Sunday, September 30, 2012

Come to Me

This will be a shorter blog than usual. I just have something on my heart I need to share.  I had something else in mind to blog about tonight, but felt led to post this instead.  Maybe someone needed to hear this, maybe I needed to hear it!  I don't know why, I just turned to a familiar scripture tonight:

"Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you.  Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light."  Matthew 11:28-30 NLT

Perhaps because the load has seemed particularly heavy lately I was in need of reassurance that someone cares about what I am going through.  Yes, He has invited me (and you) to bring all our worries and problems to Him and leave them with Him. This is easier said than done, though, and I find myself fretting over the same stuff this week that I did last week. I am getting better about coming to Him, but I still struggle with leaving everything with Him.  

So, even though I have talked to Him several times today, I talked to Him all the way home from church tonight.  I feel better.  Sometimes something as simple as a few minutes of "venting" is enough.  A couple of good things about venting to Jesus:  He's not going to tell anyone, and He can actually solve our problems!  Not that it's wrong to unload on your spouse or a good friend, but those are not always options.  

So, when's the last time you just told Him everything that's bugging you?  
What about now?  Give Him a chance to show Himself strong in your life.  What have you got to lose?    

Monday, September 24, 2012

Bless the Lord, O My Soul!

"I will praise the Lord at all times. I will constantly speak his praises. I will boast only in the Lord; let all who are helpless take heart." Psalm 34:1 NLT

According to this scripture, we are to praise the Lord no matter what is going on in our lives. This is easier said than done, but I am making a concentrated effort to do it. The truth of the matter is, I don't feel like praising God right now. I feel like curling up in a ball and crying until the pain is all gone; until God finally heals my heart. But I am learning not to let my feelings control me. If I gave in to my feelings, I would never be free. The enemy of my soul, the devil, does not want me to be free, so he whispers lies to me; lies that sound like truth until they are compared with the Word of God. I cannot listen to his lies! I have to take authority over my feelings and speak the word of God. The truth according to God's word is that He is taking care of everything that concerns me. There are too many to count, but a few of them are:

“Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you. I have called you by name; you are mine.
When you go through deep waters,I will be with you.
When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown.
When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you." Isaiah 43:1-3 NLT

"The Lord will perfect that which concerns me;
Your mercy, O Lord, endures forever;
Do not forsake the works of Your hands." Psalm 138:8 NKJV

"I have chosen you and have not rejected you.

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." Isaiah 41:9b-10 NIV.

I have these and many, many more in the Bible that tell me God is at work on my behalf. He is taking care of me; He is working everything out that concerns me. I don't need to worry, God's got this. So, I am choosing to praise God TONIGHT, even though I don't feel like it.

"I will give thanks to the Lord with all my heart; I will tell of all Your wonders.
 I will be glad and exult in You; I will sing praise to Your name, O Most High."   Psalm 9:1,2 NASB

"I waited patiently for the Lord to help me, and he turned to me and heard my cry.
He lifted me out of the pit of despair, out of the mud and the mire.
He set my feet on solid ground and steadied me as I walked along.
He has given me a new song to sing, a hymn of praise to our God.
Many will see what he has done and be amazed. They will put their trust in the Lord." Psalm 40:1-3 NLT

But perhaps the one that fits the best is Psalm 103:

"Bless the Lord, O my soul, And all that is within me, bless His holy name.
 Bless the Lord, O my soul, And forget none of His benefits;
 Who pardons all your iniquities,
 Who heals all your diseases;
 Who redeems your life from the pit,
 Who crowns you with lovingkindness and compassion;
 Who satisfies your years with good things,
 So that your youth is renewed like the eagle." Psalm 103:1-5 NASB

One of my favorite worship songs is right out of this Psalm. It has become my theme song. I'm going to sing it in spite of how I feel, because the Lord is worthy of my praise.

And while I'm singing and praising God, one of these days I'll realize my heart has been healed. Bless the Lord, O my soul!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

The Falling Leaves

If you have read my blog before, you will notice that I changed my background. You see, we are getting into my favorite time of year, and I'm so anxious for cool weather, I decided to set the stage on the blog in eager anticipation.  I know, a lot of you like summer.  Well, it's no secret that I don't; in fact I can hardly stand summer. I don't like it above 70 degrees outside, and I hate to sweat.  So I mostly stay inside for the duration of the sweltering Arkansas heat.

If you have been reading a while, you know I have been in a dark time in my life, and most of the time, I have limited my posts to those that could edify or encourage those that come across my page. I'm not sure if this post will be encouraging or not; but I have decided to be real with you. I am starting to come out on the other side, seeing a little light at the end of the tunnel. I have not arrived, though. As Joyce Meyer says, "I'm not where I want to be, but thank God I'm not where I used to be!" 

I have come a long way over the years, and this latest dark time is the most challenging one yet. So it was an especially big deal when, during the beautiful, cool Saturday that we just had, I was able to raise a window in each room while I was cleaning house and doing laundry.  The breeze blowing through the house was comforting to me; I think maybe it took me back to a simpler time in my life.  All I know is, I was suddenly aware of how good I have it. I am blessed, regardless of what my feelings tell me.  My feelings are crushed, my heart is still broken, but I have the joy of the Lord in my heart. And I CHOOSE to be happy, because I am truly a blessed woman. I am casting my cares on Jesus; they are falling off me like the falling leaves of autumn. I rejoice in His love and mercy. The season is about to change, and I welcome it, in the natural and in the spirit realm.  

“This is a sacred day before our Lord. Don’t be dejected and sad, for the joy of the Lord is your strength!” Nehemiah 8:10 NLT

"Sing to the Lord, all you godly ones! Praise his holy name. For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime! Weeping may last through the night, but joy comes with the morning." Psalm 30:4,5 NLT