Friday, September 30, 2011

I Will Give Myself

Today in one of my devotionals, the scripture reference was Psalm 109:4b- I will give myself unto prayer.   I thought of wedding vows. I will give myself. We stand before God and man and vow to love one another. We promise to stay together forever.

Most of you are probably thinking of your marriage at this moment, but I thought of Jesus. I am my Beloved's and He is mine, so, we exchange vows.
"Do you lay down your life?"
"I do."
"Will you die to yourself?"
"I will."

We speak to one another, Jesus and I, "I take you to be my Beloved. To have and to hold from this day forward, for better or for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish; from this day forward until death do us...join." I look forward to the day this veil of flesh is parted and I see Him face to face. Even though, I am one with Him and He has promised we will never part.

I have proclaimed, "I do. I take this Man into my heart...forever." He consummated the marriage on the cross. His blood was spilled to bring me into union with Him and His Father. His Father is now my Father. He has prepared a place for me and it is in Him. For it is in Him I live, and move, and have my being! The other half of the miracle is that He is also alive in me.

He knows my heart for He looks on my heart and I open up to Him. I tell Him in prayer, "Lord, You are my heart's desire. You Who put Your desires within my heart. There are so many people and so many prayers carried together in my heart where You dwell. It sometimes seems a jumbled up mess to me. What to pray? What to ask? You say to ask and I would receive and my joy would be full. I long to lay everything before You wrapped up in the perfect prayer for each person and every circumstance of need, or lack, or want, or desire." My words are feeble.

Of blind Bartimeus Jesus asked, "What wilt thou that I should do unto thee?"
"What is your will? What do you want Me to do for you?"
My will? I can only say, "Thy will be done."

Why am I so afraid to ask? Is it because I am not all wise, all powerful, ever present, and all knowing of the future ramifications of what I have asked for today? I can only say with Ezekiel, "Only Thou Lord knowest." What else can I say? For His thoughts are higher than my thoughts and His ways are higher than my ways. What do I know? I am but dust. But I ask.

Lord, breathe on me and I shall live. I shall rise up from the dust and dance before you and worship you as I love You; with all my heart, and all my mind, and all my strength. It is Your breath in  my lungs that allows me to praise Your holy Name. Apart from You I am nothing...only dust. Every dream, every hope, every vision comes from You and through You to me. My dreams are Yours, they belong to You. Fulfill Your will for me through me.

He touches my heart, my mind, and my soul as a raindrop touches the waters, as deep calling unto deep. The affect of His touch ripples through my life. Substance marrying substance, never to be seperated. For it is impossible to seperate the rain from the sea. I pray to be that much at one with Him, to not know where I end and He begins. So, I ask.

And as I ask, I think of the one He gave me, the one I prayed for God to send. He sent him. He is perfect for me. He is more than I asked for. He loves me as Christ loves me. God confirmed it, that he was the one, and we said our vows. And I pray to be so much at one with him that I can't tell where I end and he begins. So, I will give myself. And a three-fold cord is not quickly broken. (Eccl. 4:12)

Two, saith He, shall be one flesh. But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit. (1Corinthians 6:16b-17)

Still Dwelling in Him,

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Lay Down Your Life

Holy Spirit is working in my heart. I feel Him. He is going deeper now; touching places, digging around where I had things buried. Things that I thought were dead and gone. My heart has been so very raw for several weeks now. He is teaching me, molding me, purifying me. It never stops, really. He is teaching me to be more like Jesus and so many times EVERY DAY I see where I fall short. Trust is an issue of mine.

You have to reach out to people, let them into your life...your heart. You must let them in that you may learn to love deeper and purer and truer.  In His presence, I hear Him say, "Lay down your life."

 Did You say that Lord? But people hurt, wound, reject, betray and use. "I don't care. Lay down your life." Yes, I know God loves me and cares for me. I also understood what He meant. God held back nothing to reach this world. He gave us Jesus. I must be willing to give my all to my Lord for I was bought with a price.

"Lay down your life." Jesus was always mobbed by people. He had what they needed. Yet, His heart led Him to the pray, to be with His Father in silence and solitude. He had to be filled before He could pour out. God with us, in flesh, going to His Father God. How do we think we can make it through one day apart from that blessed fellowship? "Lay down your life."

We are but dust. Clay. An earthen vessel saturated in God's Spirit, filled with His Truth. We are to look like Him, live like Him, and love like Him. We have the Bread of Life within us. We cannot hoard it as the children of Isreal attempted to do with the manna. Someone is hungry today and we have the source of Life living within us. We cannot keep it hidden away in our vessels, it will be no good tomorrow. We are not promised tomorrow.

" Lay down your life." What is my life? It is but a vapor that appears for a little while, and then vanishes away. (Jas. 4:14) A vapor, a mist, a cloud that is here, then gone. I pray the vapor of my life is like a sweet fragrance to my Lord. The fragrance of life unto life amoung those who are close enough to me to catch the aroma of Christ in my life. "Lay down your life."

My thoughts turn to my Zoegirl.  She seems to have lost sight in her left eye. A couple weeks ago, I noticed it was swollen and she refused to open it. I took her to the vet, he couldn't find any injury and could only guess that she may have been bitten by an insect. We put the prescribed drops in her eye but I'm not so sure they are doing any good. I am praying for her.

She stays closer to me now and has become even more protective of me, and I of her. I have been pouring out even more affection on her. This morning God spoke to my heart, "You love her even more because of her weakness."

Her weakness has drawn her closer to me, just as ours should draw us closer to God. I have even more compassion for her because of her blindness. God uses her to teach me, "But please, God heal her." I prayed.

God doesn't push us away because of our blindness, deafness, lameness, or weakness. No, He draws us closer to Himself. I once was blind, but now I see. "Lay down your life."

 Jesus said, "I lay down My life that I may take it again." So, I lay down my life that He may take it....again! For when I am weak, THEN am I strong for I draw even closer to Him. In His presence I hear Him saying, "Lay down your life. It's not your life anymore, you belong to Me. So, I am once again relinquishing my rights to myself. It is a constant struggle to keep that old dead "man" buried. I am a new creation.

It doesn't matter what we've done or where we have been, when we turn to God He opens the doors to His heavenly home and says, "Come live in Me, all I have is yours. Make yourself at home in my heart."  Should I not also be like my Father and open the doors to my heart! What are the consequences? Pain? Yes.  Rejection? Yes. Betrayal? Yes. More love and joy than I have ever known in the midst of all of that? Definately, YES! Even if others don't love, He always loves. He IS Love!

I hear Him say, "Come live in Me, let Me live in you. I am all you cannot be. You are never complete apart from Me.....



Some of what is written in this post is from my personal journal dated August 20th. This was before my Zoegirl, my pet Akita, left this world. I wrote a guest post about Zoe on Stephanie's blog. See Zoe's Story

Thursday, September 22, 2011


We all like the sound of that word. BREAKTHROUGH. It speaks of conquering, of victory, of receiving that promise we have been praying and believing for. But the truth is, nothing worth having comes easily. There is a battle involved, a struggle, and a word we don't like very much death.

But Jesus said in John 12:24-25, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn (grain) of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth (remains) alone: but if it die, it brings forth much fruit. He that loveth his life shall lose it; he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal."

I am finding more and more every day that I hate my life in this world and I am looking forward to the One to come. Jesus. He is my Life, my Way, and my Truth... and He IS coming. What a glorious day that will be!! But before He breaks through the heavens, we have breakthroughs to obtain here on earth.

This morning I had the thought, "Something has to die before there is a breakthrough." When a seed is planted in the earth, it dies. It has to push its way through the soil that is covering it to obtain its breakthrough. A baby in the womb also struggles to breakthrough into this world, the mother fighting along with him or her through the birthing process. She dies to herself to face the pain of bringing a new life into the world along with the joy to come, because with the breakthrough comes the joy

As Jesus hung on the cross, His blood flowed freely from His tortured body. When He died, the veil of the temple was rent. This was a sign of our breakthrough into the presence of our Father by Christ Jesus. Isn't that what happens when a woman gives birth? Through pain and blood a child is born into it's father's presence. This is how Jesus brought many sons (and daughters) into glory. (Hebrews 2:10)

As our Lord moves us from glory to glory there is a new battle at each level. He always calls us higher and going higher means obtaining another breakthrough. It seems it is always right at the breaking point that the battle intensifies.

There is the awesome truth concerning the battle. It isn't ours! The battle belongs to the Lord. He gives us the victory.(1Samuel 17:47) This doesn't mean we sit back and twiddle our thumbs. Our warfare is done with the Word of God.  GOD'S WORD is our GOD SWORD!!

Let me just share with you what my Lord spoke to me this morning as I was in His presence. He said, "The battle is going to become more intense as the day draws near. Gird up your mind for the battle. Be prepared. Don't let your gaurd down. Your enemy is prowling about. He seeks to devour My people. Throw up the ramparts. Feast on My Word. Weild the sword, rightly dividing the Word of Truth for the Truth shall set you free. And whom the Son sets free is free indeed." And what is Truth? IT IS WRITTEN!!!

He is my Strongtower and my Defense...
Dwelling in Him

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Making Peace

As I looked in the mirror, I noticed that the scars on my cheek are a little more prominent now that I've become older. I remembered going to the dermatoligist a few years ago and he told me he could inject collegen into the most prominent scar and "plump it up." That's not what I was there for and it didn't sound very pleasant to me, especially since it wasn't a permanent fix.

As I gazed in the mirror, I realized that I have made peace with my scars. They are a part of me and with each one comes a story that is written within the pages of my life. They are like milestones, they bring with them memories, both good and bad.

The scars on my cheek came from a dog bite, and honestly, it wasn't the dog's fault. I have always loved animals, especially dogs and horses. I was seven years old and this was one of the smartest dogs I had ever encountered. He was a beautiful German Shepherd and he performed a plethora of tricks. I was smitten with him so much that when he crawled under the table for a nap, so did I. We lay there asleep nose to nose. I had my arm draped around his neck in complete trust.

Enter pesky little brother who decides to quietly sneak up on us and pull the poor dog's tail. The result was a startled dog who thought he was under attack and bit the closest thing to him, which happened to be my face. It took a trip to the hospital and stitches were involved but I never blamed the dog. To this day I blame my brother. Hi Chris!! Haha.

To the various childhood scars, adult scars were added. One is from an appendectomy which saved my life, another is my cesarean scar-which brought my son into this world. I remember everything leading up to and following each one of those events.

But, I also have scars that don't show on the outside. They came from cruel words, the heartbreak of broken relationships, and past betrayals. No one is exempt from painful internal scars. Anyone who has lived long enough on this earth will acquire scars for we all become wounded by others. But we can make peace with them.

Internal scars take longer to heal than the external ones. I can touch where the dog bit me and where I had the surgeries and it doesn't hurt anymore. But just allow a stray thought or a bad memory from the past (even from many years ago) enter my mind and a fresh flood of painful emotion can grip my heart.

This is why we are to "pull down strongholds (in our mind) and cast down imaginations...bringing into captivity EVERY thought to the obedience of Christ." (2 Cor. 10:4-5) We don't have to pretend the wound never happened but we can make peace with it. Jesus is our Prince of Peace. All things are exposed to Him, nothing is concealed. He has seen every wound inflicted upon us, He even knows our thoughts. (Heb. 4:13) Jesus sees all the scars we bear. He too bears the scars of this world. He has felt our physical and emotional pain, just read Isaiah 53.

Hebrews 5:15 tells us that we don't have a High Priest who cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted just like we are, yet He never sinned. He is God and He was born into a body of flesh. He felt pain as we feel pain. He felt rejection as we feel rejection. He felt wounds as we feel wounds. Now God the Son intercedes to God the Father on our behalf. Jesus said, "If you have seen Me, You have seen the Father." (John 14:9)

There is a healing balm and it is called forgiveness. Only forgiveness can release us from our past and present wounds.  Only forgiveness will allow us to make peace with our inner scars. Jesus knew the POWER of forgiveness. He cried out from the cross, "Father forgive them, for they know not what they do." (Luke 23:34) Our Lord tells us in Matthew 6:14-15 that if we will forgive others, we will be forgiven by our Heavenly Father; but if we do not forgive others we will not be forgiven by our heavenly Father.

 In Matthew 18:21-22 Jesus is having a conversation with Peter. Peter asks how many times do we forgive someone who sins against us. Jesus replies, "...until seven times seventy." I've never been very mathmatical, but in my book 7x70 equals 490.

Is it easy to forgive? No! Not always. More often than not it takes an act of our own will. You may not "feel" forgiveness right away but speak it anyway. And give it some time to work down into your heart. Forgiveness is extremely freeing. Ask Jesus to help you. He will!! Only forgiveness will allow our Prince of Peace help us make peace with our inner scars.

One more thing. If you have a wound that's beginning to heal, here are some words of wisdom from my Mother, "DON'T PICK IT!"

Still Dwelling in Him,

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Stone or Flesh

As I was reading from a couple of my devotionals this morning, they began to intertwine and form a picture in my heart. The scripture from one devotion was Ezekiel 36:26- A new heart also will I give you and a new spirit will I put within you: and  I will take away the stoney heart out of your flesh, and I will give you a heart of flesh.

In Matthew 13:3-8 Jesus gives us the parable of the sower. He speaks of four different types of ground which are actually four conditions of the heart. The stoney heart is shallow and the seed of God's Word cannot survive when planted there. The hard heart cannot handle the trials and tribulation of this life. Persecution causes this heart to back down and allows the Word to die within it's breast. You cannot plant a garden on stone.

Is it any wonder that Hosea 10:12 says to "Break up your fallow ground." We must cultivate our hearts in order to receive what our Lord wants to plant there. It is up to us to prepare our heart that Jesus may enter there and find that what He has planted in us has produced. We prepare our hearts through worship, prayer, and time in His presence just to be still and listen. Then, when we read or hear God's Word, the seed is planted deep within us and nothing can snatch it away.

 This leads me to the second devotional scripture which is Song of Solomon 4:16- Awake, Oh north wind; and come, thou south; blow upon my garden, that the spices thereof may flow out. Let my beloved come into his garden, and eat his pleasant fruits.

The fragrances of the garden are released by the wind. I imagine Holy Spirit coming into my heart as a rushing, mighty wind. He carries the aroma of my love and my worship to my King who walks through the garden of my heart. How I pray He finds it full of the fruit of His Spirit. 

I long to be like Mary with her broken box of alabaster. How I love to sit at His feet and soak in His presence. I want to have His aroma permeate my life. I want to let go of the things of this world that prevent me from reaching out and grasping hold of more of Him.

She was not ashamed of her love for Him. She no longer cared what others thought of her. If all eyes were on her, "SO WHAT!!" Let them stare. What I do, I do for Him. I don't do it for you. So, if you don't approve of me, go ahead and talk behind my back or just loud enough for me to hear because you think it will control my actions. IT WON'T!! Not anymore. Because the closer I get to Him, the more gray this world becomes. It fades from view and I only have eyes for HIM.


I am my Beloved's and He is mine.
HE is My Dwelling Place.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

In This World

Jesus has told us that "In this world you shall have tribulation..." (John 16:33).

Have you ever wondered what to do when you can hardly breathe because the cruel grip of pain has squeezed the breath from your lungs just as you would wring the water from a sponge? It's one of those times in my life when my heart feels wounded and raw. It's as if sandpaper has been used in an attempt to smooth everything over and left deep, painful grooves in its wake. Even my body is aching and I know it's due to lack of sleep.

I feel the pressure of life within and without and I am reminded of the Potter and the clay. I am in my Lord's hands and He has power over me. He shapes me and forms me into the image of His Son. If I collapse in His hands, He lovingly begins again. His hands work from the inside and the outside simultaneously. The Potter never removes His hands from His work, except breifly, to bring the moisture to keep it pliable. He never removes His hands from my life. I find peace and joy in knowing this.

This earth is the Potter's wheel. It is spinning non-stop and there are so many clay pots that God is forming and using for His glory. After all, that is what we are here for.

This morning as I sat in God's presence, He spoke to my battered heart, "Things are changing quickly, My daughter." And I think of how there are hints of fall in the air. The nights are cooler, the days a little shorter, even the aroma on the breeze has changed. But I know that is not what my Father is speaking to me. My thoughts are inturrupted by the words, "I will carry you from glory to glory."

 I look up 2 Corinthians 3:18. It tells me that I am being changed into the same glorious image of my Lord, Jesus Christ. I move from glory to glory by His Holy Spirit as I dwell in Him. I wondered why my Lord spoke that He would "carry" me from glory to glory. So I looked up the definition of carry. The word is so rich in meaning but I only chose a few of them. Carry- to hold, support, or transport someone or something: to take someone that you are holding to another place: to move someone along by a flow or impetus: to contain and direct the course of: to provide sustenance for: to be cheifly or solely responisible for the success, effectiveness, or continuation of: to gain victory for: to act as bearer...and many more. (Merriam-Webster online dictionary)

What do I do when I feel the pain and pressure of living in this unstable world? I spend time with my Father. In His presence is fullness of joy. (Ps.16:11) I praise my Lord for He inhabits the praises of His people.

 And, I remember that Jesus has told us, "....but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world." (John 16:33)

Dwelling In Him,

Monday, September 12, 2011

New Beginnings

Ok, so this is my very first post and on that note, I was thinking about new beginnings today. So I typed it in  my computer and a search for "Beginning Quotes" caught my eye. One in particular stood out to me. It is by Tom Krause and it reads, "If you only do what you know you can do, you never do very much."

This quote is perfect for me because I've been wanting to begin a blog for some time. However, I don't know a lot about computers and as I visited blog after blog and saw all the beautiful photographs and read all the eloquent words I felt... well, inadequate. But the truth is that my Lord has been speaking to me to begin sharing my faith in this way for a while now. Honestly, I have no idea what I'm doing but I'm doing it!

My Lord reminded me that He led Isreal to the promised land and they refused to act on what He had spoken to them. They made excuses why they couldn't do what God had set them free to do. Therefore, they ended up wandering in the wilderness until that generation died and the next one rose up. Well, my God has definately set me free and I choose to listen to His voice and obey. No more excuses!

When God gives us the spark of inspiration, that is the time to act. If we don't breathe on the spark it fades away and dies. The spark needs the breath blown into it to bring the fire. The spark is only good for igniting the fire, it is up to us to fan the flames. The fire will draw others. They will come for the light and the warmth and the fellowship. If we allow the spark to die then there is no light, only darkness in the area that God wanted us to bring the light. How many would lose their way in the darkness as a result of our disobedience? That's a terrible thought.

In Matt 5:14-16 Jesus tells us that we are the light of the world. You wouldn't light a candle and put it under a basket, the flame would not only be hidden but it would eventually go out for lack of oxygen. No, we are to let our light shine out in the open where it can dispel the darkness so that others can see their way, so that others can see the good works we do because of what Jesus did for us, and most importantly, that they would glorify our Father which is in heaven.

There will be some who will try to extinguish your fire. But allow me to encourage you to let your fire burn and light your corner of the world.

Dwelling In Him,