All May Fail But You

I hold tight to Your love–
Never will it leave me.
All may fail me but You, oh Lord!
My heart is wrapped by Your hands,
And my spirit will dwell in Your house forever!

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A Life Worth Living

You, oh Lord, are the cause of my life,
And the Victor over my death.
You bring what is true success!

No one can take Your place or exceed Your perfect gifts;
Your love cannot be surpassed.

By Your strength I continue on;
You give me a life worth living for.

Over The Gap

Over the gap that no man can fill,
God gave up His Son of His own free will.
He paid all our debts,
He covered the cost
of all our mistakes–
He recovered the lost.
We step out on the bridge that Jesus has made,
Set our feet on the firm foundation He laid.
Our sins will be crushed,
Our lives be made pure;
His strength is inside us,
So we may endure.
Every task put before us,
And every struggle within,
With God on our side,

We will conquer and win!

Eternal Answer

We search the world for answers and find nothing that lasts.
We build our hope on what does not stand forever;
We rely on a strength that fades.
We bring fear upon ourselves as we rip the foundation from beneath our very own feet!
We try and take control on our own and what good comes of it?
We fall on our faces!
We take pride only to be humiliated;
We take a stand only to stumble around in darkness.
We seek pleasure only to drown in misery;
We long to be accepted by the world only to be rejected by God.

How long will we live this way?
Where is our hope, our foundation, our beliefs?
What are our goals, our passions, our pursuits?
Who are we living for?
Where is our mind set?
What is our purpose?

Let’s set our minds on Christ.
He is our only perfect, infallible, eternal answer.

You’re a flower, I’m a flower

Yesterday while out walking I picked wild flowers to put together in a bouquet. There were many that from a distance looked absolutely perfect, but then as I came closer I would find flaws in them such as holes where bugs had eaten at them and missing petals.

It got me to thinking of how much we are like those flowers. To put it simply, if we are making new friends, attending a new church, or moving to a new community, (in my family’s case, all of the above) we shouldn’t expect things to be as perfect as they may seem at first glance from a distance. If we do, we’re setting ourselves up for disappointment. I’m not saying we should think negatively–on the contrary, we should be thinking positively–but come on, nobody is perfect!

Going back to the flowers. They weren’t eating holes in themselves. They didn’t pull out their own petals. We grow up in an imperfect world. There are storms, seasons, diseases…all kinds of things that will try and eat us away. The important thing is that we aren’t eating ourselves or each other away.

A True Dance

The other night I was trying to relax as I listened to a new album with many songs I’d never heard before. In my mind it was as though I was dancing to the music, but rather unsure of myself as I wasn’t sure what was coming next in the song.

We go through so many phases in life–several at a time, really. While there may be repeated movements, life is always a new dance, a new song. It’s easy to be so afraid we will mess up that when we do, we tend to concentrate on our mistakes rather than the music–God’s music–extending the mistakes all the more.

To be sure, we need to be aware of our moves, our surroundings, and our attitude. But even more importantly we need to have our ear turned to God, concentrating on His music, His timing, and going with things as they come. That is when our dancing will naturally become graceful, beautiful, and truly lovely as His music is portrayed through us.

Question for today~
Whose music are you dancing to?

This, Too, Shall Pass Away

Oh Lord, how blessed am I!
Never do I walk alone–
You keep fear far from me.

When I cannot stand You carry me;
When walking through storms You keep me upright.

You lift my spirit from the deepest sadness–
Only You can restore my soul.

There is no one like You, my King;
Your peace and joy comes from no other.

I look ahead and see only Your majesty.
Your righteousness outlasts all evil and Your Light will overcome all darkness.

The enemy persists and the wicked oppress the poor,
But this, too, will pass away–
Only Your Kingdom shall stand forever!

Live, Love, Learn

I long so much to be able to help special needs kids one day. As I’ve been doing what I can to learn anything that might be the least bit helpful, I can’t believe how much I have benefited from this…and I am very much grateful.

As I’ve learned things about how the human body works, how it should/shouldn’t be functioning, I’ve learned how to better take care of myself. As I’ve been learning what it is that these kids are going to need the most, I’ve been learning what it is I need most. As I try and make plans, I’m slowly learning that God has the best plan. I’ve been learning what is truly most important, what really matters.

Sign language has been a whole other learning experience. It has been a discovery of another way to worship God like nothing else…I can’t even put it to words. I love it and can’t wait to better learn it.

Anyways, point being, I encourage you to find ways you can serve others…you’d be surprised of what you learn and the fulfillment it brings. Not only that, as we allow God to prepare us, He will open doors for us to share these benefits with others, changing, and even saving lives!

A Small Part In A Big Plan

Lord, I don’t know where it is You are leading me to, but I can somehow tell it is far more than I can imagine.
I may plan something that seems great, but I know You have something greater.
Whatever the task may be, thank You.
Thank You for allowing me to have a part in Your plan. It is an honor–privelege even–I love You, Lord.

I Shall

Who You created me to be,
That I shall be.
What You desire for me to know,
That I shall learn.
What You incline me to say,
That I shall say.
Where You plan for me to go,
There I shall go.
Where You will for me to stay,
There I shall remain.
What You instruct me to do,
That I shall do.
Your desires shall become mine–
Make me more like You!

What’s in focus?

After writing today, (you know, the old fashioned way with pen and paper) I found myself holding my pen out in front of me, staring at it. I then, still holding the pen out, began to focus on other things such as to the left, to the right, and far ahead. After a minute or so of this, I made an impossible attempt to focus on two things at once—such as the pen and whatever was to the left, the pen and whatever was to the right, the pen and whatever was behind it, etc. I was especially intrigued by the fact that I couldn’t focus on the pen without what was far behind it becoming a blur and vice versa.

It got me to thinking about focusing on God. God is big. To get some perspective, just keep in mind that He is bigger than the universe and outside the constrictions of time. Now, imagine that the pen is the here-and-now. If our focus is on the here-and-now, our focus on God immediately gets fuzzy. Then, if our focus is on God, the here-and-now becomes a blur.

The here-and-now is so, so tiny compared to God and eternity. That is not to say it is not important–every moment is precious–but it is not where our focus should be.

Our life on earth is so unpredictable. We can–and should–lay out our plans for the future, but we shouldn’t rely on them. God, on the other hand, is reliable, unchanging, and–well, pretty predictable. We know one day time will be rolled up and those who devoted their lives to Christ will be given eternal life with Him…and this is where our focus should be.

When our focus is on God, there is a major shift in what truly matters. Instead of wanting our dream house we want others to become a part of God’s house. Our deepest craving will be for more of God instead of our favorite junk food. Our hope will be in the Lord, not our success on earth. We will truly be able to say, “To live is Christ and to die is gain.”

“I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. If I am to go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labor for me. Yet what shall I choose? I do not know! I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far; but it is more necessary for you that I remain in the body.”

Philippians 1:20‭-‬24 NIV

The Full Meaning

Nothing can take the place of the Lord and His goodness;
He satisfies what was an unknown hunger.

A taste of His love exceeds that of any other–
It cannot be surpassed.

The Lord knows my every thought and desire;
He calls me by name to His inner courts.

My heart is captivated by His mercy and grace,
And no words can express the full meaning of His love.

Perfect Lamb

Fill our hearts, Lord, with a new song;
Renew our minds by a joyful morning.
Your name will be praised by those who love You–
Let us fall to our knees in worship.

Your beauty shall bring the enemies to silence;
Your majesty will stand over all the earth.
The rich and poor will bow alike;
The proud will soon fall on their faces.

Whose sacrifice is more worthy than Your own?
Who can take the place of Your Perfect Lamb?

Why the psalms?

Many times over the last two years as I’ve had multiple brain surgeries I have received so many comments such as, “You are so brave!” Ha…this is so far from true…

If you’ve been following my blog, you’ve probably seen psalms that I’ve written and shared, and something that I think is often misunderstood is why these are written.

I will use one as an example:

“By You, oh Lord, I stand upright.
When I trust in You, I shall not be discouraged;
For Your plan cannot be set aside,
And Your time cannot be delayed.”

When I write this, it is not because I easily trust in God, never become discouraged, and think things are going just like they should. Quite the opposite.

“Who holds their head above Your own?
Whose throne stands over the Creator of life?”

I certainly do not write these because God needs to hear them…more like I need to hear them. I need to remind myself these things…like, constantly.

“You know my every suffering;
No pain goes on unnoticed.
By my side You walk with me;
You’ve given me life by giving up Your own.”

As I write these psalms, it is a sort of confirmation of choosing to take on the mind of Christ…instead of my own selfish, worrisome, conceited thoughts.

“Only You bring peace to my soul and true joy to my heart.
You made my very being–who can better satisfy?”

I can hardly imagine having a life without God. He is the fuel that keeps me burning. Even though at times I am a tiny flicker, ain’t nothin’ gonna put me out! 😉

“My God, why have You forsaken me?”

Just as Jesus asked right before He died on the cross, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” sometimes as we take up our cross to follow Christ we will feel forsaken, but God is always in control. Jesus came back to life and conquered death…often times it is right before our greatest victories that we have our times of feeling like giving up, like we have been forsaken, and like we have no strength left. Don’t give up! With EVERY victory there is a challenge!!!

Intuition

So…this is a short story that I’ve shared with friends and family numerous times over the years since it happened but never got around to sharing on my blog:

Driving home from work one day, I was in the left lane, not far from where I’d be making a left turn. There was a pickup truck in front of me with a ladder strapped onto a rack over the back. I became very uneasy about it and, despite the inconvenience, moved over. Immediately after moving over, the ladder fell from the truck, crashing on the ground next to me. I was a bit shaken the rest of the way home as it was very evident that had I not moved over the ladder would have gone through my windshield. (At a speed of 55mph, no less)

Some might say it was God speaking to me, others might call it intuition, and still others (including myself) say a bit of both. Whichever it is, it’s God I thank for it since He’s the very One that gives us gifts such as intuition.

Point of sharing this story:

God gives us gifts all the time, and a crazy percentage of them go unnoticed. This was just one example of a gift that was offered to me, and thankfully, I accepted. It’s easy to decline gifts without even meaning to, and in my opinion, this is most often due to distraction. What if my mind was overrun with anger? Would I have still had that feeling I should not be behind that truck?

Just as there is an unending list of gifts, there is an unending list of things that can be distracting us away from those gifts, many of which aren’t inherently bad, just…distracting.

So I want to encourage you to become more aware of your surroundings. Look for gifts and for things that are distracting you from those gifts. Remember your purpose and calling, cutting back–or better yet, cutting out–anything that is pulling you away. As Barney Fife would say, “Nip it in the bud!”

Surgery Update

It’s been awhile since I’ve shared an update, so for the sake of any curious followers, I thought I’d share a bit:

For those who don’t know, I have had epilepsy for about 10 years. About a year and a half ago, it was decided we’d go through the tests necessary to move forward with getting epilepsy surgery. (Where they remove the part of my brain where seizures are starting) I ended up getting a Neuropace instead, which is a pacemaker of sorts for the brain that “zaps” (painlessly, of course ;)) seizures–mainly because it seemed safer.

Inconveniently, I was the surgeon’s first lucky patient to have a CSF leak, two infections, 18 weeks of antibiotics, and eventually, after 6 different operations, the Neuropace removed. (Crazy year and a half!) It’s been a challenging yet learning experience, to say the least.

Today, a test was done that showed the infections are gone, (YES!) and we can start working towards the original plan: to get the “focus” removed. For the next three months, I will be going to PT and basically doing everything possible to get well prepared for surgery before redoing the prep tests. (Surgeries, lack of exercise, and all the antibiotics have set me back a bit)

In a way, things seem pretty clear ahead. But I feel like one of the key things I’ve learned over the last year and a half is not to put my hope in things like surgery, doctors, and my own ideas. There’s still a possibility of the surgery not working out like we want. I may be here today and then gone tomorrow–and that’s okay.

I want my hope to be in Christ who cannot be separated from me and in eternity with Him that cannot be taken away.

“In Christ alone my hope is found,
He is my light, my strength, my song.
This cornerstone, this solid ground,
Firm through the fiercest drought and storm.
What heights of love, what depths of peace,
When fears are stilled, when strivings cease!
My Comforter, All in All,
Here in the love of Christ I stand.”

– lyrics from “In Christ Alone”

Learn Your Ways

Be my vision, Lord;
When I look down the road ahead of me let it be You that I see.

Let what was of value become worthless and what was my own plan become faded.

May the way be narrow by distinct lines–
May Your Light cast shadows on the ways of this world so that I may be far from them.

Let me not stray away as I follow in Your steps;
Hold me near to Your heart so that I may learn Your ways.

God’s Music

Most who know me know I love music. When asked what my favorite kind of music is, I’ve always said I don’t have a favorite as I typically like listening to some of everything. But tonight, as I listen to the sound of the rain, I’ve decided I do have a favorite–and that is “God’s music”.

I love the sound of hundreds of frogs and crickets at night, (though I’m so NOT a bug or frog fan lol) waves crashing at the beach, voices singing in harmony, the rustling of leaves from the wind, the crackling of a fire, a flowing river, birds in the morning…just to name a few. Perhaps “God’s music” is an unusual title, but as God is the Creator of the “instruments”, the timing, the key, the length of the song, and more, I find it quite fitting.

Just an evening thought… 🙂

I shall not be discouraged

By You, oh Lord, I stand upright.
When I trust in You, I shall not be discouraged;
For Your plan cannot be set aside,
And Your time cannot be delayed.

Who holds their head above Your own?
Whose throne stands over the Creator of life?

You know my every suffering;
No pain goes on unnoticed.
By my side You walk with me;
You’ve given me life by giving up Your own.

Only You bring peace to my soul and true joy to my heart.
You made my very being–who can better satisfy?

Poor memory? No problem!

If you have a hard time remembering things, you’re not the only one. I don’t know for sure why I have poor memory, but it is likely from my epilepsy or medications I take for it…perhaps some of both. Whatever the cause, I’ve had quite a hard time remembering things I learn from the Bible, from basic words to names and references. (And whatever else I’m trying to learn) Perhaps you do too, and if so, I just want to say that’s totally okay–and can even be a good thing.

Being unable to remember verses word for word, where they are, names and such has required me to rely on the Holy Spirit all the more rather than just head knowledge. I still study, despite the things I will forget, and rely on God to guide me and take care of the rest. This verse has always been encouraging to me: (yes, I had to look it up…very grateful for the internet!)

“…for the Holy Spirit will teach you at that time what you should say.” Luke 12:12

I’ve always seen having the Holy Spirit inside you as sort of a sixth sense. Often there are things I can just sort of sense that aren’t right, places that I can see the Holy Spirit is leading me to go, convictions and things He is prompting me to do. Thankfully, this isn’t something that requires knowledge. This is something even a young child can experience if they accept it.

What does it mean to accept it?

It requires surrendering.

Allowing God’s capabilities to stand high above our own.

Listening.

Opening our ears to what God is trying to say, even if it’s something we don’t want to hear.

Watching.

Paying close attention to our surroundings, looking for ways we can serve and honor God.

Staying in tune.

So many times God will speak to others through us–or to us through others–often when we don’t even realize it. It is really easy to miss these opportunities if we are not in tune with God. I can say from experience that words are a powerful thing. If the Holy Spirit is prompting you to say encouraging words to your brother or sister, don’t hesitate or let fear get in the way.

Be careful not to rely on yourself or what you know…rely on God.

“It could be worse…”

So, here’s my take on why NOT to be saying, “It could be worse.”

It’s taken years of experience for me to get this figured out. I was diagnosed with epilepsy when I was 17. For years, I was still able to drive, and would tell myself, “It could be worse…at least I can drive.” After a seizure where I blacked out I lost my license and had to take rides to work, but told myself, “It could be worse…at least I can go to work.” Not much later, the seizures became frequent and became very energy-draining to the point that I could no longer go to work. …I practically fear the words now.

Without realizing it, I was relying on my job, my car, my license–I was relying on myself, not God. When we rely on things, other people, or ourselves, we are setting ourselves up for disappointment.

We need to rely on God–who is always in control, eternity with Him–that can’t be snatched away, and riches in heaven–which can’t be stolen or become rotted…then, and only then, will we NOT be disappointed!

Now, we still need to be thankful for what God has blessed us with here on earth and need to see what He has blessed us with as not our own, but His, giving all to Him and living according to His purpose. We also need to remember not to worry about tomorrow and that it hurts Him more than it does us when we are suffering.

Instead of saying, “It could be worse.” let’s say, “God knows best.” placing our hope in eternity with Him. (Or as the song goes, “It is well; it is well with my soul.”)

We Desperately Need God

We have good days, and we have bad days. We have happy days and sad days, gloomy days and cheerful days, and some in between. Sometimes I hear stories of people whose entire lives sound just plain miserable…when these people are Christians, they often seem as sincere in their faith and close to God as they can possibly get.

Whether we are quite comfortable or are in a time of suffering there’s something that doesn’t change: we desperately need God. Ironically, when it is hardest to realize this is when life seems easy, not hard, and though it may seem as though we need God less in good times, that is far from true.

When we are on the easy road, not realizing how desperately we need God and relying on Him, we become very vulnerable, susceptible to sin and being deceived without even realizing it. In the Old Testament, over and over again we see the Israelites becoming vulnerable when they’re doing well. They become more and more like those around them, worshiping pagan gods and living a selfish, worldly lifestyle. It is in times of suffering that they soon turn to God to save them.

We need to realize how desperately we need God no matter the circumstance. If we don’t, what’s right and wrong begins to get fuzzy, our relationship with God seems boring and He becomes pushed to the side.

Run a check-up and ask yourself some questions:

Are there things that I’m doing that I’m not sure if they’re okay or not?

Is my time with God special or a chore?

Is there anything I’ve made more important to myself than God?

Am I living with God as my purpose?

A Focus On God

So often I feel like I’m getting nowhere…likely because in a sense, I am getting nowhere. For years I’ve been in square one: preparation. It has definitely been a real test on my patience!

I know there are many others out there in a similar situation:

You know where God is calling you, but you don’t know when or how you’re going to get there.

Those can be pretty big questions. For me, where I’ve felt God has been leading me seems right next to impossible. Often I don’t even know where to start…giving up would definitely be the easier route.

There are a lot of things I don’t know–I will always be learning–but one thing I have figured out, and that is to keep God as my focus and everything else will fall into place. Easier said than done, yes, but here are a few things I’ve found that should look like:

If my focus is on God, useless things will fade away. Things that used to bring me self-pleasure will be replaced by things that give pleasure to God.

If my focus is on God, fear will be gone. When I am looking to Him, no matter the situation, He gives a peace that leaves no room for fear.

If my focus is on God, true joy cannot be taken away. When I keep my focus on a perfect God who is outside the boundaries of time and my earthly body I will find a joy that can’t be found anywhere else.

If my focus is on God, I will come to know a love that no one else can give. No one is able to better love us than the One who created us, gave His life for us, and who created love Himself.

No matter where we’re at or where God is taking us it is critical for our focus to be on Him. We need to carefully examine ourselves and ask, “Is my focus on God?”

Only You Satisfy Me

Oh Lord, how I thirst for You!
When my mouth becomes dry, only you satisfy me.
When I become empty, only You fill me.
When my bones become weak, only You give me strength.
When my heart becomes broken, only You can restore me.
When my spirit is saddened, only You bring me joy.

I look to the Lord and all He has done–
There is no one like Him.
From the lowest valleys to the highest hills He shall be praised;
May every ear hear His holy Name!

Scars On His Wrists

One evening, when finally wound down enough to spend time with only Jesus, I thanked Him for always being close by my side. In my mind, I felt as if I could reach out and touch His hand. And so I did. As our hands met, I immediately saw the scars on His wrists…rather unexpectedly. It was one of those times where I mistakenly thought I had it all together.

I knew all too well Jesus had given His life–scorned, beaten, and hung on a cross. Something I repeatedly fail to realize is that it is because those scars I am able to be close to Him. I began to wonder,

“He may be close to me, but am I close to Him?”

An authentic, healthy relationship should be two-way. If we want to be close to someone, we will need to know who they are–their personality traits, their desires, their heart. Though I will never know God as well as He knows me, I resolve to earnestly seek after His heart for the rest of my days…and I challenge you to do the same.

Instead of just allowing Christ to be close to you, also seek to be close to Him.

A Future

The Lord is my treasure;
His value cannot be measured.
He is the One I search for,
I seek to know His Name.
My heart longs for His presence;
Not one can take His place.
He is my true desire;
He gives me hope and a future.

Opportunity

After rummaging around the bottom of our bathroom closet looking for toilet paper in the spot where it is usually kept, I stood back up with no luck. And what do I find? It’s right in front of me. Not where it is usually found, but nonetheless, right in front of me.

So what was the point of sharing that story, you ask? Well, it got me to thinking of God’s will for us. As we search for His will for our lives, it’s not always going to be where or what we’re used to. But one thing we can be sure of: it will be right in front of us.

If God wants you to go grocery shopping today you’ll be able to find the keys and you’ll have money in your bank account. If He wants you to go to Africa, He will help you get there. He doesn’t have a will for you without providing a way.

We need to be looking for opportunities. So often I am asking God to help me see as He sees because it is SO easy to miss opportunities right in front of us! God’s will for us is full of opportunities to give, to love, to show grace, to serve, to share joy, and much more…and as is in His timing for each opportunity comes, they will be right in front of us.

I Come to You

I come to You fully broken, and You restore my spirit.
I come to You covered in sin, and You show me mercy.
I come to You in a weak body, and You offer me a new body that lasts forever.
I come to You undeserving, and You place a crown upon my head.
I come to You hungry, and You make me full.
I come to You wounded, and You heal me.
I come to You with weight on my shoulders, and You set me free.

Self-centered “me time”

It is often said that we all need something called “me time”…but do we?

Nothing against treating yourself to a night out or getting a foot massage, what I’m getting at is our attitudes and where our focus is as we get the chance to take a break.

While we certainly need to take care of ourselves, there is simply no circumstance we can possibly be in that we should be living our lives in a self-centered way. Instead of having “me time” with the the attitude of “I deserve this”, let’s try having “God time”, in His presence thanking Him for what He has blessed us with.

When our focus is shifted away from ourselves and onto Christ it makes every minute so much more valuable! Having that five-minute coffee break with gratitude is going to be much more special, and even beneficial, than if you have the attitude of “no one touch me till I’m done”.

It is sooo easy and quite common to live in a self-centered way. It is a constant battle, but it is a battle worth fighting. When our focus is taken away from ourselves–that is where we find peace, hope, joy, and so many other blessings that can’t be found in any other way.

Choose to have “God time” instead of “me time”…you’ll be glad you did!

Well Established

Pain tries to take hold of me, but to no avail, for I am already held.

Fear tries to carry me off, but does not succeed, for I am already carried.

Doubt tries to overwhelm me, but is struck down, for my faith has been well established.

By the Hands of the Lord I find peace;

In His arms I remain confident.

My hope is founded in the Savior;

His Kingdom will stand forever.

Search After the Lord’s Heart

Oh, how beautiful the Lord is!

It is a beauty that radiates like the sun and cannot be stopped.

You cannot look upon His face without seeing His authority;

You cannot hear His voice without acknowledging His power.

You cannot be in His presence without a taste of His love;

You cannot touch His feet without an overwhelming sense of peace.

Search after the Lord’s heart;

Draw close to His statutes.

Seek and find His perfect love;

His light does not go out by night.

His mercy covers a multitude of sins;

His grace leads in the perfect way.

The Lord forever will reign in me;

All my days I will serve Him.

A Warrior

I am a child of God;
A warrior at His feet.
He lifts me up to serve Him;
When I become weak He strengthens me.
He prepares me for every battle;
I do not go unarmed.
By His shield I am protected;
By salvation I am kept safe.
By His truths I will continue to stand;
Covered by His righteousness I will step forward.
With His Spirit in my right hand I shall face the enemy;
Evil powers will be brought down.
In the light of the Lord, sharing the gospel of peace victory will be achieved even in the darkest places.

By Your Laws I Become Steady

By Your understanding no fear remains;

By Your love my heart continues on.

By Your Spirit I have been restored;

By Your laws I become steady.

Every morning I am covered by Your grace;

Oh, how good You are to me!

Night and day I will praise You;

My hands will sing a new song.

At Your cross the old has passed away;

By Your blood I have been renewed.

Your goodness cannot be snatched away–

Your gift of life will last forever!

Victory At The Cross

Oh, how God sustains me!
There is not one greater than He;
His stronghold will stand forever!

My feet may fail, but my God will carry me.
When I call He hears me;
He knows every sound of my voice.
He uplifts my soul when I’m weary;
He calms my spirit in times of distress.

Without the Father to where does one call?
Without His foundation what does one build upon?
Without His law where does one stand?
Without His eternal promises how does one move forward?
Without His hope where does one find peace?

Without Him surely I would be lost forever.
I would be without direction and anxiety would have taken hold of me.

In the presence of the Lord there is no fear in death.
No, only victory at the cross.

Where The Lord Has Fixed My Eyes

Where the Lord has fixed my eyes will not be covered up;
Where He sets my feet will not be shifted.
The way that He has called me will not be blocked off;
The timing of His will will not be stretched out or cut short.
He has placed His desires within me and they cannot be withheld.
His Spirit leaves no room for fear;
His love puts out all hate and anger.

Nothing can separate me from my Father;
By His will alone I continue to stand.
In His strength I will fight the good fight;
By His grace I will win the race to which He has called me.
All doubt has been broken down and worry stripped away;
They cannot be found in the presence of the Lord.

You, As You Are

(Before sharing this, I just want to say God is there. Whether we reject it or choose to embrace it is up to us.)

You, oh Lord, are so beautiful to me!
Your hands are calloused from the hardest work,
Yet bring the softest touch.
Your eyes are strong and see deep within,
Yet yield a gentle gaze.
You sense the smell of evil quick,
Yet the smallest, pleasant aroma brings You joy.
You know the time of what has and hasn’t been;
You extend beyond width and depth of years.
You carry forth Your love to undeserving;
Your faithfulness to Your children never ceases.
Your throne stands high above the earth,
Yet You allow the weak upon Your lap who worship You.
Your voice can cause the mountains to tremble,
But Your peaceful whisper can be as a lowly bird in beautiful song.

I can ask of nothing else but for You to be Yourself, as You are, and always will be.
Earthly kings may waiver,
But You and Your ways will never cease.

To Take Up Our Cross

Where we become small,
God becomes bigger.
Where we become weak,
God becomes stronger.
Where we die to ourselves,
We are able to live for Christ.
Where we choose to surrender,
We are able to rest in the arms of our King.

These are things that He has done for us, and what it means to take up our cross and follow Him.

The Treasures Of The Lord

The Lord is my refuge and my strength.
He is the air that I breathe and the life that is in me.
His gift of life never ceases;
It cannot be torn apart.
Thieves cannot steal the treasures of the Lord;
The value of His love cannot be understood.
His promises sustain forever,
They cannot be broken.
His light shines through the darkest nights,
It cannot be swallowed up.
His Kingdom shall not pass away;
Though all earth fails, the house of the Lord shall have no end.
He brings joy to the hearts of His children;
His peace surrounds those who humbly serve Him.

The Treasure Of My Heart

The Lord is the treasure of my heart;
What once was valuable is worthless to me now.
Not one can compare to the depths of His love;
Nothing can exceed the compassion of the King.
He clothes me in white;
He places the crown of life upon my head.
He pours His grace out over me;
His mercies are new every morning.
He holds me in His lap and allows my head to rest on His shoulder;
In the arms of the Lord I find peace.
He hears my every cry and knows my every pain;
No harm can come to me apart from His will.
Nothing can separate me from the arms of my Father;
Nothing can remove me from His hands.

Oh, how beautiful are the words of the Lord!
They are as an art to the eye and music to the ear.
To His children they are sweet as honey to the mouth.
There is a pleasant aroma in the presence of the Lord.
There is no greater satisfaction than that which comes from the Lord;
He brings a completion no other can bring.

The Success In Weakness

As I sit in deep thought in my time with God, my head in pain, counting down the days till another brain surgery, I feel incredibly weak. But slowly I’m learning that that’s okay, and, in fact, is a good thing.

It’s when we become broken that we can be shaped in a way that glorifies God. When we are weak a strength that only comes from Christ becomes magnified and is a light to those around us. It’s when we become low that we are allowing God to reign in our lives.

I know this point in my life isn’t a mistake. It’s not coincidence. It has a purpose. Though I may not be able to do things I’d like to do right now—like go overseas and help orphans—I can still do my best to honor God in the situation I am in. And really, that is true success.

The Face Of The Lord

Oh, how beautiful are the things You have made!
Your voice is great, yet intricate.
Your works are vast, yet precise.
Your art is creative, yet perfect.
What You have made is beyond what the eye can see—
Much is not understood, and even more is yet to be discovered.

Can our minds contain the knowledge of the Lord?
Can a creation have the understanding of it’s Creator?
Certainly not.
We cannot fully see His fingerprints,
Let alone grasp His hands.
We struggle to hear His voice,
Let alone fully know the face of the Lord.

As An Eagle

The Lord soars over me as an eagle;
He sees me close and from afar off.
He keeps watch over me;
He sees from where I come and to where I am going.

On the mountain’s top He waits for me;
With a loud voice He calls my name.
He takes me in under the shelter of His wings;
By His instruction I am brought up.

Great rivers flow from the mountain of the Lord;
From His springs my thirst is satisfied.
In the presence of the Lord my strength is renewed;
In His courts my mouth does not run dry.

My Anxious Heart

My God calms my anxious heart;
He sustains my inner being.
He brings peace where the enemy works night and day to start war.

He brings victory where the world fails;
He brings success to the weak so that He may be glorified.

No darkness suppresses the Light of the Lord;
His flame cannot be vanquished.

His Spirit does not grow weary;
No task is too great for the hands of the Lord!

The Fire That Is In Me

My heart won’t settle for living for myself. It doesn’t allow me to be satisfied with “normal”…whatever that is. I’m far from being prepared for anything great, and I’m incredibly weak physically—it is not unusual for me to struggle to do an everyday task…yet sometimes I feel like I’m on fire. There’s something burning inside of me that doesn’t allow me to give up, something that makes me keep pressing on. Sometimes it seems as though the more challenging things become the more I move forward. I know it’s from God—He is the fire that is in me. Anything that gets thrown at me quickly becomes engulfed in His flames because nothing can put Him out. I could be too weak to take a breath and still He would be burning inside of me.

I don’t know in detail where it is He’s taking me, and I especially don’t know how—other than by His own capabilities and capabilities that He gives me. As far as when…I believe I am already there. I’ve not completed all the tasks He has for me yet, and they won’t be completed till the day I die, but I’m where I’m supposed to be for now. It is moment by moment and day by day that He will continue to guide me.

If I could only have one hope, one dream, one success—it would be to reach the finish line and hear Him say to me, “Come, you blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; I was naked and you clothed me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to me.” (Matt. 25:34-36)

Surely I Would Be No More

Lord, You are my hope. The life that is in me. Where would I be without You? Surely I would be no more. My fear would’ve overcome me. My trembling would’ve caused me to fall, my sickness would’ve eaten me through and my perseverance vanished. My patience would’ve ended, and anger would’ve gotten the better of me. Without You I would’ve taken a road that made me lost forever. But instead, because of You, my faith is restored. When I tremble in fear You bring peace to my soul. You set a way for me to go and prepare me for Your calling. You have brought me by Your side and taken me under Your wing. Your love has transcended all fear.

Thank You, Lord, for loving me…

Thank You, Lord, for loving me,
For always holding me near.
When walking with me and talking with me,
You keep me far from fear.

You show me ways that I can grow to be more like You;
You teach me, Lord, that I may know how to love as You do.

You guide me through every stormy night;
You lift me as waters rise.
You keep me on the path that’s right;
You lead me by Your eyes.

You see beyond what I can see,
You know my every need.
You have a plan laid out for me—
Who You’ve created me to be.

You remind me that I’m not an accident,
A failure, or mistake.
Where I am I have been sent,
I am here for others’ sake,

To spread Your love and gift of life amongst the lost and broken,
To bring peace amidst the strife—
Share Your forgiveness of our sin.

 

 

Sheltered, Perhaps.

To those who are taken aback when I’ve never heard of a particular song, seen a particular movie, or heard of a particular person: Sure, maybe I’ve been sheltered. Sheltered under God, and I don’t mind one bit because there are some things I just don’t need in my life right now that likely would only have a negative impact on me anyway…so why chase after it?

Give me a biography of someone who gave their life for a good cause, not the latest top-novel. I’d rather be filled in on something educational than shameful. I’d rather spend time with my little sister than watch my favorite show on Netflix. I’d rather look for ways to fix problems, not gossip about them. I’d rather build relationships, not watch them fall apart. I’d rather live with a purpose than just wait and see what happens. I’d rather look for ways to bring light into this world instead of drowning in the dark.

It’s God that I want to make sure I stay in tune with. It’s His work I want to focus on. It’s His will I want to follow. It’s His love story I want to share. I want to hang on HIS every word, not my favorite movie star’s.

Okay, rant over—for now anyway… 😉

“If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ.” -Paul

A Voice

The night settles,
The coolness comes in,
The stars reveal their beauty within.

There’s something close though it seems far away,
I hear someone calling, I hear a voice say:

“Be still and know that I am your God, Shepherd, and Friend.
I will always be with you, I am the beginning and the end.

I will guide you and keep you close by my side,
Do not be afraid, I will always provide.”

I close my eyes and ponder these things in my heart,
It’s beauty and peace is as an incredible art.

I cannot let go of any words that I hear,
So special to me…I hold them so dear.

I will not forget the words from my Love,
And the gift that my God sent  from above.

Victory Calls!

Victory calls, it knows my name!
The strength of the Lord endures forever;
True failure does not know the children of the King!
The hearts who do not know the Lord are saddened;
They live without His purpose—they are here today and gone tomorrow.
The mountains tremble and waves crash;
They drown in anger and fear.
But the servants of the Lord will rejoice and praise Him;
They will enter His courts with gladness!
All pain and suffering will be torn away;
We will be clothed in peace and given crowns of endurance.
The power of the enemy has been lost;
He only takes what is presented him.
The Shepherd has come to save;
He’s given Himself out of love for His sheep.
All who seek the Creator shall find Him;
Those who seek the world will only receive such.

Follow His Hand

Who brings peace with strife?
Who settles conflict with anger?
Who can have the love of Christ and not share it with a stranger?

Who succeeds by being idle?
Who gains without a purpose?
How can we achieve, without His Spirit inside us?

What good is worry, that we hold it so dear?
Who adds to their life, while drowning in fear?

We can all give our best, but what will it achieve,
If still we do not let our God take the lead?

To function the intricate way He has planned,
We must follow His example—the Ways of His hand.

 

Are you in good health?

I can definitely say from experience, if you have physical pain, you’re going to (or at least you should) want to find out why so it can be treated and you can be healed. Being sick and in pain is not something to be ignored or you will find yourself in an unhealthy, pretty miserable state. …seems simple enough.

Something that is, in fact, often ignored is our spiritual health. We are often afraid of failing tests, our wounds being exposed, and diseases being recognized. But until some examining is done, we cannot find our weak points. Until we are aware of our weak points and acknowledge any areas we are sick, we cannot get the proper treatment and exercise to become strong and in good health.

Make it a habit to run a check-up. Examine yourself, but more importantly, allow God to examine you. He is the best Doctor out there, and to be sure, knows the best cure. But first, we have to be willing to receive the diagnosis.

 

What’s the problem?

Lately I’ve been reviewing algebra, and last night as I was checking the answer to a problem, it was not the same as the answer I’d come up with. So, I went back and tried to solve the problem again. I repeated this several times and became quite frustrated before realizing that I had the correct answer…only it was for a different problem.

All throughout our life we are finding answers. It’s a part of growing, learning, and the shaping of who we are. Sometimes, however, we can’t find the answers we’re looking for because we are trying to find answers for the wrong problem.

God always has answers, but we aren’t meant to have all the answers at once and not always as we want them. There’s nothing wrong with asking questions, but if we don’t receive an answer right away, then, again, we are trying to find answers for the wrong problem.

We need to seek God, and He will reveal answers to us as is truly needed and at the appropriate time.

Only For A Time

“So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever.”
‭‭2 Corinthians‬ ‭4:18‬ ‭

Since I have had brain surgery (the last one was mid-September) I have not been able to sleep laying down and been waking up multiple times through the night with bad headaches. As I’m waiting for tests to be done and answers to be found there simply hasn’t been anything to do but wait. Of course, as with many other similar situations, I find God only using this situation for good.

When we go through any kind of challenge, whether it’s physical or spiritual, we pretty much have two options: to accept it or deny it and be stuck with it anyway. While much can be learned from acceptance, nothing good comes from denial.

What is acceptance? Looking for good in the situation and learning from it. Choosing not to be angry even when you don’t understand why you’re being allowed to go through a difficult situation.

I’m not going to deny that there have been times I’ve asked why, and there’s nothing wrong with asking why. We just may or may not receive an answer and need to accept it either way. In fact, what inspired writing this was my asking why and not receiving an answer.

I was, however, reminded that this is only for a time. And I find this is applicable to many other hard times we go through in life. I also find that it makes it much easier to bear when we fix our gaze on what we cannot see—God and our eternal life with Him, as is referred to in 2 Cor. 4:18.

One of the ways to shift our gaze to Christ is through prayer and worship. Just last night as I was kept awake from my head hurting and feeling quite miserable I was reminded of a chorus in a song called “Steady my heart” by Kari Jobe that goes:
“Even when it hurts
Even when it’s hard
Even when it all just falls apart
I will run to You
‘Cause I know that You are
Lover of my soul
Healer of my scars
You steady my heart
You steady my heart”

So many times it’s like God is the glue that holds me together—and not just holds me together, but shapes me into something beautiful—and He can do the same for you.

So, remember that when you go through something, it’s only for a time, and God can hold you together through it. Focus on our eternal life with Christ. Our time on earth is such a small, tiny portion of that.

 

Don’t Give God The Leftovers

It is often easy to worship God when it’s convenient, and to praise Him when we’re happy. But this is the most shallow praise and worship ever. God doesn’t fall for it.

If a friend is willing to skip a party they wanted to go to in order to visit you in the hospital it’s going to mean a lot more than if they came because they didn’t have anything better to do. If they give you a compliment despite the fact that they’re exhausted and have just got off a twelve hour shift at work, their words will be quite more treasured than if they just felt obligated to say something nice.

Now, if they came to see you because the party was canceled, their visit would be much less meaningful. If they take your friendship for granted and never have anything loving to say it’s not much of a friendship.

We serve a jealous God. And God knows it’s exactly what we need.

There’s a special kind of peace and joy that comes when we serve, praise, and worship when we don’t feel like it. It’s not always right away, but it pays off. Worshiping and praising God at our weak points makes us stronger. Seeking Him when we feel like we’re too tired to think straight causes us to rely on His Holy Spirit.

Be willing to serve when you feel you can hardly stand. Praise Him even through storms. Worship Him even when it seems like it’s been the roughest day of your life.

Don’t give God the time that’s convenient for you. Don’t give Him the leftovers.

My Shepherd

1CC03A6A-DD99-473E-A72D-9D059BC50248My Father searches for me;
He saves me from the enemy’s hand.
He holds me in His arms;
I do not go hungry.
He leads me through every valley,
And is my light when the evening comes.
When I begin to stray He calls my name;
He brings me back to a safe place.
In His full protection, worry does not exist;
Where His Spirit surrounds me, thieves do not break in.

Taking Root

C6D7C6A0-BDE0-4725-822E-9C9F9F319C54“Every dream, no matter how big, starts out as a seed. And like a seed, it often goes underground for a season. That’s when we get discouraged because we don’t see any physical evidence of the dream’s progress. But it has to take root before it can bear fruit.”
-Mark Batterson

As this year has been quite a challenging one, this quote from “Chase the Lion” (and the book itself) has really hit home. Picturing a seed breaking open in order for what is inside it to take root and grow—meanwhile seeing no fruit of any progress—really seemed like an accurate description of me.

The most important thing in these situations is to be where we are supposed to be. To be in good soil where we will get strong roots—to be where God wants us to be.

A lot of times at these points in our lives it seems like we are distant from God, in the dark and unable to see the “Son”. But still, He is there. As long as His Spirit is “raining” down upon us, if we continuously seek Him eventually we will break through the soil. We will see Him and His light will cause us to flourish.

How we react to being planted is so critical. Choosing to take root in where we’ve been planted will often affect our lives long-term a lot more than we realize.

Slowly, I am learning. Though it may be hard, I know it will be worth it.

Lord Over All

How great is our God who is Lord over all!
You cannot count the number of His days;
His time cannot be written down.
His arms stretch far out;
His height and width cannot be measured.
At the sound of His voice mountains tremble;
At His command storms will rest.
All of mankind shall bow at His feet;
His children will rejoice and be glad!

Learning To Fly

As I woke up this morning feeling rather constricted to my hospital bed and I was feeling quite weak, I pictured a beautiful flock of birds flying by. As they flew by, I was left behind with injured wings unable to fly. Oh, how I wanted to fly!

After a while of waiting and preparing, I was healed. After some time of some more preparing and learning, I was flying, and boy did I fly! Not only was I soaring through the sky, but hundreds, if not thousands, followed behind.

God had prepared me. The process of being prepared was painful and hard but it was worth it.

Exalt The Most High

Exalt the Most High over all the earth;
Praise the Holy One whose love endures forever!
His foundations do not crumble;
His throne will forever stand.
He brought Himself down so that our cost can be paid;
He took pain upon Himself so that we can be set free.
He alone is worthy of our worship;
On our knees we bow before Him.
Never can we repay Him for what He has done;
The victory He gives we will never deserve.
Yet still He invites us in;
He calls us to accept His love.
To the broken and hurting He offers a place at His table;
He serves and gives gifts to each one.
There is no other god or friend such as this;
No, not one can be accounted for!

Hear My Cry, Oh Lord

Hear my cry, oh Lord;
Give ear to my plea!
Pain has taken hold of me;
I have fallen into the grasp of affliction.
The enemy laughs at me;
He brings disgrace upon me.
Take me from this darkness, Lord;
Relieve me from the enemy’s hold.
Loose the chains from around my ankles;
Walk me towards Your perfect Way.
Your light overcomes the enemy’s darkness;
His chains cannot withhold Your strength.
Your endurance far outlives the pain of the evil one;
Your patience overcomes the ways of the wicked.
Forever the Lord shall reign over all;
Indeed, His Kingdom shall have no end!

God Is Never Late

One of the things I’m having to constantly remind myself is that God is never late. So many times I think I’ve figured out where God is leading me when suddenly it becomes impossible or quite delayed. My instinct reaction is frustration, confusion, and disappointment.

This is where it gets hard. It’s where we can’t rely on our own understanding. It’s where our faith, trust, and patience are tested. It’s where we need to be surrendering ourselves to Christ, allowing Him to shape our lives however He sees fit.

Slowly, I am learning. Learning that if I can’t do it, either it’s not God’s will for me to do it at all, or it’s just not time.

We need to realize that if we are allowing things like worry, anger, and doubt to reign in our lives we are giving Satan control and missing opportunities of a lifetime that God has in store for us! What good is that?

Instead of worrying, let’s put our faith in the One who gave His life for us. Instead of becoming angry because things aren’t working out like we expected, let’s put our trust in our Author. Instead of becoming frustrated with the timing of everything, let’s rely on the Creator of time.

Let’s remember: God is never late.

The Perfect Way Of Our Lord

You, my Father, bring to me what is good;
You keep me in a safe place.
You know the way that is right;
Night and day You guide me.
When my feet start another path,
You bring me back by Your correction.
When my legs start to fail me,
You lift me up and set my legs straight.
Your love, oh Lord, provides direction;
Your wisdom sets me on the perfect way.

Time-Spending

I’ve been using iPhones for years now, and for the first several years I had several game apps and would spend anywhere from 5 minutes to 2 hours on them. If I had off work or just somehow had a lot of time on my hands it was sometimes longer.

One particular day, I’d had enough of it. I deleted all of the game apps in about 1 minute, dropped my phone on my bed, and looked out the window in deep thought. I was frustrated—perhaps even angry with myself. I knew God had something much better to offer. I knew He had greater plans, greater thoughts, goals…I didn’t want to be content with what the world had to offer me. Instead, I wanted to seek after God and make His thoughts my thoughts, and His ways my ways. I knew that wasn’t something I was going to find while getting points.

After not playing any for over a year, I went back to playing for a while as I underwent surgery and recovery. I had a TON of time on my hands, and with the bad headache (brain surgery) and meds I just couldn’t concentrate enough to read, so it was good while it lasted. It’s only been in the last couple weeks that I’ve quit them again and it’s literally been refreshing!

A lifelong lesson to be continuously learning is how to spend our time wisely…it’s a gift we are given by God, and as His children we are to give it back to Him in a way that glorifies Him.

The Weak, Hurting, and Broken

Last night, in my time of prayer as I was thinking of all the things I’ve been wanting to do one day and believe God is leading me to do, I was feeling rather discouraged. It was as though the Devil himself was there trying to discourage me—reminding me of things like how exhausted I get doing things as simple as coming up the stairs. But God had a really good comeback. He reminded me of how He uses the weak, the broken, and the hurting. I literally laughed out loud and prayed, “Well, I qualify for all three, don’t I?”

I think many—if not all—humans have experienced these hardships at least once in their life. Some simply don’t acknowledge the fact because of pride or cold hearts.

Here are some verses I wanted to share…you can always find more on google. 😉

1 Corinthians 1:27b “…God has chosen the weak things of this world to put to shame the things which are mighty;”

Psalms 51:17 “The sacrifices of God are a broken and a contrite heart.
These, O God, You will not despise.”

Psalm 147:3 “He heals the broken-hearted and binds up their wounds.”

Don’t allow yourself to be discouraged when you are weak, hurting, or broken…this only allows more room for God to be glorified through us!

A Car Ride To Remember

Tonight, while spending some time listening to some of my praise and worship favs, I was imagining Jesus in the driver’s seat of a car and myself in the seat behind Him. Before driving, He made sure I had my seatbelt on and frequently looked at me through the rear view mirror to check on me. When our eyes met it was like every fear, worry, and sadness melted away. Part of me wanted to lean over and look over His shoulder to try and see what was ahead, but somehow I knew I shouldn’t. Instead, I found peace in trusting that He knew where we were going and with the windows down I enjoyed the breeze and beautiful views that I may have otherwise missed.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

While trying to see far into the future and what is ahead of us it is easy to miss what is already here. People, events, opportunities…if we’re not careful it is easy for time and things that we could have taken part in slip by completely unnoticed.

We need to allow God to be our driver, let Him do the focusing on the road ahead, and see where He takes us.

Quality Of Life

Before I had my first brain surgery, a lady who was explaining the surgery asked a few questions. One of the main questions she asked was something along the lines of how less valuable I considered my life because of my epilepsy. (This was 11 months ago, so I don’t remember exactly how she asked) I was rather confused by her question and I think she was somewhat confused by my answer. I quickly and quite determinedly replied that I didn’t consider my life any less valuable than if I was in perfect health.

Still, to this day, I can’t see how anyone could ask such a question. I still got the surgery and am working my way towards improving my health, but I don’t believe it has any impact on my quality of life.

I believe when a person is in a relationship with Christ and truly seeking to be who He has created them to be, their quality of life is immeasurable. It is beautiful, and it is perfect. This is true quality of life.

The Beauty Inside

Beauty is not in the appearance of an individual, but the church as a whole—a lot of which cannot be seen by the outside world. It starts at the core. The world sees the skin of the fruit, the bark, and the leaves, but they cannot see the rings that show its age and the growth process. Until they bite into the fruit they will not know it’s flavor or sweetness. There are also many seeds within a fruit that can be planted in the human heart and then grow over time as God dwells inside.

Don’t Settle For The Fast Food. :)

Sitting down in the kitchen, waiting for the granola I was fixing for breakfast, I pictured Jesus sitting next to me—only dressed as a normal guy. He began talking about what we put into our time spent in private with Him, reading His Word, praying, etc., is like the time we put into preparing food. Food that is a box dinner, frozen, etc., and requires little time and effort is going to be a less healthy, inviting, pleasant meal.
———
….just something I found in a prayer journal I wrote back in 2011.

Run The Race

You, oh Lord, do to me what is good;
Forever You are faithful.
What brings pain to my earthly body brings wisdom to my spirit;
What breaks down my pride uplifts my soul.
Where trials persist,
You are the patience that is in me;
When storms come,
You are the foundation that holds me steady.
Day and night my faith is tested,
But I hold close to You.
My body may grow weary,
But You give strength to run the race to which You have called me.

Restored

You, oh Lord, shall direct my ways;
You guide me on the straight path.
Out of love You give correction;
With endless mercy You forgive my wrongdoings.
How great is Your love, oh Lord!
You bring hope to the hopeless and joy to the broken-hearted.
There’s a peace that is only found in You,
A satisfaction that only You can give.
You are the life that is in me;
Through You I have been restored.

You Are There

In times of gladness, You are there.
In times of great sorrow, You are there.
In times we are satisfied, You are there.
In times of disappointment, You are there.
In times of great joy, You are there.
In times of heartache, You are there.
In times of relief, You are there.
In times of heavy burden, You are there.
Never do You leave us;
Forever You are faithful.
In You, Oh Lord, my hope is grounded.

You Are All

All that I am, You have made me;
All nature around me, You have created.
All that has happened, You have allowed it—not a bird falls without Your knowledge.
All our sin You have taken upon Your own shoulders—You have been bruised and beaten for our iniquities.
All our punishment You take on Yourself if we allow it;
All fear of death is taken away if we walk the Way of Life.

Is It OK?

Sometimes the sin and darkness in this world just makes my heart grieve. I’m not always sure if it’s more because we are hurting ourselves or because we are hurting and dishonoring God.

We dishonor our God by our sinful words and actions, bringing shame upon ourselves before Him. And not only by our own words and actions, but by approving/supporting those who practice them. (Romans 1:32)

We have allowed the enemy to creep in. He finds ways to make things look good and acceptable—sometimes even appealing. We have let our guards down. We take in whatever we are surrounded by. Our standards should not be what is “normal” around us. Just because “our other Christian friends” are okay with something doesn’t make it right.

Dig into the Word for yourself. Speak to your elders. Most importantly, seek after God and allow Him to speak to you.