Thursday, March 29, 2012

Scriptures of Comfort ~ No Longer Bound

"He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds, curing their pains and their sorrows. He determines and counts the number of the stars; He calls them all by their names. Great is our Lord and of great power; His understanding is inexhaustible and boundless. The Lord lifts up the humble and downtrodden." ~ Psalm 147:3-6, The Amplified Study Bible

The young man stood shackled beside the casket. His prison garb bore the black and white stripes that identified him as the misfit. The broken. The worthless.

The old woman in the casket was his grandmother. She, too, had been the misfit. The broken. The worthless.

And then Jesus came in.

Two days before her death she had rededicated her life to Christ. Now she bore the redeeming stripes of her Savior's blood. Restoring. Cleansing. Healing.

Making all things new.

The young man held her cold, lifeless hand. He lifted his face toward heaven - his eyes searching. Questioning. Realizing.

His love for his grandmother transcended death. This woman who had believed in him - regardless - was now in her eternal home. Safe. Secure. Whole.

His shoulders heaved. Tears fell onto her pink crocheted scarf. In that moment he realized the love of God. He realized the meaning of sins forgiven. He realized the hope of glory. Although physically shackled, the young man experienced the grace of God. The shackles binding his broken life no longer had a hold on him. He tasted freedom. Redemption. Favor from God.

From the broken places of his life he lifted his voice in praise.

Father God, Your mercy is amazing. Your faithfulness extends from generation to generation. Thank You Lord. Thank You for healing the broken places of our lives, for bursting through the chains that bind us. We love You so much Lord. You alone are worthy of our praise.
If Morning Glory ministered to you today, would you please consider sharing it with a friend? Perhaps they would like to subscribe to Morning Glory as well. Thank you so much.
If you received Morning Glory via email, please visit the Morning Glory page to awaken your heart to love the Lord as Mandisa sings, "Broken Hallelujah". Bless you!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Scriptures of Comfort ~ Into His Very Ears

"In my distress, when seemingly closed in, I called upon the Lord and cried to my God; He heard my voice out of His temple (heavenly dwelling place) and my cry came before Him, into His very ears." ~ Psalm 18:6, The Amplified Study Bible

Struggles abound. Stress is seeking to devour so many of my friends. Let's just say there's a whole lot of shakin' going on and the Body of Christ is not exempt.

Or are we?

What happens when a child of God is being stormed by the enemies of hell?

"Then the earth quaked and rocked, the foundations also of the mountains trembled; They moved and were shaken because He was indignant and angry...He bowed the heavens also and came down; And thick darkness was under His feet and He rode upon a storm and flew swiftly; yes, He sped on with the wings of the wind." (verses 7,9,10)

Think about this. This is God's response to the cry of His child. Oh. My. Goodness.

"The Lord also thundered from the heavens, and the Most High uttered His voice, amid hailstorms and coals of fire...And He sent out His arrows and scattered them; and He flashed forth lightnings and put them to rout. Then the beds of the sea appeared and the foundations of the world were laid bare at Your rebuke, O Lord, at the blast of the breath of Your nostrils." (verses 12,14,15)

"He reached from on high, He took me; He drew me out of many waters. He delivered me from my strong enemy and from those who hated and abhorred me, for they were too strong for me." (verses 16,17)

God heard the cry of his child (David)and responded on his behalf in a glorious, powerful way. Can you imagine the terror and confusion God created in David's enemies? Now, that's what I'm talking about. Let's read further.

"They (David's enemies) confronted and came upon me in the day of my calamity, but the Lord was my stay and support. He brought me forth also into a large place; He was delivering me because He was pleased with me and delighted in me...For You cause my lamp to be lighted and to shine; the Lord illumines my darkness." (verses 18,19,28)

David's enemies were Saul and Saul's armies. My enemies are anxiety, fibromyalgia, job loss...What are yours?

Here's the good news:
"Greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world." (1 John 4:4)
"If God is for us, who can be against us?" (Romans 8:31)
"The Lord is with me; I will not fear. What can man do to me?" (Psalm 118:6)

"For who is God except the Lord? Or who is the Rock save our God, the God who girds me with strength and makes my way perfect? He makes my feet like hinds' feet, able to stand firmly or make progress on the dangerous heights of testing and trouble; He sets me securely upon my high places." (verses 31-33)

That is worth repeating: "He makes my feet like hinds' feet, able to stand firmly or make progress on the dangerous heights of testing and trouble; He sets me securely upon my high places."

Blessed be the Name of the Lord!

Could you help me? If this message ministered to you, would you please consider forwarding it on to a friend and encourage them to subscribe to Morning Glory? That would bless me more than you can imagine. Thank you.
If you received Morning Glory via email, please visit the Morning Glory page for a moment of worship with Kari Jobe as she sings, "You Are For Me".

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Scriptures of Encouragement ~ Joyful, Giddy Buckets

"Therefore with joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation." ~ Isaiah 12:3, NKJV

My mind does strange things sometimes, but sometimes the strange things are actually beautiful. This is one of those beautiful times.

As I read Isaiah's words this morning, my imagination transported me to an era long ago where horse and buggies cluttered the dirt streets through the small mountain villages and the women were covered from head-to-toe with layers of petticoats, corsets, and bustles.

I warned you my mind is strange sometimes.

Perhaps it was because we live in a 112 year old farmhouse.
Perhaps it was because my home is a disastrous mess right now and I lack the energy to clean or
Perhaps it was because I felt like anything but a proper, successful, strong woman of the 21st century.

Whatever the reason, I had a God-moment.

I pictured a pioneer woman. Her long cotton skirt rustled in the breeze as the impending storm clouds stirred the air. She wiped her brow, dirty and glistening with beads of sweat wrung from her toil on the land God had given her.

If I can just rest a minute and quench this thirst,
she thought.

The handle on the pump was hot from the noon-day sun. It squeaked as she raised it up and then pushed down. Up. Down. Up. Down.

The thirsty woman knew what she wanted - needed.
She knew that to quench her thirst required effort.
She also knew she had to persist with the pumping until the water began to avail itself from the well below.

Just when her thirst was too much to bear and her arm grew weary and impatient, the water began to gush. She laughed with delight. Cool water trickled down her parched throat bringing refreshment. She splashed the liquid joy over her sweaty brow and drank in its gift of renewal.

What if she decided to stop pumping before the water sprang from its deep chamber?
What if she decided that she would always be thirsty and just give up on drawing the water to her need?

I was that woman at the well. Parched from stress and worry, I needed a drink of Living Water. The Lord showed me that I had to go to the source of the water - Jesus - the well of my salvation. I had to desire the Water enough to make an effort, a choice, a persistent determination that nothing else would satisfy.

Or I could just remain thirsty.
And miserable.

I chose to pump the water.

I sang songs of praise. I thanked God for Who He is and for the many blessings in my life. I emptied myself of self so there was room for His river of life - the source of my well of salvation.

Buckets of water sprang forth. Joyful, giddy buckets overflowed and filled my broken places with Jesus.

If this message ministered to you, would you please consider forwarding it to a friend who needs to be encouraged? Thank you so much.
If you received Morning Glory via email, please visit the Morning Glory page to worship with Avalon as they sing, "Come and Fill My Heart".

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Scriptures of Guidance ~ Step by Step

"The Lord will guide you continually, and satisfy your soul in drought, and strengthen your bones; You shall be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail." ~ Isaiah 58:11, NKJV

The Lord is teaching me something that is changing my life.

He has shown me His Presence. He has opened my ears to hear His sweet whispers of love. My God has made me aware of the follies of worrying about tomorrow. And now He is helping me understand about His guidance.

Isn't this the leading question in most of our minds: "Lord,what do you want me to do? Where do you want me to go? Please show me Your will."

Did I hit a nerve? I KNOW! We make everything so complicated, but God says, "Come and sit with me awhile. Lean on Me and not your own understanding."

Here's the thing: As I totally grasp the thought that the Lord is holding me by the hand (Psalm 139:10) and begin to walk in that reality, then I must take the quantum leap and understand that He is directing my steps. He is the Leader; I am the follower. We know that He shows us one step at a time, right? Rarely do we see the entire path that lies ahead.

But here is the dilemma.
I like to be in control.
I like to show the Lord my desired path and pull him along like my kids did when they were little and wanted to show me a "treasure".

It doesn't work that way.

God's orchestration of my life is beautiful.

When I am seeking Him, loving Him, honoring Him with my life - then His hand is upon me. I am giving Him His rightful place as Lord in my life. My focus is on Him, not me. My focus is on Him, not my confusion. His hand steers me each step because I am holding His hand. When I am in this intimate relationship with Him, doing my best to obey Him each moment of each day, then I can trust that He will steer me down the path He has chosen for me.

If I am close enough to hold His hand, then I am close enough to hear Him whisper.
If I am close enough to hear Him whisper, then I am close enough to know and trust the next step.

It actually takes the pressure off of me. I don't need to figure out everything. I only need to hold onto my Daddy's hand. He'll take care of the rest.

Father God, It is such a comfort to realize that You really do walk with us, and talk with us, and lead us by the hand just like Your Word teaches. Thank You for opening my eyes to see this beautiful image of walking hand in hand with You. And thank You for opening my heart to understand how much You love and care for me. I ask that You speak this same truth to my friends. Seal it in their hearts by the power of Your Holy Spirit. Let them know Your Presence in their lives. Thank You Lord. You alone are worthy of our praise.

If this message ministered to you, I would like to ask that you forward it to a friend who needs an encouraging word. Perhaps they would like to subscribe to Morning Glory as well. Thank You for your love and support.
If you received Morning Glory via email, please visit the Morning Glory page. I am featuring a song by Mark Lowry and Amber Balltzglier called, "I've Never Been Out Of His Care". You will soar to the heights of the heavens as you listen to their ministry in song. While you're there, leave a comment. It thrills me to hear from you.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Scriptures of Encouragement ~ One Day At A Time

"Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don't get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes." ~ Matthew 6:34, The Message

I swished the warm, sudsy water over the dishes. My hands actively followed routine, but my mind? My mind was a million miles away.

Six hours earlier our dog, Solomon, had been run over by a farm truck. I can still hear his screams. It was awful. Solomon survived with a broken back leg and some major road rash, but for the next two days our little man lay in the living room whimpering with intermittent yelps of excruciating pain.

Thank God He's alive.
Thank God we had enough money in the bank to cover the cost of his vet bills.

But what about tomorrow? What about groceries, gas, the electric bill?

I rinsed the plate and then it happened.

If you can imagine the sound of B-O-I-N-G resonating in the air or possibly written into the sound effects of a cartoon, then I would like for you to think of what that would look like because BOING! is exactly what happened.

Out of nowhere, I felt four little paws pounce on my back at the same time. The claws dug into my shirt, clinging desperately for stability.

I yelled.
The kitten let out a loud MEOOOWWWHHHH!

(Okay. Stop laughing already.)

One of our kittens - the little pouncer's name is Jolene - lept from the table to my back and landed on all fours! ON. MY. BACK! It was totally unexpected. Yes, it hurt a little, but mostly it cracked me up. I laughed and laughed because it was such a ridiculous surprise.

Kind of like Solomon's vet bills.
A totally ridiculous surprise.
Only I wasn't laughing.

"Nan," the Lord whispered to my heart, "did you have enough for today?"

"Yes, Lord."

"Then let Me worry about tomorrow. I knew of your need long before it happened. I will not fail you. Only rejoice in My Presence during life's unexpected twists and turns."

Isn't that powerful?

So let me ask you. Do you have enough for today? Then praise Him. The Lord promises to give us what we need for each day. We tend to look down the road and thus give worry and doubt a stronghold. But the One who holds you by the hand also holds your tomorrows.

And remember to laugh when the little pouncers catch you by surprise.

Sweet Jesus, we do love you Lord. We know in our mind that You delight in taking care of Your children, but help us get that knowledge down deep in our knower. Help us to take one day at a time, knowing that Your grace, Your provision, Your love and comfort is sufficient for that day. Thank You Lord. Thank You from the bottom of my heart.
If you received Morning Glory via email, please visit the Morning Glory page to get your little heart singing with Lynda Randle as she sings, "One Day At A Time, Sweet Jesus". I know you're gonna smile.
If this message speaks to you, would you please forward it to a friend and ask them to subscribe? Or share it on Facebook or Twitter? That would help me so much. Thanks.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Scriptures of Trust ~ Three Golden Strands

"Wait on the Lord; Be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart; Wait, I say, on the Lord!" ~ Psalm 27:14, NKJV

Our dog, Solomon, was hit by a farm truck Saturday morning. He survived, but is requiring around-the-clock care. To say we are overwhelmed is an understatement. I did not write a Morning Glory today because of this, but, this morning I read something in Jesus Calling by Sarah Young that I wanted to share with you. I hope to have a new post up on Thursday.

"Waiting, trusting, and hoping are intricately connected, like golden strands interwoven to form a strong chain. Trusting is the central strand, because it is the response from My children that I desire the most. Waiting and hoping embellish the central strand and strengthen the chain that connects you to Me. Waiting for Me to work, with your eyes on Me, is evidence that you really do trust Me. If you mouth the words 'I trust You' while anxiously trying to make things go your way, your words ring hollow...Because you are Mine, you don't just pass time in your waiting. You can wait expectantly, in hopeful trust. Keep your 'antennae' out to pick up even the faintest glimmer of My Presence."

Isn't that beautiful? Three golden strands: waiting, trusting, and hoping with trusting being in the center. Love it.

Be blessed my sweet readers. May I pray for you?

Father God, I lift up my friends to You and ask that You cause this sweet message of Yours to resonate within them. Let it stir faith within and endurance without. You are an awesome God. Nothing is too hard for you. We praise You Lord and desire to glorify Your name in all things. Thank You for Your love and tender mercies. Thank You for Your peace.

If you received Morning Glory via email, please visit the Morning Glory page to worship with Selah as they sing "I Bless Your Name". Thank you. Sweet blessings...

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Scriptures of Peace ~ Clinging

"For You have been my help, and in the shadow of Your wings will I rejoice. My whole being follows hard after You and clings closely to You; Your right hand upholds me." ~ Psalm 63:7,8, Amplified Study Bible

The sand swirled about her feet as the hungry tide rushed in to devour the shore. Her knees buckled a little. The power of the wave tugged at her. The earth beneath her small frame began sinking as the rocky granules raced into the sea.

Balance was difficult.
Unseen forces pulled at her.
The surf demanded that she stay her ground or topple headlong into its briny belly.

In the midst of the girl's uncertainty, a hand touched her shoulder. A strong hand. A gentle hand. She recognized the calloused palm of her father, his tender voice calling her name.

"I'm here. Take my hand and I'll lead you out of the shifting sand," he said.

The young girl grasped her father's hand. She leaned into him taking his strength upon herself, clinging closely to free her body from the power of the consuming tide.

Together the girl and her father walked to safety. With her father close by her side, the girl was no longer afraid.

Is the sand beneath your feet shifting, plunging you headlong into an uncertain future? Reach out. Stretch those fingers until they interlock with the One Who holds your future securely in His love. He will never fail You. He will never leave You. Cling closely to Him as He leads You step by step all through your life. You need only to take hold of His nail-scarred hand.

I would love for you to leave a comment and share your thoughts. Click on the word "comments" and follow the prompts. You can sign in as "anonymous" if you like and leave your name in the comment box so I'll know you've stopped by. That would tickle this little writer's heart :)
If you received Morning Glory via email, please visit the Morning Glory page to worship with Gary Valenciano as he sings, "Lead Me Lord". I would LOVE for you to forward this email to some of your friends and encourage them to subscribe too. That would help me so much. Thank you for your love and support. Sweet blessings to you!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Scriptures of Faithfulness ~ When God Enters In

"All of us! Nothing between us and God, our faces shining with the brightness of His face. And so we are transfigured much like the Messiah, our lives gradually becoming brighter and more beautiful as God enters our lives and we become like Him."
~ 2 Corinthians 3:18, The Message

I read something this morning that rocked my world:

"The nearer you get to Me, the more will you see the unlikeness to Me. So be comforted My children. Your very deep sense of failure is a sure sign that you are growing nearer to Me. And if you desire to help others to Me, then that prayer-desire is answered.

"Remember too, it is only struggle that hurts. In sloth - spiritual, or mental, or physical - there is no sense of failure or discomfort, but with action, with effort, you are conscious, not of strength but of weakness - at least, at first. That again is a sign of Life, of spiritual growth." (God Calling, A.J. Russell)

Little did I know that within an hour of reading this, God would choose to seal these words in my spirit.

I felt prompted to check our online banking. We live penny-to-penny due to unemployment so our finances require a careful eye. I logged in. Answered the security question. Punched in the password and nearly fell out of my chair. Our balance presented itself in an angry shade of red. RED! We were overdrawn. Again. In the course of a very stressful week, I had forgotten to account for the automatic withdrawal of our life insurance.


I began to cry. What began as a pity-party quickly evolved into remorseful weeping - remorse for not being a more careful steward of God's money; remorse for crumbling into a state of panic over how we would buy groceries this week, and enormous remorse over not trusting in my God.

I ran to my precious husband. "Honey, why are you crying?" he said.

"We're overdrawn! I hate it, I hate it, I hate it!"

I'm not sure which was angrier - the bright red on our banking statement or my heart. I wasn't angry with God. Goodness knows, this wasn't His fault. I was angry with me because I let it happen and I was angry with me because I felt like I had failed God once more.

David let me cry in his arms and then the Lord reminded me of the message He had spoken through God Calling this morning, " is only struggle that hurts. In sloth (laziness or complacency) there is no sense of failure or discomfort, but with action, with effort, you are conscious not of strength but of weakness..."

I cried some more, but this time my tears cleansed an angry heart and gave birth to thankfulness. David and I prayed and asked God for a miracle to sustain us through the week. As David prayed I remember him saying, "Lord, you knew before this happened that we would have a need today and I know You have already made provision for us. Thank You, Lord."

Within a few minutes, through a phone call, some friends asked us to lunch. Their treat. At the restaurant we exchanged celebratory hugs of friendship and then they handed us an envelope. The back said, "Love, God".

"What is this?" we asked.

"We've had this for two weeks. God blessed us and He asked us to share it with you. This morning He told us today was the day."

Oh. My. Goodness.

Our God is an awesome God.
I want to be just like His Son when I grow up.

Father God, Awaken our hearts to recognize Your transforming work within us. We long to be more like Jesus - to bring the reflection of His love and grace into a hurting world. Give us strength for the journey. We love You, much.
I would love for you to leave a comment. Just click on the word "comments" and follow the prompts. Your thoughts just might be the Word from the Lord that someone needs to hear.
If you received Morning Glory via email, please go to the Morning Glory page to receive the blessing of Sarah Groves singing, "Be Born in Me".

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Scripture of Encouragement ~ Nothing is Too Hard for God

"Ah, Lord God! Behold, You have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and outstretched arm. There is nothing too hard for You." ~ Jeremiah 32:17

Blue, our gigantic teddy bear of a puppy, begged me to go out. "Blue! I am so busy. Please, can't you wait for just one more minute?"

Blue's brow furrowed with overlapping wrinkles. His head dropped as he lifted his eyes to meet mine. Sorrowful brown eyes - did I mention pitiful? - pleaded with me for mercy. "Okay, okay," I said. Frustration dripped from my agreement.

I bundled up, hooked his leash and begrudgingly made my way outdoors. The night air was crisp with winter's chill. A slight breeze tousled my hair. The Spirit of the Lord awakened my senses and drew my eyes upward. The night sky melted into an inky abyss - its rich, eternal depth jarred my frustration. The stars shone with dazzling brilliance - clear, pure lights crafted by the Creator Himself.

My burdens lifted a little.
My attitude shifted a lot.
And my eyes turned from myself to my Lord.

Ah, Lord God! You have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power. There is nothing too difficult for You. God's Word streamed through my mind in a melodic rhythm as I recalled this song from years past. I stood amazed at the power of God. My spirit humbled itself in His Presence.

I believe this is what happened to Jeremiah as he penned this and the following verses from his prison cell. He was distressed and puzzled over God's activity that promised Judah's restoration. It made no sense to him.

But Jeremiah chose to trust.

And in his trusting he proclaimed, "Ah! Oh! Alas! Jehovah God. Your power has created the heavens and the earth. You are the source of all life. Your strength and wisdom is sufficient to defeat our foes. And Your mercy? Your mercy knows no bounds. There is nothing - no thing - that is too hard for You."

Divine splendor met me in my front yard beneath the evening sky. God, my Maker, steadied my heart. He lifted my chin to see Him face to face. With His mighty outstretched arm He dispersed His power, unlocking the chains of my burdens and setting me free.

Dear one, you can trust Him to do the same for you. Nothing is too hard for our God.

Father God, Thank You for Your mercy, Your magnificent love. And thank You for showing us Who You are. We love You, Lord. Help us to grasp the depth of Your love and the might of Your power that under-girds us. Help us, Lord, with our unbelief. We give You praise and lift Your Name on high. Bless You Lord.