Christmas Lights

IMG_2906

Christmas Lights

The tree is up and the lights are beginning to glisten and shine on homes around the neighborhood.  Homes and business are beginning to show signs of Christmas with lights abundantly shining.  There have been times in my past where this time of year would bring anxiety to my life, as my to do list just seemed to grow and I had no idea what to buy or give as gifts.  A few weeks ago when God first touched me with the song “Trust in You” by Lauren Daigle​​​​​​​I was sitting at a stop light and reading a church sign on the corner.  It seems funny to me that I can’t remember what the sign said because I love church signs, but only the feeling that this would be a season of enjoying and not worrying.  Maybe it was the darkness full of lights around me as I was driving, that made me think of Christmas and the coming season of lights, but I felt an exciting for the coming Christmas season, excitement, and the lights.  The lights were going to be important this year. I stop and enjoy each new one home that lights up.  I become mesmerized in the beauty of the lights which are reminding me this year of Jesus and his words in John 14:6, “‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

The Star

I love the Moravian star.  If I had one I would probably leave it up year round, so this time of year I get to see the star again.  Have you stopped to really look at one and see all the crosses that come together to create this star?   I imagine this is the unusual star in the heavens above the manager.  Matthew 2: 9-10 shares the joy of the wise men when they found Jesus, “After listening to the king, they went on their way. And behold, the star that they had seen when it rose went before them until it came to rest over the place where the child was. 10 When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy.”  As I enjoy the stars of Christmas, I realize that the stars we admire in the heavens are creation of God.  Psalms 147:4 reads, “He determines the number of the stars; he gives to all of them their names.”  Each star including the one that rose over Jesus’s birth is named by God, the Creator.

IMG_2901

Christmas Season

Let’s all slow down this Christmas season and enjoy the lights of Christmas, find God’s peace, and His blessings in the lights.  Let go of the chaos this time of year can bring and stop and enjoy what is important.  Stop and remember that God brought his only Son as baby to walk in our footsteps without sin.  Jesus knows us and understands our walk.  Stop and walk with him through this season.  I know peace will be found and will be infinitely better than the hustle and bustle.  For as John 1:5 reminds us all, “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”

Closing Verse:  Psalm 119:105 Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.

Challenge:  Stop and Walk with Jesus through the Christmas Season.

Trust In You

IMG_0699

Trust In You by Lauren Daigle

Another song is lingering on my heart this week that I really feel lead to share.  This one speaks deeply to me, and I realize that what I want and wish for in my life is not what God may want for my life.  I sometimes feel I am drowning.  Life is both good and conflicting all at the same time.  I try to stop and listen to God but I am unsure what He is saying to me these days.  Each day is a different message, but I know somewhere in there is my own confusion, distracting me from God’s will.

Letting go of every single dream
I lay each one down at Your feet
Every moment of my wondering
Never changes what You see

I’ve tried to win this war I confess
My hands are weary I need Your rest
Mighty Warrior King of the fight
No matter what I face You’re by my side

Then I heard this song.  The words speak to me as we enter this holiday season and the end of another year.  I know that I must lay my life and dreams at His feet.  I am weary from life and I need Him by my side as I continue the fight!  I am David before Goliath.  May my faith in God be strong as I use God’s strength to push forward.  “Then David said to the Philistine, You come to me with a sword and with a spear and with a javelin, but I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel…” 1 Samuel 17:45.

Truth is You know what tomorrow brings
There’s not a day ahead You have not seen
So in all things be my life and breath
I want what You want Lord and nothing less

I rest in the arms of the Lord and the knowledge that he has counted my days before my days even existed.  “Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.” Psalm 139: 16.  I place my trust in him that I can conquer all that he has planned and that his dreams become mine and I will walk in his grace and strength just as Ephesians 6:10 promises, “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might.”

(chorus)
When You don’t move the mountains
I’m needing You to move
When You don’t part the waters
I wish I could walk through
When You don’t give the answers
As I cry out to You
I will trust, I will trust
I will trust in You
I will trust in You

I sing these words and I know that I must trust as Jeremiah 17:7 reads, ““Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose trust is the Lord.”  I will find my blessings by walking and trusting in the Lord.  The God I know can move mountains from Matthew 17:20, “He said to them, Because of your little faith. For truly, I say to you, if you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you.”  He may choose not to move the mountain or part the sea I want moved or parted.  This realization is sometimes hard to understand but walking his path I know I will find His blessings.

(bridge)
You are my strength and comfort
You are my steady hand
You are my firm foundation
The Rock on which I stand
Your ways are always higher
Your plans are always good
There’s not a place where I’ll go
You’ve not already stood

On this Thanksgiving morning as I write and realize how thankful I am for all that God has provided and blessed my life with – may I remember that He is my Rock.  Psalms 95:1 says, “Oh come, let us sing to the Lord; let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation!”  May I remember to sing and rejoice in this song that God is my Rock each and everyday.  I find my strength from my Rock and “I can do all things through him who strengthens me.”, Philippians 4:13.

Closing Verse: “The Lord is my strength and my song, and he has become my salvation; this is my God, and I will praise him, my father’s God, and I will exalt him.”  Exodus 15:2

Challenge:    During this holiday season may we find our path and strength from our Rock and sing a song of praise for all God has done.

Publishing: © 2014 CentricSongs (SESAC) / Sony/ATV Timber Publishing (SESAC) / Word Music & Pocket Full of Rocks Publishing (ASCAP)

Writer(s): Words and Music by Lauren Daigle, Paul Mabury and Michael Farren

 

 

Even If…

IMG_1189

Sometimes God really amazes me.  This week it was through music.  Driving to work I heard the song, Even If by MercyMe.  It was a  moment in my week that struck a chord with where I was at that moment in my life.  I needed God.  He might not give me what I thought I wanted, but I knew he would give me what he purposed for me.  Jeremiah 29:11 is this reminder, “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”

Even If

Hey say sometimes you win some
Sometimes you lose some
And right now
Right now I’m losing bad

I realized that I am losing control of my life.  I feel it spiraling out of control.  Sometimes I feel like I just can not stop it.  Luke 1:37 reveals, “For nothing will be impossible with God.” The brakes are broken and it is all moving too fast.  Then I stop and pray because that is the only way I can find the brakes because nothing is impossible with God.

I’ve stood on this stage
Night after night
Reminding the broken
It’ll be alright
But right now
Oh right now I just can’t

It’s easy to sing
When there’s nothing to bring me down
But what will I say
When I’m held to the flame
Like I am right now

Sometimes the flames feel like they are swallowing me up.  Sometimes I feel lost in the fire.  Romans 3:23 reads, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,”  and the flames of life remind me of my sins and I fall on my knees to beg for forgiveness to find relief and love from the flames in God’s arms.

I know You’re able
And I know You can
Save through the fire
With Your mighty hand
But even if You don’t
My hope is You alone

The flames of life are sometimes hard to bear.  I pray for God to move in my life and quench the flames, and I must accept how He choses to move in my life.  My hope is in the Lord.  Psalm 31:24, “Be strong, and let your heart take courage, all you who wait for the Lord!”

They say it only takes a little faith
To move a mountain
Good thing
A little faith is all I have right now

But God when You choose
To leave mountains unmovable
Give me the strength
To be able to sing                                                                                                                                  It is well with my soul

I strive to be strong and find peace even in the flames.  I know that I love a God who can perform any miracle.  Yes, he can move mountains – “He said to them, “Because of your little faith. For truly, I say to you, if you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you.” Matthew 17:20 – or he may not.  Either way I will take my little faith and in him find the faith I need to walk through the flames. “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.”  Hebrews 11:1

I know the sorrow
I know the hurt
Would all go away
If You’d just say the word
But even if You don’t
My hope is You alone

“Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.” Romans 12:12.  I will live by faith, rejoice in hope, patiently walk through the flames, and bend my knees to pray that may God’s Will be done.

You’ve been faithful
You’ve been good
All of my days
Jesus, I will cling to You
Come what may
‘Cause I know You’re able
I know You can

It is well with my soul

I will cling to the cross as 1 Corinthians 1:18 reveals, “For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.”  I will be faithful in my walk no matter the outcomes.  I will seek peace in my soul. “He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.” Psalm 23:3.

Closing Verse:  “And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith.” Matthew 21:22

Challenge:  When you walk through the valley of flames find your faith and hope through prayer and know that God is preparing your future in his own time.

When God is Quiet

IMG_95393FFB7F90-1

Why is He Quiet?

Walking through this week, I God has been quiet.  I have struggled to listen for him, hear him, but he has remained silent.  I pray Psalm 37:7, “Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him; fret not yourself over the one who prospers in his way, over the man who carries out evil devices!”  I know that he is near, but just now speaking to me right now.  I stop to pray and ask for his guidance, his blessing, for him to be near my family and I know that he is, but yet the question still remains – Why is he quiet?

Scripture Says…

Searching scripture not just for the Why but hear what he trying to tell me this week has left me curious and wondering.  Many times when God has been silent in scripture, he is allowing those he love to wallow in their sin of not putting him first.  Just as Isaiah 57: 11 reads, “Of whom were you worried and fearful When you lied, and did not remember Me Nor give Me a thought? Was I not silent even for a long time So you do not fear Me?”  Should I be concerned?  Maybe he is just silently holding me through this week.  Quietly showing me the way to walk this week.  Allowing me to find him in the “little things” where it has seemed so much pain might actually be.  Maybe he is loving me a different way this week.

Feeling His Quiet Love

That must be it!  In the midst of pain and darkness came a small victory.  Even though, I was seeking him – I know now that he was near.  He was allowing me to feel the pain, but preparing me for the small victories.  The little things that brought tears with more joy than sadness.   Zephaniah 3:17, “The LORD your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.” is a verse that I celebrate this week.  I know his love was quiet but his quietness has brought rejoicing to my life.  

Closing Verse:  ” O God, do not keep silence; do not hold your peace or be still, O God!” Psalm 83:1

Challenge:  God we know that you will sometimes be quiet, but may we constantly seek you to know even at those times you are working in our lives.  My prayer is that God is not silent or still in your life.  

 

On My Knees

IMG_0224

Brought to My Knees

I am on my knees and trying to figure why I am down here, but God has a way of getting your attention when you least expect it but when you desperately need it.  That is where I am this week, in desperate need of my Father.  He knew it was coming and that I had been unfaithful to him, so he showed up and brought me to my knees.

As I have stopped to reflect on everything that has happened this week, I see God so clearly calling my name, wanting me to seek him first.  The introvert in me turns every more inward to search for what he is trying to say to me.  This past Sunday the sermon was titled, “Nowhere to Hide” from Revelations 2: 18-29.  What did it reveal to me that I was not hiding, but that God was watching me.  I felt it deep down inside his presence with me, I was moved to evaluate my life and our relationship.  This began my inward turn, my soul-searching and I felt like I was in a battle or struggle much like Jacob in Genesis 32: 24, ” And Jacob was left alone. And a man wrestled with him until the breaking of the day. ”  Was I wrestling with God?  Why would I be?   Was he making me stronger or bringing me down? I asked these questions, but searching the sermon even deeper I felt like Joseph’s brothers when the gold was found with the grain in their bags.  Even before Reuben was feeling convicted of his sins, but God needed to bring them to their knees to show them all his glory.

Seeing Clearly

I pray as I struggle and fall on my knees my eyes will clearly see God and the glory he wants to bring to my life , if I will only stay focused on him.  When the blessing flow again, I pray for strength and guidance to stay focused on God and not slip away.  Philippians 4:12 reads, “I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need.”  This verse reminds me that I will have times of abundance and times of need, yet the Lord will stand with me through both, but I must stay focused on Him.

Leaning on the Lord

God has my attention now that I am on my knees.  I am searching for his wisdom and know that he will answer.  I know that the pain of this week will turn for good because I believe in his name.  Romans 8: 18 promises, ” For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us..”  This promise that joy is coming is why I cling to the cross and his word in the midst of the pain that I feel.  I will stand and rejoice that God has claimed me as his own.  “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice”, as Philippians 4:4 exclaims!  I know now that I can rejoice because he is near.  2 Timothy 4:17 states, “But the Lord stood by me and strengthened me…”  I feel him near me and I feel his strength building inside of me.  I feel his love and passion overflowing my heart.  I feel my Father back home.

Closing Verse:  “The Lord is greater than the giants you face.” 1 John 4:4

Challenge:   You can face anything with the Lord by your side.  Stop, fall on your knees, and pray.

 

 

God’s Path

IMG_1620

 

God’s Path

As I move through the week, I can not help but stop and wonder about how my life ebbs and flows.  Looking back it is obvious to see God’s plan  and how it has worked in my life, yet even looking back, when I look forward, I continue ponder what God has planned for me.  I hear the words from scripture and know that God is in control, yet sometimes it is hard to relinquish the reins to my Father.  “Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand.” from Proverbs 19:21, is a reminder that I might have abundant plans but only God’s plan will prevail. This reminder from scripture to focus and stay tuned to God and realize the path he is paving for me.

Looking Back

The past is full of both good and bad, but always when I look back I see the good that has been in my life and how God has brought that goodness to my life.  In the moment sometimes it is impossible to see God working, but it never fails when I stop and reflect on life that is when I can see all of his handiwork.   I know that he is walking with me by looking back at the footsteps behind me.  When I read the poem Footsteps in the Sand,  (Searching for the Truth) I think first think of how God walks with me, but for me I really don’t see the footsteps until I look back at them in the sand.  I know that the hustle and bustle of life gets in the way sometimes of me feeling God’s presence next to me.  My prayer is that I can find the calm in my life to know he is next to me and make the decisions that are in his plan for me.  May I pick up the lamp and shine my light forward as Psalms 119:105 states, “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.”

God’s Path

As I move through the week and through life, I can not help but stop sometimes and wonder about how my life ebbs and flows.  Looking back it is obvious to see God’s plan  and how it has worked in my life, yet even looking back, when I look forward, I continue ponder what God has planned for me.  I hear the words from scripture and know that God is in control, yet sometimes it is hard to relinquish the reins to my Father.  Proverbs 19:21, “Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand.”  is a reminder that my plans maybe be many but only God’s plan will prevail.  I certainly do not want to work hard for naught, so this reminder to stay tuned to God and realize the path is paving for me.

Looking Back

The past is full of both good and bad, but always when I look back I see mostly the good that has been in my life and how God has brought that goodness to my life.  In the midst of life it is always impossible to see God working, but it never fails when I stop and reflect on life that is when I can see all of his handiwork in my life.   I know that he is walking with me by looking back at the footsteps behind me.  When I read the poem Footsteps in the Sand I remember that God walks with me, but for me I really don’t see the footsteps until I look back at them in the sand.  I know that the hustle and bustle of life gets in the way sometimes of me feeling God’s presence with me.  My prayer is that I will seek the calm in my life to know he is next to me and make the decisions that are in his plan for me.  May I pick up the lamp and shine my light forward as Psalms 119:105 states, “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.”

Future Path

As I look back at his footsteps and then turned look forward at the undisturbed sand, I again stop and wonder what is the path that God is planning for my life going forward. How will I glorify him?  How will I honor him?  How will I love him?  I will walk down the path he has laid for me because scripture makes me this promise in Jeremiah 29: 11, “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”  As I shine my lamp forward, I long for the future and hope that he is promising me.

Closing Verse:  Proverbs 3:5-6, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.”

Challenge:   Seek God through scripture and prayer that you might find peace in the path he is paving for you.