His Call, My Heartbeat


The blank page beckons.blank computer screen

Visual silence.

A blank slate interrupted only by the blink of the cursor.

Blink. Blink. Blink. It’s slow and rhythmic and, for me, thought-provoking.  It’s like the heartbeat of a new creation just waiting to be born.  

No wonder I have such an affinity for the blank page, for it is the platform on which thoughts and words come alive and, if I am lucky, become helpful and provide a positive impact to those who read them. Better yet, they become a tool for the Lord, our God.

Words are my calling. I’ve always had a predisposition for them, but, several years ago, it became evident that writing is a big part of the reason I was put on this earth. Still—though the calling is undeniable and has become almost as important to me as breathing—I still wrestle with it at times as, more often than not, I find myself fighting to find the time and energy to commit to it.

Time or no time, however, it is absolutely impossible to describe the feeling I get when I know that there is something I need to write. It bubbles up from the inside and I am miserable until I finally put it onto paper. And the very, very best part is when someone reaches out to me out of the blue to tell me how something I wrote touched them or inspired and helped them in some way.

This week—a week when I was particularly needing encouragement to find a way to continue, despite my crazy work schedule and other demands of life—three people reached out to me to tell me how God had used something I wrote to speak to them and encourage them in a profound way. What I want them to know is that God also used them to reassure me that I cannot give up on this mantle He himself has placed upon me.

Somehow, some way, I will continue to answer His call. His call, my heartbeat; the blank page, my canvas. Thank you, Jesus, for giving me encouragement through Your Word and through other people. Keep reminding me that what I view as waiting is all part of the process. Write on…

Amen and Ehmen.   

Step Back Satan; She’s Ready to Rumble


 

The Boxing Match Begins…Classic Vintage Boxing Ring Corner

     The journey that had brought me to this point had been arduous, a rollercoaster ride filled with slow crawls up the peak of a steep-rising hill followed by a plummet to the lowest of valleys below.

The difference in a rollercoaster and this life journey was that more times than not there didn’t seem to be enough momentum for my friend to climb the next hill and, as hard as I tried to hold on to her, she would break out so that she could stay in the valley a little longer.

It was so hard to understand what power this deep, dark place held over her, but the fact was it had become so familiar to her that she had begun to mistake it as her safe place. It was miserable. It was scary. It was damp and dark. But, it’s what she knew. And, as a bonus, she couldn’t fall any deeper if she was already at the bottom. Or so she thought.

Truth was, the bottom of this valley, this pit, was the final battleground. At stake was not only the rest of her life on earth and a God-given purpose that would increase and change the face of Heaven exponentially, but her own soul. 

Not since Job had satan been more conniving as he knew how important she was in God’s plan. He studied her intently. He learned her weaknesses. He knew just where to deliver the next blow. He knew who and what to use against her. He knew when to take the gloves off. But, like Job, he also knew he could not, himself, take her life.

She would have to do that herself. He had her trapped in the valley. She was trapped in the boxing ring. Now he just needed to get her to throw in the towel.

Writer’s Note: The above is an excerpt of a story that is still being written, both figuratively and literally. I share it today, because my friend is fighting her way out of the valley as I type and I know that I know that she will emerge victoriously.

Indeed, a woman of petite stature, she has never been particularly strong from the physical perspective. But, from a spiritual standpoint, it is a much different story. The problem has always been that she doesn’t really recognize her own strength.

Yes, even though there is no doubt that God has handpicked this woman to play a pivotal role in His grand plan, she is yet to connect the dots…until now. I pray for her constantly as she undergoes this time of sorting out the puzzle pieces of her life–some quite jagged and still very painful–to impact the world in a way only she can; the way that God designed from the very beginning.

Get behind us, Satan, for the gloves are off and you are going down. Can’t you hear Heaven’s roar? I can.

A morning of prayer and praise


Father,

Come close and touch my soul. Quieten my spirit so that my internal being may bask in the same peace and silence that envelopes this beautiful spring morning, a blank canvas inviting us to become one with new beginnings, abounding love, and eternal promises—with You.  

Lord, synchronize my heartbeat with Yours so that I may dance through this day to the tune of Your glorious and holy rhythm and purpose.

Capture and reshape all my thoughts and desires so that they line up with Your pre-destined desire for me. Heighten my awareness of Your presence and make me more sensitive to Your leading so that I may not miss a single opportunity to serve You, to please You, to praise and love You.

Help me to hear Your voice in everything I see and hear as all of creation sings of Your majesty and glory, and help me, Father, to fine tune my own voice as I join in that chorus.

And, lastly, my dear Lord, help me to turn loose of those worldly things which I hold too tightly. Though I recognize that it is impossible to grasp hold of Your hand when mine are full of things I was never intended to carry, I still find it hard to let them go.

Abba Father, I need You more than I need air and love You with all my heart and soul, with everything I am today and everything I know I can be as I submit myself to Your will and purposes. Help me, Lord. I am yours.

Amen and Ehmen.

 Isaiah 41.13

Today’s Prayer


Our broken hearts reach out to You. Our deflated spirits struggle to find You. Oh, how I want to stand in the face of evil times and to be the reflection of hope that You promise, but sometimes I, too, am overwhelmed by disappointments in my own life and in the lives of those around me–my friends, my family, my neighbors. I get disillusioned by the evil that lurks just beyond our walls; the darkness that all too often breaks into our most secure places. Although, Lord, it seems that evil has no boundaries, I know in my heart that it does–and that boundary is You! Hold us tight, Father. Protect us from evil, for Your name’s sake. Comfort those that are hurting and help me, Lord, in my time of need and waiting. Help me to remain thankful; to learn in the waiting, and to reflect You in all that I do. I trust in You and give my present and future to You. Mold me. Melt my heart and reshape it so its desires are your desires. My hope is in You. I love You, Abba. Amen and Ehmen.

A Morning Prayer


 

songbird

Photo by Donald M. Jones

 

Songbirds tweet in harmony as I willingly and excitedly step into the silence. Silence, after all, is the threshold that one must cross to enter the heavenly realms and the presence of our Precious and Mighty God.

His voice is clearest in the quiet, intimate times and it often seems as if I can hear His very heartbeat. His love for me is overwhelming and I pray that mine for Him is just as obvious and abounding.

As I breathe in His breath, I exhale peace and love. I’m here, Father. Use me. Send me. Heal me and equip me for the journey. Fill me with first trust, then with love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control.

I want to be everything You created me to be; to accomplish all that You planned for me; and, at such time I enter Your Presence for the rest of eternity, to hear these words: “Well done, good and faithful servant. Well done.”

Amen and Ehmen.

 

Presence, Peace and Purpose Go Hand In Hand


February 8, 2017

7:15 AM, Day 7

 

Dear God,

It’s Day 7 and I’m disappointed because I feel a bit rushed this morning. As you know, today starts a rundear god of back-to-back events and very, very long hours with just enough time left over at the end of each day to sleep a little before returning to work. Lord, I need YOU more than ever as I go into this period. You know I’m already not feeling well and these long hours usually make things worse, depleting my immune system and making me even more susceptible. Help carry me through these days and nights, dear Lord, and thank you for all the ones that you have already carried me through. Lord, I also ask for your arms of comfort to wrap around my friend and co-worker. I won’t go into details here, in case I feel compelled to publish this on http://www.amenandehmen.com, but thankfully you know the situation and needs without me ever expressing the first word. I love you, Lord, with all my heart and soul. And I thank you for always being here for me. Help me to progress in my purpose and to embrace wherever that takes me. With you Lord, I know I can do anything. Amen and Ehmen.

 

My dear, beautiful child,

You need not worry about anything, for I am with you always. Look up the word “always,” my child, and record it here.

                Always is an adverb, meaning at all times; on all occasions, including:

·         Throughout a long period of the past.

·         For all future time; forever

·         Repeatedly; never-ending

This means, my dear one, I am literally with you all the time, through all things big and small. Repeat this to yourself; speak it deep into your spirit as many times as you must for it to become second nature for you. When something happens or you need something throughout your day, don’t hesitate to ask Me for help. Whisper my name out loud or call to me in silence.

When you do this, child, you will feel more and more at peace. And it is in this peace in which I will partner with you in the purposes for which you were first created. Stay aware of My Presence and let Me guide you.

I am proud of you for sticking to your commitment of meeting with me seven consecutive days. I hope that you will continue to meet me here. I love being with you, my child.

Spend some time in these scripture today:

proverbs-4-23-art

Philippians 3:8-11:

Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ and become one with him. I no longer count on my own righteousness through obeying the law; rather, I become righteous through faith in Chirst. For God’s way of making us right with himself depends on faith. I want to know Christ and experience the mighty power that raised him from the dead. I want to suffer with him, sharing his death, so that one way or another I will experience the resurrection from the dead!

Philippians 4:13

For I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.

Proverbs 4:20-23

My child, pay attention to what I say. Listen carefully to my words. Don’t lose sight of them. Let them penetrate deep into your heart, for they bring life to those who find them, and healing to their whole body. Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.

Matthew 28:20

I am with you always, until the end of the world.

 

The Ultimate Valentine


be-mine-heart-for-amenandehmen

Whether you are single or paired on this Valentine’s Day, this is a day we celebrate the very heartbeat of God: LOVE!

Remember what Jesus told us in Matthew 22: 34-40: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and most important commandment. The second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets depend on these two commandments.”

And, as far as Valentine’s go, you can’t get any sweeter or more perfect than our precious and glorious Lord who loves us beyond compare, without condition, forever and ever. And He’s all yours for the asking.

If you haven’t yet, why not today? The day of LOVE.

Just say something like this:

“Lord, I don’t necessarily understand it all and I’m not sure what to do next, but I do believe in You and that You love me so much that you sent your one and only son, Jesus, so that we all could be forgiven of our sins and have everlasting life. I believe He died on the cross for me, to save me. You did for me what I couldn’t do for myself. I come to You now and ask You to take control of my life. I give it to You. Help me to live every day in a way that pleases you. I love you, Lord, and thank you that I will spend all eternity with you.

Lord, will you be my Valentine?”

Amen and Ehmen.

And a Happy Hearts Day to all! Much love from http://www.amenandehmen.com.

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

John, 3:16

 

The Doctor is In.


Note: My work high-jacked all my time and energy again, but now that I have a moment, I wanted to post the last two days of my 7-day commitment to spend time with God every morning. Though it was a long 85-hour work week and it was extremely tough on me physically at times, I can honestly say that this extra focused time on God helped carry me through with spirits intact. He is the Great Physician. Looking forward to continuing to connect with Him on the written page. Be blessed.

February 7, 2017

7:00 AM

Dear God, it is Day 6 of my commitment to meet you here daily for seven consecutive days. Unfortunately, I only have about 30 minutes this morning as I have to get to the office. Fortunately, I dear godknow that I can learn and do more in just a few minutes with you versus years without you. You are incredible and I am happy that you are in my life and in me. This morning, God, I pray to you about the way I’m feeling physically. Please help me to bring all things going on in my body back into order. My week ahead for work is intense as you know and it will be very difficult to maneuver it feeling like this. I love you, dear God, and it is in your son’s name that I pray. Amen and Ehmen.

Dear Child,

I’m sorry you are not feeling well, but you have come to the right place. You live in a fallen world and your body is susceptible to all kinds of undesirable things. But, as long as you stay close to me, I will help you navigate even the most menacing of them. Healing, my child, comes in many forms. Sometimes I simply wipe out the illness as you, yourself, have experienced. Sometimes I use medicines and physicians. Sometimes it is immediate and sometimes it takes time, as I know you have also experienced. Your job is to believe, to trust in me, and be thankful in both cases. Trust, dear child, is an area that you struggle with and that is okay. As long as you come to me, I will continue to teach you as long as it takes. We are in this together. You must always remember that.

  Isaiah 41:10

Do not fear, for I am with you;
Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you, surely I will help you,
Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’
“For I am with you

 

If you are willing, He will make you able


 

February 6, 2016

8:41 AM

Dear God, it is Day 5 of my commitment to meet you here daily for seven consecutive days. It has been wonderful to bask in your presence and love; to learn from you; to start my day. Days that are built on such a foundation and surrounded by your presence are far better than any others. Help me todear god remember this, Lord, and grow in the habit of meeting you here. Help me to have an increasing awareness of you and to continue talking with you throughout my day. Help me to remember that you care about every aspect of my life, not just what I consider the big things. I just don’t know how people do life without you, dear Lord. The times that I have allowed myself to be detached from your presence, I have been miserable. Hold me close, God, and protect me daily from my enemies. I long to hear only your voice. My heart is filled with the desire to please you and to fulfill your will and purpose for me; help my fleshly desires to follow suit. I love you. And I thank you for continuing to love and bless me. Amen and Ehmen.


Dear Loved One,

Your heart makes me smile. I long for this closeness as well. It is what you were made for, my beautiful child, and as long as you make the effort, you can rest assured that I will always be here to greet you.  Immerse yourself into My Word, dear child, and I will send the Holy Spirit to translate each word and inscribe it on your heart. I will open your eyes and your heart and you will continue to grow in me and I in you. Your path will become more and more obvious and you will begin to waste less and less time on things that do not matter. Picture me a carpenter and you my protégé. I hold the toolbox and, as long as you remain beside me, you can be assured that I will hand you just what you need to complete the task before you. But, it is crucial that you stay beside me. Your purpose, my child, is a joint venture, one that is impossible without both of us. I am willing and able; and, if you are willing, I will make you able as well. That’s a promise, my child. 

Ephesians 2:10

eph-2-10

2 Timothy 3:16-17

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work.

Life Application Study Note: The whole Bible is God’s inspired Word. Because it is inspired and trustworthy, we should read it and apply it to our life. The Bible is our standard for testing everything else that claims to be true. It is our safeguard against false teaching and our source of guidance for how we should live. It is our only source of knowledge about how we can be saved. God wants to show you what is true and equip you to live for him. How much time do you spend in God’s Word? Read it regularly to discover God’s truth and to become confident in your life and faith. Develop a plan for reading the whole Bible, not just the familiar passages.

Hebrews 13: 20-21

Now may the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with every good thing to do His will. And may He accomplish in us what is pleasing in His sight through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.

Life Application Study Note: These verses include two significant results of Christ’s death and resurrection. God works in us to make use the kind of people that would please him, and he equips us to do the kind of work that would please him. Let God change you from within and then use you to help others (our purpose).

 

 

He Loves Us, Faults and All


2/5/17

10:00 AM

Good morning, God. Am I ever glad it is Sunday! I worked last night and into the early dear godmorning hours and I am just plain tired.  However, just as I reached for my phone this morning and resisted wasting time before coming into Your presence, I shall resist my natural urge to complain as I know in my heart that You know exactly how I feel without me uttering the first groan.

Instead, Lord, I want to thank You for You. I want to thank You for always fulfilling your promises and for the too-many-to-count miracles that You have manifested in my life. This week, in fact, I was reminded by Facebook, that this time last year I was undergoing a trans-jugular liver biopsy. I remember how scared I was; fearful that the doctors would uncover something that would cut my life on earth short; that fear fueled even more so by the untimely death of my brother, Gary. The doctors were convinced there was something seriously wrong and all the tests and the way I was feeling seemed to indicate the same.

Still, You gave me peace as awaited the results. You gave me an army of people who blessed me with prayers. You came close when I called and treated me to a personal and powerful reminder that You are always with me and always in control, over that situation and other situations for which I have staggered in fear.  (You can read about this beautiful miracle here, Stopped In Their Tracks.)

You gave me the miracle of healing when the much dreaded procedure revealed that my liver, despite what medical testing has said for the past 20 years, was not going to be issuing me a death sentence any time soon. The doctor followed this good news with a warning that I needed to continue searching for the reason for my ailments and botched blood tests, but, truthfully, I only heard the good news.

I remember how relieved I was and, now as I recount it, I’m still relieved. However, I’m more than a little disappointed in how quickly I “forgot” this gigantic miracle. Please forgive me for continuing to allow myself to get so caught up in the problems of the day that I forget what You have already done for me. How I can let the menial cast shadows on the miraculous makes absolutely no sense!

Father, help me to stay focused on the miracles and on You. Thank You for always showing up and for being patient with me, even when I take You for granted. I don’t want to take You for granted, Lord. Help me to live a life pleasing to You and know that I love You with every ounce of my being. Amen and Ehmen.

 

Dear, dear Child,

You are not the first—nor will you be the last—of my children that let the problems of the day overshadow the blessings and miracles. It—like sin—is a side effect of your human condition. What pleases Me is that you recognize this in yourself and your heart wants to do what is right. THIS is a side effect of having accepted My Son as your personal savior. And, it is because of this, child, that you can rest assured that you will one day stand before Me without fault, as perfect and blameless as My Son Himself.

I am very proud that you turned your natural tendency to complain this morning into a reason to praise Me. Read and meditate today on the closing prayer of Jude. Read it out loud. Make this your prayer and know that I hear every word, every cry of your heart, even those that your lips are unable to express. You can count on Me in all circumstances. Yesterday, today and tomorrow, My love for you remains the same. Infinite. All powerful. Never failing. Thank you for being My child. You bring Me great joy. Enjoy your day off, My dear one.

Jude 1:24-25

Now all glory to God, who is able to keep you from falling away and will bring you with great joy into his glorious presence without a single fault. All glory to him who alone is God, our Savior through Jesus Christ our Lord. All glory, majesty, power, and authority are his before all time, and in the present, and beyond all time! Amen.

jude-1-with-my-photo

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Final Thought: Oh, what a beautiful, profound and priceless prayer! There is very little I can add, except this. Too often, all of us let satan use our shortcomings to drive a wedge between us and our Father in Heaven. Satan is a master at condemnation. But, we must remember that our God is a God of redemption not condemnation and what satan tries to use to pull us away, God will use to pull us closer.

If we have accepted Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, God has accepted us, faults and all, and He will—as Jude so beautifully writes—keep us from falling away and will bring us with great joy into his glorious presence without a single fault.”

Yee-Haw! Thank you, God. I love You and Your Word. You always know just what to say!  🙂 Amen and Ehmen.