Training my Hands for War

So you know those skillfully worded, heart catching, I want to read more of this, sentences writers are encouraged to have?  This isn’t one of them, its just rough and raw from my heart, but I hope you will read on because the Lord has revealed something to my heart that is revolutionising and radically changing the way I look upon the simple act of picking up a pen and writing. 

In our Beckoned by the King study we are in Psalm 119:97-104.  The Hebrew alphabet assigned to this section of the Psalm is ‘Mem’.  It means fluid like water, has grace and beauty. 

The Words of v.98 are speaking loudly to my heart and especially so as I peruse the papers and current events of the day.  The Psalmist declares that the ‘commands of the Lord give me an edge over my enemies.’  How incredibly appropriate for the people of God in times of horrific circumstances.

The key is pondering and absorbing the counsel of the Lord, seeing His Word before our eyes, meditating on it and letting the power of His Word change us and lead us. It is as we allow His Word to stir our hearts and guide us with His whispered directions that our actions are smarter and wiser (than our enemies).  We will go places He has already prepared for our arrival, He will set up meetings with people and give us a word in season for them.  In order to know what He has revealed, and to ponder it all the day long, we need to have eyes that see beyond the realm of the natural into the supernatural. 

I am no different from the majority of people who are following the horrific stories in the news.  I am dismayed, saddened and want it all to stop.

I don’t want to see photos and wonder about the fear those people are feeling or the abject helplessness the Iraqui Christians may be experiencing.  I don’t want to see any of it or think about the crazy direction this world is heading.  But neither can I harden my heart or turn a blind eye. 

What I can do and will do is declare the Word of the Lord over people and circumstances as He brings them to my attention.  God’s Word, spoken out, heard by Him and His angels will not be void and depleted of power.

God’s Word has the power, is the only power that can instigate real change. 

Therefore, I am choosing, under His direction to yield my hands and fingers to Him and allow Him to train my hands for war and my fingers for battle.  I may not have silver and gold to help out financially, but I have the promises of power in God’s Word which is greater than gold.  His power will transcend boundaries, barricades and battallions. 


 In reading Psalm 144 yesterday, I had an epiphany! I met Jesus in His Word and He said, “I am not holding your hand because I am bored or lost. I am holding your hand by My mighty right hand for a purpose, to fulfill a portion of My plan for you. I am training your hands for war and I am preparing your fingers for battle. How? you ask, by writing out My Word and declaring it over the circumstances of life. As your hands and fingers are trained by Me to write My Word and declare those words into the atmosphere, there will be a shift in circumstances. Trust Me in this.” 

It might be a slow start but there is no time like NOW to jump in to the River of God and let Him move you as He wills.  If I knew how to let you hear my voice I would, but instead, would you lift your voice and let it be heard in the heavens in agreement with my voice and so many others? 

Lord God, I bless You.  I bless Your Holy Name and I thank You for holding Your children by Your mighty right hand.   Thank You Father that Your arm is mighty to save and save to the uttermost it does.  Father, I thank You for Your loving kindness, that You ARE our loving kindness and we hide ourselves in You.  You, God are our fortress, our High Tower and Deliverer.  We trust You.  We declare right now that You are  our Shield, encompassing us round about and it is in You that we find refuge.

For my brothers and sisters persecuted for their faith on the other side of the world from me and yet one in the bond of love, one in Christ, I humbly offer and proclaim this Word of faith over them:

I thank You for Your intimate knowledge of each of Your children.  You are mindful of them, caring for their deepest needs and You have not removed or lost them from Your sight.  Hide them Father, beneath the sheltering power of Your wings, provide a place of comfort for each one.

Shoot out Your arrows and destroy their enemies (for they are ours also) stretch out Your hand, rescue Your people and deliver them from the hand of the foreigners, those whose mouths speak vain words and whose right hand is a right hand of falsehood.

Let Your people sing, O Lord!  Let praises rise to You from mouths filled with adoration and worship of You, Almighty Holy God.  You will confound the enemy at the sound of praises rising to You.  Father, You are their God and the One who has promised to deliver them speedily.

May sounds of joy, victory and gladness be heard all over the regions of despair as Your people look to You for help and see Your deliverance.

We bless You with the words of our mouths and a two edged sword in our hands, knowing we are cutting through the works of darkness and bringing for the light of the Glory of God.

With you in His palm,


Linking up here:

Counting My Blessings.





Healing Waters

Healing waters….thank You Father that when I allow them to flow in my life the result is cleansing.

236Father, You tell me in Your Word that You hold and comfort me as only You are able.  You also tell me that You wipe away the tears from my eyes and then record the reason why they have flowed.  Thank You for Your compassion.  Thank You for Your wisdom.  For the fact that when our tears of sadness flow they are releasing toxins that cause bitternes.  And where bitterness abounds beauty is nowhere to be found.

When Lazaruz was in his tomb, Lord You wept.  You loved Lazarus and Your tears Lord were a result of that great love.  You wept tears, Lord even though You knew You were about to raise Lazarus from the dead!

You grieved Lord and You wept over those in cities who rejected You.  Again, You wept over them because Your heart was moved by Your incredible love for them.

I wonder, Lord, do You weep over me because of my inability to grasp Your infinite love?

Touch my heart, completely cover me Lord and do something fresh and new within that I might have a keener perception of Your amazing love.

Will You do that for me please, Father?  You have so much to pour into me and I so desire to move closer to You.  Create in me a pure heart O God, that I might be a vessel of honor, of pure gold that has been refined in the fire.  Make me fit for the use You, my Master have purposed for me.

with you in His palm

All the Writing Questions – A Blog Hop

My friend Deb invited me to this blog hop where we answer questions about our writing and it seems like a great way to connect with others which is something I really want to do, so I happily and humbly agreed.  It was through a group we belonged to when I first met Deb and her words have been a flow of consistent wisdom and encouragement.  Please take the time to check out her blog Counting My Blessings.  She will cause you to count yours!

This blog hop asks four questions about our writing.  Answering them has been challenging and insightful.

After sharing my answers I am going to introduce you to a lovely gal whose heart for God has flowed with encouraging, kind and thoughtful words since meeting her last year.  I know~ the plan was to introduce you to three lovelies but I think summer sun and family have called …grace?

What Am I Working or Writing On?

These days I am working on the Bible study questions in Beckoned by the King and shaping them into blog posts.  Having written the book and expecting other readers to devote time to do the study I felt it was time for me to do them too!  The base of the questions is from Psalm 119, some are intense and personal and sometimes there is no easy answer or the answer takes some processing. It is this processing I am writing about as I see His hand at work in my heart.

  I began this last year as a summer project and I am now just a little over half way. Sometimes I would like to move into something else but this is my heart ~ to go deeper and cut the superficiality, to be vulnerable, open and a piece of clay Jesus can mold and shape to His heart’s content. The desire to not give up is greater so I press on. In essence, what I am really working on is yielding my heart and soul to the work Jesus wants to do in me so I become the pure and spotless bride Jesus is coming for.  He is using this study to prepare me and the writing journey has taken me to deep places in the heart and soul as He uncovers blemishes and brings healing.

How Does My Work Differ From Others of its Genre?

I think for the many of us who are asked that question, the answer will be similar.  Because it is mine, the work and words are a reflection of who I am and the work God is doing in my heart.  My writing is unique and special and God has bestowed the passion upon me to hear His Voice and write the words He speaks to my heart.  My writing is a gift I bring and give to my King.  I have learned not to compare myself with others (and I really try not to) because I will always feel I come up short and lacking.  The gift I present to the King is valuable and precious, it is my personal best.  I often think of the three wise men carrying their treasures in their treasure bags as they journeyed to meet their new King.  Each of them had a gift that was different and each served a valuable purpose.  I am sure the three wise men did not look at one another’s gifts with envy, they did not compare, nor did they want to trade one another’s gift.  My writing voice is a treasure, unique and precious, and when all of us write together for the glory of God we raise up a glorious cacophony of praise and worship and unity.

Why Do I Write What I Write?

I guess the first and obvious answer for me would be because it is what God has impressed upon my heart to write.  As much as I love to journal and write, I do not want my blog to be about me, about how engaging, witty or creative I may or may not be and yet I want to share my heart and the journey of faith and trust He is taking me on.   It is a hard place to be, to find balance there because I want you to like coming to my blog.  I want my words to impact and change your heart, teach you how to shift your perspective and learn how to trust your King.  My own soulish, well-crafted and perfectly polished words will not pierce your heart, but if I can hear and write His words then they will be life to you and cause change to come about.  I want my words to be food for the hungry, refreshment for the weary hearted, meat you can feed on and ultimately bring you into a deeper relationship with our Bridegroom King. Freely I have received and freely I give.

The verse from 1John 1:1-4 explains this well: What was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we have observed and have touched with our hands, concerning the Word of life— that life was revealed, and we have seen it and we testify and declare to you, the eternal life that was with the Father and was revealed to us— what we have seen and heard we also declare to you, so that you may have fellowship along with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ.

I can barely read these verses for the hunger they create….have I come close enough to hear, are my eyes unveiled and am I seeing Jesus in my everyday life? Do I watch what He does, just as He saw what the Father does and am I touching the depths of the very life of Jesus? Are my hands filled with the Word of Life, is His power revealed through my touch and are my words declaring a testimony of the goodness of God? I want to hear, see, and touch Him more than anything else in this whole wide world! This is the reason I write what I write!

How Does My Writing Process Work? 

Ah, the process!  My dream process is to have a list of blog topics and dates for publishing, guest bloggers once a month and have a constant flow of impactful words filling the screen consistently.  My den is upstairs with bookshelf, couch and desk but because we have been doing renovations over the past few years, my desk is not always inspiring, beautifully creative and peaceful.  Invariably the process begins in the morning after my husband has gone to work and I curl up on the couch with Bible, journal and steaming mug of coffee and two little dogs snoring softly close by!  I like to write in my daily journal the everyday happenings, and to write the Scripture out longhand.  Each morning is different even though I would like it to be every morning where words flow freely onto paper.  Sometimes it is only one verse of Scripture or one word that stands out and I need to let them percolate in my spirit during the day until I feel impressed to write it out and determine what God might be speaking to my heart.  Lately it has been the word ‘division’ that is continually popping up and I realize God is tying circumstances together with His Word and wants to present me with something I have not seen before.  I am trying a new thing right now; having a journal for my everyday writing and another for blog posts but in reality, I don’t think that is working for me since ultimately everyday God centered living shape the post.  The writing process involves paying attention to the stresses, attitudes, emotions and circumstances of life and understanding how God is working out His plans, purposes and processes within me.  After writing long hand in the journal, I use Microsoft Word and then transfer it over to my blog.  Invariably after posting publish I remember I have forgotten to add pictures!

And now, I would like to introduce you to my friend Sharon ~I so love this sister’s heart for God, His people and the gift He has placed in her heart which she so freely shares.


my name is Sharon Osterhoudt

 author of the blog 

I am very close to turning 60 years old and have been married over 40 years to my high school sweetheart. We were young and playing house for part of our life together, then we as we began to grow old, we learned to love each other in a more deep deliberate process. It has been a wonderful journey of ups and downs and good and hard times. When they say “in sickness and in health, richer or poorer” it is true. The seasons of a marriage are not easy but so worth it when one makes the effort to take it seriously. We have a grown son, and a grown daughter and have been blessed with six beautiful grand children,  our son had three sons and our daughter had three daughters. The journey of life together has brought many moments of pain mixed with sorrow and laughter mixed with joy.

My blog is my personal story of how God restores a soul who was broken and refreshes it to healing and hope. I am very blessed and honored to be writing for the ‘joy of the Lord is my strength and my story.’ Without Him I would not be here and I would not be doing what he has called me to do. Share matters of my heart with others who walk the same path I once walked.
 I have two kitties and an old ‘red’ australian cattle dog … 
Sharon O


When You are in the Flow of the River

I hope you are all enjoying your summer or whatever season you find yourself in! I am praying for you and believing the best God has for you will manifest in your lives.

Life has been crazy busy here the past few weeks with our grandson visiting for ten days and also with the work my husband and I are doing around the house as we prepare it for sale. The calendar shows we are in the one-year final countdown and I feel stressed and excited all at the same time.  My heart is confident that right now we are where we are supposed to be, moving to where He wants us to go.

The past few weeks you would have found me helping my husband as ‘we’ power washed, sanded and painted our deck, fence and upstairs closets. Yesterday as I began painting our bedroom closet, I saw our circumstances from a different perspective.

  In a flash of insight, I understood there is no going back when we are in the River.  In Him we live and move and have our being and in Him there is always a going forward and going deeper into the River of Delight and Great Joy.

The Lord gave me a picture of an eddy in a river and He showed me myself in the center of the eddy swirling round and round.   The eddy has been a time of swirling busyness, necessary busyness.  With each stroke of the paintbrush, I am aware of an excitement in knowing where we are going and that I am preparing this home for its new owners.

2013-08-05 23.42.05I have also been feeling ‘caught’ as if I am not moving; held in the eddy, swirling like a leaf round and round.

He showed me otherwise. He showed me how the waters are smoothing my rough edges, softening and shaping me to be the woman He sees me already being. Be encouraged knowing He sees you too, beloved as complete and perfect, lacking no good thing.

He also let me know in His way, that He is getting ready to swoosh me out of the eddy’s swirling and shoot me down the river. 

The river flows onward to the sea but sitting on the riverbank enjoying the sounds of the bubbling waters sparkling in the sunlight; 139we cannot see the bigger body of water.  We can’t see where the river flows; we only know it moves coordinated with the Creator’s greater purpose. 

The river flows, He is the flowing River of Life and immersed in the waters we are one with Him.

Gazing out at the river, we see twigs; leaves and sticks all flowing with the river, until the swirling eddies catch them. Watching, entranced by the swirling movement it seems like the eddy will never release its hold on the branch.  Then, all of a sudden, the hold of the swirl releases and the branch is free to flow downstream.


I can hear and feel the rush and excitement of the swoosh!148


Aren’t we all looking for the release, the rush of the downstream flow?

Whatever you are going through right now precious ones, don’t be discouraged or faint of heart.

Climb up on your Father’s lap and ask Him to give you eyes to see your circumstances from His perspective. Open your heart to Him, trust Him fully and know He is perfecting and polishing you, tumbling you as a stone in the river. He holds you in His hand smooth and polished.  A place provided

Will we be willing to listen and obey when He speaks to us of changes necessary in our mindsets and actions?

Can you hear Him quietly whispering words of wisdom and truth to your heart?  Can you imagine the fiery passion of the love God has for you, His great desire to give and fill you with hope?

Based on Psalm 119:97-104.  The Hebrew alphabet assigned to this section of the Psalm is ‘Mem’.  It means fluid like water, has grace and beauty. 

You are blessed. You are loved. 

You are Beckoned by the King and I rejoice with you as you enter His presence with praise and thanksgiving on your lips!

with you in His palm


Linking up at Woman to Woman



A People Without Division

 I wonder, at this beginning of summer, halfway through the Beckoned by the King Bible study; would you allocate some time to just come away and be with your Beloved?

 Would you let Him calm your heart and breathe fresh life into your soul?  pure love

Will you trust Him right now, with whatever concerns you, with whatever is trying to cause division within you?

You are beautiful, beloved and He is bounding towards you with love beyond your imagination.  Will you greet Him with open arms?

Lamed – the Hebrew alphabet letter belonging to Psalm 119:89-96 refers to a goad used for prodding.

I am wondering, how often are we halfway through a thing and need a little prodding?  How often do we lose our edge and our discipline, slacking off a little here and there thinking it won’t really matter…it’s time for a little prodding…Continue Reading