My favorite, Psalm 103

If Psalm 103 had a scent I think it would be like these roses. When I pray it I hope it brings a sweet fragrance before my Lord.

Yahweh, you are my soul’s celebration. How could I ever forget the miracles of kindness you’ve done for me?

You kissed my heart with forgiveness, in spite of all I’ve done.

You’ve healed me inside and out from every disease.

You’ve rescued me from hell and saved my life.

You’ve crowned me with love and mercy. You satisfy my every desire with good things.

You’ve supercharged my life so that I soar again like a flying eagle in the sky!

You’re a God who makes things right, giving justice to the defenseless.

Psalms 103:2‭-‬6 TPT

Being Still

Being still doesn’t come naturally to me. Most of the time my hands are doing something (like knitting socks) even when I do have time to sit. And I can’t seem to think about “nothing” – ever. It amazes me to think that’s even possible, but my husband says it is. 🙂

Yes, my life is busy. I work full time from home and have been caring for my husband and all of the matters of our household (gratefully with help from family) since November of 2019. But I can’t let “busy” rule my life. It’s not sustainable, it’s not as God designed me to be. As I once heard Mark Hankins say, “we are human beings, not human doings.”

So at times I choose to be still, to pause, to be quiet, rest, and listen. This afternoon I am doing just that. Through my bedroom window. I am enjoying watching the leaves on my maple tree gently sway in the breeze, listening to little birds chirping. I am enjoying the quiet and counting my blessings. I am resting in His care and listening with the intention of being more like Mary than Martha.

I share these scriptures that inspire me in hopes they will minister to you too. Oh how He loves you and me!

Simply join your life with mine. Learn my ways and you’ll discover that I’m gentle, humble, easy to please. You will find refreshment and rest in me.
Matthew 11:28

Surrender your anxiety. Be still and realize that I am God. I am God above all the nations, and I am exalted throughout the whole earth.
Psalms 46:10 TPT

But even if we are faithless, he will still be full of faith, for he never wavers in his faithfulness to us!
2 Timothy 2:13 TPT

The Lord bless you and watch, guard, and keep you; The Lord make His face to shine upon and enlighten you and be gracious (kind, merciful, and giving favor) to you; The Lord lift up His [approving] countenance upon you and give you peace (tranquility of heart and life continually).
Numbers 6:24‭-‬26 AMPC

Don’t Worry

And why would you worry about your clothing? Look at all the beautiful flowers of the field. They don’t work or toil, and yet not even Solomon in all his splendor was robed in beauty like one of these!
Matthew 6:28‭ TPT

I have heard that worry defined is a greater belief in something or someone’s ability to do us harm than our belief/faith in God — that he cares for us. So the next time a worried thought comes I encourage you to refuse it and take these thoughts instead. It helps me to say them out loud, as a way to take ownership of them.

So if worrying adds nothing, but actually subtracts from your life, why would you worry about God’s care of you? Luke 12:26 TPT

I repeat: Don’t let worry enter your life. Live above the anxious cares about your personal needs. Luke 12:29 TPT

For the Lord takes care of all his forgiven ones while the strength of evil men will surely slip away. Psalms 37:17 TPT

So here’s what I’ve learned through it all: Leave all your cares and anxieties at the feet of the Lord, and measureless grace will strengthen you.
Psalms 55:22 TPT

Pour out all your worries and stress upon him and leave them there, for he always tenderly cares for you. 1 Peter 5:7 TPT

“So above all, constantly seek God’s kingdom and his righteousness, then all these less important things will be given to you abundantly. Refuse to worry about tomorrow, but deal with each challenge that comes your way, one day at a time. Tomorrow will take care of itself.” Matthew 6:33‭-‬34 TPT

Believe it! Oh how He loves you and me.

It matters…

As I wrote earlier, God wants me (and you) to think His thoughts, because they are higher, better, and they accomplish the purpose for which he thinks and speaks them. Following up on that, I am listening to, reading and hearing about the importance of what I think – because it matters.

I have heard this saying: You can’t stop the birds from flying over head, but you can stop them from nesting in your hair. It’s the same with thoughts. Just because a thought “flies over” doesn’t mean it’s something I have to take ownership of. I have the opportunity to judge each thought. I may choose to accept as truth and meditate on it, or I can reject it as a lie and refuse it.

Here are a few of the scriptures that remind and help me to embrace the power of God’s thoughts, as communicated in His Word:

For the rest, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is worthy of reverence and is honorable and seemly, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely and lovable, whatever is kind and winsome and gracious, if there is any virtue and excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think on and weigh and take account of these things [fix your minds on them].
Philippians 4:8 AMPC

Keep your thoughts continually fixed on all that is authentic and real, honorable and admirable, beautiful and respectful, pure and holy, merciful and kind. And fasten your thoughts on every glorious work of God, praising him always.
Philippians 4:8 TPT

Yes, feast on all the treasures of the heavenly realm and fill your thoughts with heavenly realities, and not with the distractions of the natural realm.
Colossians 3:2 TPT

Embrace the power of salvation’s full deliverance, like a helmet to protect your thoughts from lies. And take the mighty razor-sharp Spirit-sword of the spoken word of God. Pray passionately in the Spirit, as you constantly intercede with every form of prayer at all times. Pray the blessings of God upon all his believers.
Ephesians 6:17‭-‬18 TPT

We can demolish every deceptive fantasy that opposes God and break through every arrogant attitude that is raised up in defiance of the true knowledge of God. We capture, like prisoners of war, every thought and insist that it bow in obedience to the Anointed One.
2 Corinthians 10:5 TPT

Think about, know and believe this today beloved: His thoughts toward us are precious, His plans for us are good, for our peace (shalom – wholeness, nothing broken, missing or lacking). Oh how He loves us!

Every single moment you are thinking of me! How precious and wonderful to consider that you cherish me constantly in your every thought! O God, your desires toward me are more than the grains of sand on every shore! When I awake each morning, you’re still with me.
Psalms 139:17‭-‬18 TPT

For I know the thoughts and plans that I have for you, says the Lord, thoughts and plans for welfare and peace and not for evil, to give you hope in your final outcome.
Jeremiah 29:11 AMPC

Passion Translation®. Copyright © 2017, 2018 by Passion & Fire Ministries, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. ThePassionTranslation.com. Other verses are taken from The Amplified Classic (AMPC).

The Triumph of Faith

I woke up early today and heard Holy Spirit say get up and let me talk to you. I want to share it with you because Oh how He loves us! And His Word applies to all who make Jesus Savior and Lord.

When people work, they earn wages. It can’t be considered a free gift, because they earned it. But no one earns God’s righteousness. It can only be transferred when we no longer rely on our own works, but believe in the one who powerfully declares the ungodly to be righteous in his eyes. It is faith that transfers God’s righteousness into your account!
Romans 4:4‭-‬5 TPT

Knowing that God has accounted you as righteous read this Psalm in faith and make sure to personalize it. Declare this Word out loud over yourself and your generations — your family, children, grandchildren and future generations.

Shout in celebration of praise to the Lord! Everyone who loves the Lord and delights in him will cherish his words and be blessed beyond expectation. Their descendants will be prosperous and influential. Every generation of the righteous will experience his favor. Great blessing and wealth fills the house of the wise, for their integrity endures forever. Even if darkness overtakes them, sunrise-brilliance will come bursting through because they are gracious to others, so tender and true. Life is good for the one who is generous and charitable, conducting affairs with honesty and truth. Their circumstances will never shake them and others will never forget their example. They will not live in fear or dread of what may come, for their hearts are firm, ever secure in their faith. Steady and strong, they will not be afraid, but will calmly face their every foe until they all go down in defeat. Never stingy and always generous to those in need, they lived lives of influence and honor that will never be forgotten, for they were full of good deeds. But the wicked take one look at a life lived like this and they grit their teeth in anger, not understanding their bliss. The wicked slink away speechless in the darkness that falls, where hope dies and all their dreams fade away to nothing, nothing at all!
Psalms 112:1‭-‬10 TPT

Passion Translation®. Copyright © 2017, 2018 by Passion & Fire Ministries, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. ThePassionTranslation.com.

Hope

There is a story of King David in 1 Samuel 30 that has come to my mind several times lately. Things didn’t look good for him. In returning home from battle he and his men found their town burned and all of their family members had been taken captive. They all wept and his men talked of stoning him… he was greatly distressed, BUT “David encouraged and strengthened himself in the Lord.” AND, the end of the story is restoration and victory.

So, I am encouraging myself in the Lord with these scriptures – reading them, speaking them to myself, and I pray they will encourage you too. I’ll start with some words written by King David, and follow with some other precious words.

I am standing in absolute stillness, silent before the one I love, waiting as long as it takes for him to rescue me. Only God is my Savior, and he will not fail me.
Psalms 62:5 TPT

So then, my soul, why would you be depressed? Why would you sink into despair? Just keep hoping and waiting on God, your Savior. For no matter what, I will still sing with praise, for you are my saving grace!
Psalms 42:5 TPT

The eyes of the Lord are upon even the weakest worshipers who love him— those who wait in hope and expectation for the strong, steady love of God.
Psalms 33:18 TPT

Celebrate with praises the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has shown us his extravagant mercy. For his fountain of mercy has given us a new life—we are reborn to experience a living, energetic hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.
1 Peter 1:3 TPT

So cheer up! Take courage, all you who love him. Wait for him to break through for you, all who trust in him!
Psalms 31:24 TPT

We have this certain hope like a strong, unbreakable anchor holding our souls to God himself. Our anchor of hope is fastened to the mercy seat in the heavenly realm beyond the sacred threshold,
Hebrews 6:19 TPT

Now may God, the fountain of hope, fill you to overflowing with uncontainable joy and perfect peace as you trust in him. And may the power of the Holy Spirit continually surround your life with his super-abundance until you radiate with hope!
Romans 15:13 TPT

Oh, there are so many more I could share, I encourage you to pick up your Bible. Start reading the Psalms, spend some time in John 13-17, Hebrews 6-11, Romans 5-8. Be encouraged, He is for you, He loves you!

Passion Translation®. Copyright © 2017, 2018 by Passion & Fire Ministries, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. ThePassionTranslation.com.

And Yet He Loves Me

I have been meditating on Psalm 139 and I find it is almost beyond comprehension just how very much God loves me.

Lord, you know everything there is to know about me. You perceive every movement of my heart and soul, and you understand my every thought before it even enters my mind.
Psalms 139:1‭-‬2 TPT

https://bible.com/bible/1849/psa.139.1-2.TPT

He knows me intimately, He knows all the times I have messed up, failed, been unloving, unkind, unfaithful… And yet even knowing everything about me He still chose to love (and still loves) me.

This song says it so well: “When He Was On The Cross I Was On His Mind” I can never forget — He Knew Me Yet He Loved Me.

For here is the way God loved the world—he gave his only, unique Son as a gift. So now everyone who believes in him will never perish but experience everlasting life.
John 3:16 TPT
https://bible.com/bible/1849/jhn.3.16.TPT

I hope you know that He feels the same way about you. You are so very loved by God. It’s about how great He is, not how worthy we are. It’s the precious blood of Jesus that redeems, forgives and gives us the great honor to become His children. Oh how He loves us!

I’m Still Standing

I’ve missed writing and sharing with you. It’s been an extremely busy and somewhat challenging season for me. Working from home and care giving full-time hasn’t left me with much spare time, but again I’ve missed writing to you.

Anyway, I was considering what to write today and this song came to mind immediately. I hope you’ll be as encouraged by it as I am. By the grace of God…

I’m Still Standing

I am standing in absolute stillness, silent before the one I love, waiting as long as it takes for him to rescue me. Only God is my Savior, and he will not fail me.
Psalms 62:5 TPT
https://bible.com/bible/1849/psa.62.5.TPT

The “why” of a Grateful, Grace-full life

This is a photo I took while in Capernum in 2019. I chose it because it’s not perfect – those upside down containers don’t belong, right?
Kind of like our lives, even when the picture isn’t perfect — we can still lift our hands and be thankful for He is Good, and His faithful love endures!

It’s Thanksgiving today, and it has been anything but traditional at our home. Due to my husband’s currently compromised immune system we are not having or participating in a family gathering. As this day approached I made a conscious decison to be thankful and grateful, and I am so glad. The quiet has been good, and I even found time to sleep in, bake bread, and just reflect on the goodness of God — to count my many, many blessings. 

While thinking on this I feel I heard the Holy Spirit whisper that being grateful opens the door to a grace-filled life. It’s a matter of the heart and it’s the “why” that He is teaching me. I see that being grateful/thankful is like having my arms lifted, wide open to the Father. Looking to him and thanking Him for not only what He has already done, but trusting Him with the future. It’s like a magnet, pulling all the good things that He has toward me. He is love, He wants to supply all that we need, and He delights in doing it!

In contrast, being angry and ungrateful is like standing with closed, clenched fists, head down, fearful, unable to percieve or recieve all that God had provided and wants to provide. (Oh, how that must grieve His heart.)

As an example: I was deeply touched to learn of the unexpected home going of the husband of a precious woman I know — have known for years as a woman of faith and a lover of God. Her response today on social media was to write about thankfulness. As she so amazingly and aptly put, “In the midst of intense sorrow and loss the only posture that is fitting and necessary is thankfulness.” She then wrote a wonderful list of the many things for which she is thankful.

What she wrote served as an important reminder to me that no matter how difficult a moment in time or circumstance may be, I have the opportunity to be thankful for things both large and small — I am so very blessed!

I am so very grateful that He has given me the choice! When the enemy comes at me with fear, to make me angry or tries to get me to have a pity party over things that have happened, I will choose to believe in and thank God for His mercies and unfailing love. I will rehearse His goodness in prayers of thanksgiving and worship Him. King of Kings, Lord of Lords, Love incarnate, my savior and redeemer. And in doing so I will open up my heart and receive His great, great grace. Oh how HE LOVES you and me!

Complete Prayer

From my pastor this morning: “Prayer is not complete without gratitude… Thankfulness is an exercise in Faith.” – Pastor George Pearson, Eagle Mountain International Church

Don’t be pulled in different directions or worried about a thing. Be saturated in prayer throughout each day, offering your faith-filled requests before God with overflowing gratitude. Tell him every detail of your life, Philippians 4:6 TPT https://bible.com/bible/1849/php.4.6.TPT

We read in the story of Daniel and how he faced the lion’s den – not desperate or fearful. He was faithfilled and grateful. His prayers and thankfulness led to his deliverance . (Daniel 6)

Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went into his house, and his windows being open in his chamber toward Jerusalem, he got down upon his knees three times a day and prayed and gave thanks before his God, as he had done previously.
Daniel 6:10 AMPC
https://bible.com/bible/8/dan.6.10.AMPC