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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Aging Gracefully

Hi, there folks.

This is me through the years starting as a baby – high school graduation (last picture). A lot of life, love and laughter. I look at these pictures and wonder, where did the time go, and who is that ‘stranger’ looking at me in the mirror every morning and every night: Okay, okay…sometimes I look more often, but at my ‘age’, I see every line and wrinkle; perhaps against all odds, I’m hoping  that the latest ‘anti-wrinkle’ cream I am using is REALLY going to produce a miracle like it says it does. So far, no such luck. Nope. Not til Jesus comes to take me home will I be without ‘spot’ or ‘wrinkle’, says so right there in the Bible. 😉 Well, maybe I’ve taken it out of context…but sometimes if I don’t laugh, I think I might cry, and believe me, after the cataracts came out a couple of years ago, I came close. One day I thought I was looking  pretty good for my age, and the next day ‘bam’, right between the eyes…, I mean right between my eyes, those little crinkly lines, not to mention every crevice and spot on my face suddenly became much clearer! Of course, the up side was seeing colors and everything  more vibrant and alive…who knew that the ‘orange’ facial scrubber I was using, was actually ‘hot pink’, and the shirt I thought was orange was a ‘hot pink’. Thinking how many times I thought I was wearing black with matching black shoes, to find out one was black, the other blue?

Let’s be real here! In a few days I’m going to turn 64 years old. I’m trying to embrace who I am NOW, not yesterday, bite the bullet (we really don’t have a choice), continue to laugh, love and live. The Bible says there’s enough trouble today, so don’t worry about tomorrow (paraphrased), He’s going to be there for all my tomorrows as He was for all my yesterdays, and today! I think it is wise to plan for the future, but it’s never wise to worry (and this is something I have to lay at the feet of Jesus daily…some days I win, others I really struggle).

Forgive me for rambling just a little bit today (you know us ‘old’ folk do that from time to time, eh)? I got to looking at some of these old photos today of myself through different stages of my young life. I started out pretty cute; chubby and wrinkly…and I was thinking to myself, how ironic that I’m probably gonna end up that way too, yeah…chubby and wrinkly, though if someone calls you ‘cute’ when you get older, it’s usually more about your ‘behavior’, or some quirky habit you’ve picked up unknowingly as you’ve aged . Not too long ago I read a police report about an ‘elderly’ woman, 63 or 64 years old, whose car was rammed into by a desperado who was driving a stolen car. I thought to myself, “Elderly?”  What were they ‘talking about?’ I was 63, and that sounded so foreign to my ears! Never would I consider myself or call myself ‘elderly!’ I cringed at the mere thought of being called  elderly at the ‘young age of 63.’   NO WAY was I going to accept what the dictionary (and some of our society) labels ‘elderly!’

eld·er·ly
ˈeldərlē/
adjective
  1. (of a person) old or aging.
    “she was elderly and silver-haired”
    Synonyms:
    aged,
    old,
    advanced in years,
    aging,
    long in the tooth,
    past one’s prime;
    gray-haired,grizzled,
          hoary; in one’s dotage, decrepit, doddering, doddery, senescent;
          getting on,
          past it,
          over the hill,
          no spring chicken
         old people,
         the aged,
         senior citizens;
         geriatrics,
         seniors;
         retired people,
         retirees,
         golden agers;
         oldsters,
         geezers
 ∼

Hmm, Some of these descriptions I can accept, but long in the tooth? Getting on? geezer? decrepit, doddering? I think NOT! Doesn’t sound like me at all, nor most of my ‘elderly’ friends! Not yet anyway, and when that time comes, and I do see it coming, I’ll let you know, or as my sister once said to me, “Don’t call me, I’ll call you!’ 😀  In the meantime, I’m going to dance the dance of life, and celebrate everyday as a gift from God. As His Word says…I will rise up as an eagle, and my youth will be renewed as I wait on the Lord.

In all seriousness, though, aging gracefully is a struggle for many in our youth oriented culture, and has been for me too at times, especially when you feel ‘young’ but the ‘number’ keeps creeping upwards. Inevitably, we all age but one of the most beautiful of women I’ve ever known was my mother…she was graceful, her smile, the way she moved, gentle. She was always there for my siblings and I, and knew when to call and when to come. This is true ageless beauty; to love others and have a giving heart.   God’s word says it best in 1 Peter 3: 3-4:

 3 Don’t focus on decorating your exterior by doing your hair or putting on fancy jewelry or wearing fashionable clothes; let your adornment be what’s inside—the real you, the lasting beauty of a gracious and quiet spirit, in which God delights.

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You Are So Beautiful To Me

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The wrinkles on a time-worn face
Can be symbols of God’s grace,
If through our laughter and our tears
His love has freed us from our fears. —D. De Haan

“Even to your old age, . . . and even to gray hairs I will carry you!” (Isaiah 46:4).

Yes, we can be assured that God will always be with us through every season. My advice: Love Deeply, Forgive Quickly, Laugh Loudly, Be Thankful. In our lives things are constantly changing, but we can be assured that our God NEVER changes and that His love for us is not dependent on our performance, nor what we look like on the outside, or even the crud on the inside. He just loves us. God used this song, ‘I Am’, along with the picture of mama touching my heart gently, to reassure me when I was in the throes of grief, that He is always with me. He is the one constant in life. The words to this song say it all.

I Am

 

Oh gently lay your head
Upon my chest
And I will comfort you
Like a mother while you rest
The tide can change so fast,
But I will stay
The same through the past,
The same in future, same today

CHORUS:
I am constant; I am near
I am peace that shatters all your secret fears
I am holy; I am wise
I’m the only one who knows your heart’s desires
Your heart’s desires

Oh weary, tired and worn,
Let out your sighs
And drop that heavy load you hold
Cause Mine is light

I know you through and through;
There’s no need to hide
I want to show you love
That is deep and high and wide

CHORUS(2x)

Oh gently lay your head
Upon my chest
And I will comfort you
Like a mother while you rest