Monday, March 21, 2011

I feel the sunshine on my soul!

Such a beautiful and uplifting day today!! I'm really loving the sunshine and warm breeze, not too cold and not too hot! And just think even the prettiest spring day can't compare with Heaven! :) Our God is amazing!

Today has been another God day! He is showing me so much and I'm SOOO excited! It's just so awesome to pray for God to show you something in His word and to speak to you, and then have your prayer answered! I'm loving this two way conversation with our Lord and Savior! I used to think it was all one way and I seriously questioned if God really cared about my prayers and my thoughts... OH and He does!! Let me share with you my devotional time :)

As I said in my last entry God has really been showing me how much I struggle with focusing solely on Him. Last week He revealed in me my fault of falling back on entertainment or busyness in life for happiness instead of looking to Him and His word. This week He's digging even deeper and sort showing me what my biggest problem is. The first thing that I read today was Psalm 39. It just reminded me a lot about focusing on God and realizing that He is more important than anything else.

We are merely moving shadows, and all our busy rushing ends in nothing. We heap up wealth for someone else to spend. And so, Lord, where do I put my hope? My only hope is in you. Psalm 39:6,7

This verse has a lot to do with what God was showing me last week. Once again I just sort of decided to read this passage and God is ONCE AGAIN saying, "What's more important than me? I am your hope."
So awesome!

I then changed direction a bit in what I was reading and sought out some verses that a very kind lady had written down for me to read when my mom was battling cancer. The first verse I read was 1 John 4:18:

Such love has no fear because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of judgement, and this shows that His love has not been perfected in us.

This verse spoke straight to my heart because I am a HUGE worry wart, and I have many fears. But this verse is saying that with God there is Nothing we need to fear. The only thing we need to fear is the final judgment. But you see, I know that I am saved and that God loves me and that I am doing my best to follow Him and allow Him to work within me. So since I don't need to fear the final judgement because I know that I am saved, I HAVE NOTHING TO FEAR!! And yet I struggle so much with that. I don't fear death but I do fear pain, I do fear persecution, I do fear losing someone I love. And yet God says you don't need to fear anything because nothing can separate My love from you! (Romans 8:39) And in the end God's love/God Himself is ALL that matters. So you see God is saying, "Abbey, if you fully focus on Me and love Me then you will realize you have nothing to fear! Nothing."

The Lord is my light and my salvation- so why should I be afraid? Psalm 27:1

God is the Most important Person. I shouldn't be worried about things on this earth Including things that I fear. Because if in the end God is all that matters... then shouldn't He be all that matters now?

Unfortunately I can't get over my fears alone. I can't look at a man with a gun and just feel fine and confident... Fortunately I don't have to :) God is there for me! He will help me with my fears and my timidness. If I keep my focus on God then when times do get "scary" I'll know for certain that He is on my side and that no matter what happens the ending will always be the same, me going home to my LOVING and WONDERFUL Saviour :)

One last verse that caught my attention today was Matthew 10: 37

If you love your Father or Mother more than you love Me, you are not worthy of being mine.

This struck me because I'm afraid I have been loving my family here on earth more than God himself! UGH! And that goes along with the fear thing because I am so afraid to lose someone I love. I'm not as afraid now since I've lost my mom and I realize that I'll see her again and that it's not the end, but it's still a very real fear. But this just makes me think that I'm holding on so tightly to the people in my life and not clinging to my God who is eternal.  See God is just weeding out all the bad stuff in my life and I am LOVING it!!!! God is more important than my family, so hard to say yet so true. Isn't it curious how it's so hard to love our amazing God more than the people in our lives? God never fails us, but people do, and yet it's people that can often be our distractions from God. I'm so thankful that God is willing to help me with all this! How merciful He is! :)

One last thing, today's excerpt from "Jesus Calling." Yet another devotional that fit perfectly into what God was teaching me today... and just to clarify I read this Last and had no idea what it was about.

God wants you be all His. He is weaning you from other dependencies. Your security rests in God alone- not in other people, not in circumstances. Depending only on God may feel like walking on a tightrope, but there is a safety net underneath; the everlasting arms. So don't be afraid of falling. Instead, look ahead to God. God is always before you, beckoning you on- one step at a time. Neither height nor depth, nor anything else in creation, can separate you from God's loving presence. 

And so my God lives on and teaches me :)

Much love,

Friday, March 18, 2011

Having a heart to heart with God

I am SO SO excited to share with you today! God has been showing me things this week that I am so excited about!

Today as I got my devotional out I came across this:

God's light shines on every situation you will ever face. Live radiantly by expanding your focus to include God in all your moments. Let nothing dampen your search for God.

Let me share a few verses that God has been bringing to my attention this week:

In Psalm 119

Make me walk along the path of your commands, for that is where my happiness is found. Vs: 35

Turn my eyes from worthless things, and give me life through your word. Vs: 37

Help me abandon my shameful ways; your laws are all I want in life. Vs: 39

Your Promise revives me; it comforts me in all my troubles. Vs: 50

If you look for me in earnest, you will find me when you seek me. Jeremiah 29: 13

If you only knew how much I have been struggling with trying to fill my days with stupid entertainment like Facebook etc. etc. And if you only knew how little happiness these things brought me then you would see just how amazing God is for sharing these verses with me!

After I read the inspirational quote (what I started out with) I wrote this in my journal:

I'm sensing a theme here God. Ugh I know I've been so distracted lately. Maybe a little depressed and angry too. But you keep pulling me back and saying, "Abbey, you yourself have often asked how important are certain things in  this life compared to Heaven. And though you asked that more out of laziness than anything else, you were right. What compared to Me and Heaven is more important?" And I know the answer is nothing! Not even temporary happiness or pleasure compare to you God. I struggle so much with wanting to have fun, or wanting to get stuff done. I don't keep my eyes on God. Even as I write this I start to wander about dinner plans etc.

I love how God tugs at my heart and says, "Hey I know you're having a hard day and that you think some TV will make you happy, but I know about something that will turn your life around and make you joyful! Doesn't that sound better!?" God's word is how God speaks to me. He and the Holy Spirit guide me to see His truth, and to help me get the answers that I need.

I didn't go searching for these verses this week. God placed them in front of me to show me that I struggle with, setting my eyes on temporary fixes, not on the eternal fix. I just love how God reaches out to me. Just try and tell me my God is dead or non-existent! I have heard God speak in my heart, and His voice is the most wonderful sound that I have every heard! :) 

My heart has heard you say, "Come and talk with me." And my heart responds, "Lord, I am coming." 
Psalm 27:8

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Story time: The king and his orchestra

There once was a king in China who was very fond of listening to music played on the Yu, a wind instrument. So he created a band of three hundred players. Every day at teatime the band was called in to play the Yu for His Majesty. Now, one of the players, Mr. Nan Guo, knew nothing about the instrument. But by pretending to play the Yu he was believed to be part of the orchestra. No one knew the truth. One day the king died and his son, the prince, became king. But the new king did not like to hear the orchestra. He enjoyed solo performances. He called each musician in to play alone for him. This time, Nan Guo could not hide. He was shown for what he was. **

The tares and the wheat grow up together. There are those who appear to be playing the Yu, but then when they are put to the test, it shows who they really are.

It's not enough to "Act" like a Christian... God knows your true heart. He's the one that judges you in the end, not me, not little miss goody two shoes, but God.

Two great books of the Bible to read to look into this are Romans and James. But really just about every book in the New Testament talks about truly following after God. You may be able to fool every single person into believing you're a Christian, heck I did for about 17 years!! But I wasn't a true follower of God. In fact  the last thing I wanted to do was give God true control. I wanted people to believe I was a good person but in the end "good" isn't enough.

Thank You precious Jesus for giving us the chance to be saved!!! I still sin, but you know that in my heart I follow You and I desire nothing more than to become more like You and to throw my sin out the window! Thank You Father for accepting me into Your family! I pray for all of those that struggle with truly handing over their lives to You. I pray that You show them Your awesome power! Show them Lord that Your way truly is amazing and the best! Amen.

If anyone would like to talk to me about anything that they have just read, or would like to hear my story about how God finally got through to me feel free to message me! :)

Much love,

**Story is in the book Safely Home by Randy Alcorn

Monday, March 7, 2011

God is opening the eyes of my heart :)

I've been struggling. I've been struggling with grief, exhaustion, and apathy. I haven't wanted to clean the house, get dressed, or read my Bible for the last few days. I was just So tired! I've heard enough from "experts" to know that this was possibly a side-affect of depression. Obviously losing my mom has been hard on me and then a few other things have been getting me down lately. But today I wanted to just forget all that. I wanted so badly to see past my struggles and I just be in awe of my God. Today I prayed that God would get me revved up about Him once again. I wanted Him to show me something that would get me on my knees and praising His awesome name... and as always my God answered my prayer!

The second verse that I looked at today from my devotional was 1 Peter 2:21

This suffering is all part of what God has called you to. Christ, who suffered for you, is your example. Follow in His steps.  (NLT)

For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps. (NKJV)

After I read this I sighed, grinned and then said, "Perfect!"

Oh how I needed this verse! Some may look at it and think, "Um God is calling you to suffer? That is not fun or cool!" But you know, all that I have gone through in the past month has changed me for the better. We do not suffer because God got bored one day and thought it would be fun to see some of us squirm. No, we suffer so that we may grow closer to Him and learn to become more like Christ. And what an amazing transformation it is!!! Instead of seeing cruelty in this verse I saw God saying, "Abbey, dear one, this trial that you are going through is all apart of my plan! I know what is happening to you both on the outside and on the inside! I am here for you! Draw nearer to me and learn from your hardship." As Romans 5:3-5 says, we rejoice in our sufferings knowing that suffering produces endurance. Endurance produces character, and character produces hope. And hope does not put us to shame; "because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us." Through this hard time I will cling to my heavenly father! Though these struggles on earth are hard and sometimes painful I know that they can't even begin to compare to the Joy that I will have in heaven! (Romans 8:18)

The next part of 1 Peter 2: 21 says that Jesus Christ is our example when it comes to suffering and that we should follow in his steps. Obviously we know that Jesus was perfect and that he suffered a lot. But as I read that I thought to myself, "ok what exactly does that mean?" and it was as if God said, "I'm glad you asked honey!"

1 Peter 2: 23  He did not retaliate when He was insulted. When He suffered, He did not threaten to get even. He left His case in the hands of God, who always judges fairly.

Wow Jesus really is the perfect example! :) And He leaves His case in the hands of God, who always judges fairly! My soul just perks up to those words and says, "ABBEY!!! God wants you to give Him your burdens! He will deal with those that have hurt you, and He will hold onto your heart during that hurt! You're not in this alone! WOOT WOOT!" God's word is full of promises and explanations! I praise God for who He is and what He has done for me, for us! I am not left in the dark wondering how to deal with this pain or wondering who I can turn to. Clearly God is not silent when His children are hurting! Just look at what He showed me today while I wallowed in self pity! God is willing to show you His grace and power if you but look :) :) This wasn't a coincidence people!!

This is a quote from "Jesus Calling" that I just so happen to read today of all days:

"I see straight through you, into the depths of your being. There is no place for pretense in your relationship with Me. REJOICE in the relief of being fully understood. Talk with Me about your struggles and feelings of inadequacy.... Remember that your relationship with Me is saturated in grace."

No words can describe how God makes me feel. He cuts straight to the matter of my heart and reaches out to me through His word. God is alive and in me. I don't have to go through this life alone :)

Thank you sweet Father for hearing my prayers and for answering them! Thank you for blessing me with your presence, for never leaving me. Jesus you are the same yesterday, today, and forever! In you I can put all of my trust because you will never suddenly change or leave. You are my rock dear God. Thank you for holding onto my heart and for all the plans you have for my life. You are more awesome than we know!

I pray that you all have a blessed week and that God works in your heart!

Much love,