Wednesday, March 30, 2011

I Know You Love Me, Because of the Cross

"At the Cross"

Oh Lord You've searched me
You know my way
Even when I fail You
I know You love me

Your holy presence
Surrounding me
In every season
I know You love me
I know You love me

At the cross I bow my knee
Where Your blood was shed for me
There's no greater love than this
You have overcome the grave
Your glory fills the highest place
What can separate me now

You go before me
You shield my way
Your hand upholds me
I know You love me

You tore the veil
You made a way
When You said that it is done

And when the earth fades
Falls from my eyes
And You stand before me
I know You love me
I know You love me
                                                                       Darlene Zschech (Hillsong)

Monday, March 28, 2011

Dear Holy Spirit

Dear Holy Spirit,

I'm so glad I found You, or rather, You found me!

I'm never without a Friend now.  You took away my loneliness and filled me with Your presence.  I always have You to talk to, to share even my embarrassing mistakes, and You will never criticize or hurt my feelings!

You never say the wrong thing to me.  Your words never hurt, prick or sting.  They always help.  Your words are always healing and soothing and empowering word to me!

You always sympathize with me and are always on my side.  Even right after I do something stupid, You are right there, always right there, to support and lift my spirits.

You keep on delighting in me and giving me joy, even after I mess up.  You are my constant Encourager and Supporter!  After every sin, You say, "What sin?  It's gone!," and we can go on together in joy!

I never have to face any situation alone, because You are always with me, and You go with me into every situation to take over my problems and handle them for me.  

You prepare me for every situation and build me up ahead of time, and You give me wisdom and carry me along in every way with Your power and work.

I'm so glad to have You!  You are such a joy to be around!  You are truly the Best Friend I've ever had, the Best Friend in the world!  

I love You with all my heart and I love being with You!


Saturday, March 26, 2011

Law Says, Grace Says..

Law says it's all up to me.
Grace says it's all up to Him.

Law says it's all about your performance.
Grace says it's all about His performance.

Law says you must earn your way.
Grace says Jesus earned the way for you.

Law says you must meet all expectations if you want to win.
Grace says Jesus met all expectations and you're already a winner!

Law says keep all the rules.
Grace says enjoy the party!

Law says everything costs.
Grace says everything is a gift.

Law says work for your reward.
Grace says receive and enjoy His free gift!

Law says if you do good, you get blessing as a reward.
Grace says even if you're bad, you still get blessing as a gift.

Law says you must be absolutely perfect or you aren't accepted.
Grace says you're accepted no matter how imperfect you are.

Law says if you blow it, you get punished.
Grace says even if you blow it you won't get punished.

Law says if you mess up, you're out of favor and must earn your way back.
Grace says if you mess up, you're still in His favor, nothing has changed.

Law implies you're a servant.
Grace says you're a son!

Law says I'm 100% responsible for my living.
Grace says He's 100% responsible for my living.

Law says I have to hold on to Him.
Grace says He's holding on to me!

Law says I must maintain this life in Christ.
Grace says He will maintain this life in Christ!

Law says I must keep up my faith, keep it going, or else.
Grace says He will keep up His faith within me no matter what!

Law says you're safe only as long as you do right work.
Grace says you're safe as long as Christ's right work stands, and that's forever!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

He Tells Me, "Never Be Afraid of My Voice"

In the past I've been afraid of God.

I've been afraid to stop and listen to His voice, because I've been afraid I would hear condemnation, pointing out of my faults, a heavy burdensome list of things I must change or do better, disappointment, or irritation.  I've been afraid of what He might tell me, and I've thought the Holy Spirit was out to point out my sin and make me feel my guilt.  The message I felt I would probably hear from God was something like, "I love you, but I'm so disappointed in you.  Why can't you do better?  After all, I gave My Son for you.  Is this the best you can do for Me?"

And yet - that's all a crazy lie!

God isn't like that at all, and He is showing me that His words to me will always be wonderful and healing words.  He is out to bless me!  And the Holy Spirit is out to point out what's right with me because of Jesus, not to point out any faults!  The fact is, God is delighting in me right now!  He is rejoicing over me (Zeph. 3:17). Wow!

God tells me I need NEVER be afraid of His voice or fear anything He might say to me.  He always says something good to build us up!  He's so in love with us, and the cross took away all our sin anyway, so there's no sin left to see!  He sees only beauty and childlikeness when He looks at us!

I think our fears and perceptions can color our "hearing" of Him or the way we hear Him, so that sometimes we PERCEIVE His words as harsh, but His voice is NEVER harsh.  It's always loving and kind.  He is always out to do us good.  He sent Jesus to BLESS us, not to curse and accuse and berate us (Acts 3:26).

We never have to be afraid of anything He says, for His words are always LOVE and GOOD and HEALING.  He loves us, and love does NO HARM!  And what if we sin, fail, blow it, mess up, and crash?  He isn't about pointing out our sins!  He doesn't see our sin, He's promised to remember it no more (Jer. 31:34).  He doesn't see our sin but instead sees our root need for love, and He meets that need, speaking into our hearts the truth of His love and acceptance and thus healing hurt places where we've believed lies about Him or perceived Him in a mixed-up way.

What is God's word to us?  What does He tell us?  He tells us, "You are My beloved child, in whom I am well-pleased!"

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

He Is Lovely

I love this beautiful song.

It came to mind right after God gave me my emotional healing last year.  I praise Jesus for His beauty and salvation and healing presence!  I wanted to share this beautiful praise song here!

He is lovely, He is holy
Gave supremely, that all might see
He is gentle, tender hearted
Risen Savior, He is God 
Master, Maker, Life Creator
[You've] come and dwell in me
That my heart may know your tender mercy
Shine through me that all may see
Your love so full and free
And I’ll declare your praise through endless ages
You are lovely, You are holy
Gave supremely, that all might see 
You are gentle, tender hearted
Risen Saviour, You are God 

                                                                       Bob Fitts

Sunday, March 20, 2011

My Testimony Of Emotional Healing

I shared some of my story of emotional healing from anxiety, sadness and fear a few months back, but I wanted to take a little time to share again in some more detail and just take time to thank God for His love and healing power.  I hope this testimony is an encouragement to any and all...

Several years ago, our little daughter was born with a complex heart defect, and my life went into a tailspin.  Our little one is doing great now, praise God!  Yet the trauma of having my 6-day old baby undergo major heart surgery, and then another surgery later, then another, just took its toll and I became a very fearful and anxious person.  I couldn't get out of that bleak place in my life.  I couldn't overcome or be a strong and victorious Christian, no matter what I tried.  I felt like I was supposed to be victorious, and I wasn't, so I suffered great condemnation and sadness at being stuck like that.  The truths I had learned about grace were all that helped me survive that time, and yet the pain of not being able to overcome all my problems made me have this gnawing condemnation inside.

Then through a dear friend named Martha, I was introduced more to the Holy Spirit.  I guess growing up I had not been taught much about Him or His work in us.  I longed to just be soaked in the One who IS Grace, the Person - the Spirit of Grace!  So I prayed and asked God for this gift of being immersed or baptized in His Spirit.  I remember telling God very honestly that I didn't have much faith, and how He basically gave me the faith I needed.  He showed me that I was basically asking for Him, and that was definitely a prayer He would answer with a "yes."  A couple of days after I prayed, I was standing in my bedroom, and I just felt God's presence and realized that all the pain, sadness, worry and fear was just GONE.  It had been lifted off!  It was like it was just me and God, and everything else just faded away.  I realized He had never rejected me all through that time that I was condemning myself for being a failed, unvictorious Christian. 

I had become a fearful and sad person and had condemned myself.  I had felt very un-victorious as a Christian because I couldn't get out of that fear and worry.  And the way God dealt with that wasn't to expose my faulty thinking; in fact He skipped over all my issues and went straight to my heart and filled it full of His Spirit, His Presence.  I felt like it was just me and Jesus standing there, and like noone and nothing else existed. I felt His acceptance.  I felt closeness with Him, He was so PRESENT.  And all my issues and problems were suddenly just a tiny speck, like He could just flick them away with His fingertip.  They weren't a big deal to Him at all!  And lastly, I remember that He was light-hearted!  It was a wonderful experience, kind of like being saved all over again.  And I believe that  is the birthright of every Christian, to know the love and closeness of God by His Spirit!

That whole time He had been accepting me.  And now He had poured out His Spirit in me and delivered me of all that heaviness.  I didn't even ask for Him to do that, I just wanted to have His Spirit in fullness saturating my being.  But with the Spirit came this healing and freedom, as if He just came in and cleared out all the junk that was there inside me weighing me down.  He made me see that all my troubles were just like nothing to Him, that He could handle them all.  My mind  - which had always been racing with thoughts - was now calm.  I felt peaceful, like praising God, joyful like a child again.  I felt like myself again.  I was freed!  "Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom!"  

And over the next few weeks He started making me aware of how much He loved me, and I started falling in love with Him.  I felt His presence inside me, closer than my own thoughts, and felt His joy and strength within.  I felt Him delighting in me, constantly reminding me that everything is FINE between me and Him.  So many times when the dark feelings would threaten to return, He would rise up from within me to fight them off. 

I love the fact that I don't feel vulnerable anymore.  I used to always be afraid of what terrible thing might happen next.  I always felt like I could be crushed at any moment.  But now I know I am never alone, and He is right there to handle anything life might throw at me, not just there to say He loves me, but also there to do something and get me through the situation with His power and victory.  That gives me hope, not just for my daughter's life, but for my own.  It makes me happy again after so many years of being sad.  I really never thought I would be happy again, and now I am!  It is truly a miracle, and all because of both grace and the Holy Spirit.  They really are one thing, for the Holy Spirit ministers grace and love to our hearts.   Grace is a Person, and His name is Holy Spirit.  

He is a good God and a God who brings hope and healing through His presence, which is 100% pure and powerful LOVE!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Created for Love

"We were created by God to be loved, not punished."  Joel Brueseke

"Long before he laid down earth's foundations, he had us in mind, had settled on us as the focus of his love, to be made whole and holy by his love."  Eph. 1:4

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Monday, March 14, 2011

The Goodness of God


His goodness is an ocean that has no shore.
A Mountain that has no summit.
A Road that has no end.
Not meager, but much.
Not skimpy but sufficient.
Not little, but limitless.
Not barely, but bountiful.
Not feeble, but full. 

  Philip Pascal 

No matter how deep we think His love and goodness is, it's always far deeper.  He is a well of infinite goodness and a fountain of eternal life and love!  We can never reach the end of His grace and kindness!  I feel like I am only beginning to even scratch the surface in understanding how good and loving He truly is! 

He is an infinite supply of all we need Him to be, every moment of every day for all eternity. He is everlasting satisfaction, refreshment, and joy!  Thus we aren't ever needy or empty but full and complete in every way because of His riches in glory in Christ Jesus poured out upon us! 

Saturday, March 12, 2011

You're Under Attack..

Be forewarned:  We are under attack today.  Someone is out to conquer and overwhelm us.  This is a power that we can't resist.  We can't win against this attack, no matter how much effort we put forth.

Resistance is futile!

We might as well the Army of Love!

God's Love is an Army.  His love is going to surround you.  It's going to overwhelm you.  It's going to melt all your defenses and destroy the best arguments you've put out as to why you don't deserve that love.  The sin that seems so prominent to you, that you think would keep Him from ever loving you.  The hideous failures in your past, the addictions or struggles of your present, your insane fears of the future - all things you think would stop His love from coming to you..well, they are nothing against His forces of Unconditional Love!

His love is an unstoppable, unconquerable force in your life!  He is taking you with His love and you can't stop Him!  He is going to let you feel His embrace.  He is going to bless you.  He is going to fulfill all the good plans He has for you.  He is going to complete the work He began in you.  He is going to bring you safely to the heavenly kingdom.  He is going to pour out His love on you unconditionally, and there's not a single thing you can do to stop Him. 

He is going to wipe away every fear that would make you draw back from His love.  He is going to conquer every lie that Satan has tried to feed you that would make you doubt that love.  He is going to eradicate every struggle you have in believing in this love for you!  He is going to melt away all defenses until His army of Love has total and complete access to every corner of your being.  His Army of Love will not fail!

And you are going to experience a love like you have never known!  You are going to know and be assured that you are loved by the Perfect Love you've always dreamed of having.  You are going to be immersed in the love that has no beginning and no end, the love that has loved you from all eternity, the Heart that beats with longing for you every second of every day.  You are going to be conquered, overwhelmed, undone and swept off your feet by His Love.

The love of God is an Army.  It defeats every lie  that would keep its Beloved from enjoying that love.  It sets the Beloved free to trust in that love.  It sets its Beloved free to really know, sense, experience and enjoy the greatest Love in the universe!

Perfect love CASTS OUT fear...

NOTHING shall separate us from the love of God in Christ..



Thursday, March 10, 2011

Strong in Him!

The weakest Christian has more power than the strongest devil!  Cornel Marais

"You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because greater is HE THAT IS IN YOU than he that is in the world."  1 John 4:4

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Seven Attributes of the Holy Spirit

I read this wonderful message by Charles Spurgeon on the attributes of the Holy Spirit and thought I would post it here.  He is truly the Spirit of grace!  He ministers nothing but love, healing, help and grace to us!

And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that He may abide with you for ever; He is the Spirit of truth. The world cannot receive Him, because it does not see Him, neither do they know Him: but you know him; for he dwells with you, and shall be in you. (John 14:16-17)

1. The Holy Spirit is a loving Comforter. When we face trials and tribulations in life, whose words are more important in comforting our hearts: someone who doesn't know us and love us, or someone who knows every single thing about us, and loves us anyway. The Holy Spirit has loved us since before the creation of the world. He has loved us well. He has loved us forever, and He will love us for all eternity. Only He is able to truly comfort our hearts, because no one loves us as He does. (Rom. 5:5)
2. He is a faithful Comforter. People, even those who love us, can sometimes fail us. They are sometimes unfaithful. And it hurts us - an unfaithful friend is sharper than a serpent's tooth, more bitter than gall. We despair when someone who loves us in prosperity forsakes us in the time of trouble, yet God's Holy Spirit would never do that. He loves us even to the end, for He alone is faithful. Sin cannot separate us from His love; no, indeed, He loved us while we were still dead in our sins. He loved us knowing what the sum total of our wickedness would be. All of our goodness could never make Him love us more, and all of our sin can never make Him love us any less. We can fully trust in Him, for He is ever faithful. He will never leave us, but will be with us until the end, and beyond. (Rom. 15:13)
3. He is an untiring Comforter. Sometimes when we try to comfort persons in their affliction or tribulation, we find it is beyond us, and we grow weary and quit. There are some people who cannot or will not be comforted, in fact, the more we try to comfort them, the worse they get. Often then, we lose heart, leaving them alone and feeling sorry for themselves. The Holy Spirit never loses heart, however, pursuing even those who believe they are beyond comforting. He is never wearied, not by our sins, not by our murmurings and complainings, not even by our stubborn refusal to accept the comfort He freely offers. (Jn. 14:26)

4. He is a wise Comforter. We are often surrounded by people who think they are wise, and yet they are not able to look into the heart and uncover the root of our disease. Like Job's friends, people give us wrong advice, just like a doctor can dispense wrong medicine. Like wrong medicine, it may not hurt us, even though it doesn't cure our disease. Other times it may be harmful, or even deadly. It is very easy for us to mistake the disease, whether our own or someone else's....[Yet the Spirit easily] finds the root of the matter, what is causing the disease. He not only finds the problem, but cures it...and, at the same time, bandages hidden wounds that also afflict us. Thus our wise Comforter offers healing for all of our diseases... (1 Co. 2:10)  [I took this to mean not that He uncovers our sin - because the Spirit doesn't point out our sin but our righteousness in Christ -  but rather that He sees what is causing our misperceptions of Him and He heals those wounded places.  He sees what hurts us and He heals our wounds with His love and power and grace.]
5. He is a safe Comforter. Very often friends and family offer unsafe advice when we are in the midst of trials and tribulations. Any advice that follows the knowledge of this world is unsafe advice. Remember that Satan himself sometimes comes as a false comforter, assuring us that all is well when it is not, and casting doubt on the word of God. Remember, Cleopatra's asp was brought in amidst a basket of flowers, and ruination often lurks in fair and sweet speeches. But the comfort of the Holy Spirit is safe; you may rest in it, and trust it. Let Him speak the word, and give you the cup of consolation, which you may drink to the bottom for there are no bitter dregs, and nothing in it to intoxicate or bring ruin. The Holy Spirit knows the heart of God and the will of God, and his comfort will never go contrary to those, so we can safely trust in it. (1 Co. 2:13)
6. He is an active Comforter. He does not comfort merely by words, but by deeds. He intercedes for us, reminding us of God's great promises and His grace. He will never leave us or forsake us, but instead actively leads and guides us to the perfect will of the Father. (Rom. 8:26-7)
7. He is an ever present Comforter. We never have to send for Him, for He is always right there with us. He will never leave us alone, nor forsake us. We can reach out to Him in our distress, whenever we need comfort, and know that He is there. (Jn. 14:16)

 Charles H. Spurgeon

Monday, March 7, 2011

Photos From Our Trip to Nearby Gardens

We recently took a day trip to the mountains to a lovely garden.  A few plants and flowers were already blooming.  What a lovely day!  Just thought I'd share a few photos from our time there.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

"Let Me Be Who I Am..."

This is from a message by Brennan Manning.  I have the youtube video of the message on my sidebar.  Every time I listen to it, it brings tears. He is a Grace God.  He doesn't ask us to change or shape up.  He asks us to let Him be WHO HE IS - and He will bring healing love to our hearts!

"Jesus, the risen Christ, with you at this moment, loves you AS YOU ARE.  You don't have to change to get His love.  You don't have to give up your sin.  You don't have to overcome your problems... You don't have to DO anything to get His love and acceptance.  You have that already before you decide to change and whether you ever decide to change or not.

"Jesus says, 'Take your eyes off yourself and fix them on Me and let Me be WHO I AM.'

"You can come to Him in your brokenness, in your sinfulness, in your darkness, in your emptiness, in your phoniness - He will come and bring HEALING to you.

"His compassion is NEVER based on our performance.  It knows no shade or alteration or change.  'The bruised reed of your life He will not crush, and the smoldering wick He will not quench' until He's led the truth of your life's story to victory."
                                                                                                       Brennan Manning

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Where the Spirit of the Lord is..

Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.  His Spirit is what sets us free to live in our freedom.  We are no longer under law but under the reign (rain!) of the Spirit!  His rule is one of freedom!  He leads us by desire and not compulsion.  And He sets us free from every lie we may believe about God or ourselves and brings us to rise up and walk as free sons and daughters of the King.  In His presence is complete freedom.  Darkness, lies and bondage can't exist there!  He has set us free, and we are free indeed!

Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is rest.  His Spirit brings us to rest.  To peace.  To a place of quiet away from the noisiness of the world and the racket inside our own head.  He stills all other voices and makes us to hear His still small voice whispering over and over, "You are Beloved!  You are My delight!  You are constantly favored by the Father!  Everything is fine between you and Me forever!"  What a wonderful place to rest - in the Spirit!

Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is love.  We are wrapped in love.  God has tied us up with His Spirit in an eternal love knot that can never be undone.  We will never be out of His loving embrace.  He has loved us from all eternity and loves us for all eternity.  He who searches out every deep thing in our hearts LOVES us with a boundless and perfect and unconditional love!  We can't get away from this love because we are joined to Him who IS this love forever, one spirit with His Spirit.

Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is confidence.  Places where we had felt vulnerable to enemy attacks now become places of complete protection, where we know we are guarded by Him.  We can rise up and laugh at the enemy.  His lies fade away into nothing as the Spirit dispels each one with His truth.  The insecurity we have felt before God melts away as He shows us He is for us.  He is on our side to fight for us.  We can feel strong and brave because our Best Friend is our Advocate and Defender against the enemy's accusations!  The enemy brings the law out to try to condemn us, and the Spirit brings the Life and Righteousness of Christ out to show off in all His perfection!

Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is joy!  He is light-hearted, because He knows Christ has already won.  He knows how things will all wrap up, and so He's light in heart.  He's also light-hearted because He's delighted with us!  He actually sings over us with joy and happiness!  He loves to spend time with us and share Himself with us.  He wants to be around us and never grows tired of us.  He is a joy to be around!  He is constantly joyful in us and constantly delighting in us with Divine Delight!

Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is ... you!  And me!  We are in the Spirit as God's children, as believers.  We are in the Spirit and we will never go out of the Spirit!  We are in Him and He is in us.  He will abide with us forever, as an ever-present help in trouble.  As a Friend we can always turn to.  As our constant rear guard who watches our back.  As our giver of hope.  As our lifter of burdens.  As our Comforter, Keeper, Helper, and the very Spirit of Christ who lives the Christian life through us!  He will even live this life for us!  He will do the job that we can't handle: the Christian life.  And He will fellowship with us and delight in us for all eternity!

What a wonderful place You have put us, Lord!  You said You were going to prepare a place for us, that where You are, we may be also.  Then You went and cleansed the temple of our lives by Your finished work so we are now fit to be filled with Your glory, Your Spirit. Your Spirit is in us, and even better, we are in Your Spirit!  The place you prepared is a Spirit place, in Your Spirit.  You have put us in the Spirit forever, and in the Spirit we are joined to You and even seated with You in the heavenly places right now.  What a wonderful place You made for us to dwell - in You, in Your very Spirit!  Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is everything we need in abundance and perfect communion with You, and that is where we are forever!  Thank You, Lord!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

He Lifts and Restores

"God is in the business of restoring people, not labeling people."  Darin Hufford

But you, O Lord, are a shield around me;
      you are my glory, the one who holds my head high.  Ps. 3:3

He isn't about pointing out our faults; He is about lifting up our heads!

He's not out to wound us, He's our Healer!

He doesn't cause us pain, He relieves our pain!

He doesn't put heavy burdens on us, He lifts our burdens!

He's not pointing out what's wrong with us, He's pointing out what's right with us!

He's not the accuser, He's the Comforter!

He doesn't kick us when we're down, He picks us up!

Thank You, Lord, for being the God of Restoration and Healing Love!
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