Thursday Inspiration 1.29.15

Isaiah 61:1-7 [ Announce Freedom to All Captives ] The Spirit of God, the Master, is on me because Godanointed me. He sent me to preach good news to the poor, heal the heartbroken, Announce freedom to all captives, pardon all prisoners. God sent me to announce the year of his grace— a celebration of God’s destruction of our enemies— and to comfort all who mourn, To care for the needs of all who mourn in Zion, give them bouquets of roses instead of ashes, Messages of joy instead of news of doom, a praising heart instead of a languid spirit. Rename them “Oaks of Righteousness” planted by God to display his glory. They’ll rebuild the old ruins, raise a new city out of the wreckage. They’ll start over on the ruined cities, take the rubble left behind and make it new. You’ll hire outsiders to herd your flocks and foreigners to work your fields, But you’ll have the title “Priests of God,” honored as ministers of our God. You’ll feast on the bounty of nations, you’ll bask in their glory. Because you got a double dose of trouble and more than your share of contempt, Your inheritance in the land will be doubled and your joy go on forever.

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Wednesday Inspiration 1.28.15

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I love this verse and this pretty little photo. It reminds us that ultimately nothing else matters and that God and the things of God should be our #1 priority. When you have your priorities straight–everything falls into place.

The Message version of the Bible puts this scripture quite well:

27-29 “Has anyone by fussing in front of the mirror ever gotten taller by so much as an inch? All this time and money wasted on fashion—do you think it makes that much difference? Instead of looking at the fashions, walk out into the fields and look at the wildflowers. They never primp or shop, but have you ever seen color and design quite like it? The ten best-dressed men and women in the country look shabby alongside them.

30-33 “If God gives such attention to the appearance of wildflowers—most of which are never even seen—don’t you think he’ll attend to you, take pride in you, do his best for you? What I’m trying to do here is to get you to relax, to not be so preoccupied with getting, so you can respond to God’s giving. People who don’t know God and the way he works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how he works. Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don’t worry about missing out. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met.

34 “Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes

In short all of our needs will be met. God concerns Himself with wildflowers–why won’t He concern Himself with you. So give all your focus to Him. It’s for the best.

Found on elleandcompanydesign.com

Monday Inspiration 1.26.15

I found this note in my iPhone from last year. I still have a lot of random thoughts from 2014 in my notes that I haven’t posted about but this one stood out to me. I’m currently in a season where 99% of the time I feel great. I have a job I love, I love my church, I feel the closest to God I ever have, and I’m happy with the little things in life. I’ve been through quite a few dark times, don’t get me wrong, but I’m trying to create as much “storage” during this good time for when the inevitable down times come in life. This means I try very hard to read devotionals each morning in a book, then daily verses in my iPhone, then daily verses in a reading plan in my iPhone, then daily blogging where I also look up scripture. I want to have good habits during this good season to be prepared for when the bad may come.

I don’t remember why I wrote this in my notes but I know that it is true. I have gone through times where I was happy in a relationship, or happy with friends, or whatever the situation was. And you can take God for granted. Like it’s cool God, nothing’s wrong so I don’t need you now. I’ll let you know when something goes wrong. Right?

But I think after this past season of my life where I’ve found myself alone, without strong friendships, with anxiety or stress, or feelings of desperation, hopelessness, etc you discover every day is hard–good or bad, without God. You see, you can grow self-dependent. You are used to going through life and relying on your own abilities to do things, but eventually no matter how good you are—you’re going to burn out and run out of resources. I think as horrific as seasons in my life have been, God knew I needed to go through them in order to realize even in my good habits that I still needed God. I didn’t need myself. I didn’t need friends. I didn’t need a relationship. I needed God.

Now have I perfected these things? No. But am I way better at them because of what God has brought me through? Yes.

Even when we fail to think of Him and fall short, God is THAT good, that He will create opportunities for you to need Him. To remember Him. He knows we are narrow-minded at times and selfish and prone to independence, but He cares enough to show us that He’s still here and we still need Him.

Friday Inspiration 1.23.15

“Ever Be”

Your love is devoted like a ring of solid gold Like a vow that is tested like a covenant of old Your love is enduring through the winter rain And beyond the horizon with mercy for today

Faithful You have been and faithful you will be You pledge yourself to me and it’s why I sing

Your praise will ever be on my lips, ever be on my lips Your praise will ever be on my lips, ever be on my lips

You Father the orphan Your kindness makes us whole You shoulder our weakness And Your strength becomes our own You’re making me like you Clothing me in white Bringing beauty from ashes For You will have Your bride

Free of all her guilt and rid of all her shame And known by her true name and it’s why I sing

You will be praised You will be praised With angels and saints we sing worthy are You Lord You will be praised You will be praised With angels and saints we sing worthy are You Lord

I love this song because there is something for all of us in it. God is devoted and loves us all uniquely. His love endures. He is faithful. He Fathers the orphaned. He is kind. He carries our burdens. He brings dead things to life. We are His Bride and we are free of shame and guilt through Christ alone. He is worthy. He will be praised. Every knee will bow. Every tongue confess. He is Lord. Thank God, He’s Good.

Tuesday Inspiration 1.20.15

From Job 9 MSG: God’s wisdom is so deep, God’s power so immense, who could take him on and come out in one piece? He moves mountains before they know what’s happened, flips them on their heads on a whim. He gives the earth a good shaking up, rocks it down to its very foundations. He tells the sun, ‘Don’t shine,’ and it doesn’t; he pulls the blinds on the stars. All by himself he stretches out the heavens and strides on the waves of the sea. He designed the Big Dipper and Orion, the Pleiades and Alpha Centauri. We’ll never comprehend all the great things he does; his miracle-surprises can’t be counted.

Psalm 36 MSG:

5-6 God’s love is meteoric,
    his loyalty astronomic,
His purpose titanic,
    his verdicts oceanic.
Yet in his largeness
    nothing gets lost;
Not a man, not a mouse,
    slips through the cracks.

When I saw this video last night I was blown away. I watched it again a moment ago and it gives me chills. This is just a portion of the total image of Andromeda. According to Space Telescope: “This is a cropped version of the full image and has 1.5 billion pixels. You would need more than 600 HD television screens to display the whole image.”

As the video pans deeper and deeper you see tons and tons of stars. It reminds me that there are so many of us humans in the world, and God formed each one of us. Just as this galaxy is breath-taking, in God’s eye’s we too are breathtaking. He keeps track of all of us.

If God can make things in His image, I like to imagine that this enormous galaxy is reflective of Him. Just like it says in Psalm 36 His love, loyalty, purpose, verdicts are just as vast as this image. You would need much more than we can see to display the whole image of who He is.

Our God is amazing.

http://www.spacetelescope.org/images/heic1502a/

Monday Inspiration 1.19.15

“Willpower is your best friend when things go well, but it’s the first friend to check out when you get weary” – Joyce Meyer’s “New Day, New You”

Today I feel weary. I’m still trying to battle this cold I have. Yesterday a friend of mine from church got into a car accident and is in a coma. It’s hard sometimes not to feel tired when life happens. It’s important to remember that willpower is a fickle friend. It’s not reliable. We can’t only look to our own strength. That is what God wants. We need to let Him do what only He can do and get us through hard times or times of weakness/sickness/exhaustion.

Isaiah 40 MSG:

27-31 Why would you ever complain, O Jacob,
    or, whine, Israel, saying,
God has lost track of me.
    He doesn’t care what happens to me”?
Don’t you know anything? Haven’t you been listening?
God doesn’t come and go. God lasts.
    He’s Creator of all you can see or imagine.
He doesn’t get tired out, doesn’t pause to catch his breath.
    And he knows everything, inside and out.
He energizes those who get tired,
    gives fresh strength to dropouts.
For even young people tire and drop out,
    young folk in their prime stumble and fall.
But those who wait upon God get fresh strength.
    They spread their wings and soar like eagles,
They run and don’t get tired,
    they walk and don’t lag behind.

Found on fabulousfashions4sensiblestyle.blogspot.ca

Wednesday Inspiration 1.14.15

Psalm 111:1-10 MSG

Hallelujah! I give thanks to God with everything I’ve got— Wherever good people gather, and in the congregation. God’s works are so great, worth A lifetime of study—endless enjoyment! Splendor and beauty mark his craft; His generosity never gives out. His miracles are his memorial— This God of Grace, this God of Love. He gave food to those who fear him, He remembered to keep his ancient promise. He proved to his people that he could do what he said: Hand them the nations on a platter—a gift! He manufactures truth and justice; All his products are guaranteed to last— Never out-of-date, never obsolete, rust-proof. All that he makes and does is honest and true: He paid the ransom for his people, He ordered his Covenant kept forever. He’s so personal and holy, worthy of our respect. The good life begins in the fear of God— Do that and you’ll know the blessing of God. His Hallelujah lasts forever!

Today is a simple post–God is worthy to be praised and respected. He is a personal God, a truthful God, a faithful God. Let us worship and adore Him today for His goodness and grace.

Found on becourageousdearheart.tumblr.com

Tuesday Inspiration 1.13.15

Ezekiel 34:11-16 MSG “‘God, the Master, says: From now on, I myself am the shepherd. I’m going looking for them. As shepherds go after their flocks when they get scattered, I’m going after my sheep. I’ll rescue them from all the places they’ve been scattered to in the storms. I’ll bring them back from foreign peoples, gather them from foreign countries, and bring them back to their home country. I’ll feed them on the mountains of Israel, along the streams, among their own people. I’ll lead them into lush pasture so they can roam the mountain pastures of Israel, graze at leisure, feed in the rich pastures on the mountains of Israel. And I myself will be the shepherd of my sheep. I myself will make sure they get plenty of rest. I’ll go after the lost, I’ll collect the strays, I’ll doctor the injured, I’ll build up the weak ones and oversee the strong ones so they’re not exploited.

I love poetry. I love beautifully written words. When I saw this quote a few weeks ago I pinned it immediately. So often we can see storms and think they are only there to rip us apart, to cause destruction and damage. This small quote reminds me that no matter what the storm can wash us clean. It can soften our rough edges. The ocean waves that crash around us can heal our infected wounds with its salt water. The harsh winds can blow us in a direction we wouldn’t have wandered to on our own. The cyclones can uproot what has been planted in bad soil and force us to replant in better land. You see what I mean?

Job 37: 14-18 MSG...are you listening? Have you noticed all this? Stop in your tracks! Take in God’s miracle-wonders! Do you have any idea how God does it all, how he makes bright lightning from dark storms, How he piles up the cumulus clouds— all these miracle-wonders of a perfect Mind?

I love this verse because it reinforces the idea of our perspective in storms vs. God’s. We see a dark storm. He sees bright lightening. Light in the darkness. One of my favorite quotes in literature is about water. While I don’t attribute power or authority to the elements of the world, I do think the message within it is worth investigating:

“I can see you have a great deal of water in your personality. Water never waits. It changes shape and flows around things, and finds the secret paths no one else has thought about — the tiny hole through the roof or the bottom of the box. There’s no doubt it’s the most versatile of the five elements. It can wash away earth; it can put out fire; it can wear a piece of metal down and sweep it away. Even wood, which is its natural complement, can’t survive without being nurtured by water. And yet, you haven’t drawn on those strengths in living your life, have you?” – Memoirs of  A Geisha

In other words, God formed us. The same God who can control all of nature and its storms created us. If we are made in His image than we have the same ability to control these storms–to be undaunted by these storms. I desire to be fluid like water. “To change shape and flow around things, and find the secret paths no one else has thought about — the tiny hole through the roof or the bottom of the box.” In other words to get through obstacles that no one sees a way out of. We are able to do this as children of God–not in our power but His.

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Monday Inspiration 1.12.15

I backslid yesterday. It’s been a while since I allowed the actions of others to make me question myself and after confiding in my mom about how I was feeling I actually felt sick afterwards. I think this is why Philippians 4:8 instructs us to think good thoughts and positive things:

8-9 Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies.

Without going into a whole bunch of detail I was reminded of something that is actually still a bit painful–which is that while I am very involved in church that I still find myself not having any “real” friends. What I mean is..it’s easy to be included on a Sunday but from Mon-Sat it’s very rare that I’ll be texted or asked to hang out. I’ve often felt a little…unwanted in church and when I was of school age–in school. To feel like you’re liked but you’re not an integral part of a group. That’s all I want to say about that so I don’t stir up bad feelings again. But most of us feel that way at one point or another–or even worse you feel that way the majority of the time.

I’ve been content over the years to just hang out with my mom, or cat, or Jesus. And while these are all good things–there’s still that “community” aspect that a lot of us are looking for. It can be difficult to feel that you are in a church, volunteering, in a Bible study, part of an extracurricular sport, whatever it is and still feel disconnected.

I think it’s important to remember that most of the time these feelings of rejection or loneliness are straight from the Devil. He wants us to feel bad and alone. If anything in those times I try to realign myself by listening to a worship album or reading the Bible or blogging about it. Ultimately if I never made another friend in the world, God can and will supply all my needs. But God is good, all the time, and sometimes you need to just accept for whatever reason you are in this season alone just you and God. Maybe He is sparing you from toxic relationships, maybe He wants you all to Himself to speak private personal things that only you need to hear on your journey with Him. It’s not a blanket statement–and we are all on unique journeys.

But I liked this quote, which I’ve heard is actually from George MacDonald not CS Lewis, because it reminds us all that we are more glorious than we think. We were “born in God’s thought and then made by God”. That is who we are. We are not defined by human praise or relationships or our past or our human weaknesses, we are defined by God and God alone. If God thought we were a good idea–then we are a good idea. If God thought we were important to bring into this time on Earth then we were.

You are a precious thing. I am a precious thing. And I’m inspired to meditate on these facts always.

Found on prettyprovidence.com

Friday Inspiration 1.9.15

sheismore

I was inspired after reading “Miracle for Jen”. It’s a great book and I’m trying to put into practice what Linda Barrick does in her own life regarding prayer. She literally gets on her knees in the morning and night each day to pray to God. My personal prayer posture is to talk to God throughout the day. I think that is a good thing, but I want to be more intentional about my prayer time and set aside time to be physically submitted to Him.

Psalm 95: 6 O come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the LORD our maker.

I think this is a good habit to form and I’m expectant that this will make an impact on my life in 2015.

When I was on Instagram earlier today I saw this post and it made me happy and affirmed what I’m trying to do in my prayer time. This scripture reminds us that the Lord knows if we love Him or not. So this promise is great because it encourages us that the Lord acknowledges that we love Him. I don’t have to wonder if He knows because His word says that He does. Not only that but because of my love, He promises to rescue me and protect me. I like that.

The Bible App’s verse of the day tied in perfectly as well:

Ephesians 6:10-18 MSG

10 And that about wraps it up. God is strong, and he wants you strong. 11 So take everything the Master has set out for you, well-made weapons of the best materials. And put them to use so you will be able to stand up to everything the Devil throws your way. 12 This is no afternoon athletic contest that we’ll walk away from and forget about in a couple of hours. This is for keeps, a life-or-death fight to the finish against the Devil and all his angels. 13 Be prepared. You’re up against far more than you can handle on your own. Take all the help you can get, every weapon God has issued, so that when it’s all over but the shouting you’ll still be on your feet. 14 Truth, righteousness, 15 peace, 16 faith, 17 and salvation are more than words. Learn how to apply them. You’ll need them throughout your life. God’s Word is an indispensable weapon. 18 In the same way, prayer is essential in this ongoing warfare. Pray hard and long. Pray for your brothers and sisters. Keep your eyes open. Keep each other’s spirits up so that no one falls behind or drops out.

Prayer is important. I’m glad that I am always talking to God but there is something to be said for having a posture of prayer and being subservient to God. God cares about my prayers and He was always do what’s best to protect me and rescue me. The same applies to you.

Found on: http://instagram.com/she_is_more/