Five Minute Friday Linkup – LOVED

catholic-2154777_960_720When I began writing devotionals God spoke to my heart. Choose your platform well He said. That will be what you are known for.  I said “I choose LOVE”. Hence all my devotionals call the readers Oh Beloved!

When you’re at your wits’ end – You are loved

When you don’t know what you will do – You are loved

When you have been rejected – You are loved

When marriage falters, health fails, friends fail, church falls flat, people become distant, money gets short, when others misunderstand, when prayers aren’t answered, when life happens

Oh beloved, You are loved. No matter what. Because God’s love for you has nothing to do with your good and bad days or your good and bad outcomes. You cannot earn it and you cannot make sure you do enough to keep it. God is love. So much love that before you even loved Jesus, He loved you. And being loved takes on a whole persona – your personality, attitude and outlook changes. The more you realize His love, the more you allow yourself to be the recipient of it and the more you speak it out over your life, the more you will see that love. And then give it out to others.

God loves you. And He’s for you. Always. No matter what. In spite of anything. Regardless of whatever happens- you are loved. Let that sink in. Drink it fully. And then Live in the Light of His wonderful love!

Romans 8:38-39 And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,[b] neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love.  No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.

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Cliff Jumping and God’s Will

38454454_10211784472790802_3641707885584449536_nOne of our daughters and her family had a short family vacation recently. They enjoyed the beautiful waters of Greers Ferry Lake. This is a place known for cliff jumping into the water. My family, thankfully, jumped off small cliffs rather than the extreme ones. Still I can imagine all sorts of trouble that could happen from jumping into deep water. I’m not sure I am ever going to want to jump off a cliff. What looks like a blast to them looks like danger to me.
Has it ever felt to you that what God has asked you to do is a bit like jumping off a cliff? Oh yes I can relate. We are asked to go without knowing what’s going to happen. Will we be safe? What if’s abound. And yet we know, without obedience we may never know the ecstasy of being totally in His will and complete obedience.
Oh beloved, is that a cliff you are perched on? Has God said jump? Maybe it’s a new career and you wanted a change but now you’re looking at this uncharted territory and you’re not so sure. It could be something regarding your normal everyday life, but He wants to give you a change. He might be asking you to give up a habit or change the way you do something. There are things you need to know that will help you go on and experience whatever it is God has put before you. Number one – He will not send you where He cannot keep you. Does this mean it will be easy? No, but it’s doable because God will see you through. Number two – God never leads His children into sin. So if it doesn’t line up with the word, for goodness’ sake, don’t jump! Number three – you aren’t in charge of your life, He is. This tug of war with obedience will not end until you step out in faith, so go now as soon as He speaks to your heart. There’s a reward waiting right on the other side. Number four – take some best friends with you – joy and peace – these things will change your focus as you let go of what is “safe” and move into the insecure.
Most of all God wants you to know that nothing is so wonderful as being completely in His will. Not one person on earth has ever spent their dying days regretting living for Jesus and following God’s will for their lives. You may be thinking you have plenty of time to act, but life has a way of causing us to react to circumstances and lose our way. You are loved, cherished, chosen, equipped and called. Whatever it is that God is asking you to let go of, it’s time to move. If He didn’t love you He wouldn’t have anything but heaven for you. But because of His great love, He has given you life and it’s more abundant than anything you could have had on your own.
God loves you and He’s for you. Launch out into the deep waters of His plan for your life. Whatever He calls you to it is because you will be the best at it once you have begun. Run to Him this morning and thank Him for His calling, His plan, His choice and then live, run and jump into His overwhelmingly fantastic plan for your ordinary turned extraordinary life!
Proverbs 16:9 “In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps.”

I Corinthians 2:9 However, as it is written: “What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived” — the things God has prepared for those who love Him—

Psalm 32:8 The LORD says, “I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you.

Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in and rely confidently on the Lord with all your heart And do not rely on your own insight or understanding. In all your ways know and acknowledge and recognize Him,

And He will make your paths straight and smooth [removing obstacles that block your way]. AMP

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WOMAN! – Five Minute Friday

MagdaleneWhat a word for this fabulous Friday morning.  It’s been a week, July was a month, August is on a roll and in fact, the last year has been cray cray! I wouldn’t want to go through any of it again.  But when I think about the Lord and His overwhelming, unbelievable, supernatural love for me I just remember these words…

“Dear Woman, why are you crying?”

Do you know a more beautiful word than woman?  Jesus spoke it first upon His resurrection and He spoke it with love and concern.  He found her looking for Him!

He went on to talk to her. “Who are you looking for?” She thought he was the gardener. “Sir,” she said, “if you have taken him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will go and get him.”

He met her at her most horrendous moment. Not only had her Master been crucified, it appeared that now His body had been taken somewhere.  She was lost, inconsolable, irrational and discouraged.

Then Jesus said to her, “Mary!” She turned and said to Him in Hebrew, “Rabboni!” (which means, Teacher).

Oh beloved woman of God – Jesus has gone nowhere, no one can take Him from you and you cannot be left without His Presence. In the moments of deathly discouragement, He remains alive and with you.  You do not serve a dead mystery. But a fully revealed King!

He calls you by name and He loves you more than life.  You don’t worship a cross, for it is long ago rotted away. You don’t even worship an empty tomb, for no one can find His body there. You serve a Risen Savior!  He calls out to you today “Woman!” and He calls you by name!  Run to Him today and thank Him that Friday wasn’t His last day and neither is it yours! And you get to serve Him with GLADNESS and SINGING all your days!

John 20:15 “Dear woman, why are you crying?” Jesus asked her. “Who are you looking for?” She thought he was the gardener. “Sir,” she said, “if you have taken him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will go and get him.”

Psalm 100:2 Serve the LORD with gladness; Come before Him with joyful singing!

Mark 16:6 but the angel said, “Don’t be alarmed. You are looking for Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He isn’t here! He is risen from the dead! Look, this is where they laid His body.

Luke 7:44-47 Then he turned to the woman and said to Simon, “Look at this woman kneeling here. When I entered your home, you didn’t offer me water to wash the dust from my feet, but she has washed them with her tears and wiped them with her hair.  You didn’t greet me with a kiss, but from the time I first came in, she has not stopped kissing my feet.  You neglected the courtesy of olive oil to anoint my head, but she has anointed my feet with rare perfume.  “I tell you, her sins–and they are many–have been forgiven, so she has shown me much love. But a person who is forgiven little shows only little love.”

 

——- Join us over at Five Minute Friday for the Word – WOMAN.

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God’s Way Of Preparedness

I got up in the night and the air conditioner wasn’t blowing cold air. So I slipped out of bed and opened the window by the compressor. Sure enough, it was silent although the air was blowing through the vents inside. Looks like we may finally need to have a new system installed. Not a problem though, because we already have bids and we’re ready for it. Preparation feels good right now.

Don’t you wish we could prepare for other problems like that? Already have a plan in place for the broken things in life – relationships, hopes, dreams?

Oh beloved, God wants you and me to know this morning that we have plans in place for every situation – through our relationship with Him.

You don’t have to grieve like those who have no hope. You don’t have to resort to desperate means to make things happen. You don’t have to fix what’s broken. Grief will come, it’s part of life. Sorrow will slip through like an overcast day. Rejection, misunderstandings, financial losses, and more. Just as an old compressor is bound to go out sometime, we know that the hardships of life will happen.

But you are prepared when you spend time with the Lord and you know His Word. He’s not a fly by night repairman who says it’s fixed and you find you’ve been duped. He sent His Word to help you through everything. Peace, joy, contentment, wisdom, power and overwhelming love are yours in His Presence. What is your plan beloved? Get with the Lord today and ask Him for His preparation for things that go wrong and the sudden brokenness of life. Some of you are facing grievous situations even now and you will not make it fully alive without the Lord. And God wants you to live fully alive all the days of your life. His plans will keep you from sweltering in the heat, from freezing in the winter, and from falling in the pit of despair. You aren’t a victim of anything this life throws at you, because God already told you “Overwhelming victory is yours!”

God loves you and He’s for you. Run to Him this morning and ask Him for His disaster plan. Praise Him for His preparation for you. Bless Him for being there with you and for you through it all. And live, precious one, in the Light of the One who knows all about your life and loves and cares for you no matter what!

Psalm 94:18 If I say, “My foot is slipping,” Your loving devotion, O LORD, will support me.

Psalm 119:16 Sustain me, my God, according to your promise, and I will live; do not let my hopes be dashed.

Psalm 37:24 Though they stumble, they will never fall, for the LORD holds them by the hand.

Psalm 18:35 You have also given me the shield of Your salvation, And Your right hand upholds me; And Your gentleness makes me great.

Psalm 119:105 Your word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path.

Psalm 19:7 The law of the LORD is perfect, reviving the soul; the testimony of the LORD is trustworthy, making wise the simple.

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When Bad Things Happen To Good People

This week we will be having a family funeral. I’ve been processing this incident since Friday. It’s been very hard. Danny’s precious cousin lost her life at the hands of someone masquerading as a friend. She walked into heaven, not as a special needs woman of 66 years, not as a beaten and battered victim, but as a completely whole woman of God. For that we are forever thankful.

Her father, Danny’s Uncle, has been a minister of the Gospel for well more than 50 years. He has held hands with the dying, comforted the grieving and married and buried generations of people in Jones County Texas. He is one of those people who has lived His calling always. He found his 12-year-old son at home with an accidental gunshot wound in the 60’s and he found his 66-year-old daughter at home with the injuries she suffered. This man of God who has lived for Jesus faithfully faced the most grievous situation in his life for a second time. But today if you talk to him he will tell you God is on the throne and will always work everything out for him.

As I woke up Saturday morning after we found it all to be true, I heard this phrase from the song He’s a Good Good Father. “He is Perfect in all of His Ways.” I can’t tell you why bad things happen to good people, but I can tell you that no matter what, He is indeed a good, good father and He is indeed perfect in all of His ways. My heart will not settle anywhere else. This is what we cling to.

Oh beloved, whatever you are facing, whatever you woke up to, you have only to look to the Father for comfort and peace. You may not know the why’s of anything until you get to heaven. But in heaven all the why’s will be answered and it won’t even matter. In the meantime, this same God will see you through the days you face, walk you through the mourning process, heal your heart, deliver your mind and grant you His rich and precious promises no matter what.
You are never going to be a victim as long as you look to Him. You won’t fail to receive the crown and you won’t even keep it, but rather you will throw it at the feet of the One Who died so you could live. Everything about your life may not be perfect, but your heavenly father is. And He is with you all the days of your life. He never turns His back, forgets your name, loses track of your existence or gets shocked by your life. He just walks with you and presents you to Himself in the end, without fault or blemish. You are most blessed among all of mankind because you belong to Him.

God loves you and He’s for you – in the good times and in the bad. When you are imperfect, when you are unruly, when you’ve been rejected or maligned. Always, forever and then some. Rejoice that your home is not here and your citizenship in heaven is secure as you live for Him alone in the Light of His Glory and Grace.

Romans 8:35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or distress or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?

Romans 8:37 Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors and gain an overwhelming victory through Him who loved us [so much that He died for us].

Ephesians 2:19 So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and are of God’s household

Hebrews 6:10 God is not unjust. He will not forget your work and the love you have shown for His name as you have ministered to the saints and continue to do so.

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