How Do We Tend our Garden

The Lord feeds the birds of the air and gives us our daily bread. I am reminded of these truths these summer days whenever I sit out in my backyard and do just that…sit. Sit and watch the birds as they fly from branch to branch devouring their daily meals.  The orioles find the dishes we fill with grape jelly every day, the cardinals the sunflower seeds I scatter and all the while, He reminds me of how He fully satisfies us, knowing our every need.

Our role, if we desire satisfaction, contentment and peace is to seek the Lord and find Him just as the birds seek out their food. We seek, pursue, go after Him with all our heart and He is waiting ready to be found. He knows the way to our hearts!

The Lord desires to reveal His heart to ours so we cleave to Him becoming wholly His and walk ably in the way He has prepared for us.

When we have felt the sting of words or actions, we hurt and the tendency of our flesh is to (want to) lash back or seek retribution in some way. But our Lord? He calls us to walk a higher walk by living the love life and sowing seeds of righteousness.

Our job becomes that of learning how to tend our garden.

It is in the hard and hurtful experiences we learn how to tend our garden by showing love, kindness, mercy, forgiveness and purity of heart. His words of truth telling us who we are, Whose we are will become our daily bread. We can choose to forgive and harbour no grudges so we can face the (perceived) offending party with grace.

When our words and actions are motivated by love we are sowing seeds of righteousness and the Lord promises we will reap according to loving kindness and mercy.

Hosea 10:12 is speaks loudly to my spirit in these days,

Beloved, sow for yourself according to righteousness, uprightness and right standing with Me. Don’t allow circumstances to rob you of the blessing of obedience and reaping according to mercy and loving kindness. Allow that uncultivated ground to be broken up, for it is time to seek Me, to inquire for and of Me and to not look at what you see in the natural.  I want you to walk in My favour. I am with you to teach you of righteousness when it is hard and unnatural for you. I want to rain down upon you My righteous gift of salvation.

When ‘stuff’ happens in our relationships, we need to not be afraid to communicate with one another and take a first step in breaking up the barren and hard ground between us so life grows. This is the garden that we tend.

We ‘tend’ the garden, we don’t just rush in and step all over the little shoots of life with no regard. This is why holding our peace is so important. Its easy to rush in when we are all upset and hurt and just make a mess of what could become a beautiful garden, what is a beautiful garden even in the small beginning stages.

When we ignore the hurt and harden our hearts toward the other person, the ground separating us is dry and barren, rocky soil where nothing good can grow.118

The ground needs watering from the Well of the Word of Life. How we tend our garden will determine the seed that is planted. When we sow according to love we will have love seeds to plant so life flourishes. These seeds become available to us when we have spent time in the presence of Jehovah Shalom.

The seeds aren’t just tossed to the ground like so many wild flower seeds. The seeds are held as the  ground is prayerfully prepared and then planted with love, grace and mercy. Someone has to take the first step in cultivating the ground when misunderstanding has caused an offense to want to lodge in our hearts.

Our hearts are the ‘lodge’ of Christ, the ‘lodge’ of our hearts is where He abides and there is only room for His love.

As we hold fast, holding our peace and waiting upon the Lord, we are holding fast to love and mercy, to righteousness and justice. The peace of God will rule our hearts, will be the umpire of our hearts as we move towards the other with grace, peace, mercy and love.

The Name of the Lord is a Strong Tower and when we, His beloved, run into it we are saved. Saved to become wholly His with nothing lacking and every good and perfect gift within reach.

When we run to the Lord when we been hurt, as much as we try to ‘hold or keep’ our peace, His greater Peace, the very Presence of Jehovah Shalom overshadows us and becomes the essence of our peace. His peace, like a balm soothes our wounded soul and directs our thoughts into the Word of the Lord.

As much as the Father delights in us as we lean into Him, I believe we capture His attention and He is riveted upon us when we are willing to walk out into the deep with Him.

Our steps of obedience show Him we are willing to walk with Him in a place not yet ventured.

Lord, in my weakness, You are my strength. In Your High Tower not only am I safe, but I am made strong. Father, I have concentrated my gaze upon the safety in the High Tower and have not contemplated the being made strong. God, transform me so Your Word runs deep. Deeper than ever before Lord and I ask that You show Yourself strong on my behalf as I make decisions pleasing to You and speak words that are upright, righteous and in right standing with You. Father, how I long for the consequences of my words to bear good fruit because I have planted good seed.

Thank You for unveiling Your word in our Secret, Sacred Place and for letting me see as You do.  Thank You for showing me why I felt hurt and then showing me another picture of where I stand in You, of who I am in You as Daughter of the Most High King. Nothing can remove me from this place. Nothing. No weapon formed against me can prosper if I hold my peace!

Thank You for renewing my weak nature by the strength and power of Your love words as I bind myself to Your words. Teach me discretion and wisdom so that the words of my mouth are like deep waters. Your deep waters, God so that the wisdom of my words is like a gushing stream and fountain of life whose waters sparkle with freshness, purity and the giving of life.134

Teach me daily Lord to walk in the ‘so thats”~ Your plans and purposes!

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When Joy Gets Kicked to the Side

My word to meditate on through the month of July has been Joy.  I looked forward to a happy month, especially after the deep sadness of losing our little Shadow in May. 2014-06-10 23.23.26

But wouldn’t you know it! Joy got kicked to the side the very first week of the month! I was completely broadsided and blindsided. The only way Joy has been able to rise is to wait upon Him.DSC_0144

There are opportunities for every single one of us to be hurt or offended, confused by a person’s words or actions towards us.  We second guess our relationship, and more often than not, it is simple oversight on the behalf of the other party.

But it is also something more…

A friend recently shared these words with me, “we need to ask ourselves what meaning or judgment do we attach to the particular hurt or offense.  What is the story we tell ourselves based on our own issues? When we can identify with that, we can work towards becoming unoffendable.”

Her words become life changers when we realize none of the names we call ourselves is found in the Beloved. We are His Beloved, no longer rejected and cast aside. We are sons and daughters of the King of Glory and when we choose to hide and find ourselves in Him, reminding ourselves of Whose we are, Joy once again takes the front seat.

I am completely accepted and wholly loved and it matters not what may or may not have been said behind my back. We are His completely, one with Him, united with Him because we are reconciled with Him.

The glory of the Lord is our Rear Guard and because our lives are in Him, the pain of (possible) hurtful words and actions first must go through Him. He has given to us the ministry of reconciliation and instead of opting to go with our feelings, how much better it would be if we stood in our calling and worked towards reconciliation. 

United, one with Him = no divisions.

And Him? He has already forgiven the (perceived) offending party and so must we.

So, rather than only the one word “Joy”, I hold in my heart these days, a prayer asking God to create in me a clean heart and to renew a right spirit within me.

I’m asking for a heart that has been cleansed of all pain, offense, hurt, anger, bitterness, rejection and most of all to keep me from striking back or initiating a conversation while I am still hurt and angry.

I long for my spirit to bear no bruises and to only bear the mark of love. Blood stained and washed whiter than snow I am able to hold my peace and allow the Lord to work behind the scenes and in the depths of my heart.

In the waiting He is revealing truth and wise strategies as well as giving me the perseverance to be patient as I wait for the right time to initiate a difficult conversation by planting seeds of love.

Peace is one of the few things the Lord has said we are to “hold or keep”.  Jesus has told us that if we want to save our lives we must lose them and somehow in that mess of emotions He wants us to be still and hold our peace.

The reason is because He wants to fight for us and show Himself strong on our behalf.

When we run into the High Tower, we run to Jehovah Shalom and He envelopes us in Peace, in Himself.

I choose to submit to Him as an act of worship, as an act of my will despite the fact that my flesh wants to go after retribution. I must continue to hold my peace and I am strengthened and encouraged by the promise of God going to bat for me.

Joy doesn’t have to be kicked to the side when a hurtful situation arises if we choose obedience to the Lord.

In His hands are power and might; In His hands it is to make great and to give strength to all and I thank Him and praise Him for His glorious Name and all the attributes which that Name denotes. I am safe in Him, strengthened and upheld by His grace.

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When God Scribes Your Heart with His Word

Here I am sitting at the computer this morning looking at the blank screen before me upon which I have not written words for nearly half a year. Its a little bit scary to be here in this quiet spot.

Quiet, because no words have been recorded for so long and quiet because it is quiet here at home…alone. A rarity it is to have a few hours of alone time before me!

But God…God has been faithful to scribe my heart with His word and I have been learning to hear His Voice in the busy and oh, so different life He has ushered me into.

Faith takes different twists and turns in the King’s River. The River moves and flows and is full of currents and eddies and for those on shore watching, the “River people” are never in the same place. If I were to be doing everything the same here and now as I was when my circumstances were different then I need to question whether or not I am lead by the whisper of the Holy Spirit.

I loved when I blogged and wrote regularly, sharing all the Lord was revealing and teaching me, and yes, I have missed my time here. But…but God has me in His River and I cannot stay in the same place. His words continue to pour into my heart and while I don’t seem to have had the time to write them down, the Lord has given me people who I can share face to face, heart to heart with. No words have been wasted, they have just taken on a different venue as God scribes His word on my heart and then gives opportunity for me to speak them.

He is fully acquainted with every area of our lives and knows the deepest desires of our hearts. There is no good thing He will withhold from us and when we learn to yield, surrender and abandon ourselves to Him, He strengthens us with nothing less than His own mighty strength. Our hearts are prepared for the dwelling of the Son-King and the life of Christ will be evident through our own as we walk and live by faith in the power of God.

We are one with Him. Jesus has filled us with the fullness of Himself and we lack nothing. We have been made full having come to fullness of life in Christ. We are filled with the fullness of the complete Godhead and nothing is missing or lacking in our growth.

Because we have been made full, there are no empty spaces.

Are we living with eyes wide open so we see and know with the eyes of our heart, the immeasurable, unlimited and surpassing greatness of His power IN and FOR us who believe?

The lives we live, day in and day out, yielded to the Spirit of God will express and reflect the fullness of the Godhead through our broken but surrendered vessels.

We are whole and complete in Him and our true lives are found in Him.

Our true life is Him!

Are you learning to lose your life only to find everything you need is (in) Him?

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Resolutions or Revelations for Lasting Change in 2017

When we are in relationship with Jesus Christ, New Year resolutions have nothing on the revelations He can and will share with our hearts.

Often it seems those resolutions we make at the beginning of every year are just made to be broken! We make resolutions in the hope that we can be better, and do better and live a life that is better than the previous year. We want growth in our inward character but growth cannot come through worldly resolutions. Change and growth in our inward character come about because of revelations in the heart.

Matthew 16:19 I will give you the keys of heaven and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.
I Peter 1:13 Gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.

To ‘bind’ is to ‘gird’ up something. When we gird up the loins of our minds, we are binding our minds to the Word of God.

Jesus said ‘whatever we bind and loose’. ‘Whatever’ does not stipulate only something in particular, it is embracing everything. Jesus said binding and loosing is a key to living in the kingdom of heaven. Don’t we all want to live out the righteousness, peace and joy that characterize the kingdom of heaven? Don’t we make resolutions in the hope that we have a greater hope, peace and joy in our daily lives?

What we need for lasting change is relationship with Jesus Christ and ears to hear the revelations He shares with us as we lay His word before our eyes and lay His word down in our hearts.

We use the word ‘whatever’ today in a careless, flippant fashion and I don’t believe that is how Jesus used it here. He is giving us the opportunity to bind the weakness of our own natural traits to the strength and power of that which is supernatural and stronger than we are. Being bound we are able to rest in the power of God and lean upon His greater strength.

We are His workmanship, the unique and delightful work of His hands, birthed from the Incorruptible Seed of the Spirit of God. God has recreated us in Christ Jesus for good works, a good purpose and He has already prepared everything necessary in order for us to walk in these good works.

Our responsibility is to loose ourselves from our own selfish ideas and unformulated thoughts and bind ourselves to the Path which is the Way of the Lord. We bind our thoughts to His Word. We loose unruliness from our hearts and bind ourselves to His heart.

We loose ourselves from lack of vision, bind our sight to His sight, and see the path He has laid out for us to walk. With our natural sight bound to His, the eyes of our heart clearly see the specific good works He has planned for us to walk out and walk in.

We loose ourselves from feelings of failure and unworthiness and bind ourselves to the plans and purposes God has for us. We bind ourselves to the sufficiency of the grace He has for us and give thanks that His power is made perfect in our weakness.

We loose ourselves from the capabilities, pride and ability of flesh and self, bind ourselves to the power of Christ, and make room for His power to rest upon us.

We loose our flesh and mind from laziness and lethargy and bind ourselves to what Jesus has laid hold of for us. We press on and in so we may lay hold of the promises of God. We bind our minds to the process of forgetting those things which are behind. We loose our painful memories and bind them to the truths of God`s Word. The blood has made us clean and we have been completely forgiven.

Because we know we have been set free we can actively pursue the pressing toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Jesus Christ.

Join me as we thank our Father for truth, for enduring truth which never changes or fails.
Thank you Lord, that when we bind ourselves to Your truth we are guaranteed to prosper in what we put our hands to.

We are today, putting our hands to the plow in expression of our obedience to You.
You never cease to lead us in truth and righteousness and are forever faithful to see that goodness and mercy follow us all the days of our lives.

The testimony of our lives crowned with goodness and mercy is surely the lasting legacy we, Your children will leave.

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Never Failing Faithfulness

Here we are nearing the end of another year and my heart is questioning, wondering how the new year will shape up, what goals should I set, have I been a blessing to others in this past year?

This year, 2016 has been rich with the blessing of change, of blessed new friendships and allowing the Lord to “lead the blind in a way they do not know” is nearly over and one theme runs throughout.  That theme is the Lord’s never failing faithfulness to us.

My ‘God time’ or private quiet times have changed in that I am no longer alone all day every day and that is nothing short of a blessing as my husband and I embark on this new journey of retirement.  We are walking together, being active and I am living out my faith instead of being secluded with Him.

Blessed have I been in the several years where I was able to sit with Him, learn to wait upon Him and know His voice and recognise the nudging of the Holy Spirit.  The course of the river changes and it became time to rise up and walk and stand in the faith and love He has given me.

So I have been walking and standing this year as opposed to sitting and waiting and writing.  And its been good even though I have sorely missed the writing while more keenly sensing that directional shift the Lord has been creating.  I am exactly where I am meant to be and just because I am doing something different does not mean I have missed it!

Pressing on and pressing in to Jesus has not been difficult this year; the pressing has just been shaped a little differently. His faithfulness has always been a beacon of light that has encouraged us and inspired us to keep on mining gold nuggets from the Word. We have learned a greater confidence in the Lord as our hearts have chosen to steadfastly trust Him.

One of the biggest lessons learned this past year has been to not look at what I can see in the natural, to not make judgements based on what my natural eyes see.  We are a blessed people when we walk in the way of the Lord.

His heart’s greatest longing is that we would keep His law of love and learn to love one another the way He has loved us.

He wants us to experience the height, depth, breadth and length of His love and we cannot do that if we are making judgements about one another based on what we see.  We can use our hands and arms to reach out to others in love instead of keeping them at arm’s length.

When we reach out we are then exercising the length of His love and in the welcome and embrace we show a portion of the breadth of the love of God.

Yes, God has been faithful, His faithfulness has known no bounds and He has used every situation He can to bring my heart into alignment with His so He can transform me into His very own image.

We, who are righteous with faces unveiled and seeing eyes will continue to behold the Word of God as a mirror.  The mirror of God’s word will reflect back to us the 3D image of ourselves.  He will reveal the truth to us about our spirit, soul and body, synchronizing us and bringing us into alignment with Him. As He reveals Himself in us and to us, we will grow in ever increasing beauty as we reflect His pure and beautiful image.

Knowing He is faithful, may we run to Him so we are able to run the course of our race with Him.  May we clearly hear His voice on the wind and soar with Him to places not yet imagined but oh so necessary for the building up of the saints of God and those to come.

Will you position yourselves and allow Him to prepare you for readiness as a participator in the works of the Kingdom of Heaven?

Will you position yourself next to Him and grasp the greatness of His love for you and His never failing faithfulness and close out this year feeling the comfort of the cushion of His love?

Faith works by love.

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