"The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the LORD's favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion — to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair." ~ from ISAIAH 61 Bible verse for this Blog

Friday, January 30, 2015

"The HEARTBEAT of GOD" Finale

at least from this
640x360

I'm continuing along with this You Version reading plan which I've now shared days 1-9 from Chris Baxter's delightful blog, days 10-16, days 17-23, and so today's the last of this 30 day reading plan, but I will be continuing with this -only with a different name: {I'm thinking "Focus On God" (F.O.G.)} where I will continue to focus on a name of God as Chris Baxter explained here and as we have been doing here on my blog every Friday and at other times as well. I've been beginning to think that perhaps My One Word for 2015 should have been something with the "heart" of God, since much has been directing me toward this thread, after all, isn't that what GRACE is all about: God's BIG Heart! 

But any way you look at it, praying and focusing on God's Word, God's Heart and God's Name and Attributes certainly leaves us far from a "FOG" {even if that is what the initials leave us with ... I really believe that having a "Focus On God" will steer us clear from being in a "fog" and perhaps finding God's heart in the midst of our "foggy" days, when those other "things" creep into our hearts and minds and daily lives. {at least "F.O.G." is better than "H.O.G." for Fridays} Besides, I have "Focused" here on Fridays on other Godly areas like Faith and Promises, plus since I am "offline" on Fridays, spending my day with God, it only seems right that I decide on a focus ... and listen intently to God's Voice and discover His Heart as I lean in closer to understand and know who He is to me.

This past week with You Version, for me, was days 24-30, so the beat of God's heart for me throughout this week has been with Him as:


"O God, You are ... 

Isaiah 26:3-4

Luke 1:38

Job 38:12

Psalm 16:11

Exodus 17:15

Isaiah 12:2

Proverbs 3:26


... be sure that you note that "EXQUISITE" and "JOY" are separate Ones

"God, You are exquisite!"

and 

"God, You are joy!"

... both go well with one of my choices in the comments last week ...

the One that speaks to me this week

"O God, You are exquisite!"
Job 38:12

Loved this one


"O God, You are Exquisite-exquisite in beauty, exquisite in strength. I see Your glory in the faithful rising of the sun which is as a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, it rejoices as a strong man to run his course. I see Your splendor in the brilliant colors of the rainbow, a timeless wonder of Your radiant presence. I see Your power when You open the storehouses of the snow, causing a peaceful purity to blanket the earth. O how exquisite is Your handiwork, O God! ... " Click over and read the rest with CHRIS BAXTER

{it will really DELIGHT your heart}

although "Banner" also came close, these all seem somewhat connected, 
yet I was thinking; O Lord, I really need Your Banner of Love over me, 
Your Banner of ... You name it, and I need it from You ...
and I love God as my Rock, Eternal (WOW) that's forever


I discovered many others that Chris has done on her blog "Respite for the Weary" that were not part of these 30 days and I really liked, but the You Version gave us quite a good sample. Of course, the Bible has an endless list that can keep us going as we read His Word and discover His Heart and who He is ... daily. 

Please share your PRAYER completion in the comments

O God, You are ...


and get ready to

"FOCUS ON GOD"

each Friday or whenever you happen to pass by here

{probably after my "40 day Lent series"}

can you believe that's it's already getting close to that time?

If you know me, you know I set these up in advance,
because the days preceding
LENT
are a BIG evangelistic outreach 
here
and
hopefully follow-up with more
SOULS for CHRIST
won




Wednesday, January 28, 2015

WALK On WEDS. (WOW)

[image credit: Thomas Kinkade]
 from his "Eternal Springtime" painting
just a snippet of the bench

I have so been enjoying my "walks" in the "gardens of GRACE", whether on SONdays or Weds. (now) that "Everyday Grace" {LIFETIME website} has now become my daily place instead of reading it at You Version (so now I'm in two different places) enjoying a "Lifetime" of Embracing God's Grace wherever I can but earlier this week, I found a special one that I knew I must share with you today as we linger on this bench ... although it was written by Anabel Gillham, it expresses my sentiments as well that come from my heart to yours, each time I think of you, pray for you ... or reflect on God's heart (just listen) 
 
"My Dear One,
I wonder if you might need a word or two of encouragement today. How we long for people to listen, to say, “I’m so sorry that you are hurting,” to give us Godly counsel, to love us, and help us through a difficult time. I would like to try to do that through these simple little notes. Ponder each one as you read it and trust the Holy Spirit to show you if it is Truth. If it is, then grasp it as you would a life preserver in a raging sea . . . (your sea is raging just now, isn’t it?)

Would you believe God with me that the thought for today is given to you by the Lord through me, and set your mind on that one thought? Carry it on a card. Put it where you will be able to refer to it. Study it during your quiet time with cross-references, writing the thoughts that come to you that clarify that one scripture. Cling tenaciously to the word that has come from Him in a very special way this day.


I believe that you will gain strength as you do this. Sometimes, we can be so close to the mountain, so awed by the immensity of the mass in front of us, so incapacitated because of our emotional involvement that it is beyond our ability to gain a proper perspective of where we stand. I would like to intercede for you. I have not “walked” where you are walking, but I have walked down other roads and I know that He is with you just as He is with me. Don’t let the thoughts given to you by Satan drive a wedge between you and the only One who will bring you through this circumstance with the “lovely fragrance of triumph” all about you.


I do so pray that these brief thoughts will be a source of encouragement for you at this stressful time in your earth walk and that you will accept them as coming to you in love.


My love to you,
Anabel and Peggy too "


In the crispness of this white, crystal-like, snow-covered scene, I hear the clear echo of His Voice, reminding me just how close God is to our hearts, to our kindred spirits, to soften the harsh tones that surround us, to warm the brittleness of the cold ice, melting our hearts once more by His aMazing love and Grace! He covers us from the chill and asks us to draw ever so near to Him 


[credit image: Magic Puzzles app]
{this is from an actual puzzle I completed and saved the scene}

and 
listen to the Eternal One

... Psalm 34:18 ...
"The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. " (NIV)

Here is how
"The Voice"
shares
Psalm 34:15-18

"For the Eternal watches over the righteous, and His ears are attuned to their prayers. He is always listening.
But He will punish evildoers, and nothing they do will last. They will soon be forgotten.
When the upright need help and cry to the Eternal, He hears their cries and rescues them from all of their troubles.
When someone is hurting or brokenhearted, the Eternal moves in close and revives them in their pain."

It doesn't matter what is crushing or burdening our hearts and our spirit, the Master's touch is ever so ready with healing and comfort, strength and rest.




Let His GRACE wash over you

Grace to you and peace,

Peggy




Monday, January 26, 2015

MAX On MONDAY~2

- Part 2 -




I shared Part 1 of 3 last week
and
I'll be sharing Part 3 the next time
I do
"MAX ON MONDAY"
{my new Mon. feature with Max Lucado}


Max Lucado is my known, trustworthy "go-to" author {what I'd call 'expert'} on the topic of
GRACE
along with Charles Swindoll
(who I also was familiar with
and now Rene Schlaepfer



Christianity Today did an interview with Pastor Max Lucado
"Max Lucado Goes Overboard on Grace"
with alot of good questions and his answers



Comments Closed

Sunday, January 25, 2015

SOS ~ GRACE IMMERSION ~ DAY 10

DAY 10
Buy The Grace Immersion book at Amazon.com
GRACE IMMERSION


Grace in Acts and Galatians

GRACE IMMERSION

Are you so foolish? After beginning with the Spirit, 
are you now trying to attain your goal by human effort?
Galatians 3:3

These are all the DAYS and TITLES for WEEK 2 of GRACE IMMERSION which stretches out on this blog through January and February


You will have to click over and read the actual devotion and full Bible Reading at Grace Immersion (sorry) but here are the questions at the end for our discussion in the comments:

Day 10: What Kind of Commitment?

"Which definition of “commitment” is dominant in your life?

Why is it so easy for Christians to slip from the second definition of “commitment”(yielding) back to the first (trying hard)?"

From the devotional by Rene Schlaeger

"... In English, “commitment” has two definitions that are almost opposites. “Commitment” can mean trying harder ... or it can mean the exact opposite....

Here’s an example of the second kind of commitment: When my wife committed herself to the care of the doctor before her surgery (gall bladder surgery if you must know, and she’s fine, thank God!), her commitment meant that she surrendered control to the surgeon. She yielded. She trusted the doctor entirely. She certainly wasn’t on the operating room table saying, “I’m trying real hard to give him my gall bladder! Ooomph!” No — she wasn’t even awake! ..."


Truthfully, I think I bounce back and forth as regards my commitment. In my spiritual life, I'd like to think that this was not the truth ... and in relationships (including my one with God) I most definitely would like to cling to the "yielded"  as my m.o. however, admitting that I am performance oriented, I must confess that I have tendencies to "try harder" and hopefully do better. 

Merriam Webster shares 3 definitions for "commitment" (and an extra one of another nature that I personally experienced and try to forget, but don't think I ever will. It has etched its mark indelibly on my mind and life). 2 of the 3 definitions have to do with a promise: 1) to do and 2) to be and the 3rd is an attitude. I prefer to remain committed to Jesus Christ in all I am and do.

As Christians, we tend to also package Christianity in "rules" and self (human) effort; trying harder to do more ... as if we earn our heavenly inheritance. We become easily distracted back into living our lives on our own or trying to be so devout, we forget that we are saved by Grace alone, not by our efforts ... not even by our works, not even by "might or power" but by His Spirit. 

We quickly learn to talk the talk, speak the religious jargon and try to fill our "backpacks" with lots of accomplishments, much like the world's way of "doing" things. We forget too often that to be a Christian is to be like Christ, to follow the ways of Jesus Christ and do or obey His way, not ours (or ask Him to help us do things, but our way and then bless it, of course)... too often we don't walk the walk or walk the talk even ... and we are not content to be as He: committed in every way to the Father's will (which means His way, His thoughts). We find comfort in our mode of old habits and doing as we do, rather than being transformed, changed or renewed by His Spirit in us. We accept the ways of society and culture around us rather than be set apart. Sometimes even the ways of our family, in respect to tradition or that's how we've done it for years, so this is how and what we do. Often it is the same with commitment to our marriages and our families. We bend to satisfy and appease other's standards. We give in, we give up. 

Notice I say "we", meaning you and me (others and me) ... I don't leave myself out of this, but I do hope I am learning. I do hope that as I age, I am maturing and I have out grown just trying to get by through keeping the rules as my way of obedience but I am obeying out of my desire to be closer to God. For this is the true desire of my heart and my focus on Grace in 2015 that I serve God and obey Him out of the kind of love that He has for me and has shown, that I would do likewise in our relationship. 100% committed! May my relationships with others all be aimed the same however may I learn not to strive.


Saturday, January 24, 2015

SOS ~ GARDENS of GRACE 2

[image credit: Thomas Kinkade]
just a snippet of the bench from his "Eternal Springtime" painting

Lingering a while longer in the "gardens of Grace", in fact, I hope to spend many SONdays here on this bench, reflecting on God's Grace, immersed in His aMazing Grace even when I do not "post" about the wonders I discover ... I will be "Soaking On SONdays" (SOS) as usual ... in the GRACE of 2015 ... as I 

..."grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 3:18a)

Growing
"isn't just for new believers"
nor is the aMazing, fascinating core concept
of our Christian faith and doctrine
GRACE
and
a garden
definitely is a place
where alot of "growing" takes place

So
"here I am"
in His Word, on this bench
taking in all I can of the SON and warmth
found in His WORD
hoping to
GROW
but
if I
just plant myself
on this bench
perhaps my "roots" will grow deeper
but if 
I go no further with all I find and learn
 I will not have awakened and allowed
His GRACE
to change me, to move me
to compel me with
His LOVE
to grow beyond
the walls of my gardens of
GRACE
and
muster up some seeds, some fruit, some seedlings
to complete that phrase I started with
..."here I am"...
with
SEND ME
Isaiah 6:8


"Here I am (Majesty)"


I hope to 

"... find joy and peace growing because I'm noticing God's GRACE all around me" and I "expect to gain a greater appreciation of God's gifts to me and others" [#1 of "Grace Immersion" and "Grace Awakening"]

Romans 12:6

Charles Swindoll writes:
*"Believing in grace is one thing. 
Living it is another."
{*this is the rest of the title of his book: "Grace Awakening"}


I think I may be moving my walks in the 
"gardens of Grace
from SONdays (SOS) to Weds. (WOW)
as you saw a glimpse of this in my 1st
"Walk on Weds."


Friday, January 23, 2015

"The HEARTBEAT of GOD" continues ...

and I'm so grateful that it does

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I'm continuing along with this You Version reading plan which I've now shared days 1-9 from Chris Baxter's delightful blog and Day 15 of the 30 days last week. This past week with You Version was days 17-23 so the beat of God's heart for me throughout this week has been with Him as Provider, Great Reconciler, King of Glory, Peace, Portion, Living Water, Alpha and Omega. 


So for today's choice:


"O God, You are ...
??? 
each of these
or
which one do I need to experience
the heartbeat of You for me
this week?

I do know and praise You, God, as my Provider, 
Jehovah Jireh
the Alpha and Omega,
the King of Glory,
the Great Reconciler,
as my Peace, my Living Water,
and
*my Portion.

Yes, Lord, You are all of these
and so much more but
which one of these
do I need to focus on
for what I am facing this week

{I waited all week to see which One would speak to me}



... Scriptures for ...

Provider
Genesis 22:8;Genesis 22:13;
Romans 8:28; Romans 8:32; Psalms 62:5
Great Reconciler
Corinthians 5:19 
Colossians 1:13; Jeremiah 31:3
John 17:22-23; 2 Corinthians 5:14-18
 King of Glory
Psalms 24:7-8
Psalms 24:10; Exodus 33:18-19
Psalms 8:3-5; 2 Chronicles 7:2
Peace
John 14:27
Matthew 11:28-29; Philippians 4:6-7
Psalm 131:2
Portion
Psalm 73:25-26
Psalm 19:10; Isaiah 61:7; Psalm 36:7-9
 Living Water 
Isaiah 55:1-3
Psalm 63:1; Isaiah 41:17-18; John 14:6
John 4:14-15
Alpha and Omega
Revelation 1:8
Daniel 2:20-23; Romans 5:8; Isaiah 55:9


My LIFETIME daily reading plan, from You Version also but for the full year, had a devotion on Day 142 (1-20-15) "The Closet Planet" (John 7:37-38), so I thought I might lean toward "Living Water" ... but I'm still undecided ... so I reread what Chris Baxter wrote to the reader here because I, too, want so much "to deepen my knowledge and understanding of God's heartbeat" and focus by claiming the truth of the Spirit instead of any of the other "stuff" that floods our lives, our minds, our fleshly nature. I even read "What is God saying to you" by Anabel Gillham, the same author of LIFETIME devotions. 
Still nothing ... yet ... at least nothing from these. I have two actually that I might add anyways

* so if I forget to come back and add this before it publishes,
know that I will when I see it incomplete like this
I'LL EDIT and REPOST
or maybe just add mine in the comments too

{yep, mine's in the comments, but here is an image from Sheila Walsh to confirm one plus Holley Gerth's devotional, "What Your Heart Needs for the Hard Days ..." on Day 23 (today) although the 25th goes with *"My Portion"; Holley entitled it "God is Your Piece of Pie" . So yes, God, You are my Portion ... and my Delight! Every heaping Portion from God is my Delight.}




Please share your choice and prayer to

O God, You are ...

in the comments


Wednesday, January 21, 2015

WALK ON WEDS.(WOW)

[credit image: Marina Bromley, *"Meet Me in the Meadow"]


1 Chronicles 16:11

"Through prayer you can gather the riches of heaven
and bring them down to earth...
you can enjoy the fellowship of heaven
and walk in it throughout the day."
from Roy Lessin, "Meet Me in the Meadow"

Today I am enjoying this "Walk on Weds." through this beautiful photo taken by Mariana Bromley, but looks like a familiar scene from my home back in Minnesota, as if she took this photo while walking through our home's surrounding property. I love the words penned by Roy Lessin! However, I'm continuing my "walk" in the "gardens of Grace" with "Grace Immersion" (Week 3: Day 21) and also "Everyday Grace" (which is the website that has made my YouVersion "Lifetime" reading plan for a year available) but you can enjoy reading "Everyday Grace" at the Lifetime/Grace for Life site and grow in Grace ... along with me, just like the foliage in a garden along the paths, we need to grow in our walk, especially our Christian one. May the devotional for today "Please Love Me" speak to you from God and me (as well as the author, Anabel Gillham). I desire to be "changed by {God's} Grace" as day 21's devotion recommended: "spend time today thinking of the world's biggest wonder: (like the Grand Canyon's wonder of the world shared today) God's Grace toward you. Thank Him specifically for some aspect of His Grace."Rene Schlaepfer ...



"I stand in awe of You"


*This is one of four "Winter Wallpapers" made available at "Meet Me in the Meadow" on 1-20-15.




Monday, January 19, 2015

MAX On MONDAY ~1

OK, to all you devout Beth Moore fans, that come here to read, or see whatever I'm sharing from Beth Moore, on my "Moore On Mon." (M.O.M.) feature, I am truly sorry, but temporarily I am switching to Max Lucado for 2015 for my Mon. feature, since he has written so much on My One Word: Grace. {note: I wrote temporarily and emphasize temporarily because in all actuality M.O.M. works better for our dear Beth Moore (female "mom" to many) and that does not quite work for "Max On Monday"} However, I simple love and have loved Max Lucado for years, before I even knew Beth Moore, as an author and teacher! So aMazing Grace ... is so honored to present all I can from this beloved "Grace" teacher, preacher, author, man of God: Max Lucado. I read that the message of Grace is the cornerstone of his 25 year ministry, and I believe it. I don't have all of his books by far but I definitely have many ... 

Today I am posting Part 1 of a 3 part interview with Max and Moira Brown(?) (I think) of the Canadian daily talk show, 100 Huntley Street. {I apologize if that's not correct because I am not 'up' on this stuff enough to know the names, even though I have viewed many shows via You Tube of this wonderful Christian broadcast and I love it!} I considered sharing these on my "S.O.S." posts, but I have enough there for both the "Study On Sunday" and "Soaking On SONday" features, but anywhere you look this year, I will be saturating myself in GRACE!

Starting with "Max On Monday" on:

"Grace - More Than We Deserve, Greater than We Imagine"

Part 1 of 3




..."to discover GRACE is to discover God's utter devotion to you, His stubborn resolve to give you a cleansing, healing, purging love that lifts the wounded back to their feet..." from Grace Happens Here (2012)


{this is not a book review or study}
GRACE
>>More Than We Deserve, Greater than We Imagine

I am sure this is what 2015 is about for me!
I know God's Grace is "more than I deserve" but how do I share
God's Grace with others to understand that it truly is
"greater than we can imagine"
I accept God's Grace gladly and like a child
{actually up until this year, I never questioned it or about it}
but how do I explain "Grace" to someone who does not
know God or experience God's Grace
for me
it really is

aMazing

GRACE

"When asked, "Do you believe in grace?" who could say no?"
"Have you been changed by grace? Shaped by grace? Strengthened by grace? Emboldened by grace?"


P.S. Not sure when I'll return to "Moore On Monday" with Beth Moore because Beth has not been on Life Today and I'm not exactly sure what she's up to ... so pause for now filled in with "Max On Mon."
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This blog is ALL about HIM, for HIM, not about me!
I hope that is what you see
this is why I am



To my faithful visitors;
all of you who spend your valuable time here with me
I do appreciate you so much!

Thank you for taking your time to visit!

Love, Sweet blessings & Hugs!

DIOS TE BENDIGA
GOD BLESS YOU

always

Peggy