God where are you?!

We’ve all wondered where God is sometimes. It seems like he isn’t anywhere. We know he is there but he feels so far away. The past several months I’ve felt dead inside. I knew God was there but I couldn’t feel him. I felt so lost, so broken and so afraid. I’ve been going through a spiritual battle. Literally there is a spiritual battle in my home. I have felt the presence of evil in my own home.

The other night my husband was gone and it was just me and my dog, Bandit. We were in the kitchen. I had just washed dishes and was getting ready to put some more things away. All of a sudden I got a horrible feeling and my dog took off running and ran and his on the couch. I went to him to see what was wrong and he was shaking. I sat with him for a moment and the feeling came back but this time it was stronger and I could literally feel a horrible evil in my home. My dog saw something and watched something walk across the living and the something stopped directly in front of us. I immediately got down on my knees and started praying. I asked God for protection of our home. I asked that if there was anything in our home that was not of God, that it be removed and be made known it was not welcome in Jesus name. I prayed and I honestly do not even know what else I prayed. Words flowed from my mouth and peace overcame me and my dog. As I knelt at the couch and prayed he laid down beside me and closed his eyes. After I was done praying a verse came to my mind. Matthew 19:26 “…With God all things are possible.”

 

I wrote it my fridge calendar and underlined ALL. I stood in my kitchen listening to a song and I lifted my hands, sang, praised and worshiped God. I felt his presence and was overwhelmed with joy all I could do was cry. I had peace in my heart for the fist time in a long time.

Believe it or not but it happened. I’ve been pressed down and felt like I was in chains of sadness and doubt. My heart was broken and I felt trampled. Things may not be perfect but they are getting better and I am thankful! The song Find You On My Knees by Kari Jobe came to mind.

 

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Find You On My Knees – Kari Jobe

Troubles chasing me again, breaking down my best defense, I’m looking. God I’m looking for you.

Weary just won’t let me rest, fear is filling up my head, I’m longing. God I’m longing for you. But I will

Find you in this place I’m in, find you when I’m at my end. Find you when there’s nothing left of me to offer you except for brokenness. You lift me up, you never leave me thirsty.When I am weak, when I am lost and searching. I’ll find you on my knees.

So what if sorrow shakes my faith? What if heartache still remains? I’ll trust you. My God I’ll trust you. ‘Cause you are faithful. And I will find you in the place I’m in. Find you when there’s nothing left of me to offer you except for brokenness. You lift me up, you never leave me thirsty. When I am weak when I am lost and searching. Find you on my knees.

When my hope is gone, when the fear is strong, when the pain is real and it’s hard to feel. When my faith is shaken and my heart is broken and my joy is stolen God I know that you lift me up you never leave me searching.

Find you in this place I’m in, find you when I’m at my end. Find you when there’s nothing left of me to offer you except for brokenness. You lift me up, you never leave me thirsty.When I am weak, when I am lost and searching. I’ll find you on my knees. 

This song speaks to me. So what, IF sorrow shakes my faith? So WHAT, IF heartache still remains? I’ll TRUST YOU. MY GOD, I’LL TRUST YOU. I will trust God! He never leaves me thirsty or searching. Other things in life do but not God. He is my healer, my savior, my love, my life, my joy, my hope and my salvation! So even when everything is falling apart God is allowing that so he can pick up the pieces and put them back together better than my attempt. He makes the pieces fit even when think they cannot.

 

 

When My Heart is Overwhelemed

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Psalm 61:2 “…When my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I.”

I love when you’re going through something and a verse pops into your head. I’m beyond my breaking point in a certain situation. My husband and Mom have been reassuring me that everything will work out but I cannot see how.

I was thinking about how overwhelmed I’ve been and Psalm 61:2 popped into my head. I was sitting at my desk and started to cry. It was just like a breath of fresh air. I felt like God was reminding me to give my burdens to him because he can handle them. I know that no matter the outcome whether the situation is resolved or not, God will help me through it. If the situation isn’t changed he will give me the strength to get through each and every day.

I have to believe that change is ahead for me and that a new door of opportunity will be opened and the doors that need to be closed will be closed.

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Job 36:15 “He delivereth the poor in his affliction, and openeth their ears in oppression.”

While I’m waiting for God to move I need to keep my ears and heart open to listen to what God has to say. Sometimes we busy ourselves so much we don’t take time to listen to what God is saying. We miss Him reaching out to us because we are so caught up in our lives.

Maybe all this time I’ve missed the little reminders that God is with me and that he is working on it because I’ve been too caught up in my situation.

Psalm 62:5 “My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from him.”

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Sometimes God doesn’t change our situations because he’s trying to change our hearts. That sometimes is the hardest words to swallow. They are bitter and hard to chew.

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I think I’m going to have another serving of humble pie! If you think of me pray for me that God will move and change my situation or change my heart about it.

Wishing you many blessings!

Love from above,

Iva Mae

Let it Go!

Proverbs 15:13 A merry heart maketh a cheerful countenance: but by sorrow of the heart the spirit is broken.

 

Have you ever felt just broken? You may have even felt like there is no hope. I have been there. I have had a heaviness on my heart before that weighed me down like an anchor cast off of a freight liner in the ocean. I have felt like I was sinking and drowning and no one could help me.

Even once I got saved I have felt that way. I think it is safe to say that we all have felt that way at some point in our lives. It seems like nothing anyone says or does makes that feeling go away.

Psalms 119:28 My soul melteth for heaviness; strengthen thou me according unto thy word.

Sometimes we let people & what they do, circumstances and situations control us. We let those things control our happiness and our lives. Jesus can bear all of weights and burdens and pains. He broke the chains and sometimes we still let those chains keep us down. We are like animals who when caged won’t come out of the cage once it is opened so they can be freed. We are fearful. We are forgetful and we want to carry our burdens we don’t want to give them away.

Isaiah 9:4 For thou hast broken the yoke of his burden, and the staff of his shoulder, the rod of his oppressor, as in the day of Midian.

I am trying to give some things to God and it’s hard. I don’t know why I think I need them or that I can handle them better but sometimes I just can’t let go. I am going to work on it. If you are struggling with it, I encourage you to ask God to help you let go and give it to him. Know I will be praying for anyone who reads this. So Let it go!

P.S. Although I’ve not had the pleasure of seeing Frozen I realized my title is a song from the movie. I asked my husband for the movie for my birthday in a few weeks. I CANNOT wait to watch it!!!!!

God,

I ask you to please help those of us who have a hard time letting go of things that are holding us down. I ask you to give us peace. We struggle with giving things to you even though we know you can handle them better than we can. I ask you to guide us and direct us. For those who have heartaches and are broken I ask that you would please pick up the pieces and give them comfort. help those who feel like they are drowning in their problems. I love you and I thank you for all you’ve done and all you will do. I know in your hands I’m safest.

Amen

 

Fearfully & Wonderfully Made

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A few days ago I caught glimpse of myself in a large mirror. I almost shrieked with horror! I was not prepared for what I saw. I have always been self conscious. I tend to judge myself harshly. I tried to look at myself with God’s eyes instead. He sees me as his child. No matter what I look like, he loves me. He created me to be exactly as I am. Every part of myself is what he designed.

I started reading The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren. The first day really got to me. So far every day has really gotten to me. It has made me mad, sad and hopeful all at the same time. If you haven’t read it you need to! It is a 40 day thing. There isn’t much to read each day.

Day 2’s “Point to Ponder” was I AM NOT AN ACCIDENT. The entire section for Day 2 was filled with how God made us and let us have the parents we have, the bodies we have, our brains , our pasts, circumstances and everything else about ourselves and our lives because he wanted us that way. We have a specific purpose that can only be fulfilled by us the way we are.

That really hit home to me. I never thought that everything about me was made the exact way God wanted it to be. I’ve always compared myself to models and other women and it left me feeling less than I should. It was refreshing looking at things that way instead of my normal view of myself. Have you ever felt you were less important or that you weren’t as good as others? This is a lie!!! God made each of us special. We are all custom designed. We are not cookie-cutter people!! Something I always thought was a bad thing is actually an amazingly wonderful thing.

Psalm 139:14 “… For I am fearfully and wonderfully made…”

When I was a little girl, I remember catching part of a movie on T.V. It was an older movie, maybe made in the 50’s or 60’s. Everyone was to be transformed in this machine to a certain look. “Normal” people weren’t acceptable. There were 3 or 4 models you could chose from. There was a homely looking girl who refused to be made into this image. She was determined to stay true to the way she looked because it made her who she was. The scientist argued with her and even said but don’t you want to be beautiful like everyone else?

I never knew if she was forced to be changed or not but she didn’t want to be anyone but who she was made to be. I honestly forgot about that until now! 

I no longer want to be look or be like anyone else. We are our best, when we are ourselves.

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On that note I am sick and tired of being sick and tired! I am not treating myself very well. Last year I ate only things that would help my body perform the best that it could. I have almost completely fallen off of the healthy eating and lifestyle wagon. In fact I’m starting to lose the tracks from the wagon wheels! I am starting today going to treat myself better and eat what is best for me and exercise so I can have a healthy body to God’s purpose. I am also going to try to get enough sleep. I always have a problem with that.

I am telling anyone who reads this (maybe only my mother) so I can be accountable. I am going to strive to become spiritually and physically fit! Every once in a while I may post recipes or other things but for the most part this blog will be centered around bible verses and what I get from them to help me in my life and hopefully in your lives as well.

God Bless you all!

 

Beauty From Ashes

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How can something beautiful and wonderful come from something so ugly, dark, sticks to everything, leaves behind so much dust, goes where the wind blows and what seems nothing? How can you get beauty from ashes?

 

Sometimes things seem so terrible. Our lives can get burnt to the ground in an instant. We suffer death, sickness, pain, divorces, losing a job and many other discouraging things in our lifetimes. Sometimes the pain is bad we feel there is nothing left. Our lives become ugly & dark. The pain covers every other aspect of our lives and clouds our view. It goes with us wherever we go. We try to wipe it away and forget it. Like ashes, sometimes no matter how hard you try to get rid of the pain, some still remains.

 

We have a wood stove to heat our house. All my life I’ve seen my Dad put wood in the stove. I would watch it burn, feel the warmth and sometimes watch it go out. Once it would go out, my dad would clean out the ashes. The remains of what used to be wood, burned by fire. Most of the time, Dad would spill the ashes all over the bricks and the mat in front of the stove. I would try to clean up the ashes with a broom and dust pan. No matter how much I swept some would always remain there. I would even use a Swiffer. Even several swiffer’s and the vacuum could never get up all the ashes. If he opened the door to go outside before I got the ashes cleaned up, the ashes would go everywhere from the wind that would blow in the door. It would be a mess!!!

 

When my Dad took the ashes outside, he poured them on our garden. The ashes helped to make the soil rich and be full of nutrients.

 

Our lives are like this. Sometimes the most terrible things happen to us. Our lives may seem like they are burning to the ground. We don’t understand the pain, suffering or ugliness of life. Life isn’t fair, but we have a God who can take the ugliness, pain and suffering and make is beautiful!

 

My husband has been having terrible headaches for years now. They have recently gotten worse. I know God can heal him but I also know if God chooses not to heal him, he will get the glory in it and it will be beautiful.

 

When I had cancer, life seemed so bleak at first. After the initial shock, I decided that I was going to let God heal me and if he didn’t use me to help others. It turned out he allowed me to go through it so I could grow, become stronger and help others. I got my healing in more ways than one. I’ve never been so thankful for my legs or for the ability to walk. I love to walk!! I love to be active. God gave me a blessing by allowing the tumor in my leg to be benign and allowing me to keep my leg.

 

You may be going through something difficult and it seems like there is no end. Just remember to hold on. God is going to use this hardship to help you grow. We all need more nutrients sometimes so we can become richer and the seeds we plant of Christianity will grow and flourish.

 

I got today’s post after my cousin Emily told me to read Isaiah 61:1-3

 

Isaiah 61:1-3 “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn; To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified.

http://youtu.be/M-GPbYcTDbQ   

Beauty From Pain by SuperChick Click on the link above

 

Fruit of Hate?! What a sour bite!

This past week I’ve been struggling with hatred in my heart against someone. I’ve tried to get rid of it but it really hard. This person isn’t a good person or even a decent person. The world would say I have reason and would justify my hatred. Jesus says love your neighbor as yourself. It is hard sometimes to have love for people who have hurt you and people you love. Sometime people are out of your life and then come back like a bad penny. This is what made my hate resurface.

 

It is easier to hate than love. That doesn’t make it right though. The person is someone who lives in sin and influences others to go down their path of self destruction. It’s hard to have compassion for people who act in such ways. As a Christian I can’t feel that their behavior is acceptable. Hate the sin not the sinner. I ended up praying that God would make a way for this person to not be involved in our lives anymore. I prayed that no harm would be done to this person. I just don’t want their influence or power over others around my family.

 

My devotion this morning about the fruit of the spirit (Galatians 5:22-25) gently reminded me that I need to cut my fruit of hatred off of my tree. It was making my branches weighed down. Sometimes you have to prune your branches so you can grow and get rid of all the dead things that weigh you down. It is not comfortable but it is necessary in order to grow. You will know a tree by its fruit. What does your fruit say about your tree? Do you need to get out the trimmers or maybe the chain saw (that’s what I need) to get rid of your dead limbs and bad fruit? I challenge you to examine yourself and get rid of the bad and work on producing more of the good. I am working on it! We all need a good pruning sometimes!

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The fruit of the spirit are love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness and temperance. What are these qualities that we are supposed to have?

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Love – unselfish loyal and benevolent concern for the good of another

Joy– : a feeling of great happiness; a source or cause of great happiness ; something or someone that gives joy to someone; a state of happiness or felicity; bliss ; a source or cause of delight

Peace – a state of tranquility or quiet: as; freedom from disquieting or oppressive thoughts or emotions; harmony in personal relations

 Longsuffering – suffering for a long time without complaining; very patient during difficult times; patiently enduring lasting offense or hardship

 Gentleness – the quality or state of being gentle; especially mildness of manners or disposition

                         Gentle – having or showing a kind and quiet nature: not harsh or violent; not hard or forceful; not strong or harsh in effect or quality; free from harshness, sternness, or violence

Goodness – the quality or state of being good

                        Good – virtuous, right, commendable, kind, benevolent

Faith – : strong belief or trust in someone or something; belief in the existence of God; strong religious feelings or beliefs; firm belief in something for which there is no proof; complete trust

Meekness – having or showing a quiet and gentle nature; not wanting to fight or argue with other people; submissive

Temperance – the practice of always controlling your actions, thoughts, or feelings so that you do not eat or drink too much, become too angry, etc.

 

 What fruit is on your tree? Which fruit of the spirit do you need to work on?

 

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Praising God…Even When You Don’t Feel Like It

This week I have not felt like praising God. I have been so tired and mentally exhausted. My plans for this past Monday were to go home, eat dinner and go to bed. I knew we had revival at our church but I didn’t want to go, I wanted to sleep. I needed rest.

 

My husband really wanted to go to revival, so I went. I thought, I’m not going to get anything out of this. I am way too tired to comprehend anything. We sang a few songs and had prayer. During prayer, I literally fell asleep. I really began to think it was a bad idea for me to come to church. Our pastor called the singers up and it was a group my Grandma Wagoner used to sing with, The New Jerusalem. I thought oh great, I am already tired now I’m going to be upset. I love to hear them sing, but it is hard for me when they sing because I don’t see my grandma at the piano anymore. I closed my eyes and decided that even though I didn’t feel like it, I was going to praise God. He has been too good to me and is so worthy of our praise. I got a huge blessing. By the third song I was ready to shout! The message was wonderful as well. I was glad that I went to revival.

 

I am glad I decided to go to church and praise God even when I didn’t feel like it. I can be a doofus sometimes. Instead of thinking about and praising God, I think and do what I want. The last sentence had a lot wrong with it. I think. I want. We should think about and do what God wants. He designed us to praise him and give him glory. He is truly worthy of praise. He is an awesome, mighty, powerful and wonderful God!

 

Hebrews  13:8 “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.”

 

He never changes! He is the same all the time. He is constant and good. We are blessed to have a Heavenly Father who is constant and never changing in an ever changing world.

 

Sacrifice– surrender of something for the sake of something else; something given up or lost; an act of offering to a deity something precious

 

Praise – to express a favorable judgment of; to glorify

 

Towdah is a Hebrew word meaning praising God when it isn’t easy or when you don’t want to.

 

Hebrews 13:15 & 16 “By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name. But to do good and to communicate forget not: for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.”

 

Jeremiah 33:11 “The voice of joy, and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom, and the voice of the bride, the voice of them that shall say, Praise the Lord of hosts: for the Lord is good; for his mercy endureth for ever: and of them that shall bring the sacrifice of praise into the house of the Lord…”

 

Psalms 54:6 “I will freely sacrifice unto thee: I will praise thy name, O Lord; for it is good.”

We should praise God when we feel like it and when we don’t feel like it. It says in God’s word that God is well pleased with such sacrifices. Sacrifices can be time, money, sleep, work, hobbies and anything else you value precious and dear. I gave up my time to worship and praise God and I was blessed.  Next time you don’t feel like praising God think of the word towdah. Think of how much God will bless you for sacrificing to praise him. Think of how much God sacrificed so that you could have life and salvation. He gave his only son to die for our sins. We can sacrifice time or sleep to give him praise.

 

Love from above,

 

Iva Mae