All I Ever Needed

I find myself at the end of another week, at the end of more days of striving, at the end of the rope of my own resources – grasping at an invisible goal that no one else can see. It is another opportunity to learn about God’s love.

Because it is here, at the end, that I find myself going back to the beginning. Returning to the truth that all I ever needed was Him. He is the light in the darkness.

My Heavenly Father reminds me that His love is all that matters. His grace can redeem all the shortcomings and nagging regret. It is true – His love brings peace.

His love fills every need.

If you, like me, sometimes have a hard time remembering that – maybe this song by Brandon Heath will encourage you.

I like the organic approach to this video. It’s raw and simple, just like the message. In my opinion, that’s the best way to experience music – and life, for that matter.

Sometimes, we complicate things. And the rope we are clinging to can quickly turn into a noose if we’re not careful. So today, let’s end the struggle and let go so that we can grab hold of what we learned at the beginning. The basic, pure, unchanging truth that abiding in His love brings life, joy and peace.


 

 
Therefore let that abide in you which you heard from the beginning. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, you also will abide in the Son and in the Father. And this is the promise that He has promised us—eternal life. 1 John 2: 24-25

How To Banish Fear

“Fear keeps a life small.”Ann Voskamp, One Thousand Gifts



Fear. It sends the heart racing while keeping feet planted firmly in cement.
It creeps up when you least expect it in the form of family crises, financial woes, uncertain futures and the like.
It is a strong enemy but one that can be overcome. And reading Ann’s words have me reading The Word with new eyes.

“Perfect love casts out fear.” 1 John 4:18
I know this but do I live like I know this?
To live it means to trust God completely.
 It means daily drinking from the well of faith,
 resisting the poison of worry and
 feasting instead on thankfulness for all He has done,
 praise for all that He is. 
Trusting in the perfect love of God –
This is the one antidote for the disease of doubt.
I must remember.

And so today I pray for a trusting heart.
 A heart that trembles not at shadows or circumstance
 but at the presence of The One who is able to heal
 and to save and to drive away the dark.

May we all walk in light of this truth.
Because it is the only way to really live –
 the only way to banish fear.

How do you think fear is able to keep a life small? 

Getting Loud on WFW

“He changes times and seasons; he deposes kings and raises up others. He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the discerning.” Daniel 2:21



I am reminded today that seasons change. People and circumstances change. But, no matter what changes we encounter in life, we can be sure that God himself never changes. His love for us remains constant in a constantly moving, turning, churning world.  And that’s something to shout about on a Word-Filled Wednesday!





God’s Message to His Children

“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by name; you are Mine!
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they will not overflow you.
When you walk through the fire, you will not be scorched, Nor will the flame burn you.
For I am the LORD your God,
The Holy One of Israel, your Savior.” Isaiah 43:1-3

No matter what you might be going through, God wants to remind you that He is your Redeemer, Protector and Savior. I pray you are comforted by His message of love for you today.
Linking up with Spiritual Sundays. Click the link to read other posts.
Photos courtesy photos8.com

Prickly People – Handle With Care

You know the type. We usually describe them as difficult. The people who spew venom when they speak. The ones able to shoot daggers in a quick glance. Those whose hearts snap shut to tenderness and that bow their backs when you try to offer kindness and who are downright hard to love.

I am not a preacher, a teacher or a seminary graduate. However, I have a lifetime of experience encountering prickly people and I know Jesus has something to say about what I am to do with them.

Truth be told, they are simply angry, wounded, hurting people whose actions are a cry for help.

Still, more often than not I am sorry to say, I have failed in my dealings with these spiky souls. And I am still trying to learn how to treat them the way I should while keeping the bleeding to a minimum.

So I go back to this passage of scripture – the words of Jesus in Luke 6:27-36.

“But I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. If someone strikes you on one cheek, turn to him the other also. If someone takes your cloak, do not stop him from taking your tunic. Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. Do to others as you would have them do to you…Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.

From this, we can see clearly how Jesus wants us to treat those prickly, angry, wounded people that we see as enemies in our lives.

Love
Do good
Give
Bless
Pray
Show mercy


All these things are contrary to our human instinct which is to strike back in retaliation, turning ourselves prickly in the process.

So how is it possible to live the way Jesus taught us? To treat others as we want to be treated?

There’s only one way. Pray.

Pray for God to help us have the grace to respond in a Christlike way. We can do nothing apart from Him (ref. John 15:5). And pray for God to help them soften to the Holy Spirit and become more Christlike.

We must remember all things are possible with God, our Creator. He is able to change their hearts and ours as well. Difficult, prickly people are not too difficult for Him.

“Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh; is anything too difficult for Me?” Jeremiah 32:27

Dear Lord, I am clearly not perfect and need you to help me handle with care the prickly people that come my way. And please forgive me for times when I have been prickly myself. As I surrender daily to you, take the sting out of my words, my behavior, my life until I am soft to the touch and able to love those who are not…yet.