Friday, March 15, 2013

~ a breakthrough

I can't believe it's been a month since I wrote on this little blog! What in the world happened? 

In one of my devotional books ("My Utmost for His Highest" by Oswald Chambers) I keep running across notations in the margins asking the same question?  Why can't I maintain this or that?  Why the same issues spread several years/decades apart?  I began reading that book in the 70s.  Then into the 80s there were notations.  Then into the 90s there were similar notations.  Apparently I'd lay that book aside for long periods and go to some other devotional book (Puritans, Charles Spurgeon, Sinclair Ferguson, etc.)  All great books!

Now, in 2013, that little, kinda beat up, red Oswald Chamber's book is back in my devotional life.  Some of the same questions come into my mind that I was asking in 1991.

Today, Friday, March 15, He gave me the answer.  It was like a bolt literally out of Heaven - as powerful as the waterfall in the picture. I was dressing to go to work for a little while; I'll always remember where I was standing when He spoke to me so clearly.

Jayne, it's not about you "maintaining" - it's about you being abandoned to Jesus Christ - not for what you need from Him (which is everything - but that's not it) - not for what He can/has/will do for you - not for how you hope He answers serious prayers for you and your family - not for making you feel "spiritually tuned in" - not for cleaning you up as a sinner saved by grace - not for the graces He daily showers on you and yours - not for just being grateful for His choosing you - not for any ministry He may let you or direct you to do - not for any common sense, good, right, proper things in your life -

None of what I consider "good and right" things/actions/ideas/ministry/etc., etc., etc. are IT -

What it is, is:
A personal, abiding, quiet, intense relationship with Jesus, God the Father, and the Holy Spirit is the only lasting way to "maintain" that quiet, peaceful, joyful walk in this world. 

He put me here for one reason and one reason only -
to give Him the glory for everything - 
whatever happens -
the good and trials -
breathing in and out -
happy days -
sad days -
good health -
sickness -
prayers answered yes and prayers answered no -
seeing everything as His sovereign hand moving -
It's time for me to stop trying to figure out why I keep going over
the same ground and let Jesus, God the Father, and the Holy Spirit
be all I need, all I want, and all I trust.
"Be still and know that I Am God."
Psalm 46.10

Thursday, February 14, 2013

God never misplaces us ~

Foggy ~ dark ~ mysterious ~ the unknown ~ trials ~ shadows ~ quiet ~ where is God?
Sometimes life is full of sunshine and roses ~ sometimes life is full of trials and the unknowns
for a Christian, life is never to be lived in dejection during the trials ~
if I am dejected it's of my own choice ~
Jesus didn't leave me ~ but I can choose to leave Him ~
 what a waste!  what a shame!
- Oswald Chambers from My Utmost for His Highest -
"What I tell you in darkness, that speak ye in light: and what ye hear in the ear, that preach ye upon the housetops."  Matthew 10.27
At times God puts us through the discipline of darkness to teach us to heed Him. Song birds are taught to sing in the dark, and we are put into the shadow of God's hand until we learn to hear Him.
"What I tell you in darkness" - watch where God puts you into darkness, and when you are there keep your mouth shut. Are you in the dark just now in your circumstances, or in your life with God? Then remain quiet. If you open your mouth in the dark, you will talk in the wrong mood: darkness is the time to listen. Don't talk to other people about it; don't read books to find out the reason of the darkness, but listen and heed. If you talk to other people, you cannot hear what God is saying. When you are in the dark, listen, and God will give you a very precious message for someone else when you get into the light.
After every time of darkness there comes a mixture of delight and humiliation (if there is delight only, I question whether we have heard God at all), delight in hearing God speak, but chiefly humiliation - "What a long time I was in hearing that! How slow I have been in understanding that!"
And yet God has been saying it all these day and weeks and months. Now He gives you the gift of humiliation which brings the softness of heart that will always listen to God NOW.
This devotional really spoke to me and something a friend put in an email to me this week is this blog's title: 
"God never misplaces us." 
"Be still and know that I am God."  Psalm 46.10

Thursday, February 7, 2013

~ my word for 2013 ~

On New Year's Day I was with some of my family and we decided to answer the call that a Sunday School class issued the Sunday before:

~ choose a spiritual word for 2013
it could be: 
~ a goal
~ a change
~ a challenge
~ whatever the Lord put on our hearts

~ we knew it should be a proactive word - something we would act on - grow with - walk in  - pray through - on and on and on went the discussion

~ we also knew that the Lord should choose our word for us depending on what He wanted us -  individually - to focus on in our walk with Him

A few days later, during my devotional time, it hit me like a bolt!

~ My word ~

Worship is a proactive word and is a decision made regarding how I view everything in relation to God. Whatever God gives, teaches, withholds, blesses - everything - it is always the best - be careful what I do with what God gives - return it to Him with thanksgiving as an act of worship.

Meditate before God and offer back to Him everything as a deliberate act of worship.

What I do publicly is a direct result of how I live my quiet times with Him privately. Quiet times with Him are as vital as breathing. Without that, we will always choose wrongly - will always go off on our own way - will always get it backwards -

He tells us over and over in His word -

"Follow Me"
"Come unto Me"
"Trust Me"
"I am your All in All" 
Pray (to Me) without ceasing"

Why would I think that anything less would ever work?  How absurd.  How absolutely absurd! I/we have to fill our noisy world with times of quiet in worship of our King - every day - every single day.  It's not about "going away on a retreat."  It's about setting aside time every day during the midst of a wildly busy life - time alone with Him - time for thanksgiving and worship ~

 My daughter created and gave me this gorgeous necklace -
I can celebrate this focus on WORSHIP every time I
wear it and hopefully share a testimony of how it came to be.
She included the word WORSHIP to which she added 
"El-Shaddai" one of my favorite names for God - "Almighty God"
along with the Psalm that influenced my choice
"Ascribe to the Lord the glory due His name;
worship the Lord in the splendor of holiness." 
Psalm 29.2
God does not want us to just hang on to a spiritual blessing; He wants us
to thank Him for it; worship Him in it; then share it with others as a blessing
to them; He'll bring people into our lives who need to hear.
He wants us to multiply the blessings; not hoard them.
That's part of WORSHIP.

Monday, February 4, 2013

. . . separated unto the Gospel . . .

God is leading me into some new revelations about Himself and
how I am to live my life as a daughter of the King.
It's a work in progress . . .
Am I "separated unto the Gospel"? Romans 1.1
"And I, if I be lifted up will draw all men unto Myself."  John 12.32
Why has God left me here? to do what? He could have saved me and taken me to heaven.
He didn't.

"For the love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this: that one has died for all, therefore all have died; and He died for all, that those who live might no longer live for
themselves but for Him who for their sake died and was raised."  2 Corinthians 5.14-15
Sanctification. Do I even really understand sanctification?
"My Utmost for His Highest"  - Oswald Chambers:
We take the term sanctification much too lightly. Are we prepared for what sanctification will cost?  It will cost an intense narrowing of all our interests on earth and an immense broadening of all our interests in God. Sanctification means intense concentration on God's point of view. It means every power of body, soul and spirit chained and kept for God's purpose only. Are we prepared for God to do in us all that He separated us for?
Sanctification means being made one with Jesus so that the disposition that ruled Him will rule us. Are we prepared for what that will cost? It will cost everything that is not of God in us.
So, God is showing me that He saved me for a purpose way outside myself.
It's all about Him ~ 
Jesus' atonement ~
Bringing glory to Him ~
His everlasting love ~
Living a separated life ~
More later.
Blessings ~

Friday, January 25, 2013

. . . be still ~

A Meaningful Gift ~

This was was my Christmas present from one of my daughters ~

Last year the Lord, in the midst of my affliction, knew that He needed to calm me and "get my attention" about a few things.

He gave me the verse, "Be still and know that I am God" (Ps. 46.10), and it has become my life verse.

I love wearing this necklace with these words. It has opened several great conversations when people admire it, and I'm able to share what it means to me.

Just wanted to share it with you!


Isn't it pretty?!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

it changes everything ~

Meditation ~

By meditation I can converse with God, solace myself on the bosom of the Saviour, bathe myself in the rivers of divine pleasure, tread the paths of my rest, and view the mansions of eternity.  - Anonymous

The Lord has taught me in the past year and a half what "meditation" is.  It is not as mysterious as it sounds or as I've always made it out to be.

Get alone with God!

Pray first!

Then . . .

Meditation is just getting into the Word; asking for and trusting in the leading and teaching of the Holy Spirit; reading Scripture in large chunks every day; concentrating on what it is saying; listening; loving and joying in what is in each chapter and verse; dig deeper.

This has not been like a "Bible study" for me; it's been a "getting alone with my Savior (and dearest friend) and enjoying and loving Him." 

I think reading the book of Romans in sections of four chapters a day - the whole book in four days (16 chapters) - over and over and over and over - was the beginning of a new journey for me.

Then the book of John. Same thing.
Then many of the Psalms. Same thing.
Hebrews. Same thing.
Reading and re-reading Psalm 119 - over and over
etc., etc., etc. 

It changes everything ~

Time alone with God ~ 
Time in the Word ~ 
Listening. Listening. Listening.
Worship ~ 
Thinking about Jesus and His atonement for me ~
Thinking about El-Shaddai ~
Thanking Him for all things ~

Meditation is a life-changing spiritual activity!


Saturday, January 19, 2013

people become shadows ~

Summer of 2011:

Looking back again in this post - I ended a post a few days ago with a question of whether the acupuncture treatments were going to be the answer and the post shingles neuralgia would begin to heal. The answer: No. After 13 treatments, I knew that was over! My doctor was wonderful, but she was puzzled that there was no improvement.  I was beginning to know that this was just between the Lord and me and He had a plan, and I'd best pay attention to Him and Him alone.
Peace ~
Rest ~
Trust ~
This was a good, good time.

Some more entries in my Thanksgiving Journal during the summer of 2011:
~ chosen
~ friendships
~ flowers
~ slept for six hours in a row!
~ pain is the same
~ a frowning Providence
~ Your love is my shelter
~ joy in the midst of confinement
~ Psalm 56.8 "You have kept count of my tossings; put my tears in Your bottle; are they not in Your Book?"  Love this!
~ more pain than usual for a few days!
~ lessons in contentment
~ Psalm 119
~ Shellie's joy
~ Shannon and Greg arrived safely in DC
~ no expectations
~ acceptance
~ a different vision
~ life change?

I could go on and on, but looking back at these few things for which I was learning to give thanks is a good exercise in where this journey began and where I am today!

January 19, 2013:

"As soon as God becomes real, people become shadows. Nothing that other saints do or say can ever perturb the one who is built on God.
"Whenever God gives a vision to a saint, He puts him, as it were, in the shadow of His hand, and the saint's duty is to be still and listen. There is a darkness which comes from excess of light, and then is the time to LISTEN. Genesis 15 is an illustration of listening to good advice - (from people) when it is dark - instead of waiting for God to send the light. When God gives a vision and darkness follows, WAIT. God will work in accordance with the vision He has given if you will wait His time. Never try and help God fulfil His word! Abraham went through thirteen years of silence, but in those years all self-sufficiency was destroyed; there was no possibility left of relying on common-sense ways. Those years of silence were a time of discipline, not of displeasure. Never pump up joy and confidence, but stay upon God.
"Have I any confidence in the flesh? Or have I got beyond all confidence in myself and in men and women of God; in books, in prayers and ecstasies; and is my confidence placed now in God Himself, not in His blessings?"
~ Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest