Monthly Archives: May 2012

Faith takes ACTION

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Hi!

In 3 more weeks I will be starting a new leg of this journey we call LIFE.  I will be leaving my familiar surroundings at FUMC Hillsville/OOTBWC and stepping onto new ground at Glenwood UMC as their Supply Pastor.  It is time to take a deep breath and reflect on all that GOD has done inside of this beating heart.   It’s time for the bird to leave the nest and fly…so to speak.  Like any new thing we do there is always a little anxiety in the unknown and I have found that we make our anxieties a lot bigger than they really are!  ( At least I do!)   So, I am relying on God’s Word and not my feelings.  Our feelings can ( and often do)  sway us in the wrong direction. 

Joshua was about to go into new land when God told him- “Be strong and courageous!”  He told him this 3 times in a row.  Sometimes we need to hear it over and over again!  It is comforting to know that God repeats his promises to us over and over.  He knows we need a lot of encouragement!

Then there was Moses!  Moses didn’t think he could do the job and God gave him a helper in Aaron.   Moses reply to God’s call was,  ( Exodus 3:11) “ Who am I that I should go to Pharoah, and that I should bring the sons of Israel out of Egypt?”  That’s the same thing I said…”who? me?  Who am I that you ( God) would want to use me? I am a nobody.”  But look what God says to Moses in Exodus 3:12 ; “ certainly, I will be with you…”  This makes me smile because this is what I hear, “ oh you big goof, I’m not going to let you do this alone-I’m right there with you…” 

Moses made 3 excuses of what if, what if, what if… and in the second one he asked God what he should say to the Israelites when they ask him what God’s name is.  God says ( and in my head I hear this booming voice echoing off the mountains…) tell them,

 

 “ I AM WHO I AM”

 

and you will tell them that

 

“ I AM has sent you!”  

 

Don’t you love it? 

I can relate to this as I have had people say this to me –“who are you to go and do this thing called a supply Pastor?  What schooling or background have you had?”   I have asked myself the same questions.  But fear brings doubt and the Word of God drives out fear. 1 Timothy 1:7  says:  “ For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline!”    I have access to THE spirit of love, power and discipline and this has become a power verse for me.  In fact, God HAS driven the fear right out of my heart.   You know what ?  Today I can say is this to those who ask for my “credentials” , “ God sent me and I am done arguing with Him.  I have fought this for years and I have sought out the face of God through fasting and praying and He has answered.  It is a divine appointment.  I know it is unusual and it doesn’t happen this way-but I am not the one in charge.  I just know what I have heard and that I must answer.  I f you have questions, please take them up with God.” 

“ When we hear God we must act.  We seek HIM and not the world.  When we act we are putting our trust in God into motion.  Trust feeds our faith and makes it grow like a mighty oak.”

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I am in no way saying that I am Moses or Joshua.  What I am saying is that I find great comfort in knowing that these great leaders had the same doubts and questions that I have had.  God has given us these Words to go to for encouragement, advice, discipline and love.  If we would just GO TO THEM we would get the answers we so desperately need.  I see part of the problem like this: that people don’t know they can go to them because the world’s perception of these Words are that they are “out of date”, they don’t apply to today and they can’t see themselves in the story.   People don’t know that our God is alive and well and living inside each of us. Why?   Because WE ( Christians)  don’t live like He is!   Like Moses, we live in fear of what people think and what they will say, but what about God?  Have we thought about Him?  What does He say? 

 

This is what I hear God saying  “ My child, I love you, I will heal you, I forgive you,  I will give you everything you need for the job, I will be with you, I will, I will, I will…just let me be a part of your life! I love you so much…. that I sent my Son, from the safety of our home, to earth to show you how to live, love, die and live again!  He took your every pain, every hurt, every deceit, every beating, every abuse, all the bad stuff – just for you to be able to see me- now give me a little bit of you so we can grow in love together. Don’t live in fear-live in ME-live in TRUST.  Look at ME.” 

GOD wants to pry our eyes open so we can see His Glory looking back at us.  He needs us to do that for him.  We are His vessels.  Satan doesn’t want us to see God’s call, or for other’s to see God’s Glory!  Some of let a fallen angel bully us around.  A fallen ange who is kicking and screaming because he can’t have his own way. Well his way is not God’s way and now he is trying to convince others to live in fear.  Don’t  allow him to have power over you.   He works in our minds trying to get us to believe the lies of the world.  “You aren’t good enough, you aren’t worthy, you aren’t equipped, and on and on and on.  It’s a lie and we have to stop believing it, stop making excuses and start relying on GOD.   ( This is my mini-me sermon-LOL)  God is bigger than all of that and when we realize the power of God in our lives-God  will see to it that we have all we need.  Read the scriptures and find out!  It’s up to us to fill our minds with GOD’S WORD.  We do this by reading it, praying it, studying it and applying it to our lives.  It takes action.  Think about this-if Jesus had said, “ no Dad, I’m not going to do that today…” where would we be?  He responded to His Father’s love for His people-the same way we should.  We respond and then we act.  Let God do the rest.  Trust me- this has happened to me time and time again and I often say, “why didn’t I do that sooner? I could be so much closer to where God wants me if I had responded sooner instead of living in fear.”  DUH DONNA! 

I beleived microphone 2012

GOD has certainly opened my eyes and ears and now it is my job to help open others.  We are God’s VOICES and our purpose is to worship Him with our lives and when we do, we give Him all glory, honor and praise in all that we do and that means NOT living in fear !!   No, it’s not easy, it takes WORK, EFFORT, and TEARS, but it’s so worth it!  We live under the power of GOD ALMIGHTY and we need to start acting like it!   So, how are we going to respond to the next call we hear?  May we be like Samuel.  When he learned to recognize His Father’s voice he responded with this: “Speak, your servant is listening.”  (1 Samuel 3:10 )

Are you?

 

Romans 8:15-17

This resurrection life you received from God is not a timid, grave-tending life. It’s adventurously expectant, greeting God with a childlike “What’s next, Papa?” God’s Spirit touches our spirits and confirms who we really are. We know who he is, and we know who we are: Father and children. And we know we are going to get what’s coming to us—an unbelievable inheritance! We go through exactly what Christ goes through. If we go through the hard times with him, then we’re certainly going to go through the good times with him!

Blessings for your journey as you greet your Father with a “what’s next Dad?” 

Smile  d.

 

 

 

 

 

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Memorial Day 2012

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We rode into this…a huge flag at the turn to the UAW hall.  A beautiful sight to see!

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Eleanor would be proud-she made it to the back of our Volvo guide truck!

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I know someone who will like this artwork…( initials BH- LOL) 

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It speaks…

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I know a few kids who would love to see this truck! 

…and the bikes…

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Roger and Beth would love this set up!  Sweet!

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…and this…

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This bike was totally decked out for this day… the amount of love for our country shows when you view this bike through the eyes of a Veteran.  Take a closer look….

This bike is all about sacrifice…

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Custom made embroidered seat

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Now look at the paint job…

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Sobering, isn’t it?

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this says it all…

Never take your freedom for granted…

Thanks to all who organized this amazing event!  Most of all thanks to all who gave of themselves to keep this country free.  There are no words…only heartbeats of appreciation…

The daily OBEDIENCE challenge!

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2 Corinthians 10: 3-5
For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh
(for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but mighty before God to the casting down of strongholds), casting down imaginations, and every high thing that is exalted against the knowledge of God, and bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ;

 

The daily obedience challenge becomes a divine opportunity to let the HS work!  When we replace our worldly thoughts with the thoughts of God- God WINS!  How do we do this? READ YOUR BIBLE!  Apply what you are reading to your own life. 

Put yourself in the story.  Here’s how: 

  For though, I, Donna, walk in the flesh ( my human, physical body-) I do not war according the flesh ( my body that is covered with skin) but MIGHTY before God ( I call on the Holy Spirit,  who lives inside of me ,to help me take my ugly, negative, prejudiced, judging thoughts captive-then the HS brings to mind the scriptures I have read and studied and I am to think on these things-things that are pure, true, Holy and that glorify God)  to the casting down of strongholds, casting down imaginations, and every high thing that is exalted against the knowledge of God, and bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ;

Everything that goes against Christ should be removed from our thoughts.  It takes intentional work, reading, persistence and knowing the Word of God.  This is where memorization comes in handy!  I have stopped say “ I can’t” ( this goes against Christ!  My bible says: “ I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!  Phil 4:13)  and I have started saying, “ I CAN!”  Because I can..with God’s help.  I can’t…on my own.  I must rely on God.  

Can you imagine a world without negativity?

It starts with me.

So, today I am challenging you to capture every worldly thought and make it a GOD thought! 

Pray for God’s help. 

Keep track of your thoughts for a day-write them down-then get your bible out and replace those thoughts with the Word of God.

You’ll be surprised at what happens! 

Smile

Hearing, Listening AND DOING!

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We hear God…

    but we don’t do what He says.

          We are content to listen, but not to DO.  Hmmm.

This is a problem in the church universal today.  We give God our ears on Sunday mornings and that’s all.  The other 6 days of the week are given to the world. 

WHAT iF…  we trusted God and asked Him to help us change our hearing INTO our doing…

It’s a process that can be done with God.

  Evan quoted this scripture on FB this morning: 

Mark 10:27 Jesus was blunt: “No chance at all if you think you can pull it off by yourself. Every chance in the world if you let God do it.”

 

Here is the full story…

Mark 10:17-34

To Enter God’s Kingdom

17 As he went out into the street, a man came running up, greeted him with great reverence, and asked, “Good Teacher, what must I do to get eternal life?”

18-19 Jesus said, “Why are you calling me good? No one is good, only God. You know the commandments: Don’t murder, don’t commit adultery, don’t steal, don’t lie, don’t cheat, honor your father and mother.”

20 He said, “Teacher, I have—from my youth—kept them all!”

21 Jesus looked him hard in the eye—and loved him! He said, “There’s one thing left: Go sell whatever you own and give it to the poor. All your wealth will then be heavenly wealth. And come follow me.”

22 The man’s face clouded over. This was the last thing he expected to hear, and he walked off with a heavy heart. He was holding on tight to a lot of things, and not about to let go.

( my comment- we ask for truth, we get truth, we don’t expect truth.  It’s up to us deal with the truth and then rely on God to help us put it into action.) 

23-25 Looking at his disciples, Jesus said, “Do you have any idea how difficult it is for people who ‘have it all’ to enter God’s kingdom?” The disciples couldn’t believe what they were hearing, but Jesus kept on: “You can’t imagine how difficult. I’d say it’s easier for a camel to go through a needle’s eye than for the rich to get into God’s kingdom.”

26 That set the disciples back on their heels. “Then who has any chance at all?” they asked.

27 Jesus was blunt: “No chance at all if you think you can pull it off by yourself. Every chance in the world if you let God do it.”

28 Peter tried another angle: “We left everything and followed you.”

29-31 Jesus said, “Mark my words, no one who sacrifices house, brothers, sisters, mother, father, children, land—whatever—because of me and the Message will lose out. They’ll get it all back, but multiplied many times in homes, brothers, sisters, mothers, children, and land—but also in troubles. And then the bonus of eternal life! This is once again the Great Reversal: Many who are first will end up last, and the last first.”

( my comment- Jesus said MARK MY WORDS…are we heeding his advice?)

32-34 Back on the road, they set out for Jerusalem. Jesus had a head start on them, and they were following, puzzled and not just a little afraid. He took the Twelve and began again to go over what to expect next. “Listen to me carefully. We’re on our way up to Jerusalem. When we get there, the Son of Man will be betrayed to the religious leaders and scholars. They will sentence him to death. Then they will hand him over to the Romans, who will mock and spit on him, give him the third degree, and kill him. After three days he will rise alive.”

( my comment- they were puzzled.  Jesus told them to “ listen carefully…are we listening?” )

It is amazing to me at how God gives a group of people the same message at the same time.  Pastor Ronnie posted about his run at the beach a few days ago and it had to do with what he was seeing-material wealth in the form of homes, cars and excessive possessions.  These things are nice and it’s okay to have them- but not if they own us.   I want my obsession to be GOD-not stuff.  So,  what if…what if we took the time we worked to get these “things” and used that time to work for the Kingdom of God?  Not just the time, but the money too.   The world could be a better place. 

My mind has been on obedience.  Obedience cannot be done on our own.  We must rely on the Holy Spirit to equip us and we must be willing to let go of our baggage and accept the help.  It’s a two way street.  God is not pushy-He’s just right.  The sooner we get that tidbit, the better off we will be!   So, Evan’s post was “spot on” for me this morning.  I can’t do it without God’s help.  No one can.  Look at the scripture-even the disciples couldn’t believe what they were hearing and they were physically WITH Jesus.  We must rely on the power of God to get the work done.  Quit looking at self and start looking to God!

Now do this…look at your hands.  Are they open or closed?  Do you realize that what you hold in your hands is a blessing, or, is keeping you from receiving the blessings of God?  What are your hands holding?  Is it pride in possessions?  Is it money, wealth and fame?  Is it an addiction?  Mine is food.  I have to start seeing my hands with new eyes.  What I am clutching to is keeping God from filling my hands with goodness.  When we take communion we hold our hands out to receive the bread.  We must do this same thing on a daily basis.  Get up, lift our hands up to the Lord and say, “here they are Lord-these hands are yours-now fill them up with your loving kindness!”  Then we must rely on God to help us do whatever he puts in our hands.  That might be something as simple as a prayer for someone or as hard as taking a mission trip to a third world country. 

Now here’s the kicker.  Are you ready?  God has been showing me this over and over again.  Someone else’s eternity depends on my obedience to God.  I know- it’s heavy to hear-so clean out your ears.  When God asks me to do something-He has purposed me with a specific task that only I can do.  He has a reason for using me for this particular job.  It’s not about me-but about God in me.  There is something inside each one of us that can reach a lost soul for Christ.  I know it is hard to comprehend.   For instance- God can use my husband to teach someone how to biblically handle their money.  That knowledge can help change lives for God.  He has equipped my husband to do this job.  I can’t do it.  I’m not equipped the same way.  It’s like going to the car dealer and buying a sports car VS an SUV.  Each does the same job, but has different qualities/specs. to meet a different driving type.  They all have wheels, a motor, and a steering wheel that will get us to our destination-BUT they have unique qualities in and of themselves.  Will we need a high torque engine to do heavy work or do we need a family car to haul the kids around?  This is how we are.  Pastor Ronnie runs-he can speak to runners in their language-Evan is young and excited and he reaches people that are his age.  I am a mom  who loves kids and art and I can reach these groups.  Together-we build up the body of Christ.  Can you imagine if Billy Graham did not do what God was asking him to do?  Think about it.  Billy Graham is a warrior for Christ and God has used his obedience in a mighty way.  

  We hold eternity in our hands. 

Look at your hands again-can you see the radiance and glory of God in heaven there? 

What we choose to do with it is up to us. 

Do the thing that God is asking you to do.  He will equip you for it.  I dare you

( and when we do—the world will know Christ…the ultimate wealth!)

d.

A Krispy Kreme kinda love…

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Hi!

Tonight we went to the Krispy Kreme store.  We watched donuts being made.  It’s been a long time since I have done that!  But this time it was different.  I was there with 6 of the most adorable kids- 2 of whom were mine and the other four were under 6 years old!   I watched them, with much joy, as they took in the process of donut making with their young eyes.  As I watched the intensity of their wonderment and delight of seeing their donuts being formed, fried, and drenched with a thick sugary glaze, I began to see with spiritual eyes.   Here is what I saw….

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As the donuts were fried they went down the belt under a fountain of thick, sugary glaze.  The donut was fully covered with the glaze!  As the kids watched this process ( and I watched them) I saw how we, or I, need to be this excited about God’s love being poured over me!   I thought, “wow, these kids are excited over the sweet, delicious donuts and I need to be just as excited as they are over God’s sweet love for me!”    They were waiting with great anticipation for the end result!  They were unhindered, intentional, patient and awed by what they were seeing!  Wow! 

We need to be the same way about GOD!

That’s not all…

Then the donut boxer girl comes and she takes a little stick and picks up each donut and carefully puts it in the box.  This is ME.  It is my job to take care of each person ( “donut”) under my care and make sure they each know how very loved and cared for, by God, they are.  People need to know how much God drenches us with His love.  Just like the glaze-it never stops-it is a continuous outpouring-NO MATTER WHAT.    It is my responsibility to make sure all the people, “donuts,” get to the right place-just as the donut girl was doing in her job.

 

Then comes the time to pick the donuts you want!  You want to try each one because they all look so delicious!  In fact, I think Judah tried about three different flavors!  Watching him eat his donuts was just another reminder to me of how I am to be about sharing God’s love with people.  He was savoring every bite and flavor!  Judah wanted it ALL.  I do too.

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What about you?

God is speaking to us in everything that we do.  We must be intentional in our efforts to listen with child-like faith and be ever faithful to respond as soon as we hear.  God is in the everyday business of life and it is up to us to find him there…

…and when we do, we will find that God is finger lickin’ good…

Smile

Various photos from the day

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A tree growing between two boulders…or maybe through one-it was hard to tell if it had been a solid rock at one time.  Interesting though!

 

 

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We stopped here to take pictures of the old school in the previous post.

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An old barn hidden from the road.

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Rooftop of an old barn.  

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The Russell Farm gate.

 

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The view.

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Makes you wonder what’s back there, doesn’t it?

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Our next destination!

 

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From here we wound up in Mount Rogers National Forest/ Flat Ridge/ Grant area of SW Va.

The road just kept going on and on and on!  LOL  It was a beautiful day for a ride and we didn’t plan to go that far-but hey we traveled over new territory today and it was worth it!  Another 200 miles racked up!  ( PS: Our bikes got 57 mpg today! woohoo!) 

Next stop…WEST VIRGINA!  Smile 

Prayers, praises and steeples!

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So, we opened the map and said, “let’s go somewhere…”

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Our very first date was on a motorcycle!

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27 years ago I hopped on the back of HIS 350 Honda and away we went….

 

 

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27 years later we are married and I’m on my own  bike and he’s still grinning!

 

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Our machines.  Thor and Lucy. LOL

 

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Apparently I am a little scary when I am in biker attire…it’s interesting how often we get judged when we ride-but hey it goes with the territory!  One day, when I get old ( ahem) I will be “the little old preacher lady who rides a Harley-except it will be a Yamaha!”  LOL  You’ve heard of heard the “Sermon on the Mount”- well here it is-the sermon from the lady perched on the bike!  Haha!   

All joking aside- God is good and all glory to Him!   We were blessed with safety today.  Thank you Lord!  Seriously- if you are reading this and you ride a motorcycle-please get right with God before you go anywhere on it.  I could not ride if I was not sure I was going to heaven when I died.  When we get on our bikes we check our brakes, our lights, our turn signals and horn-but do we ever think to check our hearts?  I hope you do and I am praying that yours is right with God.   Don’t forget to say a prayer before you head out and while you are riding down the road.  I talk to God a lot while I ride.  In fact, today we were around Elkin and I saw two signs that said, “Praying for Chance and Baby Will.”  I saw the first one and a few miles later saw a second one.  I began to pray, out loud, while riding.  The HS was strong as I began to pray for this mother and her baby-at least I assumed it was a mom and her son.  My eyes even teared up and let’s just say that’s not a good thing on a bike.  I held them back and kept praying.  I am telling you this so that you, too, will be in prayer for Baby Will and his mom, Chance.  I don’t know the needs-but God does and let’s just agree to pray together for them and for the community.  My sense was that the community needed prayers too. 

The marvelous Light breaks through the darkness and when we pray we are doing what God designed us to do-to be in conversation with Him for others sake.  Intercessors. 

 

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As we rode into N.Wilksboro I spotted this steeple and it was at the Methodist Church.  So we stopped and went in and had a look around. 

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The steeple at FUMC-North Wilksboro, NC

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Pretty ornate for a Methodist church!  Everyone knows how much I love steeples and this one really caught my eye as we rode into town.  Most steeples are generally the same and I think they probably come from the same manufacturer-at least they look like they do.  But not this one! 

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Cort and I both liked the architectural details-such as the “acorns” at the corners. 

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Massive columns

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The Chapel-where it all began…

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The Dining room/Gymnasium/Stage

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The Presbyterian Steeple across the street

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Reminds me of a trip I took to Slovakia a few years ago…where does the time go? 

Happy Riding and thanks for lifting up Chance and Baby Will! 

Blessings for your journey!

d.

Home is where the Heart is.

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Lord, you have gone ahead of us to prepare a place for us to reside with you.  It is my praise and thanksgiving to You for Your Word, and I ask that all who read this will put themselves into what is written here.  That they will see themselves as the I, the me, the we, the you.  I pray that people will give up the “trappings of this world” and run INto You!  I thank you for the leading of Your Holy Spirit, our Helper. I praise You for what you are doing and what you have already done.  I thank you for this mended heart.  I rejoice in knowing that you are waiting our arrival. 

In Your Name I pray,

Amen 

 

Hebrews 9:11  (MSG)

But when the Messiah arrived, high priest of the superior things of this new covenant, he bypassed the old tent and its trappings in this created world and went straight into heaven’s “tent”—the true Holy Place—once and for all.

( as you read-remember YOU are “me.”  Read it to yourself over and over.  Let it soak into your soul…Jesus loves YOU for who you are right now-not who you think you should be.) 

Heaven is my Holy of Holies-the place where Christ resides today- the place where he has gone to prepare a home for me.  For me!  WOW! Jesus Christ, King of Kings, Lord of Heaven and earth,  is preparing my eternal, future home! Think about it…Jesus-the One who came from heaven to feed me-who came from heaven to show me how to live, how to die, and how to rise out of my despair-JESUS the KING has gone AHEAD of me like a PILLAR OF FIRE at NIGHT to PREPARE a HOME for me!!!!!!!! He is lighting the way there.  He wants to take ME into His marvelous light!

Do I get it?

Am I hearing this?

What do I do when I prepare for guests?  I get out the finest linens, clean the house, buy the best food, and I eagerly await their arrival.   Jesus is waiting for me to get there! When people arrive at my home- I welcome them inside, we hug and celebrate their safe arrival and I rejoice in knowing that I can call them “family!” Jesus wants to call ME family! He is waiting for me to arrive in HIS presence-in HIS home- the Holy of Holies!

He is eagerly waiting to rejoice over my arrival HOME!

But first we must know each other. 

Lord, I want to draw nearer to you. I want to know you with all of my heart, mind, and soul.  I want to be transformed into a holy and living and sacrifice for you.  I want to live ALL OUT for you, Lord.  Here is my heart Lord.  It is broken, it is hurting and it needs repair.  I am trusting my heart into your hands.  You are the Great Physician and healing is in Your hands.  Will you come and live inside of me for the rest of the days of my life? Will you be the air that I breathe, the Words of my mouth and the thoughts of my mind?  I lay myself at Your nail scarred feet and I weep.  Your mercy flows over me like Living Water.

I’m yours forever more. Thank you Jesus, thank you.

Amen.