Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Scriptures of Refuge ~ The Secret Place

Restless. Anxious..Aware of His Presence.

And oh so thankful for the Secret Place beneath the shadow of His Wings.

God has given me a glimpse of understanding the Secret Place.
 We sing with loud acclaim that
He is our hiding place, our refuge, our strong tower from the enemy. We know it. We speak it. But do we run with abandon to that place of safety - to the Secret Place of His Presence?

My friend Marcie has written a compelling poem that beautifully describes the hiding place beneath His wings reserved for His frightened child. I hope her words bless you as much as they've blessed me.


Be still my soul before the Lord,
In the quiet, in the secret place,
I seek You with my whole heart.

I long to hear Your voice whispering my name
Quietly where no breeze blows.
I sit and wait
To understand Your path, your ways
In the quiet, in the secret place.

In the darkness You find me,
You lift me up from the pit;
You give me strength to walk
and light before my path.

Be still my soul before the Lord,
Do not fear what is ahead.
Should the mountains quake
And the valleys fill with water
In the quiet, in the secret place,
You bring a peace like no other.

Be still my soul before the Lord,
In the quiet, in the secret place
Find the One who calls your name.
Listen to His song of praise
As it fills your heart, your inner being
Know He is God in everything.

~ Marcell Warner Bridges
   June, 2013

Dear One, the Lord is calling us to come. He stands with arms outstretched ready to lift us above the fray, to hide us in the shadow of His Presence - that formidable place near to His heart beneath His wings.

"For You have been a shelter for me, a strong tower from the enemy. I will abide in Your tabernacle forever; I will trust in the shelter of Your wings." ~ Psalm 61:3,4

Father, open our ears to hear Your voice calling us to come. Stir our spirits to respond to Your sweet whispers of love. Thank You for creating a special place - a secret place reserved just for us. You are an amazing God, the author and the finisher of our faith. You are our Redeemer and Lord, a strong tower in the face of the enemy. Thank You for Your love. We praise Your Holy Name.
If you received Morning Glory via email, please visit the Morning Glory  page if you need to be lifted up to the heights of heaven before the throne of grace. I'm featuring a video of David Crowder singing, "All I Can Say" followed by Jason Upton singing "Shadow of Your Wings". The songs are combined on one video. Oh My Goodness...good stuff if you need to spend a few minutes in worship.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Scriptures of Praise ~ Let Praise Fill Your Emptiness

On a crisp day in early spring I spent the morning tending to a grapevine that is at least 75 years old. Our farmhouse was built in 1900, so I believe my estimation is pretty close. The base of this vine is the size of a young tree. It's gnarled and twisted. There are deep cavities at its base where disease has tried to triumph, but to no avail. I can sense determination in the massive breadth of its tendrils coiling and winding, always stretching for a new support to cling to.

As I worked with the grapevine's trailing branches, I thought of its life story. Someone many years ago planted it with great care. I can imagine them tilling the soil, watering the vine, propping it up when its reach was a little farther than the gardener planned. I can see the old gardener pruning the vine's long fingers in late fall, preparing his lush treasure for its winter rest and the thrill of new life come spring. This old grapevine has survived drought, floods, hail, blizzards, and wind strong enough to topple the grandest of trees. Yes, it's a survivor. In my little creative mind I think I know why.

I might shock you. Are you ready?

It's because of praise.

Maybe not praise as we know it, but praise just the same. Praise that resonates deep within, through the winter storms, the bitter cold, the harsh winds. Praise that courses through the vine with a knowing that the time of joyful new life will come just as sure as the gardener will pick its delectable fruit. Praise that is not contingent on how much the sun shines or how often the children laugh beneath its umbrella of leaves. 

In winter, the dormant vine does not collapse from hollowness. It remains strong because of the life-source streaming through it, anticipating the arrival of spring. The grapevine's life-source is its exuberant praise for its Creator through all seasons.

"Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord; let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation. Let us come before Him with thanksgiving and extol Him with music and song. For the Lord is the great God, the great King above all gods...Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the Lord our maker; For He is our God and we are the people of His pasture, the flock under His care." 
~ Psalm 95:1-3,6,7

When we find ourselves overcome with hollowness, we, too, must fill up the empty place with praise. Let it flow unabated, maintaining life during the dormant times. Praise coursing through our veins stirs life within us and anticipates the coming spring.

Father, You are our God. You are worthy of our praise. We recognize Your hand in our lives and thank You for it. Thank You for Your Holy Spirit that dwells within, guiding, comforting, and teaching us of Your goodness. You, Lord are the Great King, the Mighty God. We joyfully give You praise.
Special prayer request: I'm on the finally chapter of my book, The Perils of a Pastor's Wife, which will be published this fall by Lighthouse Publishers of the Carolinas. I'm very excited, but, strangely enough I'm scared too. I want to honor the Lord with my marketing efforts and I want to trust Him with the outcome. Please pray that I will hear His instruction and rest in His Presence. Thanks. I will be looking for influencers and beta readers. If you are a pastor's wife or if you happen to love one **wink** and would be interested in helping me when the time comes, please email me at nan@jubilantlight.com. I'm compiling a list of those who want to have a presale copy to read and are willing to post a review.
If you received Morning Glory via email, please visit the Morning Glory  page. I found a fantastic video of a 103 year old woman still singing praise to her Jesus. You are gonna LOVE it!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Scriptures of Encouragement ~ He Rides the Heavens to Help His Child

"Lord, I'm scared!" I said through the veil of sleep. My body tossed and turned, scrambling the covers into a knotted mess. The Darth Vader-like figure sped towards me on his black stallion. He leaned into the wind and reached down to snatch me. "Jesus." My voice challenged the enemy. "Jesus," I said with greater boldness. The evil entity pulled up on the reins. Dust billowed behind the stallion's hooves as the beast came to a sudden halt. The enemy glared at me - his nostrils flaring with adrenalin from the pursuit. I stared him down. "Jesus." He turned and rode away in defeat. Light enveloped me, glowing brilliantly all around. I looked over my shoulder and...there He was. The Angel of the Lord stood strong and mighty with arms outstretched commanding the evil away.

That was the moment God rescued me.
That was the moment I realized the power in the Name of Jesus.
That was the moment I knew in my knower that God is for me, that He is mighty to save.

Although it was a nightmare, something powerful had just taken place in the heavenlies. I sensed that an actual battle had been fought over me. The Lord, in His wisdom, let me see the reality of the spiritual warfare He engages in daily on our behalf. 

He wants you to see it too.

"There is no one like the God of Jeshurun [Israel] who rides the heavens to help you, and in His excellency on the clouds. The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms; He will thrust out the enemy from before you, and will say, 'Destroy!'" ~ Deuteronomy 33:26, 27.

Oh my goodness! Can I get a shout? What imagery His Word paints for us to help us understand His glory. The Lord wants us to see His power, His faithfulness, His quickness to hear us when we call.

Beloved, we are not alone in our battles. My spirit rises within me when I consider the goodness of the Lord. When I think of His sweet Presence I know I need not be afraid of the future. I know He is with me. I know He is with you.

We need only to call upon His Name.

If you received Morning Glory via email, please visit the Morning Glory  page to listen to a song I just discovered. It's "Holy Spirit" sung by Bryan and Katie Torwalt. I think you'll love it.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Scriptures of Encouragement ~ In The Quiet

Imagine the gently sloping mountainside around Jerusalem, the sandy shore along the Sea of Galilee. Now imagine Jesus sitting with His disciples teaching them. Answering their questions. Explaining Kingdom truths. During the quiet times with His inner circle, Jesus reveals to them the essence of who He is.

He takes them away from the clutter of the day. The multitudes will be back tomorrow, but for now, Jesus wants to pour the knowledge and grace of God into these, His faithful servants.

"...And when they were alone, He explained all things to His disciples." ~ Mark 4:34

Then came the storm, the storm familiar to most of us - the one where Jesus fell asleep in the boat while the storm raged around them.

Notice the storm came after time alone was shared between Jesus and His disciples. Notice also, the storm comes once they've decided to cross over, to move on, to press on towards the work God has for them:

"On the same day, when evening had come, He [Jesus] said to them, 'Let us cross over to the other side...And a great windstorm arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that it was already filling. But He was in the stern, asleep on a pillow. And they awoke Him and said to Him, 'Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?'

"Then He arose and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, 'Peace, be still!' And the wind ceased and there was a great calm." ~ Mark 4:35, 37-39

Now, consider this: Jesus isn't teaching them in the storm. I know, right? He taught them the things of God and increased their faith while they slipped away with Him from the crowds. Not in the storm. In the storm it was enough that He was with them and He had authority over the storm.

The storm was not the teaching moment. Not really. I mean, they had a new understanding of His authority, but it really wasn't about relationship at that moment. Their relationship, their love for the Messiah developed in the quiet moments.

The quiet moments, alone with Him, also determined His Presence in the storm.


Father, Open our ears to hear You calling our names. Awaken our hearts to love You, to desire You above all the clutter of the day. Thank You for Your persistent pursuance of Your children. Forgive us when we choose other things over You. We love You, Lord. You are an amazing God, ruling over all the earth. Thank You for loving us.
Check out the Pinterest button at the bottom of this post. You can now Pin it! How cool is that?
If you received Morning Glory via email, please visit the Morning Glory  page. Geoff Moore shares a bit of his testimony before singing "I Believe". That's really what it boils down to, isn't it? Either we believe God is who He says He is, or we don't. I know you'll be encouraged by the video.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Scriptures of Purpose ~ With Urgency

Sirens blared. The scanner buzzed with activity. All the focus was on a young man who fell from his canoe into the swollen New River that meanders near our home. I counted three ambulances, four first-responders, and a rescue vehicle with boat attached hastening to the scene.

It made me think about those perishing around us.

David has preached about the Church opening our eyes and hearts to those who are drowning in their sin, their despair, and their addictions. He has said that if we stood on a riverbank and saw someone frantically waving their hands as they went under, we would do everything possible to rescue them - just like the emergency teams responded to this young man on Saturday. Why should it be different if we're talking about someone's soul and their eternal destination? Shouldn't we feel the same urgency?

This morning I read the following from A.J. Russell's God Calling:

"Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria and preached Christ to them. And the multitudes with one accord heeded the things spoken by Philip, hearing and seeing the miracles which he did" ~ Acts 8:5, 6.

       "O My child, let Me speak to you, and let My Spirit direct your life. I may lead you in unexpected ways and ask things of you that are startling, but I will never guide you amiss. 
       "Across your path will fall the shadow of My hand, and where ever I direct you, there will you see My power at work, and your ministry will glorify Me. 
       "Do not walk according to your natural reasoning, but obey the promptings of the Spirit, and be obedient to My voice. 
       "I need those who will be completely flexible in this way, because a multitude of souls are searching for Me and would never come into contact with Me in a personal way through the channels of the organized church.
       "You shall go as Philip went - at the direction of the Spirit - into the places that are out of the way and bring light on My Word to those who are in need. 
       "Stay in an attitude of prayer and faith, and I will do all the rest."

Beloved, the Lord is with us. He has given us a job to do - to GO into every man's world and lead him to the Cross. I pray we would listen and obey Him with urgency. The day of salvation is at hand.

"And I have put My words in your mouth; I have covered you with the shadow of My hand, that I may establish the heavens, lay the foundations of the earth and say to Zion, 'You are My people'" ~ Isaiah 51:16.

Do you struggle with what to say? Many of us do. You are not alone in your insecurities - that's why the Lord said He has put His Word in our mouth and covered us with the shadow of His hand. Listen to the words of this song. It's a perfect answer to what needs to be said to those we encounter.

I have such love in my heart for you, my precious reader. Thank you for your love for Jesus. You inspire me to take the love of God into a hurting world. Sweet blessings to you my friend.
If you received Morning Glory via email, please visit the Morning Glory  page to be exceedingly blessed as Geoff Moore sings, "Come As You Are".

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Scriptures of Peace ~ Sticky Webs of Worry

The spider inched its way up the day-lily stalk. He stopped to rest on a slender green leaf, then, as if jumping off, descended about a foot. Dangling by a silky thread he rode the wave of a breeze and swung right, attaching himself to the neighboring stalk.

I rocked on my porch and watched.

Again, the little critter dropped about a foot, then, this time swinging left, grabbed the original stalk. Tediously he wove his web. He created spokes that stretched up towards the blossoms and down towards the earth. Back and forth, up and down he worked. Afterwards, the spider made a silky pad in the middle where he could perch while waiting for dinner.

It didn't take long.

A moth drank deeply of the blossoms. Darting from one flower to the next, she was unaware of the trap woven near by. She flew right into the web. The spider pounced. The moth fought a good fight, but the web ensnared her. Freedom was right before the little lady, but unattainable. Her enemy bound her tight, wrapping and wrapping with the same "invisible" web that stopped her flight.

I thought about an entry I read in Jesus Calling by Sarah Young.

"Stop worrying long enough to hear My voice. I speak softly to you, in the depths of your being. Your mind shuttles back and forth, hither and yon, weaving webs of anxious confusion. As My thoughts rise up within you, they become entangled in those sticky webs of worry. Thus, My voice is muffled, and you hear only 'white noise'." ~ Jesus Calling*

Isn't that a powerful description of worrisome, anxious thoughts? Yes! They are just like a web of entrapment, binding us, blinding us to the abundant life we have in Jesus. Those thoughts don't just pop up, do they? Not the destroying kind. No. The destroying kind weave back and forth and up and down, tediously occupying the heart surrendered to the Lord. Satan sits and waits, letting us entangle ourselves in his web. Then he swoops in for the kill. 

Fear escalates. Exhaustion ensues. Finally, we give up.

All along the Lord calls to His child, "Peace. Be still and know that I am God. Cease your striving." He calls, but we're embattled in the destructive web of worry. We're preoccupied with our spinning and kicking and fighting the fearful thoughts, oblivious to His Presence. Deaf to His voice.

I'm learning to recognize the strategies of Satan--his webs of destruction. I'm learning to recognize my part in the entrapment. The Lord, in His remarkable love, is teaching me this:

"Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus" ~ Philippians 4:6,7

How do we cease our worry? By seeking first the kingdom of God. By falling in love with the One who made us.

*Sarah Young, Jesus Calling (China: Thomas Nelson, 2004), p.200.

Father, Calm our anxious hearts, still our worrisome thoughts. Open our eyes to see how Satan uses our thoughts to entangle us in his web of deception where we cannot hear Your voice. Remind us of who You are - the Mighty God, the Sovereign Lord, El Shaddai - the One who cares for us. Thank You for Your faithfulness. We love You Lord.
If you received Morning Glory via email, please visit the Morning Glory  page. Meredith Andrews will walk with you to the throne of God as she sings "In Your Arms". Bless you sweet friend.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Scriptures of Encouragement ~ Will God Find Me Faithful?

Will God find me faithful?

I've thought a lot about this lately. My goodness, how many times I've wanted to throw in the towel. It's hard to stand on the front lines of battle. It's hard to focus on the Cross when you're lying face down in the trenches. It's hard.

But, what did Jesus endure for our sakes? What if He quit telling the world about the love of the Father just because the road was hard? Would we have heard of His forgiveness and restoration? What if He told God no when He prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane? He could have, you know. Jesus could have said, "No, Father. I don't want to go through the crucifixion. The pain. The suffering." But instead, Jesus prayed, "Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done."

Not my will, but Yours, Lord, be done...

That's a gut-wrenching prayer when prayed with sincerity. Jesus sweated drops of blood when He prayed it. Quite often, Christians pray this because it sounds so holy - especially in church. But when it's prayed with sincerity and humility before the Father, it'll knock you to your knees really fast.

David and I have been praying this in recent weeks. Decisions concerning ministry are hurdling towards us on waves beyond our control. Can we stand strong in the face of adversity? Can we fix our eyes on Jesus and the race set before us? 

Will He find us faithful?

Will He find you faithful?

The Cross is before us. The darker this world becomes, the brighter the Light of Christ will burn within His Church - His people. 

If we remain faithful.

 "Do you see what this means—all these pioneers who blazed the way, all these veterans cheering us on? It means we’d better get on with it. Strip down, start running—and never quit! No extra spiritual fat, no parasitic sins. Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we’re in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed—that exhilarating finish in and with God—he could put up with anything along the way: Cross, shame, whatever. And now he’s there, in the place of honor, right alongside God. When you find yourselves flagging in your faith, go over that story again, item by item, that long litany of hostility he plowed through. That will shoot adrenaline into your souls!" ~ Hebrews 12:1-3, The Message

Father, The cry of my heart is that You will find me faithful in all things you've asked of me. I want to honor You with my life, to glorify You in the tasks You've set before me. Be magnified, Lord. Let me be a Light in this dark and hurting world. Let me be Your voice crying in the wilderness, "Prepare ye the way of the Lord." Let me be a blessing to You. I love You Lord with all of my heart. I praise You with all that I am for You alone are worthy of my praise.
If you received Morning Glory via email, please visit the Morning Glory  page. I'm featuring Steve Green singing, "Find Us Faithful". This song and the accompanying testimony will inspire you to keep fighting the good fight of faith and to not give up. Bless you sweet friend. I'm praying for you.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Scriptures of Spiritual Warfare ~ Whom Shall I Fear?

My heart is very heavy tonight as I write this post. Many precious friends have said to us, "The attack of the enemy is so strong on the two of you. I'm so sorry. I'm praying."

Thank the Lord for loving, Godly friends who stand in the gap when the battle is fierce. I know it's their prayers that led me to this scripture today:

                                     ~ Isaiah 59:19 ~
                                "Then the Lord saw it, 
             And it displeased Him that there was no justice.
                       He saw that there was no man,
                 And wondered that there was no intercessor;
            Therefore His own arm brought salvation for Him;
                          And His own righteousness, 
                                 It sustained Him.
               For He put on righteousness as a breastplate,
                   And a helmet of salvation on His head;
          He put on the garments of vengeance for clothing
                     And was clad with zeal as a cloak.
                            According to their deeds, 
                          Accordingly He will repay,
              Fury to His adversaries,
              to His enemies;
                   The coastlands He will fully repay.
    So shall they fear the name of the Lord from the west,
                And His glory from the rising of the sun;
                        When the enemy 
        comes in like a flood,
 The Spirit of the Lord will lift up 
       a standard against him."

Imagine that! When the enemy of the Lord's people - an adversary, anguish, distress, sorrow, tribulation, trouble - comes in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord will raise a standard - a banner carried at the top of a pole and used to mark a rallying point in battle - against him.

Can you sense the heart of God to protect His child? Can you feel His power, His determination to defeat His child's enemy? It's amazing, isn't it? 

Our God, Jehovah Shammah, is there.
Our God, Jehovah Shalom, brings us peace in the battle.
Our God, El Elyon, is the Most High God and none shall prevail against Him.

Beloved, when the enemy comes in like a flood to defeat you, raise your face to the heavens. Open your ears to hear the Lord's rallying cry for battle. He will lead you. He will surround you with chariots of fire and warring angels.

And He will prevail.


If you received Morning Glory via email, please visit the Morning Glory  page to be strengthened for the journey as Chris Tomlin sings, "Whom Shall I Fear?". I pray it will be a blessing to you.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Scriptures of Encouragement ~ A Serenade of Praise

Sweat trickled down my brow, followed the curvature of my face, and hung like a giant teardrop off the tip of my nose. I wiped it away with a crumpled paper towel. The afternoon was a scorcher. I stopped hoeing to sip on ice cold water. My body was screaming for a reprieve, but the job had to be done. If I didn't take time to stir up the soil and remove unwanted weeds, my garden could not reach its full potential.

I wanted to give up, but I didn't.

As the afternoon wore on my fibro fatigue and pain began to set in. I was almost finished - just two more rows of corn to hoe. "Lord, when I am weak, You promise to be strong. I need Your strength to finish Lord. Please help me."

From behind me, a beautiful melody drifted on the breeze. It came from the direction of the creek. I turned towards the song and searched the sky for my angelic visitor. There on a branch shading the creek perched my warbler. His song carried my thoughts to the Savior. His song made my heart smile, and my body stand a little stronger.

I leaned heavy on my hoe, closed my eyes, and let the heavenly serenade fill my weary spirit. 

The songbird's praise bathed me with the joy and wonder of the Lord. I was reminded that we are never alone when we are a child of the Most High God. He is with us. Always. 

                                  "Let the field be joyful
                                      and all that is in it. 
                            Then all the trees of the woods will
                  rejoice before the Lord."*

Oh my. Isn't that a lovely thought? When I heard the bird's serenade of praise to its Creator, my focus became Jesus. My tired body and weary spirit became secondary. Strength rose within me. Hope surged. 

And peace like a river flowed along the notes of his song, rising and falling on the breeze until it penetrated my heart.

Dear One, in His Presence is fullness of joy.

I pray that we all would open our ears to hear His song.

*Psalm 96:12

Father God, We praise You, for You alone are worthy to be praised. You are mighty! You are full of wonder; Your love knows no bounds. Open our eyes that we might see You in our midst. Open our ears that we might hear Your song. How do we fathom how great You are? Is it possible, Lord? Expand our minds that we might comprehend Your majesty. Awaken our hearts that we might love You more.
If you received Morning Glory via email, please visit the Morning Glory  page to worship with Fernando Ortega as he sings, "Creation Song". Oh my! What an awesome song! Bless you sweet reader.