Monday, June 30, 2014

Prayer that Strengthens Our faith

Why pray? 
I know there are many reasons that we are told in God's Word to pray. Prayer has led me on a journey of faith-growth. Even though, if asked, I would say that I don't feel like my faith is any stronger, I do notice that I have learned to lean into Scripture prayers and God's promises to His faithful children.

Re-learning to pray:
Not too long ago, I took a month off from blogging to allow more time to devote myself to some things that I had let go from doing on a regular basis. One of those things was spending more time in prayer and in the Bible. It's not that I didn't spend any time in God's Word before that, but it just seemed like prayer had become a chore and there wasn't the deep desire that I have had to pray in previous years. 

One of the main things I wanted to spend more time in prayer for was my son, who lives on his own now and has walked away from the faith he grew up with all of his life. The revelation of this fact was confirmed by my son, himself on, of all days, Easter Sunday. It crushed me to hear that from him, but it also woke up inside of me the deepest and most urgent need I've ever had to be in constant prayer. From that moment forward, I have daily sought God's promises and prayed numerous prayers from Old Testament Books like the Psalms, Isaiah, and Jeremiah as well as New Testament Scripture verses that reveal God's promises. These prayers have really helped me to have a strong faith, as He leads me to these, as well as many other verses. 

Lord, I trust in you;
    let me never be disgraced.
    Save me because you do what is right.
 Listen to me
    and save me quickly.
Be my rock of protection,
    a strong city to save me.
 You are my rock and my protection.
    For the good of your name, lead me and guide me.
 Set me free from the trap they set for me,
    because you are my protection.
 I give you my life.
    Save me, Lord, God of truth.
I will be glad and rejoice in your love,
    because you saw my suffering;

    you knew my troubles.
You have not handed me over to my enemies

    but have set me in a safe place.
 Psalm 31:1-8

A Lesson In Prayer: 
At first my prayers were fervent and intentional. I even found strength through times of fasting. 

But then, slowly, but surely, I began to feel resentment well up inside me. I ignored it, when it first took root. But it kept creeping into my thought life. I found that my prayers were turning into a match of faithfulness...saying, "Lord, I've been faithful lately, so I'm claiming Your promises for now. Fulfill them, now."
And when He didn't, those feelings welled up, again.

I knew I had to seek forgiveness for my wrong thinking and remind myself that God's wisdom is greater than my thoughts can even fathom. I must pray for peace, patience(very difficult subject for me), and a stronger faith. 

I'm still working on gaining these things in my life and my heart. It is a process that requires me to spend time with God, so I can hear Him speak to my heart more clearly. Fasting was taking some of that focus away for me. So, I stopped fasting, for now. Prayer, though, is a different story. I continue to pray for my son and for myself. There are many days that that's all I lean on to get me through.

I hope that the Lord is prompting you to search Him fervently and that through prayer you also notice how your faith is strengthened.
Once again, I'm sharing for "Multitudes on Mondays", as I  Dare to Share some of the gifts that God has been so gracious to put into my life. 

1,714 - Gaining a new understanding of prayer that strengthens my faith.
1,715 - A good day of fishing!
1,716 - Meeting up with a dear friend and counselor, who knows my heart, listened to me share, and shared some timely wisdom with me.
1,717 - Puffy clouds
1,718 - of my favorite things God has made!

1,719 - Enjoying a cool swim in the lake with my little canine friend.
1,720 - Making and eating homemade Chicken hubby's favorite meal.
1,721 - My wonderful hubby, who often does things for me out of the kindness of his heart, without me asking him.
1,722 - Learning the difference - when to take heed to the quote below:

1,723 - Thunderstorms - we had a mean one last night. They remind me of how great and mighty God is.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

God and Light

Welcome back to my blog! I'm so glad you came to read my post today...

Once again, I find that if I ask God to open my heart to a certain verse or theme to post about, He provides. Last week, I found myself sharing on rain and water...
This week, it seems like all I've read and listened to were about   light and shining God's love to the world. Several verses are described in the Bible with the word "light" in relation to who God is and who we, as His followers, are.
  • God created light 
"And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light." (Gen.1:3)
  • God is Light.
"the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all." (1 John 1:5)
  • Jesus is the Light of the world.
"Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life." (John 8:12)

  • We can walk in the Light and in fellowship with Him and with one another.

"But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin." (1 John 1:7)
  • We are the light of the world, as well.
“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.(Matt. 5:14-16)
I especially am reminded how we are a light in a dark and dreary world in a song by Kari Jobe.

  • His Light guides us.
"Your word is a lamp to my feet
    and a light to my path." (Psalm 119:105)

These, and many more verses in the Bible, describe just how God shines His light (which cannot be put out) in our lives.

"For with you is the fountain of life;
    in your light do we see light." (Psalm 36:9)


This past weekend I had a wonderful opportunity to meet up with some friends that I hadn't seen in a very long time, which was AMAZING! But that wasn't the least of it! Their daughter, who is a beautiful singer, is in a band and played live at a music festival...and we got to see her, as well! One of her songs was (of course) about light and how we, as Christ-followers, must "GLOW' for Jesus!! 

May the love of Christ "GLOW" for the world to see in each of our lives!!

Once again, I'm sharing for "Multitudes on Mondays", as I  Dare to Share some of the gifts that God has been so gracious to put into my life. 

1,707 - Great Christian music!
1,708 - Getting to see old friends.
1,709 - Finding someone, last minute, to watch our dogs, while we were away for the weekend!
1,710 - Safe travels and the Lord's guidance, when we got lost in the night fog on the way back from the music festival.
1,711 - Great weather during our time in Ohio.
1,712 - The presence of God in a lit-up sky, full of bright fireworks.

1,713 - As always, Chris Tomlin's music!!

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Give Thanks to the Lord, for He Is Good!

Hello again!
I pray you all are having an excellent week! Mine has actually been pretty awesome and may be getting more awesome, as the week goes by!! I'll explain in a moment, but first, I just wanted to share the many things that God has blessed my heart with during my time off from blogging. As you may (or may not) known, since I began blogging in 2011, I have been taking the "Multitudes on Mondays" Dare to Share some of the gifts that God has been so gracious to put into my life. I have learned the importance of celebrating His grace and recognizing the amazing power of gratitude! Just because I stopped blogging for awhile, God's blessings haven't stopped!! In fact, His blessings were overflowing!! And I've continued to write them down on my own, without the prompting of a weekly blog post!! Can you say "Amen!"? See, already it has affected my daily observance of His grace and love in my life.
Upon checking my past posts, I believe that my latest count of "gifts" was up to 1,664, back in March. I definitely have a long list to catch you all up on. I will try to list them all here(hopefully the list doesn't overwhelm you too much), along with some of my favorite photos (yes, I'm still taking pics of some of the blessings and gifts He has shown me!) So, without further ado', here are the additions to my list...starting at

1,665 - Long conversations with my son about God...not always encouraging, but I pray God uses these times to work in his heart.
1,666 - Attending a ladies Bible study group and learning about the faith of the Israelite people in the book of Joshua. 
1,667 - Saw the movie, "Gods Not Dead" with my hubby and son. Awesome movie!!
1,668 - Had lunch with my mom. 
1,669 - Seeking God's Word more and in prayer, as I struggle with some family issues...learning to lean on His promises.
1,670 - Attending my great-niece's 1 year birthday party.
1,671 - Finally getting some beautiful definitely has been a LONG cold winter!
1,672 - Attending a live Easter Passion we've been to before and have enjoyed it every time.
1,673 - Getting to take my husband's aunt (such a lovely, Godly, woman) to have lunch and see the Passion Play with us! Such a great day out!!
1,674 - Spring rains.
1,675 - Struggling to be motivated to stay connected to God, since taking my blogging break - realizing that it's because Satan knows I've upped my prayer efforts! The battle is on!!!
1,676 - Visiting our son...Easter weekend. Not an easy visit. All I can do is put our son in His hands...
1,677 - Learning and reading how grief was expressed in the Bible...somehow, it brings me to the end of myself and I can only cry out to God to rescue me and take my hand!
1,678 - Desire to experience the verse: Psalm 30:11
"You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy..."
1,679 - Again,  finding myself in desperate prayer, on my knees constantly, feeling despair, and yet, forcing myself to trust!!(Not realizing yet that He is using this to draw me closer to Him.)
1,680- Praying and fasting over my lunch break at work!
1,681 - Fishing with my hubby

1,682 - Reading more and more Scripture on God's promises to those who follow Him...and how He blesses the future generations of those who walk in righteousness...
1,683 - Claiming many of these Scriptures and asking God to honor them in my life.
1,684 - Love this quote by Mark Batterson...
“Bold prayers honor God, and God honors bold prayers. God isn’t offended by your biggest dreams or boldest prayers. He is offended by anything less. If your prayers aren’t impossible to you, they are insulting to God."(Book: Praying Circles Around Your Children's Lives)
1,685 - Started getting some great free Christian magazines/booklets I ordered in the mail:
"In Touch"
"Acts and Facts" and "Days of Praise" from the Institute of Creation.
1,686 - Watching a sailboat glide across the water and remembering the saying: "God provides the wind, but we must raise the sails." (St. Augustine)
1,687 - Love the promises God proclaims in Isaiah 57:16-18
"16 I will not accuse them forever,
    nor will I always be angry,
for then they would faint away because of me—
    the very people I have created.
17 I was enraged by their sinful greed;
    I punished them, and hid my face in anger,
    yet they kept on in their willful ways.
18 I have seen their ways, but I will heal them;
    I will guide them and restore comfort to Israel’s mourners,"
1,688 - as well as Is. 59:21
 “As for me, this is my covenant with them,” says the Lord. “My Spirit, who is on you, will not depart from you, and my words that I have put in your mouth will always be on your lips, on the lips of your children and on the lips of their descendants—from this time on and forever,” says the Lord."
1,689 - Continuing to fight the spiritual battle that He calls me to...barely finding strength some days, but He supplies it, just as I'm ready to give up.
1,690 - Got my new laptop computer(my old one finally kicked the bucket). It's AMAZING!!
1,691 -Started working out 3 times a week with my hubby. (Praying it gets easier, in time.)
1,692 - Want to collect Scripture promises/prayers and put them into a binder to read daily...
1,693 - Feeling the tug to start a "Mom's in Prayer" group and looking into the possibility. (After talking to several women at my work that have struggled with parenting issues.)
1,694 - Isaiah 30:21

"Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.”
1,695 - A romantic evening with my hubby, by the fire.
1,696 - Lots of questions to God, but I'm finding many's like He saying, "just wait and trust Me." It's all I can do.
1,697 - Woke up early and watched the sun rise...beautiful!
1,698 - Purchased 2 new books  
1,699 - Laughed till my face hurt, as I met with my ladies Bible study group.
1,700 - Fresh, homemade strawberry pie.
1,701 - God got me through a couple of days at work with both of my superiors gone for vacation time. No "major" issues!
1,702 - Spending time with family for Mother's Day (even though I didn't get to see my son that day)
1,703 - Seeing the beauty in nature and lake life....

1,704 - Now for awesome news #1 that made my week and I'm praying that God will work it out for us.
I may be going to the
Alive Festival in Mineral City, Ohio this next weekend
and get to see Chris Tomlin in concert!!

1,705 - Awesome information #2 - at that very same Christian festival, I may see some friends that we haven't seen in about 20 years and hear their daughter's band (Shine Bright Baby) play/sing!!

1,706 - Last, but not least, today(Father's Day) I am thankful for such a dedicated and loving husband and hubby, Ken!

Thanks for letting me share all of these "gifts" that I am grateful to the Lord for! God is good. Let's never forget to give thanks to the Lord!! What are you grateful for today?

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Waterfall, Raining Down On Me


Yes, I'm back! 
And, as you may have noticed, there are many changes to my blog.

I had a nice break from blogging, though there were some difficult and draining times for me, as well.  I will be explaining about those times over the next few posts. But, for now, I want to share some things that the Lord has been speaking to my heart about, concerning my theme for this blog.

When I started blogging, back in 2011, I wanted this to be a place I could share the joys and blessings that God has endowed in my life. I also wanted to make new friends through sharing and interacting with other bloggers. Everything I started out wanting this blog to be about occurred and my heart(I hope yours, as well) has been blessed seven-fold because of it!

During my break from blogging, I had time to contemplate where God wants me to go from here. Because of some recent events/changes in my life, I feel like God is prompting me to also change the purpose and goals for my blog. Three words have been prominent for me, as I sought God in making these changes.

Prayer - Strengthens our faith

Promises - Give us hope(and joy)

Providence - Allows us to trust that God is in control.

More specifically for my own life, God has been speaking to me about how He is involved in my life in these areas:

Praying over my children and grandchildren - Being consistent and unrelenting in prayer for me and my family members, a time of intense spiritual engagement, totally abandoned to God. 

Reading and claiming His promises from the Bible - Learning and believing that He will honor the promises He made to those who follow Him.

Trusting His Provision in My Life(and others) - Through times of uncertainty and anxiety I am to rest in His grace and providence in unconditional surrender to His divine will and purpose.

God also has been revealing to me how the two lists work in and through each other to complete His will. 

He has also been opening my heart to understand/have a relationship with Him by looking at nature....
One of these things is water. As seen in my new heading, I am focusing on how different forms of water - rain, fountains,waterfalls, etc. are reflected upon by God.

Read how water is described in the verses below:
  • Water is a source of refreshment/joy/eternal life:
"but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”(John 4:14)

"Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’”(John 7:38)

"With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation." (Isaiah 12:3)

  • The Holy Spirit is poured out like streams of water.
  •  "For I will pour water on the thirsty land, and streams on the dry ground; I will pour my Spirit upon your offspring, and my blessing on your descendants."(Isaiah 44:3) 
  • Water is cleansing to our hearts.
 “On that day there shall be a fountain opened for the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, to cleanse them from sin and uncleanness.(Zech. 13:1) 
  •  Still waters are described as giving us peace and fellowship with God.
 "He makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside still waters." (Psalm 23:2)

  •  He supplies all our needs, including rain that produces not only food for our health, but joy for our hearts.

"but He never left them without evidence of Himself and His goodness. For instance, He sends you rain and good crops and gives you food and joyful hearts." 

(Acts 14:17)

I love music and especially music with lyrics that I can relate to. A newly released song by Chris Tomlin made me think of how God shows His love for us and gives us joy through the image of a waterfall. 

So glad to be back and writing again!  I still have times where I know I'll falter and feel weak, but I am reminded that in those times, I need to turn to God in prayer, remember His promises, and trust His Divine providence. I also will be sharing in a future post all the blessings I've experienced during these 2 months away from blogging. In spite of the heartaches and hardships, God has blessed me immensely! I hope you will join me in reading what He puts on my heart! 
Blessings and joy to all!

Linking over to these blog hops: