May 23, 2015

About coleen hayden

Coleen Hayden – Director of Women's Ministry - Prayer Ministry Leader - Blog Contributor
Coleen and her husband Robert have been married for 19 years and currently live in the Capital District area of New York State. They have one beautiful daughter, Kassia, who is married to Matt, and 4 delightful grandchildren Elijah, Kaylie Joy, Levi, and Rebekah. She enjoys sewing, cooking, and playing the piano.

This Week…Ephesians 2:10

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For we are His workmanship,
having been created in Christ Jesus for good works,
which God has before prepared that we should walk in them.
Ephesians 2:10

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This week, here on the Seeking Him devotional blog, our sisters have reminded us that we ARE God’s workmanship, handiwork…truly His masterpiece.  Here are a few highlights from the devotionals that Ann, Ahmee, Cynda and Tina wrote earlier this week.

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In Finding Purpose, Ahmee shared her own struggle in the past in finding her own purpose…and coming to realize that we do not have one single purpose in life.

What is my purpose?  This is a question that everyone has to answer.  People struggle with answering this question…people die trying to answer this question…people search their whole lifetime trying to answer this question.  Some of us start asking this question at a very young age; some have just always known.

So, your purpose?  Well, your purpose can be in the moment. Your purpose doesn’t define your worth…your worth is always found in God Himself.  Your purpose is simply the role(s) you are in at any given moment.  Your attitude during any season determines whether you see yourself in your purpose.  Purpose isn’t just a one-time ultimate goal.  It shifts.  God has “good works” for us.  Not just one single work / purpose.

Make sure that you are mindful of your current purpose…and not blinded by your end game goal.”

In Good Works, Ann focused on what are the good works God has created us for.  She wrote,

“The anchor Scripture for this week says we were ‘created to do good works.’  What then are the good works, those that God prepared for us to do in advance?

  • Matthew 5:16
    In the same way let your light shine before men that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.
  • 1 Timothy 6:18
    Command them to do good to be rich in good deeds and to be generous and willing to share.
  • Titus 2:7
    In everything set them an example by doing what is good.  In your teaching show integrity seriousness.
  • Hebrews 10:24
    And let us consider how we may spur one another on towards love and good deeds.
  • James 2:17
    Faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by good deeds, is dead.
  • James 2:18
    But someone will say you have faith I have deeds show me your faith without deeds and I will show you my faith but I do.

Brethren, as we are doing good works it is not unto man but it is unto God (according to the Scriptures).  Let us take up this noble call with our whole hearts and pursue the calling.”

In Seond Chances, Tina reminded us of David (a man after God’s own heart) and God’s purposes for him…and us.

“While David was living his life, he did not know what he was going to be or where God would have him.  He served God in the areas where he was needed.  From being a shepherd in his father Jesse’s household to showing up where his brother’s were serving in the king’s army.  I am certain David did not plan on slaying a giant that day!  But David did what was asked of him.  David was not perfect.  But he did do what was required of him to serve God and His people.

Can you and I have a relationship like David did with God?  Of course we can.  God will always be there for us to call upon Him and for us to talk to Him.  All we have to do is trust Him and believe God wants the best for us.  Why else would God send His Son Jesus to live among us? Why would God sacrifice his only Son?  Because He loves us.  As our Father, He disciplines us, loves us, hugs us and holds our hands all throughout our lives.  All we have to do is reach for Him.”

And in Living the Good Life, Cynda wrote about the good, blessed life God has prepared for us—truly, a gift!

“When we carry out the good deeds God has predestined for us, it is a way of expressing our gratitude for the good life He has provided for us.  In turn, God blesses us even more.

The Lord will open for you His abundant storehouse….
Deuteronomy 28:12 HCSB

I promise this very day that I will repay two blessings for each of your troubles.
Zephaniah 9:12 NLT

Job was blessed more in the latter part of His life than in the beginning (Job 42:12).  As if His abundant gift of mercy and grace wasn’t enough, God chooses to bless us even more.  We cannot outdo God.  His gifts are never ending!

Why does God give us gifts we could never earn or hope to repay?  Because we are His handiwork—His masterpiece —born anew through the death of Christ on the Cross; which is the greatest gift of all.  All because God loves each one of us more than we could ever imagine!”

He Knows My Name

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He counts the stars one and all
He knows how much sand is on the shore
He sees every sparrow that falls
He made the mountain and the seas
He’s in control of everything
Of all creatures great and small

He knows my name
Every step that I take, every move that I make, every tear that I cry
And He knows my name
When I’m overwhelmed by the pain and can’t see the light of day
I know I’ll be just fine ‘cause He knows my name

I don’t know what tomorrow will bring
I can’t tell you what’s in store
I don’t know a lot of things
I don’t have all the answers to the questions of life
But I know in Whom I have believed

He knows my name
Every step that I take, every move that I make, every tear that I cry
And He knows my name 
When I’m overwhelmed by the pain and can’t see the light of day
I know I’ll be just fine ‘cause He knows my name 

He knew who I was when He carried the cross
He knew that I would fail Him but He took the loss

 The McRaes
Written by Annie and Kelly McRae

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This passage seems to have been my almost constant confession this past week or so…listen.

For I am persuaded beyond doubt (am sure) that neither death nor life,
nor angels nor principalities, nor things impending and threatening
nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation
will be able to separate us {me!} from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Romans 8:38 and 39

Oh, and how I endeavor to cling to these promises!  I want to say, as Paul did, that ‘I am persuaded…’ though, I must admit that I do falter in my persuasion.  And times do come when my little heart doesn’t sing out quite as bravely.  But here’s what I do know….

…Nevertheless I am not ashamed:
for I know whom I have believed,
and am persuaded that He is able
to keep that which I have committed
unto Him against that day.
2 Timothy 1:12

And I remember and am greatly encouraged as I read through the Scriptures and see the strong evidence of God’s provision in the lives of His people…for example, His man Job.  Job went through much but he knew his life was in the Almighty’s sovereign and powerful hand.  And so, he could say this–

But He is unchangeable, and who can turn Him?
And what He wants to do, that He does.
For He performs [that which He has] planned for me,
and of many such matters He is mindful.
Job 23:13 and 14

I know that You can do all things and that no purpose of Yours can be thwarted.
Job 42:2

See, me, myself, on my own?…well, I get weary; and I am not strong at times.  But not my God!  Oh, He is able!  He is faithful!  He keeps His promises!  And so I trust His Word(s).  Therefore when I remember He has said, “I formed you and made you,” “I will never leave you nor forsake you,” “My grace is sufficient for you…” I am encouraged and strengthened!

One of my favorite Scriptures is Psalm 139.  It is such a beautiful prayer of praise of Almighty God!  Throughout this psalm, David acknowledges God’s providence, His sovereignty, His foreknowledge, His provision, His protection, His wisdom, and truly, His love.

Here are excerpts from this psalm…may I suggest you read these verses aloud, allowing Your eyes and ears and mind to take them in. Consider them, my friend; dwell on them.

And may your heart be reminded and strongly encouraged as you remember that God Almighty, your heavenly Father, truly KNOWS your name.  He knows you—every step, every move, every tear, all your ways. He knows all about you, inside and out, before and behind, sitting down and rising up. He knows your inward parts, your frame, your thoughts, your words, all your ways, all your days.

He knows y.o.u., my friend…He knows your name!

O Lord, You have searched me and known me.
You know when I sit down and when I rise up;
You understand my thought from afar.
You scrutinize my path and my lying down,
And are intimately acquainted with all my ways.
Even before there is a word on my tongue,
Behold, O Lord, You know it all.
You have enclosed me behind and before,
And laid Your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
It is too high, I cannot attain to it.
For You formed my inward parts;
You wove me in my mother’s womb.
I will give thanks to You,
For I am fearfully and wonderfully made;

Wonderful are Your works,
And my soul knows it very well.
My frame was not hidden from You,
When I was made in secret,
And skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth;
Your eyes have seen my unformed substance;
And in Your book were all written
The days that were ordained for me,
When as yet there was not one of them.
How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!
If I should count them, they would outnumber the sand.
When I awake, I am still with You. 

You Are God Alone

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You are not a god created by human hands
You are not a god dependent on immortal man
You are not a god in need of anything we can give
By Your plan, that’s just the way it is

You are God alone
From before time began
You were on Your throne
You are God alone
And right now in the good times and bad
You are on Your throne
You are God alone
You are God alone

You’re unchangable
You’re unshakeable
You’re unstoppable
That’s what You are

You’re the only God whose power none can contend
You’re the only God whose name and praise will never end
You’re the only God who is worthy of everything we can give
You are God and that’s just the way it is

Billy and Cindy Foote

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I was drawn to the Book of Esther the other day and, as I was reading, I was struck again by the fact that there is not even one single word throughout all ten chapters of the Book of Esther which is attributed to God, or His dealings with Esther, the King, or Uncle Mordecai.  No directive, no command, no blessing…no actual interaction with the Almighty God that is recorded.  However, we clearly can see His hand of blessing, His hand of direction, His guidance and His provision—His providence.   I was reminded again…truly,  humbled again…to recognize God’s providential hand of blessing that is so evident throughout the Book of Esther.

Providence is defined by Webster’s Dictionary as “foresight; timely care; particularly, active foresight, or foresight accompanied with the procurement of what is necessary for future use, or with suitable preparation. In theology, the care and superintendence which God exercises over His creatures.”

The Bible Dictionary says this about providence,  “When applied to God the idea takes on a vastly larger dimension because God not only looks ahead and attempts to make provision for His goals, but infallibly accomplishes what He sets out to do.  And because it is God’s governance that is in view, it encompasses everything in the universe, from the creation of the world to its consummation, inclusive of every aspect of human existence and destiny.  This divine, sovereign, and benevolent control of all things by God is the underlying premise of everything that is taught in the Scriptures.”

And the Scriptures contain oh-so-very-many examples of His divine providence…here are just a few.

  • Baby Moses, being hidden in a basket in the river; found by Pharoah’s daughter and adopted into Pharoah’s family.
  • Daniel a Jewish slave in Babylon becoming Nebuchadnezzar’s advisor.
  • Joseph, envied by his brothers, sold by them into slavery in Egypt and becoming second in power after Pharoah.
  • Jonah’s refusal to obey, his consequences and, through them, the Ninevites choosing to repent.

Throughout the Scriptures, we are reminded of God’s desire to have His people (us!) recognize His perfect care and love as evidenced by His providence.

Earnestly remember the former things, which I did of old;
for I am God, and there is no one else;
I am God, and there is none like Me,
Declaring the end and the result from the beginning,
and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying,
My counsel shall stand, and I will do all My pleasure and purpose…
Isaiah 46:9 and 10

The world calls this coincidence…happenstance…serendipity…fate.  We call it the providence of God—His AWEsome watching over, His perfect care, His provision (both immediate and in the future).

When I applied my mind to know wisdom
and to see the business activity
and the painful effort that take place upon the earth
—how neither day nor night some men’s eyes sleep—
Then I saw all the work of God,
that man cannot find out the work that is done under the sun
—because however much a man may toil in seeking,
yet he will not find it out; yes, more than that,
though a wise man thinks and claims he knows, yet will he not be able to find it out.
Ecclesiastes 8:16 and 17

Your eyes saw my unformed substance;
in Your book were written, every one of them,
the days that were formed for me,
when as yet there was none of them.
How precious to me are Your thoughts, O God!
Psalms 139:16 and 17

Our great God has all of eternity in mind and planned for us.  His sovereign plan (which includes all the faithful who have come before us) will come to pass for one reason alone—He is God, and that’s just the way it is!

And all of these, though they won divine approval
by [means of] their faith,
did not receive the fulfillment of what was promised,
Because God had us in mind
and had something better and greater in view for us,
so that they [these heroes and heroines of faith]
should not come to perfection
apart from us [before we could join them].
Hebrews 11:39 and 40

…making known to us the mystery of His will,
according to His purpose, which He set forth in Christ
as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in Him,
things in heaven and things on earth.
In Him we have obtained an inheritance,
having been predestined according to the purpose of Him
Who works all things according to the counsel of His will,
so that we who were the first to hope in Christ
might be to the praise of His glory.
In Him you also, when you heard the Word of truth,
the gospel of your salvation, and believed in Him,
were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit….
Ephesians 1:9-13

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What other examples of God’s providence do you remember from the Scriptures?  How about His providential hand of blessing in your own life?

(Perhaps you might share your answer in the comments below.)

Rustic Sausage, Potatoes, and Veggies

Sometimes you need a few quick and easy to fix meals in your menu plan that are still healthy but oh-so-yummy…wouldn’t you agree?  This is one of those kinds of meals for us—tiny potatoes, onions, mushrooms, and chicken sausage roast in the oven with just a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and herbs.  Start-to-finish this took about 15 minutes or less to prep.   Oh…and only one pan to clean up!  That’s a big plus, too.

I just love sausage!   Finding these chicken sausage products from al fresco  made me very happy!  They make them in a few varieties; and  in links as well as patties.  I like to keep a package in the freezer.  Click the link above and check out the nutrition facts…you’ll be happily surprised, i think!   You can slice up the raw sausage links…(divide each link into fourths.)  I remove the meat from the casings and just dollop it around the pan in smallish little ‘meatballs.’  You choose!

This is a really easy dish to make!  Make sure to cut everything about the same size and don’t crowd the pan.    I served this alongside some steamed fresh green beans.  Enjoy!

Rustic Chicken Sausage, Potatoes, and Veggies

2015-05-15 20.08.25

ingredients:

16 ounce package fresh (raw) Italian chicken sausage
1# baby potatoes, scrubbed and halved
1 large Vidalia onion, cut into half moons
10-12 ounces Baby Bella mushrooms, cleaned and halved
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon EACH  sea salt, freshly ground pepper

directions:

  • preheat oven to 375
  • line large baking sheet with parchment paper (optional)
  • place cut-up veggies in a large bowl with the olive oil and s&p
  • stir together to thoroughly coat the veggies
  • pour out onto the lined baking sheet
  • scatter the sausage pieces evenly around the pan
  • bake for 35-40 minutes ’til potatoes just begin to brown a bit
  • season to taste (if necessary) with s&p

♥   ♥   ♥   ♥   ♥

God loves you!  ♥  (Please don’t ever forget that!)

♥  coleen

Paint Your Picture

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For we are God’s handiwork,
created in Christ Jesus to do good works,
which God prepared in advance for us to do.
Ephesians 2:10

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Julie Myers, singer / songwriter
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Pick me up like a paintbrush, God
Dip it in the colors of my life
Paint Your picture, Father
And fashion a heart that is wholly Yours

Take Your fingers, God
Master Potter, come mold the clay
Tell Your story ss You mold me
Fashion a heart that is wholly  Yours

And write your name
Write Your name in the clay
And sign Your name
Sign Your name on the picture

Take all I am
Take all I have
I am Yours forever, forever

 

This Week…Galatians 2:20

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 I have been crucified with Christ
and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me.
The life I now live in the body,
I live by faith in the Son of God,
Who loved me and gave Himself for me.
Galatians 2:20 NIV

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This week, here on the Seeking Him devotional blog, our sisters have reminded us again and again of this truth.  Here are a few highlights from the devotionals that Ann, Ahmee, Cynda and Tina wrote earlier this week.

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In The Great Exchange, Cynda brought our attention to the truth of what Christ accomplished for us.

“I know Christ was crucified for me. But I never thought about what that really means.

  • Christ swapped places with me
  • We exchanged lives
  • He became the sinner, I became the sinless

Even as I type this…I cannot comprehend the full impact of that statement.

What does it mean to be crucified with Christ?  Galatians 5:24 NLT puts it like this:

Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed
the passions and desires of their sinful nature
to His cross and crucified them there.

Quite an exchange, isn’t it?  Why would Christ sacrifice Himself in exchange for me?  Romans 8:37 NLT holds the answer “No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.”  Christ loves us and wants us to be victorious. He laid down His life in exchange for ours, so we could spend eternal life with Him.  He chose to die for me.  Now that is amazing love.”

In Living A New Life, Tina shared some important points of the Apostle Paul’s (formerly Saul) conversion.

“Paul was freed from the Law.  He was freed from the rules the Pharisees had created for the Jewish people to follow, making the burden impossible for everyone to come close to God.  With Paul’s conversion and baptism, he could speak to the Jews and the Gentiles with authority and eloquence.  He learned about faith.  He learned about Jesus’ love for everyone, not just the Jewish people but also for the Gentiles.

I am glad Jesus recruited Paul for the Gentiles.  He is a great example of what Christ did for you and me.  He sacrificed for us His life to give us the gospel.”

In So Wait…Who Am I Then?, Ahmee shared some thoughts concerning her purpose and place in God’s eyes.

“One of the first things I had to learn to do was die to myself.  This is something that has to be done daily.  I hesitated.  If I was to let go of who I had always been, then who would I be?  How could I be me and not be me at the same time?  To me this seemed impossible. God was going to change me into someone different, someone I didn’t know. And the last thing I wanted to do was give up my uniqueness.  It took some time, but God showed me that he did not want to eliminate me…He was proud of creating me.  What he wanted was to improve me. When you improve something, the original is there, but its been made better and that was God’s plan. The angry Ahmee would be kinder, gentler Ahmee. All the while my uniqueness is still present just more Christ-like.

I was then who the world made and influenced me to be.  I am now who my Father says I am.  Each day I am growing and changing to be more like the person God intended me to be.  All the while I am and will always be the only Ahmee He ever has made or will make.  Why not be the best version of me?”

And in Dying With Christ, Ann reminds us of our new life…Resurrection life!

“As Christians we have died to the Law as a means of salvation and now live through Christ for God.  Sin no longer has control over us.

Since you died with Christ to the elemental spiritual forces of this world,
why, as though you still belonged to the world, do you submit to its rules?
Colossian 2:20

As Christ was risen from the dead we also now live with Him in Resurrection life.  Christ and His Strength lives within us becoming the Source of all life and the center of all our thoughts, our words, and our deeds.  It is through the Holy Spirit that Christ’s risen life is  continually communicated to us.

For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God.
Colossians 3:3″

Cry Out To Jesus

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To everyone who’s lost someone they love
Long before it was their time
You feel like the days you had were not enough
when you said goodbye

And to all of the people with burdens and pains
Keeping you back from your life
You believe that there’s nothing and there is no one
Who can make it right

There is hope for the helpless
Rest for the weary
Love for the broken heart
There is grace and forgiveness
Mercy and healing
He’ll meet you wherever you are
Cry out to Jesus, Cry out to Jesus

For the marriage that’s struggling just to hang on
They’ve lost all of their faith in love
They’ve done all they can to make it right again
Still it’s not enough

For the ones who can’t break the addictions and chains
You try to give up but you come back again
Just remember that you’re not alone in your shame
And your suffering

When your lonely
And it feels like the whole world is falling on you
You just reach out, you just cry out to Jesus
Cry to Jesus

To the widow who struggles with being alone
Wiping the tears from her eyes
For the children around the world without a home
Say a prayer tonight

Third Day
Brad Avery, David Carr, Mac Powell, Mark Lee, Tai Anderson

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There is record after record after record throughout the Scriptures of people who loved God, showed their love by their obedience, and did wonderful things as they served Him…and yet, at times, were at their wits’ end.    Here is one example that you may be familiar with…

When Mordecai learned all that had been done,
he tore his clothes, put on sackcloth and ashes,
and went out into the midst of the city and wailed loudly and bitterly.
Esther 4:1

This account (click here) in the Book of Esther is an incredible example of harrowing times—so alarming and scary!

A word I would use to describe the state of Mordecai’s heart is  distraught.  The word, distraught, means ‘overly agitated, worried, full of grief, worked up, deeply upset, in a panic.’  In Latin, it literally means to be pulled apart.  Have you ever felt like this?  I am thinking you are nodding your head…for sure I have, too.  There are many reactions and responses to the gut-wrenching emotion of being distraught. Perhaps you might feel as Mordecai did and react by crying out loudly.  Or, rather, you might feel ‘frozen’ and not sure what to do.  Maybe you might feel like you had been punched and just fall to your knees in despondency.  These emotions—being distraught, despondent, unsure—are feelings that the enemy of our souls would want you to experience and succumb to in defeat.

However, there is One Who knows we will feel like this at times and wants us to seek Him for relief and help and deliverance.  Our heavenly Father is the One Who has put ‘feelings’ into our makeup.  Remember He formed and made us; He knows every part of our being…our feelings and our thoughts, too.

O Lord, you have searched me [thoroughly] and have known me.
You know my downsitting and my uprising;
You understand my thought afar off.
You sift and search out my path and my lying down;
You are acquainted with all my ways.
Psalms 139:1-3

Almighty God wants us to come to Him at any time, with all of our feelings; yes, even when we are distraught, despondent, unsure.  He already knows we are feeling this way…He just wants us to seek Him!

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.
Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and turn away from evil.
It will be healing to your body and refreshment to your bones.
Proverbs 3:5-8

The same feelings that Satan attempts to use to pull us down and defeat us, God can use to draw us to Himself.  Listen to the words of the psalmist when he was distraught, despondent, unsure.  Just like Mordecai, he cried out to God.

As for me, I call to God, and the Lord saves me.
Evening, morning and noon I cry out in distress, and He hears my voice.
Psalms 55:16 and 17

With my voice I cry out to the Lord;
with my voice I plead for mercy to the Lord.
I pour out my complaint before Him; I tell my trouble before Him.
Psalms 142:1 and 2

May I encourage each of you to never, ever hold back your need to cry out to your heavenly Father.  He is always listening.  He has promised.  His promises are ours to stand firmly on knowing Who has spoken them, and Who will bring them to pass.   You know those times when you fall to your knees…so unsure of what to do.  God simply desires a heart of humility as You come before Him.

In my distress I cried to the Lord, and He answered me.
Psalm 120:1

This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles.
Psalm 34:6

And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.
Acts 2:21

He will surely be gracious to you at the sound of your cry;
when He hears it, He will answer you.
Isaiah 30:19

Cry out, my friend…He will hear and He will answer!  He has promised!

Sure As The Sun Will Rise

psalmshymnsspiritualsongskjv

There is good news
There is good truth
That you could never change
No matter what you do
You are loved
More than you know
More than you could hope for
After everything you’ve done

As sure as the sun will rise
And takes away the night
His mercy will not end
His mercy will not end

There is good news
There’s a promise
That no matter where you go
You will never be alone
In the dark
In the doubting
When you can’t feel anything
Oh, His love remains the same

Even through the night
Silver stars will shine
Hope of glory’s light
That will wake us once again

singer/songwriter – Ellie Holcomb
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The premise of this song is truly something we don’t ever worry about, right?  Oh, we have our worries about other things…I hear you!  But not this—not the rising of the sun.  We just KNOW it will be there when we awaken each and every morning.  And as assuredly as we stake our trust and confidence on God’s faithfulness to His plan for each new day, we should be equally as positive of His mercy and love.  Perhaps when we are ensnared in doubt we could remind ourselves, “See…look! The sun came up this morning! And just like that, God will faithfully provide mercy and lovingkindness today!”

Let us acknowledge the Lord;
let us press on to acknowledge Him.
As surely as the sun rises, He will appear;
He will come to us like the winter rains,
like the spring rains that water the earth.
Hosea 6:3

There is a promise in chapter 3 of the Book of Lamentations that I cling to every day of my life…may I share it with you?

But this I recall and therefore have I hope and expectation:
It is because of the Lord’s mercy and loving-kindness that we are not consumed,
because His [tender] compassions fail not.
They are new every morning; great and abundant is Your stability and faithfulness.
Verses 21-23

Some days it is difficult, seemingly near-to-impossible sometimes, to be hopeful and have joyful expectations.  The world we live in is full of things that snatch away our dreams and desires; tempting us to feel futile and overwhelmed.  But, Jesus assured His disciples (and us!) of the peace and hope we have been given.  And so we endeavor to hold this Truth firm in our thinking knowing that Jesus spoke it and so it IS the Truth.

“I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have peace.
In this world you will have trouble.
But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
John 16:33

At times when my heart is needful of being reminded that “as sure as the sun will rise and take away the night…” I confess the following promises made by our faithful, loving, compassionate, merciful Father (recorded in Jeremiah chapter 29).  And I recite it like this…

For I know the thoughts and plans that <You> have for <me>…thoughts and plans for welfare and peace and not for evil, to give <me> hope in <the> final outcome.
Then <i> will call upon <You>, and <i> will come and pray to <You>, and <You> will hear and heed <me>.
Then <i> will seek <You>, inquire for, and require <You> and find <You> when <i> search for <You> with all <my> heart.
<You> will be found by <me>….

Jeremiah 29:11-14 AMP (pronouns changed)

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Here are some additional verses from the Scriptures to persistently hang onto. I pray that you will be encouraged by each one of them as You remember Who has made the promises—the same One Who causes the sun to rise each and every morning—Almighty God, our heavenly Father.

Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for He who promised is faithful.
Hebrews10:23

I wait for the Lord, I expectantly wait, and in His word do I hope.
Psalm 130:5

God is not human, that He should lie,
not a human being, that He should change His mind.
Does He speak and then not act?
Does He promise and not fulfill?
Numbers 23:19

Be strong and courageous.
Do not be afraid or terrified because of them,
for the Lord your God goes with you;
He will never leave you nor forsake you.
The Lord Himself goes before you and will be with you;
He will never leave you nor forsake you.
Do not be afraid; do not  be discouraged.
Deuteronomy 31:6 and 8

Because God wanted to make the unchanging nature of His purpose
very clear to the heirs of what was promised,
He confirmed it with an oath.
God did this so that,
by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie,
we who have fled to take hold of the hope set before us
may be greatly encouraged.
We have this hope as an anchor for the soul….
Hebrews 6:17-19

Crucified With Christ

SeekingHimLogo

My old self has been crucified with Christ.
It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me.
So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God,
Who loved me and gave Himself for me.
Galatians 2:20

When I look back on what I thought was living
I’m amazed at the price I choose to pay
And to think I ignored what really mattered
‘Cause I thought the sacrifice would be too great

But when I finally reached the point of giving in
I found the cross was calling even then
And even though it took dying to survive
I’ve never felt so much alive

For I am crucified with Christ and yet I live
Not I but Christ that lives within me
His Cross will never ask for more than I can give
For it’s not my strength but His, there’s no greater sacrifice
For I am crucified with Christ and yet I live

As I hear the Savior call for daily dying
I will bow beneath the weight of Calvary
Let my hands surrender to His piercing purpose
That holds me to the Cross yet sets me free

I will glory in the power of the Cross
The things I thought were gain I count as loss
And with His suffering I identify
And by His resurrection power, I am alive

And I will offer all I have so that His Cross is not in vain
For I found to live is Christ and to die is truly gain

Phillips, Craig, and Dean
written by Randy and Denise Phillips, Don Koch, Dave Clark

This Week…Colossians 3:1-3

SeekingHimLogo

Since you have been raised to new life with Christ,
set your sights on the realities of heaven,
where Christ sits in the place of honor at God’s right hand.
Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth.
For you died to this life, and your real life is hidden with Christ in God.
Colossians 3:1-3

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This week, here on the Seeking Him devotional blog, our sisters have reminded us again and again of these truths.  Here are a few highlights from the devotionals that Tina, Cynda, and Ahmee wrote earlier this week.

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In Why?, Cynda shared a couple of questions…

“If we have died and our life is hidden with Christ then

Why do I need to keep seeking Him?
How long must I continue to seek Him?

The second question was a little easier to answer than the first.

Hosea 10:12 (HCSB) says: It is time to seek the Lord until He comes and sends righteousness on you like the rain.
1 Chronicles 16:11 (NKJV) tells us: Seek the Lord and His strength; Seek His face evermore!
Psalm 105:4 (HCSB) states: Search for the Lord and for His strength; seek His face always.

But WHY?

Scripture tells us:

  • If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.  2 Chronicles 7:14 NKJV
  • As long as he sought the Lord, God prospered him.  2 Chronicles 26:5 NASB
  • …that we might humble ourselves before our God to seek from Him a straight and right way…  Ezra 8:21 AMP
  • Let all who seek God’s help be encouraged.  Psalm 69:32 NLT
  • Seek Me that you may live…  Amos 5:4 NASB
  • Seek the Lord that you may live…  Amos 5:6 NASB

I don’t know about you but, for me,
that is reason enough to continually seek Christ!

In Taking Our Thoughts Captive, Tina issued a challenge…

We look at what others have and say: “Why can’t I have that?”  “Why do they get to go on those great trips all the time?” “I want a car like that!” God knows what we desire.  He hears, He sees, and He wants to bless us.  But where the correct thinking should be is where are we storing up our treasures?  These things we desire will corrode, tarnish, wear out, or we will forget them.

This week, ask God to show you how you can honor Him.  Listen and watch for those moments where you and God will be lifted up and you will be amazed at the blessings you may have been missing.  Today, find your quiet time and reflect on the words in the verses above.  Ask God where you can make changes in your thoughts and actions to glorify Him.

In In The Middle: It’s Called Balance, Ahmee shared an excellent perspective…

“Verse 1 of this passage tells us to ‘…set our sights on the realities of heaven…’.  I agree with this statement (it is in the Bible, after all, and it is not wise to argue with the Bible).  However, I also believe in balance.  Although the reality of heaven is very real, we are not to be blind to that which is going on around us.  If we did this, a countless number of souls would be lost because everyone would be solely concerned with the afterlife.

I believe what this verse is saying is that we need to live our lives with heaven in mind; but not to ignore our earthly life now and live in a dream world.

Colossians 3:3 says, “…your real life is hidden with Christ in God.”  Let us live for our God.  Let us point people towards Him. Let us remind each other and comfort each other discerningly with the very real reality of heaven.”

Be productive for God…always point people to the Father.
And remember that heaven isn’t all that far away.