Sunday, May 24, 2020

Faith over Feelings - Expectations -Prayer #34

Presently we are on a bit of a vacation. 

 My expectations for school changed -- Virtual teaching and trying to get my students to get on line and do their best, do what I KNOW they can do, and execute the correct actions to turn  in an assignment was wearing at me.  My students were not working to what I expected.  Some where - but others just didn't or couldn't.  

My expectations were not being met. 

My  expectations for the pandemic didn't meet with my satisfaction as well. 

 I really did not think we'd have to shut down - so, I left school at Spring Break with no resources in my school bag.  My expectation was that I would be back in my classroom on March 23rd.   

My expectation was not met.  

When we landed, it has become tradition to stop at Rocky Ricocos's for pizza.  So much of my home state has shut down so we couldn't stop, but eventually, I was able to get to my College town - Whitewater and we had that traditional slice of Sausage pizza.  

With Rocky's Ricoco's, pizza- there is an expectation.  The sauce is like no other.  The cheese melted, the box, and a diet coke to wash it down not only brings a sweet memory of college, but it also tastes GOOD. !!!! Thank goodness, that when I took that first bite, I got exactly WHAT I expected.   

With family, with friends, even with our own children - we have expecatations. 

We expect respect from our children.  We expect our friends to affirm us  and be the best friends to us, and we especially expect our spouses  to meet our needs.  

We expect.  

But -- we are ALL human and we fail -  

For FAR too long - I placed expectations on my husband - a man, and he failed me.  
Our children will fail us. 
We will fail ourselves.  

Expectations.  

Then again, if we DO NOT have any expectations -- then we won't be disappointed.  

I do live with expectations -- it is just I live now with my expectations through the filter of Jesus -- I wrote this before in a blog.  

I am sharing it again.  

It would appear that I have been here before - disappointed by some unmet expectations.  

*********


 All we  really can ONLY count on or  look to is  our Heavenly Father...for HE lives up to our expectations. 

I am reminding myself today:  

I can expect Jesus to always intercede for me on my behalf.
I can expect God to always love me unconditionally.
I can expect the Lord to hear my prayers.

He touched their eyes and said, "According to your faith will it be done to you." Matt 9.29  

I can expect the Lord to move mountains.
I can expect miracles from the Lord.
I can expect HIS will to be done within my life.
I can expect that I will find ALL answers to whatever I need to know with the pages of HIS Word. 

I can expect that God will do what GOD wants to do.

I am God, and there is no other: I am God and there is none like me.  Isaiah 46.9


I can expect that I am whom God says I am ...through Him.
I can expect much from my best friend...the Lord and  Holy Spirit.
I can expect  Holy Spirit to constantly speak to me, comfort me, and teach me.
I can expect an eternal home...

 -- be eternally minded -- this place is temporary --- 

When a colleague fails us -
 -when a professional we trusted in  fails us,
 -when we see something posted by a person we are mentoring and it hurts us,
 -when an adult child makes choices that have some very hard consequences,
 - and when a spouse leaves the marriage and you are blindsided,  so rejected,  you  expect some sort of explanation,  but you  are NOT getting it --

----- I think we must GO back to  placing all expectations before HIM.  

However, I think it is OK to grieve for a brief moment, maybe even  kick at a box kicking dummy as we have worked so hard and prayed so hard with this one......and yet, he or she  failed us.


Place any and all expectation -- in the LIGHT of HIS presence...  Measure it all against heaven and eternity.     Place every expectation within HIS hands.   

And with that, I can forgive the temporary stupidity....
I can forgive the way another treated another...or the way I was treated --
---and I can get back to speaking life and praying over that one  or situation and believe that God is at work and I will wait on HIM.  

Peace comes. 

 The "situation"   may not of turned out as I had hoped, as  the person may of failed the expectations I believe I was to see....but God will  make something beautiful out of it. 

And I trust my LORD to WOW me...to work it out and that... I will look back at this time and situation and know that I know -- and see ...HOW HE moved.  !!!!!!




There is one reading this  - today  with  disappointed expectations--
There is one that I prayed with this week, and this one is trying to find answers to unmet expectations   and even --   expectations that have been shattered--

 HOLD ON....  God will answer. GOD will heal those expectations.  God can be expected to work through this and HOLD you while you are trying to release those expectations. 


HE is close to the brokenhearted and HE will and can heal -- seek HIM.
EXPECT HIM to answer -- EXPECT HIM to help...

Amen.







Thursday, May 14, 2020

Faith over Feelings - What if Jesus walked into the room? Blogged prayer #33

What would you do if HE walked into the room?  

THIS song is a part of the new Elevation Worship album that dropped in the past week.  Today, this song has been played over and over.  

This is my prayer -- today -- goodness LORD -- HE is here.   

Praise HIM 

"What Would You Do"
(feat. Isaiah Templeton)

What would you do?
If He walked into the room
What would you do?
If He walked into the room
What would you say?
If He walked into the room
How would you praise?
If He walked into the room
How would you shout?
If He walked into the room
How would you shout?
If He walked into the room
What would you do?
If He walked into the room
Yes, what would you do?
If He walked into the room
Yes, what would you say?
If He walked into the room
How would you praise?
If He walked into the room
What would you do?
If He walked into this room
Yes, how would you shout?
If He walked into this room
What would you do?
What would you do?
How would you shout?
If He walked into this room
What would you do?
If He walked into this room
What would you do?
If He walked into the room
What would you do?
If He walked into the room
What would you do?
If He walked into the room
What would you do?
If He walked into the room
What would you do?
If He walked into the room
What would you do?
If He walked into the room
What would you do?
If He walked into the room
What would you do? (Somebody do it now)
If He walked into the room (Somebody do it now)
What would you do?
If He walked into the room
What would you do?
If He walked into the room
What would you do?
If He walked into the room
What would you do?
If He walked into the room
What would you do?
If He walked into the room

He's here right now
He's here right now
He's here right now
He's here right now
How will you sing to Him?
He's here right now
How will you shout to Him?
How will you worship Him?
He's here right now
How will you bow before Him?
He's right here now
Jehovah
A very present help
In the time of trouble
He's here right now
He's here right now
The King is in the room
Your Healer's in the room
Your Savior is in the room
Your Provider is in the room
Your Redeemer is in the room
Your Champion is in the room
He's here in this room
So what will you do?
Amen

Jesus Christ
The King above all kings
Jesus Christ
The King above all kings

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Faith over Feelings - WE can CRAWL into HIS arms. Blog Prayer #32

So, we are in the middle of a Pandemic. 
Easter came and went. 
People all over the world and in my house are praying Psalm 91 all over.  

And yet... today -- 

THIS happened.  



I was on a ZOOM meeting ( to which I was late for ) with ADMIN and peers and she came to sit on my lap.

 She smiled at the meeting participants, I muted it so that she would not disturb and then  she got off my lap and disappeared. 

She returned to me, with the blanket and pillow.  And within 3 minutes, was OUT.  
I fixed the blanket - how she fell asleep on the hard floor?????- she is 2.  !!!

She knew what she needed and how to achieve some rest.  SEEK MiMi with a blanket and pillow and RIGHT there.  Sleep.  

As I prayed over her, I was reminded about GOING to HIM - pure and simple for rest.  

Matthew 11:28-30 
"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gently and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy and my burden is light. "

Psalm 127: 2
In vain you rise early and stay up late, toiling  for food to eat - for he grants sleep to those he loves.

Mark 6:32
So they went away by themselves in a boast to a solitary place.  

Psalm 4:8
In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, LORD, make me dwell in safety.  


Lord, simply - may we REST in you, not only when we are weary -- but when we are worried...when we are wanting answers...when we are wanting MORE...when we are troubled...and when we don't understand.  

MAY we rest in YOU when we are in a good time -- and when things seem good, may we also HONOR your day of REST -- seek you, allow our bodies to refresh THROUGH YOUR Word and YOUR hand.  

Goodness LORD - may we KNOW that we are THAT LOVED.. that we can GO or COME to YOU and crawl up, even on a HARD floor in YOUR presence.  LORD, may our faith in knowing that YOU will give us the peace we are craving even when our feelings are TOO much or causing TOO much - may we have faith over them.   IJN  

May this bless you - and may YOU find REST in HIM.  









Monday, April 20, 2020

Faith over Feelings Prayer #31 -- HE does not forget your name.



 I wrote this blog back in September of 2016.  THIS eve, as I was thinking and praying, I had an idea that I wanted to share.   There is one this eve, I want her to FEEL HOPE -- but the HOPE in Christ.  
There is one this evening where truth was spoken with grace, but was it received in grace and love?   I believe it was received; however, the enemy is such a liar and he torments us with thoughts of  being wrong and less than.... 

In this situation - I had to trust God.   AT times, in obedience, we must speak life and truth, even when it hurts.  I have to remind myself, I would rather hear truth and be upset which will lead to forgiveness and reconciliation rather than allow a lie or share a lie that makes one feel better at the time.  So, as I sat and prayed,  my faithful Holy Spirit, brought me to this post.  

The TITLE caught my eye.  "Just forget my name".  

 I read it through, several  times and realized some of the burden that caused me to write this back in 2016 was indeed something I did remember.   However,  I  marveled at WHAT has transpired since I wrote this blog -- the victory.  AS the weapon that was formed - did not prosper.  

For  example,  I shared about a little girl who, I would hope, would  call me Mimi one day.  She is now 4 and loves me well.  She calls me Mimi.  THAT is a very important name to me. 

Another friend, did leave a voice mail on my phone, "just forget my name"...back in 2016 and  it broke my heart, but I had to allow God to fight the battle.  There is now perfect harmony in this friendship as God did heal. 

The other requests --I honestly can't remember all the burdens and whom they are connected to, but God does.   
I wouldn't be able to carry ALL those burdens - I am not the Savior.  He tells me in His word to cast them upon HIM.     But, as I read this blog, I believe that one reading this now - will relate and the circumstance may now, indeed, be their circumstance.  

Tonight, I was reminded that ALL of my affliction is 'light' in comparison to eternally.   John Piper says, " every second of my misery, in the path of obedience, is producing a peculiar glory, in the light of eternity."  I want that - peculiar -- glory!  

Our pain ... our affliction is never meaningless.  
Let's not look to what we SEE but what God SEE's.  

Nothing is meaningless.  

Therefore do not lose hope. 

 GOD has NOT forgotten YOUR name.  Your name is written in the palm of HIS hand.  

Ok, I will let you read the post for September 2016.

********************************************************************

This post is being typed with a heavy  but hopeful heart. 

Colossians 3.17 says  " 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."

So Jesus, as I type, I am thankful and grateful for  MANY people - Your people - that I get to love on and live with, but my heart if feeling heavy today.  It has felt heavy for a few weeks.

Life was  meant to be easy -- but Satan deceived Eve into thinking that God was withholding something.  And she ate of that apple.   I remind myself all the time,  THIS was not God's plan.

Pastor Robert Morris's definition of GRACE is :  the unmerited, undeserved kindness of God. 

I have seen that so many times.  Most recently 2 weeks ago when I got to LOVE on a little girl.  Some day I hope she calls me "MeMe".  Taylor and I discussed whether it should be "MiMi" or how I spelled it,  as my given name is Michelle;   but oh, I am thinking now, "MeMe chell would sound pretty good too!!   Taylor and her husband are walking within God's grace in a new season of their lives and we are praying that a transition of 50/50 custody will occur and our kids will be more 'full - time' parents instead of once a week.    I truly did not believe this would transpire until  the child was older..... circumstances seemed unreal and yet very hard and by HIS grace and through MUCH prayer -- we have some undeserved Kindness!   And I am claiming more.

I asked for that.   I asked for some undeserved kindness.

  I have been, I confess, trying to 'quit' on some assignments for the past 3 months.  I keep telling God HE can find another.  I bargain with Him.   I will tell Him, "Ok, I will do that but you must do this." My dear friend says it all the time, "don't do business transactions with God".  I hear her loud and clear and at the end of the day, the Lord knows I submit and that my bargaining or banter back and forth with Him is just our way of  talking to HIM.  He knows my heart.  He knows I want to hear, "well done my faithful servant".  I seek HIS approval.  Moment my moment.

In Ephesians 4, Paul says, "as a prisoner for the Lord, then.  I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. 

Be completely humble and gentle: be patient, bearing with one another in love."



I have  spoken  with -- several in fact, that are dealing with the pain of a child making poor choices, a husband, choosing to walk away from God, and another who just wants to quit -- all of which hurts my heart,  causes it to question God for a nano second cause I want answers for THEM right now and I want to see the goodness of God  in those that are hurting - faster than it is coming.  But God.

God is RIGHT there with them, providing and extending that grace to them as well.

Jeremiah 1.5 says:   "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born, I set you apart: I appointed you as a prophet to the nations."   -- God knew all of this.



So, God knew -- when a dear friend would say, "forget my name"....it will be only temporary --
So, God knew -- when a man took a blood test it would prove there was drugs and alcohol within it --
So, God knew -- that one of my dear loved ones would have a bad week with her medication --
So, God knew -- that another would end her 'weaker' chemo and begin the 'hard' stuff next --
So, God knew -- another would find some HOPE after being without her husband for over a year as he divorced her --
So, God knew that another's prayer to move his ALS  so he could get to heaven faster -- would be a hard one on his family ---
So, God knew -- another would want to quit so badly, but a bevy of prayer walking warriors would stand behind her and remind her NOT to quit --
So, God knew -- that  another's pain would be healed last Sunday and she would testify to it at church on Wednesday --
So, God knew -- that my heart would be heavy for so many reasons in this time, but HE gave me some instant hope that held me --
So, God knew -- that another would go to her knees for her child who is making bad bad bad choices - so bad that going to jail would be a good thing --
So, God knew -- the one that wanted so desperately to 'come clean'  would try her best to seek forgiveness and then get scared away,  because a 'Christian' gave her false hope--
So God knew -- a man would want his wife and children but his pride would keep him away --
So, God knew -- that total peace would be felt in an awkward situation , but our flesh would still want to fuss --

God knows.


And as I went through my list of ....so God -- YOU knew this and yet...   !!?? 

I could not bargain with Him -- cause I knew that in each of these situations -- God would bring beauty out of the ashes -- in HIS time.


God will bring that friendship back around and there will be a 360 - In Jesus name!
God will provide the best treatment center for the one  -- and God will do everything in His power to persuade the father to seek treatment  - In Jesus name.!
God will bring that loved one into the next phase of Chemo as her body is weak but her faith is strong - In Jesus name!
God will bring perfect  healing and a better doctor for that other loved one who is battling this 'syndrome' that needs more clarity, In Jesus name!
God will hold that family as their dad and husband fights against the ALS and gets closer to his home in heaven, In Jesus name.
God will ...  I could go on -- I have -- God will give more hope, as I continue to seek Him and serve Him.


If you  have felt the pain of rejection this week -- if someone has told you to forget them or you feel forgotten by God because a prayer has not been answered --- as you see it...then get on those knees and just cry out to HIM.


Say the Lord's prayer.

Read Psalm 25 and then go to John 15.10... where it states - if you obey my commands  - you will remain in MY Love ....   Stay IN HIS love -- He will provide and HE will NEVER forget your name.

Amen.

Thursday, April 16, 2020

So the reality is, the marriage is broken, BUT God - the Vow RENEWAL - Part VIII




I am not a psychologist or a life coach.  I am just a woman, who loves God, seeks the power of the Holy Spirit, and knows Jesus as her best friend.  I have lived a little bit.  Life's experiences have certainly  been played out and I am pretty sure God is not finished with me yet, but I am going to attempt to share a couple of blogs that I pray God will use to help foster some hope and to encourage a wife who is hurting and broken that God is fighting for her and God will win!   
This was anniversary #25! 


THE above,  is the text or backstory   at the beginning of a series of blogs I wrote back in 2017. 
 I wrote 7 blogs.  God's perfect number is 7. 
 But then... Today, HE 'released' me to share Part 8.   This series was written to be shared with a wife or mother needing some answers quick when faced with a crisis and an earthquake hits.  

Renewal.   Vow Renewal.   Eight is the number of renewal.  

It has been over 3 years since I wrote Parts 1-7. 
 It has been almost 11 years when the  earthquake shattered what I knew existed as  my perfect life and family, but God won.  

My blogging has been a bit -- skimpy-- and limited in the past 2 years.  I believe in the past month or two, the Lord has been awakening the pen again and maybe HE has kept me quiet for such a long time, because of today.     Maybe He needed to give me a rest.  Maybe some readers needed to see a rest in me.  Maybe there was a long rest so that the right person would  read this.  

 I am unsure of the WHY I write these blogs at times.  For the longest time, it was my therapy.  I needed an outlet.  Then, as Holy Spirit  spoke and wrote, God indeed showed me that HE uses these words of His and my experiences to give another hope and direction.

  At a time when I NEEDED answers, God led me to a few blogs and HE spoke to me and counseled me through some rough times. And,  this eve -- I do believe He has me writing-- to give HIM glory, as another needs to realize that God wins.  

God knows. 

  Part 7 is good.  It is posted here , link below.  But this eve -- Part 8 has to be shared.  


Part VII


So, if you read Part 7 and it is fresh in your memory, I shared what redemption looked like in our home and what it felt like through my words.  

I wrote this series to help guide a wife /mother through the journey I walked,  as God revealed and then grew us both,  and healed us.  I truly believe that often, we don't FIGHT for our marriages. 

 Since our crisis of faith, we have had the God given pleasure to pray with couples and encourage them. We have also sat across from some,  with tears in our eyes, as we could see WHAT God could do....but the ones on the other side of the table -- didn't want to work at what we thought GOD wanted.   But -- as we prayed, we trusted  GOD.  

We know countless people prayed for us over  that hard time and for  our marriage, but  what  finally hit or what was the spark that made us both come back to see ----that Jesus was not Lord of our lives????   That can be read through the lines of those blogs in Parts 1-6!    That was the God allowed earthquake.  

Today -- again, Redemption.  Vow renewal.  

I have mentioned this in the blog before, but on the night, when  all  hell broke loose - I had a dream. A vision.  Over the years - I have 'adjusted'  the WHOM,  that I believe were in this dream.  For many years, I knew it was so and so and so and so --  and then, seasons changed and I would admit - "well, Lord, you are correct, I never saw their faces, I just saw people".  And so, over the  past, almost 11 years, I have indeed fixed my eyes on that vision and believed it was  this person or that. 

 Bottom line, the Lord revealed or reminded me over the past two weeks,  in that vision,  was my husband and I  and we were renewing our vows.  Our children were there.  And there were 3-4 others.  I can see them.  Some times, I can clearly see one couple leading us in our vows, another time, I can clearly see we are in a circle, all happy, but my children ARE there -- today, I felt the Holy Spirit remind me -- the point of the vision was that HE gave me something to HOLD onto....to hold on and believe in when it seemed NO hope for my family to stick together and for our marriage to remain.
  But God.  

I have been praying the past month for a special interview that transpired today.  And in praying that I would give ALL Glory to God -- and empty myself of me...  God showed me MUCH more.  

Last November, I was gifted with something.  Taylor ( my daughter ) was contacted by  a special couple  who wanted to gift me with   "The Blessing"-- portrait.   This  "Blessing" was something we were doing in a limited way already.  I am a wordy person -- a words of affirmation person, so my husband and I have always tried our best to affirm our kids and use positive words -- no yelling in our home. We spent much time, making sure our kids knew their good characteristics.  Even when we wanted to smack them.  

  Anyway - going  back  a few years  -  to me seeing a blog on the Footstone Photography site and my heart lept. Immediately  I knew, what Kristin blogged about - was for US.  

  I read Kristin's blogs and  I knew that I knew - this was a GOOD  God thing. I believed and could see WHAT God was going to do.  This would be profound.    I began to share with Taylor about 'doing' this in a  similar fashion for our- now-- grand kids.   So we began, to speak a blessing over the grands.  Our first one,  was for Ava when she was 2, and then 3, and recently at her 4th birthday.  What I saw transpire through her as we did these Blessings -- HOW  remarkable.   We incorporated it into a few birthdays for some of  the adults in our family  as well and again - HOW remarkable.   That indeed is another blog - but WOW.  

So, when Taylor stated that Kristin and Paul felt the Holy Spirit connected us,  and they wanted to come and gift me with  a "Blessing  portrait " -- little did I know what God had planned.   What God had orchestrated from the beginning.  Whoa.  

Paul's video about The Blessing

Talk about being undone. 
  In part of my gift, Paul created a video for me.  A few of the snapshots are here in this blog.  The video  Paul created for me - is  a treasure and  I get to remind myself of HOW Good our God is - daily. 






They are making me an album, which I will treasure.  If you go to their web  site and look around and see  what   this Blessing  is -- and what it has done for others.  Whoa! You will be curious and I know God will speak to you as well, especially if you have grandchildren.  

   I encourage you to watch the video link I added in this blog of Paul speaking about "The Blessing".   ( link above)  What a legacy his parents created when they began this "Blessing" in their homes when their children were young.   What a legacy to see this good tradition continue.  Oh the sweetness his parents must see - through this -- legacy.  

  Back to that SHIFT I mentioned.  
Something happened back in November when they came to do the photographs --  there was a shift.  

God did more holy surgery in my head, heart, and there was more healing.  

 Prior to the photo shoot, Kristin had interviewed Brendan, Taylor, Hunter and my Son in law - Jake.  As she had me sit in a chair -- She read the words from their interviews.  Words of affirmation over me.  And her husband, snapped away and captured the photos - all the ugly tears and all. 

  My kids were first.  Last was BP  - or Brendan.  I have  always teased  that we were to have our VOW renewal ...at our 30th .. and then it got pushed to our 35th anniversary.  It was something that we agreed upon when counsel was done....but it seemed to be pushed off.

I wanted it.   
But I prayed and  I felt - like Mary, and "pondered" it in my heart.  I knew the vision and knew that if I waited on God -- it would be in HIS timing.  

As Brendan was the last one to hold my hand and look into my eyes, Kristin read the words -- indeed -- they were like vows. I will treasure the photos that Paul caught.  He also caught me cracking up - as if you know my husband, he can't be serious for more than a few moments.  But ...this time...he was serious enough.   

 I was undone and as I said- something shifted. 

 From that point on -- I knew - THAT was my vow renewal.  It was in front of 2 witnesses - our photographers - Kristin and Paul....  This Blessing....but it was mostly in front of my children.  Really the ONLY people I felt needed to hear those affirmations.  God won.  

 Whoa -- wow. 

My identity comes from Christ - through Christ, but through this experience, my God used my husband to rebuild  my heart.  

I want that for my granddaughters. 
I want that for my daughter, my nieces, my son ... 
 I want that for my dear warrior pals praying for their marriage and their miracle. 
 I want that for those still fighting through - believing that God will CHANGE their man. 
I want that for a wife who has been dealing with a jerk of a husband for years and I want her to see her value that she is praying him to Christ.  

 I want that -- for others. 

 Indeed, the words spoken that were connected to God's Word, were the most powerful, but think...think of the power in those words, spoken over me..us...you.  

God's Word is the most powerful word spoken over us - and this idea of giving a blessing comes from Scripture.  

Don't you believe that God wants to speak those words over you ??  OH YES, HE does.  

If you google search,  speaking a biblical blessing over another,  you will find a plethora of stuff to read and share and speak over your child...your spouse... over a loved one.  

I share this eve and write Part 8 because , I know that I know - GOD wants this for YOU. 

 If you are reading this out of curiosity -- I would encourage you to check out their web site.  If you are reading cause you love us and have seen us and our testimony - I would add that God is always faithful and continually healing.  Even 11 years later, God continually writes our story. 

If you are in a hard marriage and are praying for that vow renewal -- don't give up or give in.  Continue to wait on God - seek God and LET HIM lead ...as indeed, HE wants this Blessing over you.  

Footstone Photography

Recently - a new song has hit the charts - "The Blessing " by Cody Carnes, Chris Brown, Steven Furtick, and Kari Jobe.  WHAT a testimony and what a song. 

It is my prayer that God connects Paul and Kirsten with Kari and Cody Carnes!  

 I can so picture Kristin and Paul being interviewed by Good Morning America or the Today show and having the world SEE how God can create something and bring families together and how this can be a tool for healing and promoting good and healthy, godly thoughts and attitudes.  And, I can see Jesus shine through each phase of it. 

 That is a  new vision, that I am praying into reality.  

So - anyway - as I share this blog, I just want to encourage you that took the time to read this to the end... God will answer.   And you probably prayed for us - so thanks!  

I am but a no body. 
 If He can heal me - redeem us... and our sin was like a filthily rag - it still is......
 We are sinners saved by grace.  

If HE will do it for us - He will do it for you.   May HIS favor be upon you and your children -- amen. 

God bless.  

The Blessing.



Monday, February 3, 2020

Faith over Feelings - Blog #30 There is still hope!



James 4:10
Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.


Funny -- so many times we commit our ways to the Lord and it still seems we get the shaft or we lose or the bad happens.

  We can easily see those other people around us  that don't seem to care about anyone  and treat God like He is only needed in real emergencies and THEY seem to have it all together!!    Their prayers seem to be answered.  


Funny --- sometimes it seems that the one who is hurting the most, the one who is fighting the battle the most, and the one who has been SEEKING God the longest   is the one whose prayers did not get answered.  


Lies - really.  From our perspective the enemy will make us see and believe what he wants us to hear so that we doubt.  

I have been there - doubting.  

Lately I don't have doubt  that God is not there ---- I just want God to come in on HIS white HORSE and fix things FASTER than what we are praying for .....so, I can find myself thinking that God maybe is not hearing my prayer.  But I know that is a LIE.  

The enemy does not stop.  So what has been going on in my heart and brain since the last blogged prayer -- MUCH! 

January came and went.  WHERE did it go?    

God hasn't been absent or not listening - in the past two months I have SEEN such great victories and blessings but I have also had several DEEP and hurtful attacks.  

And there have been several funerals ...and sickness... and  daily struggles with just work or other stuff.   But over and over, I continue to see how God is faithful and as we get closer to the coming of Christ, I truly can see that we as His believers and followers are going to have to get stronger in our resolve to be patient.  We will maybe have to wait longer and hold onto the hem of HIS garment with a strong grasp.  

There are many struggling - but as I make a list of prayer requests the requests are not that different -- many want a change of some sort.  Many need a healing.  And many are hurting because of others choices.  

Tonight - today -- there were several on my heart --there is one facing a judge tomorrow and he doesn't want his marriage to end. 
There is another -- allowing her husband to be more in control when he has just gotten out of a long term care program...can she trust him?  
There is another - holding onto every memory because it hurts too much right now to experience the pain of death. 
There is another that the enemy has SO deceived - it hurts her family to watch. 

There is always a lot.  

But God's Word is our standard and He is the ROCK of my strength -- do we believe those words? 

  If we believe those words, then are we placing God before all other gods?  

  Do we love HIM first?  

What is first in our lives -- where is our time spent?  

Then if we do -- do we TRUST HIM at all times? 

Do we trust  even when He has allowed hurt or pain within our circumstances?  



I trust God  now -- I didn't always because  I needed the time to see HIM as faithful.  Yet in reality -- my LOVE and allegiance to God should not be 'earned'...HE dies for my sins.  THAT should be enough reason to worship HIM. 



   But ....   Trusting God -- with everything?  

A few weeks ago, a question was asked in church ..."what do you love more than Jesus?"  

What do you?  


I had to stop -- and that question filled my head and reasoning for several days - even a few weeks.    

I think - being human - it is easy to get sidetracked.  

Cause... I knew I was not spending the TIME in HIS Word to fill me.  So, I can or allowed the enemy to creep in and stay a bit.  
I do a LOT of praying while trusting my life in Bren's hands as
we ride.  And we have to trust that oncoming vehicle as well.
IT is funny how so many times we can trust others more
than we can trust God -- even when HE is allowing hurt
to happen...   But I still believe HE will win. 

Being obedient and getting into HIS Word - causes me to question and it builds me up.  There is much that I know  -- HE is changing in me.  Even now -- when it  "seems that I kind of am in a good spot".... Danger...pride comes before a fall.!

Trusting God and being obedient is key and I admit -- I don't think we are believers are DOING this well -- we must step it up.  

We are not called to be HAPPY -- but to be HOLY -- 

But this eve -- the focus is HOPE.  


There is STILL hope -- God will win and HE can make a way when there seems no way.  But we have to be obedient and obey ...and trust.  


I do believe in hail Mary passes and winning in the 11th hour -- so, I am going to believe that tomorrow -- those most desperate will FEEL HIS guidance and see HOW HE moved.

I am also going to believe that one - teeter-totting back and forth between obeying and 'doing it her way' instead of God's way ....that tomorrow may just be the day she GETS it and understands and truly humbles herself.  

Lord, tonight - we humble ourselves before YOU -- 

I humble myself before you ---- 

---- and YOU will lift these people -- those upon  my heart and those that read this -- may YOU lift them  UP.  IN JESUS name.. Amen.  


Michelle  



Monday, December 30, 2019

Faith over Feelings Blogged prayer #29 - an OLIVE branch

This precious Olive has changed me.  See you in heaven!  

 Two short weeks ago, there was a post on Instagram that grabbed my attention and it changed me.  It was from a mother, seeking prayer for her 2 year old daughter.  Earlier that day, in worship, I had a moment with God and I wrestled.  

Would I truly GIVE everything for HIM?
What did Christ do?  

We were all in the JOY of the moment - preparing out hearts and homes for Christmas and I was dumbfounded at the request of this family.  

Not that I didn't have the faith to believe that INDEED, God could raise her from the dead - but would he?  

They were requesting a miracle for their baby girl.  A precious young life, named Olive Heiligenthal.   

They wanted an  AWAKENING. 

 I searched social media and tried my best to find out EVERY detail.  It stopped me cold for a good 2 days.  I wanted answers and God .... God... HOW can this be WHAT is consuming me?  

It consumed me because I have a little girl close to me that will be TWO on Sunday.  It consumed me because anytime a child is lost 'way before his or her time' - it hurts and we want answers. 

  It consumed me because God asked or called me to intercede for that family and I could feel pain and hurt and hopelessness.  

 I found myself thinking, "well, if she is on life support - then God can awaken her".  

I rationalized that.  It made sense to my brain.  Then I found out that she was in a Coroner's office. 
 Awaiting. 

 THEN I found myself feeling HOPELESS again.  Why?  

Why?  

The hopelessness lasts only moments.  It comes and goes as I seek Jesus and am reminded by Holy Spirit that indeed - GOD is good.  She is in heaven -- period.  THAT is indeed good and the ultimate outcome.  

I read several editorials on the situation.  Watched for updates and saw a firestorm of opinions.  Those in support and those claiming this 'false worship and church' was crazy.  


After a week, Bethel Church in Redding California put out a statement and video as to the 'why' they were having nightly services of prayer and worship and expecting a miracle.  

Finally -- I was getting some 'peace'. 

 Her mother, Kalley, is a worship leader and song writer.  Through the Holy Spirit, she has written some very present and meaningful worship songs that help me see HOPE and light in this dark world.  I have rested while listening to her sing -- a worship song over and over.  

I have prayed with women at an Encounter Weekend, resting in the words of "Ever Be" and "Spirit Move" and currently she has a new album out with more gut wrenching lyrics that will mean EVEN more as she begins a tour in January -- well, I state that but maybe she won't go on tour.  Grieving.  

Olive's home was spared over a year ago when the California wildfires consumed the homes all around hers and it caused both Olive's mom and her father to question and seek their Heavenly Father for more and an album was recently released with more gut wrenching lyrics that bring comfort, hope, and cause is to dig deep.  

Do we love and serve our Lord for WHAT HE does for us or for HE did for us... opened heaven.  
Died on that Cross so that we might live.  

Are we only serving because of the provision and all the good?  



Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 ( KJV) 
1  To every thing there  is a  season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven; 
2   A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
3  A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; 
4   A time to weep , and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
5   A time to cast away stones, and time to gather stones together; a  time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
6   A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
7   A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; 
8   A   time to love, and a time to hate; a time of wart, and a time of peace. 

Ecclesiastes 3:11 says
He hath made every thing beautiful in his time. 

 



As Brendan and I prayed, my sister shared with me that she too prayed a Lazarus prayer after her son, my nephew, Blake passed.  Maybe I knew this and had forgotten. I have NO doubt that I wouldn't pray the very same thing -- if a child around me died.  Now.  Too soon.  

  I have a nephew that did come back from death.  His momma found him unresponsive and not breathing and by God's divine appointment - she gave him CPR and got him breathing as the ambulance arrived.  Moments later the enormity of the situation is realized.... Did she  change  God's plan?     No -- I believe Zander will be a walking testimony  - to tell others of what the enemy tried to kill and HOW  God intervened.  

 Back to Olive and her family -- Brendan and I also took comfort in the fact that 'their grieving'...was reaching millions.  Thousands were having an awakening as they sought God and questioned and wondered. 

 There is nothing wrong with questioning our Lord - HE wants a relationship with us, to speak back and forth through prayer -- His Word and His gathering of the Body. 

 So, we grieved and prayed with her - through song.  God gifted her, gifted that body of believers with a mission,  and why shouldn't they seek God.  As Bill Johnson  ( Senior Pastor of Bethel Church ) stated, "we don't have a manual on this, we are taking it one moment at a time."  I felt that was true courage.  To boldly seek God for the answers and what to do.  

I recalled this morning when I sat on a sweet child's bed.  Her name was Rebekah.  We prayed and I had such a yearning to declare LIFE - so I did!    Many declared that she would be healed a 7th time from cancer.  And it was a hard blow to hear that she was healed -- in heaven.  She got up and walked into the arms of Jesus that fateful July day.... in all of our prayers, the enemy wanted to shame and tell us we were defeated and stupid for believing in a miracle.  

We were not.  God won.  


In cleaning out some stuff and making room over this holiday season, I came across something that I found back in December of 2009.  Not knowing at the time - but Beth Moore was seeking medical treatment  for cancer and from the doctor's stand point, they were preparing for the worst. 

  She wrote this -- and it HIT me so squarely between the eyes -- that I copied it and read it daily for several months back in 2009.   I even included it in my Christmas letter that year.  


I am sharing it again  -  because God had me FIND it in HIS timing, as it brought words to me that I couldn't express, but needed to read.    Over the past two weeks, He has been forming this blog in my head and heart.  This finding --  It brought closure to this Olive Awakening -- God does that. 

 He brings us peace and answers through His Word, through prayer and through godly counsel.  His timing is always best.   I believe, therefore, it is time for me to blog. 

This is from Beth Moore's Blog - back in December of 2009:  

"There is no way  I can emphasize strongly enough that the outcome of the story I am about to share with you has nothing to do with God's extravagant love for me, the right kind of praying, or the fact that "He's not finished with me yet."  


He loves us ALL extravagantly, whatever  the outcome of medical tests.  He does not play favorites.  He hears EACH desperate cry and esteems the groanings of our souls. 

He doesn't let our lives be touched or even ravaged by disease because we didn't get our words exactly right or because we yelped, "Help my unbelief!".

  He is not a mean, distant God playing Monopoly with human lives.  

And He's not finished  with a single one of us or we wouldn't be drawing terrestrial air in  our lungs and coursing our eyes over words on a computer screen.

  The fact is, He has a sovereign plan that is for good and not evil and He is writing a story of on -going redemption with each of our lives.  Our lives are woven together through seasons.

It is one person's season to experience this.  And another person's season to experience that.  Neither is loved more.  Neither is more dispensable."  

Olive Heiligenthal made a tremendous impact on MANY in her two short years.   Her family has shown me and others - to grieve-- in their own way --  that will help others.  Since then, I have seen two other families on social media asking for prayer for their little ones.  Why are these 'sudden infant crib deaths' arising again?  Many have their opinions -- but indeed, God is writing their story.   

Since then, I have prayed for protection and life over my own two granddaughters with an ever more present urgency. 

 If God's plan for them is a long life -- amen.  If in His Kingdom plans, they see Jesus before me, I will  be  ----changed -- but, I know that I know, God is not mean.  No one is more loved cause of this or that.  I know that no one is dispensable.  I know that HE will bring beauty out of the ashes.    I know that I know, I will meet Olive one day - and the many others that  left this earth too soon.  



Today -- there are several families that I thought of as I wrote.  Many are dealing with the death of a loved one and its hurts.  It still hurts and for several it has been several years.   One family  in particular, in on my heart almost daily,  as this family is walking in a new season and it is HARD.  

 The after affects -- especially during the holiday of Christmas when so much is focused on the birth of a child and the HOPE that Jesus brings.  

Today - there are  several women I know, grieving the loss of a marriage because of a husband who is choosing to listen to the enemy instead of the Word of God.  They see their present circumstance and wonder HOW God is going to meet their needs, hold their hearts, and guide them.  And there is not only women -- there are several men that my husband and I have lifted before Jesus as they too seek to HOLD their marriage together as the enemy continues to 'seem' to get victory.  

And today,    there are just life decisions and circumstances for several others  where 'olive branches' need to be offered and they are not. 

 Unforgiveness that has such a hold onto and into families that needs to be brought to the light and needs reconciliation.  But.. in God's timing.  In the right season.  Waiting  meanwhile and watching is hard -- but we can't go ahead of God.  Sometimes in our waiting -- that is where WE are healed and SEE more.   May we always SEE others through YOU Lord and the blood that was shed on the Cross.  

So for this - I end in prayer -- 

Lord, to the whomever  that reads this - may they know and understand that YOU SEE them.  May those around them, SEE as well and may the followers of Christ around them, ACT and be Your immediate hands and feet of hope.  


Lord, for me -- this blog today is a prayer for ME. YOU know what the enemy bombarded me with this am - early and YOU know what I took to the Cross.  May this transparency help others - and may this cause another to pray -- for that HARD stuff.    

May this blog - reach THOSE  YOU want today and may their receive it and act.  And Lord, I pray that this would be shared - that YOU would get the glory and the understanding would come from the Holy Spirit.  


Lord, for the Heiligenthal family and the people surrounding them at Bethel and in the world -- may their faith GROW stronger.  For those that WANT answers - please provide the WHY in this death for them, and for the rest of us, let us be satisfied that we don't have to have all of the answers.  

Lord, for the ones around me and reading this that NEED to extend that olive branch  - may they have courage and may they proceed even when it is not reciprocated.  

And Lord, that we would have faith over our feelings.  That indeed as Beth reminded me this week --  YOU don't DO stuff to us or for us because we need an adjustment in our UNBELIEF.  That YOU are not mean and don't play Monopoly with our lives.   Lord, may we be aware that we are still here and breathing for YOUR purpose and YOUR sovereign plan is for good and not evil.  

Amen