Sing! Sing! Sing!

No Music No Life … I have to agree!

We must Sing Sing Sing! And Worship and Praise!

Today for #SongSunday I am adding an old quote I found tucked in my notes.

Tell us some of your favorite songs in the comments. ~ XXOO Michelle

“Any man can sing by day; but only he whose heart has been tuned by the gracious hand of Jehovah can sing in the darkness.

The things of earth may satisfy for the hours of prosperity; but only the peace of God can give gladness in the darkness of adversity.

God gives joy in sorrow; and when the sad one sings through his tears, then the Lord comes out to him with new and more tender assurances, so that by his very hymn he is made more gladsome.”

~Wm. M. Taylor

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Seeking Love

We are a technologically advanced society, but our souls are sick.

We seek help in psychotherapy, support groups, tarrot cards, crystals – anything that will relieve the pain. But we find that these supposed sources of help are helpless.

The emptiness will not be filled.

What we long to know is that we are loved. To be more specific, we hunger to know that we are accepted as we are, forgiven for all we have done, and cared for by a gracious, loving God.

When we know this, we walk away well.

~ James Bryan Smith

Lord, I receive this day your acceptance, forgiveness, and care, believing You love me – like a Father. Amen.

Trust…

We have a world today where trust is difficult to achieve. People around us break promises. Businesses fail and jobs that were promised are gone. Even in friendships, families, and marriages there are so many issues that arise that can cause trust to be broken.

What does the Word of God say about trust? Let’s look at a few verse with this word in them.

Jeremiah 17:7-8 Blessed is the man who trusts in Adonai; Adonai will be his security. He will be like a tree planted near water; it spreads out its roots by the river; it does not notice when heat comes; and its foliage is luxuriant; it is not anxious in a year of drought but keeps on yielding fruit. (CJB)

Psalm 56:4 When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. (CJB)

John 14:1 “Don’t let yourselves be disturbed. Trust in God and trust in me.

Revelation 21:5 Then the One sitting on the throne said, “Look! I am making everything new!” Also he said, “Write, ‘These words are true and trustworthy!’”

Once again we have verses from different places in the Bible. One from the Old Testament prophets, one from a Psalm (writing) and this time two from the New Testament. As we look across all spectrums of the Word of God, we will see that this word, TRUST,” is a strong piece that is an anchor in the Words God wants us to BELIEVE.

Jeremiah has taught us that if we TRUST in Adonai, HE will be our security. There is NO trust to be placed in man, just our Creator! If we choose to TRUST in Him, we will bear FRUIT, even in a year of drought. The PROMISES in this verse are incredible, and all it requires is TRUST in God!

David wrote us a Psalm that says when he is afraid, he trusts in GOD. David had many reasons to not trust man. His brothers didn’t really believe in him when he arrived and said he would face Goliath. Others probably wondered if this “boy” would really become a king. Then King Saul became a “mad man” and tried to kill David and David had to flee for his life. Throughout his life David faced people who chose not to like him. In all of these situations, David chose to TRUST in God.

When we move into the New Testament we see the Words of Jesus. He says, “Don’t be disturbed.” He says, “TRUST in God and TRUST in ME.” He is clearly calling people to make a CHOICE. He gave them the option to CHOOSE WHO they wanted to believe.

The Words in Revelation solidify that GOD is the One Who gives us TRUSTWORTHY Words. When we CHOOSE to TRUST Him, He makes ALL things NEW!

I have to emphasize, once again, that too often we look for peace in our surroundings. We look to people and situations to trust in, and we forget to trust in God. Because we tangibly see things happening around us, it is easier to trust in something someone says than it is to TRUST in things unseen. Because we see things happening around us, we can also LOSE trust in people. Either scenario brings us to a place of trusting man instead of God.

The Word of God makes it clear that when we have FAITH and BELIEVE and TRUST in the God Who created us, than we will have ALL things NEW and bear fruit.

I must remind myself DAILY that HE is my source of ALL things. HE provides ALL I have need of. When I simply TELL Him that I TRUST Him, my mind clears. When my mind is clear, than I see people and situations around me in a NEW way. I can then bring HOPE and LOVE and JOY to those my Father sends my way.

Choose today to TRUST your Father. Our Father tells us to have “faith like a child.” We can TRUST Him to take care of us and catch us. When we make the choice to TRUST Him, we will find FREEDOM.

Choose today to SPEAK the words, “I trust YOU, Lord. YOU are all I need.”

When we come to the realization that TRUST in HIM is what brings us security, than we can find REST in Him. We will RESTORE ourselves to Him. We are then REFRESHED to walk forward day to day.

 

Love and blessings,

Rose Horton

 

 

 Image by Lauren LuLu Taylor / UnSplash

Love Attacks

I had the most embarrassingly funny moment at a shopping center in Brisbane this week.  Like most of my crazy moments in life, God used it to show me something beautiful.  I just love His perspective.

Being an American in Australia, I got to the shopping center a little shaky.  I lived in Australia years ago so you’d think I’d be fairly confident at driving on the OTHER side of the road (competent, YES…confident, not quite yet).  Maybe it was the fact that I missed the turn off to the parking tower and had to circle the giant center a few times, or that it took me 5 goes at parking our new little Mazda 3 straight.  At any rate, I was super excited to be on an outing and having driven all by myself, though slightly flustered.

Inside I quickly found my current favorite shop and enjoyed browsing through the home wares section. After a few minutes, I looked up and saw a familiar face from a distance. There was a guy standing some yards away intensely eyeing a kitchen knife, and I was certain this was our good friend Rod (who I had not yet had the pleasure of seeing since we’ve been back in Australia).  Rod seemed to have cut his hair super short since I last saw him last in November, so being ME I figured I’d sneak up and give him a big, surprise hug from behind and then shower him with love as he’s a dear friend of ours.  

I got super excited as I prepared my sneaky love-attack…..and when I pounced, I did it with all the affection and silliness of a little sister-type!

And y’all….much to my horror….this man was NOT Rod.

He was most likely taken aback, but could have been a little less direct and rude with me when he informed me that he was not who I thought he was.  Of course I apologized and my face was probably several shades of maroon as I crept away from him in humiliation.  I actually had a hard time looking at him in the eyes for a second as he very quickly walked away from me (actually, it looked almost like he was escaping from me!).  I made a quick exit as well, giggling to myself as the initial embarrassment wore off.  

Again later, I saw him from a distance and he seemed to have a lighter attitude and more of a spring in his step.  I hoped I had not freaked him out too much and he was now able to laugh about it.

When I shared this story with a friend that day at lunch, she made a most interesting comment that got me talking to God about it. “What if that’s the only hug that man has ever received from Jesus,” my friend said to me.  1 John 4:17 says that as Jesus is, so am I in this world.

 Galatians 2:20 says that I have been crucified with Christ and it is no longer I who lives but Christ who lives IN ME.  And what about Romans 8, which states that I have the same Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead living within me?!  

What if it was a complete GOD SET-UP because this man NEEDED A HUG???  That’s a different perspective indeed.

The more I processed this with the Lord the more He spoke to me about it from several different angles.

 What if God Himself desires to sneak up on us with that same kind of love and excited affection, yet we abruptly shoo Him away like this man did to me?  What if, like this man, we are too intense and focused on our tasks that we forget that God just wants to give us a cuddle?  

How often have I pushed Holy Spirit away because I’m so focused on getting stuff done that I don’t feel like I have time to allow Him to love on me.  And what if the man’s attitude changed because he actually did encounter the love of God for a second, through me?

How much more does God want to love on us, celebrate us and see us changed by just a moment with Him.  

And sometimes, all we need is a good hug and someone to celebrate us.  How amazing to know that Jesus always celebrates us!

As you can tell, I took away a few important lessons from this most embarrassing moment.  I do think that if I had the opportunity again, even through the embarrassment, I’d still do the same thing.  

The Love of Jesus transforms the world, even through a stranger’s hug.  I’ll never apologize for how I carry the Love of Christ.

I think I’ll go allow Him to hug on ME for awhile now.  There’s nothing in the world like His love.

~ Mandy Woodhouse

My Worship Belongs To You

I Worship to an audience of One

My heart leaps as I sense Your presence

Transcending all boundaries in tune we are One

Always pursuing always near

Your love calms my every fear

My Safe place, my everlasting Light

I behold your Glory knowing I’m always in Your sight

Hands lifted and heart rejoicing

My King, My Hero, My next Heart Beat

My breath comes from You and so does my tune

Lovingly coaxing my every move

The length of my days are written in You

No pain, no attack can stop the unfolding of my story

Always and in all things I give You the honour and the Glory

Hallelujah, Hallelujah I exalt Your Name

Above the noise and the sound of rain

I give You Daddy God All the Praise

Forever and ever all the length of my days

I will exalt Your Name

Never again believing I deserved the shame

Only basking in Your loving gaze

Hands lifted and heart surrendered

I worship to an audience of One

♡~♡~♡~♡~♡~♡~♡

~ Melissa Sedick

My Worship Belongs To You

She Remembers The Pain No More

She remembers the pain 

no more!

The lonely nights

The constant fights

The anger, frustration, the 

deep rooted pain

The rejection, the lies, the betrayal 

The endless challenges

The closed doors

The heart wrenching pain  

of losing those dear to 

her heart 

 

The deep issues she 

struggled with

The silent battles no one 

knew about

The anxiety that controlled 

her life

She remembers the pain 

no more!

It was replaced with a peace that surpasses all understanding

Who would have thought that 

a journey of obedience would lead to a place of perfect rest

A place deeply hidden 

in Papa

Pursued and occupied 

by the desperate one’s

Who died a thousand deaths

 

Papa lured her away 

Called her to Himself

A high price of obedience 

she had to pay

Only her and Papa knows 

about the tears of surrender

About the tests, the trials, the pain of letting go daily

About the awakening to something indescribable

Where her flesh collided 

with Father God’s Spirit

And a lovesick daughter

was born

With love Papa drew her 

to Himself 

A place where she ministers to Papa and He ministers to her

She yearns only to dwell in 

His presence

She had to be transformed 

into His image

For Papa to make her His 

dwelling place

It was worth the pain of 

dying to self

Worth every sacrifice

He asked of her

Worth the witchcraft and 

every demon coming against her

She counts it an honour to be trained by Holy Spirit 

To be one of Papa’s daughters representing Him in the earth

She is known in heaven 

She is feared in hell

She laid hold of a place 

few have visited

Occupied and made it hers

Had she not surrendered completely 

She would have missed this important visitation

Where Father secluded her

Healed her broken heart

Restored her unto Himself

A nameless, faceless army are emerging!

A changing of the guards are 

taking place!

The hidden one’s who were

trained under the watchful eyes 

of the One they love most

Are ready to release the fragrance of heaven in the earth

Ready to release their secret place encounters into the earth

Many are amongst us already

Fathers glory carriers

Silently, obediently, humbly going about the Fathers business…

They remember the pain 

no more!

~ Ebigale Wilson

She Remembers The Pain No More

The Journey

Set Apart

I have been listening to different teachings this week and asking myself the question, “what does it mean to be ‘set apart?’’

This has always been a struggle for the people of God. Everyone wants to “fit in.” Everyone wants to “be liked.” Everyone wants to “be a part of the crowd.”

When the Word of God tells us to be “set apart,” what does that mean? How do we do that? What does it take to “be different?” Does “set apart” mean to “be different?”

Let’s look at some verses that use these words. Let’s use the Word of God to see if we can gain a better understanding about what He expects of us.

Deuteronomy 14:2

because you are a people set apart as holy for Adonai your God. Adonai your God has chosen you to be his own unique treasure out of all the peoples on the face of the earth. (CJB)

Psalm 4:4

Understand that Adonai sets apart the godly person for himself; Adonai will hear when I call to him. (CJB)

I Peter 2:9

But you are a chosen people, the King’s cohanim, a holy nation, a people for God to possess! Why? In order for you to declare the praises of the One who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. (CJB)

In Deuteronomy the Children of Israel were told that they were “set apart as holy.” Adonai CHOSE them to be His unique treasure. They were called to be different than all other peoples on the earth.

The Children of Israel were given the Ten Commandments. They were told not to worship other gods. They were told to keep the Sabbath Holy. They were given days that were to be set apart and holy. All of these commands “set them apart” from other nations and people groups.

In Romans 11 the Gentiles are told they are grafted in. When anyone who is not Jewish chooses to follow Jesus, they become part of this community that is “set apart.”

I Peter continued this thought. The book was written by Peter to “God’s chosen people living as aliens in the diaspora.” He wrote this to Jewish followers of Jesus. He was reminding them that they needed to understand WHO they are as God’s people. Peter made it clear that they needed to remember they were called out of darkness and declare praises because they now saw the Light.

I have a feeling that many of the communities of faith struggled with knowing how to be “set apart.” It is why Paul wrote so many letters to different communities. He knew that each one faced their own situations that caused them to stumble at times. It caused them to blend into the people groups around them, instead of being known as a chosen people. Paul wrote to them to remind them that they were supposed to be unique.

The verse in Psalm is directed toward an individual. Adonai “sets apart” a godly person for Himself. Adonai is willing to hear a godly person when he calls. David knew, being part of the chosen people, that when he would call on God, Adonai would answer.

So how should being “set apart” effect us today? Do we BELIEVE we are set apart?

Too often we just walk next to those around us and “go with the flow.” We are not willing to say, “I’m sorry, but I am not able to participate in that.”

In our communities of faith today, how do we differ from other organizations and groups? Do we have something unique to offer those who choose to spend time with us? Do we really act like we are a “chosen people” who have been called to be LIGHT? What makes us stand out?

There are many communities of faith, and people, today that are beginning to blend in to their surroundings. They are choosing to become more like the world with thoughts and actions. Instead of choosing to walk in the fruits of the Spirit, they respond with the same anger and frustrations their peers do. The outward is not reflecting a person that has been “set apart.”

I wrote about peace last week. I truly believe that a way we can, and should, be different is by carrying PEACE and JOY. IF we BELIEVE that Jesus is Who He said He was, the Son of God, and we are following HIS teachings, than we should have a PEACE that people gravitate to. We should have a JOY that draws people into the LIGHT.

We need to stop trying to have peace around us, and carry HIS peace within us. We need to stop expecting people around us to bring us joy, and be HIS joy to those we meet.

It is ALL about what is INSIDE. Remember, God looks at the HEART. God knows ALL that happens in our minds.

When we are truly “set apart,” we will carry those traits inside of us, and then they will flow to those around us.

When we come to the realization that to be “set apart” is to be a LIGHT to those around us, than we can find REST in Him. We will RESTORE ourselves to Him. We are then REFRESHED to walk forward day to day.

 

Love and blessings,

Rose Horton

 

 

When God Moves You

When God Shifted ME Instead of the Mountain

My husband and I recently transitioned our lives from a little town in South Carolina all the way to Brisbane, Australia. We sold our house and all of our belongings, sold off our vehicles and flew across the world with six suitcases and two little dogs.  

God spoke, we heard Him clearly, and with wise counsel and radical abandonment we counted the cost and took off on perhaps the greatest faith adventure of our lives.

The transition has been one of the smoothest, most amazing God-stories that we have ever known.  The Lord ordered each and every single step and surrounded us with great favor.  We got to Australia a few weeks ago and it felt like an Ephesians 3:20 dream (better than we could have asked for or imagined).  Unlike many other times that I have traveled, there was not one single glitch – until, that is, we had to get the dogs from quarantine.

To be fair, the mix-up in dates was entirely our fault.  We got excited and neglected to read the email correctly, so we drove nearly nine hours to collect our precious fur babies an entire 24 hours early.  Thankfully we had accommodation and the rental car sorted, so our mistake did not cost us what it could have.  But not having seen our puppies for 14 days was wearing on our hearts, and the idea of not collecting them on the day that we planned was gut wrenching.

And just like God…this turned out to be a significant lesson for me on so many levels.  

When the government officer from the post-entry quarantine department gently explained that we could not see our dogs on that day, I went to war in my Spirit and with my words.  I know that I have the power of life or death in my tongue (Proverbs 18:21), and I know that I can speak to mountains and see them move in the Name of Jesus (Mark 11:23), so I began to declare, decree, and believe that I would see this mountain move and hold my puppies that very day.  I know that I am seated with Christ in Heavenly places (Ephesians 2:6) and can therefore push Heaven down to earth over my circumstances (which I boldly did, and with great authority).  

As I sat in the car while my husband was out trying to make sense of it all, I remained calm and confident that I would see my dogs and be driving off with them within moments.  

Now allow me to be honest… in the past, I would have been riddled with anxiety.  I would have worried about their little hearts, and would have driven my husband crazy with my fancy ideas and suggestions on how to solve the situation (*cough cough* control is actually a better word).  I would have allowed fear to come and make me act irrationally, and I would have most likely cried my eyes out with anger and worry.  But this time was different.  

As I continued to declare and decree the promises of God over our lives, our situation and our dogs, something shifted for me.  I seemed to press into the whole situation with a new confidence in God, and I gracefully kept my calm in every way.  I was convinced that as the officer walked off to triple check our details that he would return and open those giant, official gates and let us drive in to collect our babies.  After all, “Surely GOODNESS and MERCY follow me all the days of my life…” (Psalm 23:6, ESV).  

Yet the official man very kindly and humbly denied our request.  We had mistakenly come several hours before the quarantine period was to end, so we had to return tomorrow as per government rules.  I had decreed, declared and believed with great faith, yet the mountain did not move.

But you know what?  It was actually ME that shifted.  Something in me changed, and instead of feeling anger, frustration, anxiety or worse – I actually felt a sense of expectation.  

Here’s what happened the more I verbally declared aloud God’s written word over my circumstances:  Peace began to flood my heart, and the nervous heat in my chest disappeared.  My brain got quiet...super quiet!  I began to feel fully awake, as if I was more aware than before of the atmosphere around me.  I could even sense angelic activity!  I began to feel super bold and confident as I prayed with authority, and what would have been a once all-consuming fear actually did not exist at all in my mind or body.  

I shifted gears into complete and utter trust in God and His perfect plan for this situation.  Jeremiah 29:11 and Romans 8:28 became alive to me (the living word!).  And this all caused me to be more excited and expectant than ever!  

“If the mountain didn’t move, then God must be up to something better than I could have imagined for myself” is what loudly rang in my Spirit.  You see it’s up to me to keep trusting my Father and to keep hold of my own spirit in the waiting.  He who rules his spirit is better than one who conquers a city (Proverbs 16:32).

And you know what?!  We got to spend time with friends that night that we would not have been able to see if we had the dogs with us.  God used us to bless others and minister deeply to a friend, which we would not have done had we been doting on our sweet furry friends.  There were so many other little factors that played out which made us see that God saw what was best all along. And when we finally got to see our puppies the next day it was a most wonderful experience with full attention all on them.

Sometimes it may not make sense to our natural minds WHY things don’t work out the way that we expected or declared, especially when we feel that we have done “everything right.”  But that does not mean that we are to stop declaring!  Daniel 10 records the account of Daniel praying, and the angelic help being held up for 21 days by things going on in the unseen spiritual realms.  

Sometimes things are held up because of the enemy, sometimes things are just meant for an appointed time…but God is never late.  And we are not to ever stop telling the mountains to move!

My advice?  Don’t give up.  But likewise, don’t despise the shift that could actually take place in YOU instead.

 

 ~ Mandy Woodhouse