Monday, November 17, 2014

I AM JUST A BRANCH ON THE VINE~


James 1:19-20 This you know, my beloved brethren. But everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger; for the anger of man does not achieve the righteousness of God.

Recently I entered the garage while my husband was working on his motorcycle. He said he was getting frustrated, because he was running into a problem. I teased him a little and quoted the verse anger does not produce the righteousness of God and I hugged him then quickly left with a smile. 

Five minutes later I am putting laundry away when I noticed my new top ruined. I stomped into the garage holding up my top with my voice not so happy "What happened?" I won't bore you with my rant, but it was not pretty. Seriously, I had just been in God's word and I failed miserably! I think of the old hymn "I Need Thee Every Hour". How about every minute and every second. 

My anger was short lived and I returned to the garage to say, "I know it seems ironic that I quoted the verse and then behaved so badly..."then I gave a humble apology. All the while my husband showed mercy toward me.

One morning I thanked my husband for loving me and others with a cup that is always full. It runs over and never seems to run out. He said, "I'm just a branch on the vine." 

John 15:5 “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing". 

It is not about trying harder to do good. It isn't even about discipline and training as much. It is about knowing where our help comes from.

Psalm 121:1-2 I will lift up my eyes to the hills—From whence comes my help? My help comes from the Lord, Who made heaven and earth.

Dear Lord, Help me. Amen.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

828


She said proudly, "I will name it . . .828!" 

"Name what?" I asked. (Hope names everything. Each and every stuffed animal she owns has a name and you best remember they are part of the family)

She said, "My new wheelchair!"


I was confused, "What does that mean?"

"A number." She said bluntly with her mind made up.

She had no further explanation and just about that time her stepdad came home and we introduced him to the newest addition, " Meet 828." 

He said, "As in Romans 8:28?" And Hope quickly agreed. 

Romans 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good, to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.

I was remembering this conversation from 2 years ago . . .At the time we were publishing our book In That Secret Place. 

When Hope named her wheelchair It dawned on me ~ Romans 8:28 the first verse I ever memorized and held in my heart since a young girl was the very verse I had overlooked in writing our story. How could I have forgotten this verse in our story, it is our story! It was too late for a rewrite, we had a signed contract and were waiting for my last endorsement.

excerpt taken from a previous post, Special Prayer Answered:

     ~ Since the beginning of my work on this book, 15 years ago- I prayed to one day have Melody Green's endorsement. (she was the widow of Keith Green. A Christian musician, who had a huge impact on my life.) I contacted her once I signed the contract for the book. The return response was they do not give endorsements. I was discouraged for a couple minutes, then I believed God wanted to bless me. I contacted them again and I prayed believing He would change their hearts. We waited and prayed over the next 2 weeks. They did reconsidered and Melody wrote a beautiful endorsement!!

The endorsement included reference to Romans 8:28~

Melody's endorsement read, "Terri and Hope's amazing story of love, sacrifice and forgiveness is a testament to God's ability to work all things together for good. Hope was a miracle baby, and her vibrant heart is a tender proclamation of God's enduring love for us all." Melody Green, President of Last Days Ministries.

God brought our entire book together from cover to cover in His perfect time and then sealed it with a kiss Romans 8:28.

Trust and love God. No matter what things look like around us we can have confidence in His promise to work all things together for our good.

Friday, January 31, 2014

Boast in this. . .and you will find power!

I was reading Luke 18:9-14. A parable Jesus told to some who were confident in their own righteousness and looked down on everybody else: The parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector. Both men went to the temple to pray and the Pharisee stood up and prayed, "God I thank you that I am not like the other men- robbers, evildoers, adulterers- or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get." The tax collector stood at a distance and would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, 'God have mercy on me, a sinner.' Jesus said, "I tell you this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled and he who humbles himself will be exalted."

The Pharisee was a man girded in works and prideful of his accomplishments ~ He stood upright before the throne of God comparing his strengths to other's sins. He did not humble himself and recognizing his own weaknesses or shortcomings. Nor would he as long as He focused on another's failures. His boasting is in the flesh not in what Jesus has done for him or helped him overcome. 

The tax collector was coming to Jesus with head bowed in his weakness asking for mercy from his Savior. His heart was broken before God as he beat his breast. He saw his sin and did not hide his weakness. The tax collector knew his need for mercy and came humbly before God.  

2 Corinthians 12:9-11 Tells us what we are to boast about....... Our Weaknesses!! That is the answer! It is in our weakness we are made strong and this is what we truly can boast about and give Glory to God. Thanking Him for our weakness, because it is out of our brokenness that God will shine and touch other's lives.

...."My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong." 2  Corinthians 12:9-11

I can hear myself in the Pharisee's prayer at times. I have always prided myself on being a "truth teller" and not a "liar".  As I climbed upon my pedestal. In the past I have found false security in pursuit of perfection. Truth is of course that perfection is not attainable here on earth. Sometimes I still catch myself caught up in the lie, "it is up to you, Terri." Answer is: I will thirst and hunger after righteousness knowing all the while that it is God I am confident in. Praying that He who began a good work in me will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. Philippians 1:6 This is my prayer for me and for you. 

There is freedom in Jesus and power in surrender.

~ "What is impossible with men is possible with God."~ Luke 18:27


Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Complete Trust~ you will find rest in 2014!

There I go again...
~ trying to figure things out 
~ forcing solutions
These behaviors will NEVER unlock the door to peace.

P~E~A~C~E is where I desire to abide. I can only find this in completely trusting in God. Everyday seek His face and walk in the way of my Savior.

•I have learned you cannot change another person. 
•I  have learned people are responsible for their own decisions. 
•I know truth is~ someone else's actions or lack of~ is none of my business and should not affect my happiness.
(That one is difficult, because I still choose to allow it to affect me ~ sadly more than I want to admit.)

 First step in recovery is... 
•awareness
•acceptance
•action
It appears I sometimes still get stuck on the second step 'acceptance'. When I am having trouble with acceptance I am really having trouble trusting in God...bottom line.

The answer is....If I want complete rest...I must have complete trust in God to handle my problems, concerns, situations, difficulties, etc. This is where my CHOICE comes in~ I choose this year to continue my growth in this area and I lay it down again at your feet Lord. You are the great 'I Am' and I am not. 

Romans 15:13 Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, in the power of the Holy Spirit.

Is there something you continue to struggle with again and again. It is a New Year~ new beginnings ~ ask yourself what attempts to steal your P~E~A~C~E? Then ask yourself what part do you play and choose to completely trust and rest in Him in 2014!

Monday, November 25, 2013

~Cast out the Angel of light~

This Thanksgiving the Deceiver comes even as we thank God for His goodness and whispers (not audibly) "You are being prideful ~ bragging by being thankful." Many may stop there, even if their motives are pure and not give God the glory for the great things He has done. All due to fear of man.  Or maybe the Deceiver whispers, "Your future is uncertain focus on that. You don't have time to be thankful. Too many problems to figure out."

The Deceiver is crafty and will stop at nothing to keep us from thanksgiving. Do you know why? Because God Almighty inhabits the praise of His people ~ just praise Him now for all He has done and see that He is there. There is no greater power than the presence of God. Don't let the Deceiver rob you! Lock the back doors of your mind and keep your mind set on things above. He is an uninvited guest! Instead Shout your praises from the hilltops, because God deserves our praises. A thankful heart is a happy heart!

 Psalm 28:7 The Lord is my strength and my shield. I trust him with all my heart. He helps me, and my heart is filled with joy. I BURST out in songs of thanksgiving.

 

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Overcoming~ Is not "self will" ~it is "dying to self"

I want to lay down my pride and live in humility because I know how I have tried:
 
- to fix
- to control
- to figure out 

This leads to frustration, anger which equals "loss of peace". 

Jesus came so we may have peace abundantly and overflowing. The power of the cross that saved me is the same power available to me to overcome difficult situations, people and circumstances that I have no control over. By trusting in God whose word is truth...I know He cares for me. He cares about everything I face in this world. He knows my heart seeks after Him - To be like Him. So when my actions are in opposition to my hearts desire, I am on the wrong track and I cry out to the Lord, "Help me." 

I understand what Paul said in the Bible, paraphrased, "I do the very thing I don't want to do." Well I use to think in terms of big bad things- but Paul hungered after righteousness. He was just like us, who are believers in Jesus, who long to do the right thing,  but fail. For example I become inpatient or irritated by someone else's actions that effect me. I sometimes fail to see my part in the scenario and irritation grows into anger and anger leads to bitterness and resentment when it is fed. This is where God is helping me to see my choice: 

- to react or to trust in Him
- to worry or to trust and pray to Him
- to control or to let go and let Him
- to force a solution or to take it easy 

Everyday many things occur that are out of our control and we do not have to behave as we always have, we have choices. God is right there ready to lift you up and through the situation every single time! To be aware of our choices we must not focus on the problem, because that will lie to us every time! I have been experiencing lately as I seek after God more deeply in this area that the problem does not disappear, but it miraculously, suddenly, supernaturally losses it's power over me. It is beyond me, because I can still be pretty worked up~ and I stop and thank God! Yea, I have been known to get it stirred up again by simply talking about it, because the problem is still there. But God knows I hunger after Him and want my heart pure and I believe He intervenes supernaturally and helps me to let it go! Again and again...if need. 

I give the praise to God, for I am SO thankful. He has guided and led me patiently along this path, as I have followed Him. Not perfect have I been, but faithful and longing always for a deeper walk, that I could not do on my own. Sometimes it is possible to appear and act politically correct, but if my heart is not right then it is to no avail. Because the heart is deceitful above all else and pride is the root of all evil. Jesus is the only one who can cleanse a heart and make it pure. This is where I am...many people don't know the struggles and "crosses we carry" but God knows. 

I pray now too as Hope prays often, "Lord, give me a new heart, cleanse my heart." My precious girl, she knows too her heart is not pure without Jesus. 

Thank you Jesus for a clean heart! Help me as I walk through this day after You!


Verses: 
Luke 9:23, Proverbs 22:4, John 14:26-27, 1Corinthians 1:18, Romans 7:15-25, Matthew 5:6, Romans3:10,Titus 3:5, 1Petet 5:7, Philippians 4:6,7,13,Matthew 6:25-27, Psalms 121:1-2, Proverbs 3:5-6, 1Corinthians 10:13, Ephesians 4:2-3, Hebrews 12:14-15, Isaiah 55:8-9, James 3:13-18, Proverbs 11:2, 1 Corinthians 13:4, Jeremiah 17:9, Psalms 51:10, Matthew 5:8, John 5:30, Hebrews 4:15-16

Monday, October 28, 2013

Beautiful. . .

I have been blessed to be the mother of a daughter who never concerns herself with appearances!  Living in our society in this day and age this is HUGE. Hope never request to look at herself in the mirror. I never happen upon her staring at herself in the mirror. There have been times although she has wanted to wear makeup and she puts it on herself...yikes! Hope has taught me much about self acceptance, not by what she says, but by her actions. There is no preoccupation or concern for what others approve of or think of her.

Have you seen the commercial for Sonic's crispy chicken? Two guys are in the car talking about the crispy chicken and one guy says, "It (the crispy chicken) has taught me a real important life lesson." Second guy asks, "Like what?" He answers, "It is what's on the outside that counts!" Second guy says, "No one says that. Everyone says it is what is on the inside that is important." First guy, "No It's all about appearances."

That is funny, because we all know truth is . . . it is what is on the inside that really matters. Beauty is only skin deep. . . we have all known people who were pretty until you knew them and their personality made them not so much. However, I also believe it is true that we as a society have fallen into the deception ~ what is on the outside is what is most important. I don't know about you, but I never go to work without makeup on. I look in the mirror many times throughout the day and freshen up. I have a magnifying mirror that sees it all! I don't believe there is anything wrong with looking our best and taking care of our bodies. What do you see in the mirror? Are you comparing or criticizing yourself? "I look old." "Look another wrinkle." "I have gained more weight."

Reinforce the truth of God's word each time an untrue surfaces:
 
"Your beauty should be the invading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God's sight." 1 Peter 3:3-4

Charm is deceptive, and beauty fades; but a woman who fears the Lord will be praised. 
Proverbs 31:30

Here is to the most beautiful girl in the world to me and I don't think I am partial! :)