November 21, 2017

Thy Word

SeekingHimLogo

Your Word is a lamp to my feet
And a light to my path.
Psalm 119:105

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Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet
And a light unto my path.
Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet
And a light unto my path.

When I feel afraid, think I’ve lost my way,
Still You’re there right beside me.
And nothing will I fear
As long as You are near.
You are near me to the end.

I will not forget Your love for me, and yet
My heart forever is wandering.
Jesus, be my Guide,
And hold me to Your side.
I will love You to the end.

Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet
And a light unto my path.
Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet
And a light unto my path,
And a light unto my path.
You’re the Light unto my path.

Thy Word

SeekingHimLogo

For whatever was thus written in former days
was written for our instruction,
that by [our steadfast and patient] endurance
and the encouragement [drawn] from the Scriptures
we might hold fast to and cherish hope.

Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet
And a light unto my path
Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet
And a light unto my path

When I feel afraid, and think I’ve lost my way
Still, You’re there right beside me
Nothing will I fear as long as You are near
Please be near me to the end

I will not forget Your love for me and yet
My heart forever is wandering
Jesus by my guide, and hold me to Your side
And I will love You to the end

Cracks

SeekingHimLogo

Open my lips, Lord, and my mouth will declare Your praise.
You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it;
You do not take pleasure in burnt offerings.
My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit;
A broken and contrite heart, You, God, will not despise.
Psalms 51:15-17

The words of this Amy Grant song began to play in my head as I read these verses…
We pour out our miseries
God just hears a melody
Beautiful, the mess we are
The honest cries of breaking hearts
Are better than a Hallelujah…

I think so often we want to impress God with our performance—with what we do, say, and with our actions—that we forget that our brokenness speaks in volumes.  I don’t fault us for wanting to do this, we want to seem ‘put together’ to those around us, to ourselves, and to God.  We want to seem as if we are in control, following God’s word from “Genesis to the maps”, (as my pastor says).  But life happens. We are humans who fall and we break.  Yes, God does love us when we are doing well, when we are walking in righteousness.  But there is more to daily life than that…when we hurt, when we cry out in pain, when we are broken.

I always think of the story of the shattered pot.  Yes, the pot was a beautiful piece of art when it was whole but somewhere along the way it was knocked over, breaking into small pieces.  From the looks of it, there was no fixing it.  But God takes those pieces and mends them together; He fits each piece back where it belongs.  The difference is not that the light shines through the cracks but God’s light shines through us.  It was something to say that the potter created…a beautiful piece to begin with.  But it is another thing to say that God took something that was thought to be trash and made it beautiful again.  The care He took in repairing it is like the care He takes in repairing us.  Our broken and contrite hearts.  Our broken pieces that others may look at and want to throw away.  When we are broken, we may not want to turn to God.  Perhaps out of shame or pain; there may be many reasons.  But it is during these times when we need to turn to Him the most, when we need to allow Him to touch our broken lives, healing us in ways that will allow His light to shine through our cracks.  This gives Him glory and shows our faith in Him.  Yes, He delights in us doing good because that’s what were supposed to do, but as His Word says in Psalm 51, sometimes, a lot of times, our sacrifice is our brokenness.

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Let’s pray: ‘Better than a Hallelujah’, Lord!  Only You can make our broken into beautiful.  Only you can mend the hurt and pain.  We live in a performance-based society…we’re told that doing good all the time will get us where we need to go.  But You, Lord, open Your arms to our brokenness.  Thank You!  Please touch our hearts and remind us daily to turn to You when we are broken and battered.  Your light will shine through the cracks and display beauty.  Broken and contrite, Lord…this is our sacrifice to You.  In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.

Better Than A Hallelujah
Amy Grant

Angels

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“Take this man to prison,” the man heard Herod say
And then four squads of soldiers came and carried him away
Chained up between two watchmen, Peter tried to sleep
But beyond the walls an endless prayer was lifting for his keep
Then a light cut through the darkness of a lonely prison cell
And the chains that bound the man of God just opened up and fell
And running to his people before the break of day
There was only one thing on his mind, only one thing to say

Angels watching over me, every move I make
Angels watching over me
Angels watching over me, every step I take
Angels watching over me

God only knows the times my life was threatened just today
A reckless car ran out of gas before it ran my way
Near misses all around me, accidents unknown
Though I never see with human eyes the hands that lead me home
But I know they’re all around me all day and through the night
When the enemy is closing in, I know sometimes they fight
To keep my feet from falling, I’ll never turn away
If you’re asking what’s protecting me then you’re gonna hear me say

Got his angels watching over me, every move I make
Angels watching over me
Angels watching over me, every step I take
Angels watching over me

Singer/Songwriter Amy Grant
along with  E. Brown Bannister,  Gary Chapman, Michael W.  Smith
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God only knows how many accidents…in the car or just walking…I have come near to being in. I have also seen other people have some near-misses. Every day is full of near-misses . Yet God is protecting us. We may not understand how, but God is there and knows when we really need Him. Life is hard. Without God, we would not be able to survive every day.

My God hath sent His angel, and hath shut the lions’ mouths, that they have not hurt me:
forasmuch as before Him innocency was found in me;
and also before thee, O king, have I done no hurt.
Daniel 6:22

In today’s world we are being persecuted left and right by those who do not believe in God or those who religiously believe in something else.  We are thrown into the proverbial ‘lion’s den’ every day.  Daniel was thrown into the lion’s den because the king had been misled about Daniel.  However, Daniel knew that he would be safe.  He testified to the king the next morning that an angel of the Lord had come and shut the lion’s mouth through the night.  The king, having seen and heard of Daniel’s survival, decreed that the kingdom would follow Daniel’s God.

God’s angels are always looking out for us.  We may not be able to see them, but we know that He sends His angels to look after us.  We can think of all the near-misses we have had and realize that God was looking out for us.  God and His angels are always there fighting for us.  They are protecting us from the forces that are always out there trying to make us fall.

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Dear Heavenly Father, Thank You for guarding us and protecting us. Thank You for sending Your angels to give us protection from the many things that are trying to make us fall and take us away from You. Without You, we would certainly fall and not be able to get up. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Thy Word

psalmshymnsspiritualsongskjv
~  Listen while you read, please!  ~

Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path
Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path

When I feel afraid, and think I’ve lost my way
Still, You’re there right beside me
Nothing will I fear as long as You are near
Please be near me to the end

I will not forget Your love for me, and yet,
My heart forever is wandering
Jesus by my guide, and hold me to Your side,
And I will love You to the end

Nothing will I fear
As long as you are near
Please be near me to the end.

Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path
…You’re the light unto my path

* ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ *

Recently I have been going through a season of circumstances and situations which have been very stressful…which leads to temptation to worry and be anxious.  Truly God’s Word(s) have been a lamp and a light for me. Sometimes, we just are not sure what to do next (TRUE?).  We pray for wisdom and we ask for guidance.  God promises to give wisdom to those who ask (James 1:3) and we know that the Holy Spirit will lead and guide (John 16:13)…but, at times, we must wait.  And this is where the light of God’s Word has shone bright for me.

[What, what would have become of me] had I not believed
that I would see the Lord’s goodness in the land of the living!
Wait and hope for and expect the Lord; be brave
and of good courage and let your heart be stout and enduring.
Yes, wait for and hope for and expect the Lord.
Psalms 27:13-14

And as I wait, I know that I must be diligent to seek God and His Word!  By spending time reading the Scriptures and considering and meditating on them, I am keeping myself ‘in the light.’  For me, it is very much like the dreary, cloudy days of winter…it is wearying.  But then we are blessed with a bright, sunshine-y day! And I find myself drawn to the window, numerous times during the day, just standing there…face lifted into that gorgous life-giving sunlight…simply soaking it in!

The precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart;
The commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes
More to be desired are they than gold…yes, than much fine gold;
Sweeter also than honey or the honeycomb
Psalms 19:8 and 10

God’s Word is a lamp for our feet and a light for our path. To walk in the light, we must know the Scriptures, we must understand the Word, and we must do the Will of God. Then we must walk out in the light and refrain from walking where there is no light.

For the commandment is a lamp and the teaching is light;
And reproofs for discipline are the way of life
Proverbs 6:23

If we say we have fellowship with Him while we walk in darkness,
we lie and do not live according to the truth; but if we walk in the light,
as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another,
and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.
1 John 1:6,7

And so, just like on those few and precious sunny days of winter, we move toward and step into the light. God’s Word is a lamp for our feet so that we don’t fall and can see the truth of the situations we are in. It dispels the darkness and it lights our path.  We then can follow along that path that He has prepared for us!  Going along step by step…knowing that He has promised and will supply!

CHRISTLife — An Intentional Quiet Time (Part 2)

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Each Saturday for the next few weeks, we will look in-depth at a few of the most important aspects of having a quiet time—or as some folks call it—a devotional time.  Last week we talked about one aspect of a quiet time—reading the Bible. This week we will focus on recognizing how vital it is to include singing praises to God as part of our quiet time.

If you are like me, you have found that singing and praising through song is so uplifting; don’t you think?  Almighty God is the point…He is the focus…keeping my mind and heart set toward Him is my aim.  He is the reason why I sing praises to Him!

Psalms 147:1, 7
Praise the Lord! For it is good to sing praises to our God,
for He is gracious and lovely; praise is becoming and appropriate.
Sing to the Lord with thanksgiving;
sing praises with the harp or the lyre to our God!

There are more reasons to praise our God than we have words enough to do so!  Here are just a few of His attributes:
• He is full of glory (Psalm 138:5)
• He is great (Psalm 145:3)
• He is wise and powerful (Daniel 2:20)
• He is good (Psalm 107:8)
• He is merciful (Psalm 89:1)
• He is faithful (Deuteronomy 7:9)

And just some of His wonderful works:
• He is the One who saves us (Psalm 18:46)
• He keeps His promises (1 Kings 8:56)
• He pardons sin (Psalm 103:1-3)
• He gives us our daily food (Psalm 136:25)

There is a day coming when all will praise God by bowing to Jesus the King!

Philippians 2:10-11
That in (at) the name of Jesus every knee should (must) bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
And every tongue [frankly and openly] confess and acknowledge
that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Almighty God is oh-so-worthy to be praised!  Psalm 107 would be a great place to look to be encouraged with reminders of what God has done for His children! Throughout this particular psalm are listed proof after proof of God’s goodness.

Psalms 107:8, 15, 21, 31
Oh, that men would praise [and confess to] the Lord for His goodness
and loving-kindness and His wonderful works to the children of men!

The Book of Psalms has been called the ‘Praise Book’ of the Bible.  In it are literally hundreds of examples of praises and reasons why praise is oh-so-very important. Did you know that every single one of the 150 psalms included in the Book of Psalms is an actual song?  Steve Pearson, a wonderful singer and songwriter, has written and recorded many songs using the words of the Psalms and his own inspired musical accompaniment. To my knowledge, he has now written and recorded a melody to each of the 150 psalms!  Here is a link to his website  www.psalmistry.com  Check it out!  Click on a song you have chosen to listen to…this will give you the particular songs words.  then click on “mp3 or midi” (I usually choose midi and listen to a piano rendition of the song). Also you can choose to view (and print!) the sheet music for the song.  I would love to hear how these wonderful songs and website have been a blessing to you!

As I read the Scriptures, one thing is clear: singing our praises is a good thing!

Join Miss Amy Grant as she sings Sing Your Praise to the Lord!

Psalm 92:1
It is good to praise the LORD and make music to your name, O Most High…

Psalm 138:1-5
I will confess and praise You [O God] with my whole heart;
before the gods will I sing praises to You.
I will worship toward Your holy temple and praise Your name
for Your loving-kindness and for Your truth and faithfulness;
for You have exalted above all else Your name and Your word
and You have magnified Your word above all Your name!
In the day when I called, You answered me;
and You strengthened me with strength
(might and inflexibility to temptation) in my inner self.
All the kings of the land shall give You credit and praise You, O Lord,
for they have heard of the promises of Your mouth [which were fulfilled].
Yes, they shall sing of the ways of the Lord
and joyfully celebrate His mighty acts, for great is the glory of the Lord.

Keep worshipping Him and enjoying your quiet time with your Lord!  As you seek Him, He will be found…He promises!

I Need A Silent Night

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I’ve made the same mistake before 
Too many malls, too many stores 
December traffic, Christmas rush 
It breaks me till I push and shove 
Children are crying while mothers are trying 
To photograph Santa and sleigh 
The shopping and buying and standing forever in line 
What can I say? 
I need a silent night, a holy night 
To hear an angel voice through the chaos and the noise 
I need a midnight clear, a little peace right here 
To end this crazy day with a silent night 
December comes then disappears 
Faster and faster every year 
Did my own mother keep this pace 
Or was the world a different place? 
Where people stayed home wishing for snow 
Watching three channels on their TV 
Look at us now rushing around 
Trying to buy Christmas peace 
I need a silent night, a holy night 
To hear an angel voice through the chaos and the noise 
I need a midnight clear, a little peace right here 
To end this crazy day with a silent night 
What was it like back there in Bethlehem 
With peace on earth, good will toward men? 
Every shepherd’s out in the field 
Keeping watch over their clock by night 
And the glory of the Lord shone around them 
And they were so afraid 
And the angels said fear not for behold 
I bring you good news of a great joy that shall be for all people 
For unto you is born this day a Savior, who is Christ the Lord 
And his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Prince of Peace 
I need a silent night, a holy night 
To hear an angel voice through the chaos and the noise 
I need a midnight clear, a little peace right here 
To end this crazy day with a silent night 
To end this crazy day with a silent night

I Need A Silent Night  ~  Amy Grant


In the busy-ness of this Christmas season maybe you can relate to this song…I know I can!  I long for the days when life was simple.  Today in our fast moving, high-paced world it is easy to get caught up in frenzy in the chaos and the noise. To enter in to the peaceful place we must purpose ourselves to be still before the Lord.

Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens,
and I will give you rest.
Matthew 11:28

When I think of a ‘midnight clear’ I think of peace, and resting in His presence.  My prayer for you and for me is that we would take the time away from the busy-ness to hear the still, small voice of the Lord as we sit quietly in His presence free from  the chaos and the noise.  May we choose to end our days with a Silent Night resting in Him!  <3

The Lord gives his people strength.  The Lord blesses them with peace.

Psalm 29 :11

Breath of Heaven

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Breath of Heaven (Mary’s Song) ~ Amy Grant

Do you wonder as you watch my face
If a wiser one should have had my place
But I offer all I am
For the mercy of your plan
Help me be strong
Help me be
Help me

In this beautiful ballad, the point of view is Mary’s–the mother of Christ.  She, as portrayed in differing accounts, always wondered why God chose her. She had always been faithful to God, as was Noah, when she was chosen to be a virgin mother. She questions if someone wiser should have been chosen. Yet, she still offers herself to God’s plan of love, hope, joy, peace, and mercy. She knows that the Lord will never leave her as God does not leave His children to suffer alone.

I am waiting in a silent prayer
I am frightened by the load I bear
In a world as cold as stone
Must I walk this path alone
Be with me now
Be with me now

I like to believe that Mary was silently praying when the angel appeared to her to tell her she would bear God’s Son. I would have been frightened, too, if I had been in her shoes. She was favored by God for her faithfulness to Him. That is why God chose her. From Mary’s point of view in the ballad, she knows that she must walk the path laid before her alone. This was from an earthly standpoint, but she was not alone. God never left her. God was with her. Even though her world was cold, she was warm with the light of God.

Breath of heaven
Hold me together
Be forever near me
Breath of heaven
Breath of heaven
Lighten my darkness
Pour over me your holiness
For you are holy
Breath of heaven

The ‘Breath of Heaven’ was on Mary from the moment that God chose her to bring forth the first Christmas. God poured His holiness on her as she requested. God lightened her darkness through the gift of His only Son. Mary held God as the most holy, and she asked God for His breath to be upon her—before and after Christ’s birth. She knew that God would hold her together through the difficulty she would face as being a virgin with child.

We should be as faithful to God as Mary was. God breathes on us every day of our lives—from the moment of our creation to our death. He is forever with us. Jesus is the Light that clears away the darkness and brings holiness to all that accept Him. What a great holiday gift!

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Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for Your gift of light, peace, hope, joy, and mercy. Without it we could not be close to You. Thank You for lighting our darkness and never leaving us. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Welcome to Our World

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My family is big on Christmas music. Scratch that, the women in my family + my daddy are big on Christmas music. I’d like to think we get it from my dad. I will always remember him singing Elvis Presley’s “Blue Christmas” at the top of his lungs. I smile every time I think of the time I came home from school only to hear Celiene Dion’s Christmas album blaring from the basement with my dad accompanying her in perfect harmony! Christmas music is all you will hear in our home from the day after Thanksgiving until we finally take the Christmas tree down. I cannot even begin to imagine how many Christmas songs I have listened to in my lifetime.

Two years ago, I heard an old song in a new way and it forever changed my life. I believe this Christmas season, God wants you to hear something “old” in a new way. I believe with the same old way we do Christmas each year, He is desiring to show you something new about who He is to you. The following is my something new…

Fragile finger sent to heal us
Tender brow prepared for thorn
Tiny heart whose blood will save us
Unto us is born…unto us is born

 Amy Grant ~ Welcome to Our World

This song is one I have heard over and over again for the past 10+ years of my life. Not once until that moment two years ago, did my heart feel ever so gently touched by the sound of these words. Two years ago, I started to understand Christmas as more than traditions and trees and presents. I started to understand the One Whom this holiday is truly about. This revelation changed me and it changed the way I heard this song. I actually cried big tears while listening to this song because these words struck a chord in my heart. I was blown away by these words as I listened. How beautiful, how precious is our Savior.  “Tiny heart whose blood will save us…”—and it has, and it will, for evermore.

How blessed I am to have accepted such a sacrifice. I thank the Lord for bringing me to the point where I am today; as hard as it was. I am to the point where I understand that I will never fully know in this lifetime the depth of those words, the pain and love behind every one of them. One day we will know; and, oh, what a day that will be!  Until then, it is my prayer that as you listen to the same old songs, and do the same old Christmas traditions with your family, you take the time to find the newness of Christ in the midst of it all. Open your heart to the One who will gently remind you of the true Glory of this time of year found in that tiny heart sent for you and me.

 

A Daughter’s Worth: Week 11/ Day 1 – Be Ready to Hear God’s Voice

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The first question Ava asks us this week is have you ever heard the voice of God.  When I was your age I don’t think I ever thought God had a voice.  I surely never heard Him talk to me.  For as much as I prayed to God I never thought of it as a communication; one in which God would actually talk back to me!  As I grow in my relationship with God my favorite moments with Him are when He is talking to me.  Do you believe God talks to us?  Have you ever thought what His voice sounds like?

I have come to find out that His voice sounds like a powerful song full of God’s truths.  His voice sounds like scripture found in God’s living Word.  His voice sounds like my mother, sister, or godly friend who speaks God’s truth and encouragement to me from time to time.  His voice sounds like my grandmother’s letters to me.  All of the ways he talks to me have one thing in common.  God’s voice is found in His truth.  There are lots of things in this world that are filled with God’s truth we just have to open our eyes, ears, and hearts to them.  God’s voice is found differently to everyone, but when you find it you will hear the same thing, His truth!

How do we go about opening up to hear from God?  I just recently have figured this one out, and I continue to learn as I spend time with God.  It is all about the relationship that we have with God.  When I was your age I did not understand what having a relationship with God was.  When I found out that God desired to have a relationship with me, it changed my life!  When I started embracing the relationship I could have with God, I started to open my heart, eyes, and ears to what the Bible had to say about this relationship.  I started knowing God as my God and not just as a God.  I also found the truth of what this relationship is like through lyrics in a Christmas song by Amy Grant.

Fragile finger
Sent to heal us
Tender brow prepared for thorn
Tiny heart
Whose blood will save us
Unto us is born
Unto us is born

I have heard this song over and over again for the last 10+ years, never feeling my heart ever so gently touched by the sound of these words. Last year when I heard these lyrics for the first time in the Christmas season I actually shed a tear knowing the Lord was speaking to me through these words. How beautiful, how precious is our Savior. Tiny heart whose blood will save us and it has, and it will forevermore. How blessed I am to have accepted such a sacrifice. I thank the Lord for bringing me to the point where I am today; as hard as it was. I am to the point where I understand that I will never fully understand the depth of those words, the pain and love behind every one of them.  Have you accepted the beautiful sacrifice of Jesus’ blood?  Are you living in a personal relationship with God?

Are you wondering what a relationship with God looks like?  The relationship itself is different for everyone but there is one factor that is the same with everyone-God.  The only places we can go to find out who He is and what He is like is in the Bible or in praying to Him.  The more time we spend with Him the more we are ready to hear from Him.  When we believe who God is, when we are confident in His truths that is when we are ready to hear from Him!

Really think about how amazing it would be if you could hear from God all of the time.  Wondering what you should do about a situation in your life?  Wondering what is right and what is wrong?  Wondering who you should talk to about this or that?  God has all of the answers for you.  He is willing to tell you what to do, what is right, and is the one we should be talking to about everything in our lives.  It may seem too good to be true.  Do we really have access to a perfect best friend?  One who will always be there for us, and always lead us towards Heaven.  It is true, we do have access daily to our perfect best friend, Jesus.

It is my prayer that you find your relationship with God.  It is my prayer that you desire to hear God’s voice in your life, daily.

Philippians 1:9-10 And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight,  so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ.

Think about where you need to hear God’s voice in your life.  What are you unsure of or needing answers for?  Do what the Bible tells us to do, grow in Christ’s love gaining HIS knowledge and HIS depth of insight so that you may be able to hear HIS voice in your life!

Let’s Pray:  Lord, I thank you for the privilege we have in prayer.  We get to communicate with the creator of the Heavens and the Earth.  Even better, we get to hear back from you!  Thank you for guiding us and speaking to us exactly what we need to hear.  I ask that the hearts of these girls are open to accepting your love and voice in their life.  We thank you for the relationship we have with you!  We love you so much, Amen!

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If you are interested in joining us in our GCH:decaf Teen Girls Ministry, please click the sign-up form button at the top of our webpage. Just follow the instructions on the form and hit submit. We’ll be happy to add you to one of our Online Bible Study Groups! Please email GCH_Decaf@girlfriendscoffeehour.com for more information.