Saturday, July 10, 2010



LOOK FOR WAYS TO PRAISE

When “I’m So Glad” was written, it was one of those songs that came so fast. The whole song took just a few minutes to write. No doubt, I had some divine help! After it was recorded, the Lord told me that satan hates that song because it is pure praise and worship.

Since satan covets GOD’s throne, he hates it when we tell the Lord that we’re glad HE is GOD, and that no one else, including us, is or should be! It glorifies the Father, and satan refuses to do that. Satan wants us to worship and praise him, and he hates it when GOD gets the credit for – well, being GOD! I could sense the Lord’s delight in letting me know.

Isn’t it wonderful when someone appreciates you? Doesn’t it bless you when someone lets you know that they appreciate you for something you’ve said or done? Doesn’t it encourage your heart when someone takes the time to let you know that you are appreciated just for who you are?

Well, God loves it when we appreciate Him and let Him know! When we appreciate God OUT LOUD, not just in our thoughts, He comes and gets right in the middle of that appreciation. Another way to say it is that HE INHABITS THE PRAISES OF HIS PEOPLE. He loves to hear us tell Him that we think He is great, because He is! He deserves to hear it. He loves it when we let Him know that we love Him JUST BECAUSE HE IS GOD.

Imagine being a rich person who lives on the top of a mountain. Let’s just say that you, (rich person) have a dozen children, all grown up and living away from home, down in the city. You’ve been a wonderful parent, and have always loved your children deeply. You’ve made a lot of sacrifices for them, too. But most of them never come around to visit unless they want something from you – after all, you’re rich, remember? And as soon as they tell you what they want, they head right back out the door to get on with their all-important lives. It breaks your heart to have such thoughtless and selfish children.

But you know that they have their agency (free will) and they are going to do whatever they want to do. You love them so much that you would never force them to spend time with you. That is their choice to make.

Now let’s say that two of those children love to come home and visit you everyday. They just enjoy being with you because you are Mom (or Dad), and they want to know more about you. Those two kids love to come and tell you what a great parent you are and how much they appreciate you for everything you’ve done, and continue to do for your family. They love it when you pull out the old family album or set up the screen to watch old family movies. They want so much to spend time with you. They just love to be with you.

Well, God loves it when we just take the time to sit and be with Him. He loves it when we praise Him for what He’s done and worship Him for Who He is. He loves it when we listen to what He wants to tell us. He adores it when we just sit in His Presence, not constantly talking or asking for things. He isn’t our personal Santa Claus. He’s our Dad. We are His little kids. How wonderful is that!

If you can breathe, praise Him. If you woke up this morning alive, praise Him. If you have ever had a mother or father, praise Him. If the sky is blue, praise Him. If there is oxygen in the atmosphere, praise Him. If you can think, praise Him. If you are a human being, praise Him. It doesn’t matter if you are driving, bathing, eating, resting, working, playing, talking, singing, preaching, teaching, studying, crying, swimming, golfing, knitting, petting the cat, chasing the dog, cleaning the toilet, changing a diaper, catching a cold or taking out the trash… PRAISE HIM!


Lord, You deserve glory and honor and praise.
You deserve worship in a hundred million different ways.
Thank you for being God.

Monday, June 21, 2010


Good morning! What a GORGEOUS day - blue skies, beautiful sunshine and....no rain in the forecast all day long! Yippeeee! Yesterday was an amazing day. Well, I say that, but really, every day is an amazing day.

God is so good to us. Even the hard days are amazing. Do you ever think about how He could have given us a black and white planet - no color aside from those two - and what that would be like? But He chose to lavish his palette on our world and paint such incredible hues all over, around and through it instead. Or, did you ever think that He could have chosen to given us only rocks and dirt to look at - and not put one single flower or blade of grass or tree or bush anywhere on the earth? Instead, He filled it with roses, lilies, mighty oak trees, fields of clover, meadows of color, splendid mountains, beautiful oceans, rivers and streams, tropical islands, birds as colorful as the planet itself...all rich with the life that He breathed into His creation.

He could have made the atmosphere work another way - oxygen coming out of holes in the ground and water coming out of rocks (hey, He did that...as I recall). He could have chosen to make this a very difficult planet on which to survive, but He chose to fill it with beauty and gave us an ever-changing, life-sustaining ball of wealth on which to live, suspended by His hand in a universe so vast that our little bitty brains can't comprehend it's magnitude.

Wow. What a GOD! Thank You, Father.

I think I'm going to enjoy this day immensely. He gave it to me, after all. Oh yes...and He gave it to you, too! Make it wonderful from the inside out!

Blessings!

Vicky

Sunday, June 13, 2010

A Quick Hello


Hello! :)


It's 9:59 p.m., Sunday evening, June 13th. I just wanted to say 'hello' to all of you. I have one whole minute to get this posted, then off to bed. Trying to be a better steward over my hours - as well as many other things. For now, though, just want to encourage you to continue to be a bunch of glorious blessings in the lives of everyone you know and meet... I will try to do the same!


Goodnight!


Vicky

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Memories


Hi everyone! It's been a couple of months now since my last post. Many things are going on in my life personally - none of which I'm going to be writing about today in any detail. Instead, what comes to mind is to write about memories. That in itself could be a book, but that's not what this is for. This is supposed to be a blog, not an autobiography! :) And, since this is Memorial Day weekend, it just seems to fit.



I can't help but think about some of the things that have happened in my life. I've seen wonderful and tragic things occur, even just in the last several years. The loss of loved ones, the birth of more grandchildren, people giving their lives to Jesus...the list is long and full of memories. My oldest grandson, Hunter, just graduated from high school. Wow. How did I get to be so old? I'll be 57 years old in July, for heaven's sake! And I cannot tell you where the time has gone. My life - like yours - is packed full of memories...some wonderful...some bittersweet...some not so good. But they are what they are and we carry them with us on our journeys along life's highway.



I've seen friends come and go - lives changing with the changing times in which we live and so much more. There have been very hard times for so many people and that continues to this day. For example, all we need to do is look at the conditions of the world in which we're living now and we can see the effect it has on all of us. People change...we grow, we win, we lose, we stumble, we fail, we get up and go again. The things we experience can touch us in subtle and profound ways. Even the smallest decision can affect the whole direction our lives will take - much like a little rudder on a huge ship has the ability to set a whole new course for the journey.



But let's not talk about the memories that have already been made. Those have been 'said and done' and must be tucked away inside of us for whatever their future purposes in our lives may be. Rather, let's talk about the memories that we still have some choices about making. For instance, what we'll do with this day. Is there someone to call or visit? Is there a fence that needs to be mended or a hand that needs to be held? Is there a park that needs to be enjoyed or a lake that needs to be fished in? Is there a picnic that needs to be shared with good friends and family? Is there a walk that needs to be taken, or a drive that needs to be driven? Is there something that the Lord has asked us to do that needs to be done and not postponed until another day? Is it time to jump right into that lifestyle change that we've put off, thinking that there would be a better day to start - or a habit that we keep saying we're going to break, but finding every excuse in the book about why this isn't the best day to break it? Could this be the day that we choose to make those changes and start a whole new journal of memories in the process? Hmmmm...



I wonder what kind of memories we will have dropped in our laps today - but I also wonder what kind we will choose to make. I've already chosen one... I have chosen to put my fingers on the keyboard and start blogging again. My sabbatical is over. My course is set and I am moving forward. My life is dramatically changing right now, but I know that it's important that I not allow those changes to cause everything I care about and love to do suddenly come to a standstill in the process. So, here I am again, popping back into your lives, making new memories and cherishing the old.



You know, there is one thing for which I am eternally grateful. No matter what the present or future holds, I will continue to walk with Jesus and we will make beautiful memories together. I know that some of them will be difficult to endure, but knowing that I can look back on all of my life and see His faithfulness to me - even when I wasn't choosing to walk with Him - gives me peace to know that He will make sure that we get where we're going and all of the trials will have been well worth it.



Blessings to all of you this beautiful Sunday morning. May the memories we choose to make today bless every person whose lives we have the power to impact.











Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Rain


Rain. Sometimes it feels like the sky is weeping. Sometimes it's as if the earth is just crying out for a good bath. Once in a while, it seems as though the atmosphere just wants to be refreshed, cleansed of all the pollution that tries to choke the very life out of the air we're breathing; preventing the sun's beautiful rays from shining as brightly as they should. I don't know... maybe I'm just waxing sorta poetic today.


I'm glad it's raining. Even though the soft whirring of the sump pump reminds me that water levels are a little too high around the foundation and the ground is saturated with the melting of the most recent snow, I still appreciate the spring rains today. It feels good, knowing that the rain outdoors matches the rain in my soul and spirit. I need the rain today. And I want it.


Our lives are so intertwined, aren't they? Anything we do has the power to impact the lives of people we love, challenging them to grow because our decisions aren't always what they believe or even know to be best. Regardless of whether those decisions are right or wrong...the challenge is always there, however. Either we love one another through our choices or we become angry, afraid, resentful, accusatory... There are probably more negative choices we can make, but they are all to the detriment of not only the object of our frustration, but to ourselves and everyone we love. Our lives are truly woven together by our Creator. What a wise God. What a loving Father.


Frankly, sometimes the noise of it all becomes too loud in our hearts and we'd rather just go sit in the warm rain, letting it refresh us in the peace that comes with it... Absorbing the moment, waiting for the strength to return to us as God washes our wounds and wraps us in His love. We don't always need to hear the words of others. We need to be with our Abba Daddy. He's the Source from which we can draw our courage to go forward, knowing that there will be more arrows that pierce our souls and more sorrow that comes as the rain pours from our own eyes, whatever the cause for it may be.


If you're in a dry place right now and need to feel the refreshing love of God washing over you, I pray that you will find your own place in the rain...soaking rain...healing and nourishing and strengthening rain of His Spirit.


Have a blessed day, my friends. I truly do love you all.


Vicky

Saturday, March 20, 2010

This is the first day of Spring?


Wow. Hi everyone. First day of a new season and we're getting a ton of snow here in Missouri. There's something very prophetic in that - and we may all have different ideas about what it means. I am going with the thought that we can always count on the unexpected to come our way. Like God saying that He's doing a new thing...


Oh, I don't mind so much that we're getting snow right now. I'm going to stay all tucked in and try to get caught up on some work here at the computer that's been calling out my name for a while now. I much prefer staying indoors in this kind of weather and am very grateful that I have a place to stay. Life is funny and we never know what tomorrow brings...even if God Himself gives us a glimpse into the future. It's never quite exactly the way we thought it would be, is it? Yes, I know there are many people who have that ability to see, but there's always the unexpected...God moving in ways that we can't comprehend. And of course, He doesn't have to tell us everything He is doing - and He won't. He is, after all, GOD!


Recently, I was told that there are some folks who don't think that I'm a Christian. I find that odd. When people who profess to be Christians base their decisions of another human being on their human understanding of Who God is and what being a Christian means, it can be a scary thing! For heaven's sake, that's when stones start flying around and I try very hard to duck so that I don't get hit by one. Sometimes I don't duck quickly enough and I get slammed. I expect you do, too. I'm so sorry about that - for all of us. We can't see each other's motives or hearts any more than we can see every movement of the hand of God or His plans for us. We can't get it any more than we can explain why the weather is as wacky as it's been - except for the fact that God said it was going to be this way. Wacky. Yep. Sure is. Like human judgment of the hearts, motives and actions of others. Just plain wacky.


Today, I'm going to pray for all the folks who are caught up in judgment of another human being. God's plans are way bigger than ours - and His thoughts are, too. In our little bitty finite minds, we may tend to believe that we have it all figured out - signed, sealed and delivered... Yikes! Help us, Lord.


Like the first day of Spring this year. I'd love to see daffodils popping up and listen to birds heralding the day with their little songs of joy for this time of year. But that's not happening. Instead, a blanket of snowy white stuff covers the yards and streets and a hush has settled over the city.


I think I'll get back to work now and let the chips fall where they may. I'll pray over those chips that are falling. I'm going to ask God to help every single one of us as we 'work out our salvation with fear and trembling before the Lord'. Love, forgive, release and go on. That's my goal.


Love to all of you this first day of Spring 2010. Have a blessed and peaceful day of rest.


Vicky

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Time For Rest


Hi everyone! The gentle (almost) Spring rain outside my windows reassures me that, once again, the seasons will change. Funny...my last post was about changing seasons. I guess I'm all caught up in that right now. It seems to be a reality in my own life - so apparently, it's on my mind and flowing out through my fingers and onto the keyboard as I type. I hope this Saturday finds you resting in the Lord all day long. I sure want that for myself!


And oh, yes...the clocks. Here in the Midwest, it's time for the clocks to do their thing...spring forward... Since we're in the spring forward season, all of us will 'lose' an hour of sleep to 'gain' an hour of sunlight. Not everyone in the U.S. has this option and there are many who don't care for it. Personally, I think it's a great idea. I love knowing that the sun is officially shining now at 6 something in the mornings! Silly, isn't it? It shines whenever God tells it to shine - regardless of our little score-keeping methods. Still in all, I love it!


I don't have any great new words of wisdom to post today. God has said it all. Follow Him. Do whatever He asks of you. I'm trying to do that in my own life. It's worth it, my friends. Sometimes it may be difficult, but it's always worth it!


Have a fabulous Saturday - rest in Him - (it is the Sabbath, according to the Bible) - and love everyone around you. I know, I know...sometimes THAT'S hard to do, too! :)


Here's a verse for today. It's from John 14:12-14. "I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it."


I hope you ask Him for everything He wants for you in this new spring season. And I hope you find and take the time you need to rest in and with Him.


Blessings...!


Vicky


Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Seasons Change...









Good morning everyone! I've been away from my computer quite a bit lately. Last weekend, I was down in Branson, taping a concert. What a great time! The Lord was very much present and the studio audience, camera and audio crews - all of us - were very much aware of His Presence. I could do that every day and never get tired of it! :)








I titled this blog 'Seasons Change', not just because we are about to go into Spring, but because there are so many different seasons in our lives. Change is in the air. I can feel it...how about you? Changes often come unexpectedly and sometimes they are a delight. Occasionally, however, they can be difficult; disrupting our somewhat smooth day-to-day flow of life - challenging us to meet them head-on with courage and strength. Sometimes, that's a hard thing for me to do. Finding ways to adjust to those changes in positive ways only makes us stronger, though. And I want to be strong in all the right ways. I'm sure you do, too.








That brings me to this one quick thought.... When the seasons in your life begin to change and you are unsure of the direction they are going - or what it's going to look like on the other side of that change - take courage and lean heavily on God. I mean it. Lean HARD! I'm doing some heavy leaning right now in my own life. I'm reminded of the scripture verses about Joshua, who was told by the Lord to 'take courage' and to be very courageous. Apparently, it's not something that's always easy to do, or the Lord wouldn't have told Joshua to 'take' it, would He?








Embrace what lies ahead. Our Father in heaven has plans for all of us. Sometimes joyful and sometimes laboriously experienced. I pray for all of us the courage and strength, the determination and love to follow the paths chosen as we journey together through the ever-changing seasons of our lives.








God bless you all. Have a fabulous day! I'm sure planning on that for myself! :)








Vicky

Friday, February 26, 2010

Looking for Spring



I'm so ready for the weather to change! No doubt, I'm not the only one who is, either. And even though it's another line from the old song, "Baby, It's Cold Outside", I'm going to do what the rest of the nation is doing...taking care of business and dashing - gingerly, so I don't slip and break my leg or something on the ice - still, dashing to the next warm place I need to be in order to do whatever it is I'm there to get done. (Now, there must have been at least three major grammatical errors in that last sentence, but I'm not too worried about it. It is, after all, freezing outside and some of that cold may have gotten stuck in the part of my brain that houses grammar stuff. I don't mind.)


So, these verses come to mind this morning. In Isaiah 42:9..."See, the former things have taken place and new things I declare; before they spring into being, I announce them to you." And then, from the very next verse..."Sing to the Lord a new song, His praise from the ends of the earth, you who go down to the sea and all that is in it, you islands, and all who live in them. Let the desert and its towns raise their voices; let the settlements where Kedar lives rejoice. Let the people of Sela sing for joy; let them shout from the mountaintops. Let them give glory to the Lord and proclaim his praise in the islands."


I love that He wants us to know that He is doing a new thing. God is always doing a new thing. Just like the seasons that continue to change, every year, our God continues to do something new. Spring will come. The cold weather will pass. New things are on the horizon for all of us. And our job is simply to rejoice! Sing praise to Him - whoever and wherever we are, no matter where we live. On the islands, the sea, the mountaintops - even right here in good old cold Missouri. It's a great day to rejoice and praise God for all He's doing - every new thing - and all the faithfulness He's demonstrated throughout the history of this world.


Don't know about you, but that just warmed up my day rather nicely. Blessings, dear friends. Enjoy whatever it is that God is "springing forth" in your lives!


Vicky

Monday, February 22, 2010

One Step At A Time


Funny how sometimes when I name these blogs, I have no idea what I'm going to say. Such is the case this evening. That's what ended up coming into my brain and out through my fingers on the keyboard. Let's see where this thing is going...


What is on my heart to tell you is that there are just days that require us to take one step at a time. Well, I guess I already sort of said that in the title, didn't I? But that's what this day has been for me. One step at a time. Little steps, actually. Just trying to keep putting one foot in front of the other. Never running too far ahead with my thoughts or stopping dead in my tracks. I know I have to keep taking steps. Sometimes, where my foot is going to land isn't even clear to me at all. That is when I have to totally trust that God has me - regardless of what I feel, think or see.


I heard it said once that, if we are not continually climbing the mountain, we will begin to lose ground. I'm not sure that I agree with that statement, though. Sometimes we need to stop and rest for a moment, enjoying the beauty that God has so graciously put in our world. Sometimes the small step is one that leads us to a little park bench on a hill overlooking a valley so vast and lush that it takes our breath away - giving us rest and peace for our souls. And occasionally, it's during that little break where we rest on our little park benches that eventually we are able once again to see the path before us with a little more clarity. That's always our hope, isn't it? To be able to see the way - even if it's just so that we can take one little step in front of us - trusting that we are moving in the right direction.


I've found that God likes to hide the path, though. Have you found the same thing to be true? Every once in a while, it's as though I've wandered into some forest that is so thick with all that jungly stuff that I can't see the trees that are right there beside me...and the path has totally been covered over with brush and weeds. And to top it all off, there's not a park bench anywhere in sight! All I can do in those moments is sink to my knees and sit quietly, waiting on God. Waiting for Him to light that one little step in front of me. Waiting for Him to do whatever it is that He is going to do in me, through me, for me, to me or with me. Before I even rise to take one more step, I must wait, for I am lost without Him.


There are other times, however, when I must move forward, trusting His word that promises me that He is with me always, as He said He would be - and that by trusting Him, He will 'make my paths straight' (Proverbs 3:5,6) When I am weary, He is where I find my rest. When I am lost, He reminds me that I am never lost to Him. He always knows exactly where I am - and He ALWAYS has a plan to get me where He wants me to go.


Many things line the path that I am walking right now. Music (that in itself is enough to keep me busy), a new book to work on (don't even ask where I am in that process), Heart Notes for Haiti (still hoping to find more places for concerts and gearing up for the one at Club D Mask Us in May)... There's more on the list - uh, path - but just those few things are enough to consider right now.


Robert Frost wrote a beautiful poem entitled 'Stopping By Woods On A Snowy Evening.' Seems rather appropriate for this blog, so I'll include it.


Whose woods these are I think I know.

His house is in the village, though;

He will not see me stopping here

To watch his woods fill up with snow.


My little horse must think it queer

To stop without a farmhouse near

Between the woods and frozen lake

The darkest evening of the year.


He gives his harness bells a shake

To ask if there's some mistake.

The only other sound's the sweep

Of easy wind and downy flake.


The woods are lovely, dark and deep,

But I have promises to keep,

And miles to go before I sleep,

And miles to go before I sleep.


So, we've climbed to the top of a mountain, rested on a park bench overlooking a beautiful valley, wandered through a forest and stopped in the woods on a snowy evening. Been a very busy 'travel blog' tonight, hasn't it? :)


I pray that you will find the quiet moments that you need with God. I pray that you will always put your foot on the path with confidence, knowing that God has such a beautiful plan for you - knowing that it probably won't look the way you expected when you set out on your journey. We'll see more clearly when we get to the other side of the path, though, won't we? In the meantime, just continue to follow, trusting that He's holding and guiding you.


I love you, dear friends. Rest well this evening.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

A Few Updates...


Good morning all! My feet hit the floor running - as much as that is possible at this age - with all the stuff that needs to be done today. Rehearsal starts at 9:00. On March 5th, I have another concert date for Branson at Morningside, "Home of the new Jim Bakker Show" and there is a great deal of vocal work that needs to get done getting ready for that one. But I woke up this morning knowing that I had to drop a few lines on here so that it doesn't look like I've fallen off the planet!

The first email I read from a friend of mine noted that I hadn't been heard from for awhile... So, here I am! :)


Here's where we are with the Haiti concerts. The Kansas City, Kansas church hasn't responded yet, so I'm not sure what is going to happen with that - if it will be scheduled at a later date or whatever - but am still waiting to hear from the contact person about it. We do have a date at Club D Mask Us in Lee's Summit, Missouri. It's set for May 7th and will feature a band and several solo artists. Yippeeee!


For now, I want to share the verse that the Lord gave me for today. It's from the book of Proverbs and it goes like this..."A word aptly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver." Proverbs 25:11. That word aptly means appropriately, fittingly, rightly, suitably, pertinently. So my desire for this day is to speak the right words - words that appropriately fit the circumstances into which I will be speaking. I pray that you and I will be successful in our venture to do exactly that today. There are lots of folks who need to hear the right words coming out of our mouths and God is more than able to put those words in us - for our own good as well as for theirs.


Blessings today, everyone. Thanks so much for following - even though at times it seems that I am wandering all over the place! I so appreciate that you are willing to still come looking!


Vicky

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Little Rabbit Trails


Good morning, everyone! So glad you could stop by today! I hope your day is a gloriously amazing day for you and that when you lay your head down on your pillow tonight, you can do it with a smile on your face and in your heart. God is going to be good to you today. Happy glory hallelujah!


Now, that may have sounded funny...God is going to be good to you today. Well, of course He is - because that's Who He is. He's going to be with you wherever you go. Oh, it may be that you find yourself off on some little rabbit trail that was never part of your plan for the day. But you know, sometimes those little rabbit trails are nothing less than God's plan for you...paths that He has chosen to teach you something or perhaps to give you the opportunity to bless someone who really needs blessing! It could also be that He just wants you to have a moment of peace in a very busy and stressful day. Possibly, He's just calling you to come and rest by His side in a most unexpected way - or even take you on a journey to show you the wonder of Who He is and the powerful love He has for you. Who knows...?


Don't miss it. Whatever it is - however He chooses to interrupt your day - don't miss it. LOOK for Him in it. Ask Him to show you something new today - about Him, His creation, His plan - whatever! Ask Him to surprise you with a gift. I did that one day a number of years ago and He surprised me with a beautiful little diamond ring. Now, tell me that God doesn't want to give us gifts and surprise us with unexpected blessings! That little diamond ring came from my husband, who had no idea that I'd asked God for a surprise earlier that day. When Alan came home from work that evening, we had some errands to run. On our way to do them, however we ended up going in the opposite direction of where we needed to be. I asked him where we were going and then generously offered my wifely duty of reminding him that he was going in the wrong direction. (WHEN will I learn to keep my mouth shut and realize that my husband has been driving for more than 45 years - and that he probably does still have most of his marbles (I refer you to my previous post), making him quite capable of finding his way around a city that he's lived in for about 40 years now....)


Anyway, I digress. Where was I? Oh, yes. We were going down some little rabbit trail that had nothing to do with our previous plans that day. Now, I've gotta tell ya...my husband is not the kind of guy who cares anything about jewelry. When we got married, his wedding ring went on his finger and has only been taken off during the times he's had surgery - then he puts it right back on. Outside of that, he has no use for jewelry of any kind. It's not in his line of vision, so to speak. He flat doesn't care about it and usually considers it to be a waste of money. And for us, money isn't something that we find ourselves rolling around in, if you know what I mean. :)


On this particular day, I thought he must have left some of his marbles at home and that we were on a little rabbit trail. He smiled at me rather smugly and told me that he just wanted to make a quick stop somewhere before we did our errands. A few minutes later, we were pulling into a parking lot and minutes after that, I was walking out of a store with a little used diamond ring on my finger. GOD's rabbit trail that day was an answer to a prayer I'd not voiced to anyone but Him. What appeared to me to be a little rabbit trail of my husband's doing ended up being the direct path set out before us by the Lord's Spirit to answer a request I'd made that morning. And no, I didn't ask GOD for a diamond ring. That was entirely His idea!


So, dear ones, look for God's little rabbit trails in your life today. He tends to leave His footprints everywhere He goes. Sometimes they are easier to follow than other times, but they are always there. So you just go ahead and be a little baby bunny and hop along behind Him, keeping your little bunny ears open for the slightest sound of change in direction and see what marvelous things He has in store for you today!


Blessings! See you on the little rabbit trails!


Vicky

Monday, February 8, 2010

Hunting For Marbles



Good morning all! Getting ready for a great week?


Seems like it's been days since I've been on my blog. I'm sure it has been. Actually, I'm sure if I stopped to check when I last posted something here, I would be shocked. Keeping up with 'life' is sometimes more difficult than I realize. At those times, I've got to stop and ask for help from the only Source of life there is. Such is the case today, my friends.


But I've no doubt that you all have the same challenges in your own lives. Circumstances may be different, but there's always stuff to be done, right? And it's crazy how time can get away from me! If I didn't know better, I would say that someone comes to my house and sets my clocks and calendars to some time in the future, leaving me to wonder if I've just gotten really old and don't have all my marbles anymore. (For you young people, that just means that I wonder if I'm losing my mind.) Of course, I refuse to believe that. I checked this morning and all my marbles are present and accounted for. Hallelujah...if any of them are actually missing, I'm blessed to know that GOD knows exactly where they have gone...and He knows how to keep me.


The devil would love for me to believe that I'm going crazy. Probably because he went crazy and rejected GOD, thinking he was so much better and smarter than YHVH. Oh yes, the devil lost his marbles a long time ago and I'm not interested in keeping company with him! I know the Lord said we are to be a peculiar people and I am most definitely peculiar. But crazy people? No way!



Now, on to our fundraising efforts. Let me catch you up on Heart Notes for Haiti. As of today, I'm still waiting to hear from a new friend who attends a church in Kansas City, Kansas. Her pastor is considering providing their building for a benefit concert. There is also a church in Lee's Summit, Missouri where we will be doing a benefit concert in May. Isn't that great news? I'll have more details as they become available, but for now, I'm just happy to see that things are beginning to open up. I'm still looking for help with this, though. If any of you would be interested in helping me promote this by making phone calls to secure space, it would be greatly appreciated. Maybe some of you are stay-at-home parents or retired or...whatever...you just have some extra time on your hands and would be willing to use it in this way. Hey, what about those of you who have children in school? Maybe their schools would be willing to let us do a fundraiser....? Just a thought.


Well, I need to jump off here for now. Here's a scripture for us today. It just keeps coming up in my spirit, so this must be the one!


"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight." Proverbs 3:5,6


Lord, today I put my trust in You. My understanding gets all messy when I don't have You directing my paths and You know that there are a whole bunch of paths right in front of me. Today, I continue to acknowledge Your goodness and direction, Your blessings and Your power in my life. Thank You for being GOD every single day and night of my life. Have Your way in all of my friends here at Notes From The Heart and in me, too. I'm throwing the full weight of my faith on You, leaning heavily on Your love, power, mercy, grace and goodness. Thank You, GOD, for being Who You are! Bless us according to Your good pleasure, Lord, to be and do all You call us to be and do! In Jesus' powerful name. Amen.




Monday, February 1, 2010

The Flittling of the Dirty Birds... tweet!



Actually, it's Monday evening...February 1st, 2010. Amazing, isn't it?


Hi everyone. Concert this morning. Meetings all afternoon. Long day. Wonderful, glorious and beautiful day - even if the sun didn't shine and the temps are still cold outside. I'll take it. I'm glad to have it. God is good. Even in cold weather, God is always good!


Yep, I wrote something similar not long ago about the weather. May have even been last week...I'd have to go back and check the blog. Isn't it something how a thing as simple as the weather can get all in the middle of us? Sure does for me. I feel better physically in warmer weather. Maybe that's why I notice it so much. Still, it's weather. We always have some, don't we? Hallelujah, GOD! Thanks for weather! Thanks for LIFE!


Rambling. That's what I'm doing. I'm just letting the thoughts that flow through my brain flow right on out my fingers. Sometimes, the thoughts that flow take me by surprise. Other times, I wonder what my brain is thinking!


You know, it makes me think about what we decide to think about. Yeah. That's what I said. I know that we are supposed to take every thought captive... Sometimes those thoughts flit around like little birds, first in this tree - next in that one. Makes me think of the song, Winter Wonderland. You know, the phrase that goes: "Gone away is the boo bird. Here to stay is the new bird who sings a love song as we go along..." There's always some kind of bird flitting around, looking for a place to land. Like birds in the trees, if I don't choose to let the right ones land there, they leave the little dirty birdies will leave their little birdie messes on the fertile ground of my brain. Not so good. I understand why the Lord wants us to take every thought captive. Otherwise, those little thoughts can pollute our minds, hearts and eventually the loved ones in our lives. Again, not so good.


Today, I encountered someone who obviously struggles tremendously with negativity. Negative comments, negative attitude.... I saw discouragement, depression, anger, resentment, rejection, bitterness and all kinds of little 'messes' that have found their ways into the life of this person. It's almost as if I could see the dirty little birds that have messed all over that brain. And who knows what happened to cause that? Difficulties in life? Disappointments somewhere along the way? Abuse? Ridicule? Scorn? God knows. God saw the whole life - beginning to end - and He understands it all.


What He doesn't want from that individual - or from any of us, for that matter - is for those little bird messes to stay around, smelling up our lives. He wants us to clean them up. His plans for us are so much better than we know. Lose the depression. Find peace in knowing that God can give us peace in the midst of our circumstances. Lose the anger. Dig up the rejection, bitterness, hate, unforgiveness....whatever it is....dig it up and throw it out of our lives. Rest in Him. Trust Him to take care of the circumstances. Trust Him to know what the best thing is for you to do. If we need to do it again to remind ourselves today, then let's do it...let's read the end of The Book. God wins. If we're on His side, then yippeee! We win, too. :)


So pray, people. Pray for each other. Encourage each other. Don't entertain the negative. Bless the Lord and yourself - bless the people around you and the ones you meet every day. Find and choose and give tons of joy to the folks you encounter. There's enough negativity - enough sorrow and sadness and all the depressing stuff to last a lifetime. How much better to leave a trail of overflowing joy, encouragement, hope, love and peace in this world!


God has a new song for you and for me. Let's sing that one, shall we?

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Happy Tuesday Night

Hi everyone. It's late - 11:19 p.m. according to the clock on my computer. Before I go to bed, though, I just wanted to stop by to say hello and goodnight to all of you.
I'm so grateful for all that we have this day. I'm grateful to GOD for His blessings that flow ceaselessly throughout my days and nights. I'm grateful for our home, the food on our table, the beds we have to sleep in, the little cats He's given us responsibility to care for. I'm grateful for the love of family and friends. I'm grateful for the life He's given me and the talents He's so generously poured into the lives of everyone I know. I'm so grateful for the mercies that are new every morning - GOD knows that I need those! I'm so grateful that He supplies everything I need and that it is done through His riches in Glory! It occurs to me that JESUS is GOD's "Riches in Glory". Never thought of Him in quite that way before, but it sure makes sense to me. How I love the Lord! How I love the Lord GOD Almighty. I'm so grateful that He is GOD!
Most of all, I am grateful for the sacrifices that were made for me. Maybe that sounds selfish. Maybe it is, I don't know. I just know that I am so grateful that Jesus came and lived and died and rose again without ever getting it wrong - without ever sinning - without ever giving up. I'm so grateful for HIS obedience to GOD. And I'm so grateful for the undeserved Gift of Holy Spirit in my life. These are the things I am most grateful for. How I cherish these gifts from GOD!
So, even though the temps outside are in the 20's and the trees have no leaves right now, I will rejoice! MY GOD IS AWESOME!!! Even though there are many things that need to be changed and fixed and all that, I will still rejoice, because MY GOD IS ALWAYS AWESOME!!!
I just wanted to stop by and tell you that I love Him, I guess. I just wanted to rejoice with you before I go to bed.
Happy Tuesday Night, my friends.
Sleep well.
Vicky

Sunday, January 24, 2010

It's Sunday Night...

Hi everyone! Haven't been on here for a few days and thought it would be a good idea to check in with you before heading off to bed. It's been a very full day and it's already midnight. I'm convinced that sometimes the clock just jumps forward about 10 hours without so much as the blink of an eye and I totally miss it. How does it DO that?!

It seems like so many things have changed these past two weeks. The earthquake in Haiti, for example. Lives lost. Lives found. Heartbreak beyond comprehension as the graves continue to open their mouths wider to receive the tens of thousands whose lives were snatched away in a few short seconds of time. Joy unspeakable as some learned that a loved one made it. Still, things will never be the same in Haiti. I would dare to say they will never be the same anywhere else in the world, either.

Agendas changed - mine included. Not that I actually have an agenda, but for lack of a better term, I'll use that word. My 'agenda' is to do the will of God and to get better at obeying Him, for one thing. Some days I seem to do better than others. Some days I am astounded by how much I need His grace to cover me. And now, God chose to put this catastrophic occurance in Haiti on my heart in such a way that made it necessary to seek Him for understanding about my involvement and the involvement of the ministry and the music. All of that happened because of events that took place over the course of a few life-changing seconds. Isn't that something?!

Heart Notes for Haiti is slowly taking shape and to me that is wonderful. There is still a long way to go, but I'm so encouraged by the people who want to be involved. Some of you know that there is a Heart Notes for Haiti group on facebook now. It's been up there for less than a week, I think, and we already have over 80 members. Hallelujah! My hope and prayer is that many of them will want to be involved in some way. Although many have made contributions to help Haiti through other organizations already, it seems that there is a hunger on the parts of people to be able to do more. If they are interested, there are plenty of opportunities to do more through Heart Notes for Haiti. If you are one of those people, then don't be shy! Join us!

Well, dear friends, my brain doesn't want to focus on this blog right now. It's been a terrific but also very full and very long day, so I'm going to sign off for tonight. Thanks for visiting and thanks so much for following. I truly hope and pray that the things I share on here somehow bless you. You all remain in my thoughts and prayers. Until the next post, be encouraged, be still and KNOW that He is GOD! :)

Vicky

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Heart Notes...update


Good morning everyone! I've been quiet for several days, just asking the Lord how to proceed. Still continuing to get input from some folks and still looking for more direction from Him. It's sort of reminds me of the Lord telling Moses to get the children of Israel out of Egypt. Moses went, as we all know, but didn't know how it was all going to work out. Now, obviously I'm not comparing myself to Moses. Just saying that sometimes the Lord calls us to do things that we have no idea how to accomplish initially. Well, I have been and am still in the 'initially'!


Some of you are on Facebook and have joined the Heart Notes for Haiti group. For those of you who aren't, I invite you to join. There will be ongoing updates here, but it would also be great to see that group grow and for all of its members to be able to connect there. Below is what I posted to the fb group this morning...


Making calls - looking for locations for concerts. Thoughts? Suggestions? Helpers? Hmmm...hello everyone! Some of you have already let me know that you have clothing, household items and furniture to donate. I think that's wonderful, but we don't have a place to store those items until they can be sold and conver...ted into cash. My sis, Linda, suggested that people have garage sales, then send the proceeds to Heart Notes for Haiti. I sort of stretched the idea out a bit and came up with having huge Heart Notes for Haiti Garage Sales this Spring, combined with an all day concert - many artists and a gigantic cookout. There may be someone with a good sized piece of property or land who is willing to offer their location to host the event. It could be like a giant all-day party, with wonderful ministry and networking opportunities. Some of you could also organize a community or neighborhood garage sale in your cities or towns, if you're not in the KC area. Anyone interested in any of those ideas? If so, let me know. Obviously, there will be relief efforts going on for a long time. Or, if you want to make a donation now but don't have funds to do so, why not put those garage sale items on craigslist or ebay and then donate through paypal? We already have paypal on the website, so it should be very easy for anyone who's interested. Just go to the website, www.heartnotesforhaiti.org. There are links on every page. Okay, back to brainstorming and calling. Hey, is anyone out there interested in getting on the phones and promoting our concerts? If so, please let me know. :)


So there you have it. This is where we are right now in our fundraising efforts. To do a concert, we need a location. Anyone out there have a location? Let me know! Hopefully, some of the other fundraising ideas listed above will spark your interest or springboard you on to other ways to help.


Blessings to all of you. Thanks so much for following these little posts. I appreciate, love and pray for every one of you. Have a fabulous day! :)

Monday, January 18, 2010

Heart Notes for Haiti


Hi everyone. Some of you may have already seen it, if you've been to my website today or are following me on facebook. The site is live now! Hallelujah! So, it's time to get busy. Oh yeah. Right. Busy doing what?


(For those of you who haven't, the web address is http://www.heartnotesforhaiti.org/ . Go see!) :)


As I sit here wondering how on earth this ministry/relief effort is going to come together, there's no doubt in my mind that the whole thing is way bigger than something anyone should try to accomplish alone - and since I'm an 'anyone', that includes me. There are so many things that need to be done and my plate is already full. Therefore, I have two options: I can either burn myself out trying to make something happen, or I can wait on the Lord's direction for the next step and then take it. After less than a split-second of consideration, I choose the latter. I'm waiting!


Oh, yes. Rest. Wait before His throne for His direction. Hmmmm. I like it. Otherwise, I'll just be running around like a chicken with its head cut off, accomplishing some things, but most likely out of the plan that God has for me to do in all of this effort. You know - it's like the saying, "Work smarter, not harder". I want to work smarter. Only way to do that is let the One in charge of this ministry tell me what to do. And then my responsibility is to do it. That's the call for all of us, isn't it? Follow the direction of the Lord. When He speaks and says 'go now', we 'go now'. When He says wait, we wait.


There is a great deal of peace that comes with knowing that God has all of this in the palm of His hand. He has the people whose lives have been turned upside-down in the palm of His hand. He knows what He wants our little portion of the relief efforts to look like - and how - and when - and where all of that will play out. And, by the way, that's where I'm sitting, too. Right smack dab in the middle of the palm of His hand. I pray that all of you are there with me.


I'm not suggesting that we just sit back and let ourselves become hard-hearted or that we stand on the side-lines and say that we just don't have the resources or time to respond. I'm just suggesting that we all need His direction in order to be as effective as we possibly can. That goes for everything we do, I think. There are good choices, but there are best choices, too. May we always seek His face to find out what the best choice is in any circumstance!


There are people that are supposed to be a part of working with Heart Notes for Haiti and the relief efforts we feel so called to be a part of. So while I wait quietly in His presence, my heart trusts that He will be moving in those lives and encouraging them to get involved. I've already had a few of you contact me. Thank you so much for that! If you've checked out the website, you see what we need. And for the rest of you who may want to get involved in this, let's just agree to pray together and see how God leads you. If, when you do pray and get direction from the Lord, then contact me. We'll go from there!


For now, though, it's time for me to sign off. Here's my very small and simple prayer for Heart Notes for Haiti, you, the Haitian community around the world and me...


Lord God. Lead us all. In Jesus' name.

Amen

Friday, January 15, 2010

Heart Notes for Haiti


Hi everyone. I've been working on a plan for the benefit concerts for Haiti and the setup for the relief efforts. I'd like to fill you in, especially since several of you have contacted me and expressed an interest in being involved in some fashion. I've asked the Lord how He wants this handled, so the information is included below. To make everything clear, it's necessary to start by telling you about FIJC...

Freedom in Jesus Christ Charitable Trust (FIJC), a 501(3) public charity, officially received non-profit status in 2004. I am the main trustee in the organization and my husband Alan is co-trustee. For the last 5 years, FIJC has provided assistance to individuals, families and organizations here in the U.S. and abroad. FIJC has distributed food, clothing, transportation, utility assistance, furniture and other household items, including books, cd's and gifts to the elderly and others in need. Abroad, FIJC supports orphanages and the ministries of several organizations dedicated to spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ as they help the impoverished build healthy lives.

Since FIJC is a public charity, contributions made to the organization are tax deductible. Funds received for the relief effort we're setting up for Haiti will need to be made to FIJC in order to be eligible for tax credit.

Now, for the relief efforts of FIJC. The name the Lord gave me for this work is Heart Notes for Haiti. He is the HEART in the name. Beautiful, huh? NOTES has several meanings... As stated earlier, one of the main ways in which we will be raising funds is through concerts - hence, music notes. (Isn't God smart?) There will also be a place on the website where people can write notes to encourage Haitian families and friends. (I love this part.) And money is often referred to as 'notes'. There may be more that He hasn't told me about this, but I love the direction so far, don't you?

The main ways that we will be trying to raise money will be through benefit concerts, which will also include silent auctions. We are going to publicize our efforts to raise as much awareness about Heart Notes for Haiti as possible. We know that there are many organizations already involved in this work and I think that's wonderful! Ours is one more added to the list. You must decide for yourselves if, how and where you want to support it.

We are building a website for this project, but it is NOT up yet. I will post here the moment it's up and running. Please give us a few days to get it ready and online. The address is:

If you are interested in finding out more information about how to be involved, please contact me through this blog or at:

If you have any questions, please use the email address above to get in touch with me. If you or someone you know is interested in making a financial contribution now, then write to:


We will be using Paypal for our online donations. Someone will contact you with more information about that. If you or someone you know would prefer to make a contribution through regular mail, please send it to:
Freedom in Jesus Christ Charitable Trust
P.O. Box 3182
Independence, MO 64055

If you're making a donation, please be sure to put 'Heart Notes for Haiti' on the memo line of your check, so that we know where you want the funds to go. We cannot cash checks made out to 'Heart Notes for Haiti'. We are not setting up a bank account under that name, as that is just the name of this project. The IRS will only recognize income to Freedom in Jesus Christ Charitable Trust as being tax deductible, so if you choose to make a financial contribution, please write your check to Freedom in Jesus Christ Charitable Trust.

I want to assure you that all monies donated to the Heart Notes for Haiti work will only be used for that relief effort. If you would like to support our work in general, just leave the memo line blank and we will know that your donation goes into our general fund to be dispersed as the Lord directs.

We have need of assistance in many other ways, too. We need free advertising, gifts donated for the silent auctions, locations for concerts, event workers, music artists, go-fers...actually, we need volunteers in general... And, if you have any ideas you'd like to share with us to help enhance or expand our efforts, please let me know. This isn't a one-time event I'm talking about. There are lots of really good music artists out there who may want to donate their time, talents and possibly even a few of their cd's for this cause. It doesn't have to be about having a great deal of money - or even any money at all. You don't have to be a musician or singer to be involved...as a matter of fact, if you aren't, then let's find out what your real talents are and put those to use!

Thanks so much for reading all of this. I encourage you to pray about what the Lord wants you to do. No matter what you decide about involvement in Heart Notes for Haiti or Freedom in Jesus Christ Charitable Trust, please keep the work in your prayers and tell others about what we're doing. As far as your involvement, do whatever you feel Holy Spirit is leading you to do. There is no pressure to be part of this - I don't believe in pressuring people for donations. Our gifts should come from our hearts - just as God freely gives His gifts to us. Those are the very best gifts!

We trust God for all that we do. I'll be in touch soon. Now, I have to get started on that website!

Blessings!

Vicky

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Times Like These...



My fingers rested on the keyboard for awhile before I could find words with which to start this blog. Still, I am at a loss for ways to express my thoughts about what has happened to the millions of people in Haiti these last 24 hours. It's beyond comprehension for those of us who have never experienced the kinds of devastation and loss that impoverished country is experiencing this very moment. Times like these are beyond difficult to deal with or explain. I'm not even going to try, because I could never do justice to the magnitude of physical or emotional loss of those who have been impacted by the violent shaking that destroyed so many hopes, dreams and lives.


I think about the people who are still trapped - alive - hoping and praying to be rescued. What must they be going through? And then there are the loved ones who cannot reach anyone by phone - hoping and praying that their brothers, sisters, parents, children and friends survived the earthquake that rocked the nation so powerfully and unexpectedly not so very many hours ago. Their world has been turned upside down. And the grief that pours from that nation across the planet is almost palpable. As I said, beyond comprehension.


Like many of you, I also have friends in Haiti. A wonderful man by the name of Pierre lives there with his beautiful family. He is a minister we met about 10 years ago when we lived in Florida. Loves the Lord with all his heart and serves Him and the people of Haiti with full devotion. And then there are our Haitian friends here in the U.S. Our hearts go out to them, as I'm sure yours must, also. Glory hasn't heard anything about her family yet. I met her mother last year while she was here for a visit. I wonder what they all must be going through right now. I cannot imagine. Help, Lord God. Help them all.


So, what can we do? That's a question many are asking right now. Of course, we can and should do whatever the Lord leads us to do. You may be just one person, but you have something you can do. God knows what that is. Go ask Him...He will surely tell you. He knows the best way for you to use the resources that He's entrusted to you. I'm going to call Hubner and Joseph - two of my Haitian friends who live here in the Kansas City area. I have a plan...


The one thing I can do is sing. I, like many others, don't have money - but there are folks who do. As quickly as we can find a facility and organize a concert, I want to do a benefit to help the Haitian community. I can't do this alone, either. I'm also looking for volunteers to help with this project. If you want to help, then get in touch with me through this blog. We'll find a way for you to be involved. People from all over the world are reaching out to help. If you want to be part of it through this ministry, come on board. Let's see what God will do!


Please don't think you can't be part of this or that what you would have to offer may not be big enough. Remember the verse in the Bible where Jesus said, 'And if anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones because he is my disciple, I tell you the truth, he will certainly not lose his reward.' That's from Matthew 10:24. No matter how large or small, your gift is important.


I almost forgot - for those of you who may want to help financially, we have a non-profit organization called Freedom in Jesus Christ Charitable Trust, so your contributions to this ministry to help the Haitian community will be tax deductible.


God bless you. I encourage all of my musician friends to consider hosting a benefit concert to help, too. If you would like to be part of what I'm planning, then get in touch with me. Whatever you choose to do, let the Lord direct you in how to use the funds you receive to bless the Haitian community.


Until next time, much love to all!


Vicky

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Bold Up! (Catchy, isn't it?)


Hi everyone! It's so wonderful to have friends in the Body of Christ who will encourage us, isn't it? If you or someone you know is having a difficult time right now, then today's blog is for you - or them. Or maybe it's for you and them. ;)

When someone is truly your friend, TRULY, then that person wants what God has for you and your family. If he/she is truly your friend, he/she would not want to hinder the ways God is using you at your church, on your job, with the kids down the street, at the gas station or at WalMart! Instead, that person would pray over you and and ask God to bless and direct your endeavors for Him in Jesus' name. Do you understand why some folks can't do that? If they are professing Christians but they are trying to prevent you from moving forward for God, it is most likely because they are bound by religion.
Religion other than what the Bible describes is just plain mean and controlling. And those verses that do talk about religion say that true religion is to visit the widows and care for the fatherless, etc....they don't say anything about the kind of stuff we see and hear going on in the name of 'religion' - the stuff that seeks to destroy, divide, and divert the attention of God's people from the true call to 'go into all the world and preach the gospel, raise the dead, heal the sick, cast out demons in my (Jesus') name.' It doesn't matter what those things are, if God isn't allowed to move in and through us to do the work to which we've been called, but instead some one's agenda is being used to dominate us for the sake of religion, then we are being controlled and manipulated by the enemy through that person or denomination. Control. Oppression. Witchcraft. Take your pick - call it what you like. It's wrong.

So you want to venture out to do the work of the Great Commission - which are your marching orders - and your best friend or someone else tells you they want to see you stopped in the work God is doing through you somewhere besides at their little bitty congregation/denomination/ministry? They want to see you stopped in your tracks because you are not bowing down to their little bitty understanding of religion and because you are choosing instead to follow the call of God in your life without first checking with a human being to see if that is okay to do - receiving their stamp of approval before you dare to go and obey GOD? Exactly who is seated on the throne, anyway?

Whatever happened to getting into a relationship with God (see my blog from yesterday) and then trusting Him to direct your path, even as it says in Proverbs 3:5,6? If you are being oppressed or prevented from moving forward with the Lord in the things He's made known to you, or if that is happening to you or someone you love, then that 'best friend' is fast asleep in the Spirit of God. Once you are strengthened and can see clearly, then love those folks enough to ask God to help you WAKE THEM UP! I am encouraging you, my dear friends in Jesus Christ - you 'heirs of the kingdom' - to stop letting the oppression of the enemy through anyone or any institution, limit the call of God in you!

Of course Satan doesn't want to see you step out and go do what you've been called to do. He's not sure exactly what that is, but he definitely knows that you can cause a lot of trouble in his kingdom if you wake up to his tactics, stop being afraid to move out, pick up your sickle and start harvesting. Of course he's going to try to scare you off the plan that God has for you. Of course he will try. He sees the gifts and talents in you even more clearly than you do! He sees the Presence of God with you and is completely threatened by the possibility that you might do something crazy - like follow JESUS wherever He decides to lead you...even if it is right out the door of a little bitty denomination into the wide open spaces of a harvest field that reaches so far beyond your limited vision that it would stagger your mind to realize it! Stay in your little bitty denomination if you want to or if you feel that God has called you to stay there, but don't let anyone dictate what your work will be or how you will do it. Only follow YHVH!

If you are in a personal relationship with the Lord, if you spend time with Him and His word, if you continually seek His face, living in humility and with a repentant heart, then you are probably going to be willing to hear His voice in any way He chooses to speak. In addition to hearing from Him through the Bible, sometimes that voice will come directly - at other times it will come through other folks. If you've been smothered by religion and religious leaders who don't follow God in the ways that He wants them to follow Him, or if you have been swallowed up by the garments of religious doctrine, man made traditions and such, then you'll probably go through a process of getting all that stuff peeled off of you with the help of the Holy Spirit. It's so hard to see where we have believed falsehoods! We have to ask the Lord to bring us into all truth. His truth IS truth. Pray for it. Ask Him to show you every false thing you've been taught or believed. He will, you know. It will take time to clean all that stuff out of your thinking, but He'll most assuredly do it!

Remember, if you are bold enough to follow the Lord wherever He leads you, then you are a threat, dear one. You're a threat to satan and his kingdom. You're a threat that has to be stopped, as far as he's concerned. "Keep that one quiet", he says. "Keep her tucked away and fearful, in confusion, worrying about how to pay the bills, worrying about what will happen with her authority or church responsibilities if she doesn't stay submissive to the humans around her. Keep that one from moving forward. Keep him very very small - don't let his ministry get outside of the church walls. As long as we have that one in there, we can control him through other humans." I can hear him whispering it right now. "Keep them afraid. Keep them terrified about what is going to fall apart first: their reputations, their marriages, families, finances, homes, health, the health of their loved ones, the dangers of being sucked into false doctrines, false ministries, cults, whatever....just keep that one off track and terrified." That's what I am being allowed to hear right now. Do you see the deception? Wake up if you are sleeping! Come on...I'm rootin' for ya!

While I was writing the following prayer today, the Lord strengthened me in my spirit - which is wonderful - especially since I was writing to share/pray it with a friend. It was for both of us - and the Lord definitely moved in my spirit to strengthen me through it, too. I love how the Lord encourages us even while we are encouraging others! As I was writing, He told me that this is a prayer that should be shared on my blog and that the readers are invited to share it with others, also. So, if you want to share it, don't wait for a lightening bolt to strike before you do. Step out - BOLD UP! - and share it. It's time to 'Bold Up' even more than ever before!

Before I get to the prayer, though, I want to tell you what happened yesterday. I received an email from one of you who said the Lord said to put this scripture in my hands. Actually, since I'm not identifying anyone, I think it would be okay if I just quote her... She wrote:

"I HAVE A SCRIPTURE FOR YOU THAT THE LORD QUICKENED IN MY SPIRIT FOR YOUR HANDS.......

STRENGTHEN YE THE WEAK HANDS, AND CONFIRM THE FEEBLE KNEES:
SAY TO THEM THAT ARE OF A FEARFUL HEART,
BE STRONG, FEAR NOT: BEHOLD YOUR GOD WILL COME WITH
VENGEANCE, EVEN GOD WITH A RECOMPENSE; HE WILL COME AND SAVE YOU.
~ISAIAH 35: 3-4"

Now, dear friends, here's the prayer...

Lord, You are Holy! Holy! Holy God!!! In Jesus' wonderful and mighty Name we come to you with praise for ALL that You are! You are Jehovah Jireh - our PROVIDER! You are more than able to take care of utility bills and phone bills and empty pantries. You have more tires and cars and houses and groceries and medicines and gifts and blessings and everything else that we could possibly ever need or use - more than we can even imagine! You are RICH, Abba Daddy. You are ALL-POWERFUL, our beautiful Omnipotent Father! You are ALL-KNOWING, our glorious Omniscient Creator! You are ALL IN ALL...ALL-IN-AND-THROUGH-AND-OVER-AND-UNDER-AND-AROUND, our Extravagant Omnipresent King! Hallelujah to the Lamb that was slain from the foundation of the world! Glory to the King of kings and Lord of lords!!! Glory! Glory! Glory to You, MOST HIGH GOD! You reign above the heavens; You rule from on high! Rule and reign in OUR hearts today!

We love the fact that You cannot be removed nor replaced! You are THE ONE TRUE GOD! Thank You for being God! Thank You for having plans that far exceed our wildest dreams - even for ourselves and our loved ones! Thank You for never sleeping, never slumbering, for always keeping watch over Your children! Thank You for the blessings that will never ever end in our lives - for the opportunities, the challenges, the circumstances that dare us to trust You! Thank You for the times that look hopeless, for it is in those times that You show Yourself Strong, Mighty, Capable, Brilliant, Extravagant and Shining - so much brighter than any noonday sun!!! Ohhhh, You are Holy! Yessssss, You are Wonderful! And we praise You because of Who You are...the Great I Am! The Deliverer! YHVH! Hallelujah!

Lord, You have been faithful to take care of us when we could not see our way clear to do anything to change our circumstances. You have been patient when we have refused to trust You to be GOD. You have blessed us time and again...called us without fail...strengthened us for tasks beyond our abilities...protected us all our lives. Thank You, Father! Thank You Lord God Almighty! Thank You for sending Jesus to die for us. Thank You for telling Him to lay His life down and then to get up out of the tomb and take His life back! Thank You for Your glorious Wisdom! You are WISDOM!

Thank You for seeing everything and knowing that we would need the Savior, we would need the Counselor, we would need to be comforted and corrected and we would even need the angels to minister to us. Thank You for not giving up on us, even when we have given up on ourselves or others. Thank You, thank You, thank YOU! Forgive us for every sin. We willingly acknowledge that we have sinned and we cannot make it without Your mercy. Please forgive us for every sin we've committed and strengthen us to never repeat those same sins. We cannot make it without Your grace. We need You, Lord. And while it is very true that we need You, we also acknowledge that we WANT You! We want You with us all of the time. We want You to lead us, teach us, help us and talk with us. We want You to know us, Lord. And we want to know You more. Thank You so much for being God! Thank You - with all that we are we want to thank You, Lord. Hallelujah!!!

Father, these problems we experience are very small in Your eyes. They are just little bitty things, Lord. Just like we are little, so are our problems in Your eyes. Father, we don't want to grieve You by doubting Your ability to handle our little bitty problems. You are far too magnificent to be torn down by our little bitty mindsets, so instead we choose to thank You for the ways that You will provide. We choose to thank You for the insight that You will give, the provision that You will make, the lessons that You will teach and the glory that You will rightly receive as we honor You by trusting You to be God in all of these little bitty problems. We do not pray with an attitude of fear about these things, Lord. We pray with confidence that You have plans and are more than capable to see those plans through in our lives. We pray in faith, God. We also pray with understanding - for You have faithfully shown Yourself to be Trustworthy and True every day of our lives. Thank You! You will always be GOD, YHVH, and absolutely nothing can change that! Glory!!!

Oh, the peace that fills our hearts when we honor You! How wonderful it is to have these times to show You that we trust You - no matter what may come! Strengthen us, Lord, to honor You always with the thoughts in our minds, the words that pour from our lips and the attitudes that fill our hearts during times of distress. Help us lift our hands in praise to You when our little bitty problems threaten to overwhelm us. Help us experience them with the right perspective! Sharpen our hearing and brighten our vision to hear and see You more clearly. Fill our mouths with praise that we can shout loud enough for all the host of heaven to hear! Be glorified! Be glorified! Be glorified, Holy Holy Holy!!!

Lord, we lay every single problem, need, desire, hope and dream down at Your feet. Answer and fill them according to Your plans for our lives. Thank You for doing that, Lord. We trust and believe that You will. We lay all the gifts and talents You have given us down at Your feet, also. These are Your gifts to us, YHVH, and we want to use them to honor You. We want to see them multiplied, so that the return for Your Kingdom is everything You desire to receive from Your generous investment in our lives. Thank You for faithfully doing Your part to accomplish all that You have said You would accomplish in us. Thank You for blessing us with the desire to honor, serve, obey and love You, Lord. Thank You for sending us into a harvest that is ready RIGHT NOW! Thank You for equipping us for every situation - even the ones in which we feel inadequate. Thank You so very much for being God!

And so, we joyfully lift this offering of prayer up to You and eagerly look forward to all that You will do. We happily release ourselves into Your care - committed to believe You to be all that Your Word says You are and committed also to believe that You know exactly what to do, when and how to do it! And we offer this sacrifice of praise and prayer up to You in the Only Name that is above every other name...our Lord and Savior, our Redeemer King...Yeshua Ha'Mashiach - Jesus Christ, the Messiah!!!!! GLORY!
Amen!

Come on, everybody! Let's BOLD UP!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

"...And There You Are. You're In It."


A number years ago during one of my visits to a ministry here in my area, a woman about my age shared a vision she had of me as we all waited on the Lord in prayer. In the vision, she said she saw me standing on a beach and I was contemplating stepping into the ocean. The only problem was that I didn't know where to step in. She said that she understood the ocean to represent the "Deep" (Lord) and that I wanted to go in, but was unsure of how to go about it. In her beautiful Australian accent, she said, "Just step in and there you are! You're in it."


Sounds simple, doesn't it? But how many people do you know who don't have any idea how to get into a personal relationship with the Lord? Probably more people than we think. I've seen the blank looks on faces occasionally when I encourage people to develop a personal relationship with Him. They have no idea where to start - how to step into the Deep. And I can certainly empathize with them. Been there, done that...as the much over-used saying goes.


You probably already know that there's no special formula, just as there's no special formula for how you talk to your children or parents. There are no instructions to follow, no certain people to meet or study under, no diploma or certificate that qualifies, no elaborate do-da that has to occur before you talk with them. You simply talk. Right? And you simply listen. You get to know them by 'wading into the water' with them. And there you are. You're in it.


How many people do you know that only want you or someone else to pray "out loud" in a gathering, regardless of the size? Why, it might just be you and one other "no-thanks-you-pray" person who is afraid to talk directly to God in front of people. That person might even be afraid to talk to Him when they're all alone, too. That is incredibly sad. How can people who say they are Christians be afraid to talk to their Creator? We all have to get into the relationship while we're here, don't we? If we don't, isn't it possible that we will hear Jesus say, "Get away from me, you workers of lawlessness. You never knew ME." Scary thought, huh? Yeah. It sure is. So why are folks so afraid to 'step into the water'?


Could it be because we've made it too difficult? Could it be that people spend too much time comparing their relationships or their Christian walks with others, when that is not something we should be doing at all? What happens when children compare the relationships their siblings have with their parents to their own relationships with their parents? Comparisons with others usually leaves someone feeling inadequate, unloved or unwanted. It's a recipe for disaster.


Speaking of recipes, I read this really good story in a Chicken Soup For The Soul book today. (Nice segue, huh?) The author is a man by the name of John Holt. John started playing cello a number of years ago. His point was that, even during the learning process, he was playing the cello. Maybe not with the greatest skill, of course. Nevertheless, he was playing. Many people, he says, would say that he was "learning to play", implying that there are two different processes in cello-playing. Process one is the learning-to-play process. Process two is the actual playing. Ridiculous, isn't it? I never thought of it this way before, but this man is right. There are not two processes, just one. We learn to do something by DOING it. We may improve (hopefully) in the things we endeavor to do, but once we start, we are actually doing it.


It's the same with getting into the water. Step into the ocean. When you put your feet into the water, you are wet. Once you get wet, you are wet. As you move forward (practice, listen, pray - whatever) you may get more water on you, but you were wet from the moment you stepped in, right? The principle is the same. When we step into the relationship with Jesus, we're in. It's a start. But the fact of the matter is that we're in. Eventually, if we continue to move forward in our relationship with Him, we will one day look around and see that we're actually out in the deep water. Deep calls to deep, (God is the capital 'D' in Deep and we're the little 'd' in deep, by the way...) And all we had to do was step in and keep moving forward. Amazing, isn't it? And there you are. You're in it.

So, right now I'm going to pray with you in this blog. Join me, if you want to. Let's get wetter!

Father, I'm so glad that You are God. Thank You for being Holy. Even Your name is Holy - that is what Jesus told us. Thank You for being so patient with us, for loving us and calling us out into the Deep. Lord please teach us how to swim in Your love completely, with abandon, beautifully and unashamedly. Teach us how to float in Your tender care. We trust that You are the Admiral of the High Seas and You alone know how to preserve our lives on this thrilling journey that You have called us to take with You. So, let the waves of Your Holy Spirit wash over us, preparing and strengthening us for the next adventure with You. And the next one, and the next one, and the next.... Bring us to where You are, Almighty Holy God. As we step from the hot dry sands of the world into the cool refreshing waters of Your love, soak us with You, Lord. Soak us completely. Drench us with the beauty of You. Wave after wave after wave of You, dear God. Holy God. Precious Jesus. Strong and Mighty and Beautiful Yeshua Ha'Mashiach. Powerful Holy Spirit. Drown us in You until every cell is filled with You and only You. Dear God, I'm asking for this for all of these readers who want it. I'm asking for it for me, too, Lord. In Jesus' Name. Amen.

Dear beloved friends. And there you are. You're in it.

Vicky