, I also am allowing the song to be infused into my heart. It’s a mantra of praise, worship, encouragement, and declaration that God is in control, He knows everything I’m going through, and I don’t have to worry or be afraid, because I know He is a Waymaker and He has me in the palm of His hand!

 

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You are my Shield

 

Last Sunday our church sang the song, “Shield about me”, and today it’s been running through my head. In my Bible Journaling today I looked for the Scripture that the song is based on, Psalm 3:3, “But thou O Lord, art my shield for me; my glory, and the lifter up of mine head.” (KJV) What a comfort to know that He is my shield! He is my protector, He encourages me, He plans good for me, He is my buckler and standard! How can I do nothing less than love Him!

As I write this, I have the song playing over and over, and my soul is at rest and in a place of peace. The words of the song follow:

Thou O Lord are a shield about me,
You’re my glory,
You’re the lifter of my head.
Thou O Lord are a shield about me,
You’re my glory,
You’re the lifter of my head.
Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
Hallelujah!
You’re the lifter of my head.
Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
Hallelujah!
You’re the lifter of my head.

All glory and honor go to Him! Can you imagine what Heaven will be like, as we who are Born Again Believers all join together around His throne proclaiming, “Holy, Holy!” The idea is just more than I can even think of. I think of those in my family who have gone before me, and my heart is so full at the thought of me and my loved ones gathered together praising God and worshipping Him. How awesome is that!

I love the thought that He is my shield! He protects me from all kinds of things, but I think mostly He protects me from myself. I can get myself into so much trouble, but He is always there reminding me of the pathway I should take and not the one I’m determined to take. He leads me and guides my steps. He is the lifter of my head! I think that means that He encourages me to the point of letting me know how special I am to Him and that He loves me more than I could ever imagine. And so, I can do no more than praise Him! Hallelujah!

This is a proclamation of praise and adoration to the One who died for me, who loves me more than anyone else, who walks with me day by day, who rejoices with me when I am happy and cries with me when I am sad. He knows me intimately, every fiber of my being has been created by Him, and He is on my side! He watches over me and I am so amazed at what He has done and who He is!

Thank you, Jesus, for being my best friend, Savior, Lord, Master, and King. Thank you for your sacrifice on the cross for me, for loving me so much that you gave completely of yourself to save me. I love you and worship you.

Dream Big

 

I am beginning a new devotion series this month from my Momentum classes on the Bible Journaling Ministries website. Tracie Rollins is our administrator and she teaches the classes. This month she challenged us to “Dream Big.” She illustrated an instance in her life where she didn’t feel that she had a dream for her life. I must admit, I have felt that way myself. As I look back at my life, those times where I felt I had nothing of significance to look forward to in my life were times when I didn’t realize that what I was doing at that point was orchestrated by God, as mundane as it seemed.

I must say that at this time in my life, I am living my dream! All the things that have transpired in my life have led to this moment. When I was married to my first husband we were involved in Christian television and radio, him in engineering, me mostly in volunteering and later in working as a Correspondent for TCT Ministries. My passion has always been ministry in one form or another, be it music or broadcasting. I find I have been fulfilling the need for music ministry as part of the worship team at my church. That passion began when I was younger and was part of a Christian singing group that was affiliated with the Christian radio station in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, WVCY, where I met my first husband. We both sang as part of the group and both had a love for music and fulfilled our ministry in that manner.

Later, as a part of TCT, I began to develop a desire to minister to people through the written word. I could interact with our viewers through letters, and for a time, I wrote devotionals to headline our Prayer Board. I found I really enjoyed pouring out to our viewers through those devotionals.

One Sunday an evangelist came to our church and called people to the front if they needed prayer. At the time I was going through a very hard time in my life as my husband had passed away and life was very difficult, and so I went forward for prayer. The evangelist stopped in front of me and before he prayed for me he asked me if I journaled. I told him I did but wasn’t very good at it. He then spoke a prophetic word over me, stating that I would be reaching people all over the world in my journaling. To say I was a little stunned is an understatement. I had never had anyone say a prophetic word over me before and wasn’t quite sure how to process it. I thought about this, asking God, just what I should do, how did I know for sure God had impressed this evangelist to speak this over my life, and just kept the whole thing to myself for a little while.

I sought out the help of my Pastor and he directed me to the wife of our Youth Pastor because she was an avid journaler. She gave me some pointers and told me to make it my own. So, I began journaling just for myself in a notebook. My girlfriend also journaled, and she also encouraged me. Somewhere along the line I came across a blog and the seeds for writing a blog started to grow. I began writing this blog, but due to some things going on in my life at the time, I just wasn’t very consistent. Then I met a man through a Christian dating website, and he had his own website and his ministry is reaching people through his website with the love of Jesus. We began dating and the more we talked about ministry, and then fell in love and eventually were engaged and now are married, God impressed upon me that we would be doing ministry together, he on his website, me on my blog. About that same time, I found Bible Journaling. I then began incorporating the Bible Journaling in with my blog.

I have found that prophetic word over my life spoken so many years ago has come to fruition. It’s a small beginning, but I have a reader from Finland following my blog, as well as a few others. The Bible says, “Do not despise these small beginnings…” (Zechariah 4:10 NLT)

Today’s Bible Journaling is from Psalm 37:4, “Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart.” (NASB) When we put our focus on God, serve Him with our whole heart, love and respect Him, then He will give us the desires of our heart. Often, He will give us that thing that is a passion, because that is His passion for us. When we commit to following His will for our lives, we find that our steps have been “ordered of the Lord.” (KJV)

What is your dream? What drives you? Seek out God for the answer, write down a plan of action, and then carry it out, asking God for His guidance along the pathway.

How He Loves Us

This morning God woke me with a song, David Crowder’s song, “How He Loves Me.” As I began to do my Bible Journaling today I am finishing up a series called, “Rise Up” and today’s journaling is from Hebrews 9:27-28, “And inasmuch as it is appointed for men to die once and after this then comes the judgement., so Christ also, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time for salvation without reference to sin, to those who eagerly await Him.”(NASB)

At first as I read this I was having a hard time finding where the idea of being risen, or we would rise up to something, was in the passages. As I was journaling, the song kept going over and over in my mind, and then I focused on verse 28, “so Christ also, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time for salvation without reference to sin, to those who eagerly await Him.” I was thrown off a little in verse 27 where it talks about judgement. But then my husband reminded me that the visual of Jesus on the throne at the Judgement Seat of Christ, was not a judgement of our sinful deeds as we would normally think of judgement, but a rewarding of the Saints for their work while here on earth.

Then what popped out at me was that Christ was offered as a sacrifice for our sins, He bore them all on the Cross! Then the song and the verse tied in together! Jesus loved us, and still loves us, so much that He paid the penalty for our sins completely, and we never have to offer up a sacrifice for our sins as the priests did in the Old Testament. It is finished! That is the ultimate in love!

John 15:13 says, “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends” (KJV) Jesus could not show His love any better than to offer Himself as a perfect, living sacrifice for the forgiveness of our sins. In our church we sing a song that says, “He paid a debt He did not owe, I owed a debt I could not pay, I needed someone to wash my sins away. And now I sing a brand-new song, Amazing Grace! Christ Jesus paid the debt that I could never pay.” How awesome is that! He was the sacrificial lamb, the final sacrifice, for the redemption of sins for all mankind. I can do nothing more than praise Him and thank Him for such a great love!

Lord, I’m Amazed by You!

Music has always had a prominent part of my life. I started singing in public when I was 3 years old, and since the 5th grade I’ve played flute. Music speaks to me when nothing else will. My heart instantly connects with the lyrics and the melodies of the song. This morning a song has been running through my mind over and over again. It is a comfort, it is a song of worship, it touches the very deepest part of my heart. The song is “Amazed.” The words have sunk deep into my very soul. “Lord, I’m amazed by You and how you love me!” I’ve been running the Phillips, Craig and Dean version over and over while I’ve done my Bible Journaling this morning. It has impacted me so much that I could do nothing else but journal how I am so in love with my Lord!

I almost instantly thought of Romans 8:35-39 (NLT), “Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity; or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death? (As the Scriptures say, ‘For your sake we are killed every day; we are being slaughtered like sheep,’) No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us. And I am convinced that nothing can separate us from God’s love, Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow – not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below – indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

My heart is so full just at the thought of how much He loves me! I can do nothing but praise Him! It is so wonderful to have such an assurance, that NOTHING can separate us from His love. That seems so inconceivable! As humans, we have conditional love toward one another, but His love is unconditional! We don’t have to be perfect to obtain His love. He knows we’re not perfect, and the thought is almost laughable…us puny humans trying to be perfect like Him just to gain His love! I love the part of the song that says, “You dance over me when I am unaware.” He dances over me! How amazing is that! He’s head over heels in love with me!

I love how this Scripture lists everything we could think of that could separate us from God’s love…trouble, calamity, persecution, hunger, poverty, danger, angels, demons, fear, worry, not even hell itself, can separate us from God’s love! No power anywhere can separate us from His love!

Jesus proved His love for me by taking my sins on the Cross and dying for my sins. The Bible says, “No greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” (John 15:13 KJV) That’s the ultimate demonstration of love. He desires a relationship with us and He will do anything to show His love for us, even dying the most horrific death imaginable, just for us. Then He proved His love for us by conquering death, sin, and the grave. He lives now interceding for us with the Father. How amazing is that!

He cares about every detail of our lives, nothing is too insignificant to bring to Him. He hears the simple prayer of a child praying over a sick pet to our most devastatingly impossible situations, and each prayer is tenderly listened to and relayed to God, the Father, pleading for answers. Lord, You are so amazing! My heart is so full to think that You love me that much!

 

Sheltered in the Arms of God

Yesterday I woke up with an old Dottie Rambo song going through my head. My first husband, Allen, and I used to sing this song at church for special music, so it has a special meaning to me. The name of the song is, “Sheltered in the Arms of God”. I had intended to do a Bible Journaling page on the resurrection, but God had a different plan. The song just kept playing over and over in my mind, and so I said, “OK God, if that’s what you want me to do.” I remembered a verse in Deuteronomy that talks about being in the everlasting arms, Deuteronomy 33:27, “The eternal God is your refuge, and his everlasting arms are under you. He drives out the enemy before you; he cries, ‘Destroy them!’”

I began searching on the Internet for pictures of outstretched arms and couldn’t find anything that I really liked. But then I found a picture on Pinterest of Jesus holding a woman as she laid her head on his chest. I immediately identified with this woman, for there have been many times I’ve felt His arms around me as I poured out my heart to Him. I love the idea that Jesus is holding her tight in her hour of need. Often there are times in our lives when we feel all alone, struggling, sometimes, just to breathe! But, He is always with us, always ready to reach out and hold us, to bring us comfort and strength in the midst of trial. I love what Deuteronomy says about God being our refuge, how He holds us, and then tells the angel hosts to destroy the enemy!

Oftentimes, the trials we go through are brought on by the enemy, Satan, the liar and deceiver. For those of us who are Born Again Believers, his goal is to get our eyes off of Jesus and onto the problem. He wants us to be defeated, dejected, and in despair. He knows that if we stay close to God we will win the victory over him. He will try anything he can to keep our relationship with Jesus at a standstill, not growing, not moving forward, not learning, strained…anything that will possibly lead us to turn our back on God.

Sometimes our trials are just part of life. Death, disappointment, relationship problems…all of these can be sources that can cause us to shrink away from God. But God, is always there, and He is not about to allow those things to stand in the way of His love for us. He reaches out for us, all we need to do is run to Him and let Him wrap us up in His arms to receive the comfort and strength we need to endure.

I mentioned in a previous post about my Heavenly Father, Abba, that I picture Him, not on a sterile, cold throne, but in a plush, comfortable, overstuffed chair, and He calls me to sit on His lap while I tell Him what I need. That’s my Abba! I can put my head on His shoulder and cry until I can’t cry anymore, and He will listen, wrap His arms around me, and comfort me.

I’m hoping today this post will help someone who is going through a hard time. God is the only solution! He is the only one who will bring comfort where there is pain, strength where there is weakness, and love to those who feel unlovable. He is your REFUGE!

 

When Your Heart is Broken

Life is such that we go through difficulties and heart wrenching stages.  Right now I am at that stage.  I have a family member who is on the brink of destruction, and I can’t even talk to him right now because no one knows where he is.  He pops up on Facebook every once in a while, but he hasn’t responded to any of my posts to him.  The last thing I saw said he was having trouble with the website he was on and he was shutting it down, so I couldn’t even respond.

I feel so helpless.  I pray for him daily, that he will wake up and see what he is doing to himself.  Mostly, I pray that he will seek out Jesus, and surrender to Him.

His mother, I think, has given up on him.  She seems to have abandoned him, but I’m hoping that is not the case.  He has broken her trust and I think she is at her wits end, not knowing what to do.  His sister seems to be the one he turns to the most, but she hasn’t talked to him in a while, and he won’t tell her where he is.  I am hoping he has made the smart choice and gone to one of the missions in the city he lives.

His mother asked me to bring some material that would help him.  I find that a little strange, because even though she may not have turned her back on God completely, she isn’t exactly running to Him in her hour of desperation.  She has completely given up on church.  Because of that, her family is completely disoriented, and seems not to have a solid foundation on which to stand in the midst of the storms of life.

Over the years I and other members of my family who are Born-Again Believers have tried to talk to her, but every time we do, she becomes angry and will either leave the room, or just stop talking to us.  She doesn’t want to hear it.  All I can do is pray that one day she will come to the realization that Jesus is the only answer to the problems she faces.  I just wish that she would listen.  She started out going to church when she was little.  In fact, she was born on one Sunday, and the very next Sunday she was in church.  Once she became a teenager everything fell apart.  From that time to this, she seems to be trying to do everything on her own, not relying on help from anyone, even God.

My heart is so heavy for my family members who are not saved.  I don’t know what to do but pour my heart out to God for their salvation.  My hope is one day the will all come to know Jesus and turn their lives around.

I don’t know how they can go through the storms of life without a solid anchor.  The lyrics to the song, “The Anchor Holds” by Ray Boltz are running through my mind.  Jesus is our Anchor in the storms of life.  We may be completely thrown about, but He is our Anchor, and keeps us from crashing on the rocks of life.   I’ve included the lyrics to this song, hoping that if someone is going through a storm, they will find strength.

 

THE ANCHOR HOLDS

I have journeyed

Through the long, dark night

Out on the open sea

By faith alone

Sight unknown

And yet His eyes were watching me

 

The anchor holds

Though the ship is battered

The anchor holds

Though the sails are torn

I have fallen on my knees

As I faced the raging seas

The anchor holds

In spite of the storm

 

I’ve had visions

I’ve had dreams

I’ve even held them in my hand

But I never knew

They would slip right through

Like they were only grains of sand

 

The anchor holds

Though the ship is battered

The anchor holds

Though the sails are torn

I have fallen on my knees

As I faced the raging seas

The anchor holds

In spite of the storm

 

I have been young

But I am older now

And there has been beauty

That these eyes have seen

But it was in the night

Through the storms of my life

Oh, that’s where God proved

His love to me

 

The anchor holds

Though the ship is battered

The anchor holds

Though the sails are torn

I have fallen on my knees

As I faced the raging seas

The anchor holds

In spite of the storm
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MSAc5Z2lprk

 

In spite of the problems people have with Ray Boltz, I believe the song is anointed, and God has used it to help people heal.  For me, it is a reminder that no matter what I am going through, I am not going through it alone.  I can hold on to Jesus and know that the situation or struggle will not pull me under.

“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they will not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be scorched, Nor will the flame burn you.”  (Isaiah 43:2 NASB)