Hushing my anxious thoughts, I wait for quiet calmness.

A hidden treasure protected by high steep walls.

Listening to the silence breathe

A tiny voice whispers within my soul.

In the stillness of the early morning light, He sings to me.

Simmering beneath the ashes, He waits.

A precious spark reveals a rich legacy

Fanning the tiny flame, encouraging it to grow

The warmth of God’s love desires to be shown.

What Does The Holy Spirit Do?

According to R.C. Sprouls, The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit agreed together on the plan to redeem God’s people. God sent Christ. Jesus agreed to be obedient to God’s will. And the Holy Spirit weaves Christ’s work into the hearts of God’s people. The Spirit magnifies God’s truth, renews new life in us, reveals Jesus to us, and draws us near to God.

Who Can Receive the Holy Spirit?

And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself.” Acts 2:38-39 BSB

If you are a sinner like me, then Jesus offers salvation to you too. God the Father requires His people to have faith in Jesus to be saved. God promises to give the Holy Spirit to those who will receive eternal life. And while we are here on earth, the Holy Spirit strengthens us to live according to God’s will instead of our own.

What Does Full of the Holy Spirit Mean?

Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, left the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, Luke 4:1

Ellicots described “full of the Holy Spirit” to mean that Jesus’ eyes saw invisible sights, and his ears heard God’s voice.

Does the Holy Spirit Lead Us into Temptation?

When I read this verse, my eyes see Holy Spirit led Jesus into the desert.  Tiny hairs raise on the back of my neck because the Holy Spirit may lead me to a desert too.  When I’m lonely, I think of Jesus in the desert. When I’m cold, I remember Christ. When my stomach rumbles, I’m thankful for Jesus’ victorious obedience to follow the Holy Spirit into the desert. And the best thing is that I’m not ever alone, for He is with me.

Jesus was “full of the Holy Spirit” when He needed Him most. The Holy Spirit strengthened Jesus, so that He would overcome the temptations.

Grosart D.D. warns if even the “beloved son” of God is exposed to temptation, then any one who makes a public profession of Christianity will be tempted too.  But do not fear, the Holy Spirit will strengthen you and you too can overcome temptations with scripture.

How Do You Pray in the Holy Spirit?

Jude 1:20 But you, dear friends, by building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit,

When you pray, the Holy Spirit assists you even if you can’t speak. Even when you can’t think, the Spirit works on your behalf.  He reveals your deepest needs to the one who provides.

The Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. Romans 8:26

God reveals Himself to the one who prays in the Holy Spirit.  When we  alert our senses to the nearness of the God of the Universe who joins with us in prayer, we are praying in the Holy Spirit. God whispers heavenly secrets to our soul and we are introduced to a new life because nothing is too hard for the LORD. Victory over all enemies inspires hope in us all.

G. Selby advises us to, “Never grieve the Spirit who holds in His hand your very power to pray. He can sever at will your communication with the throne of all grace and power.”

Will the Holy Spirit Enable Me to Speak in Other Tongues?

Acts 2:4 All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.

Ellicot explains that “speaking in other tongues” meant they were thinking thoughts and words that weren’t their own. This was a joyous gift.

Matthew Henry describes The Spirit, like fire, melts the heart, burns up the dross, and kindles pious and devout affections in the soul.  The Holy Spirit comforted them and their fears were extinguished because the Spirit told them what to speak.

Again Jesus said to them, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent Me, so also I am sending you.” When He had said this, He breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive anyone his sins, they are forgiven; if you withhold forgiveness from anyone, it is withheld.” John 20: 21 – 22 BSB

Bp. Andrewes believes that the Holy Spirit gave them courage because they received a new spirit. When Jesus was arrested, Peter’s tongue faltered when a young lady asked him a simple question. But after receiving the Holy Spirit these same men who had run away in the garden were not fearful to testify before Kings.

Do We Need the Holy Spirit?

We are like an artist’s chisel. The artist needs a chisel to carve. But even though the chisel knows its purpose is to carve. It can not carve alone, no matter how long it struggles. It lies still against the uncut marble because it does not have the strength to move. Even when the chisel cries out in disappointment, it still cannot carve the stone.

But once the artist holds the chisel in its hand and if the chisel is obedient. Then the artists’ thoughts, feelings, imagination, and skill flow from the artist’s soul to the chisel’s edge. The sculptor and the chisel become one as they work together to carve a masterpiece. The chisel does the work, but it can’t create on its own power.

In the same way, we must surrender to Christ and allow Him to hold us tightly. Then His power, His love, and His wisdom will flood our soul (Bp. Phillips Brooks).

Are you willing to Pray in the Holy Spirit?

Heavenly Father I praise you for You are our Salvation. Jesus is our Redemption and the Holy Spirit draws us close to you.

Thank you for giving us the gift of the Holy Spirit who strengthens us to do your will. For the Holy Spirit who comforts us when we are lonely, cold, and hungry. Who builds us up and enables us to overcome temptations. Drawing us near to God, you remind us that nothing is too hard for the LORD. No matter what our circumstances are, no matter how bleak, God breathes new life into dead things. Victory belongs to you. Our fears are removed and we surrender our hearts to You alone.

Hold us tightly. We ask for your power, love and wisdom to flow through us.

In Jesus Name, we pray, Amen.

Connect with me:

Visit My FB page, Abiding in Christ’s Love where you will find a community  who encourage each other as well as  blogs written by other Hopewriters.

DO YOU KNOW THE PROMISES OF GOD?

Join this FREE Bible study from the comfort of your own home and meet new friends in the online discussion group.

The study begins January 6th 2020.  Go ahead and sign-up today! Just click the link below to join, friend. I’ll see you there!

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References:

Andrewes, B.P. (sermon). Filled With The Spirit.

Ellicot’s Commentary. BibleHub.

Grossart. D.D. (sermon). The Back Strengthened for the Load. 

Henry, M. (commentary)

Selby, T.G. (sermon). The Inspirer of Prayer. 

Sprouls, R.C. The Promises of God: Discovering the One Who Keeps His Word.

 

 

Hope for the Barren and Dry Life

As a young teen I rebelled against my mother telling me what time to come home.  I waltzed through the door at the last possible minute.

In high school I disliked teachers telling me how I needed to solve the math problems.  What difference does it make what method I used if I arrived at the same answer?

And I didn’t appreciate any well-meaning friends who disagreed with my other “friend” choices.

If you are like me, you desire to be in control of your own life and may not even like the idea of God interfering with your life. This may even be a fear.

I rebelled against God because I didn’t want to follow His “old fashioned” or ancient rules either.

I disliked him telling me that I needed to wait. What difference does it make if I do things my own way as long as we arrive at the same place?

And I didn’t appreciate Him convicting me when I chose wrong.

I hesitated to surrender to God because I didn’t want to be a missionary.  And I didn’t want to be a missionary because I didn’t want to have to eat something weird in a foreign land.

God calls us all to do something. It may be to turn away from sin, to tell someone about salvation, or to leave comfort behind in order to follow God’s will. He knows we don’t want to, but he still calls us to do it.

Isiah 53:2 ESV
For he grew up before him like a young plant, and like a root out of dry ground; he had no form or majesty that we should look at him, and no beauty that we should desire him.

Have you ever looked closely at a young sapling, so weak and frail struggling out of dry ground?

At one time my barren heart resembled the desert. But Christ within me was a tender shoot who grew like a root out of dry ground. I was not attracted to Christ, nor did I desire Him.  But He transformed my heart anyway.

No matter how tender my faith grows, Satan is powerless to destroy it (C.H. Spurgeon). There is nothing that God can’t grow.

In the same way God watched the humble and lowly growth of his son Jesus; He watched over me like a mother watches over her weakest and most sickly child. And He watches over you too.

The culture we live in could be described as “dry ground” or corrupt, so where do we find our nourishment?

In the East it is not unusual to see a tall succulent plant growing from a soil which seems utterly devoid of moisture. Such plants have roots that strike deep and draw their nourishment from a hidden source.

For example the central and western regions of South Africa are almost constantly deprived of rain. There are no flowing streams and as a result very little well water exists.

The soil is a soft and light-coloured sand, which reflects the sunlight with a glaring intensity. No fresh breeze cools the air; no clouds veil the scorching sky.

However nearly all the plants  in that environment have tuberous roots, buried far beneath the ground, beyond the sun’s scorching effects. The roots are composed of succulent tissue, filled with a deliciously cool and refreshing fluid. They have thick, fleshy leaves, with pores retaining moisture from a very dry atmosphere. If you break a leaf  during a drought, you will still see abundant circulating sap.

Even in dry areas, God grows succulent roots. They are full of fluid even when the surrounding soil is dry as dust; and the enveloping air is utterly devoid of moisture.

Even when the horizon looks completely desolate and death seems near, God provides nourishment and creates life.

It is interesting that the plants living in dry ground are not dependent upon the soil for nourishment. Basically the soil supports them so they can expand.

Their nourishment comes entirely from the atmosphere.  In the same way we are not to depend upon this world for nourishment. We are to be completely nourished by Christ Himself.

An important job of the root to hold the plant firmly in the soil, and prevent it from blowing away when the wind blows. In the same way Christ is the living root of our spiritual life.  He holds us firmly within his grace,  and grows within us a living faith so that our soul can receive heaven.

Another purpose which the root serves is to feed the plant. Jesus is the Bread of Life. He nourishes us everyday.

Let’s think about Christ growing up before the LORD as a young plant.  Christ was born helpless. As a baby he was in great danger from Herod, because He lived in a corrupt world too.

And God chose to save him not by a powerful army but by fleeing into another land.

Has God chosen to save you not by a powerful army but by sending you into a different job, a new city, or even a new country?

When Jesus was nailed to the Cross to die, it appeared as if His whole life’s work utterly collapsed and His name would be forever stamped out.  The disciples may have believed that the Cross was the death of Christianity in their own hearts.

But instead the power of the Divine Spirit came upon the Church.

Even when we sometimes think a plant is dead, rain brings forth new life.  No matter what in your life may seem dead, God can bring forth new life.

When Jesus Christ came to you to save you, did He find any fertile soil in your heart?

It is okay to feel barren at times.  We do not need to worry that we’ve missed something in our Christian walk.

Instead we need to say, “Lord, we are dry and need you. When you are near, fruit in our life grows.”

Don’t ever think that your heart or someone elses’ is too wicked for Christ to grow within them.

Never think it is useless to share the gospel with “them.”

Where ever there is dry ground, there is hope. After all Christ himself is a root out of dry ground.

Will you pray with me?

Heavenly Father, We praise you because you are the only nourishment that we need.

Thank you for transforming our hearts and growing our tender faith. Even when our dry circumstances seem dead, You are our hope.

For Christ’s words are tucked within our hearts beyond the scorching effects of this world. During the worst storms of life, the word of life is circulating within our mind and nourishing our soul.

You save us Lord in unexpected ways, and even when things look hopeless; your power pours into our lives and brings forth new life.  Thank you Lord! In Jesus name, We pray. Amen.

Connect with me:

Visit My FB page, Abiding in Christ’s Love where you will find a community of women who encourage each other as well as  blogs written by other Hopewriters.

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The study begins September 2nd so don’t delay and sign-up today! Just click the link below to join, friend. I’ll see you there!

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Do What God’s Word Says

But don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves. James 1:22 NLT

The Pharisees living during Jesus’ life knew God’s word, but they didn’t do what it said.  Unfortunately, they were fooling themselves.

Is it possible to go to Sunday school every Sunday, sing in the choir, and attend yearly mission trips but not “do what God’s word says?

Is it possible to deceive ourselves?

We can listen to God’s word on Sunday morning, Sunday evening, and Wednesday bible study- and think we’re good.

But we could be fooling ourselves?

The bible clearly and strongly states in the original language that doesn’t quite translate the same intensity into English- “You must do what it says!”  A doer of the word is a person who actually applies it to their life everyday like a habit.

What if a doctor were to tell you not to drink soda,  to swallow 3 pills twice a day, and to exercise 15 minutes every day…..or you would die.  Would you do it?

If the doctor told us our life depended on a behavior change, many…(I know not all people would change their behavior). But the majority of people wouldn’t just listen to the doctor, go home, and ignore what they said.  Many people would faithfully swallow those pills, park way out to increase their steps, and gulp tea instead of soda.

It wouldn’t be easy to change at first, but we would do it.  If our life depended on it, we would change our ways.

Our “eternal life” does depend on whether we “do what God’s word says.” We just don’t consider it a matter of life or death.  We think we have more time or we think we’ve got it covered. But do we?

When we hear God’s word it often reveals spots in our character.

  • But do we allow God to wash those areas?
  • Do we apply God’s word to help us overcome the areas that we are struggling with?

Consider C. H. Spurgeon’s example: “What would you say of a cook who prepared dinners for other people and yet died of starvation?”

Are we merely studying the life of Christ or are we actually following Christ?

If we hear God, but don’t obey…we have an empty devotion like a loveless marriage.  This may explain why God hears, but doesn’t answer. We may deceive ourselves, but we can’t deceive God.  He knows our heart, mind, and soul.

Or maybe you are like me and when we listen to sermons, other people come to mind instead of our own sin. We need to ask God to reveal what we have hidden from ourselves. Our temptations, our weaknesses… we don’t want to remember or think about our careless acts of disobedience.

Or maybe we hear and decide to actually make a change. But then we leave the parking lot, and forget all about it.  We tuck those notes in our purse, but we never apply it to our lives.

S. Cox in his sermon, Hearing and Doing. says it is impossible to forget if you “do God’s word.”  He says it is always on your mind as you attempt to apply it, because it usually has perplexities. I think what he means by perplexities is our wrestling between our own desires and God’s will.

Listening to God’s word will not earn us heaven.  Talking about God’s word with everyone you encounter will not earn us heaven. And this is the tricky part, Doing God’s word doesn’t earn us heaven either. We can’t earn heaven.

Only Jesus’ sacrifice of his blood covers our sins so that we can be accepted as righteous.  Heaven is a gift for those who follow Jesus, who do God’s word.

Doing God’s word also keeps us from deceiving ourselves. When we obey God’s word we are blessed with peace and comfort in our heart.  Not necessarily peace and comfort in our circumstances, because everyday brings trouble. But peace in our soul. God is always with us and will see us through difficult situations.

For if you listen to the word and don’t obey, it is like glancing at your face in a mirror. You see yourself, walk away, and forget what you look like. James 1:23-24 NLT

I don’t know about you, but I do not like looking in the mirror.  I see my frizzy hair, brown age spots, and more wrinkles than I care to see. But if I never looked in the mirror, I wouldn’t know that I need to brush my hair, buy Vitamin C serum, or wear sunscreen. If we never look into the mirror we don’t know the natural state of our appearance.

The same is true for our soul, if we don’t read God’s word we don’t know our true condition. God’s word reveals imperfections that we need to deal with.

If you glanced at your face in the mirror and saw an unusual colored mole that suddenly appeared, would you just quickly glance at it? Walk away and forget about it?

No, the serious and wise person would stoop down and look much more closely.  When we discover something that needs healing, we run to Christ.

But if you look carefully into the perfect law that sets you free, and if you do what it says and don’t forget what you heard, then God will bless you for doing it. James 1:25 NLT

When Jesus heals us spiritually or physically,  our heart bursts pure joy. You are blessed if you come to Christ, believe in him, and He forgives all of your sin.

You are blessed if you know your eternal home is heaven. If you visit God’s throne, open your heart, and talk to Him about your deepest hurts; you are blessed. A child of God can claim the promises of God the Father.  And He always keeps His promises.

May I pray for You?

Heavenly Father, you are a God of action.  You spoke the earth, stars, and universe into existence. You sent your Son Jesus to earth to save us. You resurrected Him and sent us the Holy Spirit to teach us about Jesus. Thank you Lord for all that you have “done” for me. I ask you to help me “do” your word. In Jesus Name I pray, Amen.

VIEW DOING THE WORD BY SUSAN HECK

This post was inspired by Susan Heck when she spoke about DOING the Word at Cornerstone Church. View her teaching on youtube.

Connect with me:

Visit My FB page, Abiding in Christ’s Love where you will find encouraging blogs written by other Hopewriters.

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Promises of God free online bible study with April Jollie

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For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline. 2 Timothy 1:7 NIV

Discipline is defined as the training of people to obey rules, procedures, or behavior. When I taught elementary school, I spent weeks teaching students classroom procedures for lining up, turning in assignments, and even for storing backpacks in the morning. When the students followed the procedures, the class ran smoothly and everyone learned in a caring environment.

However, when students refused to obey the rules or procedures, I couldn’t just ignore it.  Sometimes it was as simple as a reminder of what the rule or procedure was.  But sometimes the student knew the rule, but chose to be disobedient on purpose.

Even as adults we sometimes do this, we know what we should be doing, but we do what we want anyways. Adults don’t always have a teacher or a parent reminding us of what we should be doing. So, how do we practice self-discipline?

Hold on to the pattern of sound teaching you have heard from me, with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. Guard the good treasure entrusted to you, with the help of the Holy Spirit who dwells in us. 2 Timothy 1:13-14 BSB

Praise the LORD that as believers in Jesus Christ we have been given the Holy Spirit to help us remember the sound teaching, faith, and love of Christ Jesus.

Recently, I attended a conference where Susan Heck spoke about discipline. She gave an acrostic for the word DISCIPLINE to help us be diligent studying God’s word. I am sharing her acrostic with you, but am sharing my own experience about each one (hopefully, it will encourage you). To hear what Susan Heck speaks about each key point, please view the video at the bottom of this page.

  1. D- Desire for the word and delight in prayer

There is hope if you don’t desire to read God’s word.  Even if you pick up the bible because you know it is a sure fire way to fall asleep quickly, there is still hope for you.   Pray about it and ask God to give you a desire for His word.  And He will!

Friends, let’s encourage one another.  If you too once did not have a desire to read God’s word, but God has changed your heart …then please leave encouragement for others who may read this article at the bottom of this article.

2. I – Idols removed

Are you prone to placing anything in your life before God? Mothers’ lives revolve around children. Even as you sleep, you listen for their calls. Your children are the first thing you check on in the morning and the last thing before you drop into bed exhausted.

Mothers adore their children. That’s why we spend hours on the field in the hot sun watching their games and hours in the car transporting them to all their activities. But let’s reflect on the minutes, days, and hours devoted to time spent with our children or other things (we all have different things that may be an idol in our lives). If children, sports, or other things are constantly on your mind, and you haven’t thought of God today…there may be an unbalance in your life. Anything that hinders your time spent with God may be an idol. It might not be a person for you. Maybe it’s a favorite pet, a boat, car, or any type of hobby.  Golf, football, or baseball could be an idol in someone’s life.

Once the idol has been identified, we need to remove it’s position at the center of our hearts.  Only the LORD should sit on the throne of our heart.  Not our children or our husband, but our God. If this is a struggle for you too, confess to God, He already knows. Of course your children do not need to be removed from your life. They only need to be removed from sitting on the throne of your heart.  Allow God to take His rightful position in your life.

3. S- Spend ample time

The hardest part is getting started.  To sit down and pick up my bible instead of the computer or the television remote. While it’s true that spending 5 minutes praying or reading is better than none at all…we shouldn’t limit ourselves. Christine, a wife and mother, shares 16 ways you can fit more Bible into your day.

4. C -Cultivate Daily Habits

What habits do we need to cultivate? Here are a few:

Meet with people who encourage you with God’s word (Hebrews 10:25).

Come close to Jesus to listen to what He says (Luke 15:1).

Confess our sins (1 John 1:9).

Commit matters to the one who judges fairly instead of retaliating or threatening (1 Peter 2:23).

Pray for one another (James 5:16).

Serving one another (Galatians 5:13).

5. I- Interpretation should be proper context.

In the same way we would not want someone to pluck one of our sentences from our mouth and interpret it in their own way.  We need to be cautious about plucking out bible verses from a chapter and interpreting it.  We may need to read the chapter before the verse as well as the chapter after the verse in order to understand the meaning of the verse.

6. P- Pray before, during, and after reading your bible.

Pray without ceasing. Give thanks in every circumstance, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:17 BSB

7. L- Let Holy Spirit Teach

We have not received the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we may understand what God has freely given us. And this is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom, but in words taught by the Spirit, expressing spiritual truths in spiritual words. 1 Corinthians 2:13-14 BSB

In order to allow the Holy Spirit to teach us what God is speaking to us through his scripture, we need to pray asking the Holy Spirit to teach us.

When the Advocate comes, whom I (Jesus) will send to you from the Father— the Spirit of truth who goes out from the Father— He will testify about Me (Jesus) John 15:26 BSB.

8. I – Increase your Knowledge of God

9. N- Never think that you already know, studied, or heard…

10. E- Endeavor to live out what you are Learning

 

May I Pray For You?

Heavenly Father, we praise you for you are almighty in power, Holy, and Merciful.

I thank you for giving us a spirit that encourages us to be bold and self-disciplined. Your power enables us to be these things even though it not our nature.

We ask that you give us a desire for you and your word. Reveal to us any idols that hinder us spending time with you. Help us to manage our time wisely to spend ample time with you in prayer, so we can learn from your scripture with the Holy Spirit’s teaching. Give us courage to live out what we learn from you Lord.

In Jesus name, I pray. Amen.

VIEW DILIGENCE IN THE WORD BY SUSAN HECK

This post was inspired by Susan Heck when she spoke about Diligence in the Word at Cornerstone Church. View her teaching on youtube.

Connect with me:

Visit My FB page, Abiding in Christ’s Love where you will find encouraging blogs written by other Hopewriters.

DO YOU KNOW THE PROMISES OF GOD?

Join this FREE Bible study from the comfort of your own home and meet new friends in the online discussion group. The study begins September 2nd so don’t delay and sign-up today! Just click the link below to join, friend. I’ll see you there!

Promises of God free online bible study with April Jollie

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Not so long ago my mother-in-love began reporting that people were stealing her money, partying in her kitchen at night, and birds were trying to steal her purse.  Yes, she was suffering from dementia and it was a difficult road for us to witness.  But there was one thing that remained intact in her memory.  You see when she was a young girl she had memorized scripture so well, that it remained within her.

Even when she struggled to remember events of the day, she would light up when she heard a hymn or scripture. She would sign along perfectly or finish reciting the scripture. I was amazed and encouraged. And I’m not the only one who has witnessed this occurrence. Dr. Benjamin Mast wrote a book, Second Forgetting: Remembering the Power of the Gospel during Alzheimer’s Disease. 

New information is quickly forgotten but habitual memories like reading scripture,  praying, and singing hymns or songs can still be accessed when prompted. So what would be your habitual memories? This thought prompted me to memorize scripture.

Why should  we memorize scripture?

It greatly encourages me if I take time now to write the Lord’s word on my heart, it will always remain with me deeply embedded in my soul. Even if I should forget the Lord due to dementia, the Lord will never forget me or you…or your loved ones. Even if I lose my vision, the words will be planted in my mind and written upon my heart.

Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Joshua 1:8 NIV

The definition of meditate includes studying, thinking about, and concentration. This sounds like memorization to me. The LORD instructs us to “meditate” on it. If we spend time focusing on scripture, then we will be more careful to follow it.  Because if we don’t meditate on God’s word, then we won’t even notice when we are straying from it.

Who should Memorize?

According to Susan Heck all believers of Jesus Christ and the LORD are commanded to meditate on scripture, so that we will carefully to apply it to our lives.

But the one who looks intently into the perfect law of freedom, and continues to do so—not being a forgetful hearer, but an effective doer—he will be blessed in what he does. James 1:5 BSB.

But I’ve never been good at remembering people’s names, lyrics, so how can I expect myself to memorize scripture?

About three years ago a bible study teacher challenged me to memorize not just one verse, or one chapter, but the entire book of James. Although I didn’t really think it was possible with my past of forgotten names, lyrics, and state capitals, I decided to pray about it.

When do We memorize scripture?

During my prayers, I asked the Holy Spirit to help me.  And he did!  I wrote the verses in chunks on index cards as well as typed it out on paper.

So, whenever I was walking the dog, driving to work, or blow drying my hair…I recited the verses over and over in my mind. I even emailed it to myself, because most of the time when I’m stuck in unexpected places waiting I can use my phone to help me remember the next verse.

What scripture should we memorize?

Psalms, James, or John 15 is where I started, but you can select any chapter.  However, Susan Heck warns against memorizing lines of scripture from here and there because they could be interpreted out of context.  Plus they are harder to memorize.  It is easier to memorize related scripture in one entire chapter than single unrelated verses.

I would love for you to share with me what scripture you have memorized or would like to in the comments below!

How Do We Memorize Scripture?

Susan Heck explains the procedure that she uses for memorization in the video at the bottom of this post. It consists of recording her voice reading the scripture fast and she recites it just as quickly.

However, my method was different.  I used Bible hub to find a version that spoke the scripture using words that I understood the meaning.  Then I wrote it out in longhand, typed it, and recited it daily over and over whenever I had to wait for my computer to turn on, in a shopping line, or on hold.

John Piper states he reads the verse he is memorizing 10 times, recites it from memory 10 times and then is done for the day.  He only devoted 5 – 10 minutes a day but even with that a lot of scripture can be memorized! Recite and review is the strategy that worked for him too.

But first start with prayer!

Heavenly Father we praise you because you are our creator. You created our brain to store important information, and for our brain to recall information when needed.  We thank you for helping us to remember your word. Forgive us when we doubt whether or not we can really memorize scripture.  Help us to believe that with your Divine power, we can remember not just one verse but an entire book in the bible. We ask for you to plant your word in our minds, hearts, and souls. In Jesus name, we ask these things.  Amen.

View Delighting in the Word by Susan Heck

View Susan’s teaching to find out about how she memorizes scripture by Listening to her session about Delighting in the Word on youtube.

Can I Send You a Free Copy of a Prayer Journal?

If you have experienced regret or feel defined by your past mistakes, then let me introduce you to my friend, Doris Swift. She is a published author, speaker, and wonderful encourager who inspires women to step into their Fierce Calling.

If you have said things like “If only I had…” and “If only I hadn’t…” ? If so, you are not alone.

Are you ready to be free?

If so, then download her free copy of “Good-bye Regret” Bible Study Guide & Prayer Journal. 

You will be as blessed by it as I was!

Do You Know the Promises of God?

Join this FREE Bible study from the comfort of your own home and meet new friends in the online discussion group. The study begins September 2nd so don’t delay and sign-up today! Just click the link below to join, friend. I’ll see you there!

Promises of God free online bible study with April Jollie

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Do you look forward to reading scripture? Do you really desire to read your bible? Or do your eyes droop and your lids long to close whenever you open the pages? Does your mind scatter in a million different directions and you have difficulty understanding the sentence that you have reread at least a dozen times?

If the bible is not what you are craving to read, then let’s think about how we may be spending our time. Are we scrolling through Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter? Now don’t get me wrong, I love social media.  Our voice in these areas bring glory to our LORD but if I’m not careful an enormous chunk of my day could easily be wasted.

According to the Wall Street Journal, when people aren’t working the next largest chunk of time is spent watching television, enjoying leisure activities, and sporting events. And how much time are we sitting in restaurants and other places socializing with our friends?

Before we get too carried away, let’s talk about what we are watching on our televisions.  Are shows with malice popular? According to the Greek definition malice is trouble and badness. Many commercials of t.v. shows or movies fall into this category. Are the shows we like to watch steeped in deceit? Does treachery or vengeance play a part of the plot? Are our favorite characters pretending to be somebody that they aren’t? Or are they harboring a grudge and jealousy? Just think about the conversation that occurs in the movies or television shows… does evil speaking or backbiting come to mind?

Last week, I attended a Women of the Word Conference where Susan Heck reminded us, that “The Bible will keep you away from sin, but sin will keep you away from the bible.

In 1 Peter 2:1 NIV he encouraged, rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind.

Would it be easier to rid these sins from our own character if we weren’t listening and viewing these traits in our spare time?  Now, I’m not trying to get you to turn off the television completely, but perhaps we should re-evaluate the types of shows, movies, and books that we read.

I doubt it is a coincidence that Peter encouraged us to put away all malice, deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander before explaining how we can grow up in our salvation.

Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation 1 Peter 2:2 NIV.

Susan Heck reminded me of when my son was a newborn.  He craved milk every 2 – 3 hours and eagerly fed for as long as possible. Is that how we approach our time in the word? Are we craving the time we spend in the word? If not, then what is spoiling our appetite?

Are we snacking on junk food of entertainment filled with malice, deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander? If so, we may be spiritually starving ourselves.

I didn’t just feed my son once a day for five minutes. So, lets think…Are we spending enough time every day properly nourishing our souls?

We wouldn’t think of feeding our babies milk that only looked the part but wasn’t nourishing!  For example, think of how much time we spend reading Christian devotions, romances, or other Christian books? Now, compare that to how much time you spend reading God’s word directly from the bible.

We should never replace our bible reading time with reading Christian authors. The bible is pure spiritual milk that will help you grow strong in your salvation. Christian devotions and Christian books should point you to the bible, but you still need to dig into the word yourself to receive your own portion of the nutrients from the bread of life.

Peter continued now that you have tasted that the Lord is good (1 Peter 2:3 NIV).

This reminds me of when my infant son absolutely refused to taste ice cream. He didn’t desire it because he had never tasted how good it is.  We don’t desire spending time in the Word unless we first taste that the Lord is good. And if you don’t think the Lord is good, then you definitely won’t desire to spend any time in the Word.

So How do we increase our appetite for the Word of God?

  1. Record all your activities this up coming week to see how you are spending your time.  If you are spoiling your appetite for good nutrients by filling up on junk food, then you may consider to stop snacking!
  2. Ask God to remove the desire for whatever you crave and to replace it with craving his word.  I guarantee you that is one prayer He will be pleased to answer quickly.
  3. Spend enough time every day reading the word from the bible and thinking about what the words mean in order to be properly filled.
  4. Drink pure spiritual milk. The bible should be our primary source and Christian books should reinforce what the bible says. If we aren’t reading our bibles, then we won’t know if the Christian authors are accurately interpreting the bible.
  5. Taste that the Lord is good.  Challenge yourself to begin your day by reading or listening to the bible. Keep track of how your day progresses on the days you spent time in the word and compare them to the days when you don’t.

May I pray for you?

Heavenly Father, I praise you because you are pure spiritual food that nourishes our souls. You created our souls to grow up in salvation. I thank you for revealing to us the junk food that is spoiling our appetite for you.  I ask you Lord to remove all the “drama” aka malice, deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander from our cravings. Replace it with a thirst for your living water. For the one who doubts that you are good, I pray you reveal what a loving Father you are to your children.  In Jesus name, I pray Amen.

View Desiring the Word by Susan Heck

View Susan’s teaching for yourself by Listening to her session about “Desiring the Word” on youtube.

Can I Send You a Free Copy of a Prayer Journal?

If you have experienced regret or feel defined by your past mistakes, then let me introduce you to my friend, Doris Swift. She is a published author, speaker, and wonderful encourager who inspires women to step into their Fierce Calling.

If you have said things like “If only I had…” and “If only I hadn’t…” ? If so, you are not alone.

Are you ready to be free?

If so, then download her free copy of “Good-bye Regret” Bible Study Guide & Prayer Journal. 

You will be as blessed by it as I was!

Do You Know the Promises of God?

Join this FREE Bible study from the comfort of your own home and meet new friends in the online discussion group. The study begins September 2nd so don’t delay and sign-up today! Just click the link below to join, friend. I’ll see you there!

Promises of God free online bible study with April Jollie

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A few years ago a flood saturated the first floor of the women’s shelter in Detroit. The knee high water destroyed the pantry collection of cereals, dry milk, and other boxed goods which the facility workers needed to feed the women and children.  A small group of women from an Alliance Church several states away heard about the tragedy and desired to collect resources to help. Our plan to collect money to buy supplies was quickly rolled into action.  Since shipping is so expensive, we decided to purchase the supplies once we arrived in town. We could deliver the items to the facility in person which I was really looking forward to visiting.

We made a plan and asked God to bless it.

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However we wanted to buy needed items, so we visited the women’s shelter first to create a list.  The extensive list included simple items like ketchup, Kool-Aid, diapers, formula, and children’s clothes.  Our group prayed over the list wondering which items we should purchase. Secretly I lamented over the fact that the list was so long and our pile of funds was so small. But our prayers were hopeful that God can stretch our dollars farther.

We trusted God to provide and were cheerful as we waltzed into the local Wal-Mart expecting all the needed items to be on sale. We carefully selected as many items as possible within our budget, but our hearts were saddened. Disappointed we were unable to purchase everything on the list and had to place some items back on the shelves.  I knew that God can do all things and was disappointed that my expected shopping trip was less fruitful than hoped for. I had envisioned walking through the facility door with everything they desired, but that clearly wasn’t happening. One item troubled my heart greatly.  Many children staying at the women’s shelter arrived with only the clothes on their back. They needed clothes badly, but we were forced to grudgingly remove them from our cart. We just didn’t have enough to buy everything on the list!

Sometimes, things don’t work out like we expect!

With disappointment lurking deep in our hearts, we drove to the facility in downtown Detroit.  The women’s shelter parking lot has a secured parking lot. To enter, you have to push the button and be recognized before your vehicle can drive into the parking lot. The facility workers were expecting our arrival and allowed our van to enter. As our van was pulling in, another white van pulled in right behind us.  We were concerned because this vehicle was not part of our group and we tried to alert the security officer.  Before the guard could stop the vehicle, it swung into a parking spot right next to ours.

As we were unloading the grocery bags containing the highly prized ketchup and Kool-Aid, the people in the second vehicle followed us in. Before we could even apologize for not being able to purchase all the needed items to the facility workers, our mouths dropped open in wonder. The driver of the second white van unloaded bags and bags of children clothes! They carried in exactly the items on the shelter’s list that our little group had been unable to purchase.

You see we weren’t able to supply everything they needed, but God can and He did!

All the people in the women’s shelter weren’t aware of how God had provided for them using two groups of people who didn’t even know each other. But our small group was in awe.  God himself provided for all the items in such a way that we knew He had blessed our prayers and efforts. But he did it in such a way that we could not boast about it.   We were praising His goodness and grace as we were so thankful to see how He moved in our presence.

For some reason it is difficult for people to admit that God acts in our daily lives. We struggle to believe in divine messages or that God has blessed us with commands to protect us from harmful consequences of sin. We long for supernatural evidence, but if we encounter it we rationalize it as natural. Of course “rich volunteers” arrived to save the day. That makes so much more sense, even when it’s not true.

Perhaps people don’t want to believe in God because He requires us to action. He may require us to stop doing some action, or he may require us to start doing an action.  It is always interesting to me that people become so comfortable with harmful circumstances, and usually are reluctant to change.  But God has plans for you that are better than what you have settled for.  Trust him and surrender your doubts to him.

God will provide even when you have an extensive list!  It just won’t be the way you expected, in case you haven’t heard God works in surprising ways!

Can I pray for you?

Lord we praise you for who you are, Our Provider.  We thank you for breath in our lungs, the food you place on our table, and the strength in our legs. We confess our doubts and ask that you open our eyes so we can see the surprising ways you are moving in our lives. In Jesus name, we pray. Amen.

May I offer you a gift?

I’m a servant of God and the Lord Jesus Christ. I’m married to a firefighter, am a mother of two college age sons and one lovable rescue pup. I’m an Instructional Designer but my background is teaching Elementary school.  I love learning and sharing with my friends.

So, I’m looking for online friends to grow spiritually alongside me. As my online friend, I spend time praying for you everyday. My goal is to specifically design encouraging gifts that you may give others so they know just how dearly loved by Jesus they are.

If you would like a free digital image of  “I have seen the mighty power of the LORD in action” to share on your social media,  click the link to join my email list.  

Every week you will receive a new surprise to encourage you!  

  1. Feel free to comment below about a surprising way God has moved in your life. Or share a prayer request about how you need him to intervene. If you connect with me on my FB page, you can privately message me a prayer request. I promise to answer you.
  2. You may also connect with me on Instagram.
  3. Consider following my Facebook page to receive daily encouragement.

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Where is God at Work?

Did you grow up in the 1980s, the Me! Me! Me! Generation?   Did you watch the life of the rich and famous on television, and your heart yearned for the enormous mansion, fancy sports car, and sequined evening gowns? Are you listening to the world whispering You can have it all!   

Labels like Calvin Klein were extremely important in our 80’s materialistic culture. But I bought my prom dress at a thrift store. A rusty Toyota Corolla dropped me off at high school, and Wal-Mart labels were my primary source of insecurity.  Instead of having my identity grounded in being a daughter of the LORD,  I was looking for the approval of my friends, family, and teachers.

God is at work in our minds, hearts, and souls.

But God had a plan for my life and opened my ears to hear the word of truth about Jesus. I received his gift of salvation and at that moment God began working in my mind, heart, and soul. He became my security, my confidence. God has a plan for your life too and I pray that He opens your ears to hear the truth and receive salvation.

God is at work enabling us to live a worthy life

Once you accept Jesus to be your Lord and Savior, then God is at work to enable us to live a life worthy of the Lord and to please him (Colossians 1:10 NIV).  The only person I’m really good at pleasing is myself. It doesn’t come naturally to me to seek God’s approval instead of mine, family or friends. But when you feel yourself reaching for the cell phone to call a friend for advice, pause and pray instead.

Christ gives us His strength, courage, and perseverance to do the right thing, to choose the actions that are good for us, and for our families’ well-being. We need his wisdom to know what is truly important and what lasts.  For example, that sequined evening gown’s zipper is busted, the sports car is scratched by the Wal-mart carts, and the mansion has way too many rooms to clean!

But what’s important is the relationship with the Lord that is cultivated through meditating on his word.  The Holy Spirit uses the Lord’s word to teach us the difference between godly character and the world’s ways.

The Lord is at work growing fruit and giving knowledge.

And not only is God only teaching us, but the Lord is at work growing fruit from the work that He inspires us to plant.  And a sure fire way of knowing that the Lord is at work is when the knowledge of God increases in us (Col 1:10 NIV).

The Lord is at work giving you great endurance and patience.

I don’t know the difficult workplace you will face tomorrow morning.  Your boss may be demanding, the customers may be overly critical, and your children are prone to be disobedient. But no matter what you will face today, God strengthens you with all the power according to his glorious might and will give you great endurance and patience if only you ask (Col 1:11 NIV). And when you ask, you must believe and not doubt that He has the power to do what you ask (James 1:6 NIV).

God is at work qualifying us to share in the inheritance.

God is also at work qualifying us to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light (Col 1:12 NIV).  He rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought you into the kingdom of the son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins Col 1:13).  So when the news looks mighty dark, look up to the light above. When guilt and shame of your past looms in your memory, remember Jesus has chosen to forgive you.

God is at work reconciling us to Christ.

God was at work when he reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through his death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish, and free from accusation (Col 1:22 NIV). How can we doubt that God is at work when he created a plan for you?

But the question is when we labor, are we struggling with all his energy that works powerfully in us (Col 1 :29 NIV)? Are we seeking him daily and allowing him to encourage our hearts and unite us in love?

God is at work forgiving us our sins.

God made us alive with Christ and He forgave us all our sins (2 Col 13 NIV).  So when we find ourselves feeling insecure, fearful, and dependent on the approval of others, we will feel trapped. But when we choose Jesus, He gives us security, removes our fear and makes us worthy.

In the little Golden Book about God, the work of God in us is described:

“He gives us a small, still voice in our hearts to help us tell wrong from right. God gives us the hopes and wishes and dreams, plans for our years ahead. He gives us memories of yesterdays, so that happy times and people we love we can keep with us always in our hearts. For GOD IS LOVE.”

God is not just working in our two lives, but is working all over the world. Wherever the name of Christ Jesus is being preached, people are hearing. The message is growing, just as it has been since Jesus’ resurrection.

One example is the Children Evangelism Fellowship which teaches bible lessons for children in 195 countries around the world.   CEF also train adults to teach Good News Clubs here in the United States as well.  According to their website they have sent 800,000 Wonder Devotional Books to Africa and their plan is to reach 500,000 children in Asia with the books as well.  God is moving in the hearts of tens of thousands of trained volunteers who help children grow in their relationship with the Lord.

May I Pray For You?

Heavenly Father, we praise you for being our salvation, security, confidence, and truth. We thank you for working in our mind, heart, and soul. We confess that our hearts are divided when we look to our family, friends, and ourselves for approval of our actions. We ask for Christs’ courage, strength, and perseverance to do your will. Help us to see you at work not just in our lives, but in everything. In Jesus name, we pray. Amen.

A Song you May Enjoy

In  Toby Mac’s song, he sees God Everywhere! :

“It’s in the boom of the thunder, it’s in the cool of the rain.
And everywhere I turn is a reminder
I see You in everything, all day
And every beat of my heart keeps reminding me
No matter where I go I know Your love is finding me”

 

May I offer you a gift?

I’m a servant of God and the Lord Jesus Christ. I’m married to a firefighter, am a mother of two college age sons and one lovable rescue pup. My new day job is as an Instructional Designer but my background is teaching Elementary school.  I love learning and sharing with my friends.

So, I’m looking for online friends to grow spiritually alongside me. As my online friend, I spend time praying for you everyday. My goal is to specifically design encouraging gifts to help you know deep in your soul just how dearly loved by Jesus you are.

If you would like a free digital image of  “The Lord is Trustworthy”,  click the link to join my email list.  

Every week you will receive a new image to encourage you!  

  1. You may also connect with me on Instagram.
  2. Consider following my Facebook page to view more blogs from Hope Writers.

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If you enjoy lounging at the beach with a good book, then you may also like reading blogs.  One of the best features of reading a blog is connecting with the writer as well as other readers. If their writing sparks a memory, feeling, or resolution to something you have been contemplating; then you can comment at the bottom of the article.  If you don’t have time to dilly dally, you can just press the like button. However if someone pops into your head who would be blessed by reading the same article, then you can even share on Facebook or Instagram.  If one person would benefit, then there are likely more people out there who may also be interested.

Since my collection of blogs is piling up, I thought I would share three that spoke to me.  So grab something refreshing to drink, and get comfy…we have some reading to do.  Enjoy!

A Few of my Favorite Blogs

Many years ago I remember waking up in the middle of the night and picking up my bible to read because it was a sure fire way to make my eyelids droop.  For some reason the bible just seemed dry, difficult to read, and not applicable to my life.

If you are in that dry season right now, then you need to read, “What to Read In the Bible When You Don’t Know What to Read.” Jazmin Frank discusses how she relies on the Psalms because they are short emotion driven prayers. She even has a 150 day guide to reading the Psalms that you can download. I love to read the Psalms, clip out parts that speak to me and then rearrange them into what I call a Found poem.

My Found Poem Inspired From the Psalms

Heavenly Father, my thoughts ponder your goodness.

My fear is cast out.

Your righteousness covers my sins.

Shine your heavenly light, for I’m struggling to follow you.

The brush is dense and vines trip my feet.

Forgive me Lord for not uprooting the sin as soon as it sprung in my path.

Weeds quickly branched out in all directions and now my path is completely overgrown.

Tall trees tower over me.

Your light seems so far away, so dim.

The path behind appears wide, clear, and safe.

But, I hear your urgent pleas calling me forward.

When I turn my head towards your direction, your strength presses me closer.

Jesus, you are the light of my whole world.

I need you to shine brilliantly into my mind and heart.

Block out this darkness.

Show me your truth.

Give me your wisdom so my reactions align with your love.

Where I see a tragedy, you see an opportunity to display your goodness.

I acknowledge that I am helpless without you Lord.

Only you can soften my heart.

Unleash your amazing power.

Open my unseeing eyes and draw me close.

I can trust you, only you can see dangers around the bend.

Help me Lord to react in a way that honors Christ.

To find a clear spot to rest.

To know which direction to turn.

I’m fearful step forward, so I close my eyes tight.

And I hear your words rebuke the fierce wind and the pelting downpour.

Once the wind quiets, I dare to speak.

I praise you Lord.

You are my healer.

You restore me.

Thank you LORD

How to Overcome Temptation Like Jesus

I don’t know about you but I love chocolate, so it is really difficult for me to stop my hand from slipping into the candy dish whenever I pass. I think temptation sometimes works the same way, we say we won’t do it anymore.  But then as we attempt to walk past the temptation, we reach out instead.  Why? Because that’s what we’ve always done.

In order to overcome temptation, we need Jesus which is why I really enjoyed reading Ashley’s blog about how Jesus overcame Temptation. She gives biblical examples of how Jesus rebuked Satan’s lies with scripture. She reminds us that if we believe that Jesus is the Son of God, then we receive the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit has the power to overcome temptation.  By hiding scripture in our heart and speaking it out loud, we can overcome temptation.

Growing Our Faith

I doubt that many people actually like taking orders.  For some reason, I like to think about it and only do what I think is a good idea too.  Yeah, I didn’t last long in the U.S. Army.  If they tell you to dig a hole, you dig it.  No questions asked.  No thinking involved, just do it!

You know you have a problem when you don’t even trust GPS.  Seriously, SIRI and I had a full blown out argument the other morning as I braved the interstate on the way to work.  However, I have marveled at the way some people just follow the travel directions.  Cassie Lynn Douglas speaks about how people of faith should pay attention where they are headed, instead of just moving on auto-pilot.

Cassie gives four ways that we can water our spiritual relationship, but one in particular really spoke to me.  She suggested to grow our faith by allowing more Godly influences into our lives, and remove the bad influences.

In the same way that we are what we eat, we are what we listen to.  We are what we watch.  We are who we hang out with.

But what if I keep the candy dish empty?

I found that I needed to be mindful of what I’m listening to.  If the radio, songs, or person’s message doesn’t align with God’s truth, I turned it off. Yes, I know what you are thinking.  I rarely watch television anymore and I’m listening to Christian music more.

I also took the same approach with social media.  If people post things regularly that aren’t good for a child to view, then I hide their posts.  And you what?  I feel better!  The heaviness is gone.  My spirit is calm and joyful.

If you are feeling overwhelmed, stressed out, then try it…maybe it will work for you too.

If  any of these blogs have “clicked” with you, then please share it with a friend. That would be a blessing to both your friend and the writer.

Which Topics Spoke to You?

Please take a moment and share which blog or sentence spoke to you.   I’d love to hear from you!

May I offer you a gift?

I’m a servant of God and the Lord Jesus Christ. I’m married to a firefighter, am a mother of two college age sons and one lovable rescue pup. My new day job is as an Instructional Designer but my background is teaching Elementary school.  I love learning and sharing with my friends.

So, I’m looking for online friends to grow spiritually alongside me. As my online friend, I spend time praying for you everyday. My goal is to specifically design encouraging gifts to help you know deep in your soul just how dearly loved by Jesus you are.

If you would like a free digital image of  “It is better to take refuge in the Lord”,  click the link to join my email list.  

Every week you will receive a new image to encourage you!  

  1. You may also connect with me on Instagram.
  2. Consider following my Facebook page to view more blogs from Hope Writers.

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2017 was a hard year for me. So difficult that I turned off the foggy blather of the news, avoided the Hallmark channel like the plague, and even turned off my favorite radio station Z88.3.  Why?  Because they all contained “triggers” that sent my mind swirling into areas that I had decided for my own good I wasn’t going to dwell on anymore.

That is easier said than done, but music helped turn my focus back to the Lord and keep my eyes on him.  I’m sharing with you today some of those songs that ministered to my heart.  I hope they are a blessing to you!

Mercy Me  Shake 

Lyrics

“Ain’t no explanation
How I saw the light
He found me and set me free
And it brought me back to life”

Mercy Me Shake song is a dance song to remind you that Jesus has brought you back to life! The rhythm lifts your feet and shakes your hips even early in the morning.  It’s impossible to sit still while listening.  If your soul is downcast or you are having a difficult time believing that today is a glorious day…then play this song.  It lifts my spirit every time!

Mandisa Overcomer

Lyrics

“The same man, the great I am
The one who overcame death
Is living inside of you
So just hold tight, fix your eyes
On the one who holds your life
There’s nothing he can’t do”

This video will really inspire you because there are so many people in this world who are fighting the battle every day just to breathe! So, if you are able to breathe today… praise God.  But if your chest is tight and it hurts to inhale….remember Christ Jesus, “the great I AM, the one who overcame death is living inside of you.” He is the Overcomer, so cling tightly dear one.  All you have to do is sit still, because He will fight for you!

Mandisa Unfinished

Lyrics

“He started something good
And I’m gonna believe it
He started something good
And He’s gonna complete it
So I’ll celebrate the truth
His work in me ain’t through
I’m just unfinished”

Mandisa wrote this song as she was battling doubt, depression, and shame.  Hear her story behind the song  on 955 the Fish radio station. For me, this song reminded me that God is still molding me into something beautiful. I may feel broken beyond repair but God resurrects the dead. He breathes life into seeds, nothing is too hard for him!  Where we see a seed as lifeless, God sees life beginning. He is still working in you too, so celebrate the truth!  His work in us ain’t finished, but when it is finished…we will be His masterpiece.

Take a look at this broken dish that has been repaired with gold. Kintsugi means “golden repair” and that reminds me of the work the LORD is doing in me.

Mandisa Good Morning 

“Now I’m smiling, and I’m kissing all my worries goodbye
Got the feeling, if I spread my wings I might even fly
You are my truth, my way
Give me the strength to say”
Get up, get up, get up
‘Cause it’s a good morning, hey”

If you don’t want to open your eyes to face the new day because the responsibilities of the new day just seem so overwhelming, then this song can help you get out of bed! It lifts your spirit and reminds you that the LORD gives you the strength.  He will be with you no matter what the day holds.  And it’s a good morning! Even the birds are singing, if we will just get up early enough to listen.

Mandisa Born For This

“Feels like I’ve been holding my breath, trying to still my restless heart
Everything hangs on my next step, finding my nerve, playing my part
I found shelter underneath His crown, found favor inside His eyes
Rock this boat, and I just might drown, honesty seems to come with a price
There’s a time to hold your tongue, time to keep your head down
There’s a time but it’s not now
Sometimes you gotta go, uninvited
Sometimes you gotta speak when you don’t have the floor”
This song was written about Esther, but it really spoke to me.  We can’t allow fear to stop us from stepping into the room God gave us the authority to enter. If He sends us, He will go with us, and His will always succeeds. If the LORD has called you to Him, you have found favor in His eyes, and shelter under His crown. When the LORD calls us to speak truth, we have to be bold even when we might feel like we don’t have what it takes.  HE does!

 

Mandisa Press On!

“When I’m alone, when I’m afraid
When I have had all I can take
Losing my grip, I start to slip away
When I can hear the voice of doubt
Inside my head, screaming loud
Strengthen my faith, and help me say today
Today
I will follow, I will press on
Even when the walk feels long
Your hands hold me together
Your love is with me forever
Through the broken, through the victory
I will praise You through it all
And run hard ’til the race is done
I, I’m gonna press on, press on”
Press On reminds me that I am not alone.  It reminds me to be strong and courageous, to not be afraid for the Lord my God goes with me (Deuteronomy 31:6). I remember to take my thoughts captive and cling to Jesus. Tightly holding on to his robe, I can walk through the darkness.  His love is with me forever.  Even if my body is broken, He will deliver me safely into His kingdom. And I have the awesome opportunity to praise Him through all the events of my earthly life until my race is done.  I may be limping across the finish line, but He is by my side cheering me on to victory!

 What Songs Lift Your Spirit?

Please take a moment and share a song that always lifts your downcast spirit.  I’d love to hear from you!

May I offer you a gift?

I’m a servant of God and the Lord Jesus Christ. I’m married to a firefighter, am a mother of two college age sons and one lovable rescue pup. My new day job is as an Instructional Designer but my background is teaching Elementary school.  I love learning and sharing with my friends.

So, I’m looking for online friends to grow spiritually alongside me. As my online friend, I spend time praying for you everyday. My goal is to specifically design encouraging gifts to help you know deep in your soul just how dearly loved by Jesus you are.

If you would like a free digital image of  “In You Lord, I Put My Trust,  click the link to join my email list.  

Every week you will receive a new image to encourage you!  

  1. Feel free to comment on this blog about a song that means something special to you. I’d love to hear from you!
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I am a Hope Writer

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