12/30/09

The Lord Counsels Me

Lord, You have assigned me my portion and my cup;
You have made my lot secure.
The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places;
surely I have a delightful inheritance.
I will praise the Lord, who counsels me;
even at night my heart instructs me.
I have set the Lord always before me.
Because He is at my right hand,
I will not be shaken.
Psalm 16:5-8

God, You have taught me since I was young.
To this day I will about the miracles You do....
I will tell children about Your power;
I will tell those who live after me about Your might.
Psalm 71:17-18

He is the counselor! He gives right advice. He knows what to say in every circumstance. The Lord teaches me of who He is and what He can do and what He has done. I must study His word to hear His voice. Study, meditate, and memorize His word so that I may know the right thing to do, the right thing to feel. He gives perfect, holy, righteous advice to ll that honestly seek Him. May I always be seeking.

12/26/09

God is Good

God is good! He gives good things and loves those who obey Him. No one is as good as God. And no one is naturally good, like God. All men are not good. They disappoint, they fail, they do bad things sometimes. But God is good. That is how we know there is good: because God is good.

Thank God, for that simply Child-like faith to know You are good.
Psalm 106:1-5
Praise the Lord!
Oh give thanks to the Lord, for He is good;
For His lovingkindness is everlasting.
Who can speak of the might deeds of the Lord,
Or can show forth all His praise?
How blessed are those who keep justice,
Who practice righteousness at all times!
Remember me, O Lord, in Your favor toward Your people;
Visit me with Your salvation,
That I may see the prosperity of Your chosen ones,
That I may rejoice in the gladness of Your nation,
That I may glory with Your inheritance.
Psalm 118:28-29
You are my God, and I will give You thanks;
You are my God, and I will exalt You.
Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good;
His love endures forever.

12/23/09

He Never Lets You Down

Oh, how true this is! My life is only partially lived - yet He has been faithful to me in so many ways! God has blessed me beyond what I thought I had wanted. He has taken me through some valleys. He has been there through the little things - how much more will He give when I need it as I go through the big things? His grace is enough - it is always enough. His strength is available, however much we need at the time. Praise God that (if you have surrendered your life to Him) He truly will never let YOU down!

Here's the story I'll tell my friends when they come to worship,
and punctuate it with Hallelujahs;
Shout Hallelujah, you God-worshipers;
give glory, you sons of Jacob;
adore Him, you daughters of Israel.
He has never let you down,
never looked the other way
when you were being kicked around.
He has never wandered off to do His own thing;
He has been right there, listening.
Psalm 22:22-24 The Message

He heals the brokenhearted
And binds up their wounds.
Psalm 147:3 NKJV

Your thoughts - how rare, how beautiful!
God, I'll never comprehend them!
I couldn't even begin to count them
any more than I could count the sand of the sea.
Oh let me rise in the morning and live always with You!
Psalm 139:17-18 The Message

Worship the Lord

The Lord is the great God,
the great King above all gods.
In His hand are the depths of the earth,
and the mountain peaks belong to Him.
The sea is His, for He made it,
and His hands formed the dry land.
Come, let us bow down in worship,
let us kneel before the Lord our Maker,
for He is our God
and we are the people of His pasture,
and the flock under His care.
Pslam 95:3-7 NIV

Exalt the Lord our God,
And worship at His footstool -
He is holy.
Psalm 99:5 NKJV

I Will worship toward Your holy temple,
And praise Your name
For Your lovingkindness and Your truth;
For You have magnified Your word above all Your name.
In the day when I cried out, You answered me,
And made me bold with strength in my soul.
Psalm 138:2-3

Just the fact that we are the created should make us bow before God, the Creator. Who do I think I am? I cannot create life (out of nothing). I cannot create things (out of nothing). It is our duty, every time our minds start to worry, stress, become bitter, we should bow before Him who answers us. He has given us life, truth, and lovingkindness. Why would we not want to praise Him?!

12/3/09

I Lift Up My Soul

To You, O Lord, I lift up my soul.
O my God, I trust in You;
Let me not be ashamed;
Let not my enemies triumph over me.
Indeed, let no one who waits on you be ashamed;
Let those be ashamed who deal treacherously without cause.
Show me Your ways, O Lord;
Teach me Your paths.
Lead me in Your truth and teach me,
For You are the God of my salvation;
On You I wait all day.
Psalm 25:1-5 NKJV

You're my place of quiet retreat;
I wait for Your Word to renew me...
I lovingly embrace everything You say.
Psalm 119:114, 119 (the message)

When life is beating hard on me; when friends disappoint; when the money just isn't there; when the tiredness never leaves; when the pain is constant - I will lift it up to the Lord.

How can those things hurt me when the Lord has my heart and soul? I am always protected. He cares about the needs of my soul. And I can lift up my needs to Him. He is my quiet retreat. Waiting is hard - but He is worth the wait. He will never make me wait too long.

12/2/09

He'll Carry Your Load

Lord, my load is heavy. Not as heavy as the Saints in the past. Paul and Silas in the prison; missionaries suffering overseas - all do so with a song in their hearts. I look at their burdens - and my load is easy. Yet, I am in need of You to help me carry it. You know what my heart desires and what I am struggling to do. Thank You Lord that You do not ask too much of me. You do not ask what You won't help me do. Thank you. Amen.

11/24/09

The Lord Directs Our Path

The Lord will work out His plans for my life - for Your faithful love, O Lord, endures forever. Ps. 138:8

All the days planned for me were written in Your book before I was one day old. Ps. 139:16

I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will guide you with My eye. Ps. 32:8

Let the morning bring me word of Your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in You. Show me the way I should go, for to You I lift up my soul. Ps. 143:8

Lord, do you indeed know my path? Do you really have plans for my life? Sometimes it seems lifes troubles are too hard for me to even see a plan. Even in a time of contentment, my path is not always clear. I do not know the future. I do not know what decisions or heartaches lie ahead. I do not know, but You do. You have guided me this far, nothing keeps You from guiding me the rest of the way. I pray that I will always trust You. Even when the path leads to suffering, let me trust You. Even when the path leads to pain, let me trust You. For you are the one constant and I am only safe inside of Your will. Keep my soul, my life, my heart (not from pain) but from straying from You. Amen.

11/12/09

The Voice of the Lord

The voice of the Lord is over the waters; the God of glory thunders, the Lord thunders over the mighty waters. The voice of the Lord is powerful. The voice of the Lord is majestic. Ps. 29:3-4

The waters saw You, O God; the waters saw You, they were in anguish; the deeps also trembled. The clouds poured out water; the skies gave forth a sound; Your arrows flashed here and there. The sound of Your thunder was in the whirlwind; the lightnings lit up the world; the earth trembled and shook. your way was in the sea and Your paths in the might waters, and Your fooprints may not be known. Ps. 77:16-19

The voice of the Lord is indeed the most powerful thing ever! Think of creation. The voice of the Lord created the entire world. From the mighty mountains peaks to the lowly beating hearts. His voice caused it all to come into being!

God's Constant Presence

You have enclosed me behind and before,
And laid Your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
It is too high, I cannot attain to it.
Where can I go from Your Spirit?
Or where can I flee from Your presence?
If I ascend to heaven, You are there;
If I make my bed in Sheol, behold, You are there.
If I take the wings of the dawn,
If I dwell in the remotest part of the sea,
Even there Your hand will lead me,
And Your right hand will lay hold of me.
If I say, "Surely the darkness will overwhelm me,
And the light around me will be night,"
Even the darkness is not dark to You,
And the night is as bright as the day
Darkness and light are alike to You.
Psalm 139:5-12

O Lord, I am thankful that no matter where I am on this planet, You will be there - only a prayer away. I am so thankful that no matter what my spiritual state, - always faithful. What comfort in knowing that?! O Lord, I love You so! Create a heart that longs for your presence even more. Amen.

God Reigns Over the Nations

O Lord, You do have the power over nations. Even when a nation does not recognize You, You are God! Amen.
Do I love my life trusting God to rule and reign? Or do I trust in my government? I need not worry about the way the government is leading us - only that God is in complete control!
Psalm 47:7-9
For God is the King of all the earth;
sing to Him a psalm of praise.
God reigns over the nations;
God is seated on His holy throne,
The nobles of the nations assemble
as the people of the God of Abraham,
for the kings of the earth belong to God;
He is greatly exalted.
Psalm 44:2-3
With Your power You forced the nations out of the land
and placed our ancestors here.
You destroyed those other nations,
but You made our ancestors grow strong.
It wasn't their swords that took the land.
It wasn't their power that gave them victory.
But it was Your great power and strength.
You were with them because You loved them.
Psalm 33:12
Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord.

9/24/09

Praise the Lord Daily

Every day I will bless You,
And I will praise Your name forever and ever.
Ps. 145:2
I will sing of Your power;
Yes, I will sing aloud of Your mercy in the morning;
For You have been my defense
And refuge in teh day of my trouble.
Ps. 59:16
Seven times a day I praise You
for Your fair laws.
Ps. 119:164
Sing praises to the Lord, you who belong to Him;
praise His holy name.
His anger lasts only for a moment,
but His kindness lasts for a lifetime.
Crying may last for the night,
but joy comes in the morning.
Ps. 30:4-5
O Lord, I want to spend time praising You! Remind me to lift your Name high today. You are so worthy of praise!! You are so holy, just, and righteous! Help me bow beneath Your throne in total humility. I am not worthy to even prostate myself in Your presence. Yet, You invite me. I only desire to worship You!!

Your Lovingkindness

I see Him as this BIG God who is directing the universe - and yet somehow (I can't understand or explain it) - He is here, loving me. Showing me mercy, love, kindness. Not only showing me His, but giving me His very own mercy, love, and kindness. I pray that His lovingkindness will overflow into those around me. Even the one's who may not want it or even deserve it. Because really, do I even deserve HIS lovingkindness? I pray that He can help me love those around me everyday!
Your lovingkindness, O Lord, extends to the heavens,
Your faithfulness reaches to the skies.
Your righteousness is like the mountains of God;
Your judgments are like a great deep
O Lord, You preserve man and beast.
How precious is Your lovingkindness, O God!
And the children of men take refuge in the shadow of Your wings.
They drink their fill of the abundance of Your house;
And You give them to drink of the river of Your delights.
For with You is the fountain of life;
In Your light we see light.
O continue Your lovingkindness to those who know You,
And Your righteousness to the upright in heart.
Psalm 36:5-10 NASB
Lord, show us Your love, and save us.
Psalm 85:7 NCV

9/22/09

You Have Done Many Miracles, LORD

Everday miracles, Lord. That is what You do in my life. I know You have opened the eyes of the blind and made the lame to walk, but Your presence in my life everday is a miracle! Amen.
When I need it, He provides just the right encouraging words. Sometimes from His Word, or others. And when I need a little reminder of how to change to be more like Him, He is faithful to show me that as well.

PSALM 40:1-5 NCV
1 I waited patiently for the Lord.
He turned to me and heard my cry.
2 He lifted me out of the pit of destruction,
out of the sticky mud.
He stood me on a rock
and made my feet steady.
3 He put a new song in my mouth,
a song of praise to our God.
Many people will see this and worship him.
Then they will trust the Lord.
4 Happy is the person
who trusts the Lord,
who doesn't turn to those who are proud
or to those who worship false gods.
5 Lord my God, you have done many miracles.
Your plans for us are many.
If I tried to tell them all,
there would be too many to count.

It's the everyday miracles that keep my hope alive
It's the way You move in little things that help me survive
And I know You move in greater ways
But this is great enough for me
What You do with my everyday is amazing

The things that seem impossible, I lay down at Your feet
And just when I am needing most You are there for me
And I know you've made the lame to walk
And caused the blind to see
But what You do with my everyday is amazing

When I'm down on my knees
And I can't make it through
When it's up to me
It's really up to You
-Sara Groves "Everday Miracles" from Past the Wishing

9/21/09

Lord of the Heavens

The wonders of nature bring us to awe. The pinks and purplse of a sunset. The misty rain and fog in September. My God is in control of that! Those things don't happen by chance. And my response should be to GIVE THANKS!
Thank You, O Lord of the Heavens, that You see me and love me and seek after me. Who am I? Nothing in comparison to You! Amen.

The Lord does whatever pleases Him
throughout all heaven and earth,
and on the seas and in their depths.
He causes the clouds to rise over the whole earth.
He sends lightning with the rain
and releases the wind from His storehouses.
Psalm 135:6-7

Give thanks to Him who made the heavens so skillfully.
His faithful love endures forever.
Give thanks to Him who placed the earth among the waters.
His faithful love endures forever.
Give thanks to Him who made the heavenly lights -
His faithful love endures forever.
The sun to rule the day,
His faithful love endures forever.
and the moon and stars to rule the night.
His faithful love endures forever.
Psalm 136:5-9

9/17/09

My Heart is Confident in You

Lord, many reasons are out there that make me want to praise You. I am so confident in Your strength, Your mercy, Your love, Your wisdom, Your guidance, and Your faithfulness! Amen!

I struggle sometimes in trusting You. Help me to trust You and lean on You. Help me not to be discouraged by those who hurt me. Help me to not be bitter towards them and help me to love them and forgive them. Amen.

Be good to me, God - and now!
I've run to You for dear life.
I'm hiding out under Your wings
until the hurricane blows over.
I call out to the High God,
the God who hold me together.
He sends orders from heaven and saves me...
God delivers generous love,
He makes good on His word.
Psalm 57:1-3 THE MESSAGE
My heart is confident in You, O God;
My heart is confident.
No wonder I can sing Your Praises!...
I will wake the dawn with my song.
I will thank You, Lord, among all the people.
I will sing Your praises among the nations.
For Your unfailing love is as high as the heavens.
Your faithfulness reaches to the clouds.
Be exalted, Or God, above the highest heavens.
May Your glory shine over all the earth.
Psalm 57:7-11 NLT

9/14/09

A Humble Faith

My heart is not proud, O LORD,
my eyes are not haughty;
I do not concern myself with great matters
or things too wonderful for me.
But I have stilled and quieted my soul;
like a weaned child with its mother,
like a weaned child is my soul within me.
O Israel, put your hope in the LORD
both now and forevermore.
Psalm 131:1-3

Every king in all the earth will thank you, Lord,
for all of them will hear your words.
Yes, they will sing about the Lord’s ways,
for the glory of the Lord is very great.
Though the Lord is great, he cares for the humble,
but he keeps his distance from the proud.
Psalm 138:4-6

The Lord takes delight in His people;
He crowns the humble with salvation.
Psalm 149:4

O Lord, give me a humble heart. I definitely have the tendency to be proud. help me to maintain a humble spirit. I want to remember how great You are and how little I am. I want a still and quiet soul. I want to be humble so that You will be near to me. I need You, O God, to be near to me. Help me to rest in You! Help me to not worry about what might happen, but trust in YOU. Amen

Notes from "Fresh Grounded Faith"

Sept. 11-12, 2009 - Jennifer Rothschild (www.freshgroundedfaith.com)

Who you are and what you do are not the same thing.
- Do you live a reactionary life?
- Do you live a rich life?
John 12:24 - Brokenness creates a rich life.

-God, are you there? Habakkuk 1:2-3
God is not absent just because suffering is present.

- God, do You care? Mark 4:38-41
God permits what He hates to accomplish what He loves. - Joni Erikison Tada

- God, is that fair? Habakkuk 1:13
But do you really want God to be fair?
We really don't want what we really deserve.

Satisfaction comes not from answers, but from seeing God:

Habakkuk 3:17-19
Though the fig tree may not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines;
Though the labor of the olive may fail, and the fields yield no food;
Though the flock may be cut off from the fold, and there be no herd in the stalls -
Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation.
The Lord God is my strength; He will make my feet like deer's feet, and He will make me walk on my high hills.

* Our expectations say a lot about what is in our hearts. *
* What do my expectations say about me? *

9/8/09

Rescue Me

In You, O Lord, I have taken refuge;
Let me never be ashamed.
In Your righteousness deliver me and rescue me;
Incline Your ear to me and save me.
Be to me a rock of habitation to which I may continually come;
For You are my rock and my fortress.
Rescue me, O my God, out of the hand of the wicked,
Out of the grasp of the wrongdoer and ruthless man,
For You are my hope;
O Lord God, You are my confidence from my youth.
By You I have been sustained from my birth;
You are He who took me from my mother's womb;
My praise is continually of You.
Psalm 71:1-6
Amen

The Blessing of Family

Lord, Thank You for my son. He is such a joy in my life and those around us! Even if I don't have anymore children, I thank You for him. Lord, thank You for my husband as well. He is such a great husband and father. He is such a wonderful spiritual leader! He loves us and You so much!
Thank you, O Heavenly Father!

Behold children are a gift of the Lord, the fruit of the womb is a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, So are the children of one's youth. How blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them. Psalm 127:3-5

Your children will bring you much good, like olive branches that produce many olives. This is how the man who respects the Lord will be blessed. Psalm 128:3-4

8/31/09

God is Faithful...

....even when people are not.

Give God the Glory

Open your mouth and taste, open your eyes and see -
how good God is.
Blessed are you who run to Him.
Worship God if you want the best;
worship opens doors to all His goodness.
Psalm 34:8-9

Ascribe to the Lord, O might ones,
ascribe to the Lord glory and strength.
Ascribe to the Lord the glory due His name;
worship the Lord in the splendor of His holiness.
Psalm 29:1-2

Give to the Lord the glory He deserves!
Bring your offering and come into His courts.
Worship the Lord in all His holy splendor.
Let all the earth tremble before Him.
Tell all the nations, "The Lord reigns!"
The world stands firm and cannot be shaken.
He will judge all peoples fairly.
Psalm 96:8-10

He does deserve the glory when it comes to my life. The circumstances in my life aren't on a "random" mode. What happens in my life is all because of God. The bad, the good; it all is His doing. He has blessed me beyond what I dreamed! He has led me through some rough, tough, stuff. But He judges fairly. I can rest in that. Oh...to rest in that and give Him the Glory He deserves.

8/28/09

I Lift Up My Eyes

Being down in the valley, the only way to look is up. So, as I lift my eyes, what do I see?
I see my God reaching down to me.
I see His kindness.
I see His direction and path.
I see the strength to get on that path.
I see forgiveness.
I see a Friend who sticks closer than a brother.
I see love.
Love that He has for me.
Love that I am to have for others.
Lord in You I find a refuge, strong tower, and hope. Amen.
Psalm 121:1-4
I will lift my eyes to the hills
From where does my help come?
My help comes from the Lord,
Who made heaven and earth.
He will not allow your foot to slip;
He who keeps you Israel
Will neither slumber nor sleep.

8/24/09

Sing for Joy

I have a lot to sing priases about. The Lord's faithfulness for sure! But His kindness. His goodness. H e has protected my integrity! He has loved me with an everlasting love! How can I not chose to be joyful?! The circumstances in life are hard sometimes - but we have to make that effort and CHOSE to sometimes be joyful.
O My God! I love You! :-)

May the nations be glad and sing for joy, for You rule the peoples justly and guide the nations of the earth. Psalm 67:4

I will praise You with the harp for Your faithfulness, O my God; I will sing praise to you with the lyre, O Holy One of Israel. My lips will shout for joy when I sing praises to You - I, whom You have redeemed. Psalm 71:22-23

8/19/09

The Lord's Enduring Faithfulness

Praise the Lord, all you nations. Praise Him, all you people of the earth. For He loves us with unfailing love; the Lord's faithfulness endures forever. Praise the Lord! Psalm 117:1-2

I have talked about Your faithfulness and saving power. I have told everyone in the great assembly of Your unfailing love and faithfulness....Let Your unfailing love and faithfulness always protect me. Psalm 40:10-11

He gives food to those who fear Him; He always remembers His covenant. He has shown His great power to His people by giving them the lands of other nations. All He does is just and good, and all His commandments are trustworthy. They are forever true, to be obeyed faithfully and with integrity. Psalm 111:5-8

The Lord has always been faithful to me. As I travel through life, the difficulties and troubles seem to just get worse and worse. You think that as a teenager because he doesn't notice you that it is the worst in the world. Then, you grow up and face real battles. God was faithful back then - He is still faithful now. But what gives me hope and assurance is that He will be faithful - forever!!!!

O LORD! Your faithfulness never wavers...ever. Amen.

8/18/09

Helper of the Needy

Psalm 113:7-9
The Lord raises the poor from the dust and lifts the needy from the ash heap, to make them sit with princes, with the princes of His people. He makes the barren woman abide in the house as a joyful mother of children. Praise the Lord!

Psalm 109:30-31
I will give repeated thanks to the Lord, praising Him to everyone. For He stands beside the needy, ready to save them from those who condemn them.

Psalm 116:6-9
The Lord protects those of childlike faith; I was facing death, and He saved me. Let my soul be at rest again, for the Lord has been good to me. He has saved me from death, my eyes from tears, my feet from stumbling. And so I walk in the Lord's presence as I live here on earth!

After seeing a few homeless men in NYC, I am struck that I am not really who some of these psalms are talking about. Praise the Lord that He takes care of His own. When I think of all the people in the world whoa re in physical poverty, I am thankful (overwhelmed!) that Gad has a special place in His heart from them. When I think of the many, many, MANY spiritually poor, I am humbled and motivated to share my heavenly riches with them. I do not have money enough to give to all who are in need of it in the world. I do, however, have the riches from my King to give to them. O Lord, send me to those around me that need You. O Lord, send those around me to me so that I can share with them, You.
Amen.

8/11/09

I Sleep in Peace

O Lord, my sleep is restless and not at all peaceful. My heart is heavy with the burden of losing my friendship. I know that it isn't my choice that the friendship is over. O Lord, hold my heart in Your hands. The depression threatens to over take me. Save me from it. Give me the peace I desperately need! O Lord, may I not rely on my feelings but things I know to be true. May I lay down and sleep then awake again because You have sustained me. Amen.
Lord, be kind to us.
But You have made me very happy,
happier than they are,
even with all their grain and new wine,
I got to bed and sleep in peace,
because, Lord, only You keep me safe.
Psalm 4:6-8
I cried to the Lord with my voice,
And He heard me from His holy hill.
I lay down and slept;
I awoke, for the Lord sustained me.
Psalm 3:4-5
It is no use for yout o get up early and stay up late...
The Lord gives sleep to thsoe He loves.
Psalm 127:2

8/8/09

Proclaim His Justice

Give great joy to those who came to my defense,
Let them continually say, "Great is the Lord,
who delights in blessing His servant with peace!"
Then I will proclaim Your justice,
and I will praise You all day long.
Psalm 35:27-28

For the word of the Lord is right and true;
He is faithful in all He does.
The Lord loves righteousness and justice;
the earth is full of His unfailing love.
Psalm 33:4-5

God, Your justice reaches to the skies.
You have done great things;
God, there is no one like You.
Psalm 71:19

The Lord works righteousness
and justice for all the oppressed.
Psalm 103:6

Those who obey God don't fear His justice, but rejoice in it! Those who fear God love His judgments. Even though I have been attacked because I obeyed God, I can still rejoice because He is the ultimate judge. He not only does what is right, but can see inside my heart and see my ultimate obedience. Lord, I surrender my actions and words to You today. I love You and Your justice!
Amen

8/7/09

Bless the Lord, O My Soul

Bless the LORD, O my soul,
And all that is within me, bless His holy name.
Bless the LORD, O my soul,
And forget none of His benefits;
Who pardons all your iniquities,
Who heals all your diseases;
Who redeems your life from the pit,
Who crowns you with lovingkindness and compassion;
Who satisfies your years with good things,
So that your youth is renewed like the eagle.
Psalm 103:1-5
Hallelujah! Praise God from heaven,
praise Him from the mountaintops;
Praise Him, all you His angels,
praise Him, all you His warriors,
Praise Him, sun and moon,
praise Him, you morning stars;
Praise Him, high heaven,
praise Him, heavenly rain clouds;
Praise, oh let them praise the name of God.
Psalm 148:1-5

O Lord, You are worthy to be praised! You have done such great things in my life. you have saved me. You have forgiven my sins and evil thinking. You have given me a heart of love. You help me to love, even when it seems impossible to love. Let me focus on You this day and all of Your goodness. This life isn't about me or how I feel - it is about You and the work You have for me. O let me bless YOU today - Amen.

O Lord, You are worthy.

For You Jason

Jason, I love you more than words could express. Four years ago today (Aug. 6, 2005) I promised to be your wife. I can't wait for this next year so that I can spend it loving you.

I would walk 1,000 miles
1,000 miles it's true
I would walk 1,000 miles
Just to be with You

'Cause you've got my heart and you've got my soul
You've got this promise too
I would walk 1,000 miles
Just to be with You

If I could live 100 years
Before my life is through
If I could live 100 years
I'd spend them loving You

Cause You've got my heart and you've got my soul
You've got this promise too
If I could live 100 years I'd spend them loving

You If I could write 10,000 songs
10,000 songs it's true
If I could write 10,000 songs
I'd Sing them all for you

'Cause you've got my heart and you've got my soul
You've got this promise too
If I could write 10,000 songs
I'd Sing them all for you

8/6/09

You Are My Strong Tower

Newsboys - "Strong Tower"
Strong and mighty
Strong to save us
Like a fortress
Never failing
Strong in battle
Strong in kindness
When we stray, Lord
You're strong to find us
When the winds come hard against us
You are steadfast, You are true
When the ground beneath us trembles
Your foundation never moves
Strong tower
High and glorious
Strong tower
Mighty in love
Our refuge
Our defender
Strong tower
Lord above
Strong to lead us
Through the shadows
Strong to carry
All our sorrows
When the enemy surrounds us
Closing in as darkness falls
Though his armies rage against us
They can never scale these walls
Strong tower
High and glorious
Strong tower
Mighty in love
Our refuge
Our defender
Strong tower
Lord above
You are my shelter, my shield
You are the home I could never deserve
Here I will serve, ever under Your gaze
Here I will serve, ever singing Your praise
Strong tower
High and glorious
Strong tower
Mighty in love
Our refuge
Our defender
Strong tower
Lord above
Hear my cry, O God;
listen to my prayer.
From the ends of the earth I call to you,
I call as my heart grows faint;
lead me to the rock that is higher than I.
For You have been my refuge,
a strong tower against the foe.
I long to dwell in Your tent forever
and take refuge in the shelter of your wings.
Psalm 61:1-4
Blessed be God, my mountain,
who trains me to fight fair and well.
He's the bedrock on which I stand,
the castle in which I love,
my rescuing knight,
The high crag where I run for dear life,
while He lays my enemies low.
Psalm 144:1-2 The Message

8/5/09

My Provider

The eyes of all look expectantly to You,
And You give them their food in due season.
You open Your hand
And satisfy the desire of every living thing...
The Lord is near to all who call upon Him,
To all who call upon Him in truth.
He will fulfill the desire of those who fear Him;
He also will hear their cry and save them.
Psalm 145:15-16, 17-19 NKJV
God remembered us when we were down,
His love never quits....
Takes care of everyone in time of need,
His love never quits.
Psalm 136:23, 25 THE MESSAGE
Sing to the Lord with Thanksgiving....
Who prepares rain for the earth,
Who makes grass to grow on the mountains.
He gives to the beast its food,
And to the young ravens that cry.
Psalm 147:7-9 NKJV


What does God provide?

The physical: food, clothing, shelter.

The emotional: love, protection, guidance, His presence.

The spiritual: His Son as payment for my sin, a direct access to His throne through prayer, The Holy Spirit to live inside me.

The Lord has provided everything: He is truly a provider. Just as He provided for the children of Israel in the desert...He provides for His children today. Thank God I am a true child of His.

8/4/09

Bless the Lord!

So many reasons to bless the Lord! Sometimes we overlook salvation- thinking not of how great that it is!!! We need not fear death or the unknown. Bless the Lord because nothing is unknown to our Lord! We bless Him for who He is and what He does. What about Him strikes me today? His faithfulness. His tenderness. His presence.

O My God - how my body and mind can rest in safety because You have me and will save me. O, How I Love You!

No wonder my heart is glad, and I rejoice.
My body rests in safety.
For You will not leave my soul among the dead or allow Your holy one to rot in the grave.
You will show me the way of life, granting me the joy of Your presence, and the pleasures of living with You forever.
Pslam 16:9-11

Salvation belongs to the Lord.
Your blessing is upon Your people.
Psalm 3:8

Behold, bless the Lord,
All you servants of the Lord,
Who by night stand in the house of the Lord!
Lift up your hands in the sanctuary,
And bless the Lord.
The Lord who made heaven and earth
Bless you from Zion!
Psalm 134:1-3

8/3/09

Walk with the Lord

How do I walk with the Lord? I read His word. How do I know His path for me? I read His word. I long to desire the Word like the psalmist. He sought to read God's word so much that it was his whole life. God's word is the avenue by which I will have peace, know what to do, and ultimately walk with the Lord. I not only need to seek to read, but to let His word seep into every aspect of my life: my relationships, my works, my words, my desires. May all of these things be permeated with God's Word.

O the joys of those who do not follow the advice of the wicked, or stand around with sinners, or join in with mockers.
But they delight in the law of the Lord, meditating on it day and night.
They are like trees planted along the riverbank, bearing fruit each season. Their leaves never wither, and they prosper in all they do.
Psalm 1:1-3 NLT

Lead me in the right path, O Lord....Make Your way plain for me to follow.
Psalm 5:8 NLT

How blessed are those whose way is blameless,
Who walk in the law of the Lord.
How blessed are those who observe His testimonies,
Who seek Him with all their heart.
Psalm 119:1-2 NASB

Desiring God

I want to want God more. I long to have more longing for Him. Only He can statisfy me. Only He can give me peace in my life. I may not feel the peace...but I can know that it is there.

O God, increase my longing for You! You are all that I want in this life. You are the only thing that is worth anything. If all that I have is You, than that is all I need. Thank you for loving me.

For a day in Your courts is better than a thousand outside. I would rather stand at the threshold of the house of my God than dwell in the tents of wickedness.
Psalm 84:10 NASB

Lord, I cry out to You, I say "You are my protection. You all I want in this life."
Psalm 142:5 NCV

Teach me Your way, O Lord; I will walk in Your truth; Unite my heart to fear Your name. I will give thanks to You, O Lord my God, with all my heart,
And will glorify Your name forever.
Psalm 86:11-12 NASB

I lift my hands to You in prayer.
As a dry land needs rain, I thirst for you.
Psalm 143:5 NCV

7/24/09

Delight in the Lord

Delight yourself in the Lord;
And He will give you the desires of your heart.
Commit your way to the Lord,
Trust also in Him, and He will do it.
He will bring forth your righteousness as the light
And your judgment as the noonday.
Psalm 37:4-6

Then my soul will rejoice in the Lord
and delight in His salvation.
My whole being will exclaim,
"Who is like You, O Lord?
You rescure the poor from those too strong for them,
the poor and needy from those who rob them."
Psalm 35:9-10

I want to delight myself in the Lord. I once thought of it as just to do with getting married. But it is so much more than that! I desire to be freed from depression. I desire to know what to do with my friends. The way to reach my desires is to delight in the lord. O that is a true desire of my heart as well. I do desire to know God better. I want my relationship with Him to not be "as it was" - but to grow and keep growing as life changes. I want to learn new things about Him and remember and meditate on what I already know about Him

Lord, I love you more than anything. I want to know you. I want to know you more! Show Yourself to me. Amen.

7/17/09

And They Will Know Us By Our Love

I was driving in the car the other day and this song was playing on this new CD I got. The words really struck me. I have been struggling with a couple of my friends lately. They seem to not have time for me, have separated themselves from me, and have pretty much left me out on the porch. It has both hurt me and discouraged me. I think that my reaction at first was anger and hurt, but now, after hearing this song, I think it should be love.

It isn't about what they can do for me, it is about what I need to be doing for them.

Thank you Christy Nockels.

Brothers, let us come together
Walking in the Spirit,
there's much to be done...
We will come reaching,
out from our comforts

And they will know us by our love.
Sisters, we were made for kindness
We can pierce the darkness
as He shines through us.
We will come reaching,
with a song of healing.

And they will know us by our love!

The time is now
Come Church arise.
Love with His hands
See with His eyes.
Bind it around you,
Let it never leave you,
And they will know us by our love.

Children, You are hope for justice,
Stand firm in the Truth now,
set your hearts above
You will be reaching,
long after we’re gone,
And they will know you by your love!

7/16/09

Thursday Thoughts

I've been sick since Tuesday evening. Yesterday I hardly got out of bed. I had to call my mother to come and get Jack so I could rest. I was pretty miserable. I'm feeling better today, but not 100%. I sat down on the couch after he laid down this morning and realized it had been over a week since I had read my Bible. I felt refreshed, just opening it up and looking at the words. The Lord really renewed my heart with just the reading of His word. I thought, "If I had only one possession, this would be what I would chose: His Word."

I read some Psalms about praising God. I need to praise Him more. Praise Him for helping me get through my sickness yesterday, even though it was life-threatening and just one day. I need to praise Him for getting me through another bought of depression (probably why I haven't read the Bible all week). I need to praise Him for His love and mercy and grace. All of which I do not deserve, but have freely and abundantly. Thank You, Jesus.

I Praise You, O God, for Who You Are.

7/13/09

Days 8, 9, and 10

David y Beth!
Saturday and Sunday we headed home. We had to travel back to Quito on Saturday and then our plane left Sunday night at 11 PM. We arrived back into Charleston, WV USA Monday morning.

On Saturday we went to Mitad del Mundo - the Equator. (From my journal)
They had some history about the Ecuadorian Indians and about the equator. On the actually equator the guide did these expeiements to prove that it was the equator. It was pretty neat.



This was the orginal statue, before GPS found the actual equator.



On Sunday we went to these markets and bought little gifts. That afternoon we rested for our late night flight. Everything about the flight went well. Jack slept both flights. Over all we had a wonderful time! We learned a little more about missions and got to experience a totally different culture.
Two things I have taken with me:

1. God has bless my family...and will continue to bless us no matter where we are.
2. I would love to live in an "event" oriented instead of a "time" oriented culture - an event doesn't start at a particular time....just when you get there!

Day 7 - Monkey Place

On Friday we went to this place where they rescued monkeys. It was sort of like a refuge for the monkeys. The interesting thing about this place is that the monkeys are not kept in cages. They are free to roam, and climb anywhere they wish....even on you! At first the monkeys were timid and didn't know what to think of us. Then, they started climbing on Jason....and then me......and then Jack! It was crazy to watch them just run, swing on vines, and play. Here are a few pictures:








Days 5 and 6

So on Wednesday, I went to the orphanage. I took Jack. Most of the kids in the orphanage had physical problems. It was really tiny....and they had 58 children!

(Inside a bedroom/classroom at the orphanage....Casa de Fe)


Later that afternoon I helped Beth in her classroom. Nate Saint Memorial School is a small school with about 11 students this year. It if for the missionary kids. And then that evening we went out ot eat at this place in Puyo, the next town over (about 15 minutes away).



An office on the left and a classroom on the right.


This is Beth's new classroom: She'll be teaching Kindergarten next year (with 6 students)!

Inside the classroom:

Jack had to try out her rocking chair :-)


This is a look at the school.











On Thursday I helped Beth in her classroom again and then Jason and I got to go on a tour of the old house built by Nate Saint and Jim Elliot. If you want to read more about their story, go to:





















The old hanger is pictured to the left.
The radio room in the Sain'ts house....Marj Saint waited here for the call from her husband....it never came.



MAF is Mission Aviation Fellowship. Beth is a missionary through them. Her fiance, David, is the new administrator. In Ecuador they are now called Alas de Socorro (Wings of Mercy).
Jason got to fly on an emergency flight in a plane similar to this.


His pictures flying over the jungle:






Beth's house:



Thursday night Beth goes to a local resturant and has an informal English class. We got to go with her and speak to some of her students. Some were in high school, some in college, and some were adults who just wanted to learn English. After that, Beth had us over to her house for dinner. Becky, the doctor who Jason had been following, came over too. Both had really good insights about being a missionary. Beth quoted Jim Elliot: "Wherever you are, be all there!" Becky said that it was a matter of building relationships. We totally agreed with both of them. That is how we see missions. We learned a lot on this trip....but not what we thought we would learn.

Days 3 and 4

(Monday, from my journal)
Se we went to this picnic thing. We ate lunch there David had to pick us up something to eat. It was good - rice, some chicken, and a little ice cream thing. We got to meet some of the other missionaries. Well, the one's with kids. The picnic thing was for the kids of the Nate Saint Memorial School (that Beth teaches at). They had a place to eat like a shelter with benches around the outside. There was sort of a swimming pool with a slide. It was a great place for kids to play. Jason really liked it at the hospital (this morning). After the picnic thing David took Jason and I to this place with a view of the river named Pestaza. Then to a waterfall. After that Beth took us around Shell. We walked around to the hospital. She showed us different things along the way, like the meat store and a little market with Americans. The town is really small. you don't need a car to get anywhere you want. She showed us this park that they had just built a couple of years ago. In the center is a statue of a yellow plane. Nate Saint, Jim Elliot, and 3 others were killed by a remote tribe in this area. Shell is the last city before the jungle. There is jungle everywhere you look. Beth told us that if one of the MAF pilots have an emergency run, one or both of us could ride out for free with them to the jungle. So, Beth also showed us the hospital compound where the missionaries from HJCB live. It is a really nice place to live. It is all gated and all the kids were outside playing. Everyone has been saying that it is a good place to raise kids. I can see that. The only thing with living on the compound is the separation from the nationals.



The River

The Jungle
Waterfall
The town of Shell, Ecuador


On the HJCB compound



(Tuesday, from my journal)
This morning, we got up early. Jason headed over to the hospital about 8AM. Jack was up super early, so he is taking a nap again. (After his nap) Beth's school is really cool. She teaches 1st and 2nd grade. She and her 2nd graders were organizing her books while the 1st graders were at Spanish class. The kids really LOVED Jack. They were pretty good about helping keep him out of things. That night for dinner we went to this place owned by Beth's friends. They had chicken and french fries. It was really good. That night, the kids had a little program at the school to celebrate the end of the school year. This trip has been different. And we talked about it. We get strange vibes from the missionaries here. Maybe its the compound and the gates. They seem really distant. From the nationals and even from us as well. They are friendly, but only on the surface. They are a little bit anti-social. I don't know what it is. I just feel that we don't really fit here. I think that if the Lord calls us here and it was clear, I could make it work. Especially if we were here long-term. But right now, I don't feel it. *

*And I still feel that way, after the trip as well.

7/8/09

Days 1 and 2


(So, we were delayed a day because of fog in Charleston). We were supposed to leave Friday, but ended up leaving Saturday. ) *From my Journal:









We are finally in Shell! Yeah! Jack is taking a nap. Everyting went smooth Saturday. Our plane in Charleston was delayed a little but we got to Atlanta in plety of time for our flight going to Quito. Jack was so funny on the 1st flight. He didn't cry at all. He looked out the window of the plane the whole time! The flight to Quito was about 5 hours. It was a little more challenging. He was so tired. For about the first two hours he slpet. Jason and I had to take turns eating dinner. When we finally arrived in Quito (11PM), we got through customs good and then to meet David's uncle (Sixto). He took us to the guest house in Quito, owned by HJCB.






The next day, we went to a church down the road that was an English speaking church. It was neat. That afternoon the people that were taking us to Shell came to pick us up around 2PM. We had to stop "really quick" at this funeral. they said only 20 minutes. So Jason adn I walked around these gardens. The gardens were really beautiful. There was also this great view! An hour later we left.











We drove through a lot of small towns. Our driver turned out to be a good tour guide. He had been here for 44 years. We passed by mostly poor places. Most places were concrete, but some houses were just shacks. We came to this town called "Banos" - chich means "hot baths." They are known for their public baths. It was dark after we ate in Banos. We traveled more and more out in the jungle. When we finally got to Shell, they took us to the guest house. Beth met us there and let us in. The guest house here is sort of like a dorm. There are about 3-4 rooms wich a double bed and bunkbed in each room. The bathrooms are down the hallway. And that was the first day!

(Pictures from along the way to Shell)







7/6/09

Getting back into things.

So, I'm back! Yeah! We survived our trip. I know it was like 4 weeks ago that we left. But life has just now calmed down enough. I think I'm adjusted to being back....it being summer....but it feels like my life is a permenant summertime! LoL

Anyway, I'm going to hopefully today work on posting pictures and details about our trip. I wrote in my "journal" (old-fashioned!) while I was down there, so I write some stuff here from that. I'll also post pictures. He's laying down and we are laying low today. But more later!
-S

7/1/09

Why I Haven't Written.

It is a common temptation of Satan to make us give up the reading of the Word and prayer when our enjoyment is gone; as if it were of no use to read the Scriptures when we do not enjoy them, and as if it were no use to pray when we have no spirit of prayer. The truth is that in order to enjoy the Word, we ought to continue to read it, and the way to obtain a spirit of prayer is to continue praying. The less we read the Word of God, the less we desire to read it, and the less we pray, the less we desire to pray. George Muller

6/3/09

Leaving in Two Days!

So we are going to Ecuador in just 2 days. I'm feeling very overwhelmed....but I'm sure everything will fall into place. I'm going to visit my good friend Beth. She is getting married later this summer, but we can't go down for the wedding. So, we are going down this month. We are only staying 10 days. I'm pretty excited. I've always wanted to go and visit her. She's been teaching in this misisonary school for 3 years. There is a clinic that Jason will work at, and I'll be helping her finish up her last few days of school. We debated for quite a while whether to take the baby or not, but in the end he is going with us. Three months ago when we bought the tickets, we didn't think he needed a seat. We thought, "Yeah, we can hold him on our lap." Ok, he was like 9 mon. at the time. Now....well...a one year old doesn't really sit in your lap!? So, the flight will be interesting. I think it will be such a new experience for him, that he'll behave at first. When the novelty wears off...well, we'll see.

A lot of people ask why we are going...one person in particular point-blank asked if it was a "survey" trip. Well....yes! We know the Lord is calling us to be involved very much in missions. We don't know where, how, or when. But we want to be willing to go if He leads us. We want to visit different places to see where we might like to live...raise a family....that sort of thing. So, Ecuador is our first stop! I don't think it will be the last place we visit, but because I had such a good connection (Beth!) we decided to make a trip out of it. I think the next trip we want to take will be more on the lines of a medical mission's trip (more intense probably) for Jason. We'll see.

So that's it in a nutshell. I won't be around for the next 10+ days. But you will sure hear from me when we get back!

Now...off to packing!

5/15/09

Permission, please, to feel bummed....

Why is it when you read about trusting in God and always looking to Him and not your circumestances you get tested on it? I mean, its like the teacher who teaches you something one day and then gives you a pop quiz on it the next day? That's me.

Yesterday, God spoke to me about His loving care. How always trusting in Him is so much better. Well, today I went and weighed in. I think it is because I was totally siked to weigh in because I had excersized for like 2 hours every day! And then.....I GAINED a pound!!?!?!?!?!?! I was floored! I couldn't believe it. I fought back the tears until I got home. Then, I just bawled my eyes out. Jason called, and I was a little rude to him on the phone. But, he didn't have anything to say. He couldn't have said anything right at the moment ot make things better anyway.

I felt myself looking down into that hole of depression again. I felt gravity pull me in. I thought (briefly) about just going to bed and not waking up until Jason comes home this evening. Then, I made the comment to Jason "I feel like I'm falling (into depression)" and I thought to myself "And nobody is here to catch me." Then, my mind raced to yesterday...yes! Someone is here to catch me!

And that makes me cry right now as I type this...knowing that I DO have Someone to catch me. It isn't the end of the world. I can do better next week. I can eat right. I can write everything down. I can exercise EVERY day! I can drink my water. And that is what I plan to do. But more importantly, I have Someone who loves me. I have Someone who is going to catch me and keep me from falling into that pit. I know that before I would have just let the depression take control. But not anymore! God is here to help me. Sure, I still feel "bummed" but at least I'm going to get up off the ground and keep moving.

I think I'm going to give myself permission to be "bummed" but not "depressed."
How's that sound?