Thursday, August 30, 2012

Joy of My Heart - by Andrew Feliciano

Hey, everyone, here is a beautiful new song I just 'happened' upon when looking for some wonderful, grace-filled worship music...the song is so wonderful, and then I realized that my family knows the artist!  He is a great and wonderful guy and full of love for Jesus, very musically talented, too!

I really wanted to share this song here, not only because I want to just highlight my friend's music, but also because God spoke to me through this song today..

He has been reminding me lately just to REST in Him and His love, and also telling me that I would see His face..I had wanted a revelation of God's love for me, just to understand and know it more, and so I took this message to be that I can just rest in His love and not even try, and He will be so gracious and show me His face, let me look into His face and just see His love!  Isn't that true that He just longs to show us His love and how we can just enjoy such communion with Him that it is "face to face", our spirits fellowshipping with His Spirit, just able to be open and honest before Him and let Him love on us and heal the wounds from lies we have believed, lies that we aren't 'good enough' or 'worthy enough' - and how He'll just wash over us with His love and let us know we're so perfect and beautiful in His sight, and that we are worth so much to Him, worth the price of His Son!

So as I was looking for music today, I came upon Andrew's song.  The song is about heaven and all God will say to us on that day, but I imagined it as things God is saying to us right now, because in our spirits we are already in heaven, seated with Christ in heavenly places, and He is in us, in union with our spirits right now down here on earth!  So anyway, I was listening to the words, and there was the phrase again, "You will see My face!"  And it just ministered to me..

Think of it - God wants to show us His love!  He wants to show off His love, even!  He just pours out His love and kindness on us in that secret place in our hearts by the Spirit, who dwells there, just pouring out God's loving Presence as a living water of love to soothe and encourage and heal and nourish and refresh!  He is truly a spring of living water..

I hope you like the song!  It's wonderful to think of heaven, when faith will be sight!  Also wonderful to think that we have heaven on earth right now with Him inside us!  Rivers of living water are pouring out of you..And you are in perfect communion with the One who is Life..He is just feeding your spirit and loving on you today..we can all lay back and rest in that Love..in that place there are no more tears and no more pain, for He wipes them away with His Presence...in that place we see His face and look upon the Beloved, with those eyes full of delight for us! And we hear Him sing His song over us, the love song we have wanted and needed to hear, the song that heals and refreshes as it flows over us!  We love You, Jesus!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Rest in His Love

He gives us rest, leads us to rest, to lie down in green pastures, by still waters..

I feel the Holy Spirit is telling me over and over again lately to just REST..Rest in Him and His Love..

To stop trying so hard..to stop 'doing' at all..to just relax and rest..

To be still and listen to His heartbeat of love..

To stop trying to figure out the answer to my problems and just look at Him..

There is healing in that gaze, in those eyes of Love..

His eyes are on us at all times, watching over us, looking at us with love..

A friend told me she had heard a pastor say, "Go look at yourself in the mirror and tell yourself 'God loves you'", and we were agreeing that it would be hard to do that, that we might break down and cry or find ourselves unable to do it..

But it is true..God loves us..we will never get to the end of that Love.

It never fails, never runs out, never gives up on us, as the song says.

It is freely given, without us needing to earn it, deserve it, or CAUSE Him to give it to us - it's FREE!

Rivers of Living Water are flowing to us - that is the Spirit of Love pouring out the Love of God in our hearts, our souls, our emotions, our lives..bringing healing to all our insecure and wounded places..

It's like there is a little child inside us longing to be held and loved, and God sees that little child in the deepest part of our heart..

We might tend to put up walls to keep people from knowing that little child, to protect that little child from being hurt or rejected..

His gentle grace melts away those walls and soothes us with love, envelopes us in love - He is holding the little child in us, wrapping us warmly in the blanket of His love. We can let Him just hold us and love on us today..

Love on us, Jesus, hold us in Your arms, and reveal Your heart of love to us, sing Your love song over us, show us that we matter, that we are special to You..

There's a place in His heart just for us..He's put us there, and we are safe in His heart always, loved, cherished, home..so we can rest, rest, rest in His love today..

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

The Holy Spirit Shows Us That Grace Is True!

A couple of years ago I had the amazing experience of being filled or baptized with the Holy Spirit (I simply asked God to do this in me - and He did!), and since then I have been so encouraged to get to know the Holy Spirit who indwells us and to experience more of His interaction in my life!

He has shown me so many things, but I think one of the most beautiful and most special is that Grace is TRUE!  I had learned a lot about the grace of God in past years and had been blown away in learning that God truly accepts us because of Christ, and that He is not looking on our performance but on Christ's performance - so we are totally, unconditionally, eternally accepted by God because it stands on that perfect and finished work of Christ, not our own merit or efforts!  Also, the idea that I don't have to live this Christian life, that Christ is my Life and will live through me, so that I can just rest - this whole idea was riveting to me as well, and made me feel so relieved that nothing was required of me or demanded of me - I could just rest in Christ and He would live.  Well, when I had the experience of the baptism of the Holy Spirit, it was like I was really getting to know and experience God in a more personal and deep way - I felt that the Spirit brought me face to face with Christ in such a powerful and intimate way, and I was a little nervous..what if it turned out that grace wasn't true when I really experienced Christ so deeply?   What if He really was more demanding or works oriented?  What would He be like?  Deep down in my heart I think I knew He was love and grace, but here I was experiencing this very real presence of Christ, Christ Himself making Himself known to me through His Spirit, so what would He be like toward me??

Well, it is awesome that I have found Him to be nothing but grace and love!  Every experience with Him through the last couple of years just confirms over and over that Grace is really true!  Wow, what a gospel and wow, what a Savior and Lord! The Holy Spirit is God's Spirit in us, and the way He is to us shows the nature and character of God Himself toward us.  In every way the Spirit has shown me grace and love!

He is there to show us Christ, and He has truly shown me that Christ's finished work is more than sufficient and has brought me into a perfect and unchanging and intimate union relationship with God, and that Christ has completely done away with my sin and isn't relating to me based on my sin or works but on the work of Christ alone!  So I have a God who is constantly smiling at me because of Christ's finished work on my behalf!  I have experienced this in such a real way, really driving home those truths and making them come alive for me!  When I have felt His presence or filling, it is always with so much joy, peace, love and power!  He is always delighting in me and smiling at me!  I have experienced Him delighting in me even in the midst of sin.  After I've sinned and feel awful, there He is, loving me JUST THE SAME, delighting in me JUST THE SAME, ready to go on with me as if nothing happened, because that sin is already gone and put onto the cross, and sin never separates us from God's presence anymore as believers!  We are just right with God all the time, no matter what we do, because our rightness is Christ's rightness given to us, and that rightness is a perfect rightness or righteousness, not based on works we have done but on the blood of Christ the spotless lamb!  We have been perfected forever by His one perfect offering!  And the Holy Spirit has made that truth just come alive in real experience by the way He treats me with love, acceptance and joy even in the midst of sin struggles!  He just doesn't see our sin..He sees us with joy and is always love!  I have felt Him fighting against sin's attacks/temptations in me, fighting against lies, rising up in my with love when I have been tempted to get irritated, for example, fighting on my behalf..yet never condemning me when I fail but instead being there loving me and ready to fill me with love and power to defeat any temptations!  That is how He has been with me when I am tempted or when I've failed.  It is amazing to me that even when I choose wrong, He's always there ready to fellowship and always there loving me anyway!  What a Friend, who truly shows me grace and loves me unconditionally.

That is the second way I have seen Him demonstrate that grace is true - by His unconditional love and friendship.  Grace is acceptance of us as we are, and I have experienced this in my relationship with the dear Holy Spirit.  He is the Best Friend I have always wanted. He is always there for me.  He is always ready to listen and understand.  He loves to hang out with me!  He loves to listen to me ramble.  He is delighted with me, even with my quirks and eccentricities.  He enjoys my company and would still choose to have me as His Friend, even knowing how weird I truly am!  He is there to counsel, console, comfort, and encourage.  He always lifts me up.  He never says a harsh word.  He never makes me feel worse - I always, always feel better from time spent with Him! He will never reject or abandon me - He is with me forever, always there, faithful, constant, loyal, true.  He demonstrates the acceptance in the Beloved and pours out on me the unconditional love of God!  He is all love, all the time!  He is safe and can be completely trusted. He is so loyal and won't leave - He just won't leave me! He will be with me forever, for He promised never to leave me or forsake me!  That means I am safe and secure in God's friendship forever!  He will always be my Friend!  No matter what..safe and secure and sure..He truly demonstrates grace to me!  He is everything we have always wanted in someone to love us without condition..

The last way I have seen the Spirit demonstrate that grace is true is in the living of the Christian life.  To me, one meaning of grace is that I don't have to live this life - Christ will live it in me, and I just get to rest in faith.  I don't think I ever really even started to understand that until I was baptized/filled with the Spirit.  When I have been tempted to have bitter feelings toward someone and have gone to Him, He has just filled me powerfully with Himself and driven away the bad feelings, and a peace and love have just settled over me!  Other times, when I knew Satan was attacking me with worry or fear, He has risen up within me to fight against that attack.  Whenever I turn to Him needing Him, He is there to just take over and rise up with the strength and power and love and joy and peace I need.  He doesn't just give those things, He IS those things and He brings out those things in such a personal way by just rising up in His very presence inside me!  So Christianity isn't just asking for "things" like joy or victory but having a relationship with a Person and experiencing Him as joy or victory! It's being able to just open up with  Him and tell Him all your needs, and then seeing Him actually work on your behalf in those areas and be all you couldn't be in those areas.  I just ask Him to fill me and He then rises up and is all within me!  With Him filling me, I am so strong and so willing to love people, and everything makes sense - and that is all HIM inside as the Spirit of power, love and a sound mind!  Wow!  Christ really LIVES in and through us by His Spirit!  We don't have to live this life, solve our problems, have perfect love or forgiveness, overcome the enemy's attacks of fear or worry, or even have faith on our own!  He will do it!  He is ALL to us!  He will supply ALL our need out of His riches in glory in Christ!  HE will live this life in and through us, and it will be His works of power and love that come forth, His faith, His strength, His Spirit actually moving, motivating, willing and working in us!  That must have been somewhat of Paul's meaning when he said he labored, yet not him, but the grace of God that was with him.  The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Grace loving us and moving in us!

The Spirit is the embodiment of God's grace to me!  Thank You, dear Holy Spirit, for showing me without a doubt that grace is true, that God really does love us unconditionally, that we really are accepted and right with God in the Beloved, that we are perfect to and in perfect relationship with Him, that His blood really did take away our sins and they are remembered no more, that we really are secure in Your presence forever, that we are one with You in perfect spirit-Spirit union, that nothing can separate us from Your presence and love and favor, that nothing is required of us and we can let You rise up and live through us, that we can rest and just let You do it all, that You will be everything we need, that we are already more than conquerors, that we are home free, that You will never leave us, that You are for us and delight in us, that You are in love with us, that You will fight for us, that You will keep us and finish the work You began in us!  Thank You for Your grace and for the gift of Your Spirit, who has really made You, Father, and Your Son, Jesus, and Your grace and love so real!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

He is Light and in Him is NO Darkness at All!







This is the message that we have heard from Him and proclaim to you:  that God is LIGHT and in HIM is NO DARKNESS at ALL!

God is light and never dark!

He is good and never bad!

He is kind and never mean!

He is fair and never unjust!

He is loving and never hateful!

He is beautiful and never ugly!

He is truth and never false!

He is faithful and never disloyal!

He is LOVE and LIGHT and never one bit otherwise!

Thank You, Lord!

(The photo was taken by my daughter and is unedited - it just 'came out' that way - wow!)

Friday, August 17, 2012

God's Mind Isn't Thinking of Our Sin



This thought came up in a comment recently from a friend out there in cyberspace, and the more I got to thinking about it, the more happy and excited I became in Him, and just wanted to share some of my thoughts on this topic, because I have struggled with sensing God's acceptance even when I have sinned, and have lived under a lot of unnecessary guilt and condemnation, thinking He was mad at me or only cared about my works.   I thought His main agenda was for me to not sin, but He showed me His main agenda for me was to receive His love!!  So here are some of my thoughts:

God's mind isn't thinking of our sin!  Wow, how can that be, when we know God hates sin and loves righteousness, and we know that sometimes we as believers still mess up and do things wrong?  Sometimes I have been filled with fear that God majored in my faults and was always thinking "why can't you do better" when He thought of me.  I felt the main thing He wanted from me was for me to stop sinning and do better.  And I kept failing, experiencing more and more failure the harder I tried to do rightly!  It almost made me feel God must hate me or at least be really disappointed in me!  Because I knew God hates sin, and I seemed to have so much of it in my life..But what is really on God's mind?  Not our sin (Christ washed it away!) but Christ and His perfection and beauty, and us in Him, beautiful and perfect, too, in Him!

He has helped me understand a little better His nature!  He is LOVE!  Yes, He hates sin - sin, not people!  He LOVES people, and He hates what sin does to people, for He hates to see them trapped by sin and deprived by sin of the union relationship with Him that He had in mind when He created people.  (We were created for a love relationship with God, and sin robbed us of that by killing our spirits and thus cutting us off from being able to be united with God on that deep spirit to Spirit level, Him dwelling in us and us in Him.)  He loved us so much and wanted to stop the destructive hold of sin so much that He sent Jesus to take away our sin and set us free in Christ from its power! So we as believers are set free from slavery to sin and now have a new nature that loves God and an alive spirit that is ONE with God's Spirit, His very Spirit dwelling inside us and fellowshipping with us 24/7, in fulfillment of God's very purpose in creating us! God knows that sin leads to nothing but trouble and wants to help us have the most fulfilling life, which is a life filled with the Holy Spirit Himself, with His wonderful presence giving us joy and love and hope and faith, so that we can be trusting Jesus to live a love-life through us, His very Spirit flowing through us like a river of living water, to bring love and hope to this world.

So when God looks at us, how could He help but see His new creation work?  Satan's work in our life has been put down, for Jesus came and destroyed the works of the devil in our life and set us free!  Do we still somtimes fail?  Yes, but God knows that whole arena is who we were, not who we now are!  For He has re-created us righteous in Christ, and that is on His mind!

Another way to say it is that we are more important to God than our failures, so when He looks at me He sees the child He loves over any mistakes. All the mistakes and sins have been taken away on the cross and He has promised to "remember our sins and iniquities no more" - ! So His mind is set on helping us enjoy the new life we have in Christ, that relationship with Him. The natural result of just being with Him and seeing His grace for us is that we trust Him more and Christ flows through us more to love others! Sin is naturally put down without our even trying, because it is all an effect of Jesus' life welling up in us by the Spirit! Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom! We live, yet not us, but Christ lives in us!

I think it is like a parent with a child - our main focus isn't on their behavior, but on having a good relationship with them and making sure they know we love them, and out of that as a bonus or by-product will come more trust in us and a willingness to accept our 'coaching' for life's situations, for they trust we want the best for them and know in wisdom what pathways would give them that happiness and fulfillment, pathways of love and honesty, for example.  But the focus isn't on producing the 'prefectly well-behaved child', it's on loving our child and having a great family relationship.  I know that even if my child messed up his/her life in some big way, it wouldn't change our relationship one bit.  I would love that child just the same.  I would still see my child as beautiful in my eyes.  I wouldn't be thinking of their mistakes when I looked at them, but thinking, "This is my child that I love and accept always."  That's the main point I was making here.  God doesn't see sin when He looks at us, because Christ took it away at the cross and "by one offering perfected for all time" God's dear children,- us!  When He looks at us, He sees the new creation child that He made in the image of His Son and re-birthed into His own family (He sees His true "blood relative", connected to Him by Jesus' blood!), and His heart is just overwhelmed with love and He sings over us with joy!

You and I are beautiful before God! When He looks at us, He is so in love with us, and He sees us as perfect in Christ and as His beautiful children, not as sinners or messed up people who "won't ever get it right".  Lord, fill us with that knowledge of Your love and acceptance and may we just enjoy being in Your arms today and having You delight in us, and may Your Spirit push away any of the enemy's attacks as we just stay here with You!  And may Christ live through us and the Spirit bear fruit and display His gifts through us, as we just worship!  We love you and thank You that You are all about love and Jesus, and that You don't see any of our sin, for it was taken away, away, away on the cross and we are the righteousness of God in Christ!  Thank You for Your love that is so amazing!  Let us hear the song You sing over us today!  We are in love with You, too, and want to sing Your praise!  In Jesus' name, Amen!


Thursday, August 16, 2012

Beautiful Photos

Look at these beautiful photos that my daughter took and then edited!  Wow, I love them!  I am so proud of her..just had to show them off to everyone..






Friday, August 10, 2012

I Sing and Dance Because You Are Good!

This song is going out in honor of my dear friend Julie, a wonderful and beautiful daughter of God who loves Jesus with all her heart and just radiates with the dear Holy Spirit!

Julie, you have taught me so much about the goodness of God and you never fail to encourage me and remind me of that fact.  I have seen how you handle daily life - hard times as well as good times - with constant faith and reliance on Jesus and His goodness!  Thank you for being such a light and letting the Spirit shine through..I am one of many who are blessed to know and love you!

This is an awesome song by Jeremy Riddle all about how good God is!  He is good all the time and is ALL good!  There is not one bit of evil or badness in God!  His motives are never suspect!

He has only good thoughts toward us,

Desires only good things for us,

Gives only good gifts to us,

Makes only good plans for us,

Dreams only good dreams for us,

Provides only a good future in store for us!

Honestly, I have been so down lately and worried about so many issues and problems, with things seeming so hopeless, and God has reminded me today of how GOOD and wonderful and kind He is, how it's His will to do good to us, heal us, love us, bring us out into an abundant and hopeful life, and take care of all our needs!  He is so good to us!

I love You, Lord, and I will sing because You are GOOD!  You are my Provider, Healer, Supporter, Keeper, Father, Love, and Friend!  You are so good  - pour out Your goodness and love on all who read this!



You are Good


Brian Johnson, Jeremy Riddle

Vs: 1
I want to scream it out

From every mountain top 

Your goodness knows no bounds 

Your goodness never stops

Your mercy follows me 

Your kindness fills my life 

Your Love amazes me

Chorus:

I sing because you are good 

And I dance because you are good

And I shout because you are good 

You are good to me to me

Vs: 2

Nothing and no one comes

Anywhere close to you

The earth and oceans deep 

Only reflect this truth

And in my darkest night 

You shine as bright as day

Your Love amazes me


Bridge:
  
With a cry of praise My heart will proclaim 
    
You are good You are good
           
In the Sun or rain My life celebrates 

                   
You are good You are good 


With a cry of praise My heart will proclaim 

You are good You are good

In the Sun or rain My life celebrates 

You are good You are good 



Sunday, August 5, 2012

We Aren't, We Are..

We aren't lost, we're found..

We aren't hopeless, we're hopeful..

We aren't rejected, we're accepted..

We aren't on probation, we're secure..

We aren't lacking, we're full..

We aren't broken, we're whole..

We aren't sickly, we're vibrant..

We aren't weak, we're strong..

We're not bound, we're free..

We're not worthless, we're precious..

We're not rebuked, we're encouraged..

We're not losers, we're victorious..

We're not vulnerable, we're safe..

We're not unimportant, we're significant..

We're not unwanted, we're loved!

Why?

Because Jesus is not a weak God!  Jesus is not an effective Savior!

Jesus is perfect!  His work is perfect and what's more, it's complete!

He is full..

He is complete..

He is holy..

He is lovely..

He is victorious..

He is strong..

He is wholeness..

He is rich..

He is loving..

He is encouragement..

He is kindness..

He is security..

He is protection..

He is KING and reigning over all!

He took all the bad things plaguing us DOWN to death on the cross, buried them in the tomb, and they did NOT come out..

Then He rose up as the heir of the new creation, and sent the Holy Spirit to come down and dwell in us and fill us, so bringing ALL that He is down to live in us and be part of our nature and inheritance..

Our old self died with Him, our new self rose with Him to newness of life in God's kingdom, where LOVE and GRACE reign through Jesus Christ our Lord!!

He has gotten rid of all that we were and brought us into all that He is!

Hallelujah, what a Savior, Redeemer, and King..
May the amazing grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the extravagant love of God, and the intimate friendship of the Holy Spirit be with all of you. 2 Co. 13:14