Piercing Question

The Lord’s questions always reveal the true me to myself.                                                       – Oswald Chambers, His Utmost for My Highest

When God confronts us with a piercing question, one that goes straight to the soul, as He did with Peter in John 21:17, he strips our conscience of every other thought or good deed we might have done. He causes our heart to realize the truth in the answer.

This has happened at least once in my life. It was the summer of 2000. Joey and I had tried to have a baby for 13 months, and after much turmoil, heartache, and almost giving up and going to see a dr about it, the test had finally read positive. We were so excited!! We started planning, preparing and dreaming about this precious little one who would soon enter our lives.

Almost immediately, I got sick. Oh, the morning sickness was awful! As soon as my eyes popped open every morning, I’d run to the restroom. Well, even before my eyes would open, I’d feel that nausea. Yet, I didn’t complain. I knew this precious baby was growing inside of me, and the sickness was all worth it.

Two days before Joey’s birthday, we went to the dr for my first check-up. I was 10 weeks along. The nurse put the little sonogram instrument on my belly, Joey and I held hands as we awaited that precious sound of a heartbeat. The nurse blinked, frowned a little and tried again; then, she decided she’d do a vaginal sonogram. (Not fun. Not. Fun. At. All.) She turned the screen; so, we couldn’t see; then, she stopped and simply said, “You’ll want to get dressed, and the doctor will be in shortly to talk to you.” As soon as she shut the door, I burst into tears. As he held me, Joey said, “Maybe it’s not that bad, babe.” I knew without a shadow of a doubt; there’s was something terribly wrong.

The doctor came in, and after showing us on the screen what he was seeing, he told us the baby never grew after the second day of conception, that this is called a “spontaneous abortion,” or a miscarriage, and that I had been sick, because the placenta didn’t stop growing; therefore, my body still presumed I was pregnant, causing the morning sickness.

We were devastated. I had to have a D&C the following Monday to remove the placenta, and we left for my grandparents home in northwest Florida for a few days, just to regroup and process it all. While there, I prayed a lot, sought God for answers, questioned my faith and why He would answer my prayers only to take away my only dream in life.

You see, I was never bent on having a career, having prestige or even being great at a good job. All I ever wanted to do was be a mom. I just wanted to hold, love and nurture a little one. I just wanted to be the best wife and mother I could be. Now, I questioned if that was actually in God’s plan for me. I questioned if we would ever have any little pitter-pattering feet running through our home.

That is when God confronted me with the question. I remember it so vividly; the moment is forever etched in my mind. I was standing in my grandmother’s sewing room, looking through the glass door that looked out over the bay. I was praying, and God said, “Will you love Me even if you never have a child?” I just started weeping, and I knew, without a shadow of doubt, the answer within my heart: “Yes, Lord. I will always love You, even if You never give me the dream. How can I live without You?”

When He confronts you with His piercing question, there is no where to hide. There are no pretenses to hold onto. There are no lies to portray. The truth is revealed in your heart at that very moment, and you know it for the rest of your life.

Problem is, too often, we allow our lives to get so cluttered, so busy and so overwhelmed that we don’t allow Him the time to ask us. We don’t get alone with Him and give Him the opportunity to ask. Yes, He is God. I know, He can ask us whenever; yet, I have found, more often than not, He only asks those piercing questions when WE are ready for the answer. You see, He doesn’t need the answer; He already knows the depths of our heart. He knows what we’re going to say. The answer is for our knowledge. The answer is for our revelation of truth.

Get alone with Him. Open your heart and your ears to hear what He has to say. Let Him ask you those piercing questions, and you might just be surprised when the answer is revealed.

“Be still and know that I am God.” Psalm 46:10

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He Is All You Need

Thinking of so many who live their lives desperately searching and never realizing the answer is just a prayer away. He is just waiting for you to call on Him…

the grizzle grist mill

sunset-lake

The day is dawning; your heart is breaking; the sun bursts through the clouds.

He is speaking your name; yet, you refuse to hear.

You begin your day with cute little answers, a quoted little word.

You try to pretend you are drawing near.

 

The morning is moving; your heart is aching; the children are skipping to school.

He is calling out to you; yet, you refuse to care.

You continue your way, filling every moment with worry and regret.

You try to pretend all this you can bear.

 

The sun is setting; your heart is longing; the families are gathering around.

He is shouting across the chasm; yet, you refuse to yield.

You allow the cares of life to consume you, supplying your fleshly desires.

You try to pretend all your dreams are fulfilled.

 

The night is falling; your heart is bleeding; the stars are shining through.

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Let Me Be Found True

Shared this yesterday as a Happy Valentine’s note to God… Hope you enjoy…

the grizzle grist mill

Oh, Lord, how do I love thee?

Let me count not the ways

I speak of You in public grace

Yet, ignore You in the secret place

I praise You when it’s convenient

But neglect You when it’s intimate

I look to You when I remember and when I’m in need

However, forget You when my schedule is in the lead

 

Oh, Father, please forgive me from this wretched sin

Cleanse my heart and mind from within

Let me not be a person of works alone

And have not a single seed yet to be sown

Change me from this life of chaos and pride

Transform my soul to one in which You may abide

I give You my life, my heart and my breath

I surrender my dreams, my future, my death

 

Oh, my King, how do I love thee?

I pray You can count the ways

I…

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His Design

I look at the sunset and see the masterpiece that He creates and, again, in the sunrise.  Not one of them is the same. Each one of them unique and, then, I look across the land and sea the same unique, nonconformity, nothing the same. Every woman, every man, none of them like the other, each one unique in its own way not one of them then same.

His imagination is beyond what I can do. His creativity is beyond what I can dream, and yet, He thinks of me. He designed my life just as He does the sunset: unique, unimaginable, unfathomable, not like anyone else… All because He loves me. All because I’m His child.

This love, this grace, this perfect design is not just for my life alone.  It’s for everyone who calls on His name, because each one of us is His chosen child whom He longs to gather to Himself to love and change, to bless and redeem. All because He loves us. He designed us. He calls us His own. He longs for us to come to Him.

Will you come to Him today?

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.” John 3:16-17

“As Scripture says, “Anyone who believes in him will never be put to shame.” For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile—the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him,  for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” Romans 10:11-12

Do You Ever Wonder?

Do you ever wonder why we’re really here? Why were we created here on the planet called Earth? For what were were we made…or for Whom?

I do. 

Do you ever wonder why we have feelings, emotions that grip us like fire or make us cold as ice? Why do we smile? Why do we cry and why are we even confused sometimes?

I do. 

Have you ever wondered what it was really like before you came? …Not just a century ago or even two. I’m talking before the beginning of time. Before any human was in existence. 

Christians believe there is a God, a Supreme Being who cast the stars and planets into orbit, who formed the mountains with His hands, who breathes life into man and caused him to walk and have his being. 

Atheists believe there was and is nothing, that we just are and will one day be no more…no beginning. No end. No purpose. No reason. 

Scientists believe there was nothing and then all is a sudden, “Bang!” There was a tiny life form, and all things were created from it. Some believe there is something controlling the times; others believe it just is what it is. 

What about you? Have you ever wondered? Have you ever searched with your heart to find? What if there is nothing? What if there is something? What if there is Someone? 

Out of all the theories, estimations and stories, I have but one thing I can believe. I have only one source from which I can find wisdom. 

There is a God in heaven. He is Supreme. He is Mighty. He was, and is and is to come. He is the Master Artist, the Master Creator, and He gave me breath in my lungs and a heart to keep beating. 

It is easier for me to believe there is Someone higher, mightier and much smarter than me than to believe there is simply nothing and will never be. It is easier for me to believe there is Someone above to can see all, do all and be all. It is easier for me to believe He loves me, died for me and is, one day soon, coming back to take me to His Heavenly home. 

“Why,?” You might ask. I believe, because He lives within me, and I can’t live a day without Him. He give me joy, peace and strength. He covers me with His grace that is sufficient in my times of need. 

“How do (I) know?” You might ask. I know, because I just know. I know, because I’ve met Him. I’ve met Him there in the quiet place of my soul. I know, because I’ve been away from Him, at times, and I’ve felt the void of not being near Him. I know, because, sometimes, you just know that you know, and no one can ever convince you otherwise. 

Do you? 

If you don’t, just give Him a chance. I challenge you, “Just tey (Him) on for size.” I promise you, He will not disappoint. He will be beyond your wildest dreams. 

“You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:13

“I love those who love me, and those who seek me find me.” Proverbs 8:17

Life Speaks

I saw this picture today, and it really hit home…


I hope that my life and my actions always line up with who I say that I am. It is so disconcerting to me how easily, it seems, some people can speak good words, smile and give a look of love and concern; then, that same person can turn and completely tear another to pieces. I know there are times when we have to “smile and nod,” simply because it’s not the time or place to handle a certain situation, or maybe, you’re in the public eye, and it’s best for your leadership, your reputation and your “good name” to just keep your mouth shut, smile graciously and handle someone with kindness. However, when there is underlying resentment and hatred, you can be guaranteed that will come shining through your actions! I don’t care how masked you think you are!

It is a matter of the heart. I’m sure you’ve heard it said, “If there’s trash on the inside, trash will eventually come out.” Or as the Bible says, “Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks.” If there’s junk on the inside, it doesn’t matter how beautiful you paint the face, that junk will eventually come to the surface, and when it does, it’s not going to be pretty!

My prayer is that I can keep a clean heart before God and not try to hide my “ugly” from Him. He sees it anyway; so, why should I try to think otherwise? If I will just spend more time with Him, listening, talking, receiving instruction from Him, being honest with Him about what’s on the inside, and allowing Him to change the ugly, I won’t have to worry about what I do on the outside, because I’ll become more like Him and so much less like me. 😉

“Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my strength and my Redeemer.” Psalm 19:14

Go Down to Get Up

God Does Things Backwards… 

He doesn’t do things the way society believe they should be done. He does things backwards from what is expected. 

Flow to Grow

Prune to be Groomed

Serve to Lead

Lay Down to be Raised Up

Be Changed to Be Transformed

Conflict brings Peace

Confrontation Shows Love

Draw close to Him to Go Far in Life

Go Down to Get Up

Give to Get

Surrender to Win

Die to Live

It seems confusing to the world. This isn’t how they succeed. This isn’t how they win. 

You can’t understand it until you live it, until you surrender all to Him. 

It’s not a surrender to become bound…but, yet, it is. 

It’s not a serving to become less…but, yet, it is. 

It’s a letting go to receive. It’s a giving up to become great. It’s a dying to become more. 

I can’t explain some of it; yet, I know He is my lifeline, and without Him, I would be lost. I would fail at this life, and I would die for eternity. 

All He wants is your heart. When you give it, He gives you more love than you can imagine. 

All He desires is your will. When you give it, He gives you more power than you can fathom. 

All He longs for is your life. When you give it, He gives you more fulfillment than you can dream. 

Would you like to see? 

All you have to do is Believe…

Heart Questions

Why do babies die too soon?Questions-of-the-Heart-300x259

Why do mothers get cancer?

Why do fathers die tragically?

Why do friends hate and kill?

Why do the innocent suffer?

Sometimes, my heart asks the hard questions, the kind of questions that don’t have easy answers to find. Sometimes, my mind scrambles to understand why evil can be so prevalent in a world in which God made and in people whom God created. Sometimes, life just seems unfair, unruly and undesirable.

Often, I wonder why innocent children are taught to carry guns and strap bombs on themselves to kill people of another religion and race. Often, I wonder why this one is healed of sickness and disease and another says goodbye. Often, I wonder why one family can be so blessed and another can be left so desolate.

In all of this questioning, I have found some answers to be true…

We live in a fallen world, and we’re not home (in heaven) yet. This life we live is not perfect, and we become fools when we believe it should be. There are evil men (and women) in our culture today, and their only intent is to wreak havoc wherever they can.

Sometimes, people are in the wrong places at the wrong times. Sometimes, people are doing something they shouldn’t be doing. Sometimes, people aren’t doing what they should.

There are laws of the land which, just simply, must be followed, like “Gravity is real, and if you think you’ll jump from that building and remain unharmed, you’re just wrong.” There are, also, spiritual laws which, again, if you desire a better life, must be followed. Even if you’re not a believer, you can see that ‘reaping what you sow’ comes to pass. As in, “If you think you can spend all that money and not go into debt, and not owe many people in return, you are just fooling yourself!”

There are some things that just “are what they are,” and there’s nothing we can do about it. There’s some things that are just sin, and sin will never bring about good things in the long run. There’s some things from which we must learn lessons in order to grow and mature beyond where we are, and there are some accidents and “freakish happenings” which just happen for no apparent rhyme or reason.

I don’t have answers to all the why’s, how’s, and when’s, and I would never try to presume that I do; however, I can tell you this: I know a God who does know all answers and so much more. I know He is faithful and true. I know He loves us, and I know He cares about every little or big thing we face. I know He is there when we need Him, and He can carry us through the storm when we can’t carry ourselves.

How do I know this, you might ask? I know this, because I believe. I know this, because I believe His Word to be true. I know this because of my personal relationship with Him. I know this because of the changes I have seen, not only in my own life but, also, in the lives of so many with whom I’ve come into contact.  I know this because of the miracles He has done in my life, and not only in my life, but in the lives of my family, my friends and, even, in people I barely know.

I know He is God. He is faithful. He is true, and He loves me and you. Does this mean, somehow, that my life is never, or will never, be touched by pain, grief or aguish. NO! Just because I believe in a loving God does not mean I will never experience something bad. I’ve seen and experienced plenty of things I wished I hadn’t, and I’m sure that I will experience more in my lifetime. That’s just life, living in an imperfect world with imperfect people. Even Jesus, the Son of God, experienced heartache, pain, suffering and, also, death. By no means, am I better than He! Sometimes, life is just not going to be what we expected it to be, but that doesn’t make Him any less of a perfect God, any less of a living God! It just makes us human and living in a human world.

So, will I always have more questions than I have answers, well, I hope so. Questions make us search our hearts, search down in our souls. Questions make us seek for deeper meaning. Questions make us seek for a higher purpose, an understanding beyond our own.

The Bible says…

Luke 11:9-10, “So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.”

Jeremiah 29:11-13 says, “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.”

Matthew 5:8, “Blessed are the pure in heart, For they shall see God.”

*Note: I do not own nor do I possess this picture. Found it by simple Google search. Directed to http://achurchofchrist.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/Questions-of-the-Heart-300×259.jpg

Heart Overflow

I sit here this morning with a heart overflowing with gratitude. We had a housewarming shower yesterday, from our church family, and they really just “blessed our socks off!” I told my husband last night that I almost feel guilty by how much they blessed us!

I have just been in amazement lately by how much God has blessed us. I am just overwhelmed, and my heart is full. It’s not because of “stuff” that I have received, it’s more because I know it’s God blessing. It just seems that He has been pouring out blessings for our family recently.

For example, this house to which we just recently moved. I’ve told people, time and again, it’s as if God just took a checklist of all the things we desired in a home, added a few desires we didn’t even think about, and said, “Here ya go.” I mean, seriously, we have a WATERFALL in our backyard!! Not one we built ourselves, one that is formed by natural rock with a little creek running over it!  If anyone knows us, they know that had to be God to provide that kind of beauty in our very own backyard!

Another example, I had a truck that I absolutely loved. It was really hard to decide to sell, but we decided, in order to lessen our monthly cash outflow, we’d go ahead and sell it. It was an item that car dealerships were really looking for, and we came across a really sweet deal. So, now, we are without one car payment, and I’m driving a Cadillac!! Yeah, I know, that’s hard to believe, but it’s true.

These are just two of the many blessings we have received lately. I am just simply in awe of my God. Some would try to argue that it’s just circumstantial or, even, coincidental, but I’d have to disagree. I believe in a God who is the Creator of the universe, the Creator of my being, and the author of time and space. He is a God who loves us enough to send His only Son to die for our sins. He is a God that cares about the world’s greatest catastrophe and the smallest sparrow that falls from a tree. He’s just a good God, and I’m so thankful I serve Him.

Do you know Who I’m talking about? If you don’t, I encourage you to meet Him and get to know Him on a personal level. I promise you, He won’t disappoint you, and He will never let you down! 😉

John 3:16-17, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.”

Isolated for Purpose

Just thinking about this today, and thought I’d reshare… 

(Originally posted May 7, 2015)

Have you ever been in a crowd and felt so alone? Have you ever been surrounded by family and friends and, yet, still felt as if you’re isolated and no one cares? I have, and it’s not always a fun place to be! 

Sometimes, I’ve done it to myself. I’ve pulled back from relationships, rejected caring hands, or simply stepped away from the fun and festivities, all the while, feeling as if I didn’t  belong. Other times, a certain responsibility has hindered and caused me to feel isolated,  because sometimes, God will ask you to simply obey and follow His directive rather than allow you to “go play.” Then, there have been those times, where like Esther, He allows me to go through a season of isolation to teach me something and to prepare me for what He has planned ahead in my life.  

No matter the reason, no matter the season, I’m not sure I’ve ever found isolation to be an “exciting” or “thrilling” time; however, I’ve always come out on the other side a little wiser and more experienced, having a little more understanding and compassion for the world around me.  As I’ve grown older, I have learn to be patient in these moments and have actually begun to look forward to the end result, knowing that on the other side, I’ll be a better person for it. 

I’ve always emerged from the times of isolation with a deeper awareness of those around me, with a keener sense of confidence that I can make it through the next time and a more intense passion for where I am going. Those times of isolation, especially when they are appointed times to walk closer with God, have always caused me to have a deeper thirst for His presence and a deeper hunger for His grace. These moments have always caused me to realize more fully the Scripture, “He will never leave you nor forsake you.” (Deut. 31:6,8) For it is in those times of isolation, we all find that He “sticks closer than a brother” (Prov. 18:24). 

When I read Scripture, I see the great heroes of the faith went through many times of isolation and loneliness. Abraham left his family to obey God and move to the land of Canaan. Later, he became the father of nations. Joseph spent years in isolation, while in prison, until he became the second in command to Pharoah. Daniel was isolated in his times of prayer and later in the lions’ den before being valued as a friend of the king. David spent years tending sheep in the pasturelands and then spent years running from Saul before he was crowned king. Esther spent 12 months in isolation while being prepared to meet the king. Paul was isolated in prison before preaching to noblemen and rulers. John was isolated on the Isle of Patmos while writing the Book of Revelation. All of these men and women were isolated, and each one of them did great works for God. They made an impact. They left a legacy. 

Loneliness, when given to God, can bring out the best in us. It can make us strong, more aware, more deliberate in our actions. Isolation, when guided by God, develops within a deeper walk with Him. It causes us to focus on Him. It causes us to hear Him, and it will cause us to have a greater impact for Him. 

So, I leave you with this… How deep is your walk? How far are you willing to go? Will you step into a season of isolation if He leads you there? Can you submit to loneliness in order to grow and be more effective? 

Will you go?

“And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?” Esther 4:14b