The Sinner in Me

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Who Am I?

I have been writing for over a year now, but today I find myself in deep examination of who I am.  God has placed me between two verses of scripture.  I have had a glimpse into the darkness and ugliness inside of me, and I fear I am a hypocrite.  I study His Word and share His Love in my life, yet I hid from others.  I lie about who I am, I lie to those close to me by pretending I am someone I am not.

I Am a Sinner

Yes, I am a sinner and have always known that but when God placed this verse he fully reminded me of my sinfulness before I had to face my sins.

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Funny, I shared this verse out of social media because it touched me and had lots of responses and reactions to it which now is just a reminder to me of our sinful nature and how haunting it is just as God opened my eyes and exposed my own.  I am thankful and grateful for his love in opening my eyes, but I so struggle with the Why?  Why? am I hiding my sins knowing the pain it could cause.  How did I let this happen?

A Simple Prayer

I pray that God will some how bless these words from a sinner.  I don’t usually stop and pray in my writing, but I feel strongly that I need to stop and pray now.

Father, give me the wisdom and strength to shine light on my sinful nature, my lies, and the pain I have caused.  Bless these words that from within healing will come and that the truth will cleanse and make whole that which is broken through your grace and love.  Amen

Saying this prayer brings the verse that God brought to me today:

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I cling to this verse now as a goal for my life.  I am headed toward this cleansing by publicly and personally committing to cleaning myself of my flesh and moving toward more holiness.  A path I should have already taken in my life.  I will walk to this scripture knowing that God promises in Romans 8:28, “We know that God is always at work for the good of everyone who loves him.  They are the ones God has chosen for his purpose,”  I cling to these words that I am a child of God and long for Christ in my heart.

Ethics

Oh the irony of sitting in a class on Ethics and reading this quote today by George Santayana, “Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”  A stabbing reminder of my ethical sins.  As I become overwhelmed and humbled by my unworthiness, I can only fall before the throne and beg for forgiveness for my reckless sins and the hurt these have caused.  I am hiding behind God instead of him living within me.  The irony continues to drip in this class as I examine my own ethics. How have I been fraudulent to those around me?  The words are painful but necessary.  I see a sinner and liar in the mirror today but tomorrow I want to see Christ.  The only way to see Christ is to seek the truth.  As I close I want to share something I really learned in this class today and that is not to just apply the Golden Rule from Matthew 7:12, “Treat others as you want them to treat you.”  but maybe just maybe we should treat others the way they need to be treated in that moment.  I need to stop and see how my sins affect others around me.  Then maybe then I can truly call myself a Christian and feel like one.  Sin is hard to bear.

Closing:  (Prayer)  My Father, may you place the words of truth on my lips and guide me to share my sin of not choosing to follow you but my flesh.  Cleanse me and bring Your Glory.  In Jesus Name I pray.  Amen

Challenge:  When the devil and the angel sit on your shoulders, listen to the angel – Listen to God.

The Tongue & Apologies

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Rotten Fruit

How many times have my words cut someone down?  I can honestly say that I am not sure I really want to know the result of my tongue and the lack of my apologies.  Sometimes it is hard to stop and think about the wrongs I have done until I feel the impact of someone’s tongue toward me.  When I eat the fruits of someone else’s tongue, I only taste the fruit of my own.  I have to stop and linger over the rotten fruit that I have produced from my own lips.  “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits.” Proverbs 18:21.

The Tongue

I believe my biggest sins sometime come straight out of my mouth.  The tongue is such a work of evil that I pray constantly for the Lord to help me bring mine under control.    The Word tells me the only way to keep my tongue in check and I know that I alone can not do that without God working in me, so that my tongue brings more glorification than hurt to those around me.  “Whoever keeps his mouth and his tongue keeps himself out of trouble.” Proverbs 21:23.

Apologies

I want my tongue to bring healing and not hurt.  I want my tongue to spread God’s Love not the Devil’s hate.  I want my tongue to show love in all that comes forth, but I fail at this everyday.  When I fail I must sow the seeds of forgiveness by asking for forgiveness and giving it when I am hurt.  I must apologize and bring healing with my tongue when I bring hurt with my words are swords of hurt.  “There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.” Proverbs 12:18.  As I pray and seek God’s word to help keep my tongue in check, I turn my eyes to Jesus and know that following his example is the way to the Father.  “Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6.

 

 

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Closing Verse:  “For “Whoever desires to love life and see good days, let him keep his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking deceit;”  1 Peter 3:10.

Challenge: Seek the Lord in your words.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Good Morning, Lord

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Mornings

Recently, I read a blog post from IBelieve.com about praying before getting your day started and before getting caught up in the day.  Making that connection with the Father first thing in the morning.  After reading this blog, I thought about my mornings because I try to connect with the Lord before I start each day.  I strongly feel taking this time makes me a better overall person, wife, mother, friend, and employee because I started  my day working on my relationship with my Lord and Savior.

How does my morning begin?  I start each morning not just with a workout and walking my dog, but by spending time in God’s Word.  I open my day with devotion and prayer.  I stop and thank him for all the good he has given me in my life.  I count my blessings.  I find joy in the morning which carries me through the rest of my day.  This time lifts me up for the rest of my day. “Let me hear in the morning of your steadfast love, for in you I trust. Make me know the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul.”  Psalm 143:8.  As I was writing this blog post, I ran across this picture on Facebook.  This is another reminder of why we should begin our day with the Lord and thank him for his blessings.

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Spreading Love

My mornings have changed over the years, sometimes I have been real exact in my time and other times I let the Lord lead the way.  There have been times when I focused on others in prayer and times when I have focused on my needs from the Lord.  There have been times where my devotions have been guided and other times where I just opened his word.  I have always tried to find his love for my life and then spread his love to others.  The only way I have found to make this impactful in my life is to begin the day with Him.  “Satisfy us in the morning with your steadfast love, that we may rejoice and be glad all our days” Psalm 90:14.

 

Closing Verse:  Lamentations 3:22-23

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Challenge: How do you begin your day?  Consider beginning your day with the Lord. and see the way he will bless you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Eye of the Storm

Peace in the midst of the Storm

Today, I sit and wait on Florence to arrive at my home. She has ravaged the NC coastline and kept me in the dark for days about my daughters well-being.  Today, though, I received good news for a change.  All is well where she is and her home is still standing with minimal damage.  Praise God!  Watching the rain and wind now brings me little anxiety as compared to the past few days.  God has answered prayer.  “Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.” Mark 11:24.  As I praised God this morning, I just felt this song in my heart.  I needed to hear it and sing it.  The emotions of the last few days are wrapped up in these words by Ryan Stevenson.

When the solid ground is falling out
From underneath my feet
Between the black skies and my red eyes
I can barely see
When I realize I’ve been let down by my friends and my family
I can hear the rain reminding me

In the eye of the storm, You remain in control
In the middle of the war, You guard my soul
You alone are the anchor, when my sails are torn
Your love surrounds, me in the eye of the storm

I know that as I watched, waited, and cried these last few days, God was with me and he comforted me and cared for me.  “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.” Psalm 23:4.  He loved me like no one could in such circumstances.  He was my rock and anchor when I felt like everything was out of control.   He provided my solid ground.

Faith in the midst of the Storm

This past week when I felt out of control and helpless, it was my faith that kept me going through the storm.  “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” Hebrews 11:1.  Walking in my faith has been the strength God has provided as I waited and waited for word of the storms impact.

When my hopes and dreams are far from me
And I’m running out of faith
I see the future I pictured slowly fade away
And when the tears of pain and heartache are pouring down my face
I find my peace in Jesus’ name

In the eye of the storm, You remain in control
In the middle of the war, You guard my soul
You alone are the anchor, when my sails are torn
Your love surrounds me, in the eye of the storm

Faith is all that can bring peace in the midst of storms in life.  Whether the storm is real or just storms of life the only peace can be found in faith.  “Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.”  Romans 5:1.  Guard your soul with the word of God.

Trust in the Lord

So this storm has taught me to trust more in the Lord.  To give my worries to him and stand in his strength and faith.  He is my protector.  “He will cover you with his pinions, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness is a shield and buckler.” Psalm 91:4.  I will hid under his wings through the storm.


When they let me go and I just don’t know
How I’m gonna make ends meet
I did my best
Now I’m scared to death
That we might lose everything

And when a sickness takes my child away
And there’s nothing I can do
My only hope is to trust You
I trust You LORD

In the eye of the storm, You remain in control
In the middle of the war, You guard my soul
You alone are the anchor, when my sails are torn
Your love surrounds me, in the eye of the storm

In the eye of the storm, You remain in control
In the middle of the war, You guard my soul
You alone are the anchor when my sails are torn
Your love surrounds me in the eye of the storm

Closing Verse:  “Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times in every way. The Lord be with you all.”  2 Thessalonians 3:16.

Challenge: Find refuge and peace in the eye of the storm under your Father’s wings where peace and faith live.

 

 

Visit Ryan’s website: http://smarturl.it/ryanstevenson

Connect with Ryan Stevenson:

Facebook: http://smarturl.it/ryanfacebook

Instagram: http://smarturl.it/ryansinstagram

Twitter: http://smarturl.it/ryanstwitter

 

 

Praying

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“Pray without ceasing,” 1 Thessalonians 5:17

Earlier this week, I felt I knew what I wanted to write and then Hurricane Florence became real.  She threatened a piece of me and I just can’t write.  I can only pray.  I ask you to stop and pray for Eastern North Carolina and the rest of the state as we anticipate her arrival.  Prayers also for South Carolina as it appears she will also create havic through this state as well.  I ask you to pray not just for my beautiful daughter but for the students she serves selflessly each day.  Please pray that God will spare lives.  These students have so little and school is their safe place and now school will be an after thought possibly for months.  I pray for these communities, the military and emergency personnel that will work tirelessly over this weekend and into the coming weeks.  I pray for my son in law who will work around the clock at the hospital saving lives.  I just can’t stop praying, pleading for God’s mercy and grace in this moment.  There are no words this week just prayers.  Please stop and pray with me.

 

 

Searching for a New Heart – Part 3

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Heart of Wickedness

I have been  meditating, read scriptures on the heart and praying for more guidance by the Lord from scripture for my  heart. Fully understanding what must take place in my heart means I must fully understand my heart and how it works in this world where the devil operates.  As I look back at Jeremiah 17:9 the verse that really began this walk for me, I look at different versions to dig for deeper meaning from the verse.  One of my favorites is the ESV, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?”  I really start to realize not just how I need to focus on my heart but how hard it is to understand others especially when the heart is full of such wickedness.  No one can understand the heart and maybe not even the person whose heart is consumed with wickedness.  That is a scary thought.  Not just for those I love but for me.

Christ – A sacrifice for the Heart

Romans 1:21 in some ways expresses this even among believers “For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened.”  The frightening impact of that verse is that even those that know God may not choose to honor God because of their heart.  I pray that will not be my heart.  Lord I ask that you lead me to a new heart, and one that loves and prays for the hearts of those who are lost.  It is sad that man had to find this wicked path, but as I study the heart, I realize the impact that God has had with the gift of Christ to save me from my sins.  I can feel hope in his resurrection that my heart can be resurrected from the wickedness that it bears.  From the fall man has had wickedness in his heart.  Genesis 6:5 reads, ” The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.”  These words bring tears to my eyes to know that God has endured so much pain by man that he loves so much, and that love provided a sacrifice in Christ that would save us all from our wicked hearts.

Heart of Pride

Acts 7:51 reads “You stiff-necked people, uncircumcised in hearts and ears, you always resist the Holy Spirit.  As your fathers did, so do you.”  The evil in man has been for so long sometimes I think it is even hard for us to see it.  People who have uncircumcised hearts have hearts that are not purified and heathen.  An uncircumcised heart leads to a hard heart which leads to no relationship with the Lord.  Ephesians 4:18 says, “They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart.”  May God give the wisdom not to be ignorant so my heart my live and rejoice in the Lord.  Ignorance that has a heart like the one in 2 Peter 2:14 “They have eyes full of adultery, insatiable for sin.  They entice unsteady souls.  They have hearts trained in greed.  Accursed children!”  These verses take me back to Proverbs 16:5 and the pride God hates in our hearts.  Searching I found Jeremiah 49:16 which speaks of more pride and how the Lord will still hunts us “The horror you inspire has deceived you, and the pride of your heart, you who live in the clefts of the rock, who hold the height of the hill.  Though you make your nest as high as the eagle’s, I will bring you down from there, declares the Lord.”   Even full of pride the Lord can bring us to our knees.

Resurrection Saves My Heart

Yes that is what he has done to me.  I refuse to have a hard heart one that is spoken of in Romans 2:5 “But because of your hard and impenitent heart you are storing up wrath for yourself on the day of wrath when God’s righteous judgement will be revealed.”  I want the heart of Matthew 6: 21 that is full of treasures in heaven – “For where you treasure is, there your heart will be also.”  May my heart and my treasure be full of the resurrection of my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ who is spoken of in 1 Peter 2:24, “He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness.  By his wounds you have been healed!  Praise God – He is Risen!

Closing Verse:  Matthew 5:8 “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.

Challenge:  I have the same prayer for you and your heart!  Seek to find Christ in your Heart.

Searching For A New Heart – part 2

(First posted on March 31, 2013)

Heart of Doubt

kablam_glossy_heartI am continuing to search scripture in order to understand my heart and how to fully allow God into my heart so his work can be done.  I closed my last post dealing with doubt and fear in my heart.  Today I begin my search with thoughts about how the heart is connected to our thoughts.  Doubt and Trouble come from our thoughts, and I found scripture on this in Mark 2:6,8.  Verse 6 reads, “And some of the scribes were sitting there and reasoning in their hearts,” followed up in verse 8 “But immediately, when Jesus perceived in His spirit that they reasoned thus within themselves, He said to them, ‘Why do you reason about these things in your hearts?”  The scribes were full of pride, remember that for later, and in their hearts they reasoned that when Jesus healed other it was sinful.  In Matthew 9:4 Jesus even says on the same occasion, “But Jesus, knowing their thoughts, said, ‘Why do you think evil in your hearts?”.  Evil comes from the heart into our thoughts, but there is good news!  Psalm 19:14 says “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart Be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my strength and my Redeemer.”  We can ensure that our thoughts are good and acceptable to Go, but we must focus our heart toward good and God.

Pride

Looking back at the prideful scribes who allowed their pride to plant sin in their hearts and cloud their judgement on Jesus.  Pride evokes fear in me and my heart as it should after reading Proverbs 16:5 which reads “Everyone proud in heart is an abomination to the Lord; Though they join forces, none will go unpunished.”  That is a powerful verse that makes you stop in your tracks.  How many times have we been overcome with pride. How often do we want things our way and fail to consider everything because of our pride.  How often do we want to be praised for what we do instead of serving for the Lord and him alone.  Pride an abomination to the Lord brings silence to me right now.  I wait for God to move.  Leviticus 19:17 mentions hate in the heart, “You shall not hate your brother in your heart.  You shall surely rebuke your neighbor, and not bear sin because of him.”  God commanded his people not to have hate in their heart.

Hope vs Wickedness

I tremble before the Lord as I read these verses because I know that God can withdraw himself from my heart if I do not keep my focus on him just as he did with Pharaoh first stating in Exodus 4:21 “And the Lord said to Moses, ‘When you go back to Egypt, see that you do all those wonders before Pharaoh which I have put in your hand,  But I will harden his heart, so that he will not let the people go.”  God allows hardening of the heart when he is not living in your heart.  When God is living in our hearts we have purpose.  2 Corinthians 9:7 says ” So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver.”  We have purpose we give from the heart which leads to rejoicing from the heart.  Acts 2:26 tells us ” Therefore my heart rejoiced, and my tongue was glad; Moreover my flesh also will rest in hope.”  These verses give me hope that the wickedness of my heart will not win out over the Lord living in my heart.

Loving with the Heart

I hold several verses close to my heart and want to share.  Earlier I mentioned that God does not like hate in our heart and commanded it of his people.  Jesus brought a new commandment found in Mark 12: 30-31,33.  In verse 30 -31 Jesus says, ” And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength,” This is the first commandment. And the second, like it, is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”  This is finalized in verse 33 showing Jesus as the one true sacrifice where we can find such love in ourselves and our hearts.  Verse 33 reads, ” And to love Him with all the heart, with all the understanding, with the soul, and with all the strength, and to love one’s neighbor as oneself, is more than all the whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.”  These commandments and the love I want to hold for the Lord and others in my heart are summed up in Matthew 6: 19-21.  My focus is really on verse 21 but I feel the verses as a whole really shows me that I need to focus on the Lord so my heart is lead to my treasures.  Otherwise my treasures will be evil and sinful and of this world.  Beginning in verse 19, “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where the moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; (20) but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal.

Closing Verse:  Matthew 6: 21 “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

Challenge:  Commit your heart to the Lord and your store treasures in heaven.  I pray God will help you and me focus on a new heart.

Searching For a New Heart

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Recently, I started looking back at some of my post and find this random 4 part series on the heart back in 2013.  I was not writing regularly back then so decided to repost this series over the next few weeks with some edits.  (First posted on March 13, 2013)

Open My Eyes to My Heart

kablam_glossy_heartSometimes I sit in awe of the Lord and how he leads us and draws us near to him.  Recently I have been praying and asking God to help me let go of some things which were causing me to become a person I did not want to be.    It is funny sometimes how something you have always known just really comes to light and you have to accept it for what it is.  I guess the finality of acceptance is something we as humans try to avoid.  I know that I have in many areas of my life.  As God recently opened my eyes to this ugly person I did not want to be, he sent me searching through scripture and everywhere I turned he introduced me to my heart.  Not this heart that I can be proud of but the real heart inside of me.  I will get to that.  I feel lead to share where God is leading me on this in-depth discovery of the heart.  I long for the new heart the scriptures speak of but to have that heart I must understand the heart as a whole.

Good vs Evil

The heart can be root of both Good and Evil, but more often the heart will lead us down the easiest road and usually that is not where we truly want to go.  As I read various scriptures, I decided to turn to Strong’s Commentary for some guidance and here I found a plethora of verses that speak of what is seeded in the heart.  I was lead to all this because I was not right and I quietly and silently began really listening to God.  He began to show me so many things about myself as I read the scripture.  Everything kept leading toward the heart and that caught my attention.  Specifically I began a 6 day devotional study on Love & Marriage I found and guess what Day 1 was on – you guess it – the Heart.  This first devotion is the initial cause of my digging.  I felt God calling me to the scriptures for more.  One of the verses shared in the study on day 1 was Jeremiah 17:9 “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; Who can know it?” I felt completely and utterly a failure because following my heart without God would always lead to wickedness because the heart is wicked.  Who can know our heart?  The simple answer is only God and he knows all our wickedness.  So begins this journey to know my heart.

Following Scripture

I have been visiting verses lately that speak of what is rooted in the heart.  These verses can sometimes seem good but if you really look at what can come from the heart you see the wickedness.  The first verse from Jesus in Matthew 5: 28 “But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”  So our sin before it is revealed has already been committed in our heart.  But what of lust as I noticed a verse was listed that spoke specifically to this word found in Romans 1:24 “Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves.”  So God pulled away and their hearts took over which lead back to Matthew 5:28.  What of our desires?  Romans 10:1 says “…my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is that they may be saved.”  At first read, this sounds good but looking deeper I see that we have to have control of what our heart desires.  Left alone we become the heart in Matthew 5 and Romans 1.  As I sit speechless and pray that the Lord will help me find my new heart with him.  I am almost afraid to continue on but the draw is powerful to read more.  What more words did Jesus have to say about the heart?

Mark 11:23 reads in the words of Jesus, “For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says.”  This verse sounds so awesome, but to have this faith.  It is so easy to say yes Lord I have this much faith when really my heart doubts.  Jesus says in John 14:1 ” Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me.”  I must not let trouble and doubt fill my heart just the Lord so my faith can overcome the wickedness my heart desires.  These words are similar to those from Isaiah 35: 4 “Say to those who are fearful-hearted, ‘Be strong, do not fear! Behold, your God will come with a vengeance, With the recompense of God; He will come and save you.”  With such words from our Lord why do I let me heart be my guide?

Time to meditate on these words from scripture.  Putting this puzzle together is encouraging but also brings me to my knees in need of prayer.  Before seeking more it is time for prayer.  Time to start seeking my new heart.

Closing Verse: “You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:13

Challenge:  My prayer is that God will be my guide and work in my heart. May he also be yours.

 

 

Count Your Blessings

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I haven’t spent as much time in the car listening to the radio this summer and since I have been working this past week once again my drive includes listening to KLove.  I have these moments when listening to music sometimes and it goes like this, What is the name of this song?  Who sings this song?  I really love the message of this song!  I need to Shazam this song?  So today I am sharing a new song for me and the impact while driving to work as I thought about the meaning.
Count Your Blessing
Rend Collective
I was blind, now I’m seeing in color
I was dead, now I’m living forever
I had failed, but you were my redeemer
I’ve been blessed beyond all measure

Blessed

If there is one thing I have fully determined this summer, it is that I am blessed.  God has given me the time to disconnect from the world and focus on Him and what he has given me.  “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.”  James 1:17.  I have been blessed with two beautiful daughters who are hard working and independent.  I have been blessed with a loving husband who has loved me now over 30 years with all my faults and failures.  I have been blessed with a career that touches children and (I pray) I have changed some of their lives.  God is Good, but this summer He asked me to really look and appreciate the beauty he created and blessed me with.  Although, I understand the words I was blind and now I see in color as being saved, the past month showed me that color in 3D.  I really see the colors now, Lord.  I see what is important.  I am living and want to continue to live both here and forever with you.  “Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you,” 1 Peter 5:6.

Treasure

I was lost, now I’m found by the father
I’ve been changed from a ruin to treasure
I’ve been given a hope and a future
I’ve been blessed beyond all measure
I am counting every blessing, counting every blessing
Letting go and trusting when I cannot see
I am counting every blessing, counting every blessing
Surely every season you are good to me
Oh, you are good to me
Oh, you are good to me
God is showing me the treasures he has stored up for me.  “Sell your possessions, and give to the needy. Provide yourselves with moneybags that do not grow old, with a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches and no moth destroys.” Luke 12:33.  I want to focus more on trying to live out this verse.  Sell, share, and live with less in order to experience God more.  He is allowing me to taste heaven here on earth, and I am thirsty for more.  I want to experience more of his beauty and grace.  I want to not just count my blessing but enjoy my blessings.  I want to enjoy a future that is full of both my Father in heaven and my remaining days here on earth.   Luke 12:34 states it best, “For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”

Strength

You were there in the valley of shadows
You were there in the depth of my sorrows
You’re my strength, my hope for tomorrow
I’ve been blessed beyond all measure
I am counting every blessing, counting every blessing
Letting go and trusting when I cannot see
I am counting every blessing, counting every blessing
Surely every season you are good to me
Oh, you are good to me
Oh, you are good to me
I have walked through valleys and across mountain tops and I know that my life will be filled with both.  Yet, I have hope in God’s strength, “I can do all things through him who strengthens me.”  Philippians 4:13.  As I walk through the life God is giving me and count the many blessings, I know that I continue to need his strength to make the decisions and walk his path.  I know that the only strength I can rely on is that which the Lord provides.  Driving and listening to this song, I feel my Lord’s strength which I will need and promised to me in  1 Chronicles 16:11, “Seek the Lord and his strength; seek his presence continually!”
Surely your goodness pursues me
Surely your heart is still for me
I will remember your mercies all my days
Through every storm and gale
Closing Verse: “But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.” Isaiah 40:31.
Challenge:  Take the time today to stop and count your blessings and lean on the Lord’s strength for your life.

 

Songwriters: Gareth Gilkeson / Chris Llewellyn / Bridget Herron / Ali Gilkeson / Will Herron / Steve Mitchell / Patrick Thompson
Counting Every Blessing lyrics © Capitol Christian Music Group

 

God is my Anchor

Lessons Learned – Here are a few.

Lesson #1:  Ok, I said there would be a guest post, but as new cruisers we have learned a lesson we should have already known.  Don’t boat on a schedule, so our planned four day trip from St. Petersburg, Florida to Mobile, Alabama took seven days.  Therefore our new blog site does not have a post ready yet, but now that we have stopped I will be able to spend some time reflecting on the last seven days.  Take your time because there is a time to hurry and sometimes there is a time to be patient and cruising in a boat is a patient time.  “For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:” Ecclesiastes 3:1.

Lesson #2:  Prepare for the worst.  “But stay awake at all times, praying that you may have strength to escape all these things that are going to take place, and to stand before the Son of Man.”” Luke 21:36.  Yes, we learned a lesson the hard way one night and did not prepare and protect ourselves as we should have, but God was there and help us through the storm, literally, and provided us the wisdom that only he can provide.  “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.” James 1:5.

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Lesson #3:  Have a good anchor.  All I can say is that our anchor is pretty special to us after this first voyage.  I have thought often of all she has held us through over the last seven days.  I look at her and see her as a metaphor of Christ.  Christ is our rock and he holds us close to him and protects us from evil.  That is what our anchor did she held us close and protected us.  “We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters into the inner place behind the curtain,”  Hebrews 6:19.

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So I will try again next week to share our new traveling blog and our first passage.  Stay tuned for more lessons and all the fun!

Closing Verse:  “Yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.” James 4:14.

Challenge:  Make Christ your anchor and live life today!

Happy Friday

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