Saturday, August 27, 2011

Psalm 98

         1 Oh, sing to the LORD a new song!

         For He has done marvelous things; 
         His right hand and His holy arm have gained Him the victory.
 2 The LORD has made known His salvation;
         His righteousness He has revealed in the sight of the nations.
 3 He has remembered His mercy and His faithfulness to the house of Israel;
         All the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God. 
 4 Shout joyfully to the LORD, all the earth;
         Break forth in song, rejoice, and sing praises.
 5 Sing to the LORD with the harp,
         With the harp and the sound of a psalm,
 6 With trumpets and the sound of a horn;
         Shout joyfully before the LORD, the King. 
 7 Let the sea roar, and all its fullness,
         The world and those who dwell in it;
 8 Let the rivers clap their hands;
         Let the hills be joyful together 
          9 before the LORD, 
         For He is coming to judge the earth. 
         With righteousness He shall judge the world, 
         And the peoples with equity.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

I'm Hungry

"As newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby." 1 Peter 2:2  

As followers of Christ, we should be continuously hungering and thirsting after Him.  We should desire Him as much as an infant desires milk... needing to be fed every hour and crying out when we do not receive the nourishment we seek.

We must crave the very Presence of God.  We must dig deep into His inspired words.  Desiring to go deeper and deeper in Him.  And never. ever. stop learning more about Him.

Brothers and Sister in Christ - let us never stop our yearning for God.  May our need for Him overwhelm all else - until we are completely consumed by our love and desire for Him.

"They wandered in the wilderness in a desolate way; They found no city to dwell in. Hungry and thirsty, Their soul fainted in them. Then they cried out to the LORD in their trouble, And He delivered them out of their distresses. And He led them forth by the right way, That they might go to a city for a dwelling place. Oh, that men would give thanks to the LORD for His goodness, And for His wonderful works to the children of men! For He satisfies the longing soul, And fills the hungry soul with goodness. "  Psalm 107:4-9

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

iHeartFaces: Pet Week

This week, the iHeartFaces challenges is all about pets.  I took this picture of my dog, Maggie, last November.

I love my doggie!

<----- Click here for more info about iHeartFaces and directions for joining in the fun!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Healing in His Wings

Miracles, Signs, and Wonders.

How great is the God I serve!  He blesses. He loves. He heals. 
He is all powerful and all able.

Let me explain what I'm talking about.

First, you need to know that I am heavily involved in various ministries as well as school projects, etc. that require much use of my arm.  From playing piano in my church's youth band, to piano lessons - both giving and taking, to classes online, as well as other normal things I do with my hands, I am pretty much constantly using my hands.

 Wednesday night, I played piano in our mid-week service.  

Thursday morning, I woke up with extreme weakness in my right arm - so much so that I could hardly even pick up a pencil to write.  Throughout the day it got worse, until it was no longer weakness alone, but a horrible pain that ran up and down my arm at the slightest movement.  

Marmee gave me a deep tissue massage near my shoulder and we realized I had a knot beside my shoulder blade that was undoubtedly the source of the pain.  

Friday and Saturday I did almost nothing except sit around and read with a wrist brace on.  Not the most exciting thing in the world - even if I do enjoy reading!

Between Thursday and Saturday, I had requested prayer at the prayer meeting we attend each week, my family had prayed for me, and I had prayed for myself.

 As the pain continued to increase, it really felt like God wasn't listening.  In reality, His plan  was just too amazing for Him to heal me immediately - even though He could have with no problem.

Then on Sunday we had an amazing church service.  God's spirit began moving in such a mighty way.  I left my seat and walked down to the altar - not to ask God to heal me - I had already done that, and honestly I wasn't even thinking about it all.  I simply desired to worship Him and glorify His great name.

While I was worshipping, however, I suddenly felt that I needed to pray for my arm to be healed.  

As soon as I thought that, someone came up behind me and laid their hand on my shoulder - right over the knot.  Someone else laid their hand first on the upper part of my arm, then slid their hand down to my forearm, where the pain had been the greatest. 

The two people praying for me had no idea what I was going through - in fact they still don't know.  But that didn't matter... because God knew and that was all that was necessary.

At the same time as this was happening, Marmee was across the sanctuary, praying.  She hadn't been praying for or thinking about my arm, just the same as me.  She suddenly felt impressed to pray for my arm.  When she finished, she opened her eyes, and the first thing she saw was me, surrounded by people praying for me.  She told me later that she knew, at  that moment, that I had been healed.

And I had.

Words cannot express the gratitude and love that wells up in me for God, my healer, who in His rich mercy took away my pain.  And not only that, but He gave me an amazing blessing as I prayed in the Spirit.

I haven't felt so full of joy and peace in so long.  God is so good.  His plan and way is perfect.

There may be trials, and pain, and sorrow in life, but if this healing has taught me anything it is that God is able.  And that He always sees me and loves me unspeakable and is at work in my life.  Even when situations are beyond my understanding, I can rest in the knowledge that He truly will work all things together for good to those that love Him.  

I hope this testimony brings encouragement and light to your life.  Because for me it wasn't just the restoring of use to my arm - it was something from which to gain strength.  

"But to you who fear my name, The Son of Righteousness shall rise 
with healing in His wings..." 
Malachi 4:2

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

From the Proud Owner of...

For many, many years now, I have wanted Adobe Photoshop.  However - it's very expensive (as anyone with any kind of interest in photography can tell you!) and was never "in the budget."  

So... we went with the next best thing - Photoshop Elements on sale! =]  

(me likey sales. and photoshop elements. a lot.)

I have had such a grand ole time watching tutorials and gettin' acquainted with this lil' guy...  I can't wait to start using it in earnest!  

Friday, August 5, 2011

In Everything..

Give Thanks.  In the minutest detail of life.  In the trials.  In the pain.  In the storm. 
When stress is overwhelming.  When sadness comes.  

When we don't feel like it at all... Give thanks anyway.

Having a thankful heart can come only from knowing that God is sovereign - that He is.  Who He says He is.  Who He has always been.  This knowledge cannot be known without thankfulness overflowing in my heart.

And yet.. there are days when I can't seem to get the words out.  when everything feels so out of control.  when I know who He is - but still can't seem to give thanks.  

Why?  My soul cries. why can't I thank you even while I know who you are?

It is then that He whispers to my heart, You must be broken on Me.  You must surrender your will, your pride, everything, to Me.  You must deny yourself to truly see Me as I am. To truly give Me the thanks - the praise I deserve.  

Brokenness.  it happens when I realize I am not enough.  that I can do nothing on my own.  

And then.  THEN... I can SEE Him.  
then I can give thanks.

Not because of my circumstances. Not even in spite of them.  Because in that moment all I can see is Him.  Everything disappears. fades. pales in the Presence of the Holy God.

I have been broken on the Rock.  And He holds me.  He tells me I am His, and He is more than enough.  

so I give thanks.

"In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you."
1 Thessalonians 5:18 (Emphasis added)