October 19, 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.

 

 

Just Be Held

psalmshymnsspiritualsongskjv

Hold it all together
Everybody needs you strong
But life hits you out of nowhere
And barely leaves you holding on

And when you’re tired of fighting
Chained by your control
There’s freedom in surrender
Lay it down and let it go

So when you’re on your knees and answers seem so far away
You’re not alone, stop holding on and just be held
Your worlds not falling apart, its falling into place
I’m on the throne, stop holding on and just be held
Just be held, just be held

If your eyes are on the storm
You’ll wonder if I love you still
But if your eyes are on the Cross
You’ll know I always have and I always will

And not a tear is wasted
In time, you’ll understand
I’m painting beauty with the ashes
Your life is in My hands

Lift your hands, lift your eyes
In the storm is where you’ll find Me
And where you are, I’ll hold your heart
I’ll hold your heart
Come to Me, find your rest
In the arms of the God who wont let go

Casting Crowns
Writers: Bernie Herms, Matthew Joseph West

 *   ~   ♥   ~   ✞   ~  ♥   ~   * 

Do you ever want to just crawl up into your Daddy’s arms and hide from the world?  I know that I do.  And when we are in the middle of a hard situation or a hard season that seems to last forever, it’s so tempting to keep our eyes on the problem and forget to lift our eyes to Him.  He is our Help and Refuge…our Daddy Who loves us more than we can even imagine.

I don’t know your situation but, as a mom, I am expected to keep it all together most of the time and be strong for everyone.  I am the one that encourages each child and try to make our home a safe haven for each one. But there are times that life hits us too, right?  And Who do we go to when we are distressed? God!

You keep track of all my sorrows.
You have collected all my tears in Your bottle.
You have recorded each one in Your book.
Psalm 56:8 NLT

Did you read that verse?  It says “all”  and “each one,” that means every tear that you have cried, He has kept.  He has kept each recorded in His book.  And each time you choose to lift your hands in praise in the midst of the hard, He has rewarded you for.  He is the Keeper of your heart and soul.  He is always near to you!  He is always rejoicing over you!

Yahweh your God is among you, a Warrior who saves.
He will rejoice over you with gladness.
He will bring you quietness with His love.
He will delight in you with shouts of joy.
Zephaniah 3:17 HCSB

So today, as you listen to this song, just find rest in Him and imagine that you are being held by your Father….

 *   ~   ♥   ~   ✞   ~  ♥   ~   * 

Let us pray: Oh God, we come to You today so tired of this hard world.  We just want to rest in You today and get some strength from Your mighty hand. We thank You that no matter how big these mountains can be, that You are bigger and You make a way for us in the midst of it.  I pray today that those who need You will find You and that they will seek You with all they have.  You promise that You will be found.  We love You and we praise You.  In Jesus’ name, amen.

His Promises For You

encouragementbloggraphicromans15

You keep him in perfect peace 
whose mind is stayed on You,

because he trusts in You.

Trust in the Lord forever,

for the Lord God is an everlasting rock.
Isaiah 26:3-4

*   ~   ♥   ~   ✞   ~   ♥   ~   *

My mind has not been at rest lately.  In fact, if I am completely honest, I haven’t allowed God to have my anxious thoughts—until today.  Have you ever gotten so tired that you finally gave in?  I wish I could tell you that I had this grand revelation and that I willingly handed it all over.  Honestly, God has been proving over and over and over that He is so capable of taking care of my affairs much more than I am.  See, this season of my life is so different for me in that I have two of my children living away from me now and I truly have to give them over to Him, physically and mentally.  Oh, this is very hard…so I went to His Word and found  many verses on just this.  I thought I would share because I know that, even though we are all in different seasons, we all need to trust in Him.

But You, O Lord, are a shield about me, my Glory, and the One who lifts my head.
Psalm 3:3

He is a shield when the world is coming at us in all directions.  And, when it seems that we are defeated, He lifts our heads out of the shame and into His grace.  He wants us to look up at Him and let His glory shine so bright that it dims all the hard that is around us.

For everyone born of God overcomes the world.
This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith.
1 John 5:4

Did you read that?  It says “everyone“…that means you, too.  You were born an overcomer.  In Jesus we have victory over the world because He died and overcame it for us!  All we have to do is have faith.

  • faith that He will help you with that marriage that is at the brink of defeat
  • faith that He can heal that illness that you have been battling for so long
  • faith that He can take care of that child that you feel is lost forever

Nothing is too much for Him! We have the victory in Jesus!

Be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid of them!
The Lord your God will go ahead of you.
He will neither fail you nor forsake you.
Deuteronomy 31:6

What a comfort to know that, no matter where you or your children go, He goes before you all.  When you are sending those babies back to school…pray that God will go before them, and that He will be at that homeroom before they are, and that He will give them peace.  Or, when you have a meeting that you are really unsure about…ask God to meet you there; even in the parking lot to walk in with you.  He will!

Be strong and have courage to do this life that He has called you to live.  You have nothing and no one to fear when He is with you.  Lastly, remember His promise to never fail you or forsake you.  Oh, how loved we are by our Creator.  I don’t know about you but, after reading these promises, I am full of joy and cannot stop smiling!

*   ~   ♥   ~   ✞   ~   ♥   ~   *

Where are you today, my friend?  What do you need to trust Him with?  I encourage you to pray these verses to your Heavenly Father asking Him to do what you cannot do by yourself.  Perhaps write these verses down on notecards and put them where you can see them daily.  He wants to encourage you and fill you with peace that only He can give you. I pray that you will feel it today!

Let’s pray!
Dear God, You are so awesome and amazing and so full of love for Your children.  Oh Lord, thank You that You never change and that all Your promises are true.  Thank You for all those who went before us—those whose stories are written in the pages of Your Word—to teach us and to prove to us that You will take care of us.  You will provide.  You will never fail us.  You will never leave us. And, Lord, for those today who are having a hard time trusting You, I pray that You show up today in a big way so that they will know beyond any doubt that it is You!!!  We love You and we praise You. In Jesus’ name, amen.

When You Need Rest

encouragementbloggraphicromans15

Then, because so many people were coming and going
that they did not even have a chance to eat, He said to them,
‘Come with Me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest’
Mark 6:31

I love rainy mornings and lit candles and quiet moments with just me and Him. The world quiets, cell phones and all screens are turned off, and I am His. I read His love letter to me and we talk endlessly.  I catch Him up on my week (like He doesn’t already know).  I tell Him how great and amazing He is. And He pours into me, and I know I am loved.  My own prayer retreat right here.

In the verse above, Jesus’ disciples had been preaching and driving out demons and healing people all day.  They anointed people with oil in His name.  They were pumped up, can’t you just imagine?  Yet Jesus knew they were exhausted and needed some downtime.  He told them to go with Him to a quiet place and rest.

Now, rest can look different to all of us. It can be quietly reading a book, or running on your favorite path, or putting your feet in the sand.  Just a retreat with your Maker. It must be important to Him since the word ‘rest‘ in mentioned 585 times in the King James Version.  Here are just a couple of the ones I found:

Psalms 55:6, 7
Oh, that I had wings like a dove; then I would fly away and rest! I would fly far away to the quiet of the wilderness.

Exodus 33:14
The Lord replied,”I will personally go with you, Moses, and I will give you rest-everything will be fine for you.”

I feel so refreshed and so loved by God right now.  His words are so comforting, ‘everything will be fine for you’, He means you!  He wants you to be with Him and we are the ones that benefit. Psalm 4:8 tells us, “I will lie down and sleep in peace, for You alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.”

What do you need rest from today?  Have you been struggling with a stronghold that has overtaken your life?  It started out as fun but now it is out of control.  Or maybe you’re the only one fighting for your marriage and you’re exhausted and ready to quit. Maybe you’re a single mom and you love your children but you just need one minute to yourself…or you could very well lose it.  Even the bathroom isn’t private enough.  Maybe you just need to get back in to having that quiet time alone with Him everyday. Whichever situation you are in today, He is calling you to lay at His feet and leave all your baggage at the foot of the Cross—at the feet of Jesus.  There is nothing in the world more important than spending time with Him…reading His Word, and listening to what He has to tell you, and just talking together.

  *   ~   ♥   ~   ✞   ~  ♥   ~   *

Do you know Him?  Is He Lord of your life?  If your answer is no, I encourage you to ask Him today to come into your heart.  Would you pray this prayer with me?

Dear God, I know that I am a sinner. I need forgiveness. I believe that You sent Your Son to die on the Cross to save me from my sins. Please, Jesus, come into my life today to be my Lord and Savior.  Walk with me through this life.  I don’t know all there is to know about You but I’m ready to be Yours.  In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.

Lord, I Need You

psalmshymnsspiritualsongskjv

Lord I come, I confess
Bowing here I find my rest
Without You I fall apart
You’re the one that guides my heart

Lord, I need You, oh I need You
Every hour I need You
My one defense, my righteousness
Oh God, how I need You

Where sin runs deep, Your grace is more
Where grace is found is where You are
And where You are Lord I am free
Holiness is Christ in me
Yes where You are Lord I am free
Holiness is Christ in me

So teach my song to rise to You
When temptation comes my way
And when I cannot stand I’ll fall on You
Jesus You’re my hope and stay
And when I cannot stand I’ll fall on You
Jesus You’re my hope and stay

~ Sing this song with me as part of your prayer and worship today ~

Sung by Chris Tomlin and the Passion Band

Written by Matt Maher with Christy Nockels, Kristian Stanfill, Jesse Reeves, Daniel Carlson

* ~ ♥ ~ ✞ ~ ♥ ~ *

When I listen to this song of worship and praise, I fall more in love with God. I want to raise my hands to the sky and touch Him and thank Him for the grace that He so freely gives. Beginning in the first verse, we tell Him that without Him we fall apart, and our rest is found in Him. Oh so true, we can rest in Him, lay all our cares at His feet, for He is more than able and willing to take them. And then we confess: I need You, oh I need You, every hour I need You. Oh how we need Him. I cannot imagine a day without Him. Have you ever thought about how life would be? Maybe you’re a new Christian and you remember how it was. But it never has to be that way again!

Verse two talks about our freedom in Jesus. Think about this for a minute…can you name some ways this is true? I believe He sets us free from sin and darkness. We never have to be anything more than His. He sets us free from destruction and from the unhappiness that our lives were. He is our Hope and our Protector. When life gets too much, we can fall at His feet and He will carry us until we are ready to take another step.

Every minute, every hour He is there. Our need for Him never goes away. We have a “need love” for God and it’s hard sometimes to admit that we are not able to do it all, that we need Him always. So let’s worship Him today in song. Let’s express to Him how much we need Him and how He gives us such hope and rest and that we fall in love with Him over and over again.  And let’s thank Him.

* ~ ♥ ~ ✞ ~ ♥ ~ *

Dearest Lord, You are our hope and stay. We cannot stand without Your help. In You we find rest and in You we are whole. Lord, thank You for guiding our hearts and for being that soft place to land. You love us no matter what. Thank You for listening to our confessions and giving us grace for every moment that we are breathing. Thank You for Your forgiveness that is always there. And for the rest that You created for us, knowing we would need it. We love You and praise You. In Your Son’s name we pray, amen.