Tag Archives: glimpsed glory

It Might Be Time to Change the Channel!

27 Aug

God tells us flat out in the book of Jeremiah that we will begin to look like the things we pursue. The things we exalt and make the goal of life move from being the thing we desire to possess, to the thing that possesses us. That makes such sense because the things that we love, that we chase after, and I’ll be so bold as to say lust after, control us.

                         This is what the Lord says:

“What fault did your ancestors find in me,
    that they strayed so far from me?
They followed worthless idols
    and became worthless themselves. . . . Jeremiah 2:5

Our pursuit shapes the way we use our time, where we invest our resources, and even our friend circle. Not one area of life goes unscathed or escapes the tentacles of our pursuit.

Do not run until your feet are bare
    and your throat is dry.
But you said, ‘It’s no use!
    I love foreign gods,
    and I must go after them. . . . Jeremiah 2:25

Rolling all of this over in my mind and asking myself what I pursue with everything I am and praying in the back of my brain that my pursuit is of the Who and not a what, made me remember a Shel Silverstein poem I used to read to my Sweet Girl when she was little . . . Jimmy Jet and the TV Set.

I’ll tell you the story of Jimmy Jet–
    And you know what I tell you is true.
He loved to watch his TV set
    Almost as much as you.

He watched all day, he watched all night
    Till he grew pale and lean,
From ‘The Early Show’ to ‘The Late Show’
    And all the shows in between.

He watched till his eyes were frozen wide,
     And his bottom grew into his chair.
And his chin turned into a tuning dial,
    And antennae grew out of his hair.

And his brains turned into TV tubes,
    And his face to a TV screen.
And two knobs saying ‘vert.’ and ‘horiz.’
    Grew where his ears had been.

And he grew a plug that looked like a tail
    So we plugged in little Jim.
And now instead of him watching TV
    We all sit around and watch him.

   Shel Silverstein

Quite the cautionary tale! Full of wisdom if we’re willing to take it in. I can’t expect to be consumed with the temporal things of this world and not look like I belong here.  Like this is my country and my home.

Sister, we will be changed by what we run after and where we fix our eyes. We will resemble what we pursue and our pursuit will shape who we become.

creation swap useless tvn ribbet

Lord,
     Let me fix my eyes on Jesus.
     Let me pursue you with everything I am.
     Give me the desire to look like you.
     To be holy because you are holy.

     Influence who I am in the here and now.
     Shape me to be who you want me to be.
     In Jesus Name Amen.

JESUS HAD STORMS . . . WE HAVE JESUS!

25 Aug

John 12:22-28

22-23 Philip went and told Andrew. Andrew and Philip together told Jesus. Jesus answered, “Time’s up. The time has come for the Son of Man to be glorified.

24-25 “Listen carefully: Unless a grain of wheat is buried in the ground, dead to the world, it is never any more than a grain of wheat. But if it is buried, it sprouts and reproduces itself many times over. In the same way, anyone who holds on to life just as it is destroys that life. But if you let it go, reckless in your love, you’ll have it forever, real and eternal.

26 “If any of you wants to serve me, then follow me. Then you’ll be where I am, ready to serve at a moment’s notice. The Father will honor and reward anyone who serves me.

27-28 “Right now I am storm-tossed. And what am I going to say? ‘Father, get me out of this’? No, this is why I came in the first place. I’ll say, ‘Father, put your glory on display.’”  The Message

Sisters, these were the words of Jesus as He contemplated the Cross. “Storm-tossed” seems a small term to describe the agony He was about to endure but is it not one we can identify with? The storm of sickness, loss, disappointment? We encounter what we often see as the less-than moments in life and we feel tossed about by our situation.  The water may calm briefly but before we know it the waves have crashed over us again and the tide is rising around our necks.

How often do you and I react with nothing but a strong desire to get out from under the waves and crawl up on the beach?  How often do we long to pop open a beach umbrella and simply sit with our toes in the warm sand, to just be done with the thing rather than ache to fulfill the purpose for which He has sent us . . . especially when our purpose might require suffering?

Do I have what it takes to remain in the water even when I can’t see why in the world I needed to leave my comfortable spot in the sand?  Will you and I stay put, no matter how dark the sky becomes or how choppy the waves, and trust Him to be our Rescuer?

Do we have the courage to live with the pain and strain this temporal world so often dishes out to be part of the kingdom story, the better story, the love story of God?  The answer to this question is absolutely YES! with Jesus

The same Jesus who uttered these words, who stood firm in the face of every life storm . . . lives within us. It is He who will provide the ache, the courage, and the holy desire to fulfill our purpose. He will never leave us to face the waves or stormy waters alone.

God held the water back and led His people through without a single foot slipping.  He’ll do the same for you.  He’ll do the same for me. He will hold despair to the left and sorrow to the right; guiding us through on solid ground straight into the arms of Jesus.

And if we stand at the water’s edge and it seems those stormy seas are refusing to part, then we know and we believe with everything we are that our Jesus is going to pull us to the very top of those murky depths and place our precious feet on top of every wave.

Girlfriend, you hang on to Him as that water rises.  And you know, to the marrow of your bones that if that water doesn’t part, if He doesn’t calm that storm with His hand or speak a word to send those waves away, then your Jesus plans to swoop from heaven straight into your circumstance and lead you through in a blaze of glory because Sister, no life storm can take us where the hand of Jesus cannot reach us!

creation swap storm hand Danielle Hartland 1374

#HeismyLifeGuard

 

The Carb Queen: My Glimpse of Glory

17 Nov

Nothing else in all of life is quite like looking into the face of my baby girl.  Nothing else produces that beautiful mix of ferocious tenderness I feel as I watch her navigating life and making her way one brave step at a time.  She doesn’t let life simply go by . . . she pulls it up close and lives all the minutes with everything she has.  Time with her Jesus is no exception.  She steps into every syllable of His Word and fully expects Him to the be the God who shows her great and unsearchable things she does not know . . . to be the Savior who will show Himself to her and the Spirit that will lead her into all truth.  True to His promise to be found by those who seek Him, He consistently reveals Himself to be the God of More to her and my heart is never more full than when I receive the 6 a.m. or the midnight text saying, “Mom, you won’t believe what He has let me see!”  Those moments for me are truly a glimpse of His glory and I thank my God for the gift of her every time.

Glimpsed Glory Welcomes

The Carb Queen: Filling up on the Bread of LifeMother and Daughter

 

Tom & Jerry Is Just a Cartoon

(Or What Delilah Taught Me about Perspective, Forgiveness, and Life)

By Britt Biddinger Stechly (carbohydratequeen.blogspot.com)

(To really understand this post, I’d recommend reading Judges 16 – the account of Samson and Delilah – but no pressure)

In ninth grade, my teacher (the regular author of this blog/my mom) had me do an exercise for Language Arts; in it, we read the same story twice. In the first version a starving cat chased down an interloping mouse. In the second, a mouse sought shelter from a harsh world only to be scared away by a cruel feline.

I think the story of Samson and Delilah has always been a cat and mouse story to me. The mean seductress (cat) lures the simple strong-man (mouse) into her arms, only to betray him at a moment’s notice!

Now, I’m not so sure. Maybe the cat isn’t wicked, maybe the mouse isn’t scared, maybe things aren’t as black and white as they once appeared and our characters are all dressed in layers of gray.

Delilah was, likely, a prostitute. Samson was “in love.”

Delilah isn’t Samson’s wife and she’s never recorded as having said, “Samson, I love you so much! Tell me how you can be bound so that I can help you guard against it, darling!” Nope.

Samson just keeps falling asleep at her place, likely after sex he paid for; despite the fact that he’s leaving himself pretty much defenseless. Delilah doesn’t seem like she’s even trying to be particularly sneaky.

He tells her how to bind him.

He wakes up bound exactly that way.

He keeps coming back to her.

I don’t think he returns out of love, but arrogance – I believe he forgot where his strength came from and thought no one could take him down, particularly not some random girl.

According to the Word, Samson had never known a life void of blessing. Literally, from the womb he was called and celebrated. I think it went to his head; he thought he was strong, but the truth is (ready? I’m about to blow your mind)

Samson was never strong – GOD is strong.

Delilah repeatedly asks Samson, “Why do you mock me?” but the only one Samson mocked is God. Samson continues spitting in the face of his calling over and over, utterly unafraid of the consequences.

In Samson’s story, Delilah is surely the living embodiment of the Woman Folly Proverbs warns against (Proverbs 9),

but she is not the villain – Samson’s pride is.

In her story, Delilah was almost certainly not a prostitute by choice. She was most likely sold into sex trafficking by her own family, to pay off their debt. She was in a horrible situation that wasn’t her design, in a godless country, and suddenly an opportunity to make so much money off just another dopey John falls into her lap and she takes it – maybe it was even enough money that she got to go home afterward. We’re not told that.

But one thing is for sure: Delilah was shown that money is the most important thing – certainly more important than her life – so why wouldn’t it be more important than some random guy? Sure he “loved” her, but it isn’t unlikely that a lot of men had “loved” her. She probably didn’t even know about his calling – he wasn’t acting like a Judge set apart to lead God’s people and she clearly didn’t know the Nazarite Vows. All she definitely knew about him was that he was freakishly strong and, if she could be responsible for his capture, he was her meal ticket.

She’s more than a prop in Samson’s story; she’s Rahab if God hadn’t intervened. She’s a poor, scared, probably teenaged girl who desperately wants out of a life that she didn’t choose.

Delilah is RahabDelilah isn’t a villain; she’s a victim.

She was taken advantage of by countless men – including one who was world renowned for his strength – so she took advantage right back.

I’m not saying Delilah did a good thing, but I truly believe that she wasn’t the one outside the will of God; Samson was.

In fact, if she were the “hero” of the story, it might even have been said that God used a sinful, wayward man to lift her out of a life of slavery and poverty. But she’s the “villain” so we don’t get to know what happens to her.

Maybe she was an evil temptress; but no one is born that way. Maybe she was a corrupt opportunist; but can someone who is a victim of a corrupted system, trapped at the whim of any man with enough money, ruined in the eyes of her society, really be blamed for this particular situation?

Or should it be the Judge of Israel, anointed by God and blessed with greater physical strength than any man, be held accountable for his arrogance, stupidity, and weakness of character?

In any case, God loves “Delilahs” and “Samsons”.

He loves all mess-ups and ragamuffins. We can place blame anywhere we like, but Christ covered it all with forgiveness.

So pray for the Delilahs in your life because with God’s healing they can become Rahabs. Never forget that no one but the Devil is a villain; everyone else is a soul God wants to see saved and

He can and will redeem any story.

Even Delilah. Even Samson. Even me. Even you.

But never let the Devil trick you, my love – you are not a Delilah. If you are a victim of circumstances far outside your control or have done things you are not proud of, you are still a Rahab!

You are chosen.

You are loved.

You are called.

I’m going to say this again,

God’s faithfulness CAN and WILL redeem ANY story.

Lean into that.

Let Him love you, rather than take advantage of you. Let Him take care of you, rather than use you. Let Him redeem you, instead of defile you.

You are worthy & you are loved & you are beautiful & you are enough & God has a plan for YOUR good, sweet lady. Let that sink into your very bones; allow it to fill you up and comfort you like a really good latte.

The world isn’t black and white, you’re not a cat or a mouse, you’re a complex and wild creation of the Author who longs to lavish you with a plotline far beyond your dreams or fantasies. It might not be easy but, because of God’s faithfulness, you can be assured of a happily ever after.

Carbohydrate Queen

*Thank you to BibleGateway for making the word accessible from one generation to another!

Unresolved Anger and Unhindered Grace . . .Which will you wear on your sleeve?

23 Oct

Ephesians 4:26-27

26 Be angry, and yet do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, 27 and do not give the devil an opportunity.

Monday Nights with Ann . . . #3 . . . The Red Sea Moment

8 Oct

creation swap monday nights with ann couch 8345_Couch_Pictures

Periodically over the next few weeks there will be blog posts entitled, “Monday Nights with Ann” – they will contain Scripture and an opportunity to interact with the Word of God. Each of the “Monday Nights with Ann” posts will include an audio recording that ties the Scripture together. I pray you’ll take a few minutes and listen in. Blessings to you Sweet Sister!

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↓ The Red Sea Moment ↓

None of us wants a stagnant faith. We want to grow from the moment we accept Jesus Christ as our Savior until we walk into Glory and realize the reality of grace in its fullest measure. That’s going to be an eternal moment Sisters when in the twinkling of an eye we are raised imperishable, dressed in the fine white linen of the Bride of Christ and we take our first steps into the New Jerusalem. – You and I have to move on from the waters’ edge. We have to face the fear and know, in this Red Sea moment, that LOVE is bigger.

creation swap move on watersedge

We may have all manner of circumstance piled to the right and every fiery trial piled to the left but God will lead us through. Freedom is not easy but He will provide the dry ground and our feet will not slip because the spirit of God has not come so that we may simply survive –He has come so that we may thrive.

And what I need for you to know is that since the arrival of our great Messiah and our Savior Jesus Christ we no longer only walk between the water of despair on the right and the wall of destruction on the left – you and I place our beautiful feet smack dab on the top of every wave!

We abide in Him and we abound in thankfulness that in the Matchless Name of He who saves every snake and every scorpion is under our Luke 10:18-19 feet and we declare for all the heavenlies to hear that we are free and no harm will come to us! We fix our eyes on Jesus, look at the Red Sea and we step out in His Mighty Name!

He has crushed the head of our enemy with His holy heel and not one obstacle stands between us and the Father.  Jesus Christ has overcome them all so that you and I, those who believe in their hearts and confess with their mouths that Jesus is Lord, can not only approach the throne of grace with confidence – we are welcome to live there!

The boundary lines have fallen for us in pleasant places, indeed we have a beautiful inheritance! Changed from death to life!

Changed from hiding from our God to Hiding in our Savior!

How much more abundant can it get for those who were once slaves to sin than to now be welcome in the Holy of Holies? The very dwelling place of the Living God.  Does it overflow more than that? Girlfriend, that’s what we were made for, life in His Presence—His overflowing, to the full, abundant Presence.

He is a jealous God who will not share you with the enemy nor your own flesh. He has come to set the captives free and He will deliver you safely into Glory. Drop your chains – abide and abound – and follow Him with everything you are!

Monday Nights with Ann . . . #2 . . . Fully Verbed Up!

22 Sep

creation swap monday nights with ann couch 8345_Couch_Pictures

Periodically over the next few weeks there will be blog posts entitled, “Monday Nights with Ann” – they will contain Scripture and an opportunity to interact with the Word of God. Each of the “Monday Nights with Ann” posts will include an audio recording that ties the Scripture together. I pray you’ll take a few minutes and listen in. Blessings to you Sweet Sister!

clickbelowClick for Audio → Rooted and Planted for His Glory ←

You and I were meant to be oaks of righteousness, plantings of the Lord for His glory!  We have to be women who are rooted, built up, and established in Him so that our branches will be so strong, our fruit so plentiful, that the Lord Himself will find us glorious.

creation swap bad fruit 32210_Autumn_adventures ribbet2

 

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Scriptures from “Monday Nights with Ann”

Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us—for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree”—Galatians 3:13 (ESV)

14 Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the flesh.[a Romans 13:14 (NIV)  

13 I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt so that you would no longer be slaves to the Egyptians; I broke the bars of your yoke and enabled you to walk with heads held high. Leviticus 26:13(NIV)

But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people. For among them are those who creep into households and capture weak women, burdened with sins and led astray by various passions, always learning and never able to arrive at a knowledge of the truth. 2 Timothy 3:1-7 (ESV)

12 But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, John 1:12 (ESV)

Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ. For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily, 10 and you have been filled in him, who is the head of all rule and authority. Colossians 2:6-11 (ESV)

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. John 14:6 (ESV)

44 You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies. John 8:44 (ESV)

For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery. Galatians 5:1(ESV)

32 and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:32(ESV)

16 For who were those who heard and yet rebelled? Was it not all those who left Egypt led by Moses? 17 And with whom was he provoked for forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose bodies fell in the wilderness? 18 And to whom did he swear that they would not enter his rest, but to those who were disobedient? 19 So we see that they were unable to enter because of unbelief. Hebrews 3:16-19 (ESV)

Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10 (ESV)

Commit your way to the Lord;     trust in him, and he will act. He will bring forth your righteousness as the light,     and your justice as the noonday. Psalm 37:5-6 (ESV)

In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. 10 In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 1 John 4:9-10 (ESV)

Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings, Psalm 17:8 (ESV)

Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies?[a] And not one of them is forgotten before God. Why, even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not; you are of more value than many sparrows. Luke 12:6-8 (ESV)

Because you are precious in my eyes, and honored, and I love you, I give men in return for you, peoples in exchange for your life. Isaiah 43:4 (ESV)

My wounds stink and fester because of my foolishness Psalm 38:5 (ESV)

43 “For no good tree bears bad fruit, nor again does a bad tree bear good fruit, 44 for each tree is known by its own fruit. For figs are not gathered from thornbushes, nor are grapes picked from a bramble bush. Luke 6:43-44 (ESV)

You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? 17 So, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit. 18 A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit. Matthew 7: 16-18 (ESV)

17 And to Adam he said, “Because you have listened to the voice of your wife and have eaten of the tree of which I commanded you, ‘You shall not eat of it,’ cursed is the ground because of you; in pain you shall eat of it all the days of your life; 18 thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you; and you shall eat the plants of the field. Genesis 3:17-18 (ESV)

But if you do not drive out the inhabitants of the land from before you, then those of them whom you let remain shall be as barbs in your eyes and thorns in your sides, and they shall trouble you in the land where you dwell. Numbers 33:55 (ESV)

Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose trust is the Lord. He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit.” Jeremiah 17:7-8 (ESV)

The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the poor;[a] he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound;[b] to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn; to grant to those who mourn in Zion— to give them a beautiful headdress instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, the garment of praise instead of a faint spirit; that they may be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he may be glorified. Isaiah 61:1-3 (ESV)

Blessed is the man[a] who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law[b] of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night.

He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers. The wicked are not so, but are like chaff that the wind drives away.

Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous; for the Lord knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish. Psalm 1:1-3 (ESV)

FULLY VERBED UP

Monday Nights with Ann: Who Are You?

15 Sep

creation swap monday nights with ann couch 8345_Couch_Pictures

Periodically over the next few weeks there will be blog posts entitled, “Monday Nights with Ann” – they will contain Scripture and an opportunity to interact with the Word of God. Each of the “Monday Nights with Ann” posts will include an audio recording that ties the Scripture together. I pray you’ll take a few minutes and listen in. Blessings to you Sweet Sister!

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Click for Audio → Who are You? ← Click for Audio

I will not allow who I was before I knew Christ as my Savior to define who I am since meeting Him. I will hold my head high in Jesus and leave the past where it belongs. I will let the Voice of Love lead me to the future He has promised in His word and I will live as the woman He has created me to be. Redeemed and Free in the Mighty Name of Jesus.

creation swap leaves26409_Throwing_Leaves ribbet

Last week, someone from Portugal got to the Glimpsed Glory blog using these search terms, “I am favored by my God and I will step into that” . . . I love that!

May I be so bold as to challenge you to do the same? If you cannot make these statements about yourself with certainty, may I challenge you to get rooted in Him? If you still believe there are asterisks in the Bible noting exceptions with your Sweet Name beside them, may I encourage you to get planted in Him? If you do not know that you are the apple of His eye and He holds no good thing back where you are concerned, will you get firmly fixed and founded in Him? Oh my Sweet Friend – you are favored by your God and He does invite you to step into that.

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Scriptures from “Monday Nights with Ann”

 10 “For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven and do not return there but water the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, 11 so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.  Isaiah 55:10-11(ESV)

11 Now these Jews were more noble than those in Thessalonica; they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so. Acts 17:11(ESV)

But as it is written: “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, Nor have entered into the heart of man The things which God has prepared for those who love Him.”10 But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God. 11 For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God. 1 Corinthians 2:9-11 (NKJV)

16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper,[a] to be with you forever, 17 even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be[b] in you. John 14:16-17 (ESV)

13 When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. 14 He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you. John 16:13 (ESV)

28 Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe, 29 for our God is a consuming fire. Hebrews 12:28-29 (ESV)

25 If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit. Galatians 5:25 (ESV)

Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving. See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits[a] of the world, and not according to Christ. For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily, 10 and you have been filled in him, who is the head of all rule and authority. Colossians 2:6-10 – Theme Passage (ESV)

But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the fruit you get leads to sanctification and its end, eternal life. 23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 6:22-23 (ESV)

14 As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, 15 but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, 16 since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.” 1 Peter 1:14-16 (ESV)

16 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17 that the man of God[a] may be complete, equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3:16-17(ESV)

 20 Now may the God of peace who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant, 21 equip you with everything good that you may do his will, working in us[a] that which is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen. Hebrews 13:20-22 (ESV)

16 Do you not know that you[a] are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you? 1 Corinthians 3:16 (ESV)

 And they were calling to one another: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory.” At the sound of their voices the doorposts and thresholds shook and the temple was filled with smoke. Isaiah 6:3-4 (NIV)

And when they had prayed, the place in which they were gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and continued to speak the word of God with boldness. Acts 4:31 (ESV)

“For I the Lord do not change; therefore you, O children of Jacob, are not consumed. Malachi 3:6(ESV)

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. Hebrews 13:8 (ESV)

15 and call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify me.” Psalm 50:15 (ESV)

21 For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. 2 Corinthians 5:21(ESV)

In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, Ephesians 1:7 (ESV)

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. John 14:6(ESV)

 15 And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!” Romans 10:15(ESV)

20 Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. 2 Corinthians 5:20(ESV)

26 And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place . .Acts 17:26 (ESV)

13 if we are faithless, he remains faithful—for he cannot deny himself. 2 Timothy 2:13 (ESV)

When the sun had gone down and it was dark, behold, a smoking fire pot and a flaming torch passed between these pieces. Genesis 15: 17 (ESV)

And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. And divided tongues as of fire appeared to them and rested[a] on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance. Acts 2:2-4(ESV)

“I will go before you and level the exalted places,[a]I will break in pieces the doors of bronze and cut through the bars of iron, Isaiah 45:2(ESV)

Then shall your light break forth like the dawn, and your healing shall spring up speedily; your righteousness shall go before you; the glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard. Isaiah 58:8(ESV)

But now thus says the Lord, he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. Isaiah 43:1 (ESV)

3 But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, [a]haters of good, treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, holding to a form of [b]godliness, although they have denied its power; Avoid such men as these. For among them are those who [c]enter into households and captivate [d]weak women weighed down with sins, led on by various impulses, always learning and never able to come to the [e]knowledge of the truth. 2 Timothy 3:1-7 (NASB)

Who Are You?

I AM FAVORED BY MY GOD AND

I WILL STEP INTO THAT!

Isaiah 43:1

Colossians 2:17

Hebrews 6:19

John 10:28; John 15:15

Colossians 2:14; Leviticus 26:13

1 Corinthians 3:16

Jeremiah 17:8

Hebrews 10:39

Deuteronomy 32:47

Zephaniah 3:17

Galatians 5:1

He is Still the God of More!

4 Sep

One of the things I appreciate about technology and in particularly the Glimpsed Glory blog is the opportunity it affords me to go back in time and pull whatever situation or circumstance God was guiding the Boulevard through at the time up close and personal.  It gives me the chance to praise Him for wonders I may have let drift from my memory, to thank Him for His ever-present love no matter where I am in life, and to reflect on the growth He’s provided since that moment in time.

Today this was brought into vivid focus for me as I read a fb post from my niece:

I followed her lead and I read that blog post from September 3, 2013 again.  And I was amazed at the goodness of God and declared again that He does remarkable things for this very unremarkable woman.  It was especially well-timed because I was just asked again this past week the question posed to me most often:  “What makes you so certain of the goodness of God?”  In fact, that question was the catalyst for my newspaper column this week.  In the column I wrote:

My friend was given the chance to see the blessing in her circumstance – that’s not always the case. . . . But the times we don’t, we remember when we did, and we hold tight to God’s Word knowing that the goodness of Him goes beyond our circumstance. . . . We believe that the God who gave His One and Only Son will hold back no good thing and we stand firm on the common ground of His goodness.

So I’m inviting you to link arms with me and glance back over my shoulder at a glimpse of His Glory and His goodness by revisiting all that He did in and through my lung collapse.  But here’s the thing, if you only have a few minutes today please close this window and meditate on His goodness to YOU.  Remember the wonders He has performed for you.  Recall the works He has done on your behalf.  Take the time to remember His affection and His attention toward you.

Rejoice in the victories and the refinement of your faith.  Celebrate the tough stuff He has made beautiful and be confident in the situations yet to unfold.  Walk on the solid ground of His faithfulness when you can’t see the goodness and remember that the path your beautiful feet are on was appointed with purpose and forged by Grace.  Girlfriend, meditate on His goodness in the past, revel in His present-time-all-out affection for you, anticipate all that He has in store when you step into Glory.  I guarantee that rather you look to your past, your present or your future — the view of the God of More will blow you away!

The God of More . . . Much More

September 3, 2013

The post today is going to be a little strange and full disclosure, more than a little lengthy.  It’s going to mix parts of the present with the recent past and even merge parts from years ago when we met Joni and Ken Tada at family retreat.  My clumsy attempts to summarize the events of the last few days by recounting the present and pointing to the past will be intermingled with the voice of one of the most godly, courageous women I have ever encountered.   All of this back and forth confirms for me and I hope for you too that no event ever happens in isolation.  The activity of God cannot be confined by time and not a moment of your life escapes His attention.

To give a little context, I am sitting on our couch bandaged tightly across my entire abdomen so the air in my right lung will not escape through the hole left by the chest tubes that recently took up residence there. For some unknown reason, this part of my body decided to take a vacation and interrupt the one we had planned to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary.  It’s been a rough weekend to say the least.  Complication after complication has reared its challenging head but God has met every one with the supernatural resolve to fight for me and show Himself mighty.  I found it to be “so God” that He revealed Himself to me with the following thought right before I visited the doctor and this situation began to unfold:

“Trials rip away the façade of self-sufficiency and make way for God’s miracles.  I praise Him for His constant attention and affection toward me.” — posted on FB in the a.m. Aug 30

facebook

The staff at the hospital was kind enough to let me call Britt and tell her what was going on before they doped me up for the procedure.  Her little heart was breaking (she’s 20 but it’s still a “little heart” to this Momma) and I so badly wanted to make it better for her.  But I couldn’t.  It was time to find out if I would believe God for her comfort.  I totally trusted Him for me, no matter the outcome, but I didn’t know if I had the tenacity to trust Him for her and for Brett.  The next few days presented that question over and over again.  Each time,  I said aloud, “I trust you Lord” and I repeated the verse from Psalm 28 I had started memorizing two days before . . .

“The LORD is my strength, my shield from every danger. I trust in him with all my heart.  He helps me, and my heart is filled with joy.”  Psalm 28:7 NLT (written on an index card the a.m. of Aug 29)

indexcard

Each time He was true to His Word. I love how He is always preparing us to face the next trial.  Always revealing Himself to be the One we can turn to and reminding us that everything has a purpose.

I was nervous about the medication I was getting because I knew that I would soon lose the ability to monitor what was spewing from my mouth. I never know what might come flowing out if I leave this tongue unattended and I didn’t want to be bossy or say something unfiltered.  The  E.R. Crew listened patiently as the drugs started having their relaxing effect and I explained that  “I needed them to ignore anything I might say under the influence because if I ever got to talk Jesus with them in the future, I didn’t want this to be what they remembered.”  Luckily, the jibberish I spoke wasn’t anything that threatened my sanctification!  I did quote a contorted version of Proverbs 21:9 to the three men hard at work preparing to help me begin breathing again:  Better to live on the corner of a roof than to have a nagging wife.  Hmmm . . . . . is this really the last bit of wisdom my brain wants to impart.

So I had gotten to talk to my Girl and, as the surgeons prepared to sedate me further and insert the tube that was supposed to reinflate my lung, I remember looking over at Brett and seeing such a mix of love and concern on his face.  I wrote later in my journal, “If her voice was the last thing I heard and his face the last thing I saw on planet earth, what a sweet send off it would have been. Lord, thank you for being Love to me through them.”  My God really is the Giver of all good gifts.  I don’t think I had any doubts left about that, but if I did watching my parents, my husband, and my sweet night shift friend do faithful vigil at my bedside certainly dispelled them.   He is today and has always been the unchanging God James describes.

My condition was very serious and the measures to correct it would not fall under my personal definition of the word pleasant.  The tube they originally inserted between my ribs was very large and they had to pry my bones apart to secure it.  As a result, it was painful all the time.  I was relieved when the surgeon said it could be removed and I looked forward to having that pain gone.  But when they took it out the diameter of the tube left a gaping hole and my lung began to spurt air and collapsed again.  There was no time to administer any kind of pain medicine so I received stitches and had a large needle for aspiration inserted without any numbing medication.  Youch!  To keep my mind from the events transpiring around in me I recited Psalm 15 which God had planted firmly in my memory the previous week over and over again.  I said the final line with particular gusto as the assisting nurses held my hands tightly . . .

“He who does these things will not be shaken.”  Psalm 15:5b (put in my memory folder Aug 20)

The following day one of the nurses asked me “What was that Psalm you were saying yesterday?” and I got to speak a good Word about the LOVE of my Jesus and He who IS FAITHFUL.  He always has a good work set aside for us to do and HE always gives us the equipping and strength to carry it out.  He never ceases to be active in our midst.

And while all of this is going on my Sweet Girl in Florida is declaring that “she believes God to restore the health of her Momma” for all the heavenlies to hear and is praying big, ambitious prayers on my behalf.  The circumstances may have looked bad from the outside, but Sister, does it get any better than that?  Well, the answer is yes because we are loved by the God of More. . . . Much More.  And blessedly, He allows us glimpses of the “More of Him.”

So this is the point when I must begin moving forward and backward in time. The things that transpired in between the moment above and my being released continued to show the glory of God.  I was blessed by my Sisters in the Faith rolling in one after another with blessing after blessing.  Funny that I had just written about our need for the Body and resting in the garage. God knows that simply knowing something very rarely results in it becoming a part of who I am and I praise Him that He will go to any length to make certain that I have fully embraced the Truth He has uncovered.

Here’s the flash back:  This link is to the full blog post the excerpt below, written by Joni Eareckson Tada, was taken from.  I had read it on August 29th and prayed to be that kind of an encouragement to my man.

Ken opened wide the front door so I could wheel out to the van.  For a long moment I sat squarely in the door frame, staring and taking it all in:  the shade tree dappling our brick path, blossoms bobbing on the crepe myrtle, and patches of sunlight on dewy grass.  It was the freshest of mornings.  Oh God, I breathed, If only I could feel as fresh.

After more than four decades of quadriplegia, I’m tired.  Please don’t think I’m a veteran or a professional when it comes to living in a wheelchair.  I’m not an expert.  MY BONES ARE WEARY AND THIN FROM BATTLING EVERYTHING FROM PRESSURE SORES AND PNEUMONIA  (I added the capitalization for emphasis there because it so screamed my man’s name to me)—to stage III cancer.  My question these days is never “Why God?”  It’s most often “How?”

How do I keep on going? How do I care about others when I’m consumed with my own physical challenges? How can I be kind and civil when pain wracks me? How can I find the strength to face this day?That morning, Ken had the answer.

“Why aren’t you out by the van?” he asked when he came from the kitchen with my lunch bag. Staring at the splendorous morning beyond the door, I answered him with a deep sigh. “Wait here,” he said, “I know exactly what you need.”

Soon he was back with a yellow post-it note. With a thick Sharpie, he had simply penned on it the letter ‘C.’

I gave him an odd look.  “It stands for Courage,” he said, “The courage of Christ. I can see it in your eyes, Joni, and you can do this. I know you can!” With that, he pressed the post-it on my shirt, right above my heart.

There is more and I urge you to follow the link and read the observations Joni shares, but this is the point in the blog where I stopped and prayed through tear filled eyes, asking God  to please give me the heart vision to notice when Brett is having a “deep sigh day” and the wisdom to know how to lift him up. I told Brett about Joni’s words and how they had made me think of his daily struggles and I hope I encouraged his heart with words of admiration for all he perseveres through.

The flash forward piece of the puzzle brings us to yesterday when I was released and allowed to come home with severe limitations. Brett had watched all that had happened from an unfamiliar vantage point.  See, he is very used to being the one in the bed but the other side of the rail is territory he’s not visited too often. It was hard on him.  It took courage to push through and do all that he needed to do.  But my Nehemiah Man, the guard posted on my wall, persevered yet again. Oh, he loved me ferociously through it all.  And while I’m familiar with the feeling of being helpless but never hopeless on the “other side of the rail” I wondered what it looked like through his eyes.

I didn’t need to wonder for long because as I settled into the recliner I will be calling home for the next few weeks my man wheeled toward me with his glasses on his head and tears at the corner of his eyes. Unbeknownst to me, he had read the blog I had chatted with him about–the one that made me think of him and the courage of Christ that he displays every day–and on his knee was a purple post-it note with the letter “C” written in black Sharpie marker.  (Since Brett has no finger function this was a very intentional labor of love on his part.)

With me sobbing and tears in his own eyes, he pressed his finger down on the post-it note until it stuck to his hand and held it out to me.  I pressed it on my chest and I felt the total love of the redeemed man sitting in front of me.

couragec

Oh yes, Beloved, my God is a God of More.  More than I can possibly conceive or imagine.  My God is faithful and trustworthy.  Not a single moment of my life escapes His attention or His affection.  He is the Giver of all good gifts and will never let His children settle for less than the More He has set aside for them.

The same is true for you.   Do not believe for a moment He has abandoned you in the trial Sweet One.   Your God would not take you there or allow the challenge if He did not have More for you on the other side.  You hang on with faith.  You pray big, ambitious prayers and you wait expectantly for your God to bless you. Listen to Him when He tells you not be afraid and consider Joshua 1:9 to be your personal post-it note straight from the heart of the Holy One. Press it on your chest Girlfriend, count on Him to do what He says He will do, and be confident that the God of More is with you.

“Be strong and courageous.

Do not be afraid;

do not be discouraged,

for the Lord your God

will be with you wherever you go.”

Joshua 1:9

Blanketed by El Roi ~ Covered in His Love . . . The Mom Quilt

13 Aug

I cannot believe the unchanging nature and unwavering love of our God. He is constant in His care for women and their babies! Sister, His affection and His attention never wander. There are no unloved nor unattended to in God’s economy.   I know this to be true in the present because I have been blessed to be included as a contributing author in a tangible extension of His love entitled The Mom Quilt.

Savor the Moments by Marilyn Biddinger Page 62

Savor the Moments by Marilyn Biddinger ~ Page 62

The Mom Quilt is an ebook of stories about women, love, and the wonder of motherhood in its many shapes and forms from Sisters across the spectrum. Each of them poured their hearts onto the page in an effort to stitch together a blanket of words that speaks love to Mommas in need on the other side of the globe.

the Mom Quilt Buy Now

100% of the proceeds from the sale of this beautiful compilation will be donated to advance the $40,000 well drilling project at Mercy House in Kenya.

The Mom Quilt, compiled by Paula Rollo, Becky Mansfield, and Jodi Durr truly is a patchwork of raw soul stories sewn together one heart at a time to bring life giving water not only to the women of Mercy House but to the surrounding community as well. It is their mission to display the love of Jesus by offering concrete opportunities for women and teenage mothers around the world to rise above their cultural and societal circumstances.

Currently, the largest expense they incur is the cost of trucking in clean water and an onsite source is essential . . .

100% of the proceeds from the sale of The Mom Quilt will go toward drilling a deep well to provide water for not only the women of Mercy House but also the surrounding community.

100% of the proceeds from the sale of The Mom Quilt will go toward drilling a deep well to provide water for not only the women of Mercy House but also the surrounding community. ~ Photo Courtesy of Mercy House

Founder, Kristen Welch, wrote that right now in the eyes of the Kenyan community that is home to Mercy Maternity House,

“. . . Love looks a lot like water.”

Girlfriend, I declare to you based on the authority of God’s word, she is absolutely correct!

LOVE DOES LOOK A LOT LIKE WATER!

And this is not the first time He has appeared as such to the harshly treated, cast out woman and her unseen child . . . Genesis, the opening Book of the Bible, —the beginning of God’s love letter to us all—reveals His heart for a young pregnant woman in dire circumstance. Remember Hagar?

Imagine how she felt as she was banished to the desert with food strapped to her back and a canteen of water for her and her boy? What kind of despair must have rolled through her soul as the water came to an end and she laid her son under the shrub to die?

Genesis 21: 14-16 Abraham got up early the next morning, got some food together and a canteen of water for Hagar, put them on her back and sent her away with the child. She wandered off into the desert of Beersheba. When the water was gone, she left the child under a shrub and went off, fifty yards or so. She said, “I can’t watch my son die.” As she sat, she broke into sobs. The Message

Hagar is weary. She is alone and surely feeling as if no one cares nor understands her need or the needs of her baby. She has come to the end of herself. But Beloved, Hagar did not, nor will we ever, come to the end of Him . . .

Genesis 21: 19

Just then God opened her eyes. She looked.

She saw a well of water.

She went to it and filled her canteen and

gave the boy a long, cool drink.

The Message

And see, here is where the rejoicing gets really loud – Our God does not change. The same God who decided that His very first recorded one-on-one conversation with a woman would be with a young pregnant girl fleeing difficult surroundings is still choosing to speak today. He met Hagar in her journey, at the side of a well, and said in no uncertain terms . . . “I see you child.”

the mom quilt el roiSweet One, He is still meeting one-on-one with His daughters and have no doubt His eyes are still wide open. He sees the young women of Mercy House.

Yes, Hagar’s El-Roi, the One who Sees, had never taken His eyes from her and those many years later, there He was with the life-giving water she needed for her and her son. . . . And she gave the boy, a long, cool drink.

Sister, don’t you know at that moment . . .

“Love looked a lot like water.”

The same God who peeled away Hagar’s thirst and provided for her child is alive and well today. He will not fail to love the young Kenyan women just as tangibly. He will not leave their side for a moment and He will not cease to speak love over them.  He’s giving you and I an opportunity to join our voice with His in the pages of The Mom Quilt and Girlfriend, that’s a conversation I want to be a part of . . . I hope you do too.

My contribution on page 62 is a look at the many ways God has allowed me to see Brett and Britt walk side-by-side.

Most Favored by the Most High . . . Girlfriend, we get it ALL!!!

26 Jul

creation swap quiet apples 16997_Quiet_Apples ribbetToday a reader from India pulled up five different posts. I’m praying that whatever she was looking for she found HIM and she brushed spirits with His Word and His Love. More than any other message you might get here at Glimpsed Glory, I so desire for you to walk away knowing that you—no matter where you are on the globe—are secure, significant, and accepted by the Lover of your soul. His attention and His affection are part of our shared heritage regardless of where He has placed us geographically. You, Sister, are kept as the apple of His eye!

It seems to me that while there are many things that will change when we step into Glory, our status as God’s favored daughters is not one of them. I don’t have a handle on the enormity of it and I don’t have the words to fully articulate it, but I am certain that I am favored by God and so are you! I know this to be true, not because of my thoughts, but because of the Messiah’s . . .

20 “My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, 21 that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. 22 I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one— 23 I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me. John 17:20-23

creation swap globe 25004_World_In_Your_Hands ribbet

Could you or I ever know more favor or be more loved than to have the perfect love the Father has for the Son fall on us?  Could there be greater confirmation of our worth than to hear the Savior’s desire that we be loved so lavishly?  What more esteem could we hope to possess than what we receive when we are clothed, indeed hidden, in Jesus Christ?

And as is always the case with our God, He does not stop with a Word. He puts His heart and His intention for our good on display for the entire world to see. He makes a public declaration that He has summoned us by name and we are His . . . and Sweet One, the “what” He does reaches straight into the heart of Who He is . . .

But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8

Scripture records the heart of God, the Cross reveals its Truth, and the Empty Tomb declares the victory. And we who believe, we will live His heart’s reality in Glory. Beloved, do you not see that His great favor rests upon you because you have been redeemed by the Son and now look forward to the concrete expression of your rescue when your faith becomes sight and His favor falls just for you?

God’s declaration that He does not show favoritism should never be confused with the idea that He holds something back from us.

Based on the authority of God’s Word, that simply cannot be true . . .

What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? Romans 8:31-32

The Giver of all good gifts blesses with Grace that flows red to every believer and Love that lives eternally in every surrendered heart. But don’t let yourself believe for a moment that God’s ability to favor everyone means the love He has for you is impersonal. That notion simply doesn’t fit with the full counsel of God’s Word. God, who does not change, has always pulled His people up close and done life in real, tangible ways . . .think of Abraham, David, Gideon, Deborah and Samuel. Jesus Christ, who is the same yesterday, today, and forever, walked and talked with Mary Magdalene, Peter, James and John. If God reached into those lives with His perfect love and Christ rubbed hearts with His people in the same personal ways . . . .then it is still true for us today.   If God were to love you differently than He loved David, if Jesus were to love me differently than He loved Peter, it would imply that either those we may view as giants of the faith were loved imperfectly or we are. Would the Father who gave the Son and the Son who gave His life suddenly decide to give us less than perfection? I believe that nothing could be further from the truth. So I say again, in God’s economy there is no favoritism because there is nothing more we can receive than God Himself. Girlfriend, we get it ALL!

It has been a recent revelation to me that I needed to repent of my insecurity and my fear of insignificance because to continue indulging in the up and down of believing that I am less than Christ has made me . . . is sin. Apart from Jesus there is no good thing in me but praise His Name I am not apart from Him! Once we surrender our hearts to Christ, the Spirit is alive and well within us. We are transformed from the inside out and clothed in Jesus heart-to-toe . . . the old has gone and the new has come. It is unbelief to allow our pasts, our misguided notions and our old ideas of who we are to flourish. Girlfriend, don’t look back at that old mindset, you don’t live there anymore!

creation swap house 6850_This_Old_House ribbet

You put your beautiful feet in the footprints of your Savior and you stand tall in all that He has made you. Let the truth of the perfect, unfailing love of the Savior wash over you. Delight in your God who calls you to be fully committed to Him because Sister, He is fully committed to you. You, Sweet One, are the Favored Daughter of the Most High God . . . speak, live, and love as nothing less.

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