Saturday, January 25, 2014

Beauty from Ashes..

  and provide for those who grieve in Zion—
to bestow on them a crown of beauty
    instead of ashes,
the oil of joy
    instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise
    instead of a spirit of despair.
They will be called oaks of righteousness,
    a planting of the Lord
    for the display of his splendor 
 Isaiah 61:3
Take a moment and close your eyes and think back to that moment in time in you life where you were broken.  You had hit rock bottom and all you saw was darkness swirling around you.  In that moment  you had two choices, one to keep going down the path of your destruction, or secondly do something you probably would have never let go to some unknown, unseen, life force that offered you a chance of hope...a way out of you.  For all long as you can remember you have been wandering in a place that felt like there was a desert in the inner most part of you.  A place where  you would not let anyone in, a place where it was so locked up tight inside of you that even you could not acknowledge that it existed.  As you turned towards the light that felt like home, you could feel the warmth of it like the sun rising in the early hour of the dawn.  You could feel it spreading across your skin, then as it began to absorb into  the depth of your body. A  peace settled into your bones, into your heart, and into your soul.  Then from in that feeling of tranquility came a burning  yearning desire to come out of want more of what was making you feel whole for the first time in your life.  A healing of yourself that you never thought or having the hope of it existing, for you.  As you look back as to where you came from, you realized that this unknown, unseen, and even at times unwanted force was there waiting for you with an never ending out stretched hand.  You reach up and grab this hand with all your might and cling onto it not  wanting to let go of it again.  As your hands touch you come to the knowledge that God is hanging onto your outstretched hand just as tightly as your are clinging to His. You see my friend, He created you out of love and with a great purpose that no one can take away.  If we are faithless, he remains faithful, for he cannot disown himself. 2 Tim 2:13.  This verse is so powerful because once God speaks something over you it can not be undone. God has spoken many great promises of you that are yet to come.  All you need to do is let go and move yourself out of His way.  Do not be afraid to let go He is waiting to make beauty out of ashes. ~Misie

 Nothing is wasted

 Nothing is wasted

 In the hands of our Redeemer

 Nothing is wasted

From the ruins 

 From the ashes

 Beauty will rise

 From the wreckage

 From the darkness

 Glory will shine

 Glory will shine

~ Jason Gray~


Sunday, January 12, 2014

And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.  2 Corinthians 12:9

To me it means ‘unmerited favor’. So God gives us unconditional love – despite all we do to him and each other.  Take a moment and ponder on this last statement...God is willing to give us His unconditional love, and unmerited favor...He loves us so much that He wants to show us how much He loves us.  This blessing can be on a grand scale or on a much smaller one.  For example, I am currently going to school to receive a Bachelors in Nursing.   One area I struggle is in Math, with much prayer, blood, sweat and tears.  I  possibly have a fighting chance in passing this class.  This past semester I had an amazing teacher who believed in me, he was like my personal cheerleader!  One of the requirements to pass his class was to make a Math notebook.  The last day of the final I turned it in with a heavy heart, for I felt I haven't given it my all.  I turned in my final and my teacher came up to me didn't hand me my notebook right away, but begin to tell me how proud of me he was.   He knew Math was a struggled for me and he saw how hard I was working to get all my assignments done.  As he was talking to me tears were starting to form in the corners of my eyes.  Then with  a big smile he opened my notebook pointed to the grade he gave me...I looked down...then the tears started to flow, and I was not ashamed of this.  My score was a 10/5 making it a 200%!!  He had written down some of what he had already shared with me.  My final combined Math notebook score was a 92% making me pass this class with a B!!.  

I know this may seem small scale to someone else, but it was grand scale for me.  As I drove home from school that day all I could think of how He showed me unmerited favor, I personally felt I did not deserve the grade I was given.  God comes through for us in an amazing ways.  There have even been times when God has blessed me even before I knew I needed that blessing. 

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

 And God will generously provide all you need. Then you will always have everything you need and plenty left over to share with others. 2 Corinthians 9:8

As we receive grace by our Heavenly Father we need to also extend grace.  This not as easy as one think it is.  To extend grace is to look past the flesh and into the heart of a person.  Say you are in a conversation with someone and he/she says something that is really hurtful.  The first reaction is to be hurt, and respond back in anger.  Proverbs 15:1 states: A gentle answer deflects anger,  but harsh words make tempers flare.  I know this is hard to do, I have to keep telling myself this on a daily basis, and some days it is minute by minute.. before responding to a person relax, ask God for His words not yours and take a moment to respond.  This person may have said this out of hurt, out of anger, but sometimes there is a deeper emotion behind the remark.  Such as fear of rejection, fear of getting hurt more, or just as simple they are trying to speak in love.  Grace can be given in a heart beat or in a moment of reflection.  Don't worry if there are times when you respond back in anger...remember you can go back to that person, apologize for your words and then move on.  If they don't respond or accept your apology don't sweat it.  You did what was required of you and the rest is between God and them. In addition, if you did this with a sincere heart then you are golden. Just love them as God loves them for that is what is required of you. 

Grace is a wonderful thing to receive and give.  The more you receive it from God, the more you realize how much He truly loves you.  What a wonderful feeling it is to bask in the glow of His love. In addition, the more you give it to someone else the freedom you will feel. As a side note whether a person deserves grace it or not it is not for us to decided, it is up to us to walk in obedience and extend it.  ~Missie

 leave your gift there before the altar and go

. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and

offer your gift.

Matthew 5:24

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Letting Go...

     Is there potential damage in holding everything to yourself? Keeping everything and everyone that you hold so near and dear to your heart has the potential to cause significant damage by not truly trusting that God is ultimately always in control. He is never surprised, and things are coordinated by divine appointment and never left to chance. So, why then did I insist on leaving the door open to doing things in my own strength, in my own timing, and with very limiting outcome? I have been guilty of holding my heart to myself and not fully trusting that He is the only one who can heal my brokenness and restore me to wholeness. I have known that His plans for me are for my good. Even still, head knowledge is a loooooooooong way from heart knowledge, and letting go means trusting the result, whatever it may be and believing that it is for my benefit. 
Isaiah 55:8“My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the Lord.  “And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine. 

     There's a line in the movie "Facing the Giants" when Brooke learns her pregnancy test was negative...again. After four years of a bare womb she chooses to abandon all her hopes and dreams and declares "I will still love you Lord". It brings me to tears every time. That even though her biggest dream to become a mother may never come to pass, she chooses to let go and let God decide her future. Immediately after she "let's go" the nurse runs out and explains that there was a mix-up in the tests and that she was in fact pregnant! Psalm 63:8 My heart clings to You, and You uphold me with your right hand.

     Could there be benefits of letting go of everything that I have labored so hard to protect? Does God have something better for me and my children than the safety I've clung too? To truly let go means that I also choose to trust Him and believe The Word when it says that He will direct my steps. Proverbs 16:9 In his heart a man plans his course, but The Lord determines his steps.

     So recently when the time came to trust another with my heart, I've made a daily choice to let go of all reservation and not hold back out of fear. Fear of failure, fear of rejection, fear of disappointment, fear of the future. We are not promised tomorrow and I wasted way too much time living in the "what if's" and the "should of, could of, would of". We have been given the gift of a second chance.  My life has been completely interrupted. Love changes everything in your day to day routine. I choose to love with abandon, completely and wholly without hesitation trusting that The Lord knows exactly what He's doing. I choose to let go of all my thoughts and plans and allow my steps to be directed. I choose to cling to the The Lord and let go of that cliff that I've been holding onto for all these years. I choose to trust the future that He decides with His strength, His timing, and His limitless outcome.