What's Up Wednesday

All Our Fruit Comes From Him

Wednesday

One month and counting in Maine, and we have been BUSY. Church events, planning a youth ministry from scratch and this house. Y’all. This. House. I can’t wait to share our finished product. And honestly, for the changes we are able to make now it shouldn’t be too much longer before we can do the big reveal! Wahooo!!!

One blessing, though, in our move is substantially bigger than the updates we are making toward making this house our home, and all the other activities we are involved in – it’s time with the Lord. What an extravagant gift! I’ve had the privilege to be involved in an awesome women’s Bible study (‘Breathe’ by Priscilla Shirer – it’s awesome!!), and in my read straight-thru the Bible, I have just made it through Hosea. I am loving this beautiful land. This quiet. This time.

And today, God blessed me with a Word from Him He knew I desperately needed to hear. And honestly, it’s my new favorite passage of scripture:

Healing for the Repentant

Return, O Israel, to the Lord your God,
    for your sins have brought you down.
Bring your confessions, and return to the Lord.
    Say to him,
“Forgive all our sins and graciously receive us,
    so that we may offer you our praises.
Assyria cannot save us,
    nor can our warhorses.
Never again will we say to the idols we have made,
    ‘You are our gods.’
No, in you alone
    do the orphans find mercy.”

The Lord says,
“Then I will heal you of your faithlessness;
    my love will know no bounds,
    for my anger will be gone forever.
I will be to Israel
    like a refreshing dew from heaven.
Israel will blossom like the lily;
    it will send roots deep into the soil
    like the cedars in Lebanon.
Its branches will spread out like beautiful olive trees,
    as fragrant as the cedars of Lebanon.
My people will again live under my shade.
    They will flourish like grain and blossom like grapevines.
    They will be as fragrant as the wines of Lebanon.

“O Israel, stay away from idols!
    I am the one who answers your prayers and cares for you.
I am like a tree that is always green;
    all your fruit comes from me.

Let those who are wise understand these things.
    Let those with discernment listen carefully.
The paths of the Lord are true and right,
    and righteous people live by walking in them.
    But in those paths sinners stumble and fall.

Hosea 14:1-9

I stand in awe. His love is extravagant. It is all we need. HE is all we need.

Hosea_web_graphic-600x506

So many times All the time my prayers are asking and pleading and begging…and every time His answer is the same: I am the Lord Who provides.

How beautiful that His love knows no bounds!! He is even our SHADE!! (And on days as hot as today, I can fully appreciate that attribute – and I’m sure you can too!) We don’t just serve a god who makes us happy in this moment. We serve the Almighty God, the Creator who provides for our every need.

I am like a tree that is always green; all your fruit comes from me. Hosea 14:8b

He asks us to follow Him, and He will provide. Stop for a moment this afternoon and reflect on that for a moment…Whatever it is you are worrying about and stressing over, give it up to God. Fully surrender to Him. He. Will. Provide.

Return…to the Lord…for your sins have brought you down…Forgive all our sins and graciously receive us [Lord], so that we may offer You our praises.

Hosea 14:1-2 (emphasis & editing mine)

signature heart

 

My Choice Monday

The Most Awesome Anxiety Attack

Monday

Have you ever had an anxiety attack?

I know it can be a different experience from person to person, but for me, anxiety feels like my heart is about to beat out of my chest. My thoughts become so singularly-focused, I can hardly concentrate on anything else, and I feel jittery – like I’ve had 2 energy drinks and 3 cups of coffee.

But it doesn’t take a frightening situation or a nerve-wracking possibility to create this sensation for me.

This is how I feel when God has charged me with a mission – something to complete and take hold of. I don’t feel like I can possibly sit still or accomplish anything until I address what God has placed in front of me.

And why do I feel this relates to an anxiety attack?

Well, I can’t think of another human experience that is as overwhelming…When God tasks me with a plan…or even just a hint of what He has in store, I can’t contain myself! From reading God’s Word and my relationship with Him, I know a sliver of just how BIG and MIGHTY and ALL POWERFUL He is! With Him, the possibilities are simply endless, and how overwhelming that is for us as mere humans.

But this anxiety is an exciting one of possibility, adventure, thrill. Serving Jesus Christ and His Kingdom is an awesome challenge and responsibility, but nevertheless, I have never felt more comforted than when I knew He was solely in control and our steps were completely dependent on His Word.

“Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of [the nations in the Promised Land]; for the Lord your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you.” Deuteronomy 31:6 NKJV

“I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which He has called you, the riches of His glorious inheritance in the saints, and His incomparable great power for us who believe.” Ephesians 1:18-19

“Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us.” Ephesians 3:20

We are all called by God to do His work. He may call you to travel many miles on His behalf, or simply to stay right where you are, but you are called.

And this should excite you beyond measure.

If you are ‘stuck’ in your church service week after week, hearing the same story about walking in the power of Christ, and never doing anything about it, then you aren’t living your life to the fullest potential. And that is the saddest result of a Christian life I can think of.

When you reach Heaven, at the end of the days God has numbered for you on this earth, and He asks you how you spent your time, are you satisfied to tell him:

“ Oh, Lord, I went to church when I could…”

“I know you wanted me to feed the poor, but I was just too tired when I got home from work…”

“Precious Jesus, I was in church every Sunday! I sang songs about Your glory each week, at the top of my lungs! I listened to every sermon about Your incredible power!!”

But Jesus responds that that is not enough. We are saved by faith, of course, but faith without works is dead. If you are truly a follower of Jesus, you long to follow Him – anywhere and everywhere He leads.

Matthew 28:19

Go to the people of all nations and make them my disciples. Baptize them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit…”

Acts 22:15

“For you will be a witness for Him to all men of what you have seen and heard.”

Ephesians 6:20

“…for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in proclaiming it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.”

1 Timothy 4:12

“Let no one look down on your youthfulness, but rather in speech, conduct, love, faith and purity, show yourself an example of those who believe.”

Is it scary? YES.

Is it completely against everything this world teaches? YES.

But it is at once the most incredible decision to follow Him at all costs. When you decide to stop being an armchair Christian, Jesus will use you in incredible and amazing ways.

Are you ready for your ‘anxiety attack’?

signature heart

 

 

 

 

TTC Tuesday

Head In The Clouds

Tuesday

Beginning today, we invite you to join us on a journey – A journey toward Heavenly thoughts and things.

Colossians 3:2

Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth.

If we are constantly focused on our blessings yet to come, are we fulfilling our full potential here on Earth? Rather, if we are constantly thanking the Lord for all He has blessed us with, we are happier, and we are trusting in Him and in His timing.

Ecclesiastes 3:11

 He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.

We need only to continually pray and thank God for His blessings – praying for His Will to be done – and wait in His Presence.

I’m telling y’all. God is totally transforming our lives – from the inside / out – and it’s all because we are focused on living in His Presence.

{View This In A Browser To Watch My Vlog Video Below}

xoxo
Thirsty For Christ Thursday

Leave YOU Behind

ThursdaySurrender.

It’s one word, with a lot of power.

Who do you surrender your life to now?

crossIs it the One who died for our sins, so that we might live eternally?

Or do you surrender to your career, your hobbies, money, your earthly desires?

I will tell you one thing I know for certain. If you truly surrender your life to Him, you will look back on your life and see drastic changes and movement and blessings. It’s absolutely amazing. I sat in church last night, and thanked God for the unbelievable blessings He has poured out on us over the past year and half. We put a toe into the pool of His mercy and have been IMMERSED. Truly.

In 2014, never having been anointed with oil and healed by God through His servant in my entire life, I have been anointed, prayed over, and had a laying on of hands 3 times now – all because we trusted Him to lead us and guide our steps.

Last night, I learned an important lesson:

Hope is for the future.

Faith is for the here and now.

We don’t HOPE for His blessings. We WAIT on them in FAITH because we KNOW He has blessed us, and is in the process of blessing us!

Have faith in Him. Have faith that if you lay all of YOU behind, He will lead you where you need to be.

You won’t be sorry.

Surrender.

The video/song below says it all. Ask Him to flood your atmosphere – all the time. Live in His Presence, in complete surrender. {view in browser}

xoxo