Thursday, August 21, 2014

It's Ok

My heart pounded as I read the words on the page.  A friend had recommended the book and I reluctantly read it.  As I read it I knew the Lord had led me to read this book.  I won't mention the book because it was controversial and there are still some parts of it that make me squirm in my seat.

However, there was a part of this book where the Lord had my utmost attention.   In this book, a girl had died and went to heaven and her father was able to see her in heaven through a vision.  My composure broke as I read this scene. Out of seemingly nowhere tears poured down my cheeks.

"I am so sorry", I softly whispered under welts of tears.

I repeated these words again and again until my tears turned to heavy sobs, the kind where you can barely breath the pain is so intense.

His voice gently crumpled me to my knees.  He spoke, "It's ok."

I argued with the Lord. "No, it's not.  It's not ok!"

Yes, I know I shouldn't argue with God, but that day He seemed so wrong in what He was saying.

Again, He comforted, "It's ok."

Again, I argued, "No, it's not ok.  How can you say 'It's ok'?  I had an abortion.  I took my baby's life.  It's not ok!"

This exchange went back and forth a few times before the Lord gently and patiently spoke these loving words, "Sue, do you think you could have been a better parent than Me?"

Quietly with eyes down, I responded, "No, of course not."

Again I heard, "It's ok."

The extent of God's grace and love will forever elude me.  My mind cannot comprehend the depth of His love, grace and forgiveness.  It is too wonderful for me!  All I know is that it is in the quietness of His presence that I have found redemption.

His whispers heal the deep and vast crevices of our hearts with His unfailing love.

"[I pray] that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height--to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with the fullness of God."  Ephesians 3:17-19

Father, your love is too wonderful for us to comprehend.  Your forgiveness and grace is too marvelous for words.  Lord, I ask for you to heal the deep areas of our hearts.  I ask for ears to hear your voice as you speak sweet whispers of love.  That you would bind the broken-hearted and set the captives free.  In Jesus' Name, Amen. 

Monday, August 11, 2014

Mommy Made a Bad Decision

This week we are on a family trip at the beach.

Last night, Sarah and I stood on the balcony as we watched lightning flash in pulsating colors across the night-sky canvas.

The majestic light show was magnificent.  However, as I stood there gazing on God's beautiful beat of blazing beams, my mind was fixed on a different beat--a heartbeat silenced.

Tears filled my eyes.  My daughter noticed.

"Mommy, why are you crying?"

"Sarah, I can't tell you right now, but I promise I'll tell you someday... Mommy made a bad decision."

"You made a bad decision?", she said with surprise.


She went on to confess that she too made a bad decision and had lied to someone.  It was a sweet moment. We hugged and talked and prayed.

In her mind, her sin was huge and she felt the weight of it.  However, knowing others fail freed her to find forgiveness.

This is why I share.  I share my story so others can find freedom and know that they are not alone in their heartache and pain.  I share so others will know there is forgiveness and restoration in Jesus.

I plan to share my story with my children someday when the time is right. It is a story of forgiveness and freedom. A story of grace and love. A story of restoration and redemption.

Just like the night-sky dancing with shades of light,  the Lord can take darkness and make it beautiful. His Light overcomes darkness and reveals beauty.

The Lord can turn a storm into a stunning work of art.  That is my story.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Tall Paul

Every year for the past couple of years I have prayed for the Lord to give me a word for the year.

This year He gave me the word:  BOLDNESS.

For those of you who don't know me very well, I can be timid, introverted and at times down right shy.

Extroversion is something I have had to work at my whole life.  I make myself be extroverted.

Seriously, I have prayed often for the Lord to help me be friendly. And when I ask, He answers.  So, BOLDNESS is not in my natural makeup.

When I think of the BOLDEST person in the Bible, the apostle Paul stands tall above all.  Tall Paul.  I love a good rhyme!  

Often as I read about Paul in the Bible and how bold he was in his faith, I have thought, "Wow!  I would love to be bold like Paul."  Perhaps you have thought that as well.

A couple of weeks ago I was looking over my scripture cards for speaking.  (I have scripture cards that I carry with me when speaking to pray over, to encourage me to be bold and confident in my speaking.)

I was at the She Speaks Conference and my roomie, Melissa Sherlin, was in the room with me.  I showed her my cards and told her their purpose.  One of the verses was from Ephesians.

"[Pray] for me, that utterance may be given to me, that I may open my mouth boldly to make known the mystery of the gospel for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in it I may speak boldly as I ought to speak."  Ephesians 6:19-20

All of a sudden, my roommate and I had an epiphany!  Paul. Asked. People. To. Pray. For. Him.
For Boldness!

Paul, amazing and tall Paul, needed prayer for boldness.

So encouraging.  However, when God is wanting to make a point, He usually says it more than once.

The next morning, Melissa and I headed down for breakfast, full of enthusiasm and anticipation for the day.

On every table setting, there was a small scroll.  Each scroll contained a scripture.  Each one was unique and prayed over to be an individualized word for the person who opened its treasure inside.

I opened the scroll and immediately was overwhelmed with  God's love and presence.

Inside the scroll was this verse:

"Now the Lord spoke to Paul in the night by a vision, 'Do not be afraid, keep on speaking, do not be silent.'"Acts 18:9

The Lord spoke to Paul in a vision telling him to not be afraid and to keep on speaking.  The Lord wouldn't have given Paul a vision if Paul didn't need encouragement to be bold.

What I believe the Lord was saying to me through these verses was that yes, Paul was bold.  However, perhaps Paul also needed encouragement and prayer to be bold.  Perhaps there were times when Paul even struggled with boldness.

I don't know about you, but that encourages me beyond words.  Tall Paul needed prayer and a vision from the Lord and the Lord gave Paul boldness to carry out His mission and accomplish His good work.  I know the Lord will do the same for me.

Even though I may be small in stature, I can be tall (like Paul) in my boldness and faith.  Just call me Tall Sue.  (I know it doesn't rhyme, but it still works. :)  )

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Named {And WINNER Announced!}

Last night I went through the names of all who entered to win this beautiful wallet.

Crinkled paper strips laid on my bed.  Paper shredded on its own would be nothing more than a mess.  However, each of these fragments were personalized with ink.  Names penned in ink made these strips individualized.  The names made the paper scraps significant.

As they laid there all crumpled and torn, I took each paper in my hand and prayed over each name.  Yes, I prayed for you each by name.

"I have called you by your name; I have named you, though you have not known Me." Isaiah 45:4

The Lord knows your name.  He named you.

If you have ever had a child, you probably went through the rigorous pursuit of finding the perfect name. Hours were spend over baby name books or websites. We named each baby long before birth.  We loved each one and called them by name before our existence was even known.

We understand the importance of a name.  So does the Lord.

At times we may feel like that crumpled up scrap that laid on my bed, but He doesn't see our torn up mess. Instead, He sees His daughter, whom He named and loved long before we ever knew Him, even before we were born.

I pray you would think about your name today.  Sometimes the Lord gives us a new name, different than our earthly name.  Perhaps ask the Lord what He has named you.

He takes your name in His hand and prays over your name.

The winner of the giveaway this week is....PAT EWING!!!  Congratulations Pat!!  


Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Truly Treasured {And a GIVEAWAY!!!--You Don't want to Miss!!}

Her sunlit silky straight hair bounced delightfully on her shoulders as we strolled around the neighborhood circle.  Her stroll was more of a skip-like dance as she zipped by grass patches neatly trimmed and tidy.

She paused briefly as her eye caught a glimpse of golden treasure sparkling in the sunlight.  Wide-eyed and giddy, she bent down and picked up her treasure.  Clinching her fist, she held the new found treasure tightly.

Her excitement bubbled over like a fountain without containment as she gently opened her palms to reveal the treasure she had found.

"Mom!  I have a surprise for you!", she exclaimed with joy! "Come see what I have for you in my hands!"

She opened her hands to announce her precious find. Within her hands lay a dry, crinkled dandelion.  However, to her, this dandelion was not a tattered yellow weed, it was a dazzling treasure miraculously found growing amid the boring green patches.

"The Lord will hold you in His hand for all to see--a splendid crown in the hand of God."  Isaiah 62:3 

The Lord holds you in His hand.  You are His treasure, "a splendid crown", securely fastened in His hand.

You may feel like a dry weed, but He doesn't see you as crinkled and tattered.  He sees beauty.  His creation. His treasure.

Today, I want to offer you a chance to win this beautiful wallet I purchased at the Proverbs 31 She Speaks Conference last weekend.  The conference was amazing and I wish I could have taken all of you along with me (how fun would that be!).  However, since that isn't possible, I wanted to bring you something back.

Isn't it cute!!  

To enter, all you have to do is "Like" my Facebook page and share this link on your Facebook page.  

If you have already "liked" my page, then all you need to do to enter to win this gift is share it on your Facebook page then go to my page to comment on this post to let me know you shared.  

You have until Friday to share.  I will be drawing the winner on Saturday morning and will announce the winner here! 

A wallet holds treasure.  I pray that every time you hold your wallet in your hand, you will be reminded that the Lord holds His greatest treasure in His hand, you.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

In God's Eye

Day 19:

For thus says the Lord of hosts, “He sent Me after glory, to the nations which plunder you; for he who touches you touches the apples of 
His eye.” Zechariah 3:8

The Lord calls you the apple of His eye.  In the pupil of another person’s eyes, we can see a reflection of ourselves.  The pupil is referred to as the “apple of the eye.”  We are literally in the apple of God’s eye as our gaze locks with His.  Also, His image is reflected in us as we keep our eyes on Him.  

The enemy fears who God created you to be and He knows you are meant to reflect Him.  Therefore, the enemy has plundered and taken from you.  His intent is to destroy God’s creation and squelch His image bearer.  However, the Lord’s heart is to restore you to wholeness and take back all the enemy has plundered.  

The Lord will gain back what is rightfully yours and bring glorious redemption.

Father, my heart rejoices that I am called the apple of Your eye.  Thank You for fighting for me and taking back what the enemy has stolen.  Father, I pray that I would keep my eyes fixed on You so that I would indeed reflect Your glory.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

You Have New Clothes

Day 18:  You are New

"'Take away the filthy garments from him.' And to him He said, 'See I have removed your iniquity from you, and I will clothe you with rich robes.'"  Zech 3:4

Last week I went shopping with a friend for some new clothes.   I bought a couple of new outfits (great sale too!).  

But, what if I bought those outfits and then just let them hang in my closet.  What if I never wore them? What if I felt unworthy to wear these new clothes or so I just continued to wear old clothes that were worn out and rags?   

Jesus bought you new clothes.  He has bought you a robe of righteousness.  He doesn't want us to leave it hanging in the closet.  Jesus paid FULL PRICE for that new robe, no sale price there.  He wants us to wear our new clothes proudly. 

Sometimes I forget about the new clothes I have in my closet, so I end up wearing the same old clothes. What we really need to do is remove the old clothes so we can easily access the new.  

The same is true with our new clothes in Christ. 

The reason our new robe is left hanging in the closet is either because either we forget it is there or we don't feel worthy of wearing it.  If you believe you are your old self, you will act like your old self.  

When we renew our mind in God's Word, we are removing the old thoughts and minsets.  We are removing the old and replacing it with new. 

You are no longer dressed in rags of unworthiness, shame or guilt.  Your new clothes are bright with the colors of righteousness and holiness.  Throw away the old rags.  Get your new garments out of the closet and wear them!  God bought these new clothes for you to wear!    

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