Thursday, November 29, 2012

Scriptures of Righteousness ~ Knock, Knock. Who's There?

God is doing a work in me.

I am learning to rely solely on Him. I am learning to literally run to Him in my time of need - to listen and respond to His tender invitation to come - to sit at His feet while the world races by. I'm thankful for the lessons, painful as they may be, because I know my faith is growing deeper.

Lessons of the heart are not easily forgotten.

But I want you to consider something. Even though my heart's desire is to run to Jesus as naturally as I breathe, I know that my stubborn, self-sufficient self gets in the way. Can I get a witness out there? Why are we so stubborn and proud? Seriously!

I pondered these things in my heart as I took Blue for his afternoon walk. Beneath the long shadows of a chilly November afternoon, the Lord reminded me of something I read a few days ago in A.J. Russell's, God Calling:

"But to those who do not feel their need of Me, who obstinately reject Me, who shut the doors of their hearts so that I may not enter, to these I go in tender, humble longing. Even when I find all closed, all barred, I stand a Beggar, knocking, knocking."

My goodness, how we must grieve the Holy Spirit. It breaks my heart to think of the times I have rejected His tender nudging while He stands waiting for me to turn to Him in my time of need.

Revelations 3:20 reads, "Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me."

Beloved, He is waiting. Knocking. Extending His grace. But if we don't open the door and let Him into our circumstances and struggles, He remains separated. Rejected. Longing to comfort, provide and restore.

This is heavy, isn't it? I'll pray for you if you'll pray for me...

Father God, please forgive us for our stubborn, hard-hearted ways. Soften us Lord. Create in us clean hearts that honor You, that hunger for Your touch. Thank You for Your mercy and grace. You are an amazing God.
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Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Scriptures of Encouragement ~ Jesus Asked Me to Come

"Come to Me, Nan...Come to Me," the sweet Holy Spirit whispered to my heart. Over and over again the message remained the same. Oh, it showed up in different places - scripture, devotions, songs - but the message was the same: "Come to Me". Little did I know that the Lord was preparing me to have new understanding of this familiar phrase.

The phone rang, jarring me out of my concentration. I laid the Christmas ornament down. "Hello?"

"Darlin," David said. "I just found out I won't get paid until NEXT Monday. Not today. I'm sorry."

"Oh. Okay. Oh man...Okay," I fumbled for words. "Sweetheart, don't worry about it. God will make a way. I don't know how, but I know He'll make a way." My spirit spoke faith. My flesh, quietly, went bananas!

"That's exactly what I am feeling in my spirit, too," my sweetheart said, unaware of my growing panic.

I hung up the phone feeling like a little duck on the water. On the surface the duck glides along looking peaceful and calm, almost serene, but underneath HE IS PADDLING LIKE CRAZY!! Yep, underneath I was swimming as hard as I could to get away from the feelings of fear that pressed in on me.

"Come to Me, Nan."

There it was again. The same tender message resounded within my heart.

I stopped what I was doing and knelt by the couch. Closing my eyes, I imagined Jesus sitting on an enormous rock in a gently sloping pasture. I sat at His feet and looked into His eyes. "Lord," I said, "I'm obeying You. I'm coming to You for My provision. I'm coming to You for a peaceful mind. I'm coming to You to steady my heart. Thank You, Lord, for asking me to come."

I poured out my heart, emptying myself of all anxiety and frustration. I sat quietly for awhile, basking in His Presence. My frantic paddling ceased. "Fill me, Lord. Fill me with faith, with confidence and hope, knowing that You are Jehovah-Jireh, the Lord Who Provides. Knowing that You will never leave me nor forsake me. Knowing that Your love never fails. You, Lord, are my peace."

In that moment, my panic subsided. Hope rose within Me. Grace covered me like a cozy blanket, protecting me from the enemy's tormenting glare.

Jesus told the people of Galilee, "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest."

Can you hear the still, small voice of Almighty God beckoning you to come? Please don't delay. He is waiting for you.

Father God, Your tender mercies are new every morning. Your faithfulness reaches to the highest heavens and Your love knows no bounds. Teach us to walk in these Truths. Teach us to live in each moment, knowing that You are in that moment with us. And Lord, open our ears to hear you calling our names, beckoning us to come and sit awhile with You. Thank You Lord. We love You so much.
If you received Morning Glory via email, please visit the Morning Glory page to worship with Kari Jobe as she sings, "Come To Me". This song will carry you to the throne of grace where you just might want to sit awhile and rest.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Scriptures of Thanksgiving ~ Bless the Lord, O My Soul

"Give thanks to the Lord, call on His name; make known among the nations what He has done.

"Sing to Him, sing praise to Him; tell of all His wonderful acts.

"Glory in His holy Name; let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice.

"Look to the Lord and His strength; seek His face always."  
~ Psalm 105:1-3, NIV

Always, always remember this: 

When we find it hard to praise the Lord and thank Him for our circumstances, we can always praise Him and thank Him for who He is. Amen?

Have a wonderfully blessed and joyful Thanksgiving. Sweet blessings to you!


If you received Morning Glory via email, please visit the Morning Glory  page to worship the Lord with Matt Redman as he sings, "10,000 Reasons". This is sure to prepare your heart for a day of thanksgiving and praise.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Scriptures of Encouragement ~ Burton

Burton shuffles into the sanctuary. His body leans on a walker for stability; his eyes look to the cross for strength. A face-mask guards Burton's cancer-ridden body against infection. Jesus guards his heart against fear.

Burton's eyes twinkle, revealing a sincere smile of joy beneath the white gauze of the mask.

Though wracked with pain and debilitated by fatigue, this precious man of God finds his way to our place of worship each Sunday morning. Many times during the service he will cradle his head on the church pew in front of him, resting for just a bit - ears always tuned to the Word of God.

I see Jesus in Burton.
I experience God's peace when I speak to Burton.
I find tangible evidence of God's faithfulness when I consider Burton's refuge in his storm.

Isaiah 60:1 reads, "Arise, shine; For your light has come! And the glory of the Lord is risen upon you."

Read this again. Slowly. Let it sink deep within.

"...for the glory of the Lord is risen upon you."

I believe it is the Glory of the Lord that I recognize in my friend. A.J. Russell speaks of the Glory of the Lord in God Calling*, "The Glory of the Lord is the Beauty of His Character...the Glory of the Lord is also risen upon you when you reflect that Glory in your lives, when in Love, Patience, Service, Purity whatever it may be, you reveal to the world a something of the Father, an assurance that you have been with your Lord and Savior."

Burton knows the One in whom he has believed. He spends time with his Savior. He drinks of the Living Water. Daily. He absorbs the Light of God's Presence. Even in facing imminent death, Burton is alive with the Spirit of God.

And in so doing, the Glory of the Lord is revealed.

Oh, that I would do the same. 

*Russell, A.J., God Calling (New York: Dodd, Mead, & Company, 1945).

Father God, May others see Jesus in me. May the trials of this life reveal Your Presence in me. Be glorified in me, Lord. Mold me into Your image. I pray that You will use me to draw others to Your amazing grace. Praise You Lord. You alone are worthy to  be praised.
I pray that the words of my heart have been a blessing to you. Please share with your family and friends and encourage them to subscribe by clicking the subscribe button at the top, right-hand side of the Morning Glory page. Thank you so very much.
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Thursday, November 15, 2012

Scriptures of Encouragement ~ So Was God...

The magenta sky dissolved into shades of navy, then charcoal, and black. Stars beckoned to the casual observer, winking, perhaps saying, "Child, if only you knew". Their twinkling lights danced like fireflies around the moon.

I remember, as a child, making a wish on the first star of the evening, enthralled by the carpet of stars that popped from one end of the universe to another. You know, those stars were there long before they caught my attention.

So was God.

I remember sitting on the front porch with my first date, pretending to watch the stars, but actually sneaking a peek at his dimples, instead. The stars and the moon provided a canopy over the sweetness of young love.  You know, those stars were there long before I appreciated their beauty.

So was God.

I remember walking down a long strand of sandy beach, hand-in-hand with the man of my dreams, the father of my children.  The magenta sky dissolved into shades of navy, then charcoal, and black. The stars choreographed a light show of praise to the Creator of Love. You know, those stars were there long before I knew what love was all about.

So was God. 

Just imagine this: God surrounded us with His Presence long before our eyes were opened to see Him. He is the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. He changes not. The Lord our God, Maker of heaven and earth, pursues us with His love until we fall to our knees in reckless abandon and join our hearts with His own.

Moses once asked God, "Indeed, when I come to the children of Israel and say to them, 'The God of your fathers has sent me to you,' and they say to me, 'What is His name?' what shall I say to them?'

"And God said to Moses, 'I AM WHO I AM'" (Exodus 3:13, 14).


I believe God would say to His children, "Child, I AM all that You need. I AM constant, unchangeable, unsearchable. I have known you long before you opened your eyes to behold My face. I have watched from afar, ordered your steps, whispered your name and waited for you to say yes to my forgiveness and grace. I AM your God. There is none other besides me. I AM."

I know the day will come when I take my last breath. As I step across the threshold of eternity and run into my Savior's waiting arms, I look forward to seeing the prisms of light shooting from the stars beneath my feet. You know, those stars were there long before I knew resurrection life.

So was God.

If you received Morning Glory via email, please visit the Morning Glory page. I found an AMAZING song by Nichole Nordeman titled, "I AM". I promise this is one song you don't want to miss. It is totally beautiful and inspiring. Thank you, my precious reader, for your faithfulness. Sweet blessings to you! Nan

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Scriptures of Encouragement ~ Winds of Change

The election rocked my world.
Terminal illness of a loved one has us on a roller-coaster of emotions.
Our adult children sift through difficult days.
Uncertainty in the job market creates doubt and fear.
Health issues slow me down, creating frustration.

The winds of change, they are a'blowin'.

Have you ever heard that saying? It's often used in a negative context. That's certainly how I used it for several days last week. Until.

Until God got hold of me. Yep. Daddy God gave me a tongue-lashing when I complained about all the change in my life one too many times. Wanna know what He said? It's really awesome.

He said, "Nan, do you not know that I walk on the wings of the wind? Do you not remember that on the Day of Pentecost I showed up as a mighty, rushing wind?  I AM your sustainer and your defender. I AM your deliverer and provider. I AM. I am in control of all things that pertain to you and to any of My children. Do not fear change - in your life, your home, your family, your country. Do not fear. I am in the wind and I determine the direction it will blow."

Sweet friend, our God is Sovereign. He has all-authority over this earth. As His child, nothing - no thing - comes our way without His knowledge. Take comfort in this Truth today. Rather than fight the winds of change, I'm trying my darndest to embrace them. won't you join me?  The Lord has eternal purposes in all things that concern His children. He promises to work everything for our good when we love Him fully and are called according to His purposes.

The change brought in on the wings of the wind just might be a blessing in disguise. 

"For behold, He who forms mountains, and creates the wind, Who declares to man what his thought is, and makes the morning darkness, Who treads the high places of the earth - the Lord God of hosts is His name"
~ Amos 4:13.

Father, teach us to trust you fully and to be content in all things. That's a hard one Lord, but You promise that Your grace WILL be sufficient. Thank You Lord. Thank You for orchestrating our lives in such beautiful ways. Even when we can't see clearly, we can know that we know that our "Daddy God's got this". Thank You for Your love. We praise Your Holy Name!
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Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Scriptures of Encouragement ~ Sapphire Blue

The glorious leaves of fall were tossed in the air as the brutal winds of an early snowstorm bellowed across the mountain ridges. Trees, once graced with shades of crimson, butternut gold and blazing embers now stood stark against the sapphire sky. Branches reached toward the heavens. Some lay broken from the storm. Others rested against nearby branches, too weakened to stretch toward heaven on their own.

As I stared out the window, numb from the stress-filled moments of the day, I heard a song. I leaned into the window pane. A blue blur rose within the charcoal branches of our apple tree. I leaned in closer. And listened. The song became a chatter. It was a bluejay. was THREE bluejays hopping from branch to bare branch. Pops of blue moved throughout the stripped branches that, only days before, were ablaze with the splendor of fall.

My thoughts turned towards the Lord.

Ezekiel 1:26 reads, "And above the firmament over their heads was the likeness of a throne, in appearance like a sapphire stone; on the likeness of the throne was a likeness with the appearance of a Man high above it." Ezekiel was seeing a vision of God. God's throne had the appearance of a sapphire stone. Blue.

Isaiah 54:11 reads, "O you afflicted one, tossed with tempest, and not comforted. Behold I [the Lord] will lay your foundations with sapphires..." The Lord is speaking through Isaiah about the restoration of Jerusalem. God's covenant of peace is central to the restoration of His people. Our foundation will be sure - built with the beauty and strength of sapphires. Blue.

And finally, Exodus 26:1, "Moreover you shall make the tabernacle with ten curtains of fine woven linen, and blue, purple, and scarlet thread; with artistic designs of cherubim you shall weave them." These curtains billowed at the eastern entrance to the outward court of the Tabernacle. These curtains also hung within the Tabernacle to conceal the magnificent entrance to the inner court - the Holy of Holies. Passing through these curtains took the child of God, symbolically, from the physical realm of the world that consumed them into the Presence of a Holy God that loved and cared for them.

El Elyon, the Most High God, utilized the color blue - sapphire, to be exact - to draw the thoughts of His people towards Him. It is the color of the heavenlies. Our eyes look up to behold a sapphire blue sky and we are reminded of the One True God.

Lost in my thoughts, God interrupted and taught me a beautiful, visual Truth: Even though the apple tree was stripped of its splendor because of the fierce winter storm, evidence of God moved freely among the barren branches. So it is with our lives. The glorious joy of laughter may be gone for a season, but God's Presence is still with me. Always.

"Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid; for the Lord your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you" ~ Deuteronomy 31:6.

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Thursday, November 1, 2012

Scriptures of Encouragement ~ My Soul Finds Rest in God Alone

"I will love You, O Lord, my strength.

"The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer; My God, my strength, in whom I will trust; My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.

"I will call upon the Lord, Who is worthy to be praised; So shall I be saved from my enemies." ~ Psalm 18:1-3

Please. Let's read this again. Out loud this time...

"I will love You, O Lord, my strength.

"The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer; My God, my strength, in whom I will trust; My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.

"I will call upon the Lord, Who is worthy to be praised; So shall I be saved from my enemies."

The power of God's Word is amazing...
Breaking through the thickest chains. 
Flowing through the broken places. 
Rebuilding shattered lives.

God's Word is the embodiment of Who He is.

Find your rest in Him today. He alone is worthy of our praise.

Father God, Awaken our hearts to love You more. Open our eyes to behold Your majesty. You are far beyond our natural comprehension, and yet You reveal Yourself to us. Thank You for Your love. Thank You for Your mercy and grace. You are faithful, Lord. You are worthy of our praise and adoration. Hold our hands and lead us to Your throne of grace where we can sit and rest awhile. Hasten us to Your side, Lord. We love you. Bless Your Holy Name!
If you received Morning Glory via email, please, PLEASE visit the Morning Glory page. I am featuring a worship video by Paul Wilbur singing "A Resting Place". I know you will sense the Lord's Presence as he ministers in song.