Faith Messages to build your faith

Monday, December 31, 2012

Mysterious Ways: Blooming Suzie

 Tammi Georgianna tells us;  “ 'Dear Mommy,' the letter from my six-year-old daughter, Leigh-Ann, said.

   I opened it up. Inside was a drawing of a sorry-looking plant that was missing most of its leaves.

   'Bloom, Suzie' she’d written at the bottom. I had to laugh. I knew just who Suzie was...

  It was my last month of college and I was working full-time. My mother, who lived three hours away, had taken Leigh-Ann up to her house for a few weeks while I finished up exams.

   Leigh-Ann loved Mom. After all, Mom was a character! She had a great sense of humor…and a funny habit of naming inanimate objects. Her first car was Daphne and, you guessed it, her favorite houseplant was Suzie, a prized African violet.

   Suzie bloomed the most beautiful, vibrant purple flowers I’d ever seen. Mom would show her off to everyone who stopped by. 

'Isn’t Suzie something?' she’d say, as if Suzie were a person. 

I had to admit, Suzie really was a spectacular plant. Leigh-Ann had drawn her many times, always with big, full buds.

    But lately Suzie had been dormant. Mom tried everything—new plant food, putting her on a different windowsill, more sunlight, less sunlight. Nothing worked.

   Suzie was all out of bloom!

   I held Leigh-Ann's latest drawing in my hands and knew she was confused. 

'Don’t worry about Suzie,' I’d told Leigh-Ann when I called her that night. 

'Grandma won’t give up on her.'

   Three years passed. Just before Christmas, Mom died. 

The grief was overwhelming. After her funeral I loaded up most of her clothing and donated them to her favorite charity. That's when I saw Suzie.

   'Can I take her?' I asked Dad.

   'She’s hardly got any life in her,' he said. 'Are you sure you want to keep her?'

   He was right. She looked worse than I’d imagined. But Mom wouldn’t have given up. Taking care of Suzie would help me honor her. I put Suzie in the back seat and set off on the long, snowy drive home.

   Four hours later, I pulled in my driveway and reached back for Suzie.

   She had bloomed. They were the most beautiful, vibrant purple flowers I’d ever seen."

   I missed Mom more than anything. Thanks to an inexplicable coincidence, I knew she was still with me."

Mysterious Ways: Blooming Suzie
By Tammi Georgianna, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Mysterious Ways Magazine Claim your FREE ISSUE of our NEW magazine, Mysterious Ways! Filled with true stories of everyday miracles that remind us that there is something more, something greater in our lives. Click Here Now!

 Mysterious Ways Magazine

 Used with permission

[Father, open our eyes to things You're doing daily to please us, and that let us know Your Presence is always with us.]
Today’s quote:  Joyce Meyers: Are you fully committed? You never have to be afraid of what God asks of you. He is a good  God.
Our thought for today: God holds your destiny in His Hands!
Tomorrow’s post:  Prophetic Action: Prayer Note #103  Dutch Sheets
A popular post:     But God!        {He meets our needs!]                                                               

A 31-day devotional book for women
contemplating marriage and
looking for godly advice.                      

Sunday, December 30, 2012

How to Get a New Heart

Dave Branon shares with us, “A friend who is a heart transplant cardiologist has an appreciation of Ezekiel 36:26 that not many of us can understand.

Mike manages the pre-operation and post-operation care for heart-transplant patients.

He’s often in the operating room as surgeons remove diseased, discolored hearts and replace them with vibrant, pink ‘new’ donor hearts.

Mike explains that the process for selecting who gets a ‘new’ physical heart is similar to who can get a ‘new heart’ from God Ezek. 36:26. In both cases, need alone is the criterion.

Ezekiel’s mention of the people of Israel someday getting a ‘new heart’ is a foreshadowing of the change that takes place at salvation.

Ephesians 4:24 and 2 Corinthians 5:17 refer to it as "new man" and "new creation."

For the Israelites of Ezekiel’s day and for those of us living today, only one criterion must be met for us to acquire a ’transplant.’We must need it.

It matters not whether we’re rich or poor, respected or scorned. Citizenship, social status, and ethnicity are inconsequential.

 If we need a new heart from God, we can have one through faith in Jesus Christ’s death and resurrection.

“I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you.” Ezekiel 36:26

Read Ezek. 36:26-31

What indicates that need? As sinners, all of us need a new heart. Have you had a spiritual heart transplant? —Dave Branon

(Google image added)
Our Daily Bread

“Christ asks you for nothing—
Come just as you are;
Come sinful, come guilty,
Come give Him your heart. —Anon.

We need more than a new start—
we need a new heart!”

“The power of God can turn a heart
From evil and the power of sin’
The love of God can change a life
And make it new and cleansed within.Fasick

Justification means our guilt gone,
Christ’s righteousness given.”

“Being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ; …And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in knowledge and all discernment, that you may approve the things that are excellent, that you may be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ, being filled with the fruits of righteousness which are by Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.” Phil. 1:6, 9-11 (NKJV)

This was originally one of my posts, posted 4/23/12  from Our Daily Bread

Today's quote: Joyce Meyers: God is not mad at you! He’s already forgiven you a million times!

Our thought for today: You're familiar, but are you intimate w/ Jesus?

Tomorrow’s post:  Mysterious Ways: Blooming Susie  Tammi Georgianna

 A popular post:  MAKING MY HEART SIT DOWN  "We not only need to view time as an eternal investment, but as an immediate one as well. One of the most valuable investments we can make is to spend time in solitude."

A 31-day devotional book for women
contemplating marriage and
looking for godly advice. 

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Saturday, December 29, 2012

Set Free

Sharon Jaynes tells us about her friend: "For fifteen years, Leeanne was emotionally and verbally abused by her mother.

Every day she heard that she was a stupid worthless failure.

Her mother told her that she was 'ugly' and 'fat' and 'not good enough.' 'No man will ever want you,' she scorned.

Leeanne grew up afraid of women and hating herself. 'Why can’t I be different?' she wondered.

  She believed her mother’s estimation of her and lived in defeat. Leeanne grabbed attention any way she could, and by the time she was twenty-three, she had three abortions on her medical record.

The guilt and shame of those abortions compounded her feelings of worthlessness.

But something amazing happened to Leeanne when she was twenty-four. She accepted Jesus as her Lord and Savior and became a new creation.

She knew that God forgave her the moment she asked – totally and completely.

 However, Satan continued to remind her of the terrible mistakes of her past. How could I have killed my children? What would my friends think if they knew the truth? I can never let anyone know about my past. Some things are simply unforgivable in human eyes.

Leeanne met and married a wonderful Christian man. They began their life of ministry as he pastored a church in a small community. God blessed them with three wonderful children, but still the shame of her past lingered.

'I felt so unworthy of my husband’s love,' she said. 'I felt I wasn’t good enough to be his wife. I never told him about my past. It was a secret that weighed me down.'

Leeanne went to a women’s retreat and picked up one of my books, Your Scars are Beautiful to God. For the first time, she began to heal from the wounds her mother had inflicted on her little girl heart. 

She realized that is was Satan who continued to taunt her with those lies and make her feel as if they were true. Then she did something that really made the enemy mad. 

She forgave her mother. Even though her mother had since died, she forgave her as if she were standing before her that very day.

Leeanne imagined Jesus erasing away all her faults, especially the ones that her mother had so maliciously written on the chalkboard of her mind. 'All gone,' she said. 'I’m set free.'

But there was one more step to Leeanne’s freedom. See, as long as she kept her past a secret, she would never be totally free.

'I prayed all day and night for the courage to tell my husband about the three abortions, and I finally did. No one in the world knew about the abortions but me. I had to tell my husband the secret so Satan could not use it against me any longer.'

 'Finally, I did it. I told him the truth. But he did not react the way I imagined he would. He held me in his arms and cried. ‘I can’t believe you have held on to this for so long alone,’ he said.''

Leeanne went on to say… 
'I am no longer shameful. I am pure.'
'I am no longer ugly. I am beautiful.'
'I am no longer unlovable. I am dearly loved.'
Leeanne recognized the lies. Leeanne rejected the lies. Leeanne replaced the lies with truth. She is now walking in the truth as a holy, chosen, dearly loved, child of God."

May this be your prayer:

 "Dear LORD, thank You for setting me free from condemnation. Thank you for Your grace – receiving the gift I don’t deserve, and for mercy – not receiving the punishment I do deserve. Thank You for making me a new creation in Christ – pure, holy, cleansed.

 In Jesus’ Name,

“You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free,” John 8:32 NIV.

 "Do you want to experience the freedom that Leeanne experienced in her life? It begins with recognizing the lies and replacing them with the truth.

It’s time to renew your mind and think God’s thoughts rather than being held in bondage by the enemy’s deceptions. If you would like help on that journey, check out my book, I’m Not Good Enough…and Other Lies Women Tell Themselves. 

  Also, if you have wounds in your life that have yet to heal, Your Scars are Beautiful to God will walk you through the steps to freedom, and then show you how to begin sharing your story…turning your pain into purpose."

Set Free by Sharon Jaynes Oct. 22, 20l2

Used with permission

[Father, please help us to remember to ask for Your thoughts, as they're so much better than ours!]

Today's quote:  “Scripture urges us to be persistent in prayer, trust in God’s promises, and let Christ’s peace rule in our hearts, Col. 3:15. Doing so will help us find our way past confusion and receive His clear direction without doubting. Discovering God’s will is worth every effort we make and any time spent waiting.” (Taken from Friday’s devotion in the Dec. In Touch magazine, pg 41) 
Our thought for today: Joyce Meyers said: "Pray can shatter what controls you."
Tomorrow’s post: How to Get a New Heart  Our Daily Bread
A popular post:    I Need Rest! 

                    So You Plan to Marry a Man
                   A 31-day devotional book for women
                           contemplating marriage and 
                             looking for godly advice.

Friday, December 28, 2012

God's Retirement Plan

Lisa Wardrop tells us, "My husband and I longed to retire to the Carolina Shore to golf and relax.

We never imagined our plans were about to take a different journey as God began to meet the needs of a young mother by bringing her into our lives.

In 2007 we began to search for a beach community but nothing seemed to feel right.

There was restlessness in our spirit. We continued to seek God for direction on where we should retire.

God began to confirm His calling on our lives and led us to relocate to the Charlotte area.

We met with a contractor who planned to build a model home in a community where we felt God wanted us to live.

Two weeks after we contracted and placed a deposit, the builder informed us we would have to purchase the furniture in the model home.

Even with the incredible price he offered, it was not what I wanted to hear. I did not want someone choosing colors and style for my home.

I had wrestled with God for three days when I finally heard a confirmation, 'I have provided everything you need. You will be satisfied. Stay focused on what I have called you to do.'

Over the next several months, God’s provision unfolded in our lives and the life of a young mother.

Six months after we contracted on our house in North Carolina, our home in Maryland sold to a young divorced mother with three children – one who desperately needed a home and furniture.

Because God had provided us with a furnished home, we were able to bless the young mom with furniture she needed.

God never ceases to amaze me how in His creative ways our needs are met.

I have come to experience that in all aspects of life. I place my trust in God for the major decisions, like retiring and relocating, to the small, everyday details of life.

God doesn’t call us to fully understand, He calls us to trust and obey.

Our Father not only keeps His promises, but provides in ways ten-fold what we expect in our obedience.

Trust in Him. Father knows best."

"And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:19

God’s Retirement Plan – Lisa Wardrop

Lisa Wardrop resides in Cornelius, North Carolina with her husband David. They have been married for thirty-four years and have a son.

She has worked in the marketing and advertising industry for over twenty years.

Recently retired, she is mentoring young women, giving cooking lessons, and writing short stories and devotionals focusing on the everyday experiences with God.

Read Lisa’s devotions.

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Used by permission

Psalm 143:10 "Teach me to do Your will, for You are my God; Your Spirit is good. Lead me in the land of uprightness."

[Father, help us to understand You don’t expect us to fully understand everything you ask of us, but that You call us to trust and obey.]

Today’s quote:  Joyce Meyers - "We need to believe beyond reason, and simply trust God."
Our thought for today: Jessie Duplantis - "Truth and conduct should never be in contrast."
Tomorrow’s post: Set Free  Sharon Jaynes


Thursday, December 27, 2012

A Boomerang Anointing; Action and Declaration: Prayer Note #102

Google image

Dutch Sheets tells us “There is an interesting aspect of intercession few people understand and still fewer do. It is prophetic action and declaration. 

   What do we mean by this? When we say something is ‘prophetic,’ we mean it’s foretelling – speaking about or predicting future things, or forthtelling – actions or words that declare something for God.
In the latter case it may not be futuristic at all Something that is prophetic in nature can be one or both – foretelling or forthtelling. 

   Either of them can have a forerunning or preparatory purpose. Prophetic words or actions prepare a way, in the same sense that John the Baptist, the prophet, prepared the way with his words and actions for the Messiah to come and for the glory of the Lord to be revealed (see Is. 40:1-5). 

   Prophetic ministry releases the way for the glory of the Lord and the ministry of Jesus to follow. Prophetic actions and declarations prepare the way for God to work upon the earth. 

   In a sense they release God to do something, as they become the implemented means or method through which He has chosen to work. They release Him in the sense that: 

  1. Obedience to God brings a response from God… He Doesn’t always explain why we must do it a particular way. Being God, He has that right. But when His chosen way is implemented, He does what He needs to do.
  2. Faith releases God. When He says, “Do this,” faith and obedience release Him.
  3. They release Him in the sense that His creative and effectual Word is released upon the earth….If you are not open to revelation, you’ll never be able to embrace this. Open your heart to enlightenment.”
Today’s Prayer Note #102The Boomerang Anointing: Action and Declaration, taken from Dutch Sheets’ book, Intercessory Prayer   (pgs. 218, 219) 

The next Prayer Note: Jan. 1st- Prophetic Action: Prayer Note #103
Ps. 119:133-135  (KJV) "Direct my steps by Your word, and let no iniquity have dominion over me. Redeem me from the oppression of man, that I may keep Your precepts. Make Your face shine upon Your servant and teach me Your statutes."
[Father, may we become the ones through which You choose to work.]

Today’s quote: Randy Kilgore- "Open my eyes, Lord, to people around me. Help me to see them as You do above; Give me the wisdom and strength to take action, so others may see the depth of Your love."    {12/11/12 in Our Daily Bread}
Our thought for today: Get off the treadmill of thoughts which tear you down. God loves you and has a good plan for your life.
Tomorrow’s post:  God's Retirement Plan  Lisa Wardrop 
Another popular post:  It’s Time to Do Something!

A 31-day devotional book for women
contemplating marriage and
looking for godly advice.


Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Do You Expect God to Answer Your Prayers?

 Sharon Jaynes asks us a good question: "Have you ever prayed about something, but didn’t really expect God to answer…I mean really expect it?

That happened to a bunch of Peter’s friends.

In the early years of the church, King Herod had many Christians murdered and many more put in prison.

James, the brother of John, was put to death with the sword, and Peter was thrown into prison.

The night before Peter was to be taken to trial, a group gathered at Mary’s (John’s mother’s) house to pray for him. While they were praying, there was a knock at the door. A servant girl named Rhoda answered it.

“Who is there?” she asked.

“It is Peter,” the freed apostle answered.

She knew it was Peter—she recognized his voice! God had answered their prayers! Rhoda was so excited, she didn’t even let Peter in, but ran back to tell the group that he was standing at the door.

“You’re out of your mind,” they told her. “Maybe it is his angel.”

Peter kept knocking. Finally they opened the door and were astonished to see Peter alive and well, standing right in front of them.

Why were they surprised? Why didn’t they believe Rhoda? While they were praying for Peter’s release, they didn’t really expect God to free him.

Do you see it? We can pray about a situation and miss the glory moment standing at the door because of unbelief and low expectations that God would actually answer.

Sometimes, I fear we have lowered our spiritual expectations to match the experiences of people we know, rather than what we read in the Bible.

We look around and see what has occurred in the lives of other believers, and that’s where we set the bar. As a result, we lead mediocre lives, forfeiting the abundant life Jesus came to give.

Here’s what I want you to do today. Pray and then expect God to answer!

I love what David wrote: "In the morning, LORD, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait expectantly." Psalm 5:3, NIV

Let’s Pray:

    Dear Lord, I am bringing my prayers before you today. Forgive me for praying and not expecting You to answer. Here is my prayer: (Fill in this spot with your own prayer.) I lay my requests before you and wait expectantly. In Jesus’s name, amen.

 If you don’t keep a prayer journal, consider getting one. This could be a simple notebook, or a cute bound blank book. The dollar store is a great place for cute little journals. Write down your prayer requests and then make a note as to how God answered and the date:
Yes. No. Wait.

  My new book, A Sudden Glory: God’s Lavish Response to Your Ache for Something More, is all about raising your expectations to experience the full, abundant life that Jesus came to give.

If you’ve settled for a ho-hum, so-so, Christian life, it is time to start enjoying the abundant life Jesus came to give.

God wants you to experience His presence every day through moments of sudden glory where He makes His presence known.

Ready to get started? Download a free sample chapter or watch the videos on my website!

Do You Expect God to Answer Your Prayers?  by Sharon Jaynes 
Nov.19, 2012

"In the morning, LORD, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait expectantly." - Psalm 5:3 NIV

Another post of interest: Tiny Mouth, Tiny Feet   

Today’s quote:  As seen on GodVine:
"Christmas in Heaven
I've had my first Christmas in Heaven
A Glorious, wonderful day.
I stood with the saints of the ages,
who found Christ the Truth and the Way.

I sang with the Heavenly Choir:
Just think: I who longed so to sing!
And oh, what celestial music
we brought to our Savior and King!

We sang the glad songs of redemption,
How Jesus to Bethlehem came,
And how they called His name Jesus,
That all might be saved through His name.

We sang once again with the angels,
The song that they sang that blest morn,
When shepherds first heard the glad story
That Jesus, the Savior, was born.

Oh, how I wish you had been there:
No Christmas on earth could compare
With all the rapture and glory
We witnessed in Heaven so fair.

You know how I always loved Christmas;
It seemed such a wonderful day,
With all of my loved ones around me
The children so happy and gay.

Yes, now I can see why I loved it:
And oh, what a joy it will be
When you and my loved ones are with me:
To share in the glories I see.

So dear ones on earth, here's my greeting:
Look up till the day dawn appears,
And oh, what a Christmas awaits us,
Beyond all our parting and tears."

Our thought for today: God enables us to come through a crisis a better person.
Tomorrow’s post: A Boomerang Anointing: Action and Declaration: Prayer Note #102  Dutch Sheets