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Being Stretched

Over the last few weeks, the Lord has been speaking to my heart about blogging.  I know that I am supposed to be writing...even if it's for an audience of write.   As the weeks have passed, I am seeing the Lord beginning to stretch me.  1 Choronicles 4:10 keeps coming to mind. It is fondly known as the Prayer of Jabez... I have read this passage several times but have been pondering in my heart WHY this scripture continues to come to the forefront of my mind. So, I pulled out the Word and looked it up again.

Jabez called upon the God of Israel, saying, "Oh that you would bless me and enlarge my border, and that your hand might be with me, and that you would keep me from harm so that it might not bring me pain!" And God granted what he asked."

The Lord is speaking to my heart about comfort zones, and asking me to lend myself to His gentle hand to be stretched. I may not know the entirety of what it means...but I have a clear picture of what he is asking for the now. Confirmation, from people who have NO idea what has been on my heart from the Lord, has come several times! (I love it when He chooses to confirm His will in such an awesome manner that I cannot possibly doubt it is His Might Hand at work.

To many, the changes the Lord has placed upon my heart, won't be noticed...but I will know. My heart will feel the FLESH must die off a little more...I must step out of my comfort zone more...and embrace Life of the Outskirts of my normal, and grab hold of My Expanding Horizons all the time holding tight to the hand of my My Lord and Saviour for guidance and peace.

Being stretched isn't easy...more than likely it is hard when we are prompted to lay down the comfort of routine to be moved in new directions.  Our lives are so rote, that when the Lord asks us to move out of the ruts we are walking down, He is met, many times, with fear, hesitation...even anger.  I DO know, however, that the Lord gives me EVERYTHING I need pertaining to Life and Godliness...that He is the rock on which I stand and He already knows how the story ends!  Why do I dread being stretched???

So... I join Jabez and pray:

"Lord, enlarge my borders...stretch me...hold me in your hand and ease the pain that often comes when I am stretched beyond my comfort level...out of the borders of my normal. May I be a spark...even a flicker for your Kingdom."

Is the Lord stretching you?  Take JOY in knowing that you are becoming more like Him and walking closer to His will in the end, then when you began! Grace and Peace to each of you!



Out of Order

It never ceases to amaze me how, one minute I can be full of the Spirit...being kind and loving others, and the next...walking in impatience, frazzled, and moody! I NEVER have one of those days, do you?! I am so thankful for a Godly husband who puts up with these outbursts.  I know he goes to the Father and prays for me...even when he has been the butt of my action!

The Lord want us to walk with Him moment by moment...every day.  How do I do that?????

Well...on days that my emotions or my will is out of control...I first have to recognize the problem is ME, not everything else around me that is getting on my nerves!  They can't help it that they are simply in the way of my getting my way! HaHa! When I do finally come around, I pray. Usually I realize that I didn't give the Lord first place.  I woke up running...not because I was late, but because my mind was running the list and spending time with Jesus was left off!  Again...never happens to you, right?!? I then have to humble myself and apologize to everyone who was in the wake of my selfishness and pride.

Intentional Living

The Bible says ""Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest." Matthew 11:28.  Did you catch that?  He will give us REST! It goes on to say that His yolk is EASY and His burden is LIGHT!  WELL...that says A LOT!  If I am running around with my emotions telling me life is hard and no one helps, and my pride is damaged because I'm not getting my way, and I am TIRED and WORN OUT from all the busy-ness...WHO'S agenda am I fulfilling?????  MINE!  Not the Lord's!

"Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light."  (Mat 11:28-30)

So, If you feel tired and worn out, Your emotions are running ramped remember that Jesus says that His ways are restful, light and not a burden.

Chase after God first then He can ordain your day, redeem your time and refresh your soul...even while you do laundry, run the car pool, pick up toys, show hospitality, make lunches, take phone calls, study for school, etc, etc, etc...



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Lazarus, Come Forth!

This morning I am sitting outside, enjoying the cool breeze, reading the Word and pondering my day.  I read in John this morning, the account of Lazarus being summoned from the grave.  I have read and heard this story so many times.  It is one that is reproduced in children's story book form, movies, even in song. "Lazarus, Come Forth!" rings in my ears as I even mention the account of what happened that day.

Today...a couple different things caught my attention.

"Jesus said, Take ye away the stone. Martha, the sister of him that was dead, saith unto him, Lord, by this time he stinketh: for he hath been dead four days. Jesus saith unto her, Said I not unto thee, that, if thou wouldest believe, thou shouldest see the glory of God? Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead was laid. And Jesus lifted up his eyes, and said, Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me.And I knew that thou hearest me always: but because of the people which stand by I said it,that they may believe that thou hast sent me. And when he thus had spoken, he cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth. And he that was dead came forth, bound hand and foot with graveclothes: and his face was bound about with a napkin. Jesus saith unto them, Loose him, and let him go. Then many of the Jews which came to Mary, and had seen the things which Jesus did, believed on him. But some of them went their ways to the Pharisees, and told them what things Jesus had done."  (Joh 11:39-46)

You see, Jesus was among friends.  This is Mary and Martha...and Lazarus!  These are not acquaintances who hadn't seen and heard all that the Lord had done, but when it came to seeing the miracle for themselves...doubt came in.  Jesus is about to raise Lazarus from the dead and Martha, says...BUT Lord...he stinketh!

This morning, it reminded me of how I am sometimes. The Lord is standing at the precipice and asking me to remove the stone, as an act of faith, so He can show His Glory in my Life and I say...."BUT Lord...he stinketh!", "But Lord, I don't know if I can do that!", "But Lord, do you REALLY know what might happen?","BUT Lord...." and fill in the blank.   It's our flesh, crying out so loudly that we forget WHO HE IS!  Don't you think Jesus knew that in the 4 days it took to get to the grave, Lazarus would begin to stink? If Jesus is powerful enough to raise a man from the dead...don't you think he would remove ALL the death from him, and not even leave the stinch of death to linger?

The sweet Savior reassures Martha and in authority cries out to his friend, "Lazarus, come forth!" and out walks Lazarus.  I am smiling, because I don't think Lazarus even thought for a moment..."But Lord, I stink!"  HeeHee!

The next couple of verses also pierced my heart today. The responses from the onlookers.  Many believed on Jesus...from that moment on, they knew who He was, and trusted in Him...BUT many went on their way, running to the Pharisees to tell of Jesus' works. This was not a good thing!  They were telling what had happened out of fear that the Jews would believe on Him...and that was something, in the eyes of the priests, that could not happen!

What do we do when we see the miraculous in our lives?  To we praise the Lord and lift High is name, deepening our Faith and Trust in Him, as well as those around us...or do we give praise to "mother-nature", doctors, circumstance or even "Luck"?  Do we use the miracle of healing to only lift up medicine and not the Great Physician who give knowledge so we have the medicine? Do we give testimony to the rain for growth and forsake the hand that moves the clouds? Do we say look at what so-and-so did...instead of praising our Lord that gave the strength and wisdom?  This is our modern day "running to the Pharisees".  When we lift high ANYTHING but the name of Jesus...we are in essence, denying the origin of the miracle, and denying who Jesus actually is.

I want to be the one who does NOT hesitate standing on the precipice of a miracle...and then to Proclaim in a LOUD voice..."LOOK WHAT MY LORD HAS DONE!"



Just a side note:

Last night, as a family, we watched a great documentary about the scientific evidence for Creation. I was filled with great videography of all kinds of life...microscopic and seemingly infinite. We have seen many films that give testimony to the Creator for His Mighty works, and this was another good one. Still, my favorites are from Dc. Jobe Martin's, Increadible Creatures that Defy Evolution series.

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Standing Against the Devour

I love that the Word of God is TRUE, and applicable for every person, everyday!  The last few weeks, well months, I should say, have been a mind battle for me.  I have been struggling with anxiety, which I have NEVER, EVER had to deal with in my life.  I have been taking herbal remedies, drinking chamomile tea, pushing on with the task at hand...BUT most of all...I've been praying and quoting scripture...praying and quoting scripture and then...praying some more.  God is ALWAYS faithful to me.  I stand against the devour, even when it is stubborn and I have to stand longer.  Intentional Living

Satan comes to kill, steal and destroy. (John 10:10) He comes to kill my peace, cripple me from experiencing the Fullness of God's Joy, to slowly push me into a cacoon of solitude.  If I don't realize that Satan is is seeking whom he may devour (1 Peter 5:8)...I will become the prey!

But...there is hope for those of us who love the Lord Jesus!  We don't have to sit and slowly watch our fears become crippling, anxieties to stop us in our tracts or sadness to rob us from the vastness of God's Joy he has given us.  We have POWER in the name of Jesus to rebuke...stand against, resist, defy the ungodly in our lives. We have been given the power of Life and Death in our words (Proverbs 18:21)

"Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm." Eph 6:11-1

God is not a god that created us and stands off to watch and see what happens.  He gives us His WORD that is full of instruction for living and prospering. We don't have to live in fear, dispair, or rejection.  When we recognize who the instigator of ALL evil is, we can begin to fight by the Spirit..and not with fleshly remedies.  Jesus' name is higher than all names. There is power when we say to the enemy, "I rebuke ______ in the Name of Jesus!"  When we stand on the very words of God and fight with Spiritual weapons, we prosper! When we guard ourselves with the armor of God and are alert to the schemes of the enemy, we can resist them quicker and not be lulled into a stupor.

I am standing firm, recognizing my enemy and being victorious through the mighty name of Jesus! It isn't always easy...I forget who the enemy is at times...BUT my Hope, my Victory, my Peace is in the ressurection power of the Name of Jesus and I will stand...and when I have done all...I will stand firm!