Here I am

trees

Psalm 27:8                                                                                                                                                         My heart has heard you say, “Come and talk with me.”  And my heart responds, “Lord, I am coming.” 

As I walked down the road , I came around the corner and the trees started to swallow up the sky.  I was enveloped in a blanket of bright green spring. This sense of being blanketed in nature spoke to me of God’s love. I am protected. I am shielded. I am embraced. He circles me with “I love you”.  This love is present at all times. I am utterly cherished and adored by Him. I can not escape His love nor  can I comprehend the depth of it. At a time like this I catch a glimpse of it. It takes my breath away. My soul gasps and my heart is brought to its knees.  There is nothing I can do to earn this love.  It is free . It is pure. It is enduring.  All I have to do is accept it. Trust it. Follow it. Rest in it. My Lord says “Here I am, all around you, you are safe, you are loved. Come and be with me.” and I say ” Here I am Lord, I am coming, coming to you”.

A Dependent Freedom

pagan-tree

The tree

The tree grows with it’s roots firmly planted in the earth

The earth provides nutrients, stability and a place for the tree to become mighty and strong

The tree grows freely yet at the same time is dependent upon the earth

The earth does not rob the tree of life or take away from it … on the contrary it provides for it, sustains it and allows it to grow

A baby

A baby is protected by it’s mother

A mother’s eyes always keep watch over her beloved child

A mother holds her baby, nurses it, lulls it to sleep

The baby needs it’s mother for nurturing, love, and provision

God is our sustenance as the earth is to the tree

God is our nurturer and protector as the mother is to the baby

God does not take away our freedom , on the contrary He provides and He loves so that we may have it

Freedom is not the absence of this dependency; it’s the ability to grow, and become that which you were intended to be while resting in the care of God’s hands.

God’s Affirmations … A prayer of Truth

thoughts

If you are anything like me the voice of the world can get in your head. That little voice that tells you things like you are not good enough, you don’t measure up, you are not qualified enough, pretty enough, thin enough, smart enough, whatever enough …

But the truth is that these are all lies. Lies that are told to us somewhere along the way and they become our mantras, our meditations.

Scripture teaches  “For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he” (Proverbs 23:7).  The thing is that we are all going to think something , we are all going to repeat thoughts in our heads and we all end up believing in something. These thoughts become our reality as we literally think them into existence.

With that being said … what we feed our mind is critical. Just like proper nutrition is vital for our bodies … purposeful, intentional thoughts are vital for our emotional and spiritual health.  Food for your soul is just as important as food for your body.  The quality of the food we provide produces what we get.  Like the old adage goes “Garbage In, Garbage Out”

Below are affirmations of my own I have collected over the years which are some of my favorite bible verses worded into personal affirmations and linked together.

I share that they may help you in the way they helped me to walk in the truth of who God says I am and not what poison or trash I have put or was put in my head along the way.  I’m certainly not perfect but a continual work in progress.  This practice has helped me unlearn toxic thinking and get into alignment with God’s truth.

I firmly believe that we become what we think.  May the thoughts and words you put into your mind, heart and soul lift you up into the person God created you to be.

Your faithful love never ends, your mercies never cease. Great is your faithfulness oh Lord. Your mercies are new every morning. In you Jesus, I put my hope. I think about the things of heaven and not of earth. I know you God cause everything to work together for the good of those who love you and are called according to your purpose- I love you God, call me according to your purpose.

Mountains may move and hills may disappear but your faithful love for me remains God. Your covenant of blessing will not be broken over my life, this is what you say to me God, you who have mercy on me. You will show me the path of life. In your presence is my joy. Through you I stand firm. Through you I will not be moved. I give myself full to you Lord for I know what I give over to you is never in vain. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. For you God are bringing me into a good land – a land with brooks, streams, and deep springs gushing out into the hills and valleys.

Your grace is sufficient for me – your power is made perfect in my weakness. Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses so that your power , the power of Christ rests in me. Nothing is Impossible without you dear God. You created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. You will never leave me nor forsake me. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; I am your work and your works are wonderful, I know that full well. I know the plans you have for me, plans to prosper me, not to harm me, plans to give me a hope and a future.  All glory to you God who are able to do immeasurably more than I can ever ask or imagine according to your power that is at work inside me.

Whatever I learn or receive from you God, or see in you God, I put into practice. Your peace is within me. I do not worry about anything, but instead pray about everything, I come to you and tell you God what I need. I thank you for all you have done and all that you will do. I am strong and courageous for I know you are with me wherever I go. You alone make me dwell in safety. I trust you God, my heart seeks you and I know that you will never forsake me.

Thank you for teaching me, guiding me, protecting me, loving me, forgiving me. I am yours and you are mine. This is your day you have made and I will rejoice and be glad in it!

God’s Upside Down Kingdom

upside_down_castle

God’s upside down kingdom

It’s not the way of this world

Down is up and up is down

We die to live

We suffer yet find joy

We surrender our will and find victory

We find freedom through sacrifice

We lead by serving

We find blessings as we give up our own way, our own rights

We give away and become rich

We love our enemy

We go the hard way yet find rest and peace

We get lost to find our way

Down is up and up is down

It’s not the way of this world

This is God’s upside down kingdom

The Wind

The wind. You are that which I can not see, yet I feel you blow right through me … strong enough at times to even knock me over. You cool and refresh me on a hot summer’s night. I can’t capture you in a jar yet I can rely on your presence. Whether you are barely there in the slight graceful breeze that rustles through the trees or as mighty force to be reckoned with, blowing fierce in a storm. There are times when it seems you may be gone … hot , dry and barren … oh then I crave your breeze to blow. I open the window to let you in and yet other times I hide from your bitter cold. The wind. Beautiful, majestic, mighty wind.

God, like the wind, goes right through me seeing straight into my soul. He cools and refreshes me , yet terrifies me as I know all there is to see. I can’t capture Him or quantify Him yet I sense Him all the same. He is gentle and mighty. Graceful yet fierce.  I open the window to my heart to let him in. Whether I feel it or not I can take solace in knowing He is there. Beautiful, majestic, mighty God … let your spirit come upon me like the wind.

God Sees

Psalm 139:16 (MSG)

You know me inside and out,
    you know every bone in my body;
You know exactly how I was made, bit by bit,
    how I was sculpted from nothing into something.
Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth;
    all the stages of my life were spread out before you,
The days of my life all prepared
    before I’d even lived one day.

One of the best things about making it to the top of a climb is the view.  After all that work of making it to the top,  the reward of looking out and over everything below makes me pause to soak it all in. It always gives me a sense of satisfaction, a sense of peace and sort of just takes my breath away.  The mountaintop is a glorious place but the journey to the mountaintop is really what makes the view so special.

This reminds me of my life.  Those times when I have had the blessing of being able to see the twists and turns in the valley below and how it all brought me to where I am.  Once I get to where I thought I wanted to be , I realize that the road along the way is where the heart of my story is … where my character was formed,  where my soul was realized , where I became a better me.

I realize my view is often limited, yet I know there is One that always has a view of my life.  That I have a God who not only just sees me but who has an all encompassing view over me and my life. Furthermore He has vision over me , He sees all that I am designed to be.  Each valley, each thicket of bushes, each river crossing, each path through the woods … it all serves a purpose and makes up the landscape of my life. It is all part of my story.

God , I know that I strive to have those mountaintop moments and  yes, they are special moments but help me to take joy along the way and trust that you see over me.  You have “thee” complete all encompassing panoramic view over me. I can trust and know that each step of my journey is part of the beautiful portrait that makes up my life with You.

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I belong to Him

1 John 4:4

“But you belong to God, my dear children. You have already won a victory over those people, because the Spirit who lives in you is greater than the spirit who lives in the world.”

The world tells me my worth is in my outside. Its based on my looks, how pretty I am, how physically in shape I am, or even as silly as my hair-do or how many followers I have on Twitter.  Or it’s in my skills, my talents, my giftings and abilities. It’s what I do. Or better yet it’s in my education, my profession, my income. It’s what I have.  Whether its how fit I am , how nice my home is, how successful I am or how educated I am , it is always a measurement of the outside.

It’s what is inside that matter most, right?

But if I am truly honest with myself my inside can be ugly. Maybe that is why we want to be known for our outside. People can’t see my insecurities, my jealousy, my anger, my resentment … and I really don’t want them to.  But God can. And He does.

God tells me he knows all those parts of me but loves me anyhow. He sees my insides – He sees it all. He doesn’t love me for what I do or don’t do, for what I think ,  for what I have or for any attribute at all … He just loves me. So yes He is most interested in my inside but despite my inside he loves me anyhow.

He is pure. He is light. He is love. He invites me into His presence based on nothing. He Himself pays the penalty for me. I am forgiven of every wrongful deed , every sour thought, every bitterness, every betrayal, every lie, everything …. everything.

This changes me … it changes my insides. It humbles me. It makes me grateful. It makes me want to follow Him, pursue Him, and live my life for Him.

This is grace. This is God.

The world will still be there and I will often feel like I don’t measure up according to it’s standards. There will always be someone prettier, richer, slimmer, smarter … but God tells me there is only one me , He created me , unique, special , and for a purpose … His purpose.

And He loves me , even adores me.

I do not belong to the world … I belong to Him.

And greater is He than that which is in the world.