July 5, 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.

Forever

SeekingHimLogo

Understand, therefore, that the Lord your God is indeed God.
He is the faithful God Who keeps His covenant
for a thousand generations
and lavishes His unfailing love
on those who love Him and obey His commands.
Deuteronomy 7:9 NLT

Give thanks to the Lord
Our God and King
His love endures forever
For He is good, He is above all things
His love endures forever
Sing praise, sing praise

With a mighty hand
and outstretched arm
His love endures forever
For the life that’s been reborn
His love endures forever
Sing praise, sing praise
Sing praise, sing praise

Forever God is faithful
Forever God is strong
Forever God is with us
Forever, forever

Harvest Church
written by Chris Tomlin

This Week…Hebrews 10:23

SeekingHimLogo

So let us seize and hold fast
and retain without wavering
the hope we cherish
and confess and our acknowledgement of it,
for He Who promised is reliable
(sure) and faithful to His Word.
Hebrews 10:23 AMP

This week, here on the Seeking Him devotional blog, we are finishing a mini-series on the subject of HOPE.  Our devotional writers have shared the Truth given us in this week’s passage reminding us that ‘we boast in the hope of the glory of God’!  Here are a few of their thoughts….

In Hope (A Profession), Ann encouraged us with these words…

In the KJV the same verse says, ‘Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering (for He is faithful that promised).’

What are we seeing here?  Hope is the profession of our faith.  What is  ‘profession’ then?  In biblical terms, this is a calling.  It is ‘an occupation, practice, or vocation requiring mastery of a complex set of knowledge and skills through formal education and/or practical…’.

So if we take the AMP version that we should hold fast…without wavering…the hope, we are saying we should take the profession of our faith without wavering.

In Unswerving Hope, Ahmee shared her own testimony and reminded us of Abraham and Sarah and their hope….

When I first got saved this verse held me up through many storms and confused nights.  I’d cry from feeling so close to defeat, but would cling to knowing that “He who promised is faithful.”  Written in my Bible I have a note next to this verse that says “regardless of how things seem!” How true?!

God promises us things that seem so impossible sometimes.  We know that His promises are true.  We know He cannot tell a lie and we know He is faithful.  And yet, what our eyes see and our minds perceive is something totally different.  The question remains: “Which do you believe?” We rely on our eyes daily to show us the world around us. Our eyes are tangible. However, we KNOW that God is to be trusted. Both seem right.

A prime example of this type of situation is that of the story of Abraham….

Call It Grace

psalmshymnsspiritualsongskjv

{ hi there!  i would love to encourage you to listen to the entire length of the video attached below.  the first few minutes are a wonderful sharing by Chad Mattson of Unspoken about the impact God’s grace has made in his life.  if perhaps you don’t have the time right now, click ahead to 6:45 where the song begins.  <3  }

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It’s the light that pierces through you
To the darkest hidden place
It knows your deepest secrets
But it never looks away
It’s the gentle hand that pulls you
From the judgement of the crowd
When you stand before them guilty
And you got no way out

Some may call it foolish and impossible
But for every heart it rescues, it’s a miracle
It’s nothing less than scandalous
This Love that took our place
Just call it what it is, call it grace
Call it grace

It’s the breath that’s breathing new life
Into what we thought was dead
It’s the Favor that takes orphans
Placing crowns upon their heads
It’s the Hope for our tomorrow
The Rock on which we stand
It’s a strong and mighty fortress
Even hell can’t stand against

Amazing, unshaking
This is grace, this is grace
Unchanging, unfailing
This is grace, this is grace

Unspoken
Chad Mattson, Mike Gomez, Jon Lowry, and Ariel Munoz

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I just love the attributes attached to grace that the guys of Unspoken sing about—amazing…unshaking…unchanging…unfailing—don’t you?  Grace IS each of these things because the Giver of grace, our Sovereign Almighty God, IS all of those things.

The following are a few passages from the New Testament that are so encouraging and humbling as they remind us of the grace God has shown to us!  Each of them speaks clearly of the  ‘amazing, unshaking (steadfast, unwavering), unchanging, unfailing’ nature of our great God.

So when God desired to show more convincingly to the heirs of the Promise the unchangeable character of His purpose, He guaranteed it with an oath, so that by two unchangeable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled for refuge might have strong encouragement to hold fast to the hope set before us.  We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul.

Hebrews 6:17-19

So too at the present time there is a remnant, selected (chosen) by  grace (by God’s unmerited favor and graciousness).  But if it is by grace (His unmerited favor and graciousness), it is no longer conditioned on works or anything men have done. Otherwise, grace would no longer be grace [it would be meaningless]. For God’s gifts and His call are irrevocable.  [He never withdraws them when once they are given, and He does not change His mind about those to whom He gives His grace or to whom He sends His call.]

Romans 11:5-6, 29 AMP

But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved—and raised us up with Him and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages He might show the immeasurable riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith.  And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.

Ephesians 2:4-9

Almighty God, our heavenly Father, has given grace upon grace upon grace to His people throughout the ages.  He always has been and always will be a grace-giving God!  Truly our eternal future is totally dependent on the truth and fact that He IS  ‘amazing, unshaking (steadfast, unwavering), unchanging, unfailing’ !

There is a famous quote attributed to a 16th century believer, John Bradford. Whether Bradford truly is the one who spoke this phrase into infamy or not, I believe we all have voiced a similar thought many times!

“There but for the grace of God go I!”

Perhaps the world considers this a fatalistic way of thinking…but the Apostle Paul believed just the same thing.  Paul clearly recognized the value and magnitude of the grace that was given to him!  Writing to the Corinthian church regarding Jesus’ appearances after His Resurrection, he said:

He <Jesus> appeared to me also. For I am the least of the apostles,
and not fit to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.
But by the grace of God I am what I am,
and His grace toward me did not prove vain;
but I labored even more than all of them,
yet not I, but the grace of God with me.
1 Corinthians 15:8-10

And we too, who are recipients of MUCH of God’s amazing, unshakable, unchanging, unfailing grace, we know this is a foundational truth of our lives.  ‘But for the grace of God’ each of our lives would look much different!  (I hear your ‘Amen!’)  Grace cannot be earned…so just call it what it is—call it  grace!

May I pray the very last benediction given in the Scriptures over each of you…
The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all.  Amen.
Revelation 22:21

We Praise You for You are Faithful

SeekingHimLogo

Therefore, brethren, since we have confidence to enter
the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus,

By a new and living way opened for us
through the curtain, that is, His body,

And since we have a great priest over the house of God,
Let us draw near to God with a sincere heart
and with the full assurance that faith brings,

Having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience
and having our bodies washed with pure water.
Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess,
for He who promised is faithful.|

Hebrews 10:19-23

We praise You and we thank You for Your faithfulness, Almighty God!  We thank You, dear Lord, for Your faithfulness in all things…what You have promised, You will provide.  We rest in Your faithfulness, Your goodness, Your love. we praise You for You are our faithful Father, always providing what is good, what is needful, what is best for us!
O Lord! how thankful, how grateful we are to utter such confessions as ‘confidence to enter the Most Holy Place’ and ‘full assurance that faith brings,’ and ‘hold unswervingly to the hope.’  None of this is of our own doing…but simply because we know to Whom we belong and we know Your heart for us!  It is by Your doing—we have confidence to enter by the blood of Jesus.  It is because of Your faithfulness—we hold to the Hope.
Grant us today, Father, the peace that is beyond our understanding so that we are not anxious about anything, but with prayer and with thanksgiving we let our requests be made known to You as we draw near to You.  We thank You for Your faithfulness…we rest in Your faithfulness.  We praise You for Your  faithfulness!  We come before You praying these things in Jesus, our Lord’s name, amen.

Holding Nothing Back

psalmshymnsspiritualsongskjv

I am chosen, I am free,
I am living for eternity…free now forever

You picked me up, turned me around
You set my feet on solid ground
I’m Yours now forever

And nothing’s gonna hold me back
No, nothing’s gonna hold me back

Nothing’s gonna hold me back

My chains fell off, my heart was free
I’m alive to live for You, I’m alive to live for You

Amazing love, how can it be
You gave everything for me
You gave everything for me

You washed my sin and shame away
The slate is clean—a brand new day; free now forever

Now boldly I approach Your throne to claim this crown
Through Christ my own

I’m Yours now forever

I’m free to live…free to give…free to be…I’m free to love You

Beth Croft w/ Jesus Culture
Songwriters: Tim Hughes and Martin Smith

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Are you dancing around your living room, hands raised, singing ‘Nothing’s gonna hold me back…You gave everything for me-e-e-e!’  You (me, too!) have much to be dancing about…so much to be praising our Lord and thanking Him for!  We are chosen…free…and living for eternity!  We are alive because of His amazing Love! Our sin and shame has been washed away…and the slate was made clean!  AND, we ARE now His FOREVER!

Only through mercy and the accomplishments of the Messiah have we been given access to God’s throne.  Amazing, isn’t it?  And to think—this had been Almighty God’s intention all along!

This is according to the purpose of the ages,
which He made in the Messiah, Jesus our Lord,
in whom we have boldness, access, and confidence through faith in Him.
Ephesians 3:11 and 12

We are free—totally, completely, not of our own works—by grace.  We have been set free from the sin of Adam that besets all mankind; free from a life of slavery to sin; free from condemnation; free from the Law; free from judgment; free to be all that God intends us to be!  We should live like it!

Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus,
because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life
set me free from the law of sin and death.
Romans 8:1 and 2

So Jesus was saying to those Jews who had believed Him,
“If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine;
and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.
So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed.”
John 8:31 and 32, 36

For freedom Christ has set us free;
stand firm therefore,
and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.
Galatians 5:1

So throw your hands up in praise and adoration of the One Who loves you so!  Sing your little heart out…hold nothing back.  ‘Cause you ARE free!  ♥

Cauliflower-Cheeseburger Mac ‘n Cheese

So perhaps you did a double take when you read the title of this recipe in our At Home with GCH blog today.  I totally get it!  When I originally saw a similar recipe that inspired this one, I thought, ‘ummm, yeah, right! I am NOT going to be able to ‘sneak’ this one in!’  But, I did…and he thoroughly enjoyed it!

And since then, we have had different versions of this…it is such an adaptable recipe!  Maybe you also include some pasta (traditional or gluten free).  Or make this ‘chili mac-style’ by adding some finely diced hot peppers or chilis. This is really good with a tomato base, too: add a couple of tablespoons of tomato paste and a can of Rotel-type tomatoes.  But my favorite version is this simple one.  I would love to hear back from you if you adapt it and make it your own!  Oh…and just a bit of finely chopped, cooked bacon finishes this off amazingly; just saying!  Enjoy!

Cauliflower-Cheeseburger Mac ‘n Cheese

2015-06-05 19.43.56

1+1/2 pounds ground beef (or turkey)
1-2 tablespoons finely chopped garlic (I use jarred)
1 medium-sized cauliflower
handful grape tomatoes, halved
2 teaspoons dried parsley (or oregano)
1 tablespoon spicy mustard
1 teaspoon or so sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 cup (or more) coarsely shredded cheese (sharp cheddar, colby jack, spicy monterey jack)
chopped avocado, optional

  • remove the thickest part of the cauliflower stem (freeze to add to veggie soup); coarsely chop the rest of the head of cauliflower keeping your pieces in similar sizes
  • steam or boil cauliflower ‘til just al dente (about 12-15 minutes); drain completely
  • while the cauliflower is cooking, in a large pan, saute the ground meat ‘til almost done adding the minced garlic and the tomatoes in the final minute; reduce heat to low
  • stir in the seasonings and then add the cooked cauliflower to the cooked ground meat, folding together gently
  • scatter all the shredded cheese across the top and stir in
  • optional: top each serving with a little chopped avocado

♥    ♥    ♥    ♥    ♥

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

  coleen

The Promise

SeekingHimLogo

So let us seize and hold fast
and retain without wavering
the hope we cherish
and confess and our acknowledgement of it,
for He Who promised is reliable
(sure) and faithful to His Word.
Hebrews 10:23 AMP

I never said that I would give you silver or gold
Or that you would never feel the fire or shiver in the cold
But I did say you’d never walk through this world alone
And I did say, don’t make this world your home

I never said that fear wouldn’t find you in the night
Or that loneliness was something you’d never have to fight
But I did say I’d be right there by your side
And I did say I’ll always help you fight

‘Cause you know I made a promise that I intend to keep
My grace will be sufficient in every time of need
my love will be the anchor that you can hold onto
This is the promise, this is the promise I’ve made to you

I never said that friends would never turn their backs on you
Or that the world around you wouldn’t see you as a fool
But I did say like Me you’ll surely be despised
And I did say My ways confound the wise

I didn’t say you’d never taste the bitter kiss of death
Or have to walk through chilly Jordan to enter into rest
But I did say I’d be waiting right on the other side
And I did say I’ll dry every tear you cry

‘Cause you know I made a promise that I’ve prepared a place
And some day sooner than you think you’ll see Me face to face
And you’ll sing with the angels and a countless multitude
This is the promise, this is the promise I’ve made to you

So just keep on walkin’, don’t turn to the left or right
And in the midst of darkness, let this be your light
That hell can’t separate us and you’re gonna make it through
This is the promise, this is the promise I made to you

Half A Mile
written by Don Poythress and Brian White

This Week…Romans 5:1-2

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Therefore, since we have been justified through faith,
we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,
through Whom we have gained access by faith
into this grace in which we now stand.
And we boast in the hope of the glory of God.
Romans 5:1-2

This week, here on the Seeking Him devotional blog, we are continuing a mini-series on the subject of HOPE.  Our devotional writers have shared the Truth given us in this week’s passage reminding us that ‘we boast in the hope of the glory of God’!  Here are a few of their thoughts….

In Spiritual Hope (2), Ann reminds us to trust, and not doubt, God….

Whatsoever God spoke concerning our lives shall come to pass. Let us not doubt God.  We will be rewarded as we believe Him.

For in this hope we were saved.
But hope that is seen is no hope at all.
Who hopes for what he already has?
Romans 8:24

Hope is ‘…expecting something you are visualizing but it is not there yet.’  Brethren, when hoping for something, let us put ourselves in totally trusting God; do not have something in mind already…That is why in Romans 15:4 the Word says “…for everything that was written in the past was written to teach us so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.”

In Hope in the Glory of God, Ahmee writes about our amazing God….

God is amazing in so many different ways!  I looked up the definition of the word glory.  It means “…high renown or honor won by notable achievements.”  To say that we have hope in the glory of God is very true. God has done many amazing things.  Some we have seen ourselves and others we have heard from other people and, some even, we have read in the Bible. God is amazing!

To speak up and say “This is possible all by the grace of God!” is an enormous thing to do.  It points to the glory of God – the same glory that is our hope.  So, point to it…continue to point it…and don’t ever stop pointing to it so that others can find the hope that we have. So, that others can hope in the glory of God.

In Helmet of Hope, Tina shares an encouraging quote with us….

I am currently re-reading Derek Prince’s book Faith to Live By. In his book, there is a chapter Faith versus Hope in which he states,  “Hope, in the biblical sense, is a confident expectation of good – a steady, persistent optimism. Hope protects our minds. Every Christian should wear a helmet of hope twenty-four hours a day. If we lay aside the helmet and begin to dwell on negative thoughts and gloomy forebodings, our minds are vulnerable to Satan’s subtle attacks.”

Our thoughts need to be focused on what is positive, good and worthy. Prayer—along with becoming aware of what we are thinking, watching, and listening to—will begin to change our thoughts and behavior patterns.  It will not be given to us.  We will have to focus on what is right.

By Thee, O God, Invited

SeekingHimLogo

Therefore, since we are justified (acquitted, declared righteous, and given a right standing with God) through faith, let us [grasp the fact that we] have [the peace of reconciliation to hold and to enjoy], peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One).
Through Him also we have [our] access (entrance, introduction) by faith 
into this grace (state of God’s favor) in which we [firmly and safely] stand.  And let us rejoice and exult in our hope of experiencing and enjoying the glory of God.

Romans 5:1 and 2

(click here to listen…and sing along…to this beautiful old hymn)

By Thee, O God, invited
We look unto the Son
In whom Thy soul delighted
Who all Thy will hath done
And by the one chief treasure
Thy bosom freely gave
Thine own pure love we measure
Thy willing mind to save
O God of mercy—Father
The one unchanging claim
The brightest hopes we gather
From Christ’s most precious name
What always sounds so sweetly
In Thine unwearied ear
Has freed our souls completely
From all our sinful fear
The trembling sinner feareth
That God can ne’er forget
But one full payment cleareth
His memory of all debt
When naught beside could free us
Or set our souls at large
Thy holy work, Lord Jesus
Secured a full discharge
No wrath God’s heart retaineth
To us-ward who believe
No dread in ours remaineth
As we His love receive
Returning sons He kisses
And with His robe invests
His perfect love dismisses
All terror from our breasts

Bless Your Name

psalmshymnsspiritualsongskjv

In prisoners chains, with bleeding stripes
Paul and Silas prayed that night
And in their pain, began to sing
Their chains were loosed and they were free

I bless Your name, I bless Your name
I give You honor, give You praise
You are the Life, the Truth, the Way
I bless Your name, I bless Your name

Some midnight hour, if you should find
You’re in a prison in your mind
Preach out in praise—defy those chains
And they will fall in Jesus’ name

You are the Life, the Truth, the Way
You are the Life, the Truth, the Way
You are the Life, the Truth, the Way
We bless Your name, we bless Your name

Selah
Songwriter – Elizabeth Goodine

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This song tells of the Apostle Paul and his brother in Christ, Silas, imprisoned in the city of Philippi.  They had been wrongly accused, held without a proper hearing, beaten and flogged, and then tossed into the innermost prison cell where they were held in stocks and chains.

But about midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns of praise to God,
and the prisoners were listening to them; and suddenly there came a great earthquake,
so that the foundations of the prison house were shaken;
and immediately all the doors were opened and everyone’s chains were unfastened.
Acts 16:25 and 26

Is that not one of the most incredible accounts of deliverance in the Bible?!!?  That is true (it is incredible!  But wait…the Scriptures are filled with record after record after record telling of God’s provision in miraculous, awesome, ‘but for the grace of God’ ways! Such as,

  • Moses and the children of Israel being delivered out of the hand of their Egyptian oppressors
  • Shadrach, Meschach, and Abednego stepping out with not even the scent of smoke on their garments after being in the fiery furnace
  • Daniel climbing out of the lion’s den with not a scratch on him
  • Joshua and the Israelites circling Jericho for six days and then on the seventh day, repeating their journey 7 times in a row…and then shouting…and the walls of Jericho came tumbling down
  • Jonah surviving three days of being in the great fish’s belly
  • Mary finding herself, a yet-to-be-married virgin, pregnant
  • the Resurrection from the dead, after three days, of our Lord Jesus Christ
  • And, of course, there are many, many, many more!

How about you…which are some of the wondrous works of God that cause your heart to sing out in praise as you remember God’s great hand of blessing?  (Please share them with us in the comment section below!)  May I encourage you to read through these records and remind yourself how amazing, awesome, and wonderful our God is—and bless His Name!

He is ELOHIM —the God of power and might

He is JEHOVAH-JIREH — the Lord Who will provide

He is EL-ROI — the Strong One Who sees

He is EL-SHADDAI — God Almighty

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I will extol You, my God, O King,
And I will bless Your Name forever and ever.
Every day I will bless You,
And I will praise Your name forever and ever.
Great is the Lord, and highly to be praised,
And His greatness is unsearchable.
My mouth will speak the praise of the Lord,
And all flesh will bless His holy name forever and ever.
Psalms 145:1-3, 21