Remember

Living Hope 1 Peter 1:3There’s a lot of things I’d like to forget. Stuff I’ve seen or heard about. Or lived.

But not this.

This is what I cling to in the dark. On the hard days. When I feel lost.

If my my mind gets clouded over with doubt or my heart starts to fill up with the rising waters of fear, there is only one thing to do.

Remember.

Remember that hope is alive because the Hope of the world, Jesus, is alive in me!

Because of Him, we can all sing:

Hallelujah, death is done;
all of hell is overcome!

I want to dedicate this song to friends and family members of mine and those of you reading this right now who are facing difficult struggles.

May you be encouraged by the truth in it’s message.

May every enemy be laid at your feet.

And, may your faith rise up when you remember the empty grave!

Jesus Calms the Storm

FTI Jesus calms the stormWhen you’re faced with tough decisions that affect your life and health, you can find yourself with a head full of information and a heart still empty of answers. This has been my story. Me, feeling lost and crying out to God, searching the scriptures and trying to listen.

I read again how “God, who gives life to the dead, and calls the things that are not, as though they were spoke the world into existence.

“Let there be light, and there was light.”

I whisper this prayer: Lord, be my Light.

I read again the words of Jesus.

“I am the Good Shepherd. My sheep hear my voice.”

Oh, Lord, let me hear your voice clearly.

I keep meditating on the name of Jesus and His power to save, heal and deliver.

Jesus – Yahweh saves. Yahweh from God’s actual name revealed to Moses, YHWH, I AM.

“I am the resurrection and the life.” Jesus’ declaration just before raising Lazarus from the dead.

“I am willing,” he said. “Be healed!” Jesus’ response to the Leper who asked to be cleansed from his disease.

There came a time this summer when I found myself praying with a new boldness and belief that Jesus was not only able, but willing to do the same for me. That through the cross and resurrection, He had provided salvation for me which was complete in every way. I reached out to Him for healing and prayed that He would bring confirmation for His glory and that my husband would be in full agreement of my desire to rely on the Lord for what I now call my ongoing “supernatural natural” wellness plan.

Later, I began to try to share this with my husband (except the last part, about him being in agreement.) He listened quietly. I wondered if he thought I was a little crazy. Then, a while later, he looked at me and said He felt the Holy Spirit speak this same message to him that very day. When I thought back, it was about the same time I was praying.

I sat there with tears in my eyes and praised God for that moment of relief, that moment when you realize He really is listening and He really does care.

Of course I still have questions. I have much to learn. But God has confirmed over and over that He is in control. Even today, I am rejoicing that blood tests show my cancer markers are in the normal range!

Praise the LORD!

I don’t have all the answers. I’m just trying my best to follow the One who does. Meanwhile, I want to encourage others who may read these words to keep praying, keep seeking, keep believing that God will do the impossible for you.

“Even the winds and the waves obey him!” This was the disciples’ reaction when Jesus calmed the stormy sea raging around them.

I hope this new song by Chris Tomlin will stir your heart as it has mine. May this be the anthem we sing in the middle of life’s storms.

Life & Breath & Everything Else

FTI graphic Acts 17:25When I was young, I fell off of some contraption I was playing on and lost my ability to breathe. “I got the wind knocked out of me,” as they say. It probably only lasted for a few seconds but I remember it was a scary few seconds.

Getting told you have cancer is sort of like that, only scarier. And it lasts longer.

Our lives are filled with moments like this that seem to come out of nowhere and take us by surprise.

Like the day I learned my sister-in law had lymphoma.

And when I heard of our nephew and niece’s newborn who is currently in the hospital battling a heart condition.

Or when I found out last week that one of our good friends had been diagnosed with leukemia.

In these seconds that feel like hours, everything slows. The heart sinks and the air leaves our lungs as we struggle to make sense of it all.

Then, there are other moments. The ones that remind us of our loving Creator. Soul-transcending times when we are startled by grace. Caught off guard by something so wonderful that we have no choice but to pause and give thanks to the One who made us.

Like the day the Lord mercifully reached down, rescuing my heart and saving me.

And the moment me and my love shared our “I do’s”, becoming husband and wife.

Or all the times during my recent struggles that I’ve encountered the compassion of family, friends and even strangers and realized how truly blessed I am.

I’m reminded of that quote that says, Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.

Those breath-stealing moments, they can happen in good times or bad. Either way, they get our attention, opening our eyes to what’s truly important, making us aware that we are alive.

And we are alive because God breathed His very breath into us. So it’s fitting that we should pour out our praise to Him.

That’s what I’m doing now. Thanking God for life and breath and everything else He’s so graciously given. Want to join me?

Let everything that has breath praise the Lord. Psalm 150:6

Me and the Sparrows

Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? Matthew 6: 26-27

There’s been a lot going on at our house lately. A cancer diagnosis for me and, for both my husband and I, the inner turmoil and emotional strain that comes with it.

So, we find ourselves out on our back porch most evenings. Sometimes we talk. Sometimes we say nothing and just watch the birds and the bunnies that seem to enjoy hanging out in our yard lately.

It’s a bit of peace in the midst of our storm to watch these carefree little creatures at play.

I want to be like that. I pray for that.

“God, let fear fall away from me like rain off the feathers of a sparrow. Help me not to worry about the future. Help me to trust that, no matter what tomorrow holds, You will take care of me.”

Below is a song my sister-in-law introduced me to recently. It reminded me that I am secure in God’s loving hands. Part of the lyric says, “If He can hold the world, He can hold this moment.”

Maybe you’re going through a trial of your own. If so, this is song is for you too.

Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows. Matthew 10:29-31

My Mess and God’s Mercy

FTI The Lord is close to the brokenhearted

So, once again, I was home just a couple of days after surgery and I was a mess – an overwhelmed, distraught, weeping mess. I thought I was losing it!

But…

God proved faithful to answer my cries for help, and the remainder of this post is my testimony to the fact that The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” Psalm 34:18 (By the way, other than my husband, none of the people mentioned below knew anything of the anguish I had been dealing with, so I knew God was speaking to me through them, giving just what I needed at the perfect time.)

First, he used my husband to counsel and console and pray with me. Every once in a while I’d hear him singing that old hymn….“The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning, new every morning, great is thy faithfulness, Oh Lord. Great is thy faithfulness.”

What a privilege to be married to a man of God!

Then, I got a text from a friend with a song that spoke to me of God’s restoration, mercy and redemption, and I felt Him drawing closer to me. If you haven’t heard Clean by Natalie Grant, watch the video below. Wow!

Next, I got a text from my sister. It was a photo of the Grand Canyon and you could make out a faint image of a man standing on the edge above it. She followed with this:

“It strikes me that from our human perspective, we can sometimes feel so small and insignificant relative to seemingly insurmountable obstacles in our path. When we arrive at the very edge of where our human ability can take us, we are reminded that God is with us. He is always with us, offering to carry us with the very hands that carved these vast canyons.”

She added the scripture from Matthew 19:26, Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

A bit later, my husband came to me with something he felt the Lord impressed on him to share with me – a promise from God spoken years earlier would now, through this battle, be fulfilled. He then played a song he just discovered by Lauren Daigle, My Revival, with the very words of that promise in the lyric. Here’s a link to listen. By the way, all the songs I’ve heard are incredible!

As I listened and poured out my heart to my Father, I knew I don’t need all the answers I’ve been struggling to find, I just need Him. His promises are true. I will soar and when I do, “I will soar on wings like eagles,” praising the living God who sees me and hears my desperate prayers and answers with whispers of mercy.

But that wasn’t all. Our extravagant God, who lavishes grace on those who call on Him, decided to send over a couple from our church. They brought food and we visited and they prayed over me.  Then, before leaving, there was another word from the Lord – a clear confirmation of something prophesied over me years ago. I felt His angels all around me – the visible and the invisible ones.

So, at the risk of making this long post even longer, I feel the urgency to share this. With whatever time He gives me on this earth, I want to be a messenger. To tell people about our Lord, speak truth and share grace.

His return is at hand and I believe another Great Awakening is coming. Many will hear the Word, repent of sin and turn to God because they are weary of substitutes. The idols we’ve made will crumble and we will return to our Creator, drawn to His enduring love for us, His infinite glory and the promise of eternal life made possible through the sacrifice of Jesus.

To all who have taken time to read this, I hope the Holy Spirit will translate my testimony into supernatural blessings that are very specific to you so that you will know He is near to you, to save and to help you in your time of need. Truly, His love never ceases and His mercies are new every morning.

____________________________________________________________________________

Lord, I pray that it will not be my words but Yours that people hear. Help me, like John, the Baptizer, be “A voice of one calling in the wilderness, ‘Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for Him.'” And I pray all those you are calling to follow you, will gladly embrace fellowship with you and find rest from their struggles. Let it be so. Amen!