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