Friday, February 27, 2009

Songs of Praise

Isaiah 12

Songs of Praise
1 In that day you will say:
"I will praise you, O LORD.
Although you were angry with me,
your anger has turned away
and you have comforted me.

2 Surely God is my salvation;
I will trust and not be afraid.
The LORD, the LORD, is my strength and my song;
he has become my salvation."

3 With joy you will draw water
from the wells of salvation.

4 In that day you will say:
"Give thanks to the LORD, call on his name;
make known among the nations what he has done,
and proclaim that his name is exalted.

5 Sing to the LORD, for he has done glorious things;
let this be known to all the world.

6 Shout aloud and sing for joy, people of Zion,
for great is the Holy One of Israel among you."

My heart rejoices in the Lord for the mighty things He has done in my life. I am saddened today by the loss of my grandfather. He passed away early this morning. He was Joe's father. I am so sad for my grandmother, Bea. She has been with him since she was 18.

You see, I haven't seen my real father in almost 3 years. I have only spoken with him once and that was when I called him. He has not been someone safe for me to be around or my children. I pray for him everyday that he would come to know the Lord and His love for him.

It is kind of strange because in some ways I am not scared to see him and I am in others. I am not scared because I believe in God's promises to me. I believe them with all my heart and soul. But, on the other hand....I have grieved over the lost relationship with my earthly father, Joe. You see, I love him. I love him so much. I love how much fun it was to be around him and the way he would make me laugh. I loved just being with him up at the farm. I loved sitting out on the front porch gazing out at the stars and hear nothing but the quietness of the night.....I loved riding in the car with him in the country. I just loved spending time with him, when he was well and not sick......But, the majority of his life he has been sick.

I am just praying that God was use me in a mighty way with Joe. That He would allow me to be calm and rest in Him and His promises. God knew before I was even formed in my mother's womb, that this would be my life and everything in it. He knew that out of my brokenness, He would draw me to Him. I have suffered from PTSD from and incident with Joe and had to fight panic attacks....the kind where you can't breathe and you think you are going crazy. I clung to this verse in Isaiah 12:2, "I will trust and not be afraid." But, not until today did I read the whole verse and truly comprehend how He used my suffering and that I would now be singing Songs of Praise and not Songs of Fears........

"The Lord, the Lord, is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation."

I want to shout from a mountaintop what the Lord has done in my life. I truly can't contain it anymore:) The Glory is all Yours, Lord......Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

Monday, February 23, 2009


I have struggled all of my life with feelings of insecurity. I never felt like I was good enough. When I looked in the mirror all I saw was bad. All of my insecurities led to misery. The only way I know how to describe this first 32 years of my life was insecurity. Searching for something to fill me and make me feel whole. Something to complete me. Satisfy me. Fill me to the brim so to say. I was baptized as an infant. I attended church. I was confirmed. I took communion. I believed in Jesus. I believed in God. But, still lacked confidence. I went all over to try to find myself. I went to enough counselors, but no one could fill the void I was missing. I went everywhere, except to Jesus.

I lacked the confidence in Jesus. I was looking to the world for my "identity". It took me 32 years to find Jesus. Or should I say, surrender to Jesus. Not only was I insecure, but quite stubborn. I associated Jesus and God with how my earthly father treated me. So, I wanted no part in that....thanks but no thanks. Oh, but my sweet Jesus had plans for me. Super duper plans that entailed a wild and crazy roller coaster ride, leading me to Him. (You can read other entries if you want the full story;))

So, today I did part of my Gospel Transformation chapter called, "Repentance and Transformation." And it was like the Holy Spirit lit a fire under me and revealed something to me. I know and knew how terrible I was for those 32 years. What I didn't know or feel was God's love for me in Jesus. I was looking for security in the world and not in God. If I am confident in who God created me to be, I am more likely to humbly repent of my sins. By repenting of my sins, cleanses me and brings me into relationship with Jesus. Being confident in who God created me to be, takes the focus off of me and more outwardly focused.

"He who conceals his sins does not prosper, but whoever confesses and renounces them finds mercy." Proverbs 28:13 You will not find rest when you cover your sin. If you claim it and confess it, you are forgiven and He provides relief of suffering in a kind and compassionate way. I never found rest without Jesus. I still struggle to find rest in Jesus because I still chose my will over His will. But, this is the reality of living in a fallen world. Our need for Jesus is always, moment by moment....second by second. But, repentance leads to life. Repentance helps build my confidence in God and who He created me to be.

Now more than ever I see it so clearly. His sovereignty over my life. My confidence in Him has led me to truly love Him and seek Him. I need to humble myself before the Lord. Realize that repentance leads to life in and with Him. Repentance transforms you into the person God created you to be. We were created to Glorify Him, not ourselves. So, when we look to the world for our security, we won't find it. Our Security is in God and His Son, whom He nailed on the cross so that I could live. My sins were nailed to the cross that day when Jesus died. All God wants us to do is "Repent and Live." Ezekiel 18:32b And life in Christ is so much more than I ever dreamed or imagined was possible:)