Archive | January 2015

Fear or Not to Fear….that is a Choice!

For God has not given us the spirit of fear and timidity,
but of power, love and of self-discipline.
2 Timothy 1:7

fear

Fear Controls

Seduction of the Spirit
Shattering of the Soul
Fear controls

Wreaking havoc on hope
Mutilation of peace
Fear controls

Plagued by anxiety
Prisoner of doubt
Fear controls

Severed connections
Surrounded by worry
Fear controls

Waiting Once Again!

I am so ecstatic at the way God moves, but let me assure you it is not always easy. There are things in life we all desire. Perhaps a job, a spouse, children, to travel, and on and on the list may go for some. However, I find it so amazing how God moves. No matter my desire (or yours), he moves in his time, not mine, and always for my best (and yours!). Looking back on my life, I can say with confidence that every time God said no to my desires he brought something better than I could have imagined into my life. Every time he asked me to wait, he met my desire to the fullest. Job lost everything in his life that he held dear, but in his heart and soul, deep within his spirit, he knew God had a plan, and what a plan it was indeed. As he waited during the catastrophic struggle of his life, he held tight to his hope in God’s promises, and was blessed beyond measure, more than he could ever have imagined.

I want to encourage you, to tell you, that though you may be walking through the darkest valley, struggling to keep your head above the water, or crying out to God in the moments of loneliness, HE IS WITH YOU. He may be telling you NO to your hearts desire. He may be asking you to WAIT for the storm to pass. He may be telling you YES to things you don’t think you want. Hold tight, pray, seek his face, meditate on his word, and rest in the truth that he WILL work ALL things out for your GOOD and for his GLORY.

God be with you, and may you feel his presence as you wait! All my love ❤

 Blessed are those who listen to me, watching daily at my doors, waiting at my doorway.
Proverbs 8:34

Wait

Waiting Once Again!

Waiting
Anticipating
Yearning for so much more

Seeking
Praying
Crying out for Your will to be done

Hoping
Pressing onward
Stepping out on faith that all will work for my good

Serving
Ministering
Focusing on Your agenda and not my own

Worshiping
Meditating
Waiting on You to move Lord God

My Prayer!

I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry.
He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire;
he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand.
He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear the Lord and put their trust in him.
Psalm 40:1-3

images

My Prayer

Give me strength to stand for what is right
Boldness to speak my mind
Love that I may share
Patience to even care

Fill my heart with You Lord
Expose me to Your truth
Help me find my way through the lies
To see clearly through Your eyes

Cleanse my mind of bitterness
Release me from my pride
Cover me with never-ending grace
Lead me to victory in this war-torn race

Set my feet upon Your firm foundation
Settle my heart and soul with Your love
Provide a shelter from the miry storms
Keep me safe from deception and harm

Cover my soul with your grace
That I may share your truth with others
Sharing Your love that abounds
Bringing peace that surrounds

Lord You Are

I will sing to the LORD as long as I live;
I will sing praise to my God while I have my being.
May my meditation be sweet to Him;
I will be glad in the LORD.
May sinners be consumed from the earth, and the wicked no more.
Bless the LORD, O my soul!
Praise the LORD!
Psalm 104:33-35

surrender 2

Lord You Are

You are The Almighty God
Thinking of You takes my breath away

You are my Morning Star
Greeting me each day

You are my Bridegroom
The steady man in my life

You are my Creator
Breathing life into my very being

You are my Deliverer
The One who frees me from my sin

You are my Refuge
The One I run to when I need help

You are my Counselor
Giving advice to steer my path

You are my Shelter
My safety from the raging, chaotic world

You are my Door
Giving me a way to escape temptation

You are my Light
Shining so I won’t lose my way

You are my King
Ruler of my heart and soul

You are my Shield
Protecting me from life’s arrows

You are my Prince of Peace
Contentment for my heart, mind, and soul

You are my Hiding Place
Where I go to rest from the pain

You are my Friend
Always listening when I need to talk

You are my Father
Disciplining and directing me

You are my Love
To whom I give all of my heart

You are my Comfort
The warm place to lay my worries down

You are my Shepherd
Gently holding me in Your hands

You are my Lion
Fiercely protecting me from Satan’s snares

You are my Caddy
Carrying my burdens of shame and doubt

You are my Contractor
Building a home for me in the heavenly places

You are my Hope
Encouraging me when I stumble and fear

You are my Vine
Helping me reach out to others

You are my Beginning
Forming me in my mother’s womb

You are my End
Holding every day of my life in Your hands

You are my Fire
Igniting passion in my heart for more of You

You are my Savior
Giving the gift of eternal life

You are my Inspiration
Indeed You are my All in All

Who Do You Say I Am??

“When Jesus came to the region of Ceasarea Philippi, he asked his disciples,
‘Who do people say the Son of Man is?’
They replied, ‘Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah;
and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.’
‘But what about you?’ he asked.  ‘Who do you say I am?’
Simon Peter answered, ‘You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.'”
Matthew 16:13-16

jesus

Taken from “Above All” by Brennan Manning:

Jesus Christ is the Son of God and the Son of Man, the Son of David and the son of Mary. He is the Word made flesh, the Incarnation of the compassion of the Father. He is Messiah, Savior, Dreamer and Storyteller, Servant, Friend, and Parable of God. Close to the brokenhearted, He speaks words of comfort; He revives the crushed in spirit with words of consolation. Rescuing drunks, scalawags,and ragamuffins, He is the Prophet, Poet, and Troublemaker, the Scourge of hypocrites and the authority figures who use religion to control others, sending them sagging under great burdens of regulations, watching them stumble and refusing to offer assistance….When He looks out at the bedraggled, beat-up, bollixed, and burnt-out, His heart overflows with unspeakable tenderness.

Christ is often one thing to many and many things to all! He is the beginning and the end, the bridge to God, the beauty of God-given to us as a most precious gift! Whatever you say Christ is, one thing is for sure….He is the Messiah, come to save the hearts and souls of all mankind…including you and me!!

May you dwell in the astonishing revelation of who Christ is, and may his glory be revealed in every fiber of your being!! God bless and keep you always in his never-ending love and grace ❤

Yes or No?!?

But above all, my brothers, do not swear,
either by heaven or by earth or by any other oath,
but let your “yes” be yes and your “no” be no,
so that you may not fall under condemnation.
~ James 5:12 ~

yes-no-signs

I have been attempting to get my prayer and study life back in order after the chaos of last year. You know, there are just times when I struggle with both, feeling that I am wandering in the desert, but none the less, God beckons me to his side time and time again!!

In the Bible study I am attending on Wednesday evenings, I am reading Danny Silk’s book titled “Keep Your Love Light On”.  I have just finished the first chapter and am already convicted! Thus far we are discussing the difference between powerless and powerful people–not as the world defines power, but as scripture defines power–and how both dynamics impact relationships we are in.

We were discussing the attributes of both types of people, but the powerful one resonated with me. The powerful person is one who chooses to manage and take responsibility for his or her life. A powerful person does not blame others, or play a victim role, in life. A powerful person chooses to love unconditionally, for his or her love does not hinge on that love being returned, or on what the other person says or does. The powerful person creates a safe place to know others and for others to know him or her. The final thought that struck home with me tonight was that powerful people choose yes or no.  There is no I’ll try, I have to, or I can’t.  There is either YES or NO. Simple right?!? Aha, but there must be a balance, therefore it is not always so simple–or so I thought until tonight (had one of those aha moments!)

yes no

I tend to be a “YES” person in life for a variety of reasons, one of which being that I like to help people. I like to be around others, lifting them up, encouraging them, and helping them in a myriad of ways, from moving to playing to counseling to just listening. However, saying yes all the time is not always internally felt. There are times I am tired, have other obligations, or just don’t feel like being there, but somehow, I still say YES. In James 5:12, we are told “…let your ‘yes’ be yes and your ‘no’ be no…” If I say YES, but my heart or mind or body is screaming NO, then I am not in sync with what God is calling me to do. I become a walking contradiction!

So the epiphany for me tonight (and please don’t laugh)! I actually have to say NO sometimes. A powerful person is able to choose to say no because he or she needs time to rest, meditate, and enjoy life. When I say YES to everyone, I find myself stretched thin and of little help to anyone…including myself! When I say YES to everything, I don’t have the much-needed time to spend with God, learning and growing in my knowledge, understanding, and relationship with Him and His Word. When I say YES to everybody, I have to admit, I become bitter or resentful because sometimes I just want to say NO, but I don’t. When I say YES to everyone, I end up drained and empty.

no

I am just now really learning to say NO because I cannot be everywhere, with everyone, at every moment. It just isn’t possible. So, as I practice becoming and building the skills necessary to be a powerful person as scripture defines, I have some choices to make:

1. Quality time over quantity of time!!
2. Meaningful and deep relations with others over empty and shallow ones!
3. Lingering, intimate time with God over rushed moments here and there!

Ah, so much to learn and so far to go on this journey to becoming Christ like, and so very excited to see where God leads me!

Praying that you too will be true to your heart, to the calling of God, and to building a deeper, more intimate, stronger relationship with God. Take time each day to devote to Him, saying NO to the things that interfere. As the Psalmist says in Psalm 139:23-24:

Search me, O God, and know my heart;
Try me and know my anxious thoughts;
And see if there be any hurtful way in me,
And lead me in the everlasting way.

Let the Lord reveal the things in life you need to let go of, the things you need to say NO to, and let Him lead you to the things you need to say YES to.  All my love and may your week be blessed to overflowing ❤

I Cannot Pray If….

Our Father who art in heaven
Hallowed be thy name
Thy Kingdom come
Thy will be done
On earth as it is in Heaven
Give us this day our daily bread
And forgive us our trespasses
As we forgive those who trespass against us
Lead us not into temptation
But deliver us from evil
For thine is the kingdom, the power, and the glory for ever.
~ Matthew 6:9-13 ~

prayer

I cannot pray ‘Our
…if my faith has no room for others and their needs

I cannot pray ‘Father
…if I do not demonstrate this relationship with God in my daily living

I cannot pray ‘Who art in Heaven
…if all my interests and pursuits are in earthly things

I cannot pray ‘Hallowed be Thy Name
…if I am not striving for God’s help to be holy

I cannot pray ‘Thy Kingdom come
…if I am unwilling to accept God’s rule in my life

I cannot pray ‘Thy will be done
…If I am unwilling or resentful of having His will in my life

I cannot pray ‘In earth as it is in Heaven
…Unless I am truly ready to give myself to God’s service here and now

I cannot pray ‘Give us this day our daily bread
…Without expending honest effort for it or if I would withhold from my neighbor the bread I receive

I cannot pray ‘Forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors
…If I continue to harbor a grudge against anyone

I cannot pray ‘Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil
…If I deliberately choose to remain in a situation where I am likely to be tempted

I cannot pray ‘For Thine is the Kingdom and the Power and the Glory forever
….If I do not recognize and submit to the sovereignty of God’ that all people and things are under His control

I was so inspired by this at last Sunday’s sermon, I thought I would share 🙂 May the peace of God guide you and may your prayers be unhindered!! All my love ❤

Tied to the Ground ~ Charmaine

The righteous cry out, and the LORD hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles.
Psalm 34:17

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication
with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.
And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension,
will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:6-7

graffiti-balloon-girl

Let Go!!

Consumed with worry
Holding tight to the past
Fearing the future

Let go
Let God

Stuck in the pain
A victim in the game of life
Harboring anger and bitterness

Let go
Let God

Crying out in misery
Actions guided by heartbreak
Words are daggers to the soul

Let go
Let God

Release the burdens
Lighten the millstone that weighs down
Surrender to something bigger

Let go
Let God

Be touched by never-ending grace
Caressed by overflowing love
Filled with constant peace

Let go
Let God

What I Know

A new year, a new creation doesn’t mean life will be easy or mellow. No matter the storm, no matter the doubt in your heart, no matter the draining of strength, no matter the feeling of fear, no matter your mixed thoughts, God is the same always–yesterday, today, and tomorrow. He will never leave you, never forsake you, never stop fighting for you, never give up on you. Stand strong, be still, and know that He is God! All my love ❤

From my distress I called upon the LORD;
The LORD answered me and set me in a large place.
The LORD is for me; I will not fear; What can man do to me?
Psalm 118:5-6

You are from God, little children, and have overcome them;
because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world.
1 John 4:4

What then shall we say to these things?
If God is for us, who is against us?
He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all,
how will He not also with Him freely give us all things?
Who will bring a charge against God’s elect?
God is the one who justifies; who is the one who condemns?

Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, rather who was raised,
who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us.
Romans 8:31-34

“The LORD is the one who goes ahead of you; He will be with you.
He will not fail you or forsake you.
Do not fear or be dismayed.”
Deuteronomy 31:8

For God has not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
2 Timothy 1:7

Prayer – Part 2

prayer

The Lord’s Prayer is a most wonderful example of how we are to pray to God, our Father in Heaven. Let me begin by saying Christ did not provide the Lord’s Prayer as an example for us to simply express in a rote manner, over and over, with no meaning or thought to what each word signifies (Matthew 6:7). The Lord’s Prayer is an example that will help us to truly enter deep, thoughtful, and meaningful prayer time with God. Though we are to pray continually as discussed in Prayer –Part One, it is important to remember that we must spend quality time with God as well. Just as we spend time with our friends to develop deeper connections, so too we must spend quality time with God to grow in our relationship with him and to receive from him all the blessings he has in store.
With that said, let’s take a look at the Lord’s Prayer and dig deeper into the picture Christ is providing us of how to pray to such an awesome God.

Our Father in heaven,
Hallowed be Your name.
Your kingdom come.
Your will be done
On earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts,
As we forgive our debtors.
And do not lead us into temptation,
But deliver us from the evil one.
For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.

The prayer begins with “Our Father in Heaven”. This is to remind us that God is our Father, our provider, our preserver of life (Matthew 6:28-33, 23:9, 1 Peter 1:17). He is the Parent of all of Creation, including us! We have been adopted into God’s family, heirs to kingdom of heaven, when we accept Christ as our Lord and Savior (Romans 8:14-17).

The second line is “hallowed be Your name”. Hallowed means holy. We are to greet our Father in heaven with reverent fear, knowing that he is holy. He is to be celebrated, venerated, and receive honor that is due him. To be holy means to be pure, sacred, and to be entitled to the act of worship. Our God is holy and worthy of our worship and devotion. (Leviticus 11:44, Isaiah 5:16, 43:3).

Hallowed-Be-Thy-Name2

“Your kingdom come” has two differing understandings in the Christian realm, but both are interconnected. The first is in reference to the spiritual condition of an individual, an inner kingdom within the heart, mind, and soul of the believer. When we ask for God’s kingdom to come upon us as believers, we are in essence asking him to reign in our lives, making us more like Christ and less dependent on ourselves and our own devices. The second understanding of this portion of passage is in reference to the actual Day of the Lord’s return. As Christians, we are petitioning God to bring Christ’s second coming swiftly so that his reign is complete and we are all reunited with Him in glory and splendor.(Matthew 3:2, 4:17)

kingdom come

“Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven” refers again to two things as well. First, we are asking that his will be done in our lives. That he fill us with his purpose and set our feet on his path for us. We are also seeking for God to reveal his law, his will to us that we may respond in obedient love. Second, we are asking for God to make things here on earth the way they will be in heaven, bringing his plan of salvation into the lives of all mankind, thereby ushering in his kingdom and fulfilling his promise to those who love him and give themselves to him. (Luke 22:42, Acts 21:14)

heaven earth 3

Jesus continues saying, “Give us this day our daily bread.” This verse in the prayer denotes our reliance on God to supply all our needs. There are two types of needs we have: those that are physical and of this world and those that are spiritual, beyond what we can see, taste, feel, smell, and hear. God provided the physical needs of food and water for the people of Egypt daily, so too will he meet all our needs, therefore sustaining our life. When Christ was tempted by Satan in the desert, Satan told him to turn the stones into bread to sustain him. Christ replied with this simple, yet powerful statement, “Man cannot live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the word of God” (Matthew 4:4, Deuteronomy 8:3). This brings us to the spiritual needs. We must read, listen to, and meditate on the words of God if we are to be fed and sustained spiritually. To take this verse one step further, and dig a little deeper, you will notice that Christ prays that the LORD give US our daily bread, not singular at all. The word us is often used, especially in the new testament, to denote family or the family of Christ. Part of the digestion and sustenance through the word of God is prayer. Jesus was praying for his family, for us, that we be provided for in all ways concerning our life—both spiritual and physical. We need to also pray for our families that they are provided for and their needs met. (Ruth 1:6, Proverbs 30:8, Isaiah 33:16, Luke 11:3)

daily bread 1

“Forgive us or trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us”. There is so much here to dissect, though it appears so simple. Trespass is a newer translation of the original word “debt” that was used in earlier versions of scripture. Debt was not used in the literal sense of pecuniary or monetary value, but rather in the spiritual and heartfelt sense. As scripture states we all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23) and therefore we need his forgiveness in order to be washed pure and made holy and acceptable in his sight (Psalm 51:2-7, 2 Corinthians 5:21). He will indeed punish every sinner without the blood of Christ to wash them clean (Matthew 26:28, Ephesians 1:7, 1 John 1:7). Now that we have established that we do indeed need God’s forgiveness to obtain a place of righteousness in his kingdom, we now can examine the second half of this verse—“as we forgive those who trespass against us.”

Scripture is very clear that we are to forgive others in order for us to receive God’s forgiveness. That is right, I went there! The family member who abused you, the coworker who steps on you to get ahead, the neighbor who won’t help to cover the cost of the privacy fence you share, the friend who lied to you and betrayed you. That is right; you are called to forgive them! Just as we are required to love, we are required to forgive…both are hard to do in the flesh, but with God all things are possible (Mark 10:27, 14:36, Matthew 19:26). Take a moment to read Matthew 18:21-35—the parable of the unmerciful servant. In this story Christ very clearly displays the need for forgiveness (Matthew 6:14-15, Mark 11:26, Luke 6:37). When we forgive we are releasing our right to revenge the wrong done to us. With that, we release our anger, frustration, hurt, pain, bitterness, and resentment–all the things that keep us from growing and developing a deeper relationship with God. If we cannot forgive from the heart, then we have assurance that God will not forgive us. So, when you pray for our Father in heaven to forgive your trespasses as you forgive those who trespass against you, make sure it is from the heart and that you perhaps also ask God for the strength to forgive others and surrender the wrongs done to you.

forgive 3

“And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from all evil.” Before diving into this section of the Lord’s Prayer there is one critical thing we must remember—God tempts no man (James 1:13). David in Psalm 141:4 states “Incline not my heart to any evil thing, to practice wicked works with the workers of iniquity, and do not let me eat of their delicacies.” In both David’s and Christ’s prayer, they are asking the LORD God to deter them from, to keep them away from tempting things. To take this verse to another level, it is important to realize that the word temptation does not refer to sinful things per se.

In Greek, the word temptation refers to trail, affliction, calamity, testing, probation, anything that tests our virtue. Satan will tempt us to fall in more ways than one, and it can be through the trials and tribulations that we encounter. Our prayer here is for the Lord to bring us through the trials and calamities without allowing them to overtake us. It is also a request for God to deliver us from the traps and snares Satan puts before us, to protect us from Satan’s evil schemes.

Is it wrong for us to ask God to save us from suffering…of course not! Even Christ asked that God “take this cup from me, if it be Your will” (Luke 22:42). The key phrase being, “if it be Your will.” Though we may not like the “cup” God allows in our lives, we ultimately have to surrender to his will, trusting that he will bring us out of the afflictions and testing stronger, more faithful, and more like Christ. (Luke 22;40, John 17:15, 1 Corinthians 10:13, 2 Thessalonians 3:3, 2 Timothy 4:18, 2 Peter 2:9, Matthew 4:1, 13:19, 1 John 2:13-14, 3;12)

deliver

“For thine is the kingdom, the power, and the glory”. This part of the prayer illustriously display who God is in our lives. When we acknowledge his kingdom, we are accepting the reign and dominion of Gods control. When we pray for the power of God we are admitting we are weak and cannot navigate this world in our own power. We are also confessing that all things are possible with God. The glory of god is the honor and praise we give God. As one author wrote, “Approaching him with these feelings, our prayers will be answered; our devotions will ascend like incense, and the lifting up of our hands will be like the evening sacrifice.” God gives us his best and he deserves all of our honor, respect, praise, and all else we have to give. (1 Chronicles 29:11, Psalm 22:28)

The Lord’s Prayer is indeed a powerful prayer, if you truly understand what it means. With an open heart and a yearning soul, you do not need to pray the Lord’s Prayer with vain repetition without feeling, reverence, or meaning as the hypocrites did in Matthew 6:5-14. Instead you can take this example of prayer from Christ and make it your own, surrendering to him your heart, mind and soul, letting him bless you with peace, love, and understanding, drawing closer to him through grace and mercy that is released through sincere prayer.

How-to-Pray

Pray with your heart and let God move in your life in ways you have never known before.

With love and hope for a renewed prayer life.

Related Articles:

Heirs of the Kingdom – Part 2