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Music Speaks: Just Be Held

Music Speaks: Just Be Held

Just Be Held

by Casting Crowns

“Hold it all together
Everybody needs you strong
But life hits you out of nowhere
And barely leaves you holding onJust Be Held

And when you’re tired of fighting
Chained by your control
There’s freedom in surrender
Lay it down and let it go

When your eyes are on the storm
You’ll wonder if I love you still
But if your eyes are on the cross you’ll know
I always have and I always will

And not a tear is wasted
In time you’ll understand
I’m painting beauty with the ashes
Your life is in my hands

Lift your hands, lift your eyes
In the storm is where you’ll find Me
And where you are, I’ll hold your heart
I’ll hold your heart
Come to me, find your rest
In the arms of the God who won’t let go

 So when you’re on your knees
And answers seem so far away
You’re not alone
Stop holding on
and Just be held
Your world’s not falling apart
It’s falling into place
I’m on the throne
Stop holding on
and Just be held”

Along with a few others that I will likely be writing, I happened across this song during my husbands last hospitalization. Since that day a little over two months ago, these words have been a great encouragement to me. One of the first things that I did when I picked my husband up from the hospital, was share this song with him. I had it all ready to be played when he got off of the bus that brought him back into town. I wanted to share with him this reminder that I think we all need at some point. “You’re not alone.” Perhaps if we weren’t always trying so hard to solve our own problems, we would be more easily able to “stop holding on” and allow God to take over. If we would really rely on Him, and believe that He is able and will help us, what might happen? Good or bad, things happen according to Gods plan. When you’re strong, it is all in Gods plan. When you’re weak, God is still God, and He is still in control.

It has been a tough and constant reminder that I do not have to be everything to everybody. I am not “everything,” nor was I intended to be. I am not supposed to be able to hold everything together all on my own, along with holding everyone else together. I am supposed to rely on God, and He is able to be everything to everybody.

“If your eyes are on the storm you’ll wonder if I love you still But if your eyes are on the cross you’ll know I always have and I always will.”
Oh how true this is, and can only be known by experiencing it. If we are too busy focusing on everything that is going wrong in our lives, we will miss out on so many good things that are happening, amazing things that have happened and the best thing that has yet to happen. If we focus on the cross, and what happened at Calvary, we can be confident that any suffering that we endure has a purpose and that if we remain on the right path, we will be rewarded in ways greater than we can imagine.

“Where you are I’ll hold your heart…”
Again, how absolutely true. This is a fact that I’ve known, but I keep relearning it. It doesn’t matter where we are, good times or bad times, God is there with us. He never leaves us. If we feel that He has abandoned us…the problem is not God, but the problem is with us. If we can’t see Him working, even in the bad times, there is usually a pretty good chance that we aren’t really looking.

I encourage my readers whoever, and wherever you are, to just take a moment to know and to feel that God loves you. You are in His arms. He is surrounding you with love and comfort. No matter what you are going through, He is bigger, and He is in control. This should be a habit. This needs to be something that we never forget. After all, He doesn’t forget about us.

 
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Posted by on August 18, 2014 in Music Speaks

 

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Revival

Once again it has been a while since I’ve posted.
Since the time of my last posting, I am pleased to say that my family has found a “home church.” We have found a little place out in the country with a preacher who is not afraid to preach Gods Word and doesn’t care if Gods Truth offends people. We have found a place filled with God fearing people who welcomed us from day one and have been there praying for us through some very difficult times.
Since my last posting, my husband has been diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, resulting in lots of doctors appointments, the loss of a job, and a couple of hospitalizations. We have been essentially homeless and living as we have been told by a few people by “couch surfing.” We had 90% of our belongings in a storage unit until we could find a place to live. In the last 2 weeks, we have been back in contact with an old friend who is more like a brother to both my husband and myself. He too has been dealt a less than pleasant hand and he and my husband have been a source of constant support for each other.
This past week, the storage unit that held all of our household items and photos of our daughters first 5 years, and an antique desk that has passed through my family for generations and was given to me by my grandmother and so much more of our lives together, flooded. We lost everything. All of our possessions now fit in the trunk of our car.
Needless to say, life has been a struggle.
We attended church this evening, two weeks after their official “Revival” where it was pointed out that “revival doesn’t only happen during a set time in a certain building, but it can happen anytime and anywhere for Gods people.” Well I believe that I’ve had a revival tonight.
We arrived at church to find out that they would be holding a business meeting for most of the time allotted, and therefore the evenings lesson would only be about 10 minutes long.
One of my favorite things about this church is that Pastor Allen has the ability to deliver a strong, powerful, hit-the-nail-on-the-head message in just a few short minutes.
As he was thinking about what God wanted him to share with his congregation tonight, he heard God telling him to “remind them of how good God is.” That’s exactly what he did and he shared the Word and people shared their testimony and just praised God for all of their blessings.
That’s when it occurred to me that I was dealing with the loss of all of our possessions in an odd way. It occurred to me that I hadn’t been sad at any point. I wasn’t and am not upset about losing my things. I’m not worried about how I’m going to replace them. I’m not mad at God or anyone else for that matter, for what has been taken from me. Over the past 2 weeks, I have been more thankful than I remember being in the last year. Even when bad things are happening, my first instinct is to praise God.
When my husband entered the hospital and I didn’t know how long they would keep him, or how long it
Would be before I could see him or even talk to him, the first thing that I did when I left his side, was get in the car and sing praise to God in the form of Casting Crowns’ “Praise You In This Storm.” Each time. Alone in my car. Uncertain. Afraid. Lost. And singing at the top of my lungs, shouting to God, knowing that He is worthy of praise no matter what is going on.
When we lost all of our things, and didn’t know if we would have a bed or even a home for our daughter by next month, I again sat in my car praying through song, singing “You must think I’m strong to give me what I’m going through…hands of mercy won’t you cover me? Lord, right now I’m asking You to be strong enough for the both of us.”
Today as I drove around to finalize arrangements for housing, I realized as I sang, “Teach me how to love the unlovable. Show me how to reach the I reachable. Help me now to do the impossible. Forgiveness,” that I am the most free that I have ever been in my life. It was then that I told my husband that praying that particular song had helped me to release anger that I had carried toward one person for more years than I can remember.
With everything that has been going on, all of the attacks of the devil that have been striking from every direction, my faith has not only never wavered, but has been revived and grown stronger throughout!
Praise God, for He is GOOD!

 
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Posted by on June 11, 2014 in Life in General

 

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A Line In The Sand/An Open (anonymous) Letter

 

“The Lord is near to the brokenhearted, and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”
– Psalms 34:18

“He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.”
– Psalms 147:3

“…My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.”
– 2 Corinthians 12:9

God is “close to the brokenhearted”… That is a promise. “It’s not a feeling, it is a fact,” as a friend of mine put it.

How does one exercise faith? Having faith in God means believing that He is who He is, and that He has done what He has done. But what about when having faith means letting go and trusting God? I know, from both experience as well as observation that this step can often seem more difficult than initially accepting God to begin with.

In my experience, it has been similar to a line in the sand; On one side, I have my faith in God in the sense of saying, “I believe.” On the other side of the line is my faith on a whole different level where suddenly that line becomes a canyon. It requires so much more of me. It requires–well–a leap of faith. I have to not only work up the courage to know that I am making the right choice and know that when I land, God will be there to catch me, whether is be at the bottom of the canyon or at the other side of the line… I also have to be able to deny myself and my wants and my earthly needs, which can be a completely separate task in itself. But what did Jesus tell us? In Mark 8:34, he said…Line

“If anyone wants to follow me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow me.”

The thing that often prevents us from doing that very thing is fear. Often that fear is that things won’t turn out the way that we want or “need” them to turn out. But…

“…God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love and self-discipline.”
– 2 Timothy 1:7

That line in the sand can be complicated, and once you make that jump, odds are that you will land with another just ahead of you.

“I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me.
Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows.
But take heart, because I have overcome the world.”
– John 16:33

When facing another line in the sand, I am always reminded of the words of 2 Corinthians 12:9 (above) and 10

“That is why I take pleasure in my weakness, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ.
For when I am weak, then I am strong.”

 
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Posted by on October 18, 2013 in Building Blocks for Life, Life in General

 

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The Truth About “Love”

Browsing through the feed of my Facebook has been quite the source of sadness and heartbreak for me in recent months. There is an issue that has been heavy on my heart–quite possibly because it relates to people much like myself. These people so much like me, yet still so different.
I suppose though, I was just like them not too very long ago.

At the age of eighteen, I thought that my life was over, after all, things didn’t go as planned with a boy. Tragic, I know. Things didn’t work out with the first boy that I was interested in and so I more or less began a search of “the one” who would “fix” everything so I could get my life started.
I really was looking for “the one”, but in reflection, I now know (and wish that I had known then) that what I should have been looking for was the One.

As I’ve mentioned, I’ve been reading Kyle Idlemans book “gods at war” and I’ve been thoroughly enjoying it. This evening I began “Part 4 The Temple of Love” and have struggled to make it through each paragraph thinking about certain women in my life and/or women who are no longer in my life as much as they once were.

Mr. Idleman says, “Our culture holds up romantic love as the greatest and noblest of pursuits.” The truthfulness of that statement breaks my heart.
Having been one of the girls who was in the pursuit of nothing more than romantic love and remembering how exhausting it is, and knowing what I know now, I just ache for any women (or men, to be accurate) who are putting themselves through such pain in search of a fantasy.

The book goes on to say, “When you say to someone, “I want you to satisfy me; I want you to save me; I want you to be my source of significance,” what you’re really saying is, “I want you to be god to me.”
I know so many women in that position, some who have found their “god”, some who have found him many times and some who are still using every known resource to search for him. When I found my husband, those were all things that I wanted him to be for me. I wanted him to save me, satisfy me, and make me significant.
Oh, had I only known then that there is only One who can do all of that for me.

It is my fervent prayer that anyone who is in the pursuit for love, the pursuit to become complete, will find the only One who can truly be that missing piece-the Only One who will truly matter in the long run. In Him is the only place to find true happiness and contentment.

image

As I’ve said before, I have a three-year-old daughter. She is another reason that subject is so close to my heart. At this young an age, culture (and by “culture” I mean Disney) has already taught her that a princess needs to marry her Prince. In the past month, my little girl has purposes to nearly every man in the family and has tearfully asked her daddy, “Who can I marry?” She has cried to her grandpa, “Daddy said he can’t marry me.”
It has proven difficult to teach her otherwise when the rest of the world is telling her that she needs to find her prince as soon as possible in order to be happy.

“The truth is, you and I were made for a love far deeper, far richer than any human relationship can offer.” – Kyle Idleman

 
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Posted by on April 11, 2013 in Life in General

 

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Lessons from Timothy

“For we have brought nothing into the world, so we cannot take anything out of it either.
If we have food and covering, with these we shall be content.
But those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a snare and many foolish and harmful desires which plunge men into ruin and destruction.
For the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil, and some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.” – 1 Timothy 6:7-10

Tonight I returned home from dinner with my parents with every intention to continue reading where I had left off in “gods at war” by Kyle Idleman. I had previously finished chapter nine, titled “the god of money” and was to begin chapter ten, “the god of achievement.”

My plans changed when I got a text message from a friend. We exchanged greetings and a bit of small talk before he mentioned that he’d been reading Timothy. In that, I heard more than my friends activities. I also heard God.
Although I didn’t yet know why, I felt God pulling MD into His Word.

Generally I’m a pretty fast reader but that was not to be the case tonight. Nearly an hour and a half and only six short chapters later, I had two pages of notes and a heart weighed down by guilt.

While I knew that there was trouble, I had yet to put my finger on just the right page. Tonight, however, the Shepherd felt that it was time to lead me directly to it. 1 Timothy 6:7-10-more specifically, verse nine…

“But those who want to get rich fall into temptation and…plunge into ruin and destruction”

image

At the time of my last two posts, I wasn’t ready to disclose the details of the “struggles” my family was dealing with, and while I still don’t think that “ready” is the right word, my Bible tells us to ”

confess your sins to each other and pray for each other”

in James 5:16.

Over the past month, my husband And I have lost our car, our only means of transportation, nearly all of our utilities, many of our possessions and nearly lost our house.

We had fallen prey to the commercialism of Christmas and as much as we had tried since them, we have not been able to dig ourselves out of the hole we got ourselves into.
We have spent the last month living without many things that most would consider to be necessities, yet still rejoicing, knowing that our circumstances could be far worse.

We have known where we went wrong and that God would be our only chance at recovery.
Tonight was the night when everything fell into place. We had wandered off the narrow path, but its time to find our way back.

“If we have food and covering, with these we shall be content.” 1Timothy 6:8

 
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Posted by on April 9, 2013 in Life in General

 

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Music Speaks: Strong Enough

Strong Enough
by
Matthew West

You must, You must think I’m strong
To give me what I’m going through.
Well, forgive me
Forgive me if I’m wrong
But this looks like more than I can do
On my own

Well maybe
Maybe that’s the point
To reach the point of giving up

Cause when I’m finally
Finally at rock bottom
Well that’s when I start looking up
And reaching out

Cause I’m broken
Down to nothing
But I’m still holding on to the one thing
You are God
and you are strong 
when I am weak.

I can do all things
Through Christ who gives me strength
And I don’t have to be
Strong enough
Strong enough

I know I’m not strong enough to be
everything that I’m supposed to be
I give up
I’m not strong enough
Hands of mercy won’t you cover me
Lord right now I’m asking you to be
Strong enough
Strong enough
For the both of us

I feel that little needs to be said in addition to this song. This is very exemplary of where my heart is at right now; crying out for God to be my strength when so much has gone so wrong.

“Maybe that’s the point, to reach the point of giving up. Cause when I’m finally at rock bottom, that’s when I start looking up.” A less eloquent version of this line has been running through my head all week, as I’ve known that I am not alone in all of the troubles I’ve been dealing with. Giving up was certainly a first thought, yet it was immediately followed by appreciation for the need to rest on God.

“That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”
– 2 Corinthians 2:10

 
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Posted by on March 17, 2013 in Music Speaks

 

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This Is A Test

Over this past week, my family has been bombarded with trials and blows of disappointment. I’m not speaking lightly in using plural terms.

While the exact details are not those which I am yet ready to share with whoever may be reading, I am asking for prayers from everywhere possible.

My husband and I are undergoing some serious tests right now. Our faith is being tested. Our love is being tested. Our family is being tested.
We are only in the beginning of this affliction, and we stand with much to lose.

The only thing that I can currently say with any measure of confidence, is that God is with us. God has never left us, and He will get myself, my husband and our family through this heartbreak.

As a multitude of pain attacked our family, all within a matter of only three days, we quickly identified our hardship as an attack from Satan.

“Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.”
– 1 Peter 5:8

There is no doubt that he has found an area to direct his focus upon. He found us. What he didn’t know, is that we are ready for him. While we weren’t expecting the specific nature of what has happened to its full extent, we were not taken by surprise that something happened.
The Bible tells us all over that the devil is out to get us, and that we need to stay strong in Gods Word. So in this trying time, I also recognize this as a time to be thankful to know the Comforter. I can see this as a time to rely on the Provider, and I can know without a doubt that things will be ok, one way or another, because my family is resting safely in Gods loving hands.

 

 
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Posted by on March 15, 2013 in Life in General

 

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