Where You Lead Me

I stopped following my dreams, and I’ve started following Jesus, and my dreams followed me.

unkown

Here I sit, feeling like I’ve come full circle. From the time I first came to Christ, as a young woman, lost, broken and without hope…I was drawn to this scripture in Luke 7:37

37When a sinful woman from that town learned that Jesus was dining there, she brought an alabaster jar of perfume. 38As she stood behind Him at His feet weeping, she began to wet His feetwith her tears and wipe them with her hair. Thenshe kissed His feet and anointed them with the perfume. 39When the Pharisee who had invited Jesus saw this, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, He would know who this is and what kind of woman is touching Him—for she is a sinner!”…

I had felt the touch of the Saviors hand, and my life would never be the same. I had such a desire to be like this woman who worshiped with abandon, wiping Jesus feet with her tears and then anointing them with oil. I remember weeping as I sat in my room and the overpowering Presence of the Lord ministered to me. At that moment, I was overcome with gratitude and thankfulness, and a hunger to minister unto the Lord. He was wooing me and calling me to come up higher.

I also recall during this time, kneeling at the altar after some youth event. Others had come up too, but as I sat there I had a vision of Jesus on the cross, and waves upon waves of His Presence washed over me, and I again wept in awe and thankfulness. It was overpowering, and I felt like I could have stayed there forever. I have had other amazing experiences in the Presence of the Lord over the years since those early years, and yet found myself in these last few years holding on for dear life at times, wondering if, as Peggy Lee sang in her song…’ is that all there is to life.’ As I entered my 60’s, I had begun to look back over my life and I asked God, “What about all those unmet expectations, hopes, desires and dreams that seemed to fade into the shadows of my youth? My love for the Lord, was intact, albeit, I felt dry, and there were still times He made His Presence known in a tangible way, but my passion, my zeal was waning, and I was struggling going forward. I felt I had somehow missed my ‘calling,’ my purpose for living if you will.

I was once asked what my ‘destiny’ was, what my calling was. At the time I wasn’t sure I could answer that question. I was a licensed minister (Christian Worker) and leading worship for a Women’s Bible Study, and for other women’s events (eventually with the help of my husband who is an excellent keyboardist, as well as an Assistant Pastor). We eventually began co-leading worship on Sunday mornings, but then after a few years, due to various life circumstances, I found myself sitting on the shelf; withdrawn, and I hid, struggling with hopelessness. There were many times I asked God, “Can these dry bones live again?” I felt lost and without direction, a foreigner in a strange land and then…

God began to breathe new life, new vision and I began to realize the best was yet to come. I began to step out and the walls that I had so meticulously placed around myself, began to crumble. Sometimes the weights and cares of this world distract and pull us away from our GREATEST CALLING, which is to sit at His Feet and Worship Him. I find myself starting over… getting back to the basics: a place of surrender, repentance, consecration and determination once again. Abba Father, has assured me, the best is yet to come … where He leads me I will follow.

This video is an encouragement and declaration that nothing else matters but God. At the end of the video, a minister quotes, “I stopped following my dreams, and I’ve started following Jesus, and my dreams followed me.” It’s time to lay aside our own preconceived ideas, the things we’ve held onto, the baggage, the old ways of doing things and surrender to the Lover of Our Souls. Nothing else matters but Jesus, His will, and His way. He wants all of our heart, not just a piece.

Nothing Else by Cody Carnes

I submit to you a prophetic word given at one of our Church meetings, going into 2019. It encouraged me more now than it did then, especially as my walls began to crumble. It’s time to Be Still (let go) and KNOW that He is God. It’s time to embrace the new, and let go of the old … So many of us are at a place of transition and change. Be encouraged as we forge ahead…

“A new year is upon you. New days will arise. The old things will pass away. Put this year, 2018, under the blood. Let it go says the Lord. Let go of the good and let go of the bad. Let go of all the setbacks and the disappointments – any hurts- any frustrations! Let it go, says the Lord. Let it go. Look to Me-look up says the Lord. Seek My face and you shall find Me for I have new things for each and every one of you. Old things will not hold you down, but new things will begin to lift you up. My Church is going to rise. My Church- My Church- those that are open and willing – those that will obey me and listen and seek Me- you will arise into new things, says the Lord. New things are on the horizon. Breakthroughs are coming your way. Turn-arounds are taking place- but you have to trust me on a new level, says the Lord. You will have to have not limited thinking, but open your mind to the new things. Open your mind to all possibilities. Open and you shall see it, says the Lord, for My heart is with My people. My heart is to do good things. My heart is bring My Church up and out. So look to Me in these days ahead and see the new things, for I have special things. I have called thee up and I have called thee out. Will you listen? Will you hear? Will you obey? and if you do, you shall see it, says the Lord.”

Walking on The Water

Recently, I began contemplating the phrase ‘walk on the water,’ after a friend of mine informed me she was considering and praying about whether to go to Israel with a group from our church. I had, myself, grabbed a brochure from the back of the Church sanctuary, a few weeks earlier, but did not pursue it mostly because of health concerns and all the added preparation that goes into traveling with diabetes, as well as the price of the trip, which is a nice amount.

So, There I was texting my friend, encouraging her to ‘walk on the water’, and believe for the trip, and that she would never regret it. At this point I’m not thinking at all about going to Israel myself, when she text me back, and said, “I want you to go.” We text back and forth for a bit, and I gave her all my excuses, which in reality, were all my ‘fears,’ only I didn’t recognize that at first. She finally text me back echoing my own words to her… “walk on the water”, whereas I burst out laughing, much like Sarah must have when faced with an impossibility of having a baby in her older age.

Then I decided to call her, and pretty much that was the ‘hook’ the Holy Spirit used to open my eyes to the fact, that indeed, it was a trip that I wouldn’t want to miss, and God was compelling me to go. It was an epiphany moment! I could feel the Joy of the Lord well up, and could hardly contain my excitement that this trip to Israel was going to be life-changing. He’s doing a new thing, He’s birthing something. God further showed me that I had been walking in fear, and trepidation because of some traumatic health issues over the last two+ years, that had kept me bound up, but as I stepped out in faith, and ‘walked on the water,’ He would indeed be holding my hand.

I began to realize, I was behaving like Peter in Matthew 14:22-33, when he began to walk on the water towards Jesus. Once Peter’s eyes focused on the rough seas and took his gaze off of Jesus, he began to sink. God spoke to me, it’s time to rise above the fear, and its time to declare and decree, and cling to to promises of God. A friend of mine shared this quote on Facebook, and it resonated with my spirit:

“If you spend all of your time dwelling on what’s wrong in your life, you will forget to rehearse and meditate on what God says, who He is, what He has done for you and what He has promised to do.” – Sean Dunn

Isn’t that amazing? So simple, and yet so profound. It’s time to stop dwelling on the problems in our lives, and to begin to rehearse and meditate “on what God says, who He is, what He has for for us, and what He has promised to do.” It’s time to rise above the rough seas and walk on the water. Are you ready to walk on the water? I am!

You Are Not Alone

“There are times we all struggle with feeling alone, especially when faced with surmounting and overwhelming circumstances, pains, and disappointments. Hopelessness comes knocking at the door of our hearts and minds, threatening to squeeze out the Word and Promises of God. Even the most seasoned among us can falter when we are faced with unrelenting attacks and the forces that surround us push us to utter exhaustion, and weariness. If only we could really understand the depth of God’s love for us, and His desire to refresh us and restore us. May we be enriched and encouraged this year by His Word, and may we experience the TRUTH of His Word in our hearts, minds and bodies…as we come into the FULLNESS of the Gospel, and receive all that He has for us.”

Deuteronomy 31:6 Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”


Isaiah 41:10 So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.


Matthew 11: 28-30 Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

Joshua 1:9 This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

Burning Ones

I Am Hungry Lord. Listening to this on Spotify! You will be blessed! Fill me up, Lord! My time has not passed! God let the dry bones live! I have not been on here for a few weeks. So much is happening, some good, some challenges and just plain too tired and distracted. I had to share this. As I sat here at my computer, writing this, I have been listening to the Burning Ones (Good, Good Father) playlist. Encouraging Word, powerful, anointed song. I NEEDED this today, perhaps you do too. God Bless.

Ever feel discouraged, like your life just didn’t go the way you wanted it too. Ever wonder where God is or where He went? Has it been hard to look up, well this will greatly encourage you. He has not forgotten you. He loves you and IF you’ve never known Him, or felt His touch…it’s not too late, no matter how old you are, or what you have done or NOT done. It’s time for healing and hope to arise. GREAT is the Deliverance of the Lord. Open our eyes Lord, Open our hearts and our ears to receive from You.

He Knew Me

While working in my office, which is a total mess and  needs organizing (it gets worse as I tackle it); I like to listen to Christian music or worship. I am very eclectic in what I listen too, and there are times I just have to listen to one of my favorites, Jason Crabb. Many of my friends, especially the younger crowd, are not too interested in Southern Gospel, but there is a sweet spot in my heart that can only be filled with this genre. Needless to say, as I sit here, I could not focus on my task at hand, and was pulled into the sweet Presence of the Lord. What a wonderful distraction! Here are just a few of my favorites by this young man that stops me in my tracks…and just pulls me ‘upwards.’  God Bless…Karen

WHEN HE WAS ON THE CROSS

This song has often brought me to tears: ” While He was on the Cross, You were on His mind.  He knew me, yet He loved me. He whose glory makes the heavens shine. I’m so unworthy, of such mercy, for while He was on the Cross, I was  on His mind.”

SOMETIMES I CRY

I think we can all relate to this song. It was written by Jason Crabb’s father. I believe in being real and transparent. I don’t mean we should spill all your woes and sorrows all over people, be discreet…but sometimes we just need relate to others so they can see we are no different than any other human being in this world, Christian or not; only difference is we are saved by Grace, and we have an Advocate and a Helper in Christ. Being a Christian isn’t about being perfect or pretending to be, lets shake off the ‘holier’ than thou facade we often try to project and just be the ‘light’ God calls us to be.

 

DAYSTAR (SHINE DOWN ON ME)

This song has been the cry of my heart so many times. I have wept as I listened and worshiped. The Words of the song say it all.

Lilly of the valley, let your sweet aroma fill my life
Rose of Sharon show me, how to grow in beauty in Gods sight
Fairest of ten thousand, make me a reflection of your light
Daystar shine down on me, let your love shine through me in the night

Lead me Lord I’ll follow, anywhere you open up the door
Let your words speak to me, show me what Ive never seen before
Lord I long to be your witness, cause you can take whats wrong and make it right
Daystar shine down on me, let your love shine through me in the night

Lord I see your world thats dying, wounded by the master of deceit
Groping in the darkness, haunted by the years of past defeat
But when I see you standing near me Lord, shining with compassion in your eyes
I pray Jesus shine down on me, let your love shine through me in the night

Oh Yes
Lead me Lord Ill follow, anywhere you open up the door
Let your words speak to me, show me what Ive never seen before
Lord I long to be your witness, cause you can take whats wrong and make it right
Daystar shine down on me, let your love shine through me in the night

Yes, Daystar shine down on me, oh, oh, yes Daystar shine down on me oh, oh,
Jesus shine down on me, let your love shine through me in the night (repeat 2 times)

 

 

I Surrender All

I SURRENDER ALL

 

Oh, How I Love Jesus: Friend, Savior, Prince of Peace, Lover of my Soul, my Healer, Deliverer, Redeemer, Provider, Protector and more! I have felt the depths of His love and forgiveness and have wept as He moved upon my heart and life many times. No other love can compare like that of the Savior. He knew me intimately from the time I was young, and drew me to His side when I was broken, torn and lost. He looked beyond my faults and saw my need.  No one can touch a heart and life like Jesus. There are no words that can adequately describe Him. Sadly, for many,  He is confined inside a building structure, steeped in the traditions of men; a cold distant God, but that is because they have been blinded to His true nature. I cannot imagine my life without Him/ I have never regretted my choice to serve Him, nor have I ever looked back. The music in this video is from an old hymn, done instrumentally…and it is very much my story as well as many other Christians. So, many say they love God, but only give lip service…God wants our whole heart …for us to choose Him and to follow Him. He’s not looking for perfection but for those who REALLY desire to know Him, He will reveal Himself. Surrendering to Jesus..is a process, it starts with an act of faith when we ask Him to come into our hearts and lives, and then it continues on…each step of the way as we ‘allow’ Him to shape and mold our hearts and thoughts through His Word, and the Holy Spirit working in us.

 

All to Jesus I surrender;

All to Him I freely give;

I will ever love and trust Him,

In His Presence daily live.

 

I Surrender All,

I Surrender All;

All to Thee, my Blessed Savior,

I Surrender All.

 

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Fear Or Faith In God — Pure Glory

Featured Blogger: Pure Glory


 

 

by Hazel Straub Fear or faith develops where we make the biggest investment. When we believe a negative word, fear grabs and pulls us down. Our faith and trust in God must grow bigger than fear. In the natural, we have tests and due to a failure, think that devastation is our portion. We have to decide […]

via Fear Or Faith In God — Pure Glory

Memory Bouquet : Pieces Of April

Pieces of April

Published on Apr 7, 2015 (revised from my original post on Youtube)

I originally made this video for a dear friend, a free spirit of sorts, and a nature lover. I loved this song as a young teen/adult, though I was limited to mostly country in our home, there were times, when I was finally able to drive, that I would, as soon as I left the driveway, crank the music up, and it wasn’t usually country. It seems like yesterday I was driving the folks Chevy and headed down the highway…listening to this song, ‘Pieces of April’ . I am thinking a lot about family these days, my family of origin mostly, and how fast time is slipping away. So, as I look through picture albums and video’s lately, I am making ‘memory bouquets’. When I come across a video of my mama’s grin, laugh, mannerisms, or beautiful face and/ or  a video of my daddy laughing and teasing, well…sometimes the tears threaten to come to the surface; other times  I catch myself smiling or laughing…but always I’m overwhelmed with gratitude and love.

So, over the years, I’ve become a collector. A collector of memories, through pictures, video’s and more. I have a Memory Bouquet…full of life, love and laughter. Times of joy and laughter, times of pain and sorrow…but through it all  a wonderful ‘bouquet’ of memories. I’ve learned through the years how, to pray, to forgive, to push forward, to endure, to love, to sing, to overcome, to speak my mind, to break through intimidation and fear and to fight for what I believe in. I’ve learned to laugh through the pain, I’ve wept in times of joy,  praised God in the storm, stood on His Word, and sat at His feet in worship and surrender. God is constantly working in my heart…pruning, watering, breaking up the shallow ground, and shining His light in the dark places. I am ever so grateful He knows how to love me to life, picks up the broken pieces, looks beyond my faults and sees my needs. He tends to me like a well watered garden.