Why I am not Giving Up Anything for Lent

 I have never celebrated Lent nor given much thought to it. 

To be completely truthful,  mostly all I know of Lent is from Facebook posts that talk about what the individual is going to give up for Lent.

 Lent has never been part of my Christian walk, nor have I had any teaching on it.

  I think of how Jesus came and took our sin and gave us His righteousness.  God has given us the Way, the Truth and the Life and in Christ, we live and breathe and have our being.  We are loved, wholly, passionately and without reserve by a God who gave His only Son for us and we are well pleasing to Him.  God gave all, He gave the best ~ for you and for me.

…Well, no matter what I know or don’t know, I am not giving up anything for Lent… 

Especially when I can come into His presence and give Him my heart.

As I gaze at the years behind me, I know I have experienced the strength that truly does rise as we wait upon the Lord.  Of even greater importance is the amazing joy and freedom I have experienced after a time of repentance.  The shame I wore for so many years kept me from a real heart to heart relationship with Jesus and when I finally heard the term ‘repentance’ my heart was broken and became completely HIS.

  Though weeping endured throughout the many long nights, joy surely came in the morning!  Beloved, Joy comes because God is faithful to see that we bear fruit in keeping with repentance.  He loves our times of repentance for that is when He can begin to fill us with more of Himself.

This excerpt from Beckoned by the King is the reason why I am not giving UP anything for Lent, but rather continuing to give ALL.

…He showed me how I bowed to shame, guilt, and condemnation and with great love and tenderness sometimes he carried me to the mountaintop but each time we would tear down another altar of idolatry.  Over time, I learned to stand securely knowing that my sin was gone forever into the sea of forgetfulness.

We think we are lost, but confession and repentance to a God who loves us cause us to see the way to victory and because we can see the victory by faith, we act in certain ways to attain it and make it ours.

We look at him, gaze upon his perfection and resplendent beauty and our tendency is to cringe in shamefulness over our sinful ways. In that exact instance of our feeling, his Voice rises above the voices we may have too long listened to and we hear him say to us from the Cross-, voicing the words with the passion of his love – as far as the east is from the west so far have I removed your transgressions from you.  

His position on the Cross was the position of absolute forgiveness and the ultimate in freedom.

We must learn to wait upon the Lord and ask the King how we can serve him.   We must learn the strength that comes to us from waiting on the Lord.

I have wondered though, how does our strength rise when we wait upon the Lord?   What are we doing when we are “waiting upon him”?

We are going in to his intimate chambers and we are saying, “what can I get for you, my King?’  Yet our only desire is to gaze upon his radiant beauty because we have been awestruck and smitten by the incredible beauty he radiates.

Deep in our hearts we know, because he has already prepared us for the offering, we know that the giving of what he asks will be difficult but it will not be too much for us to bear. Those stirred up memories can make us feel not so very good, and YET as we are standing before the King he sees a woman – a man of great beauty and worth.  He sees whom he has created, one who is dazzling because we are looking at him, reflecting his glory, light and Love.

Listen and hear what he says,

“Feeling defeated and in despair, you have come into my Presence choosing to give yourself to me.  Do you know how radiantly lovely you are to me, do you know that you have inspired me to greatness and you bring me immense pleasure?  I understand your emotions; I have compassion in your times of weakness. 

I see now how you want to dance before me because joy has risen in your heart; you want to bow in awe before me. 

I see that still you stand, still you wait, and still you have bid your soul to be.  Listen! I am putting a new song in your heart.

The words are:  “Bid me come to You, Lord Jesus, bid me come to You, my Lord, Bid me come to You, Lord Jesus, bid me come that I might serve”

I know your heart is questioning, “How can I serve this King, this Perfect Lover of my heart, this One who has everything because he created everything and all that he has created yields to his every Word?  HOW CAN I SERVE THIS KING?”

My answer to you is that you have served me every time you have come desiring to meet my needs despite the circumstances around you.  Your coming has brought me joy.  You have asked, “What can I get for You, my King?” knowing that the giving of it will sometimes be very difficult for you. 

I will never ask for more than you can give but I seek to see you enter into freedom, walk in the fullness of my joy.  I will stir up memories within your soul that have kept you in a cage of fear and my love for you will break through those bars of iron and tear down every wall.

 My desire is that my joy in you is full, how can that be when there are so many conflicting emotions within you?  To serve me and wait upon me in order to meet my needs then I am waiting for you to bring your inner conflicts to me.

The reality of living and giving one’s life in service to me lies in the truth that the greatest service you can do me is to bring your self’s unruly emotions to me, lay them at my feet, thereby dying to yourself.  No greater love is there than when one lays down their life for another.

Will you apprehend the depth of the service you do me as you allow the image and nature of the Son to be formed in you as you choose to yield to the creative power of my Word spoken to you?

Truly, whoever the Son sets free is free indeed.

“I want you to know that you have been delivered from the hand of your enemies so that you might serve me without fear, in holiness and righteousness before me all the days of your life.” Luke 1:74-75. (Author’s paraphrase)

Beloved, can you hear him?  Do you think perhaps you would like to give All your heart instead of giving up something for Lent. 

Perhaps add to your faith as it speaks in 2Peter 1:5-8  to your faith add virtue, to virtue, knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness and to brotherly kindness love.  For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

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Just to tell You I love You

Probably the most important discipline I have learned as a believer and follower and lover of Jesus, is to pray His word. When we hide His word in our hearts, we have something of substance to chew and stand on in time of trouble.

Instead of letting worry and fear rile up our insides and give us stomach aches, if we choose to meditate on His word, our heart and soul will know peace.  Great peace even in the midst of great trouble.  I don’t think I’m wrong to believe that great peace is something we all hope for in this day and age.

The hiding, meditating and speaking of the Word takes practise, it is a choice we make moment by moment.  After time, after experiencing the ways God moves on our behalf,  it becomes a discipline of much joy as we realize we reap many benefits of the promises of God’s word. 

The Hebrew alphabet at the beginning of Psalm 119:161-168 is “Shin”. It represents a chewing tooth  or teeth that consume and destroy.  Meditating on and speaking out His word is part and parcel of what a ‘chewing tooth’ does.  The lies of the enemy of our soul are brought to light and the Word of God consumes and destroys the work of the evil one. 

I have been working through the Bible study in Beckoned by the King for the last year and a half.  Reading and rereading Psalm 119, longing to have a deeper understanding of how the truths in it can be applied to and lived out in our everyday lives.  I can tell you in all sincerity and honesty – my heart has changed so much, its hard to recognize it as mine!  The fears, doubts and worries I had have all been swallowed up by the beautiful, life changing word of God.  I stand amazed at the work God has done in my heart and soul.  I am so thankful for the absoluteness of the confidence I have in Him and in His word. 

The NIV Study Bible says this about Psalm 119:  “The author of Psalm 119 had a theme that filled his soul, a theme as big as life that ranged the length and breadth and height and depth of a person’s walk with God.  Nothing less than the use of the full power of the language would suffice, and of that the Hebrew alphabet was a most apt symbol.” 

Psalm 119:161-168

I’ve made a decision Lord that in spite of the persecution coming my way, I am going to stand ~ For You

My heart will not faint within me, nor shall I let go of the word I have been hiding, guarding and treasuring in my heart.

I am going to let the power of Your word rise up so my heart will stand in awe of Your words.

I will know joy unspeakable, immeasurable as I rejoice at Your word.

I’ve seen how the captors rejoice and hoop at the spoil they plunder…my joy in You will be much greater!

 Father God, I have learned over the years, how very much I hate and despise falsehood.  I love Your word of truth, God; I love Your word more than life itself.

Early on in my years, I established a habit of praising You seven times a day.  Your law, Your word of truth is so righteous; I had to do something to get myself in alignment with You.

That habit?  It has served me well for now; all day long I can find reasons to praise You.  It’s not hard to rejoice when I consider all You have done for me.

Father, I have learned that as I choose to love Your word, my heart and soul experience a great peace.  A peace so settled and deep I know it is a gift from You.  Thank You for guarding me and guiding me in the way that is pleasing to Your heart.  Nothing causes me to stumble as I love You and love Your word.

God, I have hope in the midst of the darkness, Your word is a lamp unto my feet, and it is the light shining bright within me.  Your salvation ~ Sozo ~ rich, full and complete touches every area of my being, therefore I have hope because of Your great gift.

As I live out and apply Your words to my life, my mind is renewed and I come into alignment with Your heart and purposes for me.  My spirit, soul and body are synchronized and my walk with You displays Your beauty.

My soul, that part of me encompassing my mind, will and emotions are all turned Your way God.  They are fixed on Your word and I don’t allow the enemy to sow tares in my soul.  I love Your word exceedingly, beyond anything Lord.  Your word is the dearest, most precious treasure and I love it more than life itself.

I have made my choice to follow Jesus and there is no turning back.  My heart has received the work of the cross. Your lifeblood was shed for me and You gave all holding nothing back.  I release my heart to love You fully holding nothing back.

Your blood shed has made me whiter than snow.  Your garment of righteousness covers me and all my ways are before You.  I am awed at the depth and power of Your love for me.

I keep Your precepts, Your testimonies, not because I am fully visible to You, not because I feel I have to but because I love You so completely Lord.

I say it again Lord.  I love You.  Your word is life, and Your word is all I need. Your word is greater than gold, greater than anything the world can offer.

Your loving kindness towards me is better than life!  I have been Beckoned by the King and into Your presence I run!

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When we Need His Joystrength We Chew on His Word

Is your heart delighting in and in awe of the power of God’s words?  Are you allowing His word to unfold in your heart and mind so that your soulish patterns change?

In the second to last meditation in Beckoned by the King, these are questions asked in the study, questions that beg to be answered because if you are anything like me, I think we all want to see our soulish pattern change.  Instead of reacting in the flesh, we will respond with love, instead of fear and doubt plaguing our soul, faith will rise. 

Faith will rise when we meditate and chew on the word of God.  When faith rises, doubt ceases, when faith rises, fear flees.

The Hebrew alphabet letter at the beginning of Psalm 119:161-168 is “Shin”.  “Shin” represents a chewing tooth, or teeth that consume and destroy.

As our bodies grow and mature, change transforms us.  Our mouths, once full of baby teeth, now sport adult teeth, molars that are our chewing teeth.  We have grown from needing only milk for nourishment to longing for the meat…of the word of God and our spirit man has grown in order to accommodate that need.  We have spiritual chewing teeth, spiritual molars to chew on the word of God.

Chewing on the word of God consumes and destroys the enemy of our souls

I wish we could walk through life without sadness, without fear of those we love getting sick.  I wish sometimes, for life to just be smoother and easier, but then I realize my heart would not have the opportunity to stand in awe of His words. (v. 161)

When He breathes His breath of life into me, when He encourages me with His love and strengthens and uphold me with His mighty right hand and when I look back and see how every need I have had has been abundantly supplied, it is then I know His word is greater than gold.  I may have silver and gold but only Jesus can supply that which money cannot purchase.

Money will not infuse me with joystrength to face my day, nor will it bring a settled peace to a racing, worried heart.  He takes my cares and worries and carries them on His shoulder, He takes me by the hands and gently hoists me up upon His shoulders too!  All the day long, He carries me, carries my burden and makes a way for provision.

He speaks peace to my heart and I can chew on His words, drawing nourishment from them as they go down deep inside me to become treasures in my heart.

Suffering and Glory walk together.  One cannot be had without the other.  Suffering has taught you the necessity of mercy.  Mercy given and mercy received.  Mercy is compassion and love in action, bringing to fruition that dream for you that I, for eternity have cherished and treasured in My heart for you.

As a child loses its baby teeth, growing molars and larger teeth to chew with, so you have experienced the losses and pains of growth.  I have watched and waited as you have encountered times of hardship and indecision, and you have always placed in My hands that which your mind has struggled with.  You found rest for your soul as you ceased from your own laboring and simply trusted My word and My faithfulness.  My word has given you much to provoke your mind and change your heart.  Your course of direction has altered as you have chosen to move closer and be aligned with Truth.

For how else can we be one, save for the choices of your heart and soul to die so that I may live in and through you?  How else can we be one, save that you are willing to die that you might live in Me,  triumphant, victorious warrior with a girdle of gold about your breast.  Joined in death, we live exultantly, expectantly.

The qualities of your heart will be interwoven with gold because you have been in the Refiner’s Fire and have the glory of the Lord God upon you.  Always remember, that though you be in the midst of the fire, there you are in the midst of Me, for I Am a consuming fire.  You are in the center of My heart and it is burning with passionate love for you.

In the consummation of the fire, we become one in death and life.

He knows the way I take.  I am an open book to Him and even with all my quirkiness He loves me.  Oh, how He loves us!  He has redeemed us, revived us according to His word and poured out His tender mercies over us.

We are redeemed by His blood and washed by the Living Water of His word.  Right now He is perfecting all those things that concern me and has prepared a way through the wilderness, directing me onto the Highway of Holiness.

He knows the way I take.  He knows my frailty and offers me His joystrength.  I am my Beloved’s and He is mine.

Will you walk this high way of holiness with me?  Will you let Him refine and purify you so we become His unblemished bride?

Giving Him my heart and soul, offering my body as a living sacrifice.



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Random Journal Day

Today I am linking up with Dawn at Random Journal Day.  I just happen to be the featured random journal keeper too!


In all seriousness, I have found myself amazed this morning as I picked up random journals, opened them up to random pages and found this:

This first picture is when I once again became serious about learning to listen for the voice of the Holy Spirit.  Each of these journal pages has a Scripture and I remember thinking, ‘if the Word of God is alive and active, continually speaking to me, then I will wait and write what the Word of God speaks to my heart. Nothing from my head will go on these pages, nothing I may have conjured up myself.’  I look at them today and marvel at how the Lord encouraged me even then.  He says, in case you cannot see it, ‘Your eyes are open, your ears can hear.’ This was long before I knew I had an issue with my hearing!  Years ago I threw out journals written in beautiful calligraphy, because in a time of finding my way through the maze of life I got discouraged and chucked them, dismissing the very idea that the words could have come from the heart of God.








My second photo is the first journal I randomly opened this morning ~ and yes, much to my shock it opened up to this same date three years ago. This would have been one month before we learned that my husband would be diagnosed with prostate cancer, one month before the suicide death of our son.  God was preparing me for what would become the biggest fight of our lives thus far.  As of this date He has won! image

Please read Sought Out.        also written at this time. Here you will hear His heart expressed, how He feels about you and I.  His words carried me, continue to carry me and I pray they resonate deep within your hearts as well.  I had been sitting on the loveseat thinking about going to the pool, not being very serious about my quiet time as the water seemed to call my name.  Little did I know, I was about to be immersed in the Living Water that would have a lasting impact upon my heart.

My third photo is once again from a time in February, two years ago.  I was thinking about when God wants to birth something new in our lives, often it is birthed as a result of us holding onto His Promise, guarding our hearts so nothing can steal the promise.image  That morning He showed me how all that is required of us is to believe.  Simply believe.

The Word doesn’t say, ‘hang on with all your might and believe, believe as hard as you can as much as you can.’  It simply says, ‘Believe‘.  Believe the Holy Spirit has come upon me.  Believe the power of the Holy Spirit is hovering over me.  Believe the Holy Spirit is protecting the presence of the seed of the spirit within me.

I ended that day with these words ‘ In my shame, Father, its hard to draw close to You.  Father would You unlock me from the prison of shame?  I know You have things, plans all prepared for me, for Bruce and me to walk in.  I need to walk free from the tangled grip of my flesh nature.  I don’t want to be disqualified because of my choices.  I know You want me to take my position.  In my weakness, I receive Your strength.  The seed of Your spirit has come into me and I am Your own.  Chosen. Beloved.

Lord, I receive the fullness of Christ, fully formed grace ~ enough ~ sufficient for my every need.

I believe You are at work in me.  You have moved in and You are moving about in my heart.  Even though all I can see and feel right now are my weaknesses and shortcomings, Your are perfecting all those things that concern me

I believe Your grace and strength are shaping me, perfecting me, forming the fullness of Christ within.

I believe Lord Jesus, I yield and receive You.

I am listening for Your heart.  Word of God speak.


with you in His palm






Sought Out

Have you been paying attention to how amazing God is in the clarity of His answers to our general questions?

The other morning I asked Him what He wanted me to do that day ~ my usual plan has been to attend Aqua fit classes three mornings a week ~ admittedly I was feeling very much as if I hadn’t been spending quality time with Him or my duties in my sphere of influence.  However, I still wanted to go to the pool…

I was enjoying my quiet time on the loveseat with coffee, notebook and my Bible, rearranging paper, asking Him the Question, when my Bible slid off the arm of the loveseat and plopped, open into my lap.  Now I am not a point and read kind of girl but here is the underlined verse my eyes landed on:

And you shall be called Sought Out.”  Isaiah 62:12

My heart! My heart just melted within me as I realized He, the Mighty God, Lord of All Creation is seeking after me, and He wants time spent with me.

To perfume and prepare me for service.”

His words come as He seeks and finds me listening, “Be still,  hush, quiet, slow down.  Know Me as your God, as your Salvation and Redeemer.  Be still My child. Be still.

I know your desires and I know My plans and purposes for you.  Be still ~ allow the alignment of your will, desires and dreams to click in place with the plans of the Spirit I have for you.

Be still.  Can you see how close you are?  Be still, you will hear the click of the alignment.

Be still for I seek after you, I desire you in My Presence.  I have sought you out and marked you as My Beloved, I have sought you out as one who loves Me and longs to be of service to Me.

Do you have any idea Child, how much it pleases Me, pleases My heart when My childrens’ deepest longings and desires are to be of service to Me? That is why I have called you Sought Out.  Will you yield and will you surrender?  Will you say, “Here I am? Send me!”

You can only go if I have prepared you. That is why I say, “Be still.” I search your heart.  I love getting to know you, watch as you walk in the ways I have taught you.  I take great delight as you present yourself to Me.  Truly, your presence is a precious gift to Me.

Come, for I have called you Sought Out.  I have already found you, and now I am calling you out.  Now I am putting my finger upon your life and saying, “Jeannie, Gracious Gift, I have called you Sought Out.  I know where you are, but I long to hear your heart and thus I seek you out.”

 “I don’t want to worship from a distance, Lord; I want to come into Your holy place where holiness dwells.  Cleanse my heart by the Blood of Jesus.  I ask You to forgive my sin that I might enter, whiter than snow and yet dripping red ~ You have harboured me Lord, kept me in a safe place in the midst of the storms of life.

You seek me out.  I have no gift to bring my King save for a heart that longs for You.  I seek You out, Lord; I seek to know the essence of You.  What constitutes Your beautiful fragrance, what constitutes your heart?  I want to know.

I am undone, for how shall I ever touch Your holiness ~ how shall I ever gaze upon Your fiery brilliance… Father, thank You.  You understand that I keep wondering, “What about me?  What about me, what is my purpose?  It seems to be the question of my life.  What about me, Lord, what is Your plan and purpose for me?

And in part, Your answer is, “I have called you Sought Out.”  My purpose is found right next to Your heart.

Romans 9:18 tells me You have had mercy for me.  I receive Your mercy O God that You have laid up for me.  I receive Your mercy.

You reveal my heart in verse 20 ~ “Will you say to Him who formed you “Why have you made me like this?”

The Potter has power over me ~ He has chosen to make me a vessel for honour.

Romans 9:23 is telling me that You want to make known to me, ~ a vessel of mercy ~ the riches of Your glory ~ You long ago prepared me to be a vessel who carries Your glory for Your honour and glory.

His words whisper to my heart again, “ I have called you Sought Out, Sought One, My Beloved, I have made you for Myself”

2 Timothy 2:21 ” Therefore, Jeannie, because you have repented and  drip red with the Blood of Jesus, you will be a vessel for honour, sanctified, set apart (because I have called you Sought Out) and you are useful to Me, your Master, prepared for every good work.”

You are prepared because you have allowed yourself to be the Sought One.

You have allowed stillness to be active in your life so that you would see My hand and My power at work on your behalf.  Powerful.

As My servant, you will pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace with those who call on Me with a pure heart.  You will not be alone; you will be with those I have called you to serve with.  As My servant, you will be gentle to all; you will teach.  You will be patient, walking with humility and with gentleness correcting those in opposition.

When I call you “Sought One” it means I want to be in your presence Child. Our relationship is ongoing, it is built upon the bricks of truth and revelation is the mortar.”

 Bending low before Him,


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