The Cry of Our Hearts #1

Sisters Loved By God
July 31
This summer I've been blessed to be part of three Bible Studies with totally different focuses.  The common denominator is the power of the prayer requests.  Today and for the weekend devotional entry I want to pray for two requests which have me on my knees.

Lord,  your name is a strong tower; the righteous runs into it and is safe. (Proverbs 18:10) We pray for this nation and for a safe place to train up future generations.  We cry out for truth to be extolled.  Raise up leaders in this country who have admiration for the moral values upon which this nation was founded and courage to fight for the return to many of those principles.  Give parents and grandparents a sense of urgency to invest time in the lives of their children/grandchildren and to pray for these children to have a hunger for God's Word and a passion to share their knowledge of the scriptures with others.  Spur us on Father to be involved in what is happening in our schools and to speak up, for we have been silent way too long.  Instill in us a concern and interest to know what our churches are teaching the children and youth and to step forward and help.  Help us to realize You have created us to be a light in this world.  That  a city set on a hill cannot be hidden; Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.  Mt 5:14, 16  When we feel like it is too late, shake us up to realize we can make a difference for we carry the power of the Holy Spirit!  In Jesus' Name, Amen

What Will People Think?

July 30
The day took a turn early this morning and I had choices to make.  One of the ones I made was to forego the devotional writing in order to squeeze in some other things before jumping in the car and heading on an all day journey to bring some grandchildren here.  I still got hours of Jesus time and excellent radio ministry teaching, before we plugged in The Little Mermaid and Curious George.

The thought crossed my mind…"What will people think if I miss a day?"  Then I looked up to the Lord and asked, "Are you ok with this?"  For that is what matters isn't it…what God thinks about our choices, not what people think.

The whole day was worth hearing our three year old granddaughter say, "Will you take me outside tonight and read the Bible to me?"  I made another choice…to forego making my dinner and go outside and read the Bible!

Fly with Faith

"First Flight"
This photo was emailed to me and I apologize for not having the information of whom to give credit.
Isn't there an old song, maybe Frank Sinatra sang it called…"Come Fly With Me."

July 29
Currently there's a song out called "Happy" and that is what this photo makes me!  Is this what a newborn baby feels like when it enters the world?

Sunday afternoon an elementary student was leaving our yard after visiting and she looked at me and said, "I hope you have the best week of your whole life".  The gusto and sincerity with which she made this exclamation made me smile and gave me a jump start to that possibility.

If God is kicking you out into unknown waters today, I pray you fly with faith and the knowledge you serve a God who loves to hold you up!

Fear the Lord your God and serve him.  Hold fast to him and take your oaths in his name.  He is the one you praise; he is your God, who performed for you those great and awesome wonders you saw with your own eyes.  Deuteronomy 10:19-21 

Call to Prayer

July 28  
The Phrase Call to prayer was reverberating in my mind.  It rather confused me, as I thought of that as a Muslim term.  Finally, I gave into curiosity and placed the three words into a Google search.  On Wikipedia    up came:
"Call to prayer may refer to:
    Adhan, the Muslim call to prayer
    Church bells, the Christian call to prayer
    Shofar, the Jewish call to prayer.
In Christianity, many Anglican, Catholic and Lutheran churches ring their church bells from bell towers three times a day at 6:00AM, 12:00PM, 6:00PM, summoning the Christian faithful to recite the Lord's Prayer, or the Angelus, a prayer recited in honor of the Incarnation of God."

On this particular day, I was holding up a little four year old boy who was having his right, cancer filled,  kidney removed and three tumors from his left kidney.  The surgery would take 8-10 hours and I want to be praying throughout the day, so I set the "bell" on my phone alarm to ring and remind me.

If we are to Pray without ceasing, as Paul suggests in 1 Thessalonians 5:17, then we are not praying enough!  If we simply turned our meal time blessings into a deeper time of prayer that would be a start.  I am going to pray about a time to set on my phone for each afternoon to stop, drop and pray!

Even better, I am praying right now for each of you reading this that today when you are praying God speaks to you in a specific way that thrills your heart and has you wanting to hang out in prayer more and more!
Love you, but God loves you more and has something He wants to tell you.

You Need Me

July 26-27
I was trimming away on our rose bushes yesterday morning, while listening to a very loud bird sing his song nearby.  It sounded as if the lyrics to his song were a repetitive "You need Me." God always seems to show up when I'm off alone working in the yard.

I do need Him! I need Jesus and I need the control of the Holy Spirit in my life.

I need God to be my peace.
I need God to be my joy.
I need God to comfort me.
I need God to teach me.
I need God to direct my path.
I need God to forgive my sins.
I need God and his mercy which is new every morning.
I need God to control my tongue.
I need God to give me wisdom.
I need God to give me understanding.
I need God to increase my faith.

Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.  Hebrews 11:1

And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.  2 Corinthians 9:8

And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:19


 Our two beautiful expectant daughter in laws.

July 25
The other night a friend, who had been ministering to a neighbor for some time, asked a group of us "Why don't people pray more?"  She had witnessed dire situations in the family she was helping, but was amazed they didn't turn to prayer.

I had a long "to do" list for the day, but didn't dare start without putting in time with the Lord first.
Was it because I truly expect to hear from Him or was it out of reverence, fear, habit?

The word expect comes from  the Latin word expectare-look out for.  Today when we go to the Lord in prayer, let's go with hearts of expectancy, which are looking out for God to do great things.

In the morning, Lord, you hear my voice;
in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait expectantly.
Psalm 5:3 

Call For Help

Our grand dog, Diesel, to the rescue.
July 23
I call on the Lord in my distress, and he answers me.
Psalm 120:1 

Our son and daughter-in-law were visiting and we were amazed at how their doberman pincher would take flight from the shore line in response to their cry for help!  God is even more expedient when he hears our cry.

Answer me when I call to you, my righteous God.  
Give me relief from my distress; have mercy on me and hear my prayer.
Psalm 4:1


Peel Away

July 23
Flip flops or bare feet are my favorite summer foot attire!  Actually, they are my favorite year round attire. My heels looked awful though.  The soil in our area is a red clay.  Add to that the rock and sand on our beach and I have more than scuffed up my feet.  I recalled that a couple years ago I purchased a $3.99 foot peel product from TJMaxx, which I had never used.  Grabbing the tube, I began the exfoliating process.  About 20 minutes into it I was wishing I was at a luxurious spa with someone else transforming my feet.  Even after the scrubbing and rinsing, there was still rough skin, so I took a small pair of finger nail scissors to trim away the dead skin.  The process ended with me applying London Butter (a gift from a dear friend) and putting on a pair of socks in hopes of this saturating my feet.
They look and fell so much better.

Reflecting on the 30 minute process, I decided I needed to spend at least that amount time investing in a spiritual peel.  The roughness of life can cause our hearts to harden and become rather ugly.  Just as I had read the detailed instructions on the foot peel, I thought about some instructions God has given us.

#1  Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness.  (Matthew 6:33)
      Father, just as we have to make time to clean up from our worldly influences…bodies, homes,
      places of work….help us to heed your instructions to make time before anything else to seek you
      and your righteousness.

#2  Be filled with the Spirit by putting on love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness,
       faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.  (Galatians 5:22-23)
       Holy Spirit, please rub these into our lives.

#3 Confess and renounce our sins, instead of trying to conceal them.  (Psalm 28:13)
     Lord, just as that peel pulled away dead skin, hear our confessions and forgive and remove the sin
     from our lives.

#4 Forgive others who have sinned against us and our heavenly Father will also forgive us.
     (Matthew 6:14)
     Whew, there are some rough spots that won't just peel away Lord.  They have to be cut off.
     Forgiveness towards those who have wronged us can be a rough process.  You provide a way!

#5  Remain in your love.  (John 15:9)
     God, after we've been with you at the spiritual spa, may we step back into life without being timid,
     or anxious, but with a confidence that we take each step of our faith walk by remaining in your
     magnificent, amazing love.

Keep the Fire Burning

July 22
Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold.
Matthew 24:12 

A group of us where discussing what the Bible says about end times and when we came across the above verse, we agreed that we can make a difference if we team up together and keep the love of Christ burning in our hearts.

I am reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and , I am persuaded, now lives in your also.  For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in your through the laying on of my hands.  For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.
2 Timothy 1:5-7 

We all need a Paul in our lives to keep fanning the flames of our faith!

A Balanced Wheel

My husband and his name sake. These two balance the wheel of life!

July 21
A young pastor sat at our kitchen table one evening and we shared our amazement for how many churches hold sincere grudges against evangelicals.  Aren't we commanded to go and make disciples?
I may have mentioned before a group I participate in called Renovare.  Renovare is Latin meaning "to renew."  The three purposes of this group are: First to lead a spiritually balanced life.  Second, to be knowledgable as to what it means to be a disciple of Jesus.  The third purpose is to be part of a group which mutually encourages one another and hold the other members to an accountability.

In order to be spiritually balanced, you practice one of the spiritual disciplines a week.  For example, maybe there is a  church which is strong evangelically, but seldom steps outside its doors and addresses social justice.
Here are the six spokes to a spiritually healthy wheel!  Consider each of these and ask the Spirit to reveal your strengths and where you need to grow.  
Contemplative- Spending time with God in prayer and meditation.
Holiness-Having pure thoughts, words, and actions and overcoming temptation.
Charismatic-Welcoming the Holy Spirit while nurturing and exercising my spiritual gifts.
Social Justice- Helping others less fortunate than I
Evangelical Sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ and reading the Scriptures.
Incarnational- Unifying the sacred secular areas of my life while showing forth God's presence.

For more information about Renovare and starting a group where you live, you can write to:
8 Inverness Drive East, Suite 102
Englewood, CO 80112-5624

False Accusations

July 19-20
Dreams amaze me.  Usually, I can track them back to something I heard or watched the day/night before the dream.  That is one of the reasons I am careful about what I watch or read.  A couple nights ago I had a dream in which I had been framed for theft.  In the dream I was shopping in a jewelry store for a necklace with the word joy on it.  Leaving the store, the owner asked me if I would take home a box of diamonds to evaluate.  Strange (as dreams can be), but I agreed. Leaving the store the alarm sounded and I was arrested for stealing diamonds.  In the dream, I came to realized who was behind the staging of the false accusation and I decided instead of fighting, I'd just go to jail.
When I awakened I was thankful to still be at Shiloh!

The day after the dream, I was talking to a young woman who shared how she had been falsely accused of something on Facebook.  People can be so hurtful and social media adds to the rapidity of the outpouring of those lacerations.

The story of Joseph and Potiphar's wife came to mind. Joseph had no attorney to fight for him. Off to prison he went, but God was there with him. As the day of evil approaches (or is here) we will see more and more of these false accusations.  Hmm, there are probably quite a few going down right now related to the missile which was fired this week.

If you've never hung out in Genesis 39 check to Joseph's drama today, but reading this story.

"Now Joseph was well-built and handsome, and after a while his master’s wife took notice of Joseph and said, “Come to bed with me!”
But he refused. “With me in charge,” he told her, “my master does not concern himself with anything in the house; everything he owns he has entrusted to my care. No one is greater in this house than I am. My master has withheld nothing from me except you, because you are his wife. How then could I do such a wicked thing and sin against God?” 10 And though she spoke to Joseph day after day, he refused to go to bed with her or even be with her.
11 One day he went into the house to attend to his duties, and none of the household servants was inside. 12 She caught him by his cloak and said, “Come to bed with me!” But he left his cloak in her hand and ran out of the house.
13 When she saw that he had left his cloak in her hand and had run out of the house, 14 she called her household servants. “Look,” she said to them, “this Hebrew has been brought to us to make sport of us! He came in here to sleep with me, but I screamed.  15 When he heard me scream for help, he left his cloak beside me and ran out of the house.”
16 She kept his cloak beside her until his master came home. 17 Then she told him this story: “That Hebrew slave you brought us came to me to make sport of me. 18 But as soon as I screamed for help, he left his cloak beside me and ran out of the house.”
19 When his master heard the story his wife told him, saying, “This is how your slave treated me,” he burned with anger. 20 Joseph’s master took him and put him in prison,  the place where the king’s prisoners were confined.
But while Joseph was there in the prison, 21 the Lord was with him; he showed him kindness and granted him favor in the eyes of the prison warden. 22 So the warden put Joseph in charge of all those held in the prison, and he was made responsible for all that was done there. 23 The warden paid no attention to anything under Joseph’s  care, because the Lord was with Joseph and gave him success in whatever he did."


July 18
Trying to close out a couple windows on my computer, Merriam-Webster's site popped up and there was the "Word for the Day".  Instigate- to cause to happen or begin.  Right in my face, this question hit me…Has my life caused others to begin a faith walk?  

Dwelling on the word begin, Isaiah 43 came to mind (such a powerful chapter), where God tells Israel He is doing a new thing.

Forget the former things; do no dwell on the past.
See, I am doing a new thing!
Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.

Isaiah 43:18-19
 This morning I had three areas of prayer concern, which involved instigating conversations with others, who are seeking discernment. There seemed to be a road block as I entered a time of prayer.  I felt God saying, "I need to instigate a few changes in your life, Boo, before we can go onto the needs of others."
Clean up on aisle, Boo, once again!
I'm looking forward to the new thing!

Laughter is Good

I love the little rural community in which we live and yesterday after slicing my finger open, I was thankful that we have an urgent care facility right here.
After receiving a tetnus shot from the nurse, the doctor came in to discuss possible repair possibilities for my index finger, which was cut in a tough to heal spot.
The glue option appealed to me much more than the stitch option.  The physician explained if I went with that option the finger would need to be stabilized and instead of an orthopedic splint he'd had success with a paper clip splint which allowed you to put a plastic glove over it for

showering and other activities involving water.  That sounded good to me, but it never crossed my mind it was an actual paper clip.  The friend who had driven me to the doctor laughed and laughed with me that only in Moneta would we get a paper clip splint!
At one point he was compressing the finger trying to stop the bleeding and said, "Now we are going to hold hands for a while." I said, "Well, I'm open to praying if you'd like to."

He will fill your mouth with laughter and your lips with shouts of joy.  Job 8:21

She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come.   Proverbs 31:25


July 16
Love this picture of our daughter and her family off on a kayak adventure.  I think sometimes we forget to look at our lives as the spiritual adventure we were set upon when we were born into this earthily existence. Paul has excellent advice for his fellow believers in Corinth in relationship to adventure.

Just think-you don't need a thing, you've got it all!  All God's gifts are right in front of you as you wait expectantly for our Master Jesus to arrive on the scene for the Finale.  And not only that, but God himself is right alongside to keep you steady and on track until things are all wrapped up by Jesus. God, who got you started in this spiritual adventure, shares with us the life of his Son and our Master Jesus.  He will never give up on you.  Never forget that.   1 Corinthians 1:7-9

Night, Night

July 15
This precious child was visiting the other night and her father, who is a pastor in our area, told us that he took her along on a funeral home visitation.  She was in his arms as he viewed the casket and she looked at the man in the casket and said, "Night, night!"  How precious is that!

For instance, we know that when these bodies of ours are taken down like tents and folded away, they will be replaced by resurrection bodies in heaven-God-made, not handmade-and we'll never have to relocate out "tents" again. Sometimes we can hardly wait to move-and so we cry out in frustration. Compared to what's coming, living conditions around here seem like a stopover in an unfurnished shack, and we're tired of it!  We've been given a glimpse of the real thing, our true home, our resurrection bodies!  The Spirit of God whets our appetite by giving us a taste of what's ahead.  He puts a little of heaven in our hearts so that we'll never settle for less.   2 Corinthians 5:1-5

I have to add another funeral story this gentleman shared.  Years ago he worked for a funeral home. He said you learned to do whatever was a comfort to the family.  A single aunt, who was the beloved family matriarch died and the family had requested that Judy Garland's version of "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" from The Wizard of Oz be played at the end of the service.  A CD was given to the funeral director and #9 marked to be played.  As the director clicked on the song…"Ding Dong the Witch is Dead" blasted on to the sound system in the room.  The director was modified thinking he had made a HUGE mistake, but the entire assembly broke into laughter.  This aunt had been a huge prankster, so the family had decided to pull a prank in honor of her at the funeral!  How much fun is that!

Please Man

July 14
After conquering a tough handy man job, I hollered out to my husband, "You are my hero!"  Our grandson was listening and he said, "Is Papa a policeman?"  But it sounded like "Please Man."  I looked at my husband and confirmed he was a "please man."  He truly finds joy in being a servant of the Lord and pleasing others.  I thank God for him!

Serve the Lord with gladness: come before his presence with singing.
Psalm 100:2 

Invigorate My Soul

This reminds me of the "invigorate my soul" phrase in the passage below!

July 12-13
A follow up to yesterday's "awakening our ears" devotional is taking the time to turn The Message translation of Psalm 119:169-179 into a prayer for our lives.

Let my cry come right into your presence, God; provide me with the insight that comes only from your Word. Give my request your personal attention, rescue me on the terms of your promise.  Let praise cascade off my lips; after all, your've taught me the truth about life!  And let your promises ring from my tongue; every order you've given is right.  Put your hand out and steady me since I've chosen to live by your counsel.  I'm homesick, God, for your salvation; I love it when you show yourself! Invigorate my soul so I can praise you well, use your decrees to put iron in my soul. And should I wander off like a lost sheep-seek me!  I'll recognize the sound of your voice.

Awaken Our Ears

July 11
Whew, I am in summer slow mode.  Sorry I'm so late posting the devos the past couple days.
I'm devouring Beth Moore's study on 1 & 2nd Thessalonians.  Today's verse of study is:

To this end we always pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of his calling and may fulfill every resolve for good and every work of faith by his power.  2 Thessalonians 1:11

Moore is discussing the importance of our equipping for ministry and the intrigue that sometimes "scripture is effectively at work even when a verse does not tie directly to our task."  She mentions that "…the Word possesses inherent strength and shapes character. An open Bible also awakens our ears."

He wakes Me up morning by morning. He wakes up My ear to listen as a follower.  Isaiah 50:4

Moore states, "Hacking through the Scriptures with a mental machete is hazardous."  I know I've done that.  Going to a daily scripture reading and thinking…"That one is not for me today."  Probably, because I don't like the sound of it and don't want it to be for me. What Moore is trying to teach is that God knows what our Spirit needs to be fed.  I just realized that I had read my daily verse on Biblegateway this very morning and quickly clicked off not meditating on it, so back I go.  I will allow both the 2 Thessalonians verse and Jeremiah 32:17 to go deep into my Spirit today.  It's interesting the depth into which The Message goes with this familiar verse.

Ah, Lord God! It is you who have made the heavens and the earth 
by your great power and by your outstretched arm!  
Nothing is too hard for you.
Jeremiah 32:17

My husband share a prayer request with me this morning and for an instant I thought…that's going to be tough to do.  Then immediately, "Nothing is to hard for God" came to mind.  Returning home from our prayer walk, there in today's reading was this verse and I almost didn't have my ears awakened and would have missed the nutrition in this feeding!

Here's The Message version.

And then, having handed over the legal documents to Baruch son of Neriah, I prayed to God, 'Dear God, my Master, you created earth and sky by your great power by merely stretching out your arm!  There is nothing you can't do.  You're loyal in your steadfast love to thousands upon thousands-but you also make children live with the fallout from their parents' sins.  Great and powerful God, named God-of-the-Angel-Armies, determined in purpose and relentless in following through, you see everything that men and women do and respond appropriately to the way they live, to the things they do.

A Love That Will Grow

July 10
I'm a bit behind today, as I was up with a grandchild who had a fever last night.  Today was his last day of our one on one vacation, so once that fever broke, we were packing in the fun and I never made it to the computer.  He caught his first striper!  It was 14" long!  We kicked back in our kayaks and were mesmerized as God answered our prayer to see a Blue Heron. The largest one I've ever spotted flew back and fourth in the sky across us, as if it was a dinosaur.  We had also prayed that God would show us something we'd never seen before.  Towards the end of the trip he was tired of paddling so we had tied his kayak to the back of mine and I towed him.  As were were nearing home, we looked over on the bank and there was a big fat beaver!  We both thanked God for such a wonderful show!

This headline verse on Biblegateway sums up the way I feel about this young man, who loves the Lord and loves his grandparents too.

Every time you cross my mind, I break out in exclamations of thanks to God. Each exclamation is a trigger to prayer.  I find myself praying for you with a glad heart.  I am so pleased that you have continued on in this with us, believing and proclaiming God's Message, from the fay you heard it right up to the present.  There has never been the slightest doubt in my mind that the God who started this great work in you would keep at it and bring it to a flourishing finish on the very day Christ Jesus appears.  Philippians 1:6

I'm Content

July 9
Hanging out with our grandson this week, one of our goals is to learn at least one new word a day. While savoring every bite of a s'more, in a rocking chair by the fire, my husband looked at this young fellow and said, "That is contentment."  In his sweet five year old voice he inquired, "What is contentment?"

What a great questions.  Webster's defines content as "a state of peaceful happiness."
Nancy Leigh DeMoss wrote, "A contented heart is a thankful heart, it's a trusting heart, it's a surrendered and submissive heart, it's a selfless heart and a God-centered heart focused on God's goodness, His faithfulness, and His love."

In her book Keep a Quiet Heart, Elisabeth Elliot has this to say about the whole matter of complaining (the opposite of being content).

She says: "Everything about which we are tempted to complain may be the very instrument whereby the Potter intends to shape His clay into the image of His Son.  The things about which we are tempted to complain may be the very answer to our prayer to be made like Jesus."  She lists possible examples…a headache, an insult, a long line at the check out, (you know it doesn't take much to get some of us going) someone's rudeness or failure to say 'thank you,' misunderstanding, disappointment, interruption."

She follows up with this little, but important point. "Wouldn't our children learn godliness if they saw in us the example of contentment instead of complaint, acceptance instead of rebellion, and peace instead of frustration?"

We choose each day whether to be content or not.  Yesterday morning I had to put my money where my mouth had been in training up this child.  We had an opportunity to go for a swim at a near by pool.  We were to be there at 11:00.  We had been out on the jet ski and were gathering our things from the dock, when I realized a whole bottle of juice had spilled in my tote bag onto my camera.  While trying to remain calm over that, a sweet little voice said, "Mama Boo, I just knocked the light in the lake."  Discontentment began to rear its' ugly head.  We were going to be late, but we had matters to attend to.  Fortunately, I chose contentment and stopped and prayed first giving thanks to God for allowing the obstacles and trusting He had a reason for detaining us.  The reason most likely was to be able to teach a lesson on contentment, no matter what the circumstance.

Monday night, while studying 1 Thessalonians 5:18 with a group, we were reminded the verse says to "Give thanks IN all circumstances."  Not for all circumstances.  Lesson learned.


Keep It Simple

July 8
Summer time is so much fun.  There are so many simple joys to be taken in….swinging, catching fire flies, roasting marshmallows, chilling in a hammock, sitting on a dock with your toes in the water, counting the stars at night, or savoring the taste of watermelon dripping off your tongue.

Searching God's Word on this topic, I came across these insightful words of Paul's.  The context of this passage is where Paul is explaining to the Christians in Corinth, the benefits of his singleness.  For him, it provided the opportunity to be totally devoted to serving the Lord during his short time on earth.

The lesson can easily pertain to taking time to slow down and invest in one another's lives.

I do want to point out, friends, that time is of the essence. There is no time to waste, so don't complicate your lives unnecessarily.  Keep it simple-in marriage, grief, joy, whatever Even in ordinary things-your daily routines of shopping, and so on. Deal as sparingly as possible with the things the world thrusts on  you.  1 Corinthians 7:29-31


July 7
I"m just flat out excited again!  The Fourth of July we had this fun obstacle course set up for our grandchildren and I wanted to use the photos in a devotional today, so I searched The Message translation to find verses with the word "obstacle".   The one that really spoke to my heart is in 2 Samuel 7: 11-16 is where he is speaking to David about what is ahead for his son, Solomon. What a great passage of encouragement for those of us praying for our children to be trained up in the ways of the Lord and for them to train up our grandchildren to love the Lord's discipline and to trust Him to see us through the obstacles of life!

Furthermore, God has this message for you:  God himself will build you a house!  When your life is complete and you're buried with  your ancestors, then I'll raise up your child, your own flesh and blood, to succeed you, ad I'll firmly establish his rule.  He will build a house to honor me, and I will guarantee his kingdom's rule permanently.  I'll be a father to him, and he'll be a son to me. When he does wrong, I'll discipline him in the usual ways, the pitfalls and obstacles of this mortal life. But I'll never removed my gracious love from him, as I removed it from Saul, who preceded you and whim I most certainly did remove.  Your family and your kingdom are permanently secured.  I'm keeping my eye on them! And your royal throne will always be there, rock solid. 

Call to Prayer

July 5-6
In Beth Moore's latest study, Children of the Day,  she presents a call to prayer that I felt was worth typing up and passing along.  Consider praying this with someone over the weekend. As we look at fireworks, let's imagine each spark is the result of the excitement in heaven over someone coming to Christ!

"Most glorious, all-powerful, merciful God,
       Your Son died for more than these.  We thank You for what You've already done, but we beg You to do infinitely more. Look upon this ailing plant, pulsing with the hopeless, the helpless, the hiding, and the dying. You have willed that people would not die in their sins but be saved and redeemed through Your Son, Jesus Christ. You promised that the cross was big enough for us all, with everlasting arms reaching to the ends of the earth.  We know what Your word says You can do, and we confess to You that many of us have not yet seen it with our eyes, but we feel it stirring in our souls.  Hosanna, Lord! Save now!
We willingly confess to You our sinful arrogance. We have prescribed to You by what means You, the solitary Healer, should heal souls.  You have refused to sign Your name to our prescriptions.  We ask You this day to write Your Name across our sky and bring revival!  Save by whatever means brings You glory.  Bring it any way You like, but bring it,  Lord.  We free You from using our methods. We free You from using our denominational names. We free You from using our buildings, though we cast ourselves before You at Your complete disposal and beg that You would.  Use none of us. Use all of us. Use whatever people and whatever means honor You most, but do it, Lord.  Please do it!
We confess to You our appalling narcissism in asking You to mirror us.  We confess to You our over sophistication and snobbery.  We confess to You that we are terrified of Your Holy Spirit. We confess our pathetic arrogance for having forbidden signs and wonders when there could be no rester sign and wonder than a tidal wave of salvation rolling on our dry banks.  Oh, Jesus, that we would not leave You to marvel that You could do so few miracles among us because of our unbelief.
We repent this day for not trusting You with what revival should look like. We repent this day from prioritizing our dignity over Your downpour.  We confess to You that we have torn pages from our Bibles and handed the back to You and demanded that You work through what was left.  We confess to You this day that the tent pegs of Scripture are vastly wider than our imaginations and our expectations.
Lord, if souls are saved by the thousands of thousands and millions of millions, we pledge to You this day that we will not, in our sectarianism, pick apart the process and reason how it was not legitimate.  We are ready even if it's messy.  Even if, atop the beautiful feet carrying the good news are bruised and broken bodies of willing evangelists.
Open heaven. Rain down, Holy Spirit. We  repent for having asked You to respect our boundaries. We  bow now to Your boundless Spirit and make room over our lowered heads for You to all upon us with power and might and a firestorm of Your great affection.  You have loved us so.  You have loved us well. Scar our hearts with Your cross and love through us, Lord.  Oh, Holy Spirit of the Living Christ, come without limit.  We have known You were able but begged You to be willing. All the while, we have been disabled because we have been unwilling.
To what conceivable degree we could have held them in our hands, we turn the reins of revival back per to the Rider who is Faithful and True, and we plead that You would not let them rest on the neck of that great horse but that You'd bid him run.
Do what You want, but we plead for You to do it now.  Do it here.  Make Your name glorious. Save now.
In the holy name of Christ our King, Amen"

July 4

Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD, the people he chose for his inheritance. 
From heaven the LORD looks down and sees all mankind. 
Psalm 33:12-13
July 4
With our celebration of freedom approaching, earlier in the week I was led to look up verses related to being free. I compiled them in a couple different translations and printed them up to share with friends who were stopping by.  They are below for you. As you read these, praise God for all the freedoms he has established for us.

Because of the sacrifice of the Messiah, his blood poured out on the altar of the Cross, we’re a free people—free of penalties and punishments chalked up by all our misdeeds. And not just barely free, either. Abundantly free! He thought of everything, provided for everything we could possibly need, letting us in on the plans he took such delight in making. He set it all out before us in Christ, a long-range plan in which everything would be brought together and summed up in him, everything in deepest heaven, everything on planet earthEphesians 1:7-10

May your Fourth of July weekend be filled with thanksgiving and rejoicing knowing we live in a country where we are still free to love Jesus.

Oh, thank God—he’s so good! His love never runs out. All of you set free by God, tell the world! Tell how he freed you from oppression,

I will walk about in freedom, for I have sought out your precepts
“Therefore, say to the Israelites: ‘I am the Lord, and I will bring you out from under the yoke of the Egyptians. I will free you from being slaves to them, and I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with mighty acts of judgment.

Ephesians 2:8-10
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith and this is not from yourselves, it is the (free) gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.

Romans 8:1-2
Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death.
Luke 4:14-22
Jesus returned to Galilee (after being tempted in the desert) in the power of the Spirit, and news about him spread through the whole countryside. He was teaching in their synagogues, and everyone praised him.
He went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom. He stood up to read, and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written:
“The Spirit of the Lord is on me,  because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him. He began by saying to them, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.”All spoke well of him and were amazed at the gracious words that came from his lips. “Isn’t this Joseph’s son?” they asked.

[ The Life of Freedom ] Christ has set us free to live a free life. So take your stand! Never again let anyone put a harness of slavery on you.

[ What Is True Freedom? ] So, since we’re out from under the old tyranny, does that mean we can live any old way we want? Since we’re free in the freedom of God, can we do anything that comes to mind? Hardly. You know well enough from your own experience that there are some acts of so-called freedom that destroy freedom. Offer yourselves to sin, for instance, and it’s your last free act. But offer yourselves to the ways of God and the freedom never quits. All your lives you’ve let sin tell you what to do. But thank God you’ve started listening to a new master, one whose commands set you free to live openly in his freedom!

For my part, I am going to boast about nothing but the Cross of our Master, Jesus Christ. Because of that Cross, I have been crucified in relation to the world, set free from the stifling atmosphere of pleasing others and fitting into the little patterns that they dictate.

Meet Lucy

July 3
What a blessing to meet our newest grandchild last week. She's a sweetie (as my mama called those she loved).  It was such a privilege to get to love on her and pray for her future. We had a chat about the type of friends she will want to surround herself with and some very specific guidelines concerning a husband.
Psalm 128 (MSG) is a psalm written for families.
What a precious recommendation at the end!  We are trying to make time to do just this!

All you who fear God, how blessed you are!
How happily you walk on his smooth straight road!
You worked hard and deserve all you've got coming.
Enjoy the blessing! Revel in the goodness!

Your wife will bear children as a vine bears grapes, your household lush as a vineyard.
The chidden around your table as fresh and promising as young olive shoots.
Stand in awe of God's Yes. Oh, how he blesses the one who fears God!

Enjoy the good life in Jerusalem every day of your life.
And enjoy your grandchildren.
Peace to Israel.

House of Our Dreams

July 2

(If this doesn't open, Google Casting Crowns song... House of Our Dreams and listen to this powerful, powerful song.  Try to pick one which shows the lyrics. You can also try Godtube.

In Beth Moore's study called  Children of the Day she ventures into the uncomfortable territory, which surrounds 1 Thessalonians 4:3-4

It is God's will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; 
that each of you should lean to control your own body in a way that is holy and honorable.

As the facilitator for this study, it was a hard session to lead the follow up. For me a key element was for us to be approachable to those who are struggling with sexual sin.  Most of us would rather turn our heads and ignore it. As Christians we may come across as very judgmental in this area.  Actually, right now I'm realizing I'm not even comfortable tapping into some of the areas she did, which makes me question how approachable I would be to someone struggling.   
The song above reiterates what she touches on in regards to what goes on behind closed doors, on our computer screens , and in what we think are our secret lives.

We need to pray for the Spirit to reveal to us how to be a help to hurting people struggling with sexual immorality.  At Living Proof Ministries there is a place to log into what they call the "28 Day Challenge."  I challenge each of us to find the courage to talk to others about how real this problem is and how destructive it can be.  Not your typical topic of discussion, but it certainly shouldn't be avoided.

Hmm…just hit me…we are getting ready to celebrate our freedom as a nation on Friday.  There are those in our sphere of friendship/family who may be suffering and need to be freed from sexual immorality.

The Next Generation

 Now son, you see this is the situation we have here..
 Now son, this is how we are going to correct the situation we have here...
The continuance of training up is a treat and a treasure!

July 1  
He decreed statutes for Jacob and established the law in Israel,
which he commanded our ancestors to teach their children, so the next generation would know them,
even the children yet born, and they in turn would tell their children.
Then they would put their trust in God and would not forget his deeds abut would keep his commands.
Psalm 78:5-7
 Today's thought is simple…Pass it on…Philippians 4:8

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right,
whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable-if anything is excellent or praiseworthy-thing about such things.