The Voice


Whisper of God

It’s in the silence of these four walls, the quietness of my hurting, still soul, that I finally hear Your Voice.

It’s rhythmic and in tune with the beating of my heart and it’s the most beautiful thing I have ever heard. You speak to me, sing to me, patiently. You offer joy in a place I have allowed bitterness and hurt to take root.

You smile though I have done nothing to deserve it. You love though I have been selfish. You stand by me though I have repeatedly abandoned you.

You are God and You deserve my praises. I am forever thankful for your patience and forgiveness and especially that those things transcend all time.

Forever and Ever.

Amen and Ehmen!

The Perfect “Peace” of Advice


July 12, 2019

Dear God,

Thank you for leaning in and helpindear godg me in my areas of need. I am thankful that, just as Your Word promises, all I have to do is seek and I will find You; call out and You will answer. Every time, without fail. To know You are always in my corner is life-changing, empowering, awe-inspiring and totally humbling. I don’t deserve You, but am oh so grateful for You and the unshakeable truth that not only do You promise me a carefree eternal life, but You also promise me that I NEVER have to do life on earth alone. Thank You, dear Lord. Without You, I am nothing. From the bottom of my heart, thank You!

Amen and Ehmen.


Dear Child,

I love you and appreciate your grateful heart. Thankfulness is the best kind of praise and worship you can offer Me as it is evidence of our growing connection and your ever-developing understanding that My plan and purposes are the best for you and for all creation.

I know life does not always—and, in fact, rarely—makes sense from your limited viewpoint; which makes it all the more important that you are walking this journey with Me and learning step-by-step to trust Me in everything–from the sunrises to the sunsets to those moments of darkness that always end in a glorious burst of color and light as the dawn coaches the sun from its slumber.

As long as you stay in My Presence, as long as your heart stays open to Me, Thankfulness and Peace Scripture Image 3even this life in which trouble is an integral part, can be filled with never-ending joy and peace.

Yes, Child, the same joy and peace–the same love, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control–that you will experience in Heaven is yours to tuck away in your heart today.

Allow these precious gifts to permeate your soul and control your thoughts and actions as you learn to fully trust Me and My Will for your life.

Remain in Me, Child, and I will remain in you. I am truly and wholly yours, today and always, and ALWAYS have your best interest at heart. I love you.

Spend some time meditating on this today.

And The Word of God says…

Thankfulness and Peace Scripture Image 2

Colossians 2:6-7: “So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.

Colossians 3:15-16: “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts.”

Colossians 3:17: “And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”

Psalm 9:1: “I will give thanks to the LORD with my whole heart; I will recount all of your wonderful deeds.”

2 Corinthians 2:14: “But thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumphal procession, and through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of him everywhere.”

Psalm 103:1-5: “Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless His holy name! Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits, who forgives all your inequity, who heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy, who satisfies you with good so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.”

Psalm 136:26“Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever.”

Chasing Peace


 

nature shot at stone mountain

All this time spent chasing peace. The wrong places. The wrong faces. A team of could have beens and should have beens that, in truth, would never be.

A world—both external and internal—rocked by evil and wrong, unfathomable madness and mayhem. So much needless strife and stress. Disappointment and failure. Physical and emotional strains and pains. Needless, but not pointless.

The fact is that it is in the useless that God finds value; in the meaningless that meaning and purpose is birthed. It is in the turmoil of life that we unearth peace; it is in uncertainty that we find faith and what was once exceedingly evasive is finally discovered lying dormant within.

Thank you, Jesus, for not only planting peace inside of our hearts, but for always, always standing guard so that no one and no thing can ever take it away—not even the loss of a job or a loved one that we thought would last forever. My friend Denny and I know this first hand. We have lived it before and are living it now. And it is good.

My prayer today is that you, too, wake the peace that slumbers within, giving all of yourself—your troubles and your victories—to the Prince of Peace, your Father and Mine, the Lord God Almighty.

He loves you and so do we! Amen and Ehmen.

More about Peace from Gotquestions.org:

The Bible has a lot to say about peace. Jesus is called the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6). Paul refers to “the God of all peace” (Romans 15:13, 33; Galatians 6:16). The term peace is often used as a greeting and a benediction (see Luke 24:36). So what exactly is peace, and how can we have “inner peace”?

A word often translated “peace” in the Bible actually means “to tie together as a whole, when all essential parts are joined together.” Inner peace, then, is a wholeness of mind and spirit, a whole heart at rest. Inner peace has little to do with external surroundings. Jesus said, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” He had also told His followers that “in this world you will have many troubles. But take heart! I have overcome the world” (John 16:33). So peace is not the absence of trouble; it is the presence of God.

Peace is a fruit of the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:22). When the “God of all peace” comes to live inside a believing heart (1 Corinthians 6:19), He begins to produce His own characteristics in that life. Inner peace comes from knowing that circumstances are temporary and that God is sovereign over all (Isaiah 46:9–11). Peace comes from exercising faith in the character of God and His Word. We can have peace in the midst of challenges when we remember that “all things work together for the good to those who love God and are called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28). We can choose peace rather than give way to fear and worry. Inner peace resulting from a relationship with God allows us to keep things in proper perspective. We can accept difficult situations on earth by remembering that our citizenship is in heaven (Philippians 3:20).

We are commanded to “live in peace” with others, as far as it is up to us (Romans 12:18; 2 Corinthians 13:11; Hebrews 12:14). To live at peace means we interact with those around us in accordance with our own wholeness of mind. Our reactions to circumstances can bring peace to an otherwise chaotic situation. Jesus said, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called the children of God” (Matthew 5:9). And James 3:18 says, “Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness.” God’s desire is that we who know Him learn to live in peace within ourselves first. Then we can radiate that peace to others, bringing calmness and wisdom to tense situations, and in so doing be lights in the world (Matthew 5:14; Philippians 2:14–15).

Fear Not For I Am in 2016, Too…


Last night as I sat on the verge of 2016, for the first time in a long time, I found myself a little reluctant to cross the threshold into the new year. I know it’s silly, because, ready or not, that clock is not going to stop for me or anyone else on the planet.

Still, there I stood in fear; fear that I might forget the loved ones that I lost in 2015. “At least,” I thought to myself, “this time last year we were breathing the same air and wishing one another a happy new year to come.” Tick tock. Tick tock. Tick tock.

Fear that my job will continue to be unbearably stressful and, if I’m completely truthful, fear of what my new life as an empty nester will bring in the days ahead. Tick tock. Tick tock. Tick tock.

But, perhaps most of all, I stood frozen on the brink of the new year as health concerns and the very real possibility of a troubling diagnosis continues to hover over my present and haunt my future. Tick tock. Tick tock. Tick. TOCK.

I closed my eyes and—symbolically trying to bring a close to 2015 which had been bathed in tears and realistically knowing that starting 2016 clothed in fear stood against everything that I KNOW to be true—I decided to pray in the new year.

However, before I could even utter a single word—in the single tick of the clock—the following words floated straight down from heaven.

“Fear not, child, for I am with you.”Fear not art

Sigh.

He needed not say more.

Eight simple words with such powerful impact. Comfort, Love, Promise, Hope, and Grace all rolled up in one short sentence.

“Thank You, God, for that. Thank You for You,” I replied, my heart bursting with relief and gratitude, my eyes releasing cleansing tears and my spirit digging in a little deeper to the words He spoke.

Though it may not be true as other authors and internet posts claim that “Fear Not” appears verbatim 365 times in the bible, it is true that these beautiful and comforting words appear in some form or fashion many, many, many times. The same goes for the phrase, ‘I am with you.’ In fact, resting in the peace, hope and grace of God’s Presence is a primary theme of God’s Word and a cornerstone in its—and our—very foundation.

Oh how very much our God loves us. Oh how very much He wants us to follow Him; to walk with Him; to trust Him; and to rest in Him. Oh, how very blessed we are.

Thank you, God, for Your infinite love and for putting up with me and my humanness. For loving me in spite of my stubbornness and for keeping and reminding me of your promises. Because of You, I am ready to face this new year with hope and peace. May 2016 find me walking even closer to You and to Your will and purpose for me. May I be a reason that Your Kingdom gains more citizens, growing greater and larger than ever before. Bring on 2016. Because of You, Lord, and You alone, I am ready! Amen and Ehmen.

And the very Word of God says:

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. –Psalm 23:4

The Lord is my light and my salvation—who shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life—of whom shall I be afraid? –Psalm 27:1

The Lord is with me; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?—Psalm 118:6

For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.—2 Timothy 1:7

Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.—Deuteronomy 31:6

When I am afraid, I will trust in you. In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I will not be afraid. What can mortal man do to me?—Psalm 56:3-4

So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.—Isaiah 41:10

For I am the LORD, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.—Isaiah 41:13

For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, “”Abba,” Father.—Romans 8:15

Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” So we say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?”—Hebrews 13:5-6

Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes?  Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?  Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these.  If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’  For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.—Matthew 6:25-34

David also said to Solomon his son, “Be strong and courageous, and do the work. Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the LORD God, my God, is with you. He will not fail you or forsake you until all the work for the service of the temple of the LORD is finished.—1 Chronicles 28:20

And an angel of the Lord suddenly stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them; and they were terribly frightened. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people; for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord—Luke 2: 9-11

Turn and Toss


Me and Thee Time

December 15, 2015, 6 AM

 

Good morning, Lord.

As you know, I have been up since about 3:30 a.m., tossing and turning, dear godabout work; thinking about sleeping; thinking about not sleeping; about weddings and funerals; about You. Of course, as per usual, I put You last, when I know in my heart and soul that You should always be first. I shouldn’t be tossing at all, just turning to You. Oh, but how easy that is to forget. Lord, my sweet, sweet Savior, please help me to remember to turn to you first and foremost as I go through this and every day. Help me to lay all my stresses down today; to get my work done so that I may have some peaceful days off and turn my focus to You, Billie and family, both biological and extended. I love you, Lord…with all my heart and soul. Amen and Ehmen.

My dear, dear Child,

I love you. Don’t ever forget that. And, I Am always here beside you, whether you recognize it or not. Even, right now, as you sit here staring at this blank page waiting for words or direction from Me. What I need you to learn, my dear one, is that sometimes silence is the most precious gift of all; for it is in the silence that you can fully experience My Peace; no noises to distract you, just sweet, sweet Heavenly Peace. One of My favorite songs of all time is Silent Night. Sing with me, child.

Silent night, holy night, all is calm, all is bright round yon virgin silent nightmother and child. Holy infant, so tender and mild, sleep in heavenly peace, sleep in heavenly peace

Silent night, holy night, shepherds quake at the sight; glories stream from heaven afar, heavenly hosts sing Alleluia! Christ the Savior is born, Christ the Savior is born! Silent night, holy night, Son of God, love’s pure light; radiant beams from thy holy face with the dawn of redeeming grace, Jesus, Lord, at thy birth, Jesus, Lord, at thy birth. Silent night, holy night, wondrous star, lend thy light; with the angels let us sing, Alleluia to our King; Christ the Savior is born, Christ the Savior is born!

See, dear child, silence, peace and holiness are a package deal. You can’t focus on Me without quieting your spirit; turning loose of all the things and worries of the world. The world will always make you toss and turn; but I, my child, will give you sweet, sweet Heavenly peace where you can rest and sleep, and awaken to praise, to love and to be loved by Me. I have missed you, dear child, as you have let the noise and distraction of the world and the sting of pain and suffering take you from the foot of My throne—the only true safety zone. Welcome home, child, I have you and I have all of your concerns for yourself and your loved ones in My capable hands. You need not worry or stress; you need not cuss and yell; for My Peace surrounds you at all times; My joy is yours for the taking; and My love will never fade nor fail. It was there when I created you and it will be there when you come to Heaven. Just breathe through the days in between, child, and remember not to toss and turn, but to turn and toss: turn to Me when the enemy tries to steal your peace and joy and we will, together, toss him out on his ear. Have a good day, my child. Go in peace, joy and love.

Oh, my sweet Jesus, thank You. Thank You for silent nights and for unending access to You and Your Throne where I can always bask in Your Presence where love, peace and joy abound.  Amen and Ehmen.

Prayers and Peace for Paris…


As the world mourns with and prays for the people of Paris, I, too, lift my eyes to the peace parisHeavens. Lord, I ask You to make Your Presence known to all the hurting and fearful. Clothe all of us, especially those directly impacted by the attacks of the past few days, in the peace that only You can provide; in that special peace which surpasses all understanding. We love you, Lord, and praise you, even in the midst of this mighty storm. Amen and Ehmen.

Note: This morning as I prayed this prayer, the following words nestled into my spirit. I gave them a home on paper and I found comfort in them. I hope that you do as well.

As darkness descends on a fallen and trembling world, the Heavens roar as our Almighty God summons all of His angels.

War has been waged. To that no one can argue. But, those who believe know that it is a war that is already won. The enemy’s fate has been sealed.

Stand in faith, people of God. Do not let the enemy shake you. Do not let the darkness consume you; for it is indeed darkest before the dawn and, no matter how bad it gets; nor how painful it is, know that even this horrible suffering is nothing compared to the Glory that is to come.

And The Word of God Says:

Romans 8:18

For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us.

Happiness is Fleeting…


As I looked to God for some peace during these crazy days, he sent me back in time to a journal entry I made quite awhile ago and, while my part of the conversation is too personal to share at this juncture and the situation far different, this excerpt from His part is applicable and timely for me today. Perhaps it will be for you as well. Amen and Ehmen.

nature shot at stone mountain“Breath in, inhale my Word, My child. You are far from alone and your story does not depend upon another human. I am so proud of you for being so intent on fulfilling my will and purpose for you. Please stay the course as I promise you that it will be well worth it. You, my child, are on the fast-track to joy and joy trumps happiness any day of eternity. Many people that you know, including yourself, still get caught up in seeking happiness, but happiness is fleeting. One rain fall can wash it away. One gust of wind can grab it from your grasp. Joy, on the other hand, like me, will never leave you. You may not recognize it, but it is there for the taking. Believe in me and I will give you peace and joy. Talk to me and ask me and I will give you the ability to see. I love you and, in the end, that really is all that matters. Stick with me. The best days are still ahead!

 

Good Family Genes…


From my personal God Journals…

Hey, God!

It’s me again. I only have about 30 minutes right now, but I cannot think of any better dear godway to spend them than with you, right here, right now. I love that you have given me the gift of writing as it is so exhilarating to record our precious time together. I learn so much when I reread the entries and I suspect that others will as well. I am just honored that you allow me to do this; to have this assignment. May every word I write and share give you and only you glory. Help me to keep my pride in check, Lord. You know the flesh can easily become boastful, but my heart wants to remain humble in you. There is a fine line between being happy that people are gathering and harvesting good crops from the words I write and taking all the credit. Please, please help me always give you the credit and the glory and help me to always, always remember that it is not a matter of talent, but a matter of obedience. I want to be obedient, Lord. Help me. I love you, forever and ever. Amen and Ehmen.

Dear Child of Mine,

You do make me proud. Your heart is in the right place and I am so very proud of you. I made you in my image and you are looking more and more like me every single day. We have good family genes, child. Even though the world exists now in a fallen state and even though Adam and Eve introduced sin into the human race when they ate from the Tree of Knowledge, it is I that knits together your D.N.A. It is My Holy Spirit that provides you with the refreshing, reviving Breath of Life. You are programmed to seek Me and it is I and only I that will complete you. It pleases me so that you are understanding this and, just as I have promised, as long as you seek Me, I promise you will find Me. As long as you seek wisdom, it is yours. I promised it to you and I delight in fulfilling My promises. Every single one of them. I have never broke a promise, child. And I never will. I am still fulfilling the promises I made Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and will do so until all of my children have walked through the gates of heaven and into my arms. Child, you can count on me. Don’t ever forget this. You may never find anyone of this earth that you feel you can trust completely, but that is ok, because you have me and I will never leave nor forsake you. Rest in that fact, my child. The promise and peace of heaven goes with you wherever you go.

Oh, sweet Jesus, the peace of the Father just rained down upon me. From head to toe, I can feel the promise and peace of heaven coursing through my veins. I love you, Lord. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. In Your Holy Name I Pray. Amen and Ehmen.

And the Word of God Says…

Matthew 7:7-8 (NIV)

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.

Psalm 105: 4-8 4 Depend on the Lord and his strength; always go to him for help. 5 Remember the miracles he has done; remember his wonders and his decisions. 6 You are descendants of his servant Abraham, the children of Jacob, his chosen people. 7 He is the Lord our God. His laws are for all the world. 8 He will keep his agreement forever; He will keep his promises always.

In the Face of Depression


Writer’s Note: As we approach the first anniversary, I thought it appropriate to post something I wrote a few days after Robin Williams’ death shocked the world. It struck a deeply personal nerve for me, just as I know it did for the many who have lost friends and loved ones to depression and/or battled it alongside them.

Aug. 16. 2014She needed something bigger than both of us

The recent death of Robin Williams has stirred up many feelings and emotions for many people around the globe, myself included. Suicide has taken or threatened to take people in my own world and so I know, firsthand, how very hard it is and how deep the wounds of those left behind. They not only are mourning the loss of their loved one, but they often are left to wonder if they somehow failed. If they knew there was a problem, why couldn’t they help? If they didn’t know, why didn’t they recognize the signs? Surely, there were signs.

The truth is there are some people you simply cannot accept at face value; those people who have become so skilled at hiding their depression and true feelings that others have difficulty seeing the reality of a hurting soul trapped in darkness. At least to those outside their inner circles, this seemed to be just such the case with Robin Williams as well as a young man with whom I worked. To the world, both were extremely outgoing, funny and loved by many. I can’t help but wonder if they hid behind a smiling mask because that is what the world expected from them. Did they feel responsible for being the happy one, even when they were feeling just the opposite inside? Did they help and inspire others, while all the while desperately needing someone to help them? Had the very thing that they had become known for become the burden that finally broke them?

Personally, I could see how that could happen. My friend whom I have come close to losing several times in the past few years became highly skilled at wearing a mask when in public. Thank God, she would occasionally slip it off, where we could try to bring everything she was hiding deep inside out in the open. It was hard. It was ugly. It was heart-wrenching. And it was impossible for her to shoulder alone.  She needed something bigger than both of us combined. She needed God. Of course, God was always there, but sometimes she just needed someone to remind her; to help clear the fog and smoke so that she could see His sweet, sweet face; however many times it took.  That’s where we can help. Is it easy? Absolutely not.

I can’t tell you how many mornings I felt a pit in my stomach wondering if this day would be the day I got “the call.” I felt helpless and imagined that this must certainly be what it feels like to have a loved one in a war zone. I suppose in a sense she was in a war zone. She was fighting for her very life, entrenched in heavy battle with satan and his evil army of demons. They surrounded her and, although they couldn’t physically lay a hand on her, they made so much noise and created so much smoke and fog that, alone, she found it hard to see her Creator. What she really needed was to be reminded that satan only turns up the heat when he sees time running out and her victory imminent. It’s his hail mary pass; his last ditch effort.

The thing is, we all have to remember that amidst all that smoke and noise, God is ALWAYS right there. He never leaves. Not even for a single second. Thank God, my friend found His hand again and made it back from many, many days, weeks and even months of wandering in a desert of hopelessness, darkness and despair. She made it to the other side of a very dark night and is today basking in the sunshine once again.

My prayer tonight is that the noise satan so loves to make will be squelched and the smoke dissipated so that all can see Him, in all His Glory. May God’s love and peace be with us all. Amen and Ehmen.