Thursday, March 26, 2009

A Poem by Priscilla Schirer

He is the First and Last,The Beginning and the End!
He is the keeper of Creation and the Creator of all!
He is the Architect of the universe and the Manager of all times.
He always was, He always is, and He always will be....Unmoved, Unchanged, Undefeated, and never Undone!

He was bruised and brought healing!
He was pierced and eased pain!
He was persecuted and brought freedom!
He was dead and brought life! He is risen and brings power!
He reigns and brings Peace!

The world can't understand him, The armies can't defeat Him, The schools can't explain Him, and The leaders can't ignore Him.
Herod couldn't kill Him, The Pharisees couldn't confuse Him, and The people couldn't hold Him!
Nero couldn't crush Him,

Hitler couldn't silence Him,
The New Age can't replace Him, and Oprah can't explain Him away!

He is light, love, longevity, and Lord.
He is goodness, Kindness, Gentleness, and God.
He is Holy, Righteous, mighty, powerful, and pure.
His ways are right, His word is eternal, His will is unchanging, and His mind is on me.
He is my Savior, He is my guide, and He is my peace!

He is my Joy, He is my comfort, He is my Lord, and He rules my life!

I serve Him because His bond is love, His burden is light, and His goal for me is abundant life.
I follow Him because He is the wisdom of the wise,

the power of the powerful,
the ancient of days, the ruler of rulers,
the leader of leaders,
the overseer of the overcomers, and is to come.
And if that seems impressive to you, try this on for size.

His goal is a relationship with ME!
He will never leave me, never forsake me, never mislead me, never forget me, never overlook me, and never cancel my appointment in His appointment book!

When I fall, He lifts me up!

When I fail, He forgives!
When I am weak, He is strong!
When I am lost, He is the way!

When I am afraid, He is my courage!

When I stumble, He steadies me!
When I am hurt, He heals me!
When I am broken, He mends me!

When I am blind, He leads me!
When I am hungry, He feeds me!
When I face trials, He is with me!

When I face persecution, He shields me!
When I face problems, He comforts me!
When I face loss, He provides for me! When I face Death, He carries me Home!

He is everything for everybody everywhere, every time, and every way.
He is God, He is faithful. I am His, and He is mine!
My Father in heaven can whip the father of this world.
So, if you're wondering why I feel so secure, understand this...

He said it and that settles it.
God is in control, I am on His side, and that means all is well with my soul.
Everyday is a blessing for GOD Is!

~Priscilla Shirer
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Sunday, March 22, 2009

Love Story

For the last two months, I have had the craziest dreams. Each of these dreams involves an unrecognizable man that I'm in love with, but each time we finally become a "couple" - I do something really retarded to mess it up....and I always wake up with a longing in my heart to have him back.

DON'T get me wrong! I am crazy in love with my wonderful husband, and we have a rock solid marriage. Larry is actually in these dreams with me, and it's clear that he is my husband.

I'm going through a period in my life where I know there are some things God is calling me to give up......yet, those things have become "god-like saviors" to me, and I have not been so eager to depart with them. In other words, I'm holding on to idols that Jesus knows are neither good for me, nor good for our relationship.

In these dreams, the time of unblemished romance with this "mate" is incredible. It's like that first stage in a new relationship where you walk around with your head in the clouds. But all too quickly, I turn away. In each dream I allow something to come between us which affects the level of intimacy between us. I have woken up each time with a deep ache in my heart......a sense that I'm missing so much by letting this relationship grow cold.

After dealing with this dream for the last few months, I finally stopped to ask myself why in the world these were becoming so consistent. I was baffled because there is no man on this earth I desire more than my husband.

About two weeks ago, I woke up with a distinct knowledge that the man of my dreams is Jesus. He is the ultimate love......and ours is a sacred romance. He is the man Who makes me beautiful; He is the God who created my need for intimacy, and He alone can eternally fulfill it. My crazy dreams have served to woo me back to my first love....and to remind me how sweet and exciting true love is.

But these idols to which I cling so tightly keep me from experiencing the pure, undiluted, joyful intimacy with Christ. Therefore, my aim is to allow my King to clean up this messy heart of mine (and my head, while He's at it). I truly believe that He is better than the worthless things which threaten to steal my joy. My utmost prayer is that the Lord would teach me to live what I believe! That Creator God would do what He does best and create in me a heart that beats solely for Jesus Christ!
How I long to daily be filled up with His love.....and to love Him back with every piece of me.

I pray that the true love of God will make you smile today. I hope you feel His loving arms wrapped around you so tightly that you can almost tangibly feel Him. I can't promise you He'll speak to you in dreams, but I can promise that if you search for Him with all of your heart you will find Him (Jeremiah 29:13). And when you find Him....may He sweep you off of your feet!
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Sunday, March 15, 2009

Scripture Memory Verse #6

It's time for Scripture Memory Verse #6!!

This round I have chosen Philippians 3:10-11 (Amplified Version)

"[For my determined purpose is] that I may know Him [that I may progressively become more deeply and intimately acquainted with Him, perceiving and recognizing and understanding the wonders of His Person more strongly and more clearly], and that I may in that same way come to know the power outflowing from His resurrection [which it exerts over believers], and that I may so share His sufferings as to be continually transformed [in the Spirit into His likeness even] to His death, [in the hope]

That if possible I may attain to the [spiritual and moral resurrection [that lifts me] out from among the dead [even while in the body]."

I chose this verse because I want the primary focus in my life to be to KNOW CHRIST. To know Him is to love Him.....and to love Him is to be transformed into His likeness. People who love each other spend time with each other, and I want to start each day by hanging out with Jesus.

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Saturday, March 14, 2009

God Really Satisfies

I woke up this morning to Larry's alarm at 5:15am....and my immediate reaction was to tell him just how I felt about his failure to turn it off for the weekend before he left. Ahhh, then I went back to sleep and didn't wake up until 8:00am! It was divine. Had my coffee and my weekend regular peanut butter and jelly toast, and then I crawled back into bed with my laptop and bible.
I mentioned in yesterday's post that my weekend plans included diving into a particular scripture that has been on my mind for some time now.

Psalms 81:6-16 has been my memory verse for the past two weeks. This verse has had much significance in my life since God first pointed me to it in 2001 (during a session with my therapist). At that time in my life, I was beyond struggling with bulimia: I was languishing in heart, soul, and mind. I was consumed not only with the ideal "thin" body, but with "filling up" my desires with all the food I could force into my stomach.
While I was at home for Christmas break during my third year in college, I met with a new therapist. God bless my parents.....I cannot imagine the turmoil they went through.....they were always trying to find a way to "fix" me.
During a meeting with this new counselor (which I wasn't exactly happy about), she prayed over me and I'm not kidding, y'all, I felt the weight of the world drop from my shoulders. As she prayed, I closed my eyes and saw typed words rolling across the front of my eyes. As the words typed out one by one (I'm guessing God just fancied using a typewriter at that moment....who knows?), I saw the scripture address: Psalms 81. I had no clue what this psalm said and to my knowledge I had never even read it -- but that's just how cool God is.
We (my therapist and I) immediately looked it up - and imagine my eyes popping out when I read, "Open your mouth wide, and I will fill it." (psalms 81:10b)
Thus began my love for this passage. At that time, I began to seek God - but soon fell back into deadly habits. It was not until five years later that this verse began to flesh itself out in my life. On December 27, 2004 I submitted to God and started to believe that He really could and would satisfy my empty heart.
That's just a quick history on how I discovered these verses.
Interestingly enough, God has directed me back to these verses within the last month - and I know all too well why He chose to do so. With that in mind, I pray you will receive a blessing from my meditation on this scripture.

According to Matthew Henry's Commentary on Psalms 81 (Blue Letter Bible, March 1996), "there is enough in God to fill our treasures (Proverbs 8:21), to replenish every hungry soul (Jeremiah 31:25), to supply all our wants, to answer all of our desires and to make us completely happy. The pleasures of sense will surfeit and never satisfy (Isaiah 55:2); divine pleasures will satisfy and never surfeit."
(In other words, the pleasures of the flesh will never be enough to meet the needs of our cavernous hearts.)

God is saying to us in this passage that He longs for us to LISTEN to Him - to understand that His ways for us are good. Everlasting delight and satisfaction are only found in Him.
I have been like the Israelites, bowing to idols and foreign gods; for many years, I worshipped my own selfish desires. I worshipped the covers of magazines; I bowed to the lust of my very own flesh....believing that this could somehow deliver me? satisfy me? No way! As God clearly says: "Idols/strange gods/foreign gods will only leave us longing for more, while He is the True God, the Living Water, the Bread of Life...willing and able to nourish our souls."

Another interesting element I pulled out of this psalm is that God declares, "I removed the burden from their shoulders; their hands were set free from the baskets." (v. 6)
According to Matthew Henry again, these "baskets" were pots the Israelites carried that were full of clay for brick-making. These pots had to be heavy and cumbersome, and yet the Israelites were forced by the Egyptians to carry these all day long to complete their tasks. But God is saying, "I delivered you; I took this burden from you! Can't you see that you don't have to do this any longer??"
In the same way, if I would take the time to truly know Him, to hear His voice and obey, I would realize the freedom Christ died to give me. I would enjoy the benefits of freedom...rather than picking up that clay pot of burdens before my feet hit the floor in the morning.
Here is a promise: "If my people would but listen to Me; if Israel would follow My ways, how quickly would I subdue their enemies and turn My hand against their foes." (v. 13). Did you see that? He will halt our enemies; He will stop their attack, BUT we must first stop dead in our tracks, look UP to Him, acknowledge Him as our GOD; and basically CEASE to worship the false gods.
If we do this, God would feed us with the "finest of wheat" and "satisfy us with honey from the rock" (v. 16)
Just as the Israelites had a physical land of inheritance, we too have a spiritual "promised land". If we would live life "on our knees" in worship, then "there would not be a barren spot on the land of our inheritance" {Matthew Henry Commentary on Psalms 81; Blue Letter Bible, 1 March 1996}

I am totally jazzed by God's Word to me in these verses. Although I am no biblical scholar, I get excited when His Word falls fresh on my heart. I long to empty my hands of these darn clay pots, and to be satisfied with His unfailing love.

My prayer for all of us today:
Father God, my Redeemer Liveth!! You, who bought our freedom at a higher price than we can fathom, deserve all the glory in our lives. Cause our hearts to automatically look to YOU when we are hungry. And as we turn our eyes upon You - - may the things of earth grow strangely dim.
In the satisfying name of Jesus, AMEN.

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Friday, March 13, 2009

My extra-special ME weekend!!

This weekend, Larry, Kathryn, and Luke are all going to Larry's mom's in Oklahoma. I can't go because I have a major meeting on Monday; so I'm totally going to miss seeing my sweet mother-in-law. She is one of the most precious people in my whole life, and I enjoy spending time with her. Much can also be said about my favorite foods that she always cooks for me.....

She recently underwent major radiation therapy for skin cancer, and although we don't have the "results" yet, we are believing God for complete healing.

So my free weekend at home is costing me: 1) time with my Mom Dalke 2) bonding time with my Kathryn 2) and lots of good food. I guess I could include time with Larry and Luke - - but I certainly get lots of time with them. :)

Although it's obvious I wish I could be with my family over the next few days - - I am incredibly excited about a weekend to do WHATEVER I want!! I don't even think I'll make the bed for the next four days. I plan on reading at least two books and running at least 5 miles (not all at once). I will also be making a trip to the nursery on Saturday morning (if it isn't raining) to pick out my flowers for the flowerbeds in the front yard. Another priority this weekend is catching up on my Grey's Anatomy and renting a few movies that Larry can live without watching e.g. anything with romance and cheesy soundtracks.
And of utmost importance this weekend, I am going to dive into a chapter of the bible that I have been excited to study for a few weeks now. I'll update you all on what treasures I find!
I also can't wait to eat the Cadbury Creme Eggs that I just bought! Not that I can't eat those when Larry is around......but how wonderfully comforting and relaxing to watch Grey's Anatomy, drink a homemade latte and eat junk food? I also have Girl Scout cookies (Thin favorite) that I can drag out of the pantry, too. What fun!
If Larry were home, his "list" consist of more "fix-er-up" things. He would be so productive; his agenda would probably include things like changing the light-bulbs on a couple of lamps that need it; re-wiring the kitchen lighting; or painting over a couple of "scuffs" on the wall in the hallway. I, on the other hand, will enjoy the freedom of not doing a darned thing.
He'll be so proud when he comes home to find that the dishwasher hasn't even been unloaded (because, come on, like I'm going to actually USE dishes?? I'm going to be eating fast food all weekend for goodness sake!!).
I feel at this point I must defend myself - I'm not a lazy housekeeper (well, sometimes) - but I don't ENJOY it. That's why it's going to be put on the backburner this weekend. AND, the good thing, is that the house-cleaning lady comes on Wednesday.

Gotta go. Until next time......I'll be eating Cadbury Creme Eggs!!!

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Sunday, March 1, 2009

Scripture Memory Verse 5

The scripture I have chosen to memorize over the next two weeks is Psalms 81:6-16. This verse has very special meaning to me: years ago the Lord directed me to this scripture during a therapy session (yes...of which I have had many). This particular time He literally etched this verse across my forehead as my therapist and I prayed together. It was like God was speaking directly to my heart when He says, "open your mouth wide and I will fill it..."
How often I look to other things to fill me up. I have danced with and entertained and loved on so many other idols only to find them empty and unsatisfying. But the Lord (the ONLY TRUE GOD) beckons us to listen to Him, to sit at His feet, and to receive the soul's true satisfaction. Every other means of fulfillment is temporary, unsustaining. But in God, we have an everlasting fat-filled feast. True nourishment that takes root in our hearts and feeds our spirits. I praise the Lord because He says:

"I removed the burden from their shoulders; their hands were set free from the basket.
In your distress you called and I rescued you, I answered you out of a thundercloud;

I tested you at the waters of Meribah. Selah
Hear, O my people, and I will warn you— if you would but listen to me, O Israel!
You shall have no foreign god among you; you shall not bow down to an alien god.

I am the LORD your God, who brought you up out of Egypt.
Open wide your mouth and I will fill it.
But my people would not listen to me; Israel would not submit to me.
So I gave them over to their stubborn hearts to follow their own devices.

If my people would but listen to me, if Israel would follow my ways,
how quickly would I subdue their enemies and turn my hand against their foes!
Those who hate the LORD would cringe before him, and their punishment would last forever.
But you would be fed with the finest of wheat; with honey from the rock I would satisfy you."

~Psalms 81:6-16 (NIV)

Father God, thank You for Your faithfulness to us. Even though we have pursued other idols like they are going out of style, I thank You for welcoming us back to Your arms. Thank You for promising to destroy our enemies if we would just submit to You. How difficult that is at times, Lord. I become so convinced that what I really want is to satisfy my flesh.....but You whisper to me (and You sometimes shout!) that if I would simply listen to You, then you will turn Your hand against my foes. And not only that, Father, you promise that You will feed me with the finest.....and that You will satisfy me. Cause this heart to swell with belief, Lord. I want to be one of those who opens her mouth eagerly for you. Turn my eyes from worthless things - and may you open my eyes to any area of deceit in my life. Idols won't cut it, Lord. Idols in any shape or form can never give me what only You can. Everlasting life.....and everlasting fulfillment.
In the mighty name of Jesus Christ,
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