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Guilty {newsboys}

It has been a while since I have had some time to sit and enjoy the pleasure of writing! Somehow life just gets busy and time escapes me. Nonetheless, God has blessed me with some time to touch base and share a beautiful song from Newsboys! May this be the mantra of every Christian and may the movement of Christ bring hope and light to a world filled with despair and darkness.

All my love ❤

Growing Pains

As another crazy, yet blessed year comes to a close, I find myself glancing back at what I have accomplished, how far I have come, and how much I have grown. I think it is truly amazing how God uses all things to bring growth and glory in my life, and in the lives of all his children (including you!).

This past year, like so many before it, has seen its share of pain and anguish: the death of my father, my uncle, and a close friend, family chaos and fighting (which often sadly occurs when death comes), broken relationship and a shattered heart, an unexpected move, and financial strain. Yet, oddly enough, this year brought beauty, healing, love, and provision through it all.

You see, despite the pain and suffering, God was in it all, working his will, his plan, his glory through all of it. Pain and suffering is a normal part of life and an integral part of spiritual growth.

John 16:33 These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.

Hebrews 5:5-8 So also Christ did not glorify Himself so as to become a high priest, but He who said to Him, “YOU ARE MY SON, TODAY I HAVE BEGOTTEN YOU”; just as He says also in another passage, “YOU ARE A PRIEST FOREVER ACCORDING TO THE ORDER OF MELCHIZEDEK.” In the days of His flesh, He offered up both prayers and supplications with loud crying and tears to the One able to save Him from death, and He was heard because of His piety. Although He was a Son, He learned obedience from the things which He suffered.

Jesus Christ Himself was not exempt from the pain and suffering of this world. Pain and suffering in your life is one way that God prunes you, building you up and making you stronger. Much like a great work out at the gym, there is often pain afterward (even during the workout as you push yourself), but the results are wonderful in the long run if you keep working out and building up muscles that increase your strength. Another example is the olive tree. A farmer must cut (or prune) the branches back in order for the tree to produce a more abundant crop the next season. If it is not pruned, it grows unkempt, producing less fruit, and therefore yielding less profit for the farmer.

John 15:1-3 I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it so that it may bear more fruit.

You and I are the branches on the tree of life, and if we are not pruned, we tend to not bear the fruit of righteousness, purity, or holiness. We become weak, wild, and unkempt, losing sight of what we are here for–to produce fruit that brings honor and glory to the Lord, bringing others into his kingdom, showing the light of God for all to see.

Pain and suffering in this life are also motivators for growth. When you get stuck in the mundane routines of life–work, family, home, friends, etc., it is easy to get comfortable and not change or stretch outside of your comfort zone. Going back to the workout example, if you keep doing the same exercise routine day in and day out, you will see results, but eventually they will plateau and your workout routine will be only for maintaining, rather than continued strengthening. Even weight loss will fade if the workout routine stays the same. You have to change things up to see continued results, to build more muscle mass, to thin out more, and to tone consistently.

Spiritual growth is similar. If church and scripture become mundane routines, the same thing day in and day out, you will get stuck, your spiritual growth will plateau. God wants your spiritual growth to excel, to continue to grow each and every day. This means that you have to be forced out of your comfort zone sometimes, and often the only way to get you to do that is through pain and suffering. When life is grand, going smoothly, and you have no worries or stress, God tends to be put on the back seat. Ever notice that your prayer life and devotional time picks up a great deal when there is pain, suffering, trials, or tribulations in your life. That is because during those times, your reliance on God is stronger and more evident. You can’t fix things, make them better, or change them, and thus you seek God, seek His will, His discernment and wisdom to handle all that you are facing. You may even reach out to others in your community–church, work, home, neighborhood–for help and guidance.

Often during the most painful times in our lives, we are forced to take responsibility for our failures and learn how to adapt and change so as to not make the same mistakes next time. Other times, we are confronted with requests that take us out of our cushy comfortable place to become a witness and light for God. It may be that you are asked to forgive someone who has hurt or betrayed you. Perhaps you are being called to share your pain with someone in order to show the glory of God as he brings you through it. Maybe the pain in your life is building perseverance, patience, or other spiritual fruits in your own life. Whatever it may by, God is using the pain and suffering to motivate change and growth in your life.

James 1:2-4 Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

James 5:11 As you know, we count as blessed those who have persevered. You have heard of Job’s perseverance and have seen what the Lord finally brought about. The Lord is full of compassion and mercy.

Romans 5:3-5 And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.

1 Peter 1:6-7 In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials, so that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ

Though I faced my share of pain and suffering in 2014, I can look back on each and every moment and see God’s mighty hand at work through the entire event. Through the deaths that came into my life, I was able to find courage and strength to do what was right midst the chaos and family fighting. Though my heart was broken and a relationship ruined, I was given comfort and wisdom midst the storm, making a few of the toughest decisions of my life, which ultimately brought peace to me and my son. Even through the financial difficulties, God changed my view of budgeting, helping me save more than I have before. In the moments of pain and suffering, I didn’t always see his mighty hand at work, but looking back on the year, it is evident he was with me, guiding, building, refining, and growing me into the woman of God he designed.

So, my friends, fret not when you are facing pain, trials, tribulations, or suffering, for in time, God will produce an abundance of fruit, helping you change the old patterns of life, enabling you to grow spiritually! With that said, I look forward to another year and what may come–the good, the bad, and the ugly! Bring it on, for with God, we can all rest assured that good will come, hope will be renewed, and the future will be bright.

Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

God bless and keep you in the coming year and always! May you rejoice midst the pain and suffering, knowing that God is working all things for your good! He is with you always and forever, and will never leave you nor forsake you, providing all you need to face all that comes your way.

In Christ’s Love ❤

Pure

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.
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.
Psalm 100

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oslcslc.org

Pure

Seek in pure dedication
Desiring to know the word of God
Yearning for Him above all things

Surrender in pure adulation
Giving yourself completely to the Lord
Yielding utterly to the King of Kings

Repent in pure veneration
Laying your sins at the foot of the Cross
Receiving grace that freely flows

Worship in pure adoration
Singing unto the Lord of Hosts
Conveying joyful shouts unto God Almighty

Rejoice in pure exaltation
Entering his courts with praise
Entering his gates with thanksgiving

Exalt in pure appreciation
Lift His name above all others
Glorify the Lord with dancing and singing

Bless in pure recognition
Knowing He is the One True God
Honoring with heart, soul, strength, and mind

Praise in pure affection
Cherishing the Lord for all He has done
Bringing love and grace to all mankind

The More I Seek

The more I seek, the more I find!  The farther I fall, the deeper I dive into you O Lord!  The harder life hits, the more I seek you!  Be my vision, be my guide, be my all in this world dear Lord.  May I thirst for you, hunger for you, strive to be like you.  Though I may fall short, though I may sin, though I am weak and restless….may my heart and soul always long for you.  May your passion well up and shine brighter than the noon day sun.  I will praise you O Lord in all things, especially amidst the pain and turmoil of this life!

Naked and Unashamed

God is the God of provision. He gives to all things, great and small, exactly what they need when they need it. You may not have all that you want, but God will supply all you need when you depend on Him. Even the trees of the earth and birds of the air are taken care of, yet you, you were created in His image and are more valuable than any other living creature. He WILL provide when you place your trust in HIM.

“For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? “Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they? “And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life? “And why are you worried about clothing? Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin, yet I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these. “But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more clothe you? You of little faith! “Do not worry then, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear for clothing?’ “For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. “So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. ~ Matthew 33:25-34

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soulstops.,com

  And my God shall supply all your needs
according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.
~ Philippians 4:19

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designzzz.com

Naked and Unashamed

Magnificent displays of endurance
Though the winds blow
And the lightning strike
Mighty and strong they stand

Their leaves may fall
Still they stretch their branches to the Lord
Naked and unashamed
Praising Him night and day

Even when clothed in robes of green
Their leaves turn toward the face of the Lord
Shouting God’s glory to the heavens and the earth
Revealing His eternal love

Their roots lie hidden from His view
Yet still the Lord feeds and nurtures them
Touching them deep within
Constantly helping them grow

Go Tell it on the Mountain! Jesus Christ is Born!!

And then he told them,  “Go into all the world and preach the Good News to everyone.” ~ Mark 16:15

Share the love, share the message!  Jesus Christ was born to save you, to save me, to save us all!  Come to Him, ask Him into your heart, live in Him, walk with Him, take up your cross and follow Him, and celebrate Eternal life!  May the message of Christ be with you now and always, shining bright for all to see.
God bless!  All my love ❤

Christmas Haiku 2

And an angel of the Lord suddenly stood before them,
and the glory of the Lord shone around them;
and they were terribly frightened.
But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for behold,
I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people;
for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior,
who is Christ the Lord. ~ Luke 2:9-11

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download-screensavers.biz

Celebrate Christ’s birth

Oh hear the angels voices

Let us adore him

Christmas Haiku 5 ~ Getting caught up!

Wow…making sure I have a haiku each day before Christmas has been tough to do as time seems to get away from me.  Thus, here I am catching up from Friday and Saturday.  I pray that you enjoy, and that you are reminded of what the Christmas season is all about.  It is not commercialism and gifts wrapped in pretty paper and bows.  It is not the twinkling tree or the garland that decorate the house.  It is not desserts galore and parties everyday.  It IS about Christ!  Christmas for the Christian is a celebration of the birth of Christ, the Son of God, who came from heaven down to earth to be a man, tempted and scorned.  He came to bridge the gap between us and God, separated and broken by our sin.  So, don’t forget to praise God for what he has done.  Remember to thank him for the gift of his Son.  God bless and keep you this time of year and always.  All my love ❤

Glory to God in the highest, and on earth, peace, goodwill toward men.  ~ Luke 2:14

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mudpreacher.org

All glory to God

Hark, the herald angels sing

Praise Him forever

Praise and Glory

Happy are those who respect the Lord and obey him.
You will enjoy what you work for, and you will be blessed with good things.  ~ Psalm 128:1-2

Praise and Glory

Joy is in my grasp
Hope within my reach
God is at my side
Healing the hurt
Repairing the brokenness
I look to the future
A renewal of life
The chance to love and live
Better than I ever have
Close to Him is where I belong
All else is artificial
Deep in my soul
I have found happiness
More than I have ever known
I walk with Jesus
He fulfills every need
Satisfies every hunger
My deepest desires are gratified
My soul rejoices, as do I
Singing praises to Him
Glorifying the Lord almighty
Though I struggle, He takes the burden
When I fall He lifts me up
In times of despair He brings me hope
When I am lost He reveals the way
With Him all things are possible
I am a child of God