{Favorite Psalm} a Link up with The Loft

TODAY, I am joining my friends over at THE LOFT... won't you stop by? Everyone is waiting to meet you!

Psalm 18 The Message

This chapter came to me years ago but began to resonate with me when I was in the middle of a very dark night of the soul.  Been there too?  This Psalm will echo healing and love to your soul.

In 2011, I joined the Living Proof Ministries Siesta Scripture Memory Team.

I decided I would memorize 24 verses throughout the year, two per month.  I promised to post my verse on the Living Proof Ministries Blog twice a month and was determined to participate in the event that was sponsored in honor of all who would seek to memorize the word of God and participate in community.  

In faith, I made plans to go to Houston Texas even though we didn't have the budget for it.  I saved, scraped, and worked some extra jobs to help fund my desire to travel to meet with ladies I had only talked to on Social Media and the Living Proof Ministries Blog.  

I traveled alone. 

The hangman’s noose was tight at my throat;

    devil waters rushed over me.

Hell’s ropes cinched me tight;
    death traps barred every exit.

I was deeply alone in my soul at the time.  Life was a swirl and I was surrounded by work, ministry, home and family and community.  But I felt so alone.  It was a very dark place during that time, and truthfully, I wasn't sure who to trust with my heart. This Psalm spoke to me in that dark place.  

A hostile world! I call to God,

    I cry to God to help me.

From his palace he hears my call;
    my cry brings me right into his presence—
    a private audience!

It took me a year to memorize the entire Psalm from The Message.  When you read it you will see why.  The language Eugene Patterson uses in this passage is so descriptive and tells the story of what I experienced deep in the recesses of my heart soul and mind.  

Is there any god like God?

    Are we not at bedrock?
Is not this the God who armed me,
    then aimed me in the right direction?

When I recited the words that had etched themselves in to my soul over the year, I realized I had Lived the Lyric so to speak.  Even today, this Psalm reaches out to me to speak healing and grace and love in to my soul when the darkness approaches.  Every time I shared these words with someone at the event, I wanted to cry, weep with awe and wonder.

What a God! His road

    stretches straight and smooth.
Every God-direction is road-tested.
    Everyone who runs toward him
Makes it.

Today, I am thankful that when these words come to mind, they are with thanksgiving and appreciation for what God can do when we choose to hang on tightly to His loving hand.  Even when my foot slipped, his right hand held me fast.  I almost fell into a sea of chaos mentally, a dark pit of despair in my soul, but God stood me up on a wide and open space.  I stand here.  Saved. Still surprised that He would love one like me.  

But me he caught—reached all the way

    from sky to sea; he pulled me out
Of that ocean of hate, that enemy chaos,
    the void in which I was drowning.
They hit me when I was down,
    but God stuck by me.
He stood me up on a wide-open field;
    I stood there saved—surprised to be loved!

I am also very thankful that during that trip, I not only saw face to face some Facebook friends, but I met some new friends as well.  Some of these new friends were from the area that I live!!! What a God!!! His hand guided me to these beautiful ladies and they have encouraged, quietly mentored me and I value them as women of God who Know the Word and know what to do.  

God made my life complete

    when I placed all the pieces before him.

Valerie, Anne, Mei, Emily... you will never know how much finding the blessing of you flooded my at such a God ordained time!  I love you sisters! 

Lisa, Debbie, Holly, Becky Jo, Kristi, Yvonne, Betty, Adrienne, Melana, Roxanne..it is a delight to keep up with you on social media... you are such a blessing!!! One day I am Road Trippin' to see you all!!

Tammy T, Nesha, Judy H, Carolyn, Diane, Marsha, Susan, Judy P, Courtney... you will never know how your grace and love fills my life!  See of you in a couple of weeks!!! 

The Word. Worship. Prayer.
These are my Roots.

[Colossians] The Gospel of Grace_part 4

So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.

See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this world rather than on Christ.
~Colossians 2:6-8 

I love, love LOVE the Oak Tree in our front yard.  God has used the majestic beauty and ugliness of it to teach me about my own life and where my roots grow.  I am thankful that even when I feel ugly, His grace covers me and The Breath of His Word whispers over me.

The Word. Worship.  Prayer.  
These are my Roots.

Longing for Paris_Book Review

I am a day dreamer.  I have so many ideas and thoughts and plans of things I want to do, places I want to go, things I want to accomplish in life... and also I want to be perfect at everything!  

How unrealistic of me. 

“ I want to know how to live between this tension of following my dreams and living a Jesus-following, cross-centered life.  I want to know how not to shut out my longing, while at the same time giving myself to the daily work…does the Lord approve of my dreams?"

Maybe God has placed these longings and dreams and hopes inside of me for some kind of higher purpose with a greater plan and design for my life that is so much BIGGER than I could ever hope or dream. 

“Something in me aches as I come back to reality.  Why these dreams?  Why this longing? I’m happy with my life, thankful for all I have. And yet…"

Sara Mae's new book Longing for Paris is designed to help answer and teach how our longings, hopes dreams and longings of the heart are actually God ordained.  Sara Mae shares the uncovering her own motivation and desire for the city of Paris, the ultimate romantic-beautiful destination so many only dream of- and how that very longing and dream is what led her to pursue Paris right in the middle of the everyday ordinary walking out of life. 

Sara Mae walks the reader through her own thought process of pursuing the longings of her heart and beautifully shares her life and family while living out faith and grace.  In wisdom she encourages the reader to embrace the process the walk of faith requires while pointing toward deeper purposes that God has placed in us.

My favorite quote in the entire book:
“We can choose to just see or we can see and experience."

If you have dreams that you just know are God placed in your heart but can't find them to be your reality, then READ this book! It just might be that God has indeed placed these dreams in your heart, but what they look like under His loving eye is a little different-yet so much bigger and better- than you can ever imagine.

Worship Wednesday

Let me say up front... I am the WORST one.  The one who allows the mind to run rampant on tangents of the lies of the Enemy... His favorite lie... that trips me up the most... is the one where he chants, "You're Not Good Enough!"  When I begin to feel that I loathe myself, then I realize that he is up to it again.  

The Liar thinks he is winning and keeping me off the path that God has chosen for me when I begin to believe these deceitful words that do nothing but Steal, Kill and Destroy Faith, Joy and Hope.  

You too???  Let's raise our Shield of Faith today... Lift up our eyes and sing... Let us Worship in abandon.  Let's be thankful that GREATER is He who is IN US, than the one who roams thought the earth seeking whom to devour.  

With thankful hearts, let us look UP to the cross... Jesus said, if we look to Him we will be saved.  Eternally, yes.  In the moment, yes.  

My favorite line of this song, "Your love reached all the way." All the way.  Filling up the gaps where only Grace can fill and bring us to the Love of the Father... Oh, the Wondrous Cross!!!


[Colossians] The Gospel of Grace_part 3

Today, I want to introduce you to my sweet friend, Kelly G. The first time I met her was in preparation for a youth girls event that she and Tonya J were planning called Beauty Sleep. The event was fantastic! and even better, Kelly and I became friends.  She is the kind of fiend you feel that you've known all along but had not met yet.  I am so thankful that Tonya introduced us.  The two of them go way back... I am thankful to be included in their friendship of grace.

So, Kelly has a new house and has been collecting some new-to-her furniture pieces to DIY and make into something beautiful for her new space.  Let me tell you... her house is FANTASTIC!!! and I am a little jealous of her spacious garage/work space!  

So she has this beautiful old and worn looking cabinet that she wants to refinish.  It just so happens that when I saw the piece and we began to work on it that I was reminded of Colossians 2:2-3

 My goal is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.

Thanks for stopping by!