My Song in the Night

Dearest friends, I wish to share a dream in which I sang with all my heart in church–from a pew in the back where no one but God was listening.

I woke up from the dream singing the most beautiful song, in a key much higher than I can normally sing. Let me back up a moment and set the stage.

The church had high arched ceilings inside. It looked like a cathedral where a prince and his bride would be married, with gold rafters and stained glass windows in the ceiling that cast a glistening glow upon the parishioners below.

I was one among many, seated in the back right hand side of the church.  I can’t remember the worship music or the speaker. I was keenly aware of sitting in that pew, in fellowship with God, my heart full because He had been so good to me. Church was suddenly over.  Closer to the middle and front of the church, people mingled. A pastor shook hands with a few of them. I couldn’t move.  I felt stuck to the pew until my heart overflowed to the point that I had to stand.  I stood and, even though church was officially over, I sang with all of my heart to God:

I thank you for the things You’ve done,

My Jesus, My Lord!

(Later I added):

I thank you for the things You’ve done,

My Jesus, My Lord!

I praise You with  Your creation,

My Jesus, My Lord!

The melody was incredible and I woke up in the presence of God.  Quickly, I grabbed my cell phone and ran into the bathroom, shut the door, and hit Voice Memo to record the song before it left my frontal lobes.

I am so thankful to God for all that He has done in my life. Perhaps you remember the blog about the Romans 8 tank?  Well, I’ve memorized all of Romans 8, Romans 12, And I’m working on Luke 12.  I’ve found the grace to do so.  I’m not bragging, I am boasting in the Lord and His AMAZING GRACE!  I still quote Romans 12 day after day after day.  There is no pit that this scripture cannot dig me out of!  There is no battle that Romans 12 has not won!  There is no closed door that it cannot open and no open door that it cannot shut!  HA!  What a sword we are given to swing, my brother and sister!

What about you? Are you sitting in the back row, too?  Do you find that people around you are milling about, “doing life”, while you sit there?  Do you have a song to sing, but no one has yet invited you on stage or handed you the microphone?  Oh, let me tell you, GOD hands you a microphone right now.  Lift your voice and THANK HIM for all He has done!  Your praise will echo in the courts of heaven and bring on the cheers of the saints watching us all in heaven’s grandstand.

Happy Thanksgiving, dear friends.  Wow.  I’ve missed you all.

 

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Will We Open the Window?

Last night on the way home from my mother’s apartment, I found myself weeping and praying over the wickedness that continues to mount in the world around us, and specifically in York County where I live. Precious 20-something young people, especially, are making choices that lead down the road to destruction.

This morning, back in prayer again, God spoke to me about open windows, so I looked up the phrase, “Open window” in my Bible Gateway concordance (New American Standard Bible) and found five scriptures that dealt with open windows.  Three passages talked about PEOPLE opening a window.  Two passages talked about GOD opening a window.  Let’s look at the people who opened windows.

PEOPLE WHO OPENED WINDOWS

Genesis 8:6

Then it came about at the end of forty days, that Noah opened the window of the ark which he had made; and he sent out a raven, and it flew here and there until the water was dried up from the earth.

2 Kings 13:17

16 Then he (Elisha) said to the king of Israel, “Put your hand on the bow.” And he put his hand on it, then Elisha laid his hands on the king’s hands. 17  He said, “Open the window toward the east,” and he opened it. Then Elisha said, “Shoot!” And he shot. And he said, “The Lord’s arrow of victory, even the arrow of victory over Aram; for you will defeat the Arameans at Aphek until you have destroyed them.”

Daniel 6:10

Now when Daniel knew that the document was signed, he entered his house (now in his roof chamber he had windows open toward Jerusalem); and he continued kneeling on his knees three times a day, praying and giving thanks before his God, as he had been doing previously.

This morning, the Lord emphasized Elisha’s open window. Note that Elisha opened the window from his safe, comfortable home and told the king to SHOOT THE ARROW OF VICTORY. To me, this signifies a prophetic word released from the safe place of prayer. Elisha was not in the king’s palace, the king was in Elisha’s humble house of prayer. And Elisha’s praying hands were over top the king’s hands as he shot the arrow.

Do you think we can pray like this?

woman prays looking out window B & W

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GOD DID!

For what the law could not do . . . GOD DID by sending His own Son (Romans 8:3).

As I came before God this morning, you were on His wonderful heart. Here’s a plan that WILL work for you this weekend, this month, this year.

Do you see the tank below? I erased “ROMANS 8” off the side of the tank.  Romans 8 is God’s promise to me, personally, but what about you? Can you remember what GOD DID in your own life?  Is there a verse or group of verses that God gave YOU PERSONALLY in some battleground of the past?  What scripture belongs on the side of YOUR TANK?

Tank GOD DID

Please, take a moment right now and ask God to bring to remembrance what GOD DID and write that promise on the side of YOUR tank. You can imagine this scripture in your mind or feel free to print off this picture and write your own verse on the tank. Latch onto that promise, remember what GOD DID, for only God’s Word can take you through some battlegrounds unscathed.

Please be at liberty to testify to God’s Word and how it brought you through some battleground of the past in the comment section below.

Revelation 12 says, “They (Christians) will overcome by the blood of the Lamb and the Word of their testimony.” What is your testimony?  As we remember the blood of the Lamb, Jesus Christ, this Easter week, let’s recall what GOD DID!

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Romans 8 Tank

Romans 8 TankRight now I am hiding. Can you see me? You will need “hope” to see “C. Hope” inside this tank.  As I memorized Romans 8, God kindly gave me this word:

“Romans 8 is like a tank. I’ve hidden you inside this Romans 8 tank as you rumble through a war zone. After a while, the enemy stops firing because they see they are wasting bullets. NOTHING is getting to you.”

Does this picture speak to you, too, in a personal way?

 

 

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Give Me Oil in My Lamp, Keep Me Burning

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me (Psalm 23:4 NKJV).

Have you ever been in a valley of circumstances that is so dark that you can’t see your hand in front of your face? I’ve been in that dark valley in 2017, but I am not alone!  The Lord is with me, and His nearness in my greatest delight. His Word in Romans 8 has been a flashlight on my pathway.

In January 2014, I wrote the blog and article, “A Little Oil Will Not Do in 2014”.  I knew in my heart that God was calling me and perhaps you, too, to be sure to have two things on Free-animated-flashlight-clipart-clipartfoxhand:

  1. A lantern with a trimmed wick (modern day flashlight and good bulb)
  2. Extra oil (modern day batteries)

Why? Because at midnight you need light. Jesus said the bridegroom will come at midnight and encouraged us to be ready. Our great HOPE is that Jesus is coming again, and we invest in this HOPE by preparing for His coming and investing in LIGHT.

Even before our Bridhiker-map-istock_000002602685smallegroom comes, we may experience dark valleys, darkness where that light comes in handy. He was so kind to warn us ahead of time.  Are there batteries in our flashlight?  Is there oil in our lamp? Do we have back up batteries and back up oil?  NOW is the time to invest in our future light.

 

 

 

 

 

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We Hope for What We CANNOT See

We were saved in this hope, but hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one still hope for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance (Romans 8:24,25 NKJV).

Last month my husband and I spent our anniversary weekend planting seeds indoors.      (Of0309170735a course, I want to grow impatiens and alyssum in my wooden Coca Cola crates)! I kept saying to Scott, “You know, to plant a seed is to HOPE.” Why?  Because you have to wait eagerly with perseverance to finally see something emerge from that dark soil. We watered our little pots, set them in sunshine, and Scott even bought a heat lamp to urge them along.

One week later when all we had was soil, my husband looked at me and said, “Farmers must have a lot of patience.”

Isn’t that the truth?

Hope that is SEEN is not hope! How can someone HOPE for something that she can see? But if you hope for what you cannot see, you wait eagerly for it with perseverance.

family-in-front-of-crossistock_000001673165small.jpgFriends, if you’ve received Jesus as Savior, then you know that we were saved in this hope.

We ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body. For we were saved in this hope . . . (Romans 8:23,24a  NKJV).

All that groaning inwardly is in HOPE for our inheritance. The adoption papers are signed, but we are waiting to move into heaven. And there we will wait for the redemption of our body when Christ returns and the trumpet sounds and the dead in Christ (bodies of dead Christians) rise up to meet the Lord in the air.  Then our full adoption, full immortality will be realized.

Be patient. All you’ve ever hoped for and even more is just ahead.0309170734

 

 

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Light–in a Dark Valley

Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path (Psalm 119:105).Free-animated-flashlight-clipart-clipartfox

LIGHT! If it’s true that God’s Word is lamp to our feet and a light to our path, then I think I just swallowed a flashlight! Just yesterday morning I finished memorizing Romans chapter eight. I don’t know how anyone can get through the dark valleys of life without the Word of God?

Last night my mother had a number of phone calls and three visitors and was rather worn out by bedtime. It can be hard to settle your mind to drop off to sleep after so many calls and visits, so she suggested that I quote Romans 8 while she listened and prompted me over a few rough spots.

Mom said, “Well, that is certainly a wise use of your time.”

I’d say. I’ve found that quoting Romans 8 over my mother and over other difficult circumstances lately has been as strong as prayer for me.  No kidding.  I find that I am walking through the sorrows, trusting Holy Spirit to intercede for me in my weaknesses, leaning on my Father’s arm as we walk together through a very dark valley. I tell you, the Father is so close, it’s as though I can feel His breath on my cheek when he whispers the next directive.

I bring my mother into this because her valley is dark, too. But mostly I mention her working with me on this chapter because she and my dad taught me to memorize scripture since I was old enough to talk.  With their help, I knew all of the 23rd Psalm when I was only three years old.

bible-by-candlelightI hope you’ll try it? Ask God to show you just one verse that speaks to your heart, and memorize it.  If you simply READ that verse five times a day for a whole week, you will have it down by day seven.  There is great treasure to be found in memorizing the Word of God, both in the dark valley below and in the glory that will be revealed in us above.  LIGHT!  Grab it!

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The Sufferings of This Present Time . . .

In 2017, I have been reciting this verse from Romans 8:

“For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared to the glory that will be revealed in us.”

Two years ago when my mother was diagnosed with a sarcoma on the inner thigh, I memorized Psalm 103 and declared that for her healing. “Bless the Lord, O my soul, and ALL that is within me, bless His holy name!  WHO . . . redeems my life, renews my youth,  crowns me, and heals all my diseases.”  Now, that’s a paraphrase because I want to move to this year’s chapter and focus on Romans chapter eight.

My mother had about six months of feeling like her old self again and then the cancer returned last fall.  Ugh.  She had surgery in early January at the WONDERFUL Hershey Medical Center. We are told she has little time on this side of the veil.  Sigh.  We had all hoped for more time, more memories shared, more great grandbabies for her to hold and nurture. My sisters and I are honored to care for her and yet, frankly, this is hard.  Really hard. My grief was compounded when one of my own daughters discovered a lump in her breast. Really?  My mother and daughter?

I find great strength in memorizing the Word of God. I don’t share this with you today with pride or to make you feel intimidated or anything close to that. I just NEED to quote scripture right now. My soul is anchored there.

David once wrote, “Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.” I am bible-by-candlelightwalking in a very dark valley and I sense the Lord’s presence beside me here.  The only flashlight available is His Word and I treasure it, charge its batteries, and shine it (quote it) when I cannot see my hand in front of my face.

My mom is quite coherent and she’s happily helping me to memorize Romans chapter eight. The other night I helped her climb into bed and arrange her phones and medications within her reach.  I bent down and kissed her forehead, then stood to my feet in that dark room and said:

Mom, consider this.  The sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared to the glory that will be revealed in us.”

“I know,” she replied.  “I know.”

Dear one, the veil is thin between here and there, and the glory that will be revealed will make these days seem so small in comparison. Whatever your trial this week, this month, or even this moment, please know that God is watching and walking with you. The valley is indeed dark, but the light of the glory of the face of God is just ahead–and that glory will be revealed in a NEW, immortal, pain-free, joy-filled body.  Look–it’s just ahead. Hallelujah!

IMG_4866

 

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Vets Guard the Cross

Who would have thought that our veterans would have to guard the cross and “keep the cross safe” in their own nation, the United States of America?  The GOOD news is that after the ACLU took the cross to court, they lost and the cross stayed.  Please watch this very brief clip for more:  http://video.foxnews.com/v/5314306791001/?#sp=show-clips

 

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What’s “New” in Your “New Year”?

What “new” will we pursue in 2017? Will that “new path” lead us away from the ancient path laid down for us by Jesus and by the Jewish prophets of old? Will that “new path” lead us TO Christ or AWAY from Him?

Jesus told us that He personally is THE way. He is THE path. If we are looking for something new, then perhaps we have wandered from the old. Jeremiah wrote these words:

This is what the Lord says:

“Stand at the crossroads and look; valley-of-decision

Ask for the ancient paths,

Ask where the good way is and

WALK IN IT,

And you will find rest for your souls.”

(Jeremiah 6:16)

In 2017 we stand at the same crossroads. Which path will we choose?

  • The popular path?
  • The “look and feel good about myself” path?
  • The path my friends are talking about?
  • The pursuit of wealth and success path?
  • The path for personal gain?
  • The path presented by television preachers, internet prophets, and our favorite pulpits?
  • The path Jesus spoke of when He said, “I am the path, I am the truth, I am the life”?

We are in the last days before Jesus returns to earth. One thing he warned us to watch out for are people, prophets, and pulpits that announce some “new revelation” or a “new room” in which we can find Christ.  Let’s look at what Jesus said:

 Then if anyone says to you, ‘Behold, here is the Christ,’ or ‘There He is,’ do not believe him.

For false Christs and false prophets will arise and will show great signs and wonders, so as to mislead, if possible, even the elect.

Behold, I have told you in advance.

So if they say to you, ‘Behold, He is in the wilderness,’ do not go out, or,

‘Behold, He is in the inner rooms,’ do not believe them.  (Matthew 24:23-26 NASB).

Perhaps we feel that we know more than our parents knew.

Perhaps we feel we’ve laid hold of this new revelation that people have missed for years.

I commend any Christian for pursuing God like this with all their heart. But if we feel we have more revelation than Paul or John or Jesus Himself, and we must search for “the latest and greatest” in order to be satisfied, then isn’t it possible that we’ve left the path, the TRUE path, the ancient path?  Is it possible we are walking in a path of error and not the path of the cross?

In 2017, rather than searching for the “new” or “the latest and greatest” I want to hiker-map-istock_000002602685smallencourage us all to return to that moment when God last spoke to us. Think, think, think.  When is the last time I know God spoke to me personally–not through someone’s pulpit, book, or blog, but to me personally?  What is the last SURE direction and SURE fellowship that I had with God?

Those words that God spoke to us at that time are still alive! Return to that place.  Go back to the point in time when God last spoke. And in those words we will find the light we need on the ANCIENT PATH for 2017.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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