Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Wind Storms

"There is a certain glory of the Master
that can only be seen when the wind is contrary
and my ship is being tossed about by the waves.
Jesus Christ is not my security against the storms of life,
but He is my perfect security in the storms.
He has never promised me an easy passage,
only a safe landing."

~ Streams in the Desert quote by L.B Cowman
~ photo by Darlene

What about you?

When the wind gets a whipping, do you get caught up in the wishing and wanting and whining about your personal storms?

Do you easily lose track of Who this life is about?

Oh, I do. And I reckon some of you do too. It is an easy feat to accomplish, even with half-hearted attempts.

It is part of our iniquity. Our iniquity without Him.

“But he was pierced for our transgressions,
he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was upon him,
and by his wounds we are healed.

We all, like sheep, have gone astray,
each of us has turned to his own way;
and the LORD has laid on him
the iniquity of us all.”
~ Isaiah 53:5-6

As we approach Resurrection Sunday and the gloriousness of Christ's life, death, and new life, sometimes we feel the wind in our faces. And sometimes it even stings, bringing tears to our eyes. But, if we shoulder-up and lean hard toward the Cross, that wind will soon be at our backs, pushing us closer to Him.

Use its strength for His glory.

If you have unhealed wounds and a discombobulated mind, come to the Cross. Jesus is waiting for you. Let the wind push you straight into His arms.

Let us humbly pray:
Father God, as we approach Resurrection Sunday, let us also approach You, even with our unrelenting storms. Help each of us to use the very wind as a propellant that pushes us into Your healing and renewing arms. Give us strength and peace and focus when our seas get rough. Just as Christ became alive again, let us become new in You. In Jesus' name, Amen.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010


Pain tightened
blood trickled
and dripped

Alas, the sin-
shackles fell


And now within you
the Holy Spirit
does dwell


Reach out,
for God
you will find


As He heals your broken heart
and renews your shattered mind

Love tightens
as His forgiveness
sets you free

Do you have bondage to unforgiveness, guilt, and/or shame? Just a little bit? Or even a whole lot?

As we focus hearts and minds on Christ's death and Resurrection, are you thinking on what this means for you? For your sins? Oh, we easily recognize what this means for us--just as Christ defeated death, so will we. We will spend eternity with Him and our brothers and sisters in Christ. Not to lessen that miraculous and merciful and unmerited gift, I would like to take a little different route today with another question. What does all of that mean for my sins. For your sins?

They died.
They died with Christ.


Then, after bleeding and dying a horrific death, three days later, He was walking and talking again. His Resurrection is all about Life. My life. Your life. It is not about dragging around those super heavy, cumbersome sin-shackles that cut through skin and pierce flesh deep, right to the very soul. It is about living the life God wants for you. It is about pointing others to Him.

It is about taking off the sin-shackles and flying free!

* Christ's death and His Resurrection free us from sin. Really, it is true! Each sin. Every sin. All of my sins. All of your sins.

Do you hear the sin-shackles clank heavy to the ground?

* The Holy Spirit gives us power and even infiltrates our thinking so we can think and live as a true Christ-follower. Yes, indeed. It is true!

Being freed from sin, do you purposefully draw close to God or do you resist, even ever so slightly? Do you pull back, thinking it is not all really for you?

Remember those sin-shackles? They fell. You are free! Free in Christ.

* God purifies and empowers us for His purpose and His will. Praise God, this is true!

Do you stand a bit aloof and just try to muscle through it all on your own? If you are still dragging those sin-shackles, aren't they heavy? Too heavy for you alone to bear?

Reach out, dear friend, and grab His hand! He will lead you where He wants you to go. He will infuse your heart and mind with Truth. And the journey will be easier, for He already loosed those sin-shackles and heaved them entirely off of your road.

For the grace of God that brings salvation
has appeared to all men,
teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts,
we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age,
looking for the blessed hope
and glorious appearing
of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ,
who gave Himself for us,
that He might redeem us
from every lawless deed
and purify for Himself
His own special people,
zealous for good works.
~ Titus 2:11-14

*This post was written after reading Titus 2:11-14 and the notes from my NKJV Life Application Study Bible. Their notes and my words are woven together... The beginning poem flowed from Him through my pen.

Let us humbly pray:
Father God, give us the grace that brings salvation. And teach us that while we deny ungodly and wordly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in this age. Help us to look for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of Jesus Christ. Fill us with the knowledge and Truth of our redemption and purification through Christ's death and His glorious Resurrection. And Lord, make us zealous for Your good works, that we may be a beacon in the darkness, leading others to You. In Jesus' name, amen.

Gently, oh so very gently, offered to Ann's community at A Holy Experience, in hopes of encouraging just one who yearns for healing or someone who knows just one who craves renewing...
holy experience

Wednesday, March 17, 2010


Last time I spoke of coming willingly to the Lord, not like the bridled horse that is coerced by a metal bit, but willingly and with a spirit ready to be delivered from bondage. And today I continue on a similar route as I share what God has placed upon my heart for healing and in my mind for renewing...


What is it and what does it have to do with me? With you? Well-known for her godly and Truth-filled writings, Nancy Leigh DeMoss sums it up this way in her book Brokenness: The Heart God Revives.

"The broken person has no confidence
in his own righteousness or his own works,

but he is cast in total dependence
upon the grace of God

working in and through him."

Think back to my last post, I placed a picture of one of our horses alongside the Scripture-Talk. That is Indy (he thinks he is a race horse, hence the name) and my husband is breaking him for our young son to someday ride. The horse trainer does not literally snap the legs of the horse, rather he shows the horse who is in control. The man uses a gentle strength and works with the spirit of the horse to accomplish this feat. The feeding, the grooming, the riding, and all other man-equine-related activities are much smoother and safer, once the horse respects the man. Once the horse trusts the man. The horse cannot survive without the trainer.

Just as we cannot survive without God and His guiding hand. But how do we get to the point where we willingly come to our Trainer, our Lord?

Simply put, we also need to be broken. And as Nancy DeMoss stated, our brokenness needs to be to the point where we are completely dependent upon God's grace to lead us around the arena, to guide us in the pasture, and to shine His glory for others to see as we gallop around.

God's Word doesn't necessarily speak the term "brokenness," but it does speak of a contrite heart, which is further defined as a penitent heart. The 14th century definition of penitent means expressing humble or regretful pain or sorrow for sins or offenses (as defined by the online Merriam-Webster Dictionary).

Brokenness has to do with humbling oneself to the point of accepting that God is the only One who can take our bad and use it for His good.

Brokenness has to do with our recognition that we simply cannot survive on our own.

My New King James Version Life Application Study Bible note's say that "the sacrifices of the arrogant were only an external compliance." External compliance means merely lookin' good on the outside. I am making sure that others see me lookin' good and doin' good.

Whoa! Wait a minute and just quit resisting Me. I don't want you to just look good. I want you to have My healing and forgiveness and restoration spilling out your humbled heart. But in order to allow me to train you in such a manner, you must be broken and contrite. Have you read these Words, dear child?

Psalm 51:17
The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit,
A broken and a contrite heart
These, O God, You will not despise.

Isaiah 66:2
For all those things My hand has made,
And all those things exist,”
Says the LORD.

“But on this one will I look:
On him who is poor and of a contrite spirit,
And who trembles at My word.

God says He will not despise a broken and contrite heart. The world might, but He will not!

He will look upon those who are of a contrite spirit. The world might scoff, but He will not!

Brokenness is a biblical thing, not a world thing.

It is an action.
It is an action demonstrating trust & love.

It is a choice.
It is a choice of recognizing God for who He is
and recognizing ourselves for who we aren't.

Are you looking for a healed heart and a renewed mind? It doesn't matter if it is post-abortion pain and heart-ache from which you are suffering. It doesn't matter if it is the trauma from abuse from which you are bound. It doesn't matter if it is a lie you have let infiltrate your mind. We are all in dire need of not only coming willing into the Lord's presence, but we are in desperate need of being broken in His loving hands.

Let us humbly pray:
Father God, as we come willingly into your forgiving, healing and renewing presence, give us the strength to come in all of our brokenness. For without Your loving grasp upon the reigns of our lives, we are living in our own arrogance. We want You to work in and through us. Our righteousness is not in us, it is in You. Father give us all we need so that our innermost heart beats for You! In Jesus' name, Amen.

Remember, to be broken is to be healed. And renewed.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Talking Psalm 32

Friends, God placed this scripture in front of me today. I read it through fast and furious. Then I went back and re-read it while I talked it out with God. I do that a lot. Please join me and God here as we sort out some realizations, brewed strong in His Truth...

Psalm 32

A Psalm of David. A Contemplation.

Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven,
Whose sin is covered.
2 Blessed is the man to whom the LORD does not impute iniquity,
And in whose spirit there is no deceit.

Yes, blessed am I! My sins are covered by the One with the biggest, whitest cloth ever known. Once I let Him lay that blanket of forgiveness upon my shattered heart and broken mind, His healing and renewing took hold. But, I had to come broken wanting only restoration.

3 When I kept silent, my bones grew old
Through my groaning all the day long.

Oh how my bones grew old from carrying my sin. And my silence just about smothered me. For in keeping my mouth gagged and my heart bound, all I could do was groan within my secret places.

4 For day and night Your hand was heavy upon me;
My vitality was turned into the drought of summer.

Lord, You kept trying to guide me along Your path. I refused to see with my soul, nor did I listen with my heart. I lived in a long drought of summer.

5 I acknowledged my sin to You,
And my iniquity I have not hidden.
I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the LORD,”
And You forgave the iniquity of my sin.

Praise be to God! Hallelujah for Your magnanimous goodness and mercy and love!

6 For this cause everyone who is godly shall pray to You
In a time when You may be found;
Surely in a flood of great waters
They shall not come near him.
7 You are my hiding place;
You shall preserve me from trouble;
You shall surround me with songs of deliverance.

You are my fortress. I hide in You. At least I hid my sin within You, but now I shout for joy about your preservation of my soul and I often shout songs throughout the day.

8 I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go;
I will guide you with My eye.
9 Do not be like the horse or like the mule,
Which have no understanding,
Which must be harnessed with bit and bridle,
Else they will not come near you.

Oh, it is sweet, sweet Truth that we do not need to be like the bridled animals in order to stand next to You. We must come willingly into Your loving and forgiving presence. Yes! Willingly, I come.

10 Many sorrows shall be to the wicked;
But he who trusts in the LORD, mercy shall surround him.
11 Be glad in the LORD and rejoice, you righteous;
And shout for joy, all you upright in heart!

Indeed, mercy surrounds me now! My sins are forgiven. And since He forgave me, I was able to forgive my very own selfish self. And all of that, my friend, is worthy of unending songs and praises and shouts!

Let us humbly pray:
Father God, just as David found Your mercy, forgiveness, and came to the realization that that true deep down joy comes only when we come to You, let each one reading this today also come willingly to You. These are precious people who desperately need to experience and really feel Your forgiveness, all the way down to their bones. Lord, help them to shed whatever hinders their search for You. Help them to come unbridled, unhindered, and uninhibited, right into Your tender arms. In Jesus' name, Amen.

* photo by me, Darlene, also know as A Simple Country Girl, living in the country with my boys and our critters...

Friday, March 5, 2010

She Came

Don't we all need the humble and full-of-trust sort of faith that this woman exhibited? Oh, indeed we do.

"came from behind and touched
the border of His garment."
Luke 8:44

You there, yes, you. It is time for you to step out of the multitudes and boldly come for Him. If at first you come from behind and gingerly approach, that is fine. Just reach out. He is waiting.

"she came trembling
and falling down
before Him"
Luke 8:47

Now it is your turn. Do like this woman. She came from behind and she came trembling. And then she fell down before Him.

Come gently.
Then fall humbly.

Sisters, what did she do, this wounded, bleeding woman? Simply and profoundly...

She came.

To Christ.

For healing.

Let us humbly pray:
Father God, give each of us the bold courage to be the one who comes out of the curious multitudes, following close behind the steps of Jesus, just reaching out to be transformed into another one whom He healed by a mere trusting touch. In Jesus' name, amen.

Does anyone need prayer today and/or have something to say?

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Talking Colossians

For me, I tried to show others and treat others and do to/for others what I thought God expected of me. After all, He gave His Son. What could a wretch like me give or say or do to reflect a tiny snip-it of my appreciation and gratitude? How could I thank Him for my very salvation?

Do you ever have these same thoughts?

I have shown mercy, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering, gentleness and forgiveness (Col. 3:12-13). It is true that some it has been painful, yet liberating. Some it has been stretching yet strengthening. Some of it has been really dirty work, yet cleansing. So for a little over five years, I continued along this path of reading God's Word and trying to do unto others...

Somewhere along the road, I ran smack-dab into a detour. There was a new route. A different path. Join me as I share this journey.

"Apply My Words and Truth to your very own self" flashed one warning sign. "Danger ahead if you don't apply Colossians 3:12-13 to your very own self," flashed another. All signs were nailed to trees. With really long, gnarly-looking spikes.

(I step on the new trail and hung both my head and hands down way low)Me? Oh, but that is really hard. Do You know what I have done?

+ Yes, daughter, I do.

(Open eyes and wrinkle brow)Me? Isn't that selfish to spend so much time thinking on my own self?

+ Your heart matters to Me, so therefore, it must matter to you too, my daughter. Have you read Psalm 51? Pay attention to lines 10-16.

(After reading, I look upward now and point to myself in wonder)Oh Lord, how do I do this thing You ask of me?

+ Humbly, daughter. Do it with true humility and with your utmost brokenness. Continue reading Psalm 51, line 17, please.

(I drop to the ground, tears making mud of the dirt)Father, I am here on my face. My heart is bleeding, my mind is howling, my tears are cascading down. Look! I am purged and clean. I am washed and whiter than snow (Psalm 51:7).

+ Hallelujah! daughter of mine! Indeed I hear your heart's joy and gladness because you are broken, yet rejoicing (Psalm 51:8).

(On my knees, face up to sky, and arms reaching even higher)Thank you, Father! I am a new woman. I desire truth in my inward parts. And in my hidden part, You will make me to know wisdom (Psalm 51:6).

+ Daughter, yes, as Your Father I can only clothe you in my righteous and enduring Love. It is pure. And now that you are a new woman, put on the character suit from Colossians 3:12-13. How does it fit now? See, it only fits proper when it is worn close to you. but with Love as the outermost garment. Love is what holds it all together.

(Standing again and walking as a new woman, forgiven and loved by the God she loves)Oh Lord, it all does fit much, much better now! Woohoo, would You just look at me?! I feel so good. I am gonna share this with every wounded person I meet!

Whether or not your route is straight and smooth or rough and bumpy, make sure you are clothed in the proper garments for the journey. And do remember that layering is good--as long as God's Love is on the top, covering all of you.

Remember friends, you cannot do, nor can you give to others that which you haven't done or given to your very own self. And I reckon one of the very best things you can do to show God (and others) your appreciation for His gift of salvation and forgiveness, is to apply His Word to you. Heal your hearts and renew your minds, in His Love.

Have mercy upon me, O God,
According to Your lovingkindness;
According to the multitude of Your tender mercies,
Blot out my transgressions.
2 Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity,
And cleanse me from my sin.
3 For I acknowledge my transgressions,
And my sin is always before me.
4 Against You, You only, have I sinned,
And done this evil in Your sight—
That You may be found just when You speak,
And blameless when You judge.
5 Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity,
And in sin my mother conceived me.
6 Behold, You desire truth in the inward parts,
And in the hidden part You will make me to know wisdom.
7 Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean;
Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
8 Make me hear joy and gladness,
That the bones You have broken may rejoice.
9 Hide Your face from my sins,
And blot out all my iniquities.
10 Create in me a clean heart, O God,
And renew a steadfast spirit within me.
11 Do not cast me away from Your presence,
And do not take Your Holy Spirit from me.
12 Restore to me the joy of Your salvation,
And uphold me by Your generous Spirit.
13 Then I will teach transgressors Your ways,
And sinners shall be converted to You.
14 Deliver me from the guilt of bloodshed, O God,
The God of my salvation,
And my tongue shall sing aloud of Your righteousness.
15 O Lord, open my lips,
And my mouth shall show forth Your praise.
16 For You do not desire sacrifice, or else I would give it;
You do not delight in burnt offering.
17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit,
A broken and a contrite heart—
These, O God, You will not despise.
18 Do good in Your good pleasure to Zion;
Build the walls of Jerusalem.
19 Then You shall be pleased with the sacrifices of righteousness,
With burnt offering and whole burnt offering;
Then they shall offer bulls on Your altar.

Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved,
put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering;
bearing with one another, and forgiving one another,
if anyone has a complaint against another;
even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do.
~ Col. 3:12-13

Let us humbly pray:
Father God, here we are again, humbly coming before Your throne. Please continue to shower us with Your tender mercy and bathe us in Your righteous and cleansing Love. Speak to each one here today with a loudness that we cannot ignore. Fill our hearts and minds with Your healing and renewing Truth. And please wrap each of us in that utmost important outer layer of love. In Jesus' name, amen.

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