Songs of Deliverance

January 23, 2009

Sometimes I forget what I am here to do, what my purpose is in this life and I get all wrapped up in the events of the day. I had some errands to run the other day and I was in a hurry because I had an appointment and I wanted to get the errands accomplished before my meeting.

In my rush it didn’t even cross my mind that it was Martin Luther King Day and the main place I had to go was closed in the observance of this special day. I drove over there with so many thoughts of things I wanted to get done that I almost got in a wreck! That didn’t stop me I was a woman on a mission! Have you ever been there?

All around me nature was singing its heart out the trees were covered with a thick frost from a heavy fog that had lingered over them early that morning. They were radiant with the Glory of God blanketing their branches, white and sparkling like diamonds.

Gently he sang to me over and over again on the way with each tree and the beauty of the day. Finally, after I figured out that it was a holiday and I wouldn’t be able to do the “most important” task it was if God shook me and said, “Hello, anyone home?” and I realized what had happened. It was at that point that I repented and slowed myself to actually enjoy what I was witnessing.

God was surrounding me with songs of deliverance, His Glory covering the earth and I almost missed it. What a wonderful God we have, I love his word. Psalm 32:7 says, “You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance. SelahSelah means to pause and think about what has just been said.
I love how God uses Selah to tell us that only way we little humans will get what he is saying is to stop ourselves and give it some thought. He’s so kind, he really wants us to get it!

I had a “Selah” moment as I stopped the car on a dirt road and as I rolled my window down to take some pictures I listened to the silence and peace that the beauty around me displayed. I received it as a gift of God’s love to me who had kept me safe through the whole ordeal…he never gave up on me he kept singing and singing until he broke through to me.

Psalm 13:5&6 says, “But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation. I will sing to the Lord, for he has been good to me.” This is my purpose to sing and praise God for the rest of eternity in all the things I do and say to everyone I meet showing them the way to hear the songs of deliverance that surround them that they may be able to hear. Selah.

Father, today I pray that your love will blanket everyone who reads this and cover them in white and shining diamonds so that the world may see your glory and come to know you and accept you as their Savior. May they experience your songs of deliverance today. Amen.

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Happy 20th Danni!!

January 21, 2009

Happy Birthday Sharky! I miss you so much. I was thinking this morning about the time I first held you in my arms. I was so amazed at what had just happened. My life had changed forever and like so many times before since you came to me my life is changed again.

I remember the day I took you to church in your pretty little dress and held you again in my arms before God and dedicated you to Him. You were his from the beginning as you are his now.

I remember birthday parties every year, cake on your face and in your hair, when you were younger of course :) and as you grew I watched you mature.

Strong, beautiful and very independent...I don't know the exact day you had that experience with God where you saw your need for Him and you stood on your own before Him and asked Him to come into your life but you dedicated yourself to Him and for this I am eternally grateful.

Such peace I saw in you, such grace, such mercy and were my child but you were my teacher. I know if you were here and you could speak you'd tell everyone you knew to give their lives as you have done. To come to Jesus and find rest for their soul, peace for their spirit and everlasting joy for their heart.

I know you are part of that great cloud of witnesses the word speaks of and you are watching me now, cheering me on, cheering us all on. Sing with the angels my beautiful girl.

I love you so much...Mom

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Cuddle Up!

January 19, 2009

Seems like every time I sit down our old cat wants to be on my lap or lying up against me. I’ve also noticed that she has found a warm spot on the floor in front of the kitchen sink. There is a heat duct there and it is always a very toasty spot.

With the arctic cold we’ve had even our younger cat doesn’t want to go out all night like he is accustom to doing. He doesn’t like all the snow sticking to his thick fur. I’ve been the same way though; I just want to cuddle up with a nice warm blanket and cup of coffee.

I was spending time with the Lord the other day when he took me to Proverbs chapter 2 and as I read verse 6 really stood out to me. It says, “For the Lord gives wisdom, and from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.” As I thought about this another scripture came to mind from Revelation 3:15-21, this is where the Lord is speaking to the Church of Laodicea.

He tells them that he has seen all their deeds but that they are lukewarm towards him and he is about to spit them out of his mouth. This sparked an interest in me and I went to my favorite online bible study place and typed in the word “mouth”…I wanted to see what all the mouth of God had in it.

There are a lot of “mouth” references in the bible but the two biggest associated with God that I could see were concerning His Word and fire. (Job 41:14, 19, 21, PS 18:8, PS 33:6, Matt 4:4). In such cold, dark times that we are in I think it wise for those of us who love and follow Jesus to stay by the fire of God reading and absorbing his Word like never before.

I think this is his message to me and all who call themselves believers to come to him and ask him to stoke the fire within us, to stir us up and thaw us out bringing us back to our first love for him. We need his wisdom, knowledge and understanding, it’s the only way to make it to the finish line victorious.

I found myself asking God for these very things, I drew near to him and he drew near to me (James 4:8) I don’t want to be spat out of the mouth of the Lord, I need him. Take time to cuddle up with God today and read his word; ask him for wisdom, knowledge and understanding and for his fire to bring you back to your first love for him.

He misses you.

Frozen Pipes

January 16, 2009

Matt discovered that we had frozen pipes this morning when he went to take a shower. In all the years we’ve lived here we’ve never had a frozen pipe in that bathroom. All the plans changed and everything had to come out of the closet that was in the way so that my brave hubby could crawl behind the wall to thaw them.

This had to be made a priority before they burst and sent water spewing everywhere. We scrambled to quickly and quietly take care of the problem so that we didn’t wake the household. With the mission accomplished, Matt got ready to go to work and I put the rest of the things back into the closet. I found my “Complete Jewish Bible” amidst the items strewn on the floor and I decided to take it downstairs and read it.

As I read Psalms 23, I was struck by the words in verse 4… “Even if I pass through death-dark ravines, I will fear no disaster; for you are with me; your rod and staff reassure me.” (Complete Jewish Bible version). Even though we went through trial this morning the Lord was there and we didn’t need to fear the disaster .

We will never know what the Lord protected us from and what seemed like a huge inconvenience may have been God’s vehicle of salvation! God always has our best in mind even when we face trials of many kinds… the Bible even says we should rejoice! (1Peter 1:6)

If you feel like God is disciplining you this morning be reassured by his rod and staff that he is there and has a good purpose for the things which you are enduring. But watch how you handle yourself…because He is watching and waiting to see if what he has taught you has been learned by you. He wants you to succeed and the only way to do that is to turn to him.

He will give you the answers to the trial you’re facing. We have the Word of God the “text book” at our disposal any time of day and it’s an open book test! We also have a direct line to the throne room of God into which the Bible says we may come with confidence. (Heb 4:16) All this we have available to us but how many times do I try to handle things on my own?

Father, I need you…I come with confidence into your throne room, before your throne and I ask that you help me with any and every trial I will face today and in the future. I want to bring glory to you and not dishonor your name. Help me to immediately turn to you when I feel the flood waters rising. Thank you for your faithfulness to be there and save me time and time again.

Thanks for helping us with the pipes today and sparing us from what the enemy had planned.

I love you, Jesus…Amen.

Ten Minas

January 11, 2009

If you want to see where I’m coming from read Luke 19:11-27.

If you are alive there is no doubt in my mind you will find yourself among these 4 kinds of people. Step back from yourself and ask the Lord to show you who you are because it is easy to deceive ourselves (Romans 12:3, 1 John 1:8).

Father, open our eyes to see where we honestly fit into this important parable. Amen
On the way to Jerusalem it says that the people had one thing in mind that the kingdom was going to appear at once. But Jesus had other thoughts and he told them a story to illustrate to them what was more important.

The first group of people we see are those who (vs. 14) hated the king and didn’t want him to rule over them, these are the ones who want to do everything their way, they don’t need God. We’ll see later in the text what happens to them.

The second person is the one entrusted with 10 minas. This is a servant of the king that receives all God (the king) has for him and puts it to work for God investing it in others. In order for this servant and the next to cause the minas to increase they had to invest in another. They had to trust someone else with what they had been given to receive a return.

The third person is entrusted with 5 minas. He doesn’t have as much as the 10 mina servant but it’s not about the amount that is entrusted to the servant but what the servant does with what God (the king) gave him. I see a good attitude in this servant, he doesn’t compare himself with the 10 mina servant he just does the best he can with what he’s been given and he is rewarded with a 100 fold return just like the 10 mina servant!

The last person is the servant who is motivated by fear. This is a judgmental person. This servant judged his master unfairly. He was critical of things he knew nothing about. I say this because of the response of the king in verse 22.

In the end, that servant lost everything and it was given to the one who had the ten minas (vs.24). The first group who wanted nothing to do with the king were brought before the king and killed (vs.27). This is a warning to those who don’t think they need Jesus.

I find that this passage is more about attitudes of the heart than what they had been given or not given. Faithfulness is what God is looking for in all of those who serve him and there is a reward for this…look at verse 17. Jesus says that these were “very small matters” and because they were faithful in the “small” things the servants who were faithful were given cities to rule over in accordance with what they were first entrusted.

I think that at least one or more times in everyone’s lives they have found themselves in one or more of these positions. I had to repent of a judgmental, critical attitude myself. But if you see yourself there remember that there is no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1) we are all learning as we go… just repent, receive God’s forgiveness and go on! Ask the Lord to help you, thank him for revealing your heart to you so that you can be cleansed of these things and learn from your mistakes.

If you have not received Jesus as your Savior, ask him to come into your life, repent of your sins as well and receive him as your only hope of survival. We will all stand before a righteous God and no one will be good enough, only Jesus. He is our attorney, if you will, and I’m going to need a good one!

Jesus the Triumphant!

January 7, 2009

The alarm went off this morning to one of my favorite songs, Mighty to Save, this song grabs me and causes me to worship with passion every time I hear it. The truth in it is so powerful! I went downstairs to spend some time asking the Lord what he had to say today and he took me to Mark 11.

What a picture…Jesus rides into town on a donkey and the crowd goes wild. As I read the Lord began to reveal some things to me.

Mark 11:1-10
And when they drew near to Jerusalem, to Bethpage and Bethany, toward the Mount of Olives, He sent two of His disciples, and He said to them, “Go into the village opposite you. And going into it at once, you will find a colt tied, on which no one of men has sat. Untying it, bring it. And if anyone says to you, ‘Why do you do this?’ say, ‘The Lord has need of it,’ and he will at once send it here.”

And they departed and found the colt tied at the door outside, by the crossway; and they untied it. And some of those standing there said to them, “What are you doing, untying the colt? And they said to them as Jesus commanded. And they let them go. And they led the colt to Jesus. And they threw their garments on it, and He sat on it.

And many spread their garments on the highway, and others were cutting branches from the trees and were spreading them on the highway. And those going before, and those following after, were crying out, saying, “Hosanna! Blessed is the One coming in the name of the Lord! Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!”

In my study of these scriptures I went to the Strongs Concordance Interlinear Bible that I found on the shelf, I must have picked it up on sale somewhere as it has a sticker on it that says $12.88. Oh if the world only knew the value of the things printed inside!

Anyways, in verse 1 looking at the words Bethphage literally in the Greek “ house” and Bethany meaning “date-house.” Jesus had a date to keep at this house; he was right on time with what God had planned.

Verse 2: “The colt on which no one of men has sat…” Only Jesus could sit on this new thing (the colt) that he was doing, He was in the place of authority and the new thing that was happening would be dictated by the Father’s will. There would be no bucking! I think it very symbolic also that his disciples were commanded to bring the colt to him.

How awesome that Jesus would give them a part in all that he was doing confirming his power to them just as he does us. We are the “donkey” he uses to make an impact on the people around us.

Verse 3, 5& 6: “Why do you do this?”… People will always question you when you attempt to do something for God. You can be confident of that because he asks us to do things out of the norm, out of the box. But Jesus told them how to handle these hurdles. He told them to tell the people that the Lord has need of it. The Lord is in control and if he tells you to do something he will provide all you need and it will be released to you. He will provide IF he has asked you to do it!

Verse 4: “The colt was tied at the door, outside by the crossway”… Here was this new thing God was doing tied by the door at a fork in the road. How profound. The colt was waiting at the entry (the door) and at a turning point in the road. A clear “road sign” that something awesome what about to occur.

Verse 7: “…they threw their garments on the colt…” Those clothes were important to them. These were the clothes that covered their flesh and He sat upon them…symbolically ruling over the flesh.

Verse 8: “…Many spread their garments on the highway…” Many were moved in their hearts to give the valuable thing to him, to give their all and to proclaim him as King over them but others cut branches from the trees, they weren’t going to go so far as to offer this man all that they had.

Verse 9: Regardless of where they were in their walk with him some in front of him and some behind they cried out! Literally according to the Strongs O save! Blessed is the One coming in position in authority and character with supreme authority! (Strongs numbers 2127, 2064, 1722, 3686 & 2962)

Verse 10: Blessed is the coming royalty, rule, realm into position in authority and character, with supreme authority, of our father David. O save in the heavens most supreme God! (Strongs number 2127, 2064, 932, 1722, 3686, 2962, 3962, 2257, 1138, 5614, 1722, & 5310)

Interestingly enough they speak of David as their father and not Abraham. David was a man after God’s own heart and the work that Jesus does in us makes us to be like the Father.

This whole scene is a clear proclamation before the literal fulfillment came in the natural that is before Christ was crucified and raised from the dead delivering us all to be like him in his kingdom in a position of authority with him. But we have to lay down our “coats”, our fleshly ways and give it all to Jesus the King of Glory to ride, rule, and reign upon.

I don’t know whether or not the people understood politically or spiritually what they were proclaiming but either way they were proclaiming exactly who Jesus was and exactly what he was sent to do! There has to be a proclamation of faith before the Lord moves in the natural. Over and over again in Genesis 1 the scripture says, “And God said….and it was so”.

The picture of the triumphant entry is so beautiful, so full of deep meaning and it seems that every word speaks more just under the surface.

Father, today I lay down myself, my “coat”, and all things valuable to me for you to rule over. Show me what my proclamation is today; show me what you want to teach me about speaking in faith those things that are not yet made known in the natural.

O SAVE! Supreme God! Take the place of authority in my life, rule and reign over every word, over every thought. I submit to your authority use me to the fullest to proclaim your Glory and help us see who you are and our desperate need for you. To you be the Glory…Amen!

A View from the Red Chair by Penny Shrock

The red chair, given as a thoughtful, loving gift for Danni, became a place of rest and comfort to those who came and went from Danni’s room. It has an inviting shape with fur upholstery that is irresistible to touch.
I believe there might be 101 and 1 positions in which you could find to sleep on that chair.
I think Danni must have found it funny just observing the old ladies, twisted and folded trying to find rest while on loving watch with Danni. More important than the rest that was found on the chair were the amazing observations from it. These are the observations of one of Danni’s admirers;

I watched, feeling helpless to offer any help to the situation.
I watched as Christy administered love and medicine-always with patience and tenderness.
I watch as Kent and Alicia came to love on Danni.
I watched as Matt, otherwise known as the McMuffin to Danni, would pray and read scripture to her.
I watched as her brothers and sisters would go about their lives but still drift in and out of the room, sweetly checking on her.
I prayed as I laid on the Chair, “God, please bring her comfort and relief”.
We laughed- ohhhh how we laughed.
I gave thanks from the chair as Danni’s sense of humor would fill the room.
Thank you God for the trip to Cedar Point. The shopping trip, the car rides all taken with Danni while we sat in the chair. Thank you God for all the sweet “Here we goes” that came from her lips. I watched as Danni had a fencing Match with Grandpa Allen, until she muttered, “no fencing in the house.” And let’s not forget the Laser eyes!! Danni would flash a little grin when she would stun a visitor with her laser eyes.
Thank you for the sight of Danni’s hand raised in the air, and her response when asked if she was okay, “yep….. I’m just dancing”.
I was blessed to rise from the chair and help lovingly to move her legs whenever they were trapped and to put her oxygen back in place.
My heart broke as I listened to her pray for God to help her.
In all of this she would continually offer “”thank you. And would worry about her family.
I learned that Danni had amazing friends, and the most wonderful neighbors.
I learned from that chair that with God’s help we can endure the seemingly impossible, that He is truly with us when we walk through the fire.
I learned that we old ladies need a lot of sleep or we get rather silly at 3 am.
I learned that grandma and grandpas have the tenderest hearts in the universe.
I learned that my faith is not diminished nor defined by what God chooses to do.
I learned that I serve an overwhelmingly huge God, beyond my understanding.
I know that for the days to come he will sweetly reveal many more views from the red chair.
Danni and Jesus, what a thanksgiving!!!! While we dined on our turkey and gravy, Danni dined with the King!!!
Thank you God for the privilege to spend time in the red chair. Thank you for your kindness to all who spent time there. Continue to bless Danni’s family, give them Grace in the days ahead. Thank you so much for the Gift of Danni. I sure loved her while she was here. I can’t wait to meet her in heaven, and have her grab my hand and with a grin say
“here we go.”

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Relax and Enjoy

January 2, 2009

Ecclesiastes 5:18 (Message version)

After looking at the way things are on this earth, here's what I've decided is the best way to live: Take care of yourself, have a good time, and make the most of whatever job you have for as long as God gives you life. And that's about it. That's the human lot.
Yes, we should make the most of what God gives, both the bounty and the capacity to enjoy it, accepting what's given and delighting in the work. It's God's gift!
God deals out joy in the present, the now. It's useless to brood over how long we might live.

As I looked over Ecclesiastes 5:18-20 this morning I had so many questions in my heart. Why here? Why did you lead me here? How can I relay what this scripture says to people in this economy who may not even have a job?

After I thought about this scripture for a while, I realized that it wasn’t so much about having a job and enjoying that job as it was the accepting your lot in life and being satisfied with what God has given you and where God has put you. It is also thinking about the present joys that God has given you so that we don’t get all caught up in how long we may or may not live.

I don’t know what it is about me that makes me always think about living somewhere warm or having more things. Ecclesiastes says these things are meaningless. I have had thoughts like, “Is this all there is to this life, eating, working, sleeping, eating, working, sleeping, and laundry every now and then.” These scriptures seem to indicate… yep, that’s pretty much it better enjoy it while you can.

I’m wondering if I have ever just accepted that this could be it for me. Living where I live, doing what I do and then dying someday. Acceptance must be the key to enjoying life. Maybe God won’t change any of our circumstances until we learn to enjoy where he’s put us and trust that he knows best even if we stay where we are for the rest of our lives.

Father, help me to just relax and enjoy the life you’ve given me. Help me to stop thinking of all the possibilities of life and just take joy in the moment accepting all that you’ve given me. Thank you for giving me the ability to put life into eternal perspective and help me not get so caught up in all the details, trusting that you will put me where I need to be for whatever your reasons and I can trust you.

I am coming to see more and more that there is no hurry to life, that enjoying every moment is important and that I can rest in the assurance of the salvation given me by my loving Lord taking all the time I need to get to know him and his ways.

Help me to remember your words when the time of testing comes, Jesus. I love you Lord. Thank you for your peace. Amen.