mY cHaMpIoN sTrOnG

You’ll always be my Champion Strong
tho here wrong is right, and right is wrong

I’ll no not ever turn a deaf ear
though you seem so far, and the world so near

My eyes on heaven my final home
rest here incomplete, and my pillow a stone

I’ll long for heaven on my way to You
in a daily dress rehearsal of a life soon thru

To one day sit with my Champion Strong
on a throne reserved for me for eternity long

Champion_by_JasonEngle

Lord You are with me like a dread champion….and to You I have set forth my cause! (from Jeremiah 20:11, 12)

Sometimes we do not realize what we have until we don’t have it.

As I have thought about what it means to be a “dread champion” I have pictured that You are the champion to be feared above all. There is none that matches any attribute or strength that You have — all line up beneath You — You are at the top!   And your agenda, though we cannot always see it outright, is the only agenda worth buying into. In the end, when it is all said and done, You will have the last word; You will overcome; and You will reign over all, whether they believe that You will or not — You will!!!

“….so that at the name of Jesus,EVERY KNEE WILL BOW, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that EVERY TONGUE WILL CONFESS that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. So…..work out your salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.” (from Philippians 2:10-12)

I feel so compelled to make this point clear while there is still time, before You return! I pray regularly for those close to me that they would come to KNOW YOU, because if they KNEW YOU, they would fall in love with you because they couldn’t help but to LOVE YOU. Who wouldn’t fall in love with a hero of all heroes who walked on water, made blind eyes see, turned water to wine, who now sits on a throne on the right side of the Majesty on High in the heavens, and will one day, with a word, cast all the evil into the lake of fire (Rev 20) leaving behind only good and only those who love You and want to serve You!

“It is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment.” Hebrews 9:27

God move them to decide now, because after death and/or after you return, all the deciding will have been done! And then they might realize what they could have had, but it will be too late!

yOu ArE

“From the end of the earth I call to You when my heart is faint; lead me to the rock that is higher than I; for You have been a refuge for me, a tower of strength against the enemy. Let me dwell in Your tent forever; let me take refuge in the shelter of Your wings.” Psalm 61:2-4

You ARE my refuge — a very present help! Thank you for believing in me, for being patient with me, for providing for me and walking next to me — sometimes even carrying me!! I don’t know what I would do if I didn’t have You to lean on!! You ARE my rock that is higher than I am, and you ARE my refuge when all seems to be against me. You ARE a tower of strength that I can lean on and run to! You ARE my shelter where I am safe, and the strength of my heart — I am so glad I never had to do life without You! And I am so grateful that life with You has changed me!

To those who mourn in Zion you traded BEAUTY for ASHES, GLADNESS for MOURNING and a GARMENT OF PRAISE instead of a SPIRIT OF HEAVINESS “….so they will be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified!” Isaiah 61:3

You tested my “sapling faith” with a journey I never would have chosen, to prove to me that the choice of remaining faithful to You and to Your Word would produce an “oak tree faith” rooted in You that could not be moved — unshaken for You!!

Thank you for holding my hand all the way — I have no safer place — I have no closer Friend!

“Keep your gaze on eternity and your glance on everyday circumstances” —Mary Sutherland http://www.girlfriendsingod.com

I have loved John 16:33 for a very long time because it has brought me solace in turmoil and nourished my soul with an eternal perspective!  “..In this world you will have trouble, but take heart, I have overcome the world!”  I love how You validate my journey on this earth and call it like it is…trouble!  But it is true!  This journey is not easy and has lots of bumps and hurdles along the way.  In fact I can recall a time in my life when I thought I was literally going to drown as I was caught in the raging ocean of life and I would gasp for a breath while begging You for a red sea miracle.  And this verse set the stage for me to trust You — it was not just a sad proclamation that “in this world I will have trouble,” but I saw that You not only recognized that but You also had already done something about it!   You sent your only Son to “redeem me with His own blood” (Rev 5:9).  Then three days later He rose from the grave – the Overcomer of all overcomers — conquering death!  That is enough to send me singing through life that You would do that just for me….. but that is not all You did — there is more!

Just this last year, I noticed that I had committed to memory and was quoting only the last half of this verse!  Jesus was talking to his disciples and was letting them in on Your plan and in the beginning of John 16:33 He says, “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace…”  It caught my eye because I have been especially interested in “peace” this last year.  This verse is very clear that peace is there for the taking — I “may have peace“, and as I studied to understand, I noticed the source of this peace was “in him“.  So when I put the verse all together I found a glorious comparison — “in Him” and “in this world,” and making the comparison paints an amazing guide for life.

The brass fact is established that “in this world I will have trouble” but thank you God that You have provided for me so that “in Christ I may have peace!”

So glance at the world, but gaze on Christ!  How are you doing?

nOt My PiCk

I really wanted my first blog to be lighthearted, fun, oozing with the abundant life that is made available with happy cheery overtones, possibly with a whimsical title something like “tickled pickled!” But one lesson I have learned about this life, is that it’s “not my pick!”

Over and over I have seen that You know best and thankfully You have my best interest at heart, and things I would never have picked for myself have turned out to be the very things that have grown me and shaped me to be just a little more like You on my way to You!

Today my heart is very heavy so this morning when You woke me at 4:30 I did not even argue about getting out of bed. I could not wait to sit with You and beg you for direction and see how You would guide me!

Yesterday you pointed me to Ephesians 6 where I was reminded of the armor we are to put on! It is hard to believe by an act of my will in obedience to You that You will give me “Your strength and Your power” that I desperately need to make it through. And today you point again to the very same verse (I love it when you do that!).

This armor will “help me to stand against the schemes of the devil (who is always at work to destroy) for my struggle is not against flesh and blood (that I can see) but against the rulers, authorities, and powers of the dark world and spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realm (that I cannot see).” So I would be crazy NOT to put on this armor and wrong to misidentify the enemy!

TRUTH – belt of truth buckled around my waist
RIGHTEOUSNESS – breastplate of righteousness
READINESS – feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace
FAITH – shield of faith to extinguish flaming arrows
SALVATION – helmet of salvation
WORD – sword of the spirit, which is the Word of God

The whole of these identifies me with You, and puts me on Your team and says I am supported by You. This is how you prepare me for the battle.

However, even with that said, I still have feelings of hopelessness because of the size of this task. The prayers that Stormie Omartian suggests praying (from The Power of Praying for Your Adult Children) seem impossible even though I know it is true that “nothing is impossible with You!” ( Luke 1:37). So I “come boldly to Your throne of grace with confidence to receive mercy and find grace in this time of need!” (Heb 4:16). And I am praying against this feeling of hopelessness and instead I will pray for a way when there seems to not be one. I am asking for direction to uncloud my confusion. I am asking for a plan because I have learned through trial and error that I do not want to do mine, but Yours! And please give me a love like Yours so that I would be a reflection of your unconditional never ending beautiful lovingkindness that reaches beyond anything and anyone. Give me wisdom to discern what is best “that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight so that you may be able to discern what is best” (Phil 1:9-11).

That is a lot to ask, but You say it is there for the asking! So I am trusting that You will:
Make a way even though I can’t see one
​Give me direction because I need to know what to do
​Pitch a plan because everything goes better with a plan
​Help me to show love through it all because You are love
​Give me wisdom to discern what is best because You know and I don’t

And with a heavy heart, I will suit up in the armor You have designed just for me, and I will go forward with confidence knowing that “not my pick,” but Yours, will teach me today! Help me not to miss it!

JOURNAL TO BLOG

I’ve journaled through the past 30 years and I can see many benefits!

GROWTH  By just taking on the task of “writing it down” — whatever “it” is, I can see as I read back through, that I have grown through my journals.  I have learned by doing!  Because everything that you do for any length of time, you get a little better at with time.

INSIGHT  I have learned things about myself, about God and His Word, and about others as I have disciplined myself to write it down.  Sometimes I grab my journal without knowing what I will write — that is an intriguing time because I find I learn something just because I wrote!

MEMORIES  I wrote in a “diary just like my grandma” at the young age of 12.  Those entries were pretty predictable and a little stagnant, repeatedly including what time I awoke, what I did, where I went, and even what I wore on a short little page each day.  There is not much to harvest from that, but the discipline of writing began.  I later learned that sharing my feelings and my memories were much more fun to read through again later than the daily statistics of the day.  The addition of photos and scraps makes the memories even more memorable.

TRACING GOD’S HAND  My favorite thing is harvesting my journal.  Nothing takes God by surprise in my life like it does me, and nothing is too difficult for Him, like it seems to be for me!  So when I read back through my journal, after the events of my life, a clear picture of Him at work in my life comes into view in a way that it never would have without this Monday morning quarterbacking, sometimes years later!  I absolutely love being able to trace His hand in my journey on my way to Him.

I will probably continue to “write” in my pretty journals, but today I will begin to “blog” too.