Prince of Peace

My mind is stayed on You, because I trust in You.
You WILL keep me in Your perfect peace. Isaiah 26:3 (Emphasis mine.)

Life doesn’t come without pain.
Pain comes in different forms. Different circumstances. Different trials. Different tribulations. But it remains a commonality for all who journey through this world.
Everywhere you turn, evidence of pain is present. It often masquerades itself as something completely different; drug abuse, anorexia, stealing, approval addiction, busyness, seclusion, independence, defensive attitudes, and the list goes on.
It’s easy to look around and find these things and label a person defective, rebellious, or crazy. But, if we looked a little deeper, behind all the layers of “issues”, we would find pain. Once found, it might be easier to extend empathy. Have Compassion. Practice Patience. Offer Forgiveness. Pursue peace. Live in one accord.
We all have common denominators, a desire to love and be loved, and pain that can misconstrue those desires.
Today, though I have pain (missing my husband, thinking about the bond that was formed the last two days between a father and his daughter and wondering if in forty-five days he may have to start all over again, abandonment by family members and friends, etc.), I have perfect peace. I will not revert back to my old man because my mind is stayed on Him who is rich in mercy, love, joy, and peace.
Is there anyone you can think of today in pain? Maybe you have overlooked their pain as simply an “issue?” Could you share the source of perfect peace and help them begin to heal? (“I create the fruit of the lips: Peace, peace to him who is far off and to him who is near,” says the Lord, “And I will heal Him.” Isaiah 57:19)
I encourage you my friends, my brothers and sisters, let’s remember how far we’ve come through the source of Peace. Let’s share what we ourselves have been given. Let’s humble ourselves and see those persons we’ve pushed away as “too much to deal with” as someone we used to be. Let’s offer hope. Let’s offer them Jesus today.

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Perspective

But I have trusted in Your mercy;

My heart shall rejoice in Your salvation,

I WILL sing to the Lord,

Because HE HAS DEALT BOUNTIFULLY WITH ME!!

Psalm 13:5  (Emphasis mine.)

I walked away. A little girl. 14. How could there be a God who has already put me through so much? Abuse. Extreme physical, mental, emotional, and most recently sexual. He took my Mother. Now, I live with my abuser. Where is God? I can’t see Him.

I walked to church, by myself. A fourteen year old. I loved Him. Believed in Him. Trusted Him.

Where was He?

I’ll make my own way. Men will love me when I give them my purity. I need to provide for myself, I will steal. I need to remain attractive to men. I will diet. I only weigh 115. But still I need to lose weight. I love food. I will just purge myself. I can’t do that. I just won’t eat. I can’t do that either. I’ll just live on diet pills.

Give me alcohol. I can’t have fun without it. Narcotics numb me. I fall in love with them. Addicted. Feeling unloved I take nine at a time. My thirteen year old sister hides them on me. One day I snort them. I’m surely going to die.

Pregnant. A dream come true. Surely I can turn my life around. I do. I am so in love.

Three months old baby almost dies. Life threatening illness.

No where to turn, I turn back to God. Begging. Bartering. Give this child his life back. Spare Him and I am Yours again. Committed. Yours.

I keep my word, when He saves my son.

Faith tested.

Fiance cheating. Son almost dies two more times.

What will I see? Where will I look?

I have life. My son has life. I have endured. I am saved. I am loved. I am an overcomer. He is my Strength. My life, though hard, is blessed beyond measure. I can see. I am not a victim, but a VICTOR!

Many mountains climbed. Fog so thick I could barely see. But I kept climbing. Refocusing. Set my Eyes on Him. Eyes FIXED on Him. Heart FIXED on Him. Mind FIXED on Him.

New Perspective.

HE HAS dealt BOUNTIFULLY with me.

And I praise Him.

Be encouraged, my friends. Fix your eyes, heart, and mind on the bounty. You’re a warrior. A victor. Proclaim it. Own it. LIVE IT!

You are loved beyond measure.

Psalm 29:11, John 3:30, Numbers 6:24-26

 

 

Show me Your glory

I knew I wasn’t ready to be awake yet. I turned over on my right side and squinted my eyes open just far enough to see that the sun wasn’t ready to be up either. I’d been waking up early with a song on my heart the last few mornings. I really wanted to appreciate the morning, and rise up to do my devotions and writing while the rest of the house slept. What a struggle.

As I began to roll back over and resist the call of the new day, I heard noises from the boy’s room. I laid still and listened intently. I heard it again.

Throwing off the covers and making a dash for their bedroom, I turned on the hall light to see which one it was. Caleb, my youngest, was still asleep on the bottom bunk. On the bed above him Deegan was covered in the partially digested, now mostly liquid meal he’d eaten the night before.

Without thinking I went in to Mommy mode, bringing him down, undressing him, cleaning him off, and ripping his bed apart. How could this be? This poor kid just got home from the hospital six days ago, after spending four days there.

Deegan, who fought for his life at three months old (and at least twice since then), was diagnosed with a rare life threatening metabolic condition. A skin biopsy performed by two major hospitals in the country confirmed the diagnosis by the time he was five months old. He would endure many hospitalizations thereafter.In fact, each time Deegan has a vomiting illness he gets admitted to the hospital. His body becomes acidotic, and his energy levels crash, QUICKLY. Lethargy is an understatement. When a child can’t lift his head to vomit, or stay awake through a blood draw, it’s beyond lethargic.

Here we were facing the demon again.

I brought Deegan to my bed where I tucked him in, gave him the bowl designated for puke, and asked him how he was feeling. He just wanted sleep.

I text his dad to let him know that he had thrown up. These messages always mean, “I’ll meet you at the hospital.” There hasn’t been a time that he’s thrown up and not had to go. The longer the delay the worse off his veins are and the harder it is to get the IV going, which is exactly what he needs to help his body that can’t seem to help itself.

Figuring I could at least give him a couple of hours of rest, I laid next to him. I started to fall back asleep when again he began to toss and turn, whimpering for the bowl. Quickly I grabbed it for him and began to rub his back as he wretched a second time.

My poor baby.

Maybe we shouldn’t wait.

After wiping his mouth off, and laying him back down, I looked into the bowl of liquid. Less than a cup, I thought. They are going to want to know at the hospital.

My normal routine at this point would be to start texting family, getting on social media to call forth the prayer warriors, and packing up for the hospital.

Before I began the routine, I felt something else rise up in me. My goal for the New Year was to seek God first. FIRST. In all things. I invite God in, but usually after I try to fill His role first.

I rolled over toward Deegan, laying my hand on his belly, I prayed. Quietly at first, and pretty routinely. But the Holy Spirit arose inside of me, reminding me of the scripture God had given me on Christmas Eve.

“Then He called His twelve disciples together and gave them power and authority over all demons, and to cure diseases. He sent them to preach the kingdom of God and to heal the sick.” (Luke 9:1-2 NKJV)

Owning my identity, I raised my voice with authority, casting out the sickness that gripped God’s child, my son. I bound the enemy and the symptoms of vomiting. I loosed the healing power of God with faith. I believed everything I prayed.

I thanked God.

I removed my hand from his belly and rolled over to write in my journal. A few minutes later Deegan began to stir, in need of the bowl. I gave it to him and without doubting for even a breath, I laid my hand on his back and simply thanked God some more.

I put the bowl away from us, without looking to measure how much was in there this time. I continued to journal. I included the lyrics that I woke singing, “I lift my hands to believe again. You are my refuge, You are my strength. As I pour out my heart these things I remember, You are FAITHFUL GOD FOREVER. Let faith arise, open my eyes, let faith arise!”

Finishing my entry I rested my head, closed my eyes, and fell asleep next to my son. I must have been exhausted because I slept until eleven. The house was still quiet. I rolled over to check on Deegan. He hadn’t thrown up again. I expected him to sleep, but wisdom told me I had to get something in him.

Waking him up, I was delighted by the energy he had, and his desire to eat. He got right out of bed and like any typical day went straight for his electronics. It wasn’t much later that I found myself calling for him to, “settle down.” Boys will be boys.

I saw God’s glory yesterday. I saw a miraculous healing because of the faith and trust I put in my Daddy’s word. I used the power and authority given to me, in His Sons name, without wavering.

My husband reads five Psalms and one Proverb a day to fit them in to one month of reading. In the beginning of our marriage he encouraged me to do the same. I was so inconsistent. With the New Year I committed to one of each per day. Being the third day of the month I read the third Psalm, only to find myself in its text.

“I cried to the Lord with my voice, And He heard me from His holy hill. I lay down and slept; I awoke, for the Lord sustained me. (v 4,5 NKJV)

Know who God is.

Know who you are.

 

 

 

 

Praying for the terrorists

It is so awesome to see so many people on social media united in solidarity for Paris. It is even more awesome to see so many people PRAYING for Paris. But I can’t sleep because my heart is so heavy with this question, of all the people praying for France, how many are praying for the enemy?
I know, it sounds crazy right?
Pray for the terrorists who kill HUNDREDS of people?!
Yes!
Didn’t Jesus come to seek and save those which were LOST? Can’t we stand united in prayer for a revolution in the hearts of those who are led astray with hatred and power? Isn’t God able?!
We are under the impression that through war or retaliation WE are able. But it is NOT by might, NOR by power, but by HIS Spirit. HE IS LOVE. The greatest war we could rage is through prayer, being of one mind, one accord.
God brought to remembrance Proverbs 21:1, “The king’s heart is in the hand of the Lord, like the rivers of water; He turns it wherever He wishes.”
That means that the God of love is able to turn and cleanse the hearts of the wicked. For it is God’s will that NONE should perish.
It is so easy for us to pray for the good guys, but it is the bad guys who need our prayers the most.
We pray for those who have been attacked, but what if we prayed for the attackers? Perhaps if we unite in prayer for the enemy we wouldn’t find ourselves mourning loss, but rejoicing for that which was once lost.

Behave Like a Christian
9 Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good. 10 Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another; 11 not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; 12 rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer; 13 distributing to the needs of the saints, given to hospitality.
14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. 16 Be of the same mind toward one another. Do not set your mind on high things, but associate with the humble. Do not be wise in your own opinion.
17 Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men. 18 If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men. 19 Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. 20 Therefore
“If your enemy is hungry, feed him;
If he is thirsty, give him a drink;
For in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head.”
21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

I encourage you to pray for the enemy!
God bless ALL of His creation!

No where to turn but to You

Lost in a world I don’t belong, I’d sought for pleasure and sought for peace
And where I looked, temporary was found
Nothing seemed to stick around.
Things I gained, things I loved, rapid changes, loss and pain
Oh how tired the chase made me.
Until I was lost in the darkest of seas.
With nowhere to turn I had to look up, but when I looked up, was directed within
to a hardened dark place that my heart used to be
I praise You my constant for ever-changing me.

Continue to “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.” Psalm 51:10
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Trust and Believe

Trapped in a den of lions? Are your Lions roaring, growling, ready to pounce, with mouth wide open? Perhaps you feel as though you’re about to be devoured. Maybe, the face of the lion, while distorted with blood thirsty anger, looks familiar. Maybe it’s the face of a friend, a spouse, or a co-worker.

Daniel found himself in a den of lions, for worshipping his God. A law had been signed and sealed that no one should worship anyone other than King Darius. Daniel, as he was accustomed, dropped to his knees three times daily to praise the Living God. When the Kings men found him on bent knees, they couldn’t wait to deliver him to the King, and ultimately to the lions.

Those happy and proud men who found Daniel breaking their law were sure his life sentence was signed and sealed.

But God!

There would be a delivering, but it wouldn’t be to death. You see, Daniel believed his God, (Daniel 6:23) and his God believed in him. “My God sent His angel and shut the lions’ mouths, so that they have not hurt me, because I was found innocent before Him…” (6:22) He, the Almighty, faithful, loving God shut the mouths of the lions, delivering Daniel.

He’ll deliver you too. Just belive. Trust and believe.

Peace be multiplied to you.

…For He is the living God,

And steadfast forever,

His kingdom is the one which shall not

be destroyed,

And His dominion shall endure to the end.

He delivers and rescues,

And He works signs and wonders

In heaven and on earth…

6:25-27

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Don’t forget to fall to those beautiful knees and give, joyfully, praise to He who is worthy.

Life More Abundant

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It has been a long time since I’ve sat down to write. Even the pages of my journal are noticeably neglected. However, this day every year inspiration engulfs me, and writing becomes mandatory. Mandatory because my writing is the very expression of my soul, and my soul is delighted.
“Every male who opens the womb shall be called holy to the Lord.” Luke 2:11
Six years ago I gave birth to my first born child, a son.
While the addition of a child is promised to bring change, I could never have foreseen the road in which my journey would take.
The start of that road was filled with blossoming new life, breaths of fresh air. That season, that beautiful road, would abruptly turn into winter, into a swamp.
I would hand my newborn child over to educated professionals dressed in white lab coats to care for him, as I no longer could. There would be no more nursing, minimal time spent rocking him in my arms, looking into his eyes, few smiles. These things would be replaced with central intravenous lines, nasogastric tubes, doctor consultations, innumerable tests. My ears and soul were fed words such as; genetic disorder, coma, gastrostomy tube, mental retardation, death.
In this moment of despair, I couldn’t see the hand of God, who thousands of years before placed the most important life in a virgin mother, placing life in me. I couldn’t see the Healer who had healed the lame, mute, and blind healing my baby. I couldn’t see He had divinely placed people in my life at that most crucial time to feed my soul the bread of life, flushing out the toxic food of statistics, by the truth of the Word, the source of life. I couldn’t see the Everlasting Father using my three month old as His holy one to open my eyes and receive healing myself.
While doctors continued to deliver hopelessness, others delivered a new light that shone dimly. Nevertheless, faithful believers daily fanned my flame with truth of hope, love, and life.
When doctors sat me down once again to inform me this child was recovering, but he would not be sustained by nursing, the most intimate bond between mother and child, I fell to my knees. Dirt kicked in my face, my road was barren. I was thankful, VERY, for his recovery, yet nursing was a deep yearning within me.
“I don’t know You,” I sobbed. “These people are telling me of Your goodness, that You are the giver of life. If only You could please make this childs labs normal by tomorrow, I can nurse him again. This is all I want, all I ask. If only You do this for me, I will go to church and give You my life.”
The next day, labs were not just normal, they were PERFECT!!
I gave my life back to Him who gave life back to my son, His holy child. I gave my life back, only to get my life back. A life I was too dead to see was even missing.
Life has blossomed on my well traveled road, and life more abundantly.
My child thrives. He is as alive as my God, and roaring like a lion. Blessed am I! Happy Birthday to my Sonshine, and my Beloved Jesus. And a Merry Christmas to you!!

In love and trust in Him, Samantha Grace