December 14, 2017

Breathe

psalmshymnsspiritualsongskjv

Alarm clock screaming bare feet hit the floor
It’s off to the races everybody out the door
I’m feeling like I’m falling behind, it’s a crazy life
Ninety miles an hour going fast as I can
Trying to push a little harder trying to get the upper hand
So much to do in so little time, it’s a crazy life
It’s ready, set, go it’s another wild day
When the stress is on the rise in my heart I feel You say just

Breathe, just breathe
Come and rest at My feet
And be, just be
Chaos calls but all you really need
Is to just breathe

Third cup of joe just to get me through the day
Wanna make the most of time but I feel it slip away
I wonder if there’s something more to this crazy life
I’m busy, busy, busy, and it’s no surprise to see
That I only have time for me, me, me
There’s gotta be something more to this crazy life
I’m hanging on tight to another wild day
When it starts to fall apart in my heart I hear You say just

Is to take it in fill your lungs
The peace of God that overcomes
Just breathe
Let your weary spirit rest
Lay down what’s good and find what’s best
Just breathe

Jonny Diaz
written along with Jonathan Smith and Tony Wood

*   ~   ♥   ~   ✞   ~  ♥   ~   *

I heard once that the only way to slow down time is to be all there, in every moment…and to stop hurrying from one thing to the next.  The busy season of Christmas is upon us and, if you truly want a memorable one, then it might be time to take this one slow.  Take in every memory and instead of iPhone pics, try a real camera and unplug from technology.

Every morning, before you make the first move, sit at His feet and empty yourself from yesterday and all of it’s worries.  This day will have enough of it’s own and, with God, nothing is worrisome.  Just worship instead.  As His children, we are called to live differently.  If chaos is the norm, then we should choose another way.  Our children will not remember the things we didn’t choose to take them to. They will remember when we slowed down and spent time with them.

Oh, how I wish I could go back and make one more glitter picture with my oldest…or one more sock beanbag with my second…or one more sword game in the back yard with the third…or one more American Girl sleepover with the fourth.  Cherish it…savor it all…and when the enemy tries to steal your joy by pushing you from one frenzy to the next, claim God’s peace!  Remember His words:

Cast your burden on the LORD, and He will sustain you;
He will never allow the righteous to be shaken.
Psalm 55:22

Casting all your care on Him, because He cares about you.
1 Peter 5:7

Rest in Him…He is strong enough to take it all.

Let us pray: Dear Father, we thank You so much for this awesome time of thanksgiving.  Spending time with family and friends and praising Your Name for all of this.  Lord, sometimes this world is too much.  The enemy comes to take our joy away but when we are Yours, he cannot.  We claim Your peace today and we lay all of our cares at Your feet.  When chaos comes crashing in, help us to come quick and release it all to You.  We love You!  In Jesus’ name, amen.

 

 

Jesus, Draw Me Ever Nearer

psalmshymnsspiritualsongskjv

The Watches of the Night

I look towards the wintering trees to hush my fretful soul
As they rise to face the icy sky and hold fast beneath the snow
Their rings grow wide, their roots go deep that they might hold their height
And stand like valiant soldiers through the watches of the night

No human shoulder ever bears the weight of all the world
But hearts can sink beneath the ache of trouble’s sudden surge
Yet far beyond full knowing there’s a strong unsleeping Light
That reaches round to hold me through the watches of the night

I have cried upon the steps that seem too steep for me to climb
And I’ve prayed against a burden I did not want to be mine
But, here I am and this is where You’re calling me to fight
And You I will remember through the watches of the night
…You I will remember through the watches of the night

*   ~   ♥   ~   ✞   ~  ♥   ~  *

Jesus, Draw Me Ever Nearer

Jesus, draw me ever nearer
As I labour through the storm
You have called me to this passage
and I’ll follow, though I’m worn

May this journey bring a blessing
May I rise on wings of faith
And at the end of my heart’s testing
With Your likeness let me wake

Jesus, guide me through the tempest
Keep my spirit staid and sure
When the midnight meets the morning
Let me love You even more

Let the treasures of the trial                                 
Form within me as I go
And at the end of this long passage
Let me leave them at Your throne

Getty Music
The Watches of the Night

Mrs. Kristyn Getty
♥   
Jesus, Draw Me Ever Nearer
Music by Keith Getty; Words by Margaret Becker

*   ~   ♥   ~   ✞   ~  ♥   ~  *

I venture to say that you, too, have had times of sleeplessness, leading you to prayer and remembering ‘through the watches of the night.’  In each of our lives there are situations and circumstances that seem to be are a burden we do not want to bear.

Here’s the Truth, my friend: we are not to bear our burdens, our cares, our anxieties, our worries alone.  Our heavenly Father loves you so much and wants to be the Bearer of your burden.

Cast your burden on the Lord, and He will sustain you;
He will never permit the righteous to be moved.
Psalm 55:22

Blessed be the Lord, Who bears our burdens and carries us day by day,
even the God Who is our salvation! Selah.
Psalm 68:19

He is

  • Jehovah-Jireh (He Who provides)
  • Jehovah-Shalom (He Who is our peace)
  • Jehovah-Rohi (the Shepherd of our souls)

Even to your old age I will be the same,
And even to your graying years I will bear you!
I have done it, and I will carry you;
And I will bear you and I will deliver you.
Isaiah 46:4

I love this promise from my God…it settles my heart each and every time I read it.  He has already done the bearing of any burden I could ever perceive!  As Mrs. Getty writes in her poem,

“There’s a strong unsleeping Light that reaches round to hold me
through the watches of the night.”

Almighty God will carry us throughout any wearisome, worrisome, troublesome  situation we are in.  His promises are true and Amen!

So I encourage you (me, too!) to always remember God’s heart towards us when we are feeling overwhelmed and burdened.  He is faithful to His promises, and He cares for you!

Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God,
that He may exalt you at the proper time,
casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you.
1 Peter 5:7

Staying in the Presence

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Therefore don’t worry about tomorrow,
because tomorrow will worry about itself.

Each day has enough trouble of its own.
Matthew 6:34 HCSB

One of my favorite quotes is…
Worry is like a rocking chair. It gives you something to do,
but it doesn’t get you anywhere.”

We look at the past and worry about what has happened.  We look to the future and borrow trouble worrying about what will happen.  Neither is helpful…and neither gets us anywhere.

How many times have you heard the phrase “One day at a time…”? Hundreds, maybe even thousands?  It sounds trite but it is exactly what we need to do—take one day at a time.  But HOW do we do that?  By staying in His Presence. Philippians 4:6 gives us the best advice and provides step-by-step instructions for staying in His Presence.

Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything.
Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done.

When we quit worrying—and instead—tell God everything, we shift our burdens to Him.  Psalm 55:22 (NLT) reminds us to “Give your burdens to the Lord, and He will take care of you.”  He will take care of us.  He is in control.  All we need to do is ask.  That is where telling Him what we need comes in.  John 11:22 (AMP) says “And even now I know that whatever You ask from God, He will grant it to You.” (BTW – God already knows what we need, but He likes to hear us ask.  It opens a conversation with Him.)

As we begin to thank God for all He has done, it causes us to reflect back on our life.  Psalm 77:11 (NLT) encourages us to recall what He has done and remember the miracles He has performed in our lives.

But then I recall all You have done, O Lord;
I remember Your wonderful deeds of long ago.

In reflection, we can see all the times God has been there for us…we see His mighty hand at work…we recall His great grace, His faithfulness, and His unending love.  Then we know with assurance Who holds our future.

Psalm 85:9a (AMP) states “Surely His salvation is near to those who reverently and worshipfully fear Him….”  When we remain in His Presence, we have no need to worry.  He knows the plans He has for us…plans that give us hope (Jeremiah 29:11).  So let’s stop the worry and enjoy this day in His Presence.

Nehemiah And The Wall of Jerusalem

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That pen is sitting there in front of you and the paper is calling you to try one more time…. And what resolution did you totally not do last year?  Then we make mental lists of why we CAN’T do anything and before you know it—we have failed before we ever started.  Have you been there?

The enemy, the deceiver, the father of  lies will do anything and everything to steal your joy and take your focus off of what is really important…and his main reason?  To keep you from doing God’s work and to discourage you along the way with your own words of failure.  Here’s an example in God’s Word:

Now when Sanballat heard that we were building the wall, he was angry and greatly enraged, and he jeered at the Jews.  And he said in the presence of his brothers and of the army of Samaria, “What are these feeble Jews doing? Will they restore it for themselves? Will they sacrifice? Will they finish up in a day? Will they revive the stones out of the heaps of rubbish, and burned ones at that?”  Tobiah the Ammonite was beside him, and he said, “Yes, what they are building—if a fox goes up on it he will break down their stone wall!”  

Hear, O our God, for we are despised. Turn back their taunt on their own heads and give them up to be plundered in a land where they are captives.  Do not cover their guilt, and let not their sin be blotted out from Your sight, for they have provoked You to anger in the presence of the builders.  So we built the wall. And all the wall was joined together to half its height, for the people had a mind to work.

Nehemiah 4:1-6

God has elected Nehemiah to lead His people in rebuilding the wall of Jerusalem. Oh how well they were doing!  They had all the tools they needed to be successful and everyone was working so hard.  Then comes the critics…how they ridiculed these children of God.  All of the sudden, these people who once had so much confidence were now questioning their ability to do anything.  They were feeling stupid and wanted to quit.  See, the enemy had come in and attacked right where they were vulnerable.

Have you ever had this happen to you?  God had spoken pretty clear about something He wanted you to do, or maybe He wanted you to lead.  Then someone mentions a fear of yours or puts one doubt in your head…and all that excitement and courage goes out the window.  Now you’re questioning if it even was God’s idea.  You’re about to give up, BUT GOD.  {His voice is louder than yours.}

(Back to Nehemiah….) Nehemiah was wise and He loved the Lord.  He knew how to handle people who would criticize him.  He went to God and had a discussion about all of them.  In Nehemiah 4:4 he says to God,”Turn their insults back on their own heads.” (We as kids may have said similar things, right? “I know you are but what am I?”)   Unlike us, he didn’t talk to his critics or try to defend himself.  He let God handle it.  He shared all of his feelings with his Heavenly Father, His Creator, Who knew him better than he knew himself.  What happened next?

“So we built the wall.
And all the wall was joined together for half its height,
for the people worked with all their heart.”

In other words, satan was defeated at his own game.  What he dished out didn’t take their focus off of what was important; it made them turn hard to God.  Their focus was on the work of their Lord and no one could destroy them.

So this New Year, instead of making impossible lists of goals and setting yourself up to feel like a failure…make another kind of list.  Like one that lists all the ways God loves you and wants desperately to be your Guide and so much more.  And when that doubt is thrown at you, you have His Word to lean on and encourage you.  His own words to guide and direct you in any task that He is asking of you.  You are ready and you are able to do it—you just have to be willing.  I’m going to leave you with some verses of encouragement and I urge you to write them down, post them on your mirror or wherever they are most visible.  And if you aren’t sure if you have Jesus in your heart, I urge you to pray the prayer below with me and take these verses to your heart that are posted below. Please let us know in the comment section so we can celebrate this special day with you.

 

For God did not give you a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.
2 Timothy 1:7

I have set the Lord always before me. Because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken.
Psalm 16:8

Cast all your cares on the Lord and He will sustain you; He will never let the righteous fall.
Psalm 55:22

My comfort is my suffering is this: Your promise preserves my life.
Psalm 119:50

The Lord is my Strength and my Song: He has become my Salvation.
Psalm 118:14

*   ~   ♥   ~   ✞   ~  ♥   ~   *

Dear Heavenly Father, I know I am a sinner. I need forgiveness. I believe that Jesus is Your Son and He is the Savior. I ask that You come into my heart and stay. Be my Lord and Savior. I need You to guide me and give me that joy You promise. I’m tired of going this alone. Thank You for the Holy Spirit that I now have to guide me. I love You, in Jesus’ name, amen.

The Watches Of The Night

psalmshymnsspiritualsongskjv
~  Listen while you read, please!  ~

I look towards the wintering trees to hush my fretful soul
As they rise to face the icy sky and hold fast beneath the snow
Their rings grow wide, their roots go deep that they might hold their height
And stand like valiant soldiers through the watches of the night

No human shoulder ever bears the weight of all the world
But hearts can sink beneath the ache of trouble’s sudden surge
Yet far beyond full knowing there’s a strong unsleeping Light
That reaches round to hold me through the watches of the night

I have cried upon the steps that seem too steep for me to climb
And I’ve prayed against a burden I did not want to be mine
But, here I am and this is where You’re calling me to fight
And You I will remember through the watches of the night
…You I will remember through the watches of the night

~  The Watches of the Night, Mrs. Krysten Getty / Getty Music  ~

* ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ *

I venture to say that you, too, have had times of sleeplessness, leading you to prayerfulness and remembering ‘through the watches of the night.’  In each of our lives there are situations and circumstances that seem to be are a burden we do not want to bear.

Here’s the Truth, my friend: we are not to bear our burdens, our cares, our anxieties, our worries alone.  Our heavenly Father loves you so much and wants to be the Bearer of your burden.

Cast your burden on the Lord, and He will sustain you;
He will never permit the righteous to be moved.
Psalm 55:22

Blessed be the Lord, Who bears our burdens and carries us day by day,
even the God Who is our salvation! Selah.
Psalm 68:19

He is

  • Jehovah-Jireh (He Who provides)
  • Jehovah-Shalom (He Who is our peace)
  • Jehovah-Rohi (the Shepherd of our souls)

Even to your old age I will be the same,
And even to your graying years I will bear you!
I have done it, and I will carry you;
And I will bear you and I will deliver you.
Isaiah 46:4

I love this promise from my God…it settles my heart each time.  He has already done the bearing of any burden I could ever perceive!  As Mrs. Getty writes in her poem, “There’s a strong unsleeping Light that reaches round to hold me through the watches of the night.”  Almighty God will carry us throughout any wearisome, worrisome situation we are in.  His promises are true and Amen!

So I encourage you (me, too!) to always remember God’s heart towards us when we are feeling overwhelmed and burdened.  He is faithful to His promises, and He cares for you!

Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God,
that He may exalt you at the proper time,
casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you.
1 Peter 5:7

Glorious Living w/ Coach Megan: Surrender

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Surrender yourself to the Lord, and wait patiently for him.

Psalm 37:7

Surrender isn’t a very popular word in our culture.  Even the first few definitions in the dictionary have some rather negative connotations related to that word.

  • “To declare to an opponent that he or she has won so that fighting or conflict can cease.”
  • “To relinquish possession or control of something because of coercion or force.”
  •  “To yield to a strong emotion, influence or temptation.”
  • “An act of declaring defeat at the hands of the opponent.”

God asks us to surrender our lives and everything we have to Him, but you will never see Him using coercion or force to get us to do so.  God asks, but our response is our choice.  It also doesn’t have anything to do with declaring defeat at the hand of an opponent because as God is always for us, He is NOT our opponent and surrender to God always leads to victory, not defeat.

Surrendering your life means:

  • Following God’s lead without knowing where He’s sending you
  • Waiting for God’s timing without knowing when it will come
  • Expecting a miracle without knowing how God will provide
  • Trusting God’s purpose without understanding the circumstances

Yikes…. Those are some pretty big statements but the good news is that they are ALL possible to proclaim with Christ living and breathing in us.  No, we could never fully surrender on our own with all of our flesh getting in the way; but with God in us, all things are possible…. We merely need to just get out of His way!

With that being said, I think it is also important to note that while it is impossible to only be half surrendered {sort of like you can’t really be half pregnant…}, we must constantly be striving toward full and complete surrender to the will of God.  It IS possible to live a surrendered life and you will know you are there when you rely on God to work things out instead of trying to manipulate others, force your agenda, and control the situation.  You let go and let God work.  You don’t have to always be in charge.  Instead of trying harder, you trust more.

You also know you’re surrendered when you don’t react to criticism and rush to defend yourself.

Surrendered hearts show up best in relationships. You are not self-serving, you don’t edge others out, and you don’t demand your rights.

Jesus is the supreme example of self-surrender.  The night before His crucifixion Jesus surrendered himself to God’s plan.  He prayed, “Father, everything is possible for you. Please take this cup of suffering away from me.  Yet I want your will, not mine” (Mark 14:36).  Jesus surrendered Himself to God’s will.  He prayed, “God, if it is in Your best interest to remove this suffering, please do so. But if it fulfills Your purpose, that’s what I want, too.”

What does this look like for us?  Genuine surrender says, “Father, if this problem, pain, sickness, or circumstance is needed to fulfill Your purpose and glory in my life or in another’s life, please don’t take it away!”  This level of maturity certainly doesn’t come easy. In Jesus’ case, He agonized so much over God’s plan that He sweated drops of blood.  Surrender is hard work.  In our case, it requires intense warfare against our self-centered nature…but it IS possible!

But HOW do I surrender to God, especially when the pull of the world is so strong in my being? Remember that your entire life is run by your thoughts.  Your thoughts are either submitted to satan and the things of this earth, or submitted to God and centered on heavenly things.  When you are in distress about anything, that distress takes place in your mind…in your thoughts. Distressful thoughts are not heavenly thoughts but rather they are thoughts about things on this earth.

Colossians 3:2

“Set your mind on things above, not on the things that are on this earth.”

Philippians 4:6-8

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God, and the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension shall guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.  Finally, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, whatever is excellent, worthy of praise let your mind dwell on these things.

Whatever is on your mind and in your heart that causes you distress, just say to God:

“I surrender this to You.  Of myself, I can do nothing.  If anything is going to be done about this matter, you will have to do it.”

This process breaks satan’s power over your thought pattern that has held you in bondage to the problem.  To get started in the process of overcoming your difficulty, be SPECIFIC about what I would really like to overcome: {fear, anxiety, relationship difficulties, rage, eating disorders, depression, bad temper, anger, procrastination, job stress, pride, marital strife, drug addiction, smoking, fantasy addiction, etc.}  Now mentally take that situation and put it into the palm of your hands.  Just cup your hands in front of you and imagine that your situation is sitting in your hands.  Now take your cupped hands, lift your situation up and mentally put it into the outstretched hands of your Heavenly Father and pray:

“Our Dear Heavenly Father, I lift this situation up into the palm of Your hands.  I ask You to put a shield of protection around it that no evil can penetrate.  I put this matter solidly in Your hands, and I ask you to take care of it.  Thank You, Father, for taking care of this matter.  In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.”

(Did you ACTUALLY take the step of putting the situation in the palm of your hands, and then ACTUALLY lift up your hands, and put the situation into the outstretched hands of Jesus?  If not, please take the time RIGHT NOW to take that LIFE-CHANGING step of action.)

God tells us in Psalm 55:22:

“Cast your burden upon the Lord, and He will sustain you.  He will never allow the righteous to be shaken.”

If this is something you have been dealing with for weeks or months and have not been able to resolve it yourself, then you should feel comfortable with putting it into the hands of your Heavenly Father and leaving it there, giving Him the opportunity to take care of it.

Blessings,

Coach Megan 🙂