Monday, January 11, 2016

The Daniel Fast Day 9: The Gift of Trials

We have all had trials.
It is part of the human experience.
If you live very long,
you will have trial.  

In the book of James,
James tells us that we are to consider them pure joy.
Pure Joy.

I can remember when I first came across this verse.
I was ill at the time and my life was a mess.
I remember thinking,
Really LORD?
Pure Joy?
These trials,
the ones I have lived through
up to this point...
all pure joy?

Then I felt a rush come over my heart.
I recognize it now as faith welling in my heart
to believe exactly what James was saying here.
So I did. 
I just believed that I was to consider the illness
I was facing,
the divorce I was going through,
and the loss of so much in my life,
pure joy,
because it was producing perseverance in my life,
and when that was complete,
I would be full, complete,
lacking nothing.

But what I have come to see through the years 
is that it is a process.
I didn't get there over night.
God was and is teaching me so much.

In 1986, on April 10,
my sister Dana was killed in a motorcycle accident.
She was 18.
Just 5 weeks from graduating high school.
It was, to say the least, devastating.
Three months later on July 8th,
my husband was electrocuted on the job.
We had been married almost 8 months.
I was 19.
He was 22.
It was the biggest trial I had ever been through
in my young years, and I had NO idea how to cope
or deal with it.  
Unfortunately, I did not turn to God,
I ran away from Him.
I was so angry.
I was so hurt.
I was devastated.

It would be many, many years,
before I would truly grieve their loss.
I stuffed it, for the most part.
Yes, there is a certain amount of grieving that 
has to be done right away,
but the part of if that needs to be dealt
with day by day,
I stuffed, suppressed, didn't want to deal with,
and as a result, I no longer trusted.
I thought if I got close to anyone
they would leave me.

It was very hard.

When I came back to the LORD,
ten years after that happened,
He helped me to understand so much more than
I ever could have then.
There are things I will never understand
this side of heaven,
but I don't question them anymore. 
I trust God.
I know that the trials of that time,
and all the ones since that time,
God has worked for good in my life.
He has helped me to be able to consider them pure joy 
in the midst of raw pain.
He has taken that which should have destroyed me,
and turned it for my good,
because He is good.
Always good.
And that is what He does.

Whatever trial you are facing, 
take heart.
God is with you.
He will NEVER leave you 
nor forsake you.

Go to Him child.
Let Him heal your hurting soul.
He is your ever-present help.
Let Him lift you up.

He wants to do a deep work in your soul.
As you fast, give Him that permission.
Take the time.
Let Him help you.
It is hard.
Very hard.
But what God has done in my life 
in the twenty years since I came back to Him
is nothing short of miraculous.
I am not at all the same person.
Don't feel the same,
act the same,
or even look the same.

He has taken a very broken girl,
and given her the courage to dream again,
Things that will only be done in her life
as she trusts Him.
It is simply amazing!

He truly makes all things new.

I love you so!

In Christ alone,

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Daniel Fast: Slow Sunday

I hope you take time to slow today.
To rest.
To be in God's Presence and let Him refresh you.

Sundays will be a slow day on the blog.
A day of rest here to.
Praise Jesus.
Worship Him.
Thank Him.
And rest.

"Spirit lead me where my trust
is without borders
Let me walk upon the waters
wherever you would call me.
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander,
and my faith will be made stronger
in the Presence of my Savior."

This is my favorite version of "Oceans".
Praise Him.

In Christ Alone,

Saturday, January 9, 2016

The Daniel Fast: Believing for the Impossible

Do you have a big dream?
Something you KNOW God is calling you to do?
Will you believe Him for it?

I have a big dream.
Something I KNOW God has called me to.
I am making it a matter of prayer.
I desperately want to see God work and move
in it, and I know for it to come to fruition,
it will take God moving in this situation.

What is God working in you?
What work is He calling you to do?

Step out.
Believe Him for it.
Dream BIG!!
God is able to do exceedingly,
abundantly more than all you could ask or imagine.
And He wants to do that for you!

So make that BIG dream a matter of prayer.
Step out in faith and believe Him for it,
and watch Him work in your situation.

I will keep you posted on my BIG dream.
SO EXCITED to see God do what only He can,
because that is the thing about BIG dreams you know.
It is something you can't do on your own.
It is something that can only be done
as God works and moves in you.
Trust Him.
Step out in faith.
He will be with you!

In Christ Alone,

Thursday, January 7, 2016

The Daniel Fast: Day 5 - Praying for the Lost

During the Fast
I am praying for a very close family member
that doesn't know the LORD.
God laid him on my heart
to be praying daily for during the Fast.
I am believing God for Big things in his life.

As I have been thinking about how to pray for him,
I came across this on Pinterest.

This is so good!
I am also praying for other lost
family and friends on Wednesday's,
and will be using this as a guide.

Remember to pray for your lost loved ones,
and be real to them.
Be Jesus' hand and heart extended to them,
even when they are difficult.
Love them in spite of them.
Love them to Jesus.

In Christ alone,

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Daniel Fast: Day 4 - Spiritual Thirst

When you are doing something like the Daniel Fast
water is very very important.
(Well, water is ALWAYS very important,
but definitely during a fast).
It not only hydrates your body,
but it also fills your tummy 
and helps you to not feel so hungry.

It is my go to on the Fast.
I always have it near me.
In fact, my glass is sitting within reach
right now.
It is never far when I Fast.

Several years ago, my husband and I 
went on a hike and got turned around and lost.
We ended up in the words in a treacherous place after dark,
with no water.
We had to call a ranger to get us out.
We were in dire straights.
We were SO dehydrated,
well past the point of thirsty.

And that is what happens when you go extended periods of time
without water.  
You are dehydrated and your body starts suffering to a huge degree.

In the Spiritual, the same thing happens without Jesus.
But when you come to Him and believe in Him 
out of your heart flows rivers of living water.  

Your Spiritual thirst is satisfied in Jesus alone.
Come to Him.
Spend time in the Presence of Living Water.
The only One that truly satisfies the thirsty soul.

What are you trying to use to quench your Spiritual thirst?
The Living Water is the Only Way to quench it.
Trust Him today.
He is with you.

In Christ alone,

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Daniel Fast: Day 3 - Sacrifice of Praise

As you begin today,
Take a deep breath.
Feel that?
That was breath in your lungs.
Breath that your dear Father put there.
Think of that.
from the One who designed you.
Knows you.
Is delighted with you.

Thank Him today for it.
Praise Him for who He is 
and that He is the giver of life,
the lover of your soul.

If you are in a difficult place in life,
and you are finding it hard to praise Him,
its okay,
He knows right where you are.
Reach out and praise Him
in spite of your circumstance,
He will meet you there.

So let us therefore offer a Sacrifice of Praise
to God in every season, 
in all circumstances.  
He is always worthy of our praise.  

"Let everything that has breath
praise the LORD!
Praise the LORD!"
Psalm 150:6

In Christ alone,

Monday, January 4, 2016

Daniel Fast Day 2: Devotional - Idols

Isaac, the promised son.
Abraham, the Father of many nations.
Through Isaac.

God made a promise to Abraham,
and when God promises,
you know it will happen.

Well God made this promise.
Abraham KNEW it would be fulfilled through Isaac,
and Isaac was born to him in old age.
There is something significant about that.
If you are older than 45 you understand that.
Things become richer, deeper, more meaningful about middle age
and they just deepen the older you get.

This child born to him in his old age,
he loved.
The problem with really deeply loving someone
or something is that it can potentially become an idol
in your life.
And we are to set nothing,
above God in our lives.
So if that happens,
when that happens,
because we are fallen after all,
God will ask us to do hard,
things to help rid our hearts of idols.
He needs to be the One.
The First One in our hearts,
and everything else in our lives
fall in suit under the One who
paid it all.

We see in Scripture,
Abraham was willing to do the really hard thing.
God was there tho,
and present,
really, deeply present,
Because that is what God does.
He provides.

He provided for Abraham,
and He provides for us,
but sometimes we have to give it up
and lay it down
to watch the provision of God
in our lives.

Sweet freedom comes as we Trust,
lay it down,
and be determined to have
NO other god's before our One True God.

I love you so ~~

In Christ alone,

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Daniel Fast Day 1: Devotional - Confession

Welcome to Day 1 of the Daniel Fast Devotion.
Each day I will post a short devotional.
Thank you for devoting your time
to letting Jesus shine in your life.
Blessings ~~ 

It is not a dirty word, I promise.
It is necessary for the Christian.
In order for our lives to be a clear reflection of the Father,
we MUST keep our hearts right with Him.
Even though we are saved,
we still deal with a sin nature and an enemy of our souls
who wants to keep us in disobedience and sin if he can.
It is very important for our walk with the Father,
that we are confessing our sin to Him
because as Paul tells us in 1 John 1:9,
He is faithful and just to forgive us our sin
and purify us from ALL unrighteousness,
but we must confess.

So on this first day,
I want to encourage you to confess to the Father 
anything that is hindering you from being close to Him.
Any rotten attitude, wrong motive, bad behavior;
you know, sin.
Sin separates;
it never brings you closer to the Father.
But heart-felt confession and repentance draws you back
to the Father. 
He is not disappointed in you.
He loves you so!!!

So as we start on this journey today,
let me encourage you to:

Write down specific sins in your life that need to be confessed to God. 
Spend time in prayer, acknowledging your need for His forgiveness. 
Then, tear up your list as a physical sign of the spiritual reality 
that you’re no longer bound by those sins!
 Be sure to thank God for purifying you from all unrighteousness 
(1 John 1:9).

You are beautiful and loved.
Rest in the understanding that God loves you so
and this act of confession and repentance to draw
closer to Him, He will honor in your life.

In Christ Alone,