Shout for Joy

This is my shout for Joy this Marvellous Monday.

God is good, worthy of all praise and glory. He has taken me who was destined for death and judgement because of my sin and has redeemed, restored and given me the greatest treasure…Jesus and eternal life. He has totally transformed me by His awesome power. I am a new me.

I am no longer dead spiritually but am alive in Christ Jesus, my Lord. I am lifted high through Him who loves Me and who has demonstrated already His great love for me by giving Himself totally for me. He died and rose again from death that I too might live, but not only that He has give me, His Holy Spirit.

His Spirit lives in me and empowers me.

When I fall, Jesus picks me up. He tends my wounds and heals me. He encourages me to endure and persevere. Jesus is in my corner. I am not alone.

He teaches me to be an overcomer of the works of the evil one and to laugh with joy at the works of God.

God’s handiwork of creation is bold and beautiful and reminds me daily how awesome my Father God is.

How wonderful, how amazing that I am now counted His child.

Adopted into the family of the most loving, merciful, gracious, trustworthy, good and powerful Father there ever is and who is for everlasting to everlasting. Praise His glorious name.

Join me in giving a Shout of Joy today for our most marvellous God and His son, Jesus.

Photo by Jill Wellington on Pexels.com

Letting Go…Testimony Tuesday (Update)

The wanderer has returned! You may recall my post about my youngest daughter (who set off for over 5 months on a solo back pack to the Far East) and my thoughts in Letting go…#TestimonyTuesday. Now she is back……but not for long. She heads off on her next adventure to university in Newcastle Upon Tyne, a city in the North of England about 4/5 hours away from us.

I re-read my post from that time she set out and I thank God for His faithfulness in being with her during her travels as her protector and guide. She has told me stories of things that happened to her and her friends and I know that the Lord was at work during those times. She calls it “luck” but I recognise the hand of God and am grateful for His answer to my prayers.

She travelled (even with the difficulties of Covid still) into Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam and Bali. She learnt about man’s inhumanity to man in the Killing Fields of Cambodia and the realities and horror of war from her time in Vietnam. I don’t want to repeat the things she told me about the genocide in Cambodia here as they are too distressing. She spoke of the impact of those atrocities still hanging over the country and people in a tangible way. These experiences will stay with her. God will use them in the future.

I was prompted by the Lord to fast and pray before she went away. It was only the Lord who knew what the months ahead held and I believe in times of our uncertainty that it’s so important to pray and follow the leading of the Holy Spirit. We don’t fully comprehend or see how God looks after us and the outworking of His providence, but I believe one day we will see and understand fully. Whilst I can thank God now for His faithfulness and goodness, I believe that one day when I will truly understand what God has done then my thanks and praise will seem so inadequate in comparison to His grace. Even in situations when I believed my prayers went unanswered or did not go “my” plan, I will understand that God in His inestimable wisdom and goodness was working things out for good in the long term. God is a good, good God.

They say travel broadens the mind and I can definitely see that this experience has helped my daughter mature. She has challenged herself in many ways and these experiences have helped her grow and develop. She is more ready for university life now. We were concerned that after 2 years of life during Covid and missing out on so many life experiences at college, that she would go a bit wild with her new found freedom. Have you seen cows when they are let out to pasture after being in the winter stables. They run, frolic and jump with excitement. We didn’t want her jumping recklessly into danger looking for “fun” after all those months cooped up in isolation.

The Lord has been laying on my heart that it is a season of change. I can see how this relates to certain things in my family and my life but I believe this change is going to be more widely felt. My husband and I enter into a new season of change for sure as both daughters will have left home. I look at the empty rooms and wonder what we will do with them? There will be a way I am sure and I believe the Lord will show us.

Have a blessed day my friends.

One of the beautiful places visited

The Doldrums

I read a post yesterday which reminded me of something I had written a while ago, and I felt prompted to share it again today. Perhaps there is someone who needs encouragement this morning that there is always hope to move forward.

This post is for anyone who may be experiencing a feeling that they are stuck in the doldrums at the moment – where they are seeing a lack of activity, movement or progress in their lives- a feeling of being stuck in the same place.   

Do not despair, there is hope for you and breakthrough awaits.  

In some instances, God’s hand has kept you in that place until His perfect timing and He has worked in you and prepared you so that you are ready for the suddenlies – the wind of God’s Spirit will come suddenly and you will see great acceleration and growth.  

There will be a sudden shift.  Some people have been waiting for the wind -God’s wind and a fresh breath of the Spirit of God to propel them forward to where they need to be.  

I pray that such people will be stirred up in hope and experience a fresh impetus to push forward in God and let Him breathe new life again into their vision.

For those who have lost hope and feel stuck in the Doldrums, I pray that such people will experience new zeal (great energy and enthusiasm for something you feel strongly about) which will replace apathy (feeling of not being interested or enthusiastic) and complacency (a feeling of being satisfied with yourself or with a situation so you do not feel any change is necessary) and despair (feeling that all hope lost) which can hinder progress and moving forward. 

I pray that we will reject apathy and complacency, throw off the shroud of apathy and complacency and put on the garment of zeal instead.  

That there will be an exchange of  the spirit of heaviness (Isaiah 61:3) for the garment of Praise.

If you find yourself thinking “what is the point” then that could be an indication that you are stuck in the Doldrums.   

Be careful that unbelief and fear has not set in and trapped you.   Unbelief will need to be dealt with in prayer and repentance.

James 5 V 16 – The effective, fervent (very strong feelings about) prayer of a righteous man avails much.   

If this resonates with you then I encourage you to seek God in this season.

Be led by the Holy Spirit into all He has for you. Amen 🙏

 

Let Everything that has breath….

Praise the Lord.

Praise God in his sanctuary;

praise him in his mighty heavens.

Praise him for his acts of power;

praise him for his surpassing greatness.

Praise him with the sounding of the trumpet,

praise him with the harp and lyre,

praise him with tambourine and dancing,

praise him with the strings and pipe,

praise him with the clash of cymbals,

praise him with resounding cymbals.

Let everything that has breath praise the Lord.

Praise the Lord.

Psalm 150:1-6

This was my daily reading today and it made me feel so blessed I wanted to share it.

How wonderful to be alive and able to give an offering of praise and thanks to God today. Some might not have the ability to offer more than that but how sweet a sound in God’s ear such praise will be.

Have a blessed day.

How Great Thou Art

I woke up this morning thinking of the words of this wonderful old hymn. Hymns are beautiful and declare precious truths about God. I hope these words from How Great Thou Art bless you this morning. I hadn’t realised but according to information I have read, the words were originally a poem by Swedish Carl Boberg. The title was translated as “O Mighty God”.

It was years later that a missionary in Ukraine heard locals singing the song who translated it into the English version we know today.

I pray today that with all this terrible situation in Ukraine that this song and it’s words will be once again be a mighty declaration over that country of How Great God Is. May these words be heard ringing in Heaven’s courts today,

Oh Lord, my God
When I, in awesome wonder
Consider all the worlds Thy hands have made
I see the stars, I hear the rolling thunder
Thy power throughout the universe displayed

Then sings my soul, my Savior God to Thee
How great Thou art, how great Thou art
Then sings my soul, my Savior God to Thee
How great Thou art, how great Thou art

And when I think that God, His Son not sparing
Sent Him to die, I scarce can take it in
That on the cross, my burden gladly bearing
He bled and died to take away my sin

Then sings my soul, my Savior God to Thee
How great Thou art, how great Thou art
Then sings my soul, my Savior God to Thee
How great Thou art, how great Thou art

When Christ shall come, with shout of acclamation
And take me home, what joy shall fill my heart
Then I shall bow, in humble adoration
And then proclaim, my God, how great Thou art

Then sings my soul, my Savior God to Thee
How great Thou art, how great Thou art
Then sings my soul, my Savior God to Thee
How great Thou art, how great Thou art
How great Thou art, how great Thou art

Saturday Sunshine ☀️

Last week as I was walking to church, I started humming the song “You are my Sunshine, My only Sunshine, you make me happy when skies are gray ” ☀️

It really made me smile because I knew that the Lord had put this song on my heart as a worship song to him. It’s a secular song but I knew the Lord wanted me to sing it to Him.

The only reason I discerned this was from the Lord was because I had been to a prayer conference the day before and one of the teaching sessions was about singing in the Spirit to the Lord. Not just singing in tongues but singing our own songs as the Spirit leads and also using different tunes/songs but with different words.

I started singing the song but I changed some of the words:

You are my sunshine
My only sunshine
You make me happy
When skies are gray
Oh Lord I Love you
How much I love you
Please don’t take your presence away.

Oh Lord I love you
I really love you
You make me happy
When skies are gray
You are my sunshine
My only sunshine
Praise and glory to you today.

I really enjoyed just singing along to a familiar tune but changing the words to praises as the Lord led me. I had such a joy in my heart at this spontaneity and freedom.

What are some of your favourite songs that you really enjoy singing and make you smile. Songs that bring you joy or move you emotionally. How about using those tunes and changing them up to a praise & worship song to the Lord as He leads you.

Have a blessed weekend my friends.

#Testimony Tuesday – Songs in the Night

Today’s testimony I am sharing with you is available on this YouTube link from our church service on Sunday. It is a powerful testimony from our dear brother, Rob Giles. Rob has agreed to me sharing the link to his testimony with you. Rob was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer this last week. I encourage you to listen to Rob share how every step in these difficult circumstances, God has been with him and given him a song. He has woken in the night or early hours to a worship song going over in his mind. He calls them Songs in the Night.

I know that Rob’s testimony will bless you and especially the words of the song that he sings for all of us. He knows that there will be difficult times ahead but that God will be with him through it all. Rob talks about moving forward and chasing down what he calls the Elixir of Life, through worship of God, true fellowship with each other and Jesus who is the living water.

The second line of his song says “my soul thirsts for you in a dry and thirsty land where there is no water” Psalm 63.

Rob’s testimony starts at about 9 minutes into the service so you can fast forward to find it. I know you will be encouraged and blessed by it. It is very powerful and moving.

Prayer -The Confidence of Knowing God

Morning friends. Today’s prayer post is simply to encourage us to remember who it is that we are praying to – God our Father in heaven. It sounds so obvious but this simple truth can sometimes be overlooked. Focusing our minds on God and who He is gives us great confidence and builds our faith in our prayers.

The translated word “God” of itself does not convey fully all the aspects of God’s character from the original text and the names of God revealed in the Bible help to give us a much fuller understanding of who God is. The God who is on our side.

Imagine for a moment that you needed something urgently today. Who you would ask for help. Who would come to mind. Most of us would probably think of someone we knew could give us what we needed. Someone who would have the resources to help. No good asking someone with empty hands.

We would also need to feel comfortable asking that person for help. Confident that they would want to help us, either because of our relationship with them, or because we know them to be kind and generous. It would be in their nature to help.

When we have an informed understanding of God’s character as revealed in the Bible then we can have confidence in our prayer requests.

We may have the wrong impression of God either because of lack of knowledge, misunderstanding or projecting on to God characteristics which are not His that come from our own life experiences or relationships – good and bad. That will impact our prayer life. It’s important for us to take some time reflecting on whether that could be the case so we can put it right.

Our experiences don’t define who God is -His character as revealed in Scripture does.

We discover in the Bible that God definitely has the resources and ability to help us and that He also longs to do so. We are in relationship with God because of the work of salvation and our belief in His son, Jesus Christ who has redeemed us and brought us into relationship with God. We are God’s Children and He is a loving Father who desires to help us. We do need to understand what is pleasing to God. That way we know that our prayers are in line with God’s will – His purposes and plans.

So let us start our prayers with being determinedly God focused as we consider the different characteristics of God revealed by his names.

Jesus taught his followers that their prayers should start by being focused on who and where God is and acknowledging His glory- He is “Our FATHER – in heaven- and Hallowed be HIS NAME

Hallowed means to revere, worship, lift up and exalt HIS HOLY NAME. If Jesus said it then for me that is the best example to start my prayers. Giving praise to God by:

1 PROCLAIMING the truth of who God is;

2 ACKNOWLEDGING who God is to us in every aspect of our lives; and

3 CONTEMPLATING an aspect of God more deeply.

As we do, we cannot help but be stirred up in our faith. Our words become statements of faith reinforcing our understanding of God’s Character, His Works, His Wonders, His Glory. We proclaim our belief in God and His promises and His Word. Our eyes and our mind’s focus is on God (not ourselves or circumstances) whose thoughts and ways are so much higher than ours and who can do exceedingly more than we could ever think or imagine.

Names themselves have great significance in the Bible and in the spiritual realm. A name denotes not only character and identity but authority and power as well.

The Hebrew word for name is “onoma” and was used to signify rank or authority, character and reputation. Understanding this will help us to appreciate what it means when we pray in Jesus’ name and the authority and power in that name.

ELOHIM” – GOD THE CREATOR – Genesis 1:1 – This is the first name attributed to God in the Bible. GOD is revealed as the creator of heaven and earth who has all authority, power, greatness, dominion and glory in the whole of the universe. Elohim is the plural form because Jesus and the Holy Spirit were there at the beginning with God when the world was created.

As we meditate on that awesome truth, then in our prayers we acknowledge and thank God that He alone is the Creator and Sustainer of all things and that He is sovereign God. We acknowledge His glory and power demonstrated in creation.

My prayer for us today and the week ahead: Father God, the bible says that in the beginning you created the heavens and the earth. By your Word light was created and broke into the darkness. Jesus your son is the light of the world. Jesus is the living Word. We acknowledge today that you were before all things. There is none like you. You alone are the God of creation. You created us and all things that live and have breath on this earth. You alone are worthy of all praise and glory. You are seated on the throne in heaven. You are Sovereign and ruler of all things. Please take your rightful place in our lives today. We thank you today that you are mindful of us and that you love us and care for us. Help us today to grow in the knowledge and understanding of who you are as we read your Word and by the revelation of the Holy Spirit at work in us. Show us where we may be in error or have any false belief or understanding about you. Lead us into the Truth. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Have a blessed day my friends.

Deep Joy

Do you need some joy in your hearts today my friends? A re-discovering of the joy in knowing the love of Jesus that is down deep in our hearts – a deep, deep, deep joy.

I was reminded this week of the deep, deep, deep down joy of the Lord. Have you experienced and can you remember that deep, deep, joy of when you found Jesus as Lord and Saviour. When you realised that you were forgiven, loved, cleaned up, restored, healed, redeemed and part of God’s family.

There is a praise song about that deep, deep, deep joy found in Jesus. It’s a children’s song but the words are so profound we adults can definitely benefit from the reminder that because of Jesus we have a deep, deep, well of joy inside us that we can tap into. It’s rooted deep in our hearts.

When things get tough and we are going through hardships, trials and all sorts of tests we need to dig deep into our faith. The Joy of the Lord is our strength and how precious it is to know that deep down in the reserves of our heart and soul there is that deep, deep, deep joy just waiting to be re-discovered.

If you need a reminder of that joy today (and you might think this is a bit silly) but I encourage you to have a listen to the words of this children’s praise song again – I hope it will have you smiling, tapping your toes and singing along before you realise it. You might even have a dance around the kitchen!! I dare you. Guaranteed joy x.

The heart of worship

I was reminded this week of how easy it can be to neglect our worship times with God especially in the current COVID circumstances. I can get distracted by doing life, work and the busyness of doing and then my times of personal worship to God suffer.

The Lord prompted me through a dream not to neglect the former things but to return to the heart of worship. There is a song about this by Matt Redman with beautiful lyrics which say:

“When the music fades
All is stripped away
And I simply come
Longing just to bring
Something that’s of worth
That will bless Your heart
I’ll bring You more than a song
For a song in itself
Is not what You have required
You search much deeper within
Through the way things appear
You’re looking into my heart

I’m coming back to the heart of worship
And it’s all about You,
It’s all about You, Jesus
I’m sorry, Lord, for the thing I’ve made it
When it’s all about You,
It’s all about You, Jesus

King of endless worth
No one could express
How much You deserve
Though I’m weak and poor
All I have is Yours
Every single breath
I’ll bring You more than a song
For a song in itself
Is not what You have required
You search much deeper within
Through the way things appear
You’re looking into my heart”

Those words really spoke to my heart and as I listened to the song, I realised again how gracious God is when He gently reminds me to check my heart and draws Me back to Him. The source of life and perfect peace.

A glimpse of heaven awaits us in our times of worship. We lift up our eyes to His throne and His glory. Heaven’s seat of might and power. As we worship we see the Lamb of God..His beauty, His power, His glory. Heaven’s darling. We saturate ourselves in His presence through our praise and worship. We get a heavenly perspective of things and clearer revelation to help us be steadfast in faith and overcome things. We ascend those hills of praise and answer His call to come up higher to Him. To ascend the hill of the Lord. Our faith rises up as we gain fresh understanding and revelation of our great God and Jesus. We encounter the refreshing power of His Holy Spirit as we meet with Him.

I encourage myself (and I hope you) to keep the music of heaven and worship alive in our hearts. We exchange the spirit of heaviness for the garment of praise and are filled with the joy of our salvation.

“As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, my God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God” Psalm 42:1