Thursday, June 19, 2008

Itchy Arms and Hamsters

Hey everyone! Please be in prayer for the Mountain View Youth Retreat next week. God will be using me to bring the devotions so please pray that I will be able to hear what He wants to share with these special young men and women. I will write a post as soon as I get back and tell you all the wonderful things God did! How do I know? Because I expect Him to do big things. And He never disappoints... "The Lord your God is with you, He is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, He will quiet you with His love. He will rejoice over you with singing." Zephaniah 3:17 "Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart." Psalm 37:4 This past week, I was talking to my best friend Angel on the phone. She said, "let me tell you just how much God loves me." Angel began to share that her week had been somewhat hectic at home. Her son's hamster had gotten loose from his cage and had been missing for a couple of days ( I know...that creeps me out too! This is why my son has a goldfish.). She also said that her husband, Larry, had gotten poison oak all over his arms and was miserably itching. Angel said that she woke up during the night and began to pray for her husband to be able to sleep peacefully(without itching) and for God to please find the hamster! Several hours later, God awoke Angel to find her husband snoring and the hamster sitting on top of her dresser! I laughed and cried at the same time when she told me that she thanked God for caring about "itchy arms and hamsters!" This illustration is one of many that proves God's word to be true. I must say that Psalms 37:4 has been my favorite verse for a large part of my life. Delight, in this sense, is used as a verb; it is an action. Delight means 'to please'. I love the fact that if I please the Lord, He will give me what my heart truly desires. But I have found that the Lord also delights in us as well. Why is this so special? Because I think it is so sweet that the Lord, Jehovah God, Yahweh, wants to please me. He loves me that much. He cares if I desire the smallest of things or the largest, most complicated things. I believe His word to be true. It is important for us to improve our relationship with Him by knowing Him to be this personal. Do you know this about Him? Do you believe that He cares about you so much that He is paying attention to every detail? He is recording what you desire ever so deeply or even desperately in your heart. But you must tell Him. Please tell Him what you really desire. Often this is taking Him our raw emotions that we don't tell anyone else. I hope you will join me in telling God your hearts desires. And remember...He really does care about itchy arms and hamsters!! Love, Corrie My prayer for today: Lord, how humbling it is to know that the mighty God of Heaven and Earth takes the time to care for my every need. I fail you so often. It has to be your mercy that allows you to love me deeper each and every day...

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Under God's Hand

Let me begin by saying thank you to all of you who prayed for the women's conference this past weekend at Dwight Baptist Church in Gadsden, Al. To Know Him is to Love Him was the theme and God's presence was truly amazing! How beautiful it was to watch my new precious friends seek to draw closer to the Lord! Thanks to those ladies, as well, for making me feel so welcome...

"Humble yourselves , therefore, under God's mighty hand, that He may lift you up in due time." 1 Peter 5:6

In my Christian walk, I must say that I have experienced the power of God's hand on many levels and on many occasions. His hand has opened up and poured out blessings so plentiful on me and my family that it leaves me speechless. The countless times His hand has sheltered me from disaster and protected my life from harm are so very memorable. I would say that my favorite times are when His hand comforts me when I am sad and wipes away every tear I cry. But it has been lately that I have realized when I am under His hand, that precious hand, He also presses me to give Him my all. His hand presses me to purge the impurities from my heart so that I can become in His likeness. I have found that being under God's hand is a choice. It is a choice that is made by faith. The choice is choosing to trust that being 'under His hand' will allow me to be 'lifted up'. And when God lifts your heart, it is the greatest feeling of all time! I am striving to stay under God's hand. You see, you can't stand under His hand; you have to kneel. This is the picture of being humble. Being humble is being utterly and totally submissive to God and His will. It is a matter of trust. Some times, we choose to stand around God's hand because under it, the pressing of the heart can be very intense. We, as humans, don't like to be told when we are wrong or when we have to change something. And when you submit to His Lordship, expect change. When I am 'under His mighty hand', the Holy Spirit convicts me of sin in my life or in my heart that has to be forgiven in order for me to be 'lifted up'. I have also noticed that when God brings me to the end of my trial (or lifted up), it is perfect timing. Perhaps you are struggling with a trial and see no end in sight. Maybe you are feeling little to no direction in your life. Perhaps you desire to have God's best for your life but don't know how to go about seeking it. I can tell you that you can begin by humbling yourself to be under His hand. Trust Him and be totally submissive to His power. And in due time, His time, you will be lifted above your trial and blessed more than your mind can conceive!



My prayer for today: Lord, help me to trust you and be totally submissive to your will for my life. To do this, I know I will need to be under your hand. Mold me and make me to be like you...

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Taking Our Emotions to God

Hey everyone! I am excited to finally be able to write to you again. I have had alot of pain in the joints of my hands this past week and it was too difficult to type. Please continue to pray for my health.God continues to remain faithful to me and my family. Today, God has placed the following verse on my heart and I wanted to share it with you: "The Lord says: These people come near me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me." Isaiah 29:13 My goal in my life now is to find out how to be as close to God as I possibly can. I want to find this out for myself and to be able tell other people also. I believe that one of the main ways to accomplish that closeness is to use our Bible. I feel like that is one reason we have God's word. We can actually look at people in the Bible and know what 'to do' or what 'not to do' based on their lives. Years ago, when God called me to begin Filling the Gap ministry, He led me to "investigate" the lives of two people who had phenomenal (that is the best word to describe) relationships with God: David and Abraham. As I began to study David, I noticed many things. I saw how he failed God with an affair, plotting of murder, etc. But the Bible describes David as a 'man after God's on heart'. I wondered, "what does this mean and how can we actually use this to draw closer to God?" I believe that David's quest in life was to make His heart mirror God's. I also believe that over time, he did just that. How? He was honest with God about what was IN his heart and David did this by taking God his emotions. I believe that God is telling us in Isaiah that we pray to him and maybe we say the right words but 'our hearts' (our emotions) say something totally different. I have thought at times, "God knows my heart, so why tell Him how I feel?" It is true that God is all-knowing. But the important part is for me to know what is wrong in my heart. By wrong, I mean incomplete; not content. Psalm 78: 70-72 discusses how and why God chose David to be a leader of people. Verse 72 says, "And David shepherded them with integrity of heart; with skillful hands he led them." By definition, integrity means: a state of being complete; honest. God desires us to possess a heart that is complete. He wants to be wanted and needed in our lives. He wants to be depended on. That's why He gives us free-will. We lie about our emotions to so many people. Why do we lie to God? The one person who can actually do something about the way we feel. I believe the real reason is that we are not completely aware of our emotions that are hidden so deeply. Perhaps they are became hidden because of events in our past or even present circumstances. Nevertheless, God asks us to bring Him our emotions so that He can give us peace of mind and freedom from emotional strongholds. For me, this was a treasure to find. It gives me something else to work on to bring me closer to the God I love. Love, Corrie My prayer today: Lord, how thankful I am for David. Thank you for teaching me that you want me to tell you everything I feel. You want to be included in every aspect of my life. Help me to remember to tell you my emotions and seek your face in dealing with them...