The Secret Place 

She has always been different

There was just something about her

That I cannot explain

The world and all its glimmer

could not entice her

She yearned for deeper things

Locked in heaven

Pursued by few

She was made for unknown places

She dwelled in heavenly realms where He was found

She had an unquenchable thirst for more of Him

She knew she had to go deep to discover it all

Go where only few dare to go

You could say her head was in the clouds

Because that was her favourite position

To meet with Him in the secret place

She was a worshiper

She went all in, distracted by no one

She had to be one with her King

She was not distracted by the voices that said “She’s to deep”

No, she crossed every border to be with her King

The depth of His presence where they would be One

She was totally ruined and overcome by Him

There was a place in Him, reserved for only her

A place few have been

Past the veil where love sick lovers are born

Where we die to self

Bit are alive in Him

She made His heart her dwelling place

His embrace her safe place

She was possessed by Him

Totally in awe of her King

No price she had to pay, would keep her from pursuing Him

She gave up everything keeping them apart

For He became her greatest need

There was a bond between them few had experienced

It was birthed through their meetings behind the veil

Secrets were shared

She was enslaved by her King

Drenched in His oil

Nothing of her past could cling to her

She had an unquenchable thirst for more of Him

She burned with His love

She was controlled by Him

They would call her “too religious”

But she didn’t care

Religion could never bring her to this place

Being overtaken and overthrown by her King

She was so in love with her Beloved

She desired His presence with her whole being

Every moment with Him left her breathless

Hungry to discover a different facet of His heart for her

She dared to go where few have been

The secret place was now her home

~ Ebigale Wilson 

The Dancing Bride 

I want to be mesmerized only by You

Our hearts beating as One on the dancefloor

Your embrace my safest place

Your eyes pools of love for me.
Love that became my compass

in everything I do

Taking me places, I never knew existed

Highs and higher heights,

I experience, when I am with You.
When I release and just let go,

I discover different facets of Your heart for me

It leaves me breathless like our dance of love

You have ransomed my heart, and

I twirl in Your arms

I am abandoning myself to only Your control.
As You’re taking me deeper and deeper with You

Past the veil as I discover more of You

What we have has became my lifeline

What we share my daily bread,

As I lay my head down on Your chest,

I know I was created for this all along.

~ Ebigale Wilson 
ebigale@thejourney 

Our High And Holy Calling 

With humility and the fear of the Lord are riches, honor and life. 

What is humility? To not think of ourselves more highly than we should – to think of ourselves with sober judgement according to the measure of faith that he has given us, to consider others better than ourselves, and to cast all of our cares on the Lord. 

What is the fear of the Lord? To worship and reverence the Lord, to delight ourselves in him, to seek to please him, to be like him, to be with him, and to depart from evil.

Each of us has been given a measure of faith; we are not super men, invulnerable and flawless. We live by the mercy and grace generously provided by Our Lord. Every grace we possess has been granted to us as a gift, to the glory and praise of the Great I Am.  

There is no call to compare ourselves with one another or to think that we are better or worse than others. In Christ, we are all on the same journey of refinement by his glory and grace. We are all destined for the same glorious destination.

We are not designed to carry the weight of worry; as obedient children, we entrust all of our cares to Our Heavenly Father, trusting that he will take care of all of our needs. Also, we yield all of our ambitions and plans to his grand design for our life. We wait for his will to unfold each and every day. We find our fulfillment in walking out our daily assignments.

We delight ourselves in the fear of the Lord; we are glad and rejoice when he is lifted up and glorified. We know that he is in the process of glorifying us and conforming us to his image. 
  Worshipping the Lord is our high and holy calling; we stand taller when we are on our knees; we truly live when he is our life.

                     ~Brad Heilhecker 

A Life Of Love 

In the kingdom, there is abundant love available. Our Father longs to lavish his love on us and to show us how to lavish love on each other. The first priority in the kingdom is for us to come to the Father to get all of our needs met; this is God’s strategic initiative, where he builds us up for our kingdom work. The second priority in the kingdom is for us to go out into the world and into the church and bear good fruit for him by loving others; this is God’s tactical initiative, the out working of his grace in our lives.

God’s strategic initiative, our A.I.R. Exercises – Our Father’s Approbation, Inspiration, and Restoration. If we are to live well the life that Our Father has granted us, we will need to take time each day to allow him to build us up in our spirits and in our souls. He longs to praise us, bless us, and affirm his love for us. We may come to him often and expectantly for him to pour out his love and grace into our hearts, minds, and lives.

God’s tactical initiative, our L.A.N.D. Exercises – Loving, Accepting, Nurturing, and Discipling – the life of Christ flowing through us to others. First, we love – we value highly each and every soul; we are patient and kind to all. Secondly, we accept each person at whatever stage of life they may be in; we love unconditionally. Thirdly, we nurture the life of God in each heart; we try to find out what each one needs in order to flourish. Finally, we disciple others; we find ways of bringing them along in the kingdom.

                      Perfect love casts out fear. 

  The more committed we are to living a life of love, by the mercy and grace of our loving Heavenly Father, the more he can replace our fears and our worries with love and faith and hope. We have only to come to him in our moments of need and he will exchange our weakness with his strength, our blindness with his sight, our fears with his faith and love.

                ~Brad Heilhecker

Our Aim 

Christ said that you can’t even enter the kingdom unless you become more righteous than the most holy men of his time. He went on to say that to be great in the kingdom we must observe and teach others to observe the Old Testament law. If we accept this as the true word of God, which it is, how is it even possible to fulfill this law?

I think a lot of people understand that faith in Christ’s sacrifice on the cross makes us righteous in God’s eyes, but how do we go on from there to observe and teach others to observe the law? It may be helpful to limit ourselves to the 10 commandments and the 2 greatest commandments that Christ referred to in his teachings. We can probably agree that the 10 commandments are a short list of standards which are holy and good, and which, if we transgress in any of them, we sin and fall short of the glory of God.  

For argument’s sake, let us agree that if we break the 2 greatest commandments we also sin and fall short of the glory of God. For review, these 2 commandments are to love the Lord God with all your heart, mind, and strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself.

We find ourselves in the exact position of God’s people in the Old Testament. How do we keep these commandments? My proposal is that if we surrender to Christ’s lordship, if we abide in him by keeping the faith and doing our best to walk in love, we will fulfill all 12 commands. Surrendering our lives to Christ on a daily basis for him to live in and through us fulfills the first of the 2 great commandments and the first 4 of the 10 commandments, and learning and following Christ’s instructions on how to treat others fulfills the 2nd great commandment and the last six of the 10 commandments. The whole New Testament is basically an instruction manual on how to fulfill all 12 of these prominent commands. It is not easy and is impossible with a lackadaisical attitude. It requires a fervent and whole hearted devotion to Christ and his Gospel.

To summarize: if we aim at keeping the law, we will miss Christ and also not be able to keep the law, even though we are trying very hard to keep it. If we aim at devotion to Christ, we will gain Christ and end up keeping the law, even though we are not focusing on keeping it. Our focus remains on Jesus, on pleasing him by obeying him and letting him live through us.

                   ~Brad Heilhecker

Visiting My Losses

  

Loss can keep

You on Hold

Unable to breathe 

Unable to move

Always looking 

Back

Like a heart attack

I visit my losses

And then I leave

As fast as I can

Running towards

The warm, welcome

Loving arms of my

Savior and Friend

If I made a list

It would be unbearable 

Going on and on

You’re not supposed 

To bear that burden

Look forward

Look ahead

Looking Good

Like God

Like Him

Amen
❤️~ Krystal Lynne 

Embrace 

  
I love you just as you are

Flawed and imperfect

Despite how you may feel

Your self-directed criticisms

The parts of you that you despise

I will embrace

In your ambition and struggle

Through accomplishment and mistakes

I am beside you

The broken pieces and blinding beauty of who you are

Is written on my heart

I cherish your growth and transformation

As well as that which is unchangeable

I accept the whole of you

The seen and unseen

The known and unknown

You walk through countless days

Your weary eyes a mystery

Driven by love and determination

You endure

Silently

Your focus and ambition is testimony to your devotion

Through struggle and frustration you labor

In quiet torment you are relentless

I will be your solace

I will wrap you in peace and comfort

Soothing the ache you do not speak

I will be your passion

I am ravenous for you

I will be your encouragement

My faith in you is boundless

I will be your strength

I will undergird you with an unshakable foundation

I see you as you are

And I love you
           ~Dana Smith 

The Word Of Life 

  

John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

 

As I was in prayer this week God began to show me a garden. It was scorched and dried up, choked by thorns and weeds. There was no green to be found, the leaves had all crumbled away and all that was left was dried twigs and branches. Then, there came a gust of wind and like a National Geographic time lapse video, leaves began to grow and flowers began to bud. Tiny shoots pushed their way up from the earth and grew into tall, strong plants. Fruit began to ripen on vines and the garden that was once dry and barren became bursting with life in just a matter of seconds.  

 

We, as believers, are like a garden. We are meant to grow and bear spiritual fruit for the glory of God’s kingdom. (John 15:1-6) God promises us a harvest of blessing when we are faithful to Him. (Galatians 6:9) In order to be fruitful and bring a harvest there must be life in the garden. The garden that God showed me was dead at first. There are 2 key areas in this image of the dead garden that are important:

 

Lack of Water 

In John 7:37-39 Jesus refers to the Holy Spirit as “rivers of living water.”  

Ephesians 5:26 says that we are cleansed through the washing of the water through the word of God.

 

Even the healthiest of plants cannot survive without water; when it is left with no source of water, it will shrivel and die. Regular watering is necessary to the life of the plant. A plant that is watered sporadically will eventually die if it is neglected. It may take longer than a plant that is receiving no water at all, but the end result is the same – lack of fruitfulness and failure to thrive. When we fail to water our hearts with the Holy Spirit and the truth we find in the Bible, we spiritually wither and dry up. The Bible says that we should be “watering” daily if we want to be fruitful as followers of Christ. (Joshua 1:8, Acts 6:4)

 

Weeds and Thorns

Jesus referred to weeds and thorns in his parables. In Matthew 13:3-8 He tells of a sower who plants seeds among thorns, which choke the plants and kill them. In Matthew 13:24-30 He talks about a man who had a wheat field. An enemy of the man came and planted tares, or weeds, amid the wheat to try to ruin the harvest. 

 

We will encounter weeds in our lives – things that work against the purposes that God has set for us. Sometimes those weeds may be caused by circumstances or situations we face in our day-to-day lives. These are the common everyday weeds in the garden. Just as we overcome our circumstances through faith and obedience to God, our spiritual weeds are removed from the garden of our lives through faith and obedience. Our situations are capable of overwhelming us like weeds when we don’t allow God to prune them away through relying on His strength instead of our own.   

 

Not only are there ordinary weeds that we face, the Bible says that we have an enemy that is seeking to destroy us (1 Peter 5:8.) We also encounter weeds in our lives that are deliberately planted by the enemy. The malicious potential in these attacks of the enemy are uprooted when we seek the Lord and walk in obedience to Him. (Leviticus 26:3) Our lives can only be a fruitful, healthy garden when we allow God to tend to us and remove the weeds that inevitably show up.

 

In the image of the garden that God showed me, the garden was not tended. It was completely dead. However, both of the conditions that led to that state were preventable. If we apply this to our own lives, this is great news! If we are diligent in the care of the garden of our lives, tending it as instructed by scripture, we will not only see life but experience fruitfulness. The fruit of the Spirit is evidence of a life surrendered to Christ. (Galatians 5:22-23)  

 

But what if our garden is dead? What if we have dried up and are overwhelmed by the weeds that have stolen our strength? How does that wind that God showed me in the image of the garden come in to revive and resurrect it?  

 

Resurrection and Life

God has given a word of life for you and that word is the mighty name of Jesus. In John 1:1-4 it refers to Jesus as “the Word” and says that in Him is life and that life is the light of all mankind. Jesus is the source of life. We access the life-giving power of Jesus through speaking His name. The Bible says that the power of life and death is in the tongue (Proverbs 18:21.) When we speak the name of Jesus, we tap into the source of life and allow him to work in us. The Bible promises that everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord will be saved. (Romans 10:13, Joel 2:32)

 

Over and over throughout scripture, the power of the name of Jesus is demonstrated. Jesus declared Himself as “the resurrection and the life” in John 11:25. He demonstrated his power over life and death through the resurrection of Lazurus and in His own resurrection. Not only did Jesus perform miracles, He promised that his followers would be able to use the power of His name.

 

Mark 16:17-18 “These signs will accompany those who have believed: in My name they will cast out demons, they will speak with new tongues; they will pick up serpents, and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.”

 

When the garden is not watered and weeds creep in, there is decay and death, but the Word promises that when we apply the name of Jesus to our lives that nothing is impossible for us. (Matthew 19:6, Mark 10:27) The Holy Spirit is compared to a “mighty, rushing wind” in the Bible. (Acts2:2) Calling on the name of Jesus releases the power of the Holy Spirit to work in us and bring life and renewal.

 

Waking What is Sleeping

In John 11:1-44 Jesus tell his disciples that their friend Lazurus “has fallen asleep, but I am going there to wake him up.” The disciples thought Jesus was talking about natural sleep, but He corrected them saying that Lazurus was in fact, dead. By the time Jesus arrives at the tomb after meeting with Mary and Martha, Lazurus had been dead for 4 days. In the natural order of things, life at this point has long departed and it’s return is impossible, but Jesus called out to Lazurus by name and Lazurus rose from the tomb. Then, Jesus commanded, “Take off the grave clothes and let him go.”

 

Sometimes we look at the garden of our life and all we see are dead things. Sin may have come to disconnect us from God. Lack of faith or submission to God may have cut us off from His power in our lives. There may be areas of failure, defeat and destruction that is evident in our lives, but Jesus is the ultimate power. We may be overcome by circumstances and spiritually dead, but the Bible says that the same spirit that raised Christ from the dead dwells in us. (Romans 8:11) 

 

When we call on Jesus, His power is able to transform us and breathe life into that which is dead. In Isaiah 43:1 God says, “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name; you are Mine!” You, in particular, are important to God! The Bible says that He knows us by name and claims us as His own. Like Lazurus, He calls us individually, by name, to lay claim to us and breathe His life into us. Not only does He bring life, but when we are walking in submission to Him, He removes the grave clothes – the things that held us in bondage to that death state – and sets us free! 

 

Buried Seed

In Matthew 9:18-25, Jesus encounters a synagogue leader whose daughter had died. At the leader’s house there was a crowd of witnesses who could attest to the fact that she was dead, yet when Jesus arrived He said, “The girl is not dead, but asleep.” Remember, Jesus referred to the dead as sleeping because He holds power over death. The crowd laughed at Him, because they could see with their own eyes that she was dead, but then Jesus took the girl’s hand and she got up.

 

Something that God brought to my attention in the image of the garden was this; not only was life brought to the plants that were dead in the garden, but new life was created in the seeds that took root. Just like the crowd of people who were at the leader’s house perceived the death of the girl, there are areas in our lives that we may identify as dead. Continuing to believe in that particular area may seem pointless – after all, it is dead. People may even laugh at us for speaking words of faith in that area. Our response when we identify it as dead, is to bury it, to lay it to rest. Sometimes the things that we buried because we called them dead are in fact seeds that God wants to breathe life into!

 

Our garden may seem dead. We may feel neglected. We are not without hope! Begin applying the name of Jesus to your life! Whatever the situation is, God has power over it. It may be an area that we have been defeated in. It may be an addiction. Begin speaking the name of Jesus over your life and He will set you free! You may be facing a hopeless health issue. Your family may be struggling or your marriage at the brink of destruction. Speak life into that circumstance in the name of Jesus! You may feel purposeless, and given up on your hope and dreams. Call on the name of Jesus and He will birth new life into you and cause the dreams that He has set for you to come into being!  

 

Sometimes tending to the garden is work. You may have to keep pouring water and pulling weeds. It may take time, but don’t grow weary in your labor, because God is faithful. He promises that there is life in the Word. The Word is living and alive in you and even that which is dead is not unreachable for Him. Even the impossible is possible through Him. His name is available for you to use and call upon. It is the Word of Life, and it is for you.
                                ~Dana Smith 

  

A Mama’s Heart 

  

Spending time with you
Even for just a moment
Completes this
Mama’s heart. 
Though our moments
Are not many right now
And I dream of when
They’ll outnumber the stars,
I am thankful for having
Peace.
Peace in knowing that
God is doing a tremendous
Work in you.
A work that neither you
Nor I may understand,
But a work that shall 
Be finished in a way
That only God can finish.
I am looking into our future,
And we all look better than
We look right now.
Stand strong and remember
Whose you are,
For though you are mine,
You first were His.

~ S. Gable 



A visit from my adult son prompted these words. While his walk wasn’t showing the divine work at hand, I knew the seeds that had been sown and the Word I’d received at the altar as I’d wept.  “Stand up and rejoice, for the work is already being done!”  Not many months after his visit, my prodigal son came home. The Lord is faithful to His faithful,  and I will forever stand on His promises.💜