Category Archives: Encouragement

Determination

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERADetermination, it often determines the outcome of endeavors. Do you want to have a more intimate relationship with Me? Do you want to know My thoughts, ways, and word better? Do you want to …? It all takes determination to pursue what is required to get there and not settle for anything less. Determination to not give up and take the easy road that leads you elsewhere; often where you don’t want to be. Determination – go for it, get it, I’m worth the pursuit.

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No Greater Love

   Love Swans - onlineI know that I am loved though I may not always act like it. I am betrothed to my best friend, the King of kings. I am dearly loved by my Father, I lack for nothing, He provides for me well with all good things, yet I don’t always show appreciation. I am in a privileged group but sometimes cast my eyes elsewhere and desire what my Father says is not good for me; those things others, who are my Father’s adversaries, seem to enjoy.  As I take my eyes off Papa I wonder why they are not good, they look appealing. As I scoot closer to the fence to get a better glimpse my foot slips, I cross the line.

   I begin to be drawn further in by what my eyes behold, the desire to partake grows; I reason that just this once it won’t hurt me to try this one little thing and then I’ll go back; it’s just on the other side of the fire, I can reach it without getting burned…or so I thought! Those who seemed so caring, who once compelled me to join them, now laugh and sneer at me, their masks came off – my eyes are opened, I see the traps they set about me.

   Lured in I’m now trapped by the wrong desires of my flesh that I did not resist or turn away from. My beautiful robes now tattered and soiled, regret fills me as tears of sorrow role down my cheeks. I cry in desperation and fear, despair begins to set in, I long for home not knowing how to return and fearing even if I did I would be rejected, considered unworthy of my Father and Betroths love.

   In the dark of night I begin to see a light, I hear a familiar voice, my Betrothed, my Savior, is calling my name. I want to respond but I am ashamed, voices around me say “He won’t want you back when He learns what you’ve done”, so I remain silent. The light grows brighter – the voice stronger, He has found me in the mire, His face full of love and compassion as He looks at me, I weep. The voices flee from His presence; He reaches out His hand, taking mine He lifts me out of the mess I have gotten myself in. He places his robe on me in exchange for my filthy one. I experience complete forgiveness and a grace I’ve never known. Reconciled – I collapse into His loving embrace.

   Have I lived an exemplary life since He rescued me? I wish! Yet as the years pass I have known no greater love, our relationship grows more intimate; my desire for my Father’s ways grow deeper. The Lord’s extravagant love for me, and you, makes all other love stories in history pale in comparison, and no other will last for eternity.

   This Valentines – who has your heart?

Come to Me

What are you looking for? What’s your desire? What’s your need? You won’t find complete fulfillment looking around you – look up. Look up and set your eyes on Me, I am the only one who can fulfill you. Don’t be afraid of coming to Me, of letting Me inside, of letting Me have your hurts and fears. I will replace them with love, joy, freedom; with more than you can imagine. It’s time to move beyond the past and move into the future.

A Heart Matter

Sherry fb picWhen we think about February, Valentine’s Day comes to mind.  The matters of the heart; love, sharing love, expressing and experiencing love, all the warm fuzzy feelings that come with new love; the depth of care, concern, devotion and life bonds that come with a seasoned or mature love.

We see around us all the cute little cut out hearts with their simple perfect shapes, all nice and clean that come in various sizes and shades of pink or red.  But, if we look at the real heart, it is rather complicated, consisting of various chambers, blood vessels, arteries and valves; an organ that is anything but simple.  One that beats strong, sending life-giving blood flowing through the body; a heart that leaps for joy at the sound of good news, yet feels it will break under the weight of emotional hurts.  A heart that is tender and compassionate or hardened, one that can be full of good or filled with deceit, it can burn with loves passion or grow cold.  The heart of man (or woman) is a fickle thing and a mess outside its’ proper environment.

The proper heart environment for humans is in fellowship with the God of love.  I am so thankful for the loving heart of God that he has towards His children.  He loves us with an everlasting love, with the love of a good Father’s heart, from a heart of compassion and a desire for our well-being.  His love for us cannot be bought or earned.  He loves us because He is love and we are His children.  A love such as His may be difficult to understand as our only comparison is that of other people, some with good intentions but who miss the mark, while others use such statements as “I love you” to manipulate you for their own gain.  The Lord does not say “I love you” to get us to do something for Him.  His love is pure and undefiled.  His only desire is what is best for us; His love is not selfish, it is a sacrificial love.  His love will stand up to the test of time; it will not fade or be withdrawn.  His love is an everlasting love, one that He desires to make known to us, to all who will receive it.

Daily

rita fall sunsetAs you begin your day turn your attention and focus on Me, invite Me into your world, your activities. Keep Me in mind as you go, tune an ear to the sound of My voice that I may give you wisdom and guidance. At the end of the day come back and spend time with Me, let’s talk the day over and have a heart to heart time.

Watch

Sherry pink fowersHarken and listen to the sound of My calling. I am calling you forth out of obscurity, out of complacency. As your heart is set on Me see what I will do in you and the impact that will be on those around you; life will spring forth, hunger and desire will grow for Me once more.

Breakthrough

Need a breakthrough? You’ve come to the right place, snares are broken in My presence and darkness has to flee when I am released into the room. I am a chain breaker, heart mender, relationship restoring, death defying God who loves you and wants to see you free. Let’s do this together shall we!

Crossing Over

100_7311   As we cross over into the New Year with resolutions, plans, and intents in hand it may seem like we are facing the Jordan river, crossing over into something new; as we are still (silent) before the Lord we can almost sense Him saying, be strong and very courageous, there are times that are going to be tough, they will not always be easy or necessarily pleasant at the time, yet you will be able to rejoice in the outcome of what I do and how I use you. Be strong and of good courage for I am with you. Don’t back down in the face of opposition, stand your ground, stand on My word, quiet your inner thoughts so you can hear what I am saying, see what I am doing, then let Me speak through you (give you the words to say). Take courage, I’m with you not against you when you are walking in My will.

   Can we say as Joshua did when there was a choice to be made after crossing over, “as for me and my house we will serve the Lord”? In the New Year can we let our words be full of life, hope, and encouragement, spoken with genuine care and concern for the individual – even when they are different than us; words that lift them up and not bring them down; that the only thing being torn down by our words are the works and plans of the enemy as we release truth, expose the adversaries’ plans, and love others with the love of the Lord?

   Let’s not fear what others will think as we share what the Lord would have of say, He’s got our back and He backs up His word. We do not need to fear what is ahead, fear is of the enemy to try and stop us. We need to go forth but not go it alone, we need go with the Lord guiding us through; He knows the way, the pitfalls, and undertows. We make better decisions when we choose to do life with Jesus be at the center of all we do; as we go with the Lord his banner of love flies over us.

   As we cross over into the New Year let’s be strong and very courageous, choosing not to be silent or serve other gods. As God was with Joshua, so he will be with us.

Casual Conversation

20140426_113511 Ever strike up a casual conversation with someone in the checkout line and wind up talking about Jesus, then notice the encounter lifted your spirit changing the tone of your day? Or perhaps receive a call from a wrong number leading to an opportunity to pray for the caller?
   I had a recent conversation with Mr. Vern McC…, a gentleman I had never encountered before, the initial contact was made through another individual. He began the conversation saying we had something in common; I was curious and listened on as he stated “we both love God”, that was a good opening line. What followed was a surprise, he stated “we both have a cat that scratches at our door”; at this point I start laughing knowing instantly his reference to an Ambassador article I wrote nearly two years earlier (January 2016).
   In our conversation I learned he lights a 125’ tree topped with a seven foot star. The tradition began in 1983 as a surprise for his first wife when he brought her home from the hospital where she had been undergoing cancer treatment. Though she passed a few years later, the tree lit for his first love three and a half decades ago, has become a Christmas tradition remembering Jesus – his greatest Love. The first Saturday of December, rain or shine, finds a growing gathering of individuals for the tree lighting; there are hymns that include Silent Night while Mr. McC… plays the trumpet, a message by guest speakers focused on the birth of Christ; the joyful celebration on the true meaning of the season continues over hot apple cider, cocoa, cookies, and munchies.
   What would cause someone to faithfully continue a tradition for so many years, in all sorts of weather; Mr. McC… gives a few reasons, first he feels it is necessary to remember how God takes care of him, including giving him another perfect wife; the star on top of the tree is a guiding light for those coming home in the dark – when they see it they know they are almost there. He also hopes the stars’ light will have a spiritual significance – just as the Wise Men followed the star to baby Jesus – that perhaps in some way the star on his tree will guide a wayward soul not just physically home but also to Jesus.
   This Christmas season let’s challenge ourselves to step out and initiate an exchange as we wait somewhere in a line and share the love of Christ in a casual conversation, you just might be the guiding light showing someone the way to Jesus, lifting a burden with a kind or caring word, or make their day in some small way – perhaps even your own day. Chance encounters may just be a divine set up opportunity.
   Hmm, on second thought – let’s carry it beyond the Christmas season, after all – isn’t Jesus Christ Good News year round.

Invitation to Freedom

23621364_10212631202127447_5913033803280976148_nSome words I feel the Lord is giving me are not as easy to release as others. I contemplated this one for a while this morning. For me it is a good reminder that I am not responsible to carry all the burdens of the world or to pick up other people’s offenses. It certainly doesn’t mean I don’t care for the individual or the situation, if I didn’t I wouldn’t be tempted to pick them up to begin with; I for one have enough cares of my own that I need the Lord’s help with that I don’t need to take on what is not mine to carry. I hope and trust this is an encouragement to someone else as well.

The invitation has been given – come. Come to Me all who are weary and heavy laden and I will give you rest as you allow Me to carry the heavy burdens you weren’t meant to carry. There is no need to pick up burdens and carry offenses that are not yours, leave them alone, they weigh you down and serve no purpose for you; they rob you of your own peace and joy, let the one responsible for them carry their own and deal (work through) with Me regarding them. Sometimes love means saying no and letting them face their issues being dependent on Me – not you; then you will be free to love, encourage, and support them from a different (higher) perspective as you are not bent over, looking down, under the weight of their problems.

As I contemplated today being garbage pickup day (in my city) what better time than today to release any garbage (burdens/offenses) laying around that will foul the air in our life (physically or spiritually). The adversary would like us to hold onto stuff and let it ferment – souring relationships and lives; let’s toss him (adversary) out with the garbage today and breathe in a breath of fresh air.

 Grace and Peace to you,