Our Loving Father

Our Loving Father

One of the most fundamental needs that we all have, as a human being, is to be loved. We all feel it. We all want someone to hold us close and tell us that they love only us.

Sadly, a fundamental truth about our great God is often overlooked. Our Father built us to love greatly. He also loves us greatly. Everyone needs to hear and know this, and many forget about it.

So, today, I’m here to tell you just how much your Father loves you.

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.

Zephaniah 3:17

Not only does He comfort and calm you with His love, God sings over you. Your Father’s lullaby is the best in the world. He holds you close and whispers to you all the plans He has for your life. And, trust me, they are all good.

No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Romans 8:37-39

Because God loves us (YOU!), he made us more than conquerors. It isn’t enough that we come out victorious, He puts us in high places and never lets us go. No matter what gets in the way, He will push through all of it to be close to you. His love is so vast that it encompasses us even when we feel at our lowest.

See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him.

1 John 3:1

This is one of my favorites, so we’ll camp here for a minute before I end this post. First of all, let’s notice how it talks about His love being so great that we are now called the children of God. 

Guys, God adopted us into His family. He claims us as His. He protects us like a good dad protects his children.

Here’s what I love about this. Anyone who has a close family knows one fact: we can pick on our family all we want, but the moment someone outside the family starts in on a family member, all bets are off.

God is even greater than that. First of all, he doesn’t pick on us in the first place. (*middle child rejoices in this fact*)

Secondly, because we’re now His children, God is on our side. Anyone touches us, God is going to be all kinds of upset about it. Who doesn’t want our Loving Father fighting on our behalf? Takes the wind out of the sails of the bullies, that’s for sure.

If our Father is holding us close and loving us so epically, what’s stopping you from feeling all kinds of loved?

Is It Time Yet?

is it time yet

 

“For still the vision awaits its appointed time; it hastens to the end—it will not lie. If it seems slow, wait for it; it will surely come; it will not delay.”

Habakkuk 2:3

As I ended 2018 and began 2019, this is one of the scriptures that has spoken the most to me. Why? Because, as a single girl looking forward to married life, it’s hard to remember that God’s timing is perfect. No matter how frustrating it may seem to me, God knows why this isn’t the time yet.

Is that what I wanted to hear? Absolutely not.

Is it what I needed? Yes.

This scripture is encouraging to me — and hopefully to you, as well — because it isn’t a “no” kind of answer. It’s all in the timing. Even if the vision before me, the things I want so badly, aren’t here yet, they will have their time.

Timing isn’t my favorite subject because let’s face it, I can be just as impatient as the next guy. Waiting? What’s that? Why do I have to wait? Why can’t I have what I want, when I want it?

Why do I have to wait longer? Hasn’t it been long enough?

These are questions I’ve prayed and journaled over and over again. I’m a hopeless romantic, so why can’t I see some romance? (Can I get a witness, somebody?)

The truth it, God never said I wouldn’t see my romance. He’s just been telling me to wait.

“Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!”

Psalm 27:14

Even in my period of waiting, God supplies the courage and strength for me to go on. To endure and to thrive in this time of preparation.

I know I’ve been talking a lot about timing lately, but that’s what God has been placing in my heart. His timing is best and He always asks us to do things that will benefit us in the end.

For example (STORY TIME!!!):

I write. Constantly. Mostly books, because I love to craft stories. So, when the beginning of December came and God told me to take a break from writing until January, I admit to balking a little.

Okay, so it was more than a little. I desperately wanted to just push on. To keep going while I had momentum and to start something new while I was at it. However, after a lot of prayers and arguing with Jesus (not my brightest idea), I did as I felt led to do. I stopped writing for the duration of December.

Of course, when I started, I didn’t know that my computer would crash a week later, leaving me without anything to write with. I didn’t know that during that time I wasn’t writing, I would discover a beautiful new idea for an awesome new book and be able to spend all that writing time fleshing out characters and scenarios and places in the story world.

But God knew. And His timing was perfect.

If I hadn’t listened, how stressed would I have been when my computer crashed? I would have lost so much work and been so upset. But I wasn’t, because all my finished projects were backed up.

If I hadn’t listened, would I have been able to hear the new ideas for this story I’m so excited to start? Maybe not. Because I would have been too focused on what I was doing.

God’s timing applies to each and every area of our lives. He knows what’s best for us and He wants us to live to our full potential. It makes Him exuberantly happy when we listen to the things He whispers to our hearts.

Which is why, today, I want to leave you with one last scripture.

“He has made everything beautiful in its time…”

Ecclesiastes 3:11a

If it isn’t His time yet, that thing you’re waiting for probably just hasn’t blossomed into something beautiful. It will, if you’re patient, and if you keep the faith while you’re waiting.

Keep fighting for the things you’ve been promised! I’ll be right here beside you.

When Happy Seems Far Away

is god perfecting you_ (1)

There are so many things I could discuss with you guys. So many emotions that go through my mind and heart on a daily basis. So many hopes and dreams that I’m sure you all share with me. However, as we don’t have time or coffee today, I’m going to share with you one thing I’ve been learning recently.

As single women, we often feel that this is a time in life to “get through”. We long for the day our man sweeps us off our feet. We secretly plan our future wedding (don’t deny it, you know you do). We imagine what lazy days will be like after we’re married. How our hubby will treat us. And somewhere in the middle of all that dreaming, we lose our sense of peace and contentment.

We start to wonder why it’s taking so long. If only… 

It’s those thoughts that will drag you down into the quagmire of depression. Did you know that we’re stronger than we think?

So I’m not defeated by my weakness, but delighted! For when I feel my weakness and endure mistreatment—when I’m surrounded with troubles on every side and face persecution because of my love for Christ—I am made yet stronger. For my weakness becomes a portal to God’s power.

2 Corinthians 12:10 (TPT)

Even though we may feel like it’s the end of the world. Like nothing will ever go right and maybe, sometimes, like God is keeping things from us, I can assure you that isn’t the case!

God sees all, knows all, and is all. He knows the timing that’s going to make your future relationship beautiful. He knows everything you need and everything you want. He knows your heart and He is willing to inconvenience you to bless you with everything He has in store.

Our job is to let His strength move through us. We can’t give up! Even if we’re taking it one day at a time (and believe me, I am), we have to live each day to God’s standard. We have to believe that He knows what he’s doing. There is no one who cares more about us.

So how do we stay positive when the world is looking bleak?

“for I have learned how to be content with whatever I have.”

Philippians 4:11b

According to Paul, contentment is a learned art. So what do we do? We let God teach us.

Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary defines contentment as “feeling or showing satisfaction with one’s possessions, status, or situation.”

So where are you feeling unsatisfied? If you can pinpoint that, it’s not as hard to turn it around and find a new perspective on it. Find the beauty in where you’re at right now. It may seem difficult at first, but trust me, it gets easier with time.

So what are you going to thank God for today? How are you going to walk down the road of contentment while you’re still in this season of preparation?

To Be Seen

City Real Estate

 

One of the worst feelings in life is the feeling of being overlooked.

Trust me, I’ve been there. I’ve felt alone and unseen. I’ve cried those silent tears into my pillow at night. I’ve screamed at the sky and asked God why he isn’t using me the way I want him to.

And then I realized: this isn’t about me. It’s all about timing. God’s timing. Even if we don’t like it, God’s timing is perfect. Maybe (just, go with me here) He knows what’s best for us and maybe, JUST MAYBE, He wants the absolute best for our lives.

Many times in our season of singleness, we feel unloved or left out. Our friends may be getting married or having babies. They may have a “prospect” or a “guy friend” and you’ve got nothing. Trust me I can relate to that one. (Seriously, if that’s you, drop me a comment. I’m living it right now.)

If this is you, feeling overlooked and undervalued, I’d like to introduce you to one of my absolute favorite men in the Bible. The beginning of his story is found in 1 Samuel 16 and the first mention of him is very telling.

Then Samuel asked, “Are these all the sons you have?”

“There is still the youngest,” Jesse replied. “But he’s out in the fields watching the sheep and goats.”

1 Samuel 16:11

For those of you familiar with the Bible and the study thereof, you will have figured out that this passage is the first time anyone talks about David in the Bible.

I find it interesting that the very first mention of one of the most important men in the plan of salvation didn’t even mention his name. “There is the youngest,” Jesse tells Samuel. Almost like an afterthought. Like he hadn’t even remembered him until that exact moment.

And where is David while EVERYONE else is attending a ritual sacrifice to the I Am? David is left back at home. “Just” the youngest. Watching the sheep and the goats while everyone else is in the limelight, parading before God and the prophet.

How do you think that particular conversation went?

“David, your brothers and I are going to witness the prophet Samuel offer a sacrifice. Watch the sheep and goats okay?”

Do you think David wondered why he of all people had to stay behind? Do you think he felt a little left out and unloved? Unseen? Overlooked?

You see, not all grand plans have exquisite beginnings. Even though Jesse summons David to stand before the prophet and EVEN THOUGH Samuel anoints David as the next king, there aren’t any fireworks or a parade. There isn’t an announcement that “David will rule this nation next!” There is no press release or instant fame and fortune.

After Samuel anoints David, he leaves. David leaves. David goes back to his sheep and his goats. He continues to serve his father, to obey and listen and do what he’s told. And he waits.

Sometimes we take for granted the moments that happen in the waiting. We so badly want the end that we don’t take time to appreciate the little things. We forget to tend to our sheep and our goats. We forget to love ourselves and our lives even if we know there is more for us.

Today, let’s make a pact, you and I. We will live adventurously. We will not take the mundane for granted. We will pick up our callings and we will do what we can with what we have. We will wait for God to open doors and we will say yes when he does. Today, let’s agree to stop trying to make it all happen for ourselves. Let’s agree to let God be in charge and give us every good thing he has for us.

God’s way is perfect. All the LORD’s promises prove true. He is a shield for all who look to him for protection.

Psalm 18:30

Acts Of Obedience

 

Acts of OBEDIENCE

We’ve all been there. The place where God is telling you to do something. In my case, an act of faith. He doesn’t always tell us how, He just asks us to do. In my case, after a lot of prayer about what to do, God’s answer came in three simple words: prepare for rain.

Sounds easy, right? Except it wasn’t. The direct order was followed by a whole lot more prayer and a lot of questions to myself about what to do. How to do it.

You see, God’s instructions are always simple, but they’re not always easy. Take practically any direct order from the Bible, and you’ll see.

For example:

Then the Lord turned to him and said, “Go with the strength you have, and rescue Israel from the Midianites. I am sending you!”

Judges 6:14 (NLT)

See? Simple but not easy.

I love the story of Gideon, because I relate to him on so many levels. Gideon had the potential to be a mighty warrior, but he didn’t see it in himself. His own insecurities ruled his life.

He was hiding, a cynical man who didn’t think God would ever use him. Gideon wasn’t actually a warrior of Israel. He grew wheat. But he also feared God. He knew, deep down, what to do, but he was scared to do it. So he asked for signs right from the get-go.

Gideon replied, “If you are truly going to help me, show me a sign to prove that it is really the Lord speaking to me. 18 Don’t go away until I come back and bring my offering to you.”

He answered, “I will stay here until you return.”

19 Gideon hurried home. He cooked a young goat, and with a basket of flour he baked some bread without yeast. Then, carrying the meat in a basket and the broth in a pot, he brought them out and presented them to the angel, who was under the great tree

Judges 6:17-19 (NLT)

And of course, everyone knows that after that, he asked for more signs. I so relate to this! Sometimes I find myself asking God “can you just give me something to work with?” when I should really just be trusting His plan.

Deep down, we all want to obey God. We think we really trust Him. We know He’s good and has good plans for us. But then, sometimes, His timing just isn’t as fast as we’d like. He makes promises, but they don’t come to pass as quickly as we expected.

It’s in these seasons of life that we learn how to obey even when we don’t feel like it. It’s here that we “prepare for rain”, even when we don’t see a cloud on the horizon.

I won’t say it’s been easy to obey this command. It took a solid two weeks for me to figure out what I could do as an act of faith. I procrastinated another week before I started working on it. I’m still in the middle of the project. And there still doesn’t appear to be an answer to the original prayer. But I’m obeying, despite what I see. Because I know my God is good and His timing is perfect. Because I know, if I follow His commands and obey what He says, the best is in store for me.

When It Hurts

wih

There are times when life just hurts, deeply.   We can take those wounds to the cross, crying out for God to bind them.  Time passes, and the wounds heal.  We pull off the bandages to see that God has created something new.

He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.  ~ Psalm 147:3

However, even when we do our best to protect ourselves, an injury may find us again.  Old wounds are opened, new wounds are formed.  We may find ourselves tempted to keep those wounds bandaged, to protect ourselves from every being hurt again.

Do you know what happens to a healed wound that is kept wrapped up indefinitely?

It festers.  A new wound forms and it can end up being worse than the original.

While it is important to guard our hearts, we must be careful not to build walls.  A shepherd guards the gateway to the pen that holds his flock.  He doesn’t block the entrance with stones, keeping the sheep enclosed for ever.  A good shepherd takes His sheep out into the pasture, tending to their needs, and keeping them safe from harm.  He takes the sheep to choice areas where they will receive the nourishment they need.  At night, the sheep return to the safety of the pen.  The shepherd stands guard until it is safe for the sheep to return to the pasture.

We can guard our hearts against being hurt again, by surrounding ourselves with people who give wise counsel.  Guarding our heart also means that we are reading the Word, praying, and leaning into the guidance of the Holy Spirit in our lives.  When we venture out into the world or into relationships, we do so with our Good Shepherd.  And, when danger reveals itself our Shepherd takes us into His safety and stands guard at our hearts.

Our Good Shepherd doesn’t lock us into the safety of a walled up pen.  The Great Physician doesn’t bind up our wounds permanently.  He tends to our needs, helps us to heal, to learn from our errors, and then accompanies us when head back into the pastures.  He commissions us to:

Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.  Matthew 28:19-20

When it hurts, pray for healing.  Trust in Lord and put on the FULL armor of the God.  The harvest is plenty, and the workers are few. Do not be tempted to hide form the world, by licking your wounds, and allowing the hurts to root deeper.

Forgive.   Love.   Pray.   Trust.

Praying knowing the Power of God

antique-bible-blur-213-942x350

Peter Freed from Prison

But while Peter was in prison, the church prayed very earnestly for him. 13 He knocked at the door in the gate, and a servant girl named Rhoda came to open it.14 When she recognized Peter’s voice, she was so overjoyed that, instead of opening the door, she ran back inside and told everyone, “Peter is standing at the door!” 15 “You’re out of your mind!” they said. When she insisted, they decided, “It must be his angel.” 

Acts 12:5,13-15 NLT

This story of Peter is great encouragement on why we should keep praying regardless of what the situation may look like. Herod had just killed James, the brother of John. When Herod saw that killing James made the Jews happy he arrested Peter with the intentions of putting Peter to death too. Peter got arrested during Passover, so he was held in prison. They kept Peter in what we would call a maximum security prison. He also was under heavy guard so escaping was not an option. The Church knew that Herod’s plan was to kill Peter. They began to intercede on Peter’s behalf praying earnestly for him.

It’s important to understand what earnestly means because this is essential in prayer. According to Dictionary.com earnestly means:

  1. serious in intention, purpose, or effort; sincerely zealous
  2. showing depth and sincerity of feeling
  3. seriously important; demanding or receiving serious attention

This means that they were praying for a purpose, sincerity, and serious intention. They were pleading for a move of God to set Peter free. They knew that this was a situation in which only God had the power to provide a resolution. 

While they were praying, an angel of the Lord came to free Peter. Peter thought it was a vision then he realized that the Lord had sent an angel and saved him from Herod. Peter then went to the home of Mary, the same place where the Church gathered to pray for Peter. Peter knocked on the door, and Rhoda was amazed. How could Peter be at the door? Instead of opening the door Rhoda ran with excitement to tell everyone that Peter was there. They were all in disbelief and thought she was crazy because they were praying for Peter. Peter kept knocking, and they finally opened the door, and they were overjoyed and amazed at how God answered their prayer.

Peter’s story shows us the power of prayer. No matter what your situation looks like nothing is too hard for the Lord. I urge you to keep asking, keep praying and believe that God is able! As in Acts 12 literally, while you’re praying the answer may show up at your front door, and you too will bask in the incredible power of our Lord. What a mighty God we serve!

Prayer: Lord you’re mighty and worthy of all the praise. Father, we ask that you increase our prayer life that we may pray earnestly. Allow us to pray with expecting hearts. Let us not limit you Father God. We know that you are a God, who can do all things. I pray that we open the door when you answer our prayers. Let us continually lift the body of Christ in prayer by interceding for one another. It’s in the precious name of Jesus that we pray and give thanks, Amen.

I want God to Hear my prayer!

I want God to hear m prayer!

How do I pray and know God hears me? I honestly have to remind myself of the answer  sometimes when it seems like God isn’t there. The great thing about the God we serve is that He is always there, and He has not left us without direction. God has provided us an entire operations manual about life, The Holy Bible! The More that we read God’s Word, the more we will understand and learn what God expects from us.

And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.” Mark 11:25

Forgive We can’t expect God to forgive us of our sin if we don’t forgive others.(Matt 6:14-15) It’s also important that we try to resolve any conflicts with someone who may be upset with us. The Bible says in Matthew 5:23-25 if someone is angry or upset with us we must go to them and try to resolve the situation before we come to God. So if someone gets offended by something that you did or if you had a blowout with a neighbor make things right with that person. We don’t want anything blocking our prayers and preventing God from answering. If you’re not sure if you’ve done something to offend someone, I would recommend asking God to bring it to your remembrance so you can make it right. Doing this is a humbling experience because sometimes people get offended even when you think you have done nothing wrong. Before approaching that person ask God for the strength to be gentle, loving, kind, and patient with that person.

“We know that God does not listen to sinners, but if anyone is a worshiper of God and does his will, God listens to him.” John 9:31

Confess All Sin It’s important that we confess all sin to God and ask Him for help. Let Him know that you want to change and you need His help to live a life free from sin. It’s important that we humble ourselves before God and honestly check our lifestyle and actions.

In the days of his flesh, Jesus offered up prayers and supplications, with loud cries and tears, to him who was able to save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverence.” Hebrews 5:7

Reverence God Humble yourself when you come before God. Acknowledge Him for who He is. Tell God how powerful and mighty He is and how thankful you are for His grace and mercy. The book of Revelation helps me to remember who God is. I think about how God’s described and that the angels in Heaven are worshiping Him this very moment, and it humbles me.

Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.” Philippians 4:6

Thank God Tell God what you need and thank Him for what He has done. Make sure you thank God for the things that He is already doing and has already done. Don’t be ungrateful! We all have a reason to thank God. He sent His Son to die on the cross for our sins so that we could have eternal life. We should never stop thanking and praising God for that!

If you’re asking for something in prayer, let God know how what you’re asking for will bring Him glory. This helps prevent the “I want because I want prayers”. I urge you to memorize Scriptures. This will allow you to claim the promises of God in prayer. For tips on how to learn Scriptures Click Here.

It’s important that when we pray we have:

  • Forgiven others and have tried to resolve all grievances.
  • Confessed our sin
  • We thank God for all the things that He has done for us.
  • Most importantly, we must reverence God for who He is and come humbly before Him.

These steps do not guarantee that God will answer your prayer on your timing or at all. God is sovereign, and He knows what we need and when we need it. These steps can help make sure we are in right standing with God before we make requests to Him.

You gotta have faith!

Gotta Faith 
  
“Take control of what I say, O  lord,
and guard my lips.
Don’t let me drift toward evil
or take part in acts of wickedness.
Don’t let me share in the delicacies
of those who do wrong.” Psalm 141:3-4 NLT
 

 I love this Psalm written by David; it shows the power of prayer! This Psalm is written by David, and if you read Psalm 141, you can see it’s a prayer for safe keeping from wickedness.  I’m sure we have all been in situations where we have wanted to say or do something that we knew was contrary to God’s will. Sometimes it can seem as if people just want to test out your faith by pushing your buttons. David is my encouragement in those moments. I look at the life of David, and I see a man who truly had a relationship with God. David knew he could not go through life without God. He needed the power of God to help him in those tight situations. We can truly appreciate David’s example of relying on God in situations cannot handle in our power.

Can you imagine showing the love of God to someone who talks about you behind your back but, smiles in your face? Someone who attempts to slander your character with lies? What about someone who steals from you? What about someone who hates you enough to kill you?

I believe that the prayer in Psalms 141 was during the time where David was on the run from Saul, who was trying to kill him. Saul was very jealous of David. During his time on the run, David had two opportunities to kill Saul. Even David’s men were encouraging him to kill Saul. Their theory, God, was delivering Saul into David’s hands for payback. However, David being a man of God refused to kill Saul even though Saul was trying to kill him. This prayer in Psalms 141 could have been what helped David remain faithful to God and not kill His anointed one. We also see how God protected David during this time because Saul never captured David. God is faithful. He will provide. David’s story is proof that God will answer prayer and provide in our hour of need.

I thank Jesus for dying for our sins and sending us the comforter who can help us be like David when we run into trouble. Galatians 5:22-23 (NLT) tells us about the fruits of the Spirit. But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.”  We should be excited this means we don’t have to rely on our strength when faced with trials and tribulations. Galatians 5:22-23 is another one of my favorite passages in the Bible, it’s so encouraging! It reminds us that we are human and apart from God we are imperfect.

We can all recall a time when we found it hard if not impossible in our strength to love or be gentle with someone, remain joyful in the midst of pure chaos and confusion, show kindness to someone whom you may not like, or maybe you’re like me and struggle with patience. I have good news; God will provide! So next time you’re in a situation where you see yourself lacking in one of these areas before you react pray! Ask God for the strength through the Holy Spirit to overcome the situation. As with David God will give you the strength to overcome!

Prayer:  Father God, we just want to thank you, Lord, for your protection, faithfulness, and guidance Lord. You’re so worthy of all the praise and glory. Guard the words of our mouth oh Lord and let us not partake in evilness. We thank you, Father, for the fruit of the Spirit that allows us to get through trying situations. Please remove anything in us that’s not of you Father. Continue to mold us Father into the faithful Christian men and women you’ve called us to be. It’s in the precious name of Jesus that we pray and give thanks. Amen.