Saturday, December 24, 2011

Unspeakable Joy to the World!

"But when the time arrived that was set by God the Father, God sent His Son,
born among us of a woman, born under the conditions of the law
so that He might redeem those of us who have been held captive by the law.

"Thus we have been set free to experience our rightful heritage.

"You can tell for sure that you are now fully adopted as His own children because God sent the Spirit of His Son into our lives crying out, 'Papa! Father!'

"Doesn't that privilege of intimate conversation with God make it plain that you are not a slave, but a child?

"And if you are a child, you are also an heir,
with complete access to your inheritance through His Son, Jesus."
~ Galatians 4:4-7, The Message

Joy...unspeakable JOY, to the world! The Lord has come! Let us rejoice and be glad in Him!

Sweet blessings and Merry Christmas to you,

If you received Morning Glory via email, please go to the Morning Glory page to get your joy poppin' on this Christmas morning with a song by Chris Tomlin.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The Son of His Love

"The Father has delivered and drawn us to Himself out of the control and the dominion of darkness and has transferred us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, in whom we have our redemption through His blood, which means the forgiveness of our sins. He is the exact likeness of the unseen God, the visible representation of the invisible; He is the Firstborn of all creation." ~ Colossians 1:13-15, Amplified

Oh dear ones, can we fathom the depth of His love?

A love so great.
A love so real.
A love which encompasses all our need.

The Father saw our need. He desired to dwell among us. But how? A Holy God cannot embrace a creation compromised by sin. A Holy God cannot walk with us and talk with us.

But He yearned to be with His children.
To comfort them.
To heal them.
To restore their broken lives.

A love so great.

A relentless God pursued us with His love through His Son, Jesus. He did not give up on us. He saw our hearts when we had nothing to give in return. And He called us by name. Can you hear Him? Can you hear Him whispering your name?

Close your eyes and see the night love was born.

Father God! Your love amazes me, humbles me. Your love makes me whole. I rejoice in Your love Father. Thank You, thank You. Open our eyes to see Jesus this Christmas. Bless You Lord! We give You praise!
If you received Morning Glory via email, please go to the Morning Glory page. You won't want to miss this glorious music video, "When Love Was Born" by Mark Schultz.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

There's Just Something About That Name!

And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name JESUS, for He will save His people from their sins.
(Mathew 1:21, New King James Version)


There's just something about that sweet name!

One day, very soon, we will be saying that name for all eternity! Are you facing something today that you feel is overwhelming you? Just call on that name! It's the name that can calm the storm, heal the broken, and restore lives. It's that precious name of Jesus. When the angel came to Mary to tell her that she would be the one to conceive that child, wow! To think, you will be carrying the most precious gift-the gift of Jesus! That thrills my heart! So, let me encourage you, during this very hectic time of year, call on that name...the name above any other...Jesus!

Father, we worship you! Let us remember to call out that precious name...the sweetest name on earth. Lord we love You and we praise You.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

God With Us

"Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel." ~ Isaiah 7:14

Fast forward 700 years:

"'And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.' So all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying: 'Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,' which is translated, 'God with us.'" ~ Matthew 1:21-23

When the Lord shows me scriptures that overlap, and undergird, and fulfill one another, it absolutely thrills my soul. The Word of God is so intricate, so rich. I just love it!

Have you ever thought about - I mean really thought about - the name Immanuel? Within its framework is the miracle of our salvation. Within its framework is the definition of God's love. Think about it...Immanuel. God with us.

In the Garden of Eden, the earthly paradise that contained no sin, God literally walked with Adam and Eve. He talked with them, He dwelt with them. That, in itself, is amazing. Remember, mankind was created for fellowship with our Creator. He desired our company. But, when sin entered the picture, a Holy God could no longer dwell with mankind. Imagine His emotions: anger, betrayal, sorrow, loneliness. We don't think of God that way, do we? But according to the Scripture, the Lord our God experiences all of these emotions and more.

And so, for thousands of years, the Lord put a plan in motion that would ensure that His children could once again know Him and dwell with Him.

Immanuel. God with us...Jesus.

Colossians 1:15 reads, "He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation." The Greek word used here for image means "an exact revelation and representation." When we meet Jesus, we are meeting God.

Now, I know this is not a major newsflash, but isn't it wonderful to consider this at a deeper level than just head knowledge? Just imagine, the same God who holds the seas in the hollow of His hands and walks on the wings of the wind is the same God who walked this earth in the form of His Son, reconciling His children to Himself. He is the same God who dwelt with Adam and Eve in the Garden. He is the same God that will once again dwell with us when He comes for His Bride and takes us home.

He is the same God whose birth we celebrate this Christmas.

Immanuel. God with us...Jesus.

What are you facing this Christmas? Job loss? Betrayal? Illness? Depression? Please, let this phenomenal truth sink into your weary spirit: You are not alone. Immanuel came to earth that we might know Him, the One True God. He came that He might dwell with us, love us, comfort us.

May the miracle of His birth encourage you and fill you with hope this Christmas.

Immanuel. God with us...Jesus.

Father, You are an amazing God. Thank You for never giving up on us. Thank You for being tenacious with Your pursuit of us. Forgive us for taking this for granted at times. Please forgive us for making the birth of Your Son into a commercial circus. Bring us back to the simplicity of the manger that cradled Him. Bring us back to the birth of our Savior, Immanuel, Jesus Christ. We love You Lord. We sing glory and give You praise!
For the month of December I will not be posting Morning Glory every Tuesday and Thursday. It will be like a Christmas'll never know when you might get one **grin**. I want to focus on my family and my Savior and take a much needed rest. Be blessed this remarkable season of the year. May you be filled to overflowing with His love.
If you received Morning Glory via email, please go to the Morning Glory page to view a powerful music video of Steve Green singing, Immanuel.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Coming Alongside

"All praise to the God and Father of our Master, Jesus the Messiah! Father of all mercy! God of all healing counsel! He comes alongside us when we go through hard times and before you know it, He brings us alongside someone else who is going through hard times so that we can be there for that person just as God was there for us."
~ 2 Corinthians 1:3,4, The Message

Oh how I love Jesus because He first loved me! This song popped into my mind as I typed the words to the powerful, life-changing verses above. Oh how I love Jesus! Will you give Him praise? Will you come before Him with a thankful heart?

My love for Jesus has carried me through many storms, many trials and heartbreaks. His Presence has comforted me. His wings have sheltered me. And for this I am very thankful.

Thankful. Thanksgiving. That is an interesting term. It carries such noble potential but is trivialized by much commercialization. The name Thanksgiving comes with its own form of pressure: pressure to have the perfect family, pressure to smile when your world is falling apart, pressure to kick it in gear as the holiday bustle begins.

How sad. How commercial. How empty.

Empty, yes, unless we toss the peripheral and turn our eyes on Jesus, the lover of our souls. Church, He has done so much for us. He has come alongside us in our troubles - comforted us, consoled and encouraged us. And for what cause? That we might, in turn, come alongside someone else to comfort and encourage them with the knowledge of God's love.

That amazes me. Elohim, the Creator of the Universe, the Father of ALL comfort has walked beside me in my darkest moments. He has done the same for you. Think about that...He has walked beside me. He has walked beside you. Never alone. Never forsaken. Always loved.

Is it possible for us to center in on this Truth - the realization of Almighty God walking with us and talking with us, being drawn to us like a magnet when we hurt - and finding a place of true thanksgiving and praise? Perhaps we should continue the tradition of Thanksgiving by comforting others with the comfort we have received.

Isaiah 40:1 reads, "'Comfort, yes comfort My people,' says your God." I have come to believe that comforting and encouraging others with the comfort I have received is an expression of highest praise. In my praise of the Father I offer thanks. Thanks for His Presence. Thanks for His comfort. And thanks for His love.

And a very special thanks for coming alongside me during the hard times.

If you have received Morning Glory via email please go to the Morning Glory page to view a goosebump-making video by the Katinas, "Thank You Lord".

Thursday, November 17, 2011

God is Good

"You are my God. Show me what You want me to do, and let Your good and gentle Spirit lead me in the right path." ~ Psalm 143:10, Contemporary English Version

Today's Morning Glory will be just a little bit different, but I think you'll enjoy it. In fact, by the time you get to the end I hope you'll be clapping your hands, maybe stompin' your feet a little, and giving God praise.

Why? Because God is Good. ALL the time.

Now, isn't that an awesome way to start your day? Give Him praise,Church!

Father, we give you praise because You, Lord, are worthy of our praise. We can say of our God, "You are good ALL the time!" And for that we are thankful. We place our trust and our hope in You. Thank You for Your love.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Who Will Love You for You?

"When Jesus looked out over the crowds, His heart broke. So confused and aimless they were, like sheep with no shepherd." ~Matthew 9:36, The Message

Her name was Mary.
Mary lived in a cardboard box beneath the interstate bridge.

I met her at the Hickory soup kitchen. Mary was dirty. Her matted hair hung in strings over her crystal blue eyes that darted back and forth as we talked. Actually, I did all the talking. Mary hung her head in silence.

"Mary," I said. "I think this coat will fit you."

She cocked her head and shifted her gaze towards the jacket. And then she looked back at her feet.

"Here. Let's see how it does. This blue will be so pretty on you."

Slowly, Mary lifted her head and looked at me. I saw emptiness. A blank stare. I saw a woman who desperately needed to be loved - a life which desperately needed restoration.

She allowed me to help her with the jacket. The fit was made in heaven - perfect in a way that only God could make perfect. Mary ran her fingers through her hair. She held her head a little higher.

"Mary, you are so beautiful. May I give you a hug?"

She did not answer with her voice, but with her body Mary leaned into my embrace. I held this woman, broken in many, many pieces. I felt a warm wetness against my cheek - a tear escaping her fortress of shame and loneliness.

"Thank you," she whispered.

"Mary, may I pray with you? God loves you. He weeps over your brokenness. He wants you to know Him, to let Him into your darkness. Please, may I pray with you?"

Mary didn't speak, but she nodded and rubbed a dirty hand against her tear-stained face. She allowed me to pray with her. She wanted to know about this Jesus that holds my life together. She was hungry for the love of God.

When Jesus looked out over the crowds, His heart broke. He was moved with compassion for He knew that the people were like sheep without a shepherd. He spoke to His disciples, "The harvest is great, but the workers are few. So pray to the Lord who is in charge of the harvest; ask Him to send more workers into His fields" (Matthew 9:37, NLT)

Will you answer His call? Will you let His love overflow through you into the lives of others? It's not complicated. Just be available. The Lord will do the rest.

Father, forgive us for sometimes being calloused when it comes to sharing Your love with others. It is usually not because of lack of faith or desire. Lord, many times we just don't feel adequate. Please strengthen us to do Your will, to share with any and all You put in our paths. Pour confidence into us - confidence and understanding that it is not by might, nor by power, but by Your Spirit. We need only to be a vessel from which You pour out Your grace and love and hope. Thank You for teaching us. Thank You for holding our hands as we step out in obedience to Your Word and walk the fields of Your harvest. We love You Lord and we give You praise.
If you have received Morning Glory via email, please go to the Morning Glory page to view an inspiring video by JJ Heller, "What Love Really Means".

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Broken Places

"Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; you are Mine." ~ Isaiah 43:1

A reason to live.
A reason to not give up.

Beloved, many are the struggles of today. Difficulty washes over us like the ebb and flow of a salty tide, always constant, always pulling and pushing us. Many have surrendered to the crushing weight of despair. Many have become numb to the pain.

But the Lord your God says to you, "Fear not, for I have redeemed you, I have called you by your name; you are Mine."

Your brokenness does not go unnoticed by a loving God. He waits to restore you. He yearns to make a way where there seems to be no way. He longs to show Himself mighty on your behalf. But first you must lay the broken pieces of your heart before Him.

His grace is for You.
His love surrounds you.
He IS your God and you must know that nothing is too difficult for Him.


Sweet friend, be encouraged today. You are loved by an awesome God. Run to Him. Place your trust in Him.

When anything that's broken is laid before the Lord, it will not remain unredeemed.

Father, I lift my precious friends to You. I give You their brokenness, their confusion and pain. I ask that You pour out Your grace on them and bring healing. Bring restoration. Restore hope to them. Cause them to laugh as a child free from the cares of the world. We praise You for Your redemption and Your grace. We love You Lord and appreciate You so very much.
If you received Morning Glory via email please visit the Morning Glory page to be blessed by a powerful video by Selah.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Birds On the Wires

"Shout your praises to GOD, everybody! Let loose and sing! Strike up the band! Round up an orchestra to play for GOD, add on a hundred-voice choir. Feature trumpets and big trombones, fill the air with praises to King GOD! Let the sea and its fish give a round of applause, with everything living on earth joining in. Let ocean breakers call out, "Encore!" And mountains harmonize the finale - A tribute to GOD when He comes..." ~ Psalm 98:4-9. The Message

"So you'll go out in joy, you'll be led into a whole and complete life. The mountains and hills will lead the parade, bursting with song. All the trees of the forest will join the procession, exuberant with applause." ~ Isaiah 55:12, The Message

I lay quietly, overcome by exhaustion. My thoughts went to Jesus, but my body just lay there. I wanted to sing praise, offer adoration, but my mind was numb, my spirit weary. I began to think of God's Presence - I pictured His Spirit blanketing me.

And then, the Lord lifted the veil of fatigue from my eyes. I saw the birds on the wire.

Birds on the wire? (I know you're asking that.)

Yes, birds on the wire. About two years ago I came across a youtube video of a flock of blackbirds sitting on a cluster of electrical wires. Someone saw the black images as musical notes and composed a beautiful piece of music. Watching it evokes an immediate jaw-dropping reaction.

Our Father, in His tender, gentle way reminded me that ALL of creation sings His praise! He reminded me that when I can't (or won't) praise Him, the mountains and the hills with burst with song, the trees will clap their hands and the birds of the air will proclaim His glory!

He reminded me that, as His child, I, too, am surrounded by praise...if only I will open my ears to hear the glorious melody of His creation and open my eyes to see His Spirit all about me.

In that knowledge, I find comfort.
In that knowledge, I find rest.

Praise the Lord from Whom all blessings flow!

Praise You Lord God! We love You and join the chorus of all creation as we lift up and glorify Your Name. You alone are worthy of our praise!
If you have received Morning Glory via email, please go to the Morning Glory page to view this jaw-dropping video of the birds giving praise.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

There is Something About That Name

"For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His Name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace." ~ Isaiah 9:6

And His name will be called Jesus.

The pain was more than I could bear. Sorrow upon sorrow piled high upon my heart until it bled from the weight of anguish. In less than seven months my family was gone: my brother committed suicide; my daddy died of leukemia. Mom had passed many years earlier from breast cancer leaving a gaping hole and wounded spirit that had never quite healed.

I believed. YES!(I told myself). I believed in a merciful God. I knew His love...His grace. I knew HIM. But now. Now what do I do with all of this pain? I became numb, too afraid to feel anything for fear that I might unleash an out-of-control torrent of wailing. But all the while I was smothering with grief.

And then I remembered that Name.

"Jesus!" I called. "Jesus!"

I didn't have the strength to pray anything more...just Jesus. And my Jesus heard my cry.

"My child, Is your pain so great that I cannot bear it for you? Does your anguish run so deep that I am not deeper still? I AM the Lord. I see your sorrow and your emptiness. Give it to Me. Run to Me. Let Me carry you through this valley and lift you high upon the mountaintop where I reign. You are not alone in your grief. My heart breaks for you. But you must remember, I will never leave you nor forsake you. You are Mine and I am yours. I love you with an everlasting love. I died that you might live. I will carry you through this pain and lead you to joy once again."

And He did. He embraced me with His love, held me when the pain was too great. He brought me joy and taught me how to laugh again. Jesus made me whole again.

He can do the same for you.

Jesus. There's just something about that name.

Thank You Lord that Your love is sure, Your mercy is great. I pray for my sister or brother who needs the touch of Your healing hand. Mend their broken heart, Lord. Give them Your peace, Your joy, Your assurance. Hold them close and let them know Your Presence. In Your Presence is fullness of joy. In Your Presence we find peace and strength to go on. Thank You Lord. We love You so much.
If you received Morning Glory via email, please go to the Morning Glory page to be blessed beyond measure as the Gaither Vocal Band sings "There's Something About That Name."

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Look Into His Eyes

"And Andrew brought Simon to Jesus. Now when Jesus looked at him, He said, 'You are Simon the son of John. You shall be called Cephas' (which is translated, Peter - A rock)." ~ John 1:42

The year was 1972. I was seventeen years old. Tears ran in gullies down my cheeks as my eyes - those hazel eyes that no longer reflected pain and shame - gazed upon my Savior. I felt His Presence. I KNEW His Presence as His love pierced straight through me. In my spirit my eyes met those of Jesus.

This is what happened to Peter.

His brother Andrew brought him to meet Jesus. Peter stood before the Man from Galilee and the Scripture tells us that Jesus LOOKED at Him.

Looked: emblepo (em-blep'- o) to observe fixedly, absolutely, to discern clearly. (Strong's Concordance)

Can you picture it? Perhaps Jesus had built a small fire on the shore. As He sat there warming Himself, Simon walked hesitantly towards Him. Jesus looked up. His eyes met those of Simon straight on. Jesus' eyes rested on Simon, penetrating him...discerning the heart and knowing what manner of man Simon would be.

Jesus said, "You are Simon, son of John. But you will be called Peter - the rock." Jesus KNEW Peter. Jesus KNOWS you and me.

At our moment of salvation, when we knelt at the feet of Jesus, He looked upon us discerning the heart and knowing what manner of woman or man we would be. The transformation began as we inhaled that first Breath of God. Jesus no longer saw what we were. He beheld the new creation, the child called according to God's purposes.

Dear one, you are free. The chains of your past no longer have a hold on you. The stains of sin have been washed away. The failures, the abuse, the rejections no longer define who you are. Jesus has looked upon you and set a new life in motion.

Won't you meet His gaze today? That chill you feel running up your spine is your spirit responding to the searing love of the Lord your God. Walk in the fullness thereof.

Father, Turn our eyes upon You. Blot out the distractions so that we can see only You. In Your Presence is fullness of joy. In Your Presence all fear must flee, all pain must subside. In Your Presence we are made whole. We love You, Lord. Open our eyes to see You clearly.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

He Carries Us in His Heart

"The beloved of the Lord shall dwell in safety by Him, Who shelters him all the day long; and he shall dwell between His shoulders." ~ Deuteronomy 33:12, NKJV

The beloved of the Lord...imagine that. WE are the beloved of the Lord - His special possession, the apple of His eye.

I love that. Most of the time I don't feel worthy of such extravagant love. Most of the time I don't sit still long enough to even consider this truth, much less walk in it.

But my negligence doesn't change the fact that I am His beloved.
And so are you.

Do you think that when Moses said, "The beloved of the Lord shall dwell between His shoulders," he meant the Lord's heart? Did he mean we dwell within our Father's heart?

I think so. Just like my children dwell within my heart, the Lord Most High carries us in His heart too. That's how much He loves us.

Now that is something to pause and think about.


Thank You Father for Your sweet love. Forgive us for taking it for granted, for not considering it as the awesome, mind-boggling Truth that it is. You, the Creator of the Universe, love us. Amazing. Thank You for carrying us in Your heart. Thank You for thinking of us day and night, for searching the world over looking for the child Who needs You. Thank You Lord. You are wonderful.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Piercing the Shadows of Our Hearts

"I have come as a light to shine in this dark world, so that all who put their trust in Me will no longer remain in the dark." ~ John 12:46, NLT

We crested the golden hill of locust trees and crunched our way through a path of our own making. Moss-covered logs had fallen like dominoes. Scraggly limbs seemed to bend intentionally over our trail so as to hinder our movement. The sun was beginning to settle in its Western cradle, signalling that we would soon need to head for home.

Just beyond the meadow, an abandoned barn stood proudly in a grove of oak trees. It's wood seemed stained from the brutal winter storms of the mountain. Streaks of pearly silver revealed the age of the rough-hewn boards. An opening on the south side beckoned us to come in. We stepped into the shadows. The pungent odor of mildewed hay stung our nostrils. I grabbed my son's hand. I never was comfortable being in a dark place. I needed the comfort of his presence beside me.

We stood quietly for a moment and then, just as sure as the sun was going to set, the Lord revealed a nugget of truth to me. He nudged me to look up. There, through the broken down rafters, a penetrating light streamed through. Wherever there was a crack or a place of brokenness, light from the setting sun permeated the darkness.

"Nan," He whispered within my heart, "I am like the Light piercing the shadows. This dark barn, blackened with shadows, is like the crevices in your heart where you want to hide from Me and shield Me from the ugliness. But can you see that the Light WILL find a way. Just by its very nature, it will sift through the crevices and reveal what is in the dark. I don't reveal these things so as to inflict guilt or condemnation. No, I reveal them so that I might cleanse you of all unrighteousness, so that I might heal your broken places and make you whole. You had to look up to witness the light coming through the rafters. You, too, must look up to realize the Light of My love. Look up, My child, look up and behold your God. I am at work in your life. Yield to me that I might fill you with My love and deliver you from the hidden places with My Light."

I stood in wonder at the greatness of God.

Beth Moore once said, "God desires to permeate every inch of your life and fill up every hollow place with the fullness of His love."

Will you join me in learning to yield to Him in all things, to bring the darkened corners of our hearts into the healing power of His Light?

Father, we give You praise! Thank You for Your everlasting love that permeates like Light into the darkest corners of our hearts. We long to yield to You in every aspect of our lives, making You Lord, lifting You high for all to see. We long to please You in all things, to reflect Your glory to a hurting world. Work in us Lord, Make us more like You.

If you received Morning Glory via email, please go to the Morning Glory page to be inspired by a powerful music video, "I Will Never Be the Same Again" by Hillsong.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Fold Up Your Weariness

"The Lord is my Shepherd; I have all that I need. He lets me rest in green meadows; He leads me beside peaceful streams. He renews my strength. He guides me along right paths, bringing honor to His Name. Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for You are close beside me. Your rod and Your staff protect and comfort me. You prepare a feast for me in the presence of my enemies. You honor me by anointing my head with oil. My cup overflows with blessings. Surely Your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me all the days of my life, and I will live in the house of the Lord forever." ~Psalm 23, NLT

I would love for you to tune out the world right now. Lay aside your burden. Wrap up your fear and hang it on the hearth. Crumble your anger into a wad and toss it out the back door. Fold up your weariness and lay it at your Savior's feet.

At least for a moment.

For just a moment, let's focus on Jesus and Who He is and what He does. Ready?

The Lord is my Shepherd; I have all that I need.

The LORD is my Shepherd; I have all that I need.
The Lord IS my Shepherd; I have all that I need.
The Lord is MY Shepherd; I have all that I need.
The Lord is my SHEPHERD; I have all that I need.

Now. Don'tcha feel better?

Father, Help us rest in this Truth. Cause it to sink deep within our souls, our minds, transforming the heart. You are precious to us, Lord. We love You so much and appreciate all that You do for us, in spite of us. You are faithful Lord. You are merciful. You are our Shepherd and we have all that we need. Thank You, Lord.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Reflections of Glory

"So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord - who is the Spirit - makes us more and more like Him as we are changed into His glorious image." ~ 2 Corinthians 3:18, NLT

We strolled along the boardwalk, silvered by years of nature's tears. The boards creaked beneath our feet. We stepped in rhythm to the ducks' songs of praise and their quacks of laughter. Shadows and sunlight danced a friendly do-si-do, beckoning us to join in the fun.

The boardwalk stretched timelessly over the wetlands, winding alongside a quiet stream feeding Lake Hickory. The surrounding trees were ablaze with crimson, lemon yellow, and bright orange. We rounded a curve and there, out beyond the veil of shadows, the pristine waters reflected the dazzling colors of the trees. The image took our breath away. The reflection in the sunlight was pure, unadulterated, without agenda or self-righteousness. The reflection merely captured the glory of the beauty high above the stream.

Out beyond the veil of shadows...

I think there is a lesson here. Where there were shadows tumbling over the water, there could be no reflection. Only in the sunlight could the glorious color be reflected.

Do we have shadows in our hearts? Unforgiveness? Anger? Insecurity (that would be me), idols such as alcohol, money, food (that would be me), TV, relationships...These "shadows" hide and compromise the Light of Christ in us. Where there is shadow there can be no reflection of God's glory. Where there is shadow, our transformation is hindered. God calls us to be transformed into the image of Christ - to behold and reflect His glory to the world around us.

Oh, beloved, can you see Him? Can you hear Him calling you out of the shadows into His marvelous Light? Praise His Name! Praise the One who calls us to reflect His glory, the One who wants to penetrate the shadows of our hearts and make us whole - make us like Him, resplendent with glorious beauty.

Won't you answer His call today? Won't you accept His love, take His hand and step into the Light? He is waiting dear one...He is waiting for you.

Father, How can we express our love and gratitude to You? We want to reflect Your glory, but sometimes we want to hide in the shadows too. Help us, Lord. Help us to take Your hand and step into the Light - the Light that reveals the hidden places of our heart. Make us whole, Lord. Make us whole for Your glory.
If you received Morning Glory via email, please go to the Morning Glory page to experience an Alison Krauss music video, A Living Prayer. I love you.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

I Will Run to Him

"For You are my hope, O Lord God; You are my trust from my youth." ~ Psalm 71:5, NKJV

You are my hope, Lord...
You are my trust.

Over the past several weeks I have been trying to grasp a tangible understanding of these two statements. We toss them in the air so casually, with great intention, but, I think, with a lack of true insight.

Look at the words the Psalmist is using: YOU are my hope. YOU are my trust. David is assigning the Lord the embodiment of these two terms - he is saying that the Lord God is the place of trust, the place of hope to which he can run. In other words, within the Lord's Presence - His being - we find hope and trust. He is where hope and trust reside.

I have needed a lot of hope lately. I have been clinging to trust until my fingertips are bloodied by the effort. But, perhaps I have been clinging to the concepts of hope and trust instead of clinging to the One who embodies hope and trust.

As I pondered these thoughts, I asked the Lord to enlighten the eyes of my heart so that I might understand. With tenderness, He reminded me of the image of my grandson, Jamison, bolting towards his father and then literally leaping into his daddy's arms. I could picture Jamison squealing with delight when he wanted to share a moment of celebration with his dad. I could also hear him screaming horrifically when the tentacles of fear slithered toward him. Both images captured Jamison's natural reaction to life's events and his immediate, natural response: run with all his might and leap into his daddy's arms - the place of trust, the place of hope for the needs of his heart.

Beautiful, isn't it?

Dear ones, I long to run quickly - without hesitancy, as naturally as I breathe - into the arms of my Heavenly Father. He is the place of hope - of expectation. He is the place of trust - a refuge, security, assurance and confidence. It is in the arms of the Lord my God that I find rest from my struggle. It is in His strong arms of incomprehensible love that I find peace.

Won't you run to Him, too? I'll scoot over and we can rest together.

Father, I love You. Thank You for always waiting for me to run to You with my hurts and struggles. Thank You for rejoicing in my celebrations and for holding me even closer when I weep. You are an awesome God. I love You with all of my heart and I desire to give You praise. Bless You, Lord.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

A Tiny Little Feather

"How precious is Your steadfast love, O God! The children of men take refuge and put their trust under the shadow of Your wings." ~ Psalm 36:7, AMP

"Let me know if you find a feather," I said, almost kidding.
"Oh, for sure I will," she said.

My friend, affectionately known as Tee-Tee, had been in excruciating pain for four months since injuring her shoulder at the day-care where she works. An MRI showed that the damage was significant. The doctors recommended physical therapy, with surgery as the next option.

Tee-Tee is a woman of faith. Her joy springs up from the well deep in her soul and she overflows with the love of God. But sometimes Tee-Tee is like a duck - she glides along gracefully on life's surface so she can tend to the needs of her friends, but beneath the water her little feet are paddling like crazy. That is Tee-Tee...putting everyone else first.

Well, I sensed the anxiety revolving around her shoulder. Physical therapy is known to be grueling and extremely painful. Surgery, of course, is an option no one wants. We chatted back and forth through email the night before her first therapy session where she admitted her fears. I told her I had been praying for her and asked God to hide her beneath the shadow of His wings - you know, that precious place of refuge and comfort, the place where we are safe from the enemy's fiery darts, that place where we know in our knower that we are a child of God.

As the conversation continued, it became a little more lighthearted. As we called it a night I said, "Let me know if you find a feather." Honestly, I was trying to make her laugh.

But, you know what? I am convinced that the Lord God absolutely loves to knock our socks off by showing us His Presence and thrilling us with His goodness.

The following day, Tee-Tee shared that she woke up nervous, but prayed and expressed her trust in God. She walked into physical therapy full of peace and reassurance that God was with her.

Sweet story, right? Well, there is more.

Tee-Tee arrived at work and was asked to go out on the playground to provide breaks for some of the teachers. While lining up the kids to bring them inside, a little boy named David said, "Miss Tee-Tee, I found YOU something." He opened up his little hand and there, cupped securely in his fingers was a tiny feather! Yes! Elohim, the Creator of the Universe, Maker of heaven and earth took time to send my precious friend a feather. Why? Because she needed to know in her knower that He is with her, that she is sheltered in the shadow of His wings and that no matter what the future holds she is secure in His love.

Tee-Tee wrote about this experience, "I have never heard the Lord speak that loud to me ever (except when I got saved) as I did when David handed me that little feather. I knew right then and there, that whether through extended therapy or surgery, it was going to be OK. I was hid under His wings."

I know, grab the tissues, right?

Sweet friend, the same God that loves Tee-Tee enough to send her a feather is the same God that loves you and knows you by name. He is pursuing you with His love. He yearns to show Himself mighty in your life - to restore those things the enemy has stolen, to replace your despair with His joy, exchange your fears with His peace. God, our Father, longs to lavish you with His love. Won't you call out to Him today?

"Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him." ~ 1 Corinthians 2:9

Come away with Him now and enter into His rest beneath the shadow of His wings.

Father, You never cease to amaze me! In the whole scheme of things a tiny feather seems so insignificant, yet You knew that it would change a life. In Your goodness and grace You saw to it that Your precious child could hold something tangible as a symbol of her faith. Thank You Lord. You are all around us. Open our eyes to behold Your glory. We give You honor and praise Lord. You are the Mighty God, the King of kings and Lord of lords. Bless Your Holy Name!
If you received Morning Glory via email, please go to the Morning Glory page to view a music video by Jason Upton, a Christian singer I just discovered. He is a powerful singer who ushers in the Presence of God through his music.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Rest in Me

"Then Jesus said, 'Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.'" ~ Matthew 11:28, NLT

May these words bring you peace and reassurance today...


"O My child, rest in Me.
Yes, quietly settle down in My care, as a bird settles in a nest.
For I am watching over you, and in love I will care for you.

"There is no danger with which I am unable to cope.
There is no enemy too formidable for Me to handle.
I am able to carry out all My purposes,
And to keep you at the same time.

"Be not afraid;
Neither allow terror to strike at your heart.
My power is at your disposal.
My presence stands around you,
And nothing can harm you so long as you are in My care,
And that is forever..."
(Come Away My Beloved, by Frances J. Roberts, p.121)

Father, You are so good. Thank You. Teach us to run to You, to open our eyes and see Your face. Help us to settle in Your care. We love You, Lord. You are our all in all, our Savior, our Stronghold, our Counselor and God. Thank You for Your Presence. We rest in Your love.

If you received Morning Glory via email, please go to the Morning Glory page to view a wonderfully peaceful music video by John Michael Talbot. Sweet blessings to you my friend.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Surrounded by His Presence

"You are my hiding place; You shall preserve me from trouble; You shall surround me with songs of deliverance. SELAH" ~ Psalm 32:7, NKJV

I opened my eyes this morning to the roaring sound of thunder pounding through my head. The pain was excruciating. Was it sinus? Was it tension? Fibromyalgia? I didn't know. Still don't. I just know that I felt dysfunctional with pain.

I cried out to the Lord - silently, mind you. No need to disturb the thunder. I needed His strength and healing to face the day. His whisper came. "Come away my child and I will give you rest." He led me to Psalm 32:7. This is a familiar verse, but today the Lord showed me something new: He will SURROUND me with songs of deliverance.

Songs of deliverance.
Songs of victory and healing.
Songs of praise.

The Lord wanted to surround me with songs of praise - a garrison against the pain. He wanted me to see the visual of being surrounded - encircled - with His Spirit as I placed myself in the midst of praise.

Friend, I would like to take you with me on this journey. Today, my pain has been physical, perhaps your pain is emotional, circumstantial. Perhaps your pain has separated you from the One who can set you free. Won't you join me in this offering of praise? Surround yourself with His Presence, one song at a time.

"In the shadows I can hear Your voice singing to me. In the valley I can hear Your heart reaching for me now. You're my defender, the shield of my heart. You are my hiding place. I can feel Your joy rising in me now."

"You hold my every moment. You calm my raging seas. You walk with me through fire and heal all my disease. I trust in You. Jesus, You're all I need. You are my praise."

"Come to me you weary one and I will give you rest. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light. Take me upon you and I will give you rest.

"Come to me you broken one and I will give you peace. Come to me. I have been waiting for you.

"Come to me you burdened one and I will give you joy. Come and find your peace. Come and find your rest. Come and find your joy. He is waiting here for you with open arms."

"In the quiet, in the stillness I know that You are God. In the secret of Your Presence, there I know I am restored. When You call I won't refuse.

"In the chaos, in the confusion, I know You are sovereign still. All my delight is in You, O Lord. All of my hope, all of my strength.

"There is no one else for me - none but Jesus. Now I live to give Him praise."

Father, in the secret place of Your Presence we are restored. That is the key, isn't it Lord? When we give You praise, Your Presence surrounds us like a garrison against the enemy. Your Presence gives us rest, strength, joy, peace. Your Presence brings healing and restoration. Thank You Lord. You were crucified to set us free and now we live to give You praise. Praise!! We give You praise, Lord.

If you received Morning Glory via email, please go to the Morning Glory page. Today's post will take you on a journey of praise where you will be able to hide yourself in His Presence. Bless you, sweet friend, on your journey.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

A Choir of Trees Sing Praise

"Let's hear it from Sky, with Earth joining in, and a huge round of applause from Sea. Let Wilderness turn cartwheels. Animals, come dance. Put every tree of the forest in the choir - an extravaganza before God as He comes, as He comes to set everything right on earth." ~ Psalm 96:11-13, The Message

Blue and I were ambling along the country road that curls like a ribbon past our house. We followed its leading up the hill through a grove of trees that clasped their fingertips over us. Popcorn clouds drifted against shades of periwinkle blue; a meadowlark whistled a song of praise to his Maker.

And an oak tree, graced with age, stopped me in my tracks.

Blue jerked on his leash, anxious to investigate the rustling in the nearby underbrush, but I didn't surrender to his impulse. I couldn't, for I was mesmerized by the Master's painting before me.

To my left, rooted against a rocky ledge, stood an oak tree set ablaze with crimson leaves. Their brilliance captured the sunlight streaming in from beyond the grove. As I stood still in this holy moment, I thought I heard the leaves trumpet, "Prepare ye the way of the Lord". The crimson branches waved in the soft breeze, drawing me closer. Again, this time, a divine whisper, "Prepare ye the way of the Lord."

My eyes opened to behold the forest crowned in jewels of orange and gold against a sapphire sky. Rubies of crimson dotted the landscape. The wind blew more briskly now, announcing its presence through the whooshing sound swirling about me. Whoosh. Hush. Whoosh. Hush.

"Hush, my child. Be still and know that I am God. Stand strong and know that I am coming to judge the earth with righteousness. Stand ablaze in my glory for all to see. Trumpet the sound, 'Prepare ye the way of the Lord.' And listen for my Holy Spirit swirling about you, sending a holy hush that My voice might be heard. Proclaim My love. Sing My praise. Testify that I AM the Lord, the One True God."

Beloved, listen to the cry of His voice for the time is at hand. The fields are ripe unto harvest. We must cry out, "Prepare ye the way of the Lord!"

Father, we praise You! We bow in worship at the mention of Your Name. Open our eyes to see a lost and hurting world. Anoint us with boldness to proclaim Your name to the nations, Your salvation to the lost. Be magnified Lord. You alone are worthy of our praise.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011


"So the Lord must wait for you to come to Him so He can show you His love and compassion. For the Lord is a faithful God. Blessed are those who wait for His help. O people of Zion, who live in Jerusalem, you will weep no more. He will be gracious if you ask for help. He will surely respond to the sound of your cries." ~ Isaiah 30:18,19, NLT


Do I feed the flesh or do I feed the spirit? Do I run to the Father or do I take my time wandering along twirling blades of grass, picking up every stone and watching every anthill like a child who doesn't want to come in from play? You know the child. Momma calls for supper and the little darling suddenly has selective hearing.


Isaiah promises that God will wait for us. In fact, the scripture says He MUST wait for us. Why? Because God is not a man that He should lie. By His very nature He is longsuffering and merciful. Through His Covenant He has promised to be faithful to His children. So He waits. He waits because He longs to slather us with His unfailing love. He longs to lift us up above the fray. He longs to immerse us in His peace.


Will you run to Him today? He is waiting with outstretched hands that bear the scars of our sin. His love conquers all. But the choice is ours.

Father, Your grace, Your faithfulness, Your mercy and love are astounding and so undeserved. Turn our eyes upon You. Focus our attention on Your love. It is so comforting to know that You wait for us - that You MUST wait for us - because of Your Word. May we be a blessing to You, Lord. May we glorify You in all things. And may we never take You for granted. Stir up a hunger and thirst within us that only You can satisfy. We run to You Lord and fall at Your feet in adoration. We love You, Lord.
If you received Morning Glory via email, please go to the Morning Glory page to view the music video titled "Grace" by Laura Story. Sweet blessings to you!

Thursday, September 22, 2011


"You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You. Trust in the Lord forever, for in YAH, the Lord, is everlasting strength." ~ Isaiah 26:3,4, NKJV

Isn't this the perfect scripture to begin your day with? Life is pretty tough for most folks these days and yet, as children of the Most High God, we do not go it alone. Amen? God, our Father is with us, leading us, cheering us on and surrounding us with His love.

In Hebrew, "perfect peace" is expressed as shalom, shalom. Repeating the same word twice is the Hebrew method of emphasizing how powerful this expression is. This passage of scripture is telling us that the Lord will keep us in everything the word shalom implies: health, happiness, well-being, and peace IF we keep our mind on Him. According to the commentary in my Spirit Filled Life Study Bible, "the Hebrew word for mind is actually a word meaning "creative imagination". Isaiah's thought is that he whose creative imagination, the seat of plans and ideas, is firmly founded on the eternal Lord, will enjoy shalom in all its implications." That's a fancy way of saying that when we commit our way to the Lord and acknowledge Him in all things, He will direct our paths, He will embrace us with His love, He will pour out His grace upon us and He will lift us high upon the Rock far away from the enemy's snare.

I love this next discovery...

"...for in YAH the Lord, is everlasting strength." Yah
is a shorter form of the Lord's name, Yahweh, or Jehovah. This name is found many times in the Old Testament, especially the Psalms. (Are you ready for the thriller?) Frequently in the Psalms it is part of a compound word Hallelu-Yah! Translated, this means "Praise the Lord", but literally it means "You must all praise Yah!" I love this! How many times have I proclaimed hallelujah and not realized that part of the word is the Lord's Name? I will forevermore speak this beautiful expression will clearer understanding.

As we go about our day, let's purpose in our hearts to focus on Jesus and Him alone. When your eye catches a glimpse of that pile of unpaid bills, remind yourself of Jehovah Jireh - the Lord Who provides. When you feel like you are swirling in a whirlwind of confusion, think of Jehovah-raah - The Lord your Shepherd. Are you feeling hurt by a friend, betrayed by loved ones? Think of El Roi - the God Who sees. Dear One, you are not alone in your struggles. We can trust the Lord with all things, but we must make Him the center of our little world.

I love how The Message puts it: "People with their minds set on You, You keep completely whole, steady on their feet, because they keep at it and don't quit. Depend on GOD and keep at it because in the LORD GOD you have a sure thing."

May I pray for you?

Father, I lift up my precious readers to You, the God of all things, Maker of heaven and earth. Lord, there is nothing too difficult for You - NOTHING! I stand amazed at Your faithfulness, Lord. Fill my friends with overflowing peace and contentment as they focus on You in the midst of their difficulties. Reveal yourself to them in a very special and tangible way. Let them feel the tenderness of Your love, the embrace of Your acceptance. Father, speak life into the dark places of their hearts. Shower them with the knowledge of their worth to You. You are awesome God. There is no God like You. You, alone, are the One True God and we worship You and praise You with our whole being. Hallelujah!

If you recieved Morning Glory via email, please go to the Morning Glory page to view the music video, "Still" by Hillsong. Be blessed today sweet friend.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

God Rewrote the Text of My Life

"But me He caught - reached all the way from sky to sea; He pulled me out of that ocean of hate, that enemy chaos, the void in which I was drowning. They hit me when I was down, but God stuck by me. He stood me upon a wide-open field; I stood there saved - surprised to be loved! God made my life complete when I placed all the pieces before Him. When I cleaned up my act, He gave me a fresh start. God rewrote the text of my life when I opened the book of my heart to His eyes." ~ 2 Samuel 22:17-21,25, The Message

It was one of those days. You know the kind...discouragement lurks in every shadow, the mirror screams that you will never measure up, fiery darts assail your mind like a ticker-tape parade raining accusations of fat, gross and ugly.

Fat. Gross. Ugly.
My constant companions.

Do you know what I mean? Most women can surely relate to this battle at least on occasion. Well, my occasional had become a drowning in the sea of self-loathing. Not pretty, I know. This might even surprise you about me, but I know I'm not the only one to feel this way. I am choosing to stand naked before you in the hope that it will help someone else.

I had succumbed to the enemy's lies! I was listening to every single syllable and, rather that fight him, I agreed with him and even offered a few ugly details he hadn't thought of...

But then, guess what happened. "God reached all the way from the sky to the sea; He pulled me out of that ocean of hate, that enemy chaos, the void in which I was drowning." And guess how he did it? He used my son, the one who is not walking with the Lord right now. Yep, God used my prodigal to save me.

Matt could read my countenance - he knew something was going on with me. I shared my heart with him. I told him how God was opening amazing doors for me, how thankful and excited I am about that. And I shared my fears of the unknown. And...I began to cry.

"Mom, what's wrong?" he said.
"I don't measure up Matt. Look at me. I've gained so much weight. I've got circles under my eyes, my hair is a mess, nothing fits..." On and on I went, playing a game of fiery darts with the enemy of my soul.

Matt sat quietly for a moment, then with the wisdom of a sage he poured life back into me. He said, "Mom, when people look at you I don't think they see the physical you. I think they see your spirit, a beautiful, powerful spirit that captivates them. When they look into your eyes people see how much God loves them. I think you're beautiful, Mom."

Tears trickled down my cheeks. The Lord used Matt to let me see how HE sees me. I've got a ways to go yet, but I am no longer drowning. God is helping me, kissing the wounds from the darts, patching up the painful blows to my mind.

"God rewrote the text of my life when I opened the book of my heart to His eyes."

Father, I hear Your whispers of love, I feel Your tender mercies. Thank You for loving me in spite of me. Heal me Lord. Free me from these destructive thoughts. I pray for the others reading this that face the same battle. Show Yourself strong in our lives, Lord. Open our eyes to see ourselves the way You see us. Help us to love ourselves the way You love us. Your mercy is great, Your grace is abundant. We love You, Lord. Help us to walk in the freedom of that love.
If you received Morning Glory via email, please go to the Morning Glory page to hear Kari Jobe sing, "My Beloved". It is simply beautiful.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Who is This King of Glory?

"Lift up your heads, O you gates! And be lifted up, you everlasting doors! And the King of Glory shall come in. Who is this King of Glory? The Lord strong and mighty, The Lord mighty in battle. Lift up your heads, O you gates! Lift up, you everlasting doors! And the King of glory shall come in." ~ Psalm 23:7-9, NKJV

Who is this King of Glory?

"Then I saw heaven opened, and a white horse was standing there. Its rider was named Faithful and True, for He judges fairly and wages a righteous war. His eyes were like flames of fire, and on His head were many crowns. A name was written on Him that no one understood except Himself. He wore a robe dipped in blood, and His title was the Word of God. The armies of heaven, dressed in the finest of pure white linen, followed Him on white horses. From His mouth came a sharp sword to strike down the nations. He will rule them with an iron rod. He will release the fierce wrath of God, the Almighty, like juice flowing from a wine-press. On His robe at His thigh was written this title: King of all kings and Lord of all lords." ~ Revelation 19:13-16

Who is this King of Glory?

He is the Word of God made flesh. He is the One who set me free, who clothed me in His righteousness, pursued me with His love.

Who is this King of Glory?

He is the King of kings and Lord of lords, the Mighty God, Everlasting Father, the Prince of peace. He is the Bridegroom preparing to come to receive His Bride as His own.

Who is this King of Glory?

His name is Jesus and He is everything to me.

Father, we give You praise! Open our eyes to behold our King. Open our hearts to receive His love, to recognize His coming. Lord, we stand ready at the gate to let You enter and truly become Lord of our lives. Enlighten the eyes of our hearts to see You in all of Your majesty and power. We wait with great anticipation for the soon and coming King - OUR King of Glory - Jesus. We bless You, Lord and glorify Your Holy Name.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Love That Knows No Bounds

"The Lord did not set His affection on you and choose you because you were more numerous than any other peoples, for you were the fewest of all peoples. But it was because the Lord loved you and kept the oath He swore to your forefathers that He brought you out with a mighty hand and redeemed you from the land of slavery, from the power of Pharaoh, King of Egypt." ~ Deuteronomy 7:7,8

I am brought to my knees by the knowledge of God's love. I look towards the snowcapped mountains and try to imagine how high His love reaches. I gaze into my grandson's startling blue eyes and try to imagine the depth of God's love. But it is impossible to contain the Father's love within human understanding.

God loves us unconditionally. He chose us as His special treasure, not because we are special, but merely because of His love. His love delivered us from the clutches of our enemies. His love lifted us up out of the miry clay and set our feet on solid ground. His love redeemed us from the bondage of sin. We have been set free!

But, how easily we forget. It is easy to walk in the glory of redemption when life is good, but where is redemption when we are bruised and battered by life's heartbreaks? Where is our redemption when the baby needs diapers and the bank account reads $1.50? Are we still God's special treasure when our attitude is tarnished with frustration?

The simple answer is yes. God's love knows no bounds. He has set us free from the chains that bind us. It is God who restores the bruised and battered life. It is God who makes a way when there seems to be no way. It is God who hides us under the shadow of His wing until the storm passes by. I have learned that His redemption remains, regardless of how I feel. Why? Because He loves us. Always. I've had to learn to hold fast to the knowledge of my redemption. No longer am I chained to anxiety. No longer am I chained to low self-esteem. No longer am I chained to my sins, unless I forget my redemption. It is in my forgetting that Satan assails my vulnerabilities with doubt.

The chains of my past dangle before me, accusing me - threatening me. But, my Lord says, "Child, I have redeemed you. You are Mine. You have been set free by the Blood of the Lamb."

Father, what would we do without Your grace and mercy? Thank You for Your redeeming love. Help us walk in the freedom You have given us and to never forget that we are Your children. You have paid a great price for us and for that we give You praise. Make us aware of Your Presence, especially in our pain, in our struggles and in our dark days. You are wonderful Lord. We love You.
Today's Morning Glory is an excerpt from my devotional Let It Rain: A Journey to Know His Presence Through the Storm that is presently being considered for publication.
If you received Morning Glory via email, please go to the Morning Glory page so that you can view this remarkable music video of Natalie Grant's Held.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Lord, I Am Coming

"My heart has heard You say, 'Come and talk with me.' And my heart responds, 'Lord, I am coming.'" ~ Psalm 27:8, NLT

Life had become a whirlwind. Overwhelming fatigue set in, papers piled high on my desk, emails sat unattended in an overcrowded inbox. I felt pulled in every direction, dislocated between my body, mind and spirit.

I felt the internal shift - I knew the moment it occurred. You know the one. It screams condemnation for not doing enough. It thrusts you into the sea of frustration and drowns you beneath waves of pride that spout self-sufficiency, not God-dependence. It's actually very ugly. I believe it's called sin. Yep, sin. And I believe the Lord says it is a stench in His nostrils. Ewww...

I wallowed deeper and deeper until I had dug quite a pit for myself. Beneath me was a quagmire of self-doubt, disillusionment, and irritation. I pouted as I wallowed. I wallowed as I pouted. And then I looked up - up to the heavens, up to the beautiful face of my God.

He was waiting for me.
My heart heard Him say, "Come and talk with me."
I replied, "I'm coming, Lord! I'm coming."

I fell to my knees, right then, right there in the middle of my study. "God, forgive me for being so obstinate. I am so sorry that I categorized you into a compartment that looked like all the rest of my to-dos. Hide me in the shadow of Your wings. Fill me with Your peace. It is not by my might, Lord, nor by my power, but by Your Spirit and Your Spirit alone that I can accomplish all that You have given me to do. Set me free from these chains that hold me back."

I knelt quietly before Him. His Presence washed over me and captured me with His love. His forgiveness permeated my soul and carried me to a place of peace.

Father, we often put You on a shelf when life becomes crazy. The spot we select for You is a place of honor, but it is removed from the core of our being. You become a to-do instead of the object of our affection. Forgive us, Lord. forgive us for surrendering to the spirit of complacency or for bowing to the god of busyness. You alone are God. You alone are the great King over all the earth. You know us by name. Even when we wreak of sin You still call to us to come and talk with You. Your love is amazing. We give You honor and glory and praise.
If you have received Morning Glory via email, please go to the Morning Glory page to view a wonderful music video, "None Like Jesus".

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

There is None Like Our God

"Then Moses and the Israelites sang this song to GOD, giving voice together:

"I'm singing my heart out to GOD - What a victory! He pitched horse and rider into the sea. GOD is my strength. GOD is my song, and yes! GOD is my salvation. This is the kind of GOD I have and I'm telling the world! This is the God of my father - I'm spreading the news far and wide! GOD is a fighter pure GOD, through and through.

"Pharaoh's chariots and army He dumped in the sea. The elite of his officers He drowned in the Red Sea. Wild ocean waters poured over them; They sank like a rock in the deep blue sea. Your strong right hand, GOD, shimmers with power; Your strong right hand shatters the enemy. In Your majesty You smash Your upstart enemies. You loose Your hot anger and burn them to a crisp. At a blast from Your nostrils the waters piled up; Tumbling streams dammed up, wild oceans curdled into a swamp. The enemy spoke, 'I'll pursue, I'll hunt them down, I'll divide up the plunder, I'll glut myself on them; I'll pull out my sword, my fist will send them reeling.' But You, GOD, blew with all Your might and the sea covered them. They sank like a lead weight into the majestic waters.

"Who compares with you among gods, O GOD? Who compares with You in power, in Holy majesty, in awesome praises, wonder-working God? You stretched out Your right hand and the earth swallowed up the enemy. But the people You redeemed, You led in merciful love; You guided them under Your protection to Your holy pasture." ~ Exodus 15:1-13, The Message

Dear one, are your enemies in hot pursuit? Does it feel like they are gaining ground, about to overtake you? Then remember this: You are a child of the Most High God. You have been redeemed by the Blood of the Lamb, consumed by His love, transformed by His Holy Spirit. Your enemy has no authority over you. He can chase all he wants, but just when he thinks he's gotcha, God, in an awesome display of His power, will blast from His nostrils and send him reeling.

Who compares with our God? None. No, not one.

So, like Moses, sing your heart out to God, for He is your strength. He is your song, and yes! He is your salvation.

SELAH. Pause and think about it.

Father, What an awesome God You are, mighty in power, merciful in love. Nothing is too difficult for You. You promise Your children that when the enemy comes in like a flood, You Yourself will hold up a standard against him. Thank You Lord. I lift up my friends to You, those who are overwhelmed, those who are facing a financial crisis, a broken heart, those who are severely depressed or have given into bitterness. Lord, You know their hearts. You know their struggles. You see their pain. Open their eyes to see the graphic description of You parting the Red Sea so that Your children could pass to the other side, while the enemy drowned in his pursuit. We rejoice in Your love and in Your faithfulness. Fill us with Your hope and Your assurance today. Bless You, Father.
If you received Morning Glory via email, please go to the Morning Glory page to experience a powerful music video that will encourage you today. Blessings...

Thursday, September 1, 2011

I Am Yours, Lord

"The God of Israel spoke. The Rock of Israel said to me: 'The One who rules righteously, who rules in the fear of God, is like the light of morning at sunrise, like a morning without clouds, like the gleaming of the sun on the new grass after the rain.'" ~ 2 Samuel 23:3,4. NLT

A few nights ago I couldn't sleep. After tossing and turning throughout the hours of darkness, I rose, found my slippers and draped my robe around my shoulders. I quietly slipped out onto the porch and settled on the swing. The sky was dusted in midnight blue with just the slightest tinge of coral blush coming up over the mountain.

I rocked in the swing, feeling my Father's embrace. The crisp breeze chilled my cheeks. I snuggled deeper into my robe and set my gaze on the heavens. Coral blush melted into fuchsia and shades of deep purple. The morning star shone brilliantly, declaring the glory of my Redeemer.

My Redeemer. My Sovereign Lord. Elohim, the Creator of the Universe.

I know Him. I mean, really know Him. And He knows me. He knows me so well that He was fully aware of my sleepless night long before I turned my attention to Him. He knows me so well that He drew me by His Holy Spirit to meet with Him on my porch swing so we could share the morning masterpiece. He knows me so well that He knew that His gift of this sunrise would bring peace to my restless spirit. God is like that, you know.

Do you know Him? I mean, really know Him. There is nothing special about me - God is no respecter of persons. He doesn't play favorites. The love and the relationship He has with me is what He desires to have with you. What is your need today? Do you need to know in your knower that you are loved beyond words by an all-powerful, all-knowing Sovereign Lord? Do you need to know that He sees your pain, knows your fears and is not the least bit threatened by your doubts? Precious one, open your heart to receive His love. Sit quietly - be still - and listen to His gentle whispers. He is with you, surrounding you, guiding you, comforting you.

Jesus is like the light of morning at sunrise. His Spirit calls to us out of the darkness and beckons us to come. Follow His love.

Father, Thank you for loving us so completely. Thank You for calling us by name to come and be still before You. Teach us to listen, Lord. Teach us to recognize Your voice. You told us clearly in Your Word that we would know Your voice. Help us to walk in this knowledge. You are the Mighty God, maker of heaven and earth and yet You know us. Thank You, Lord. Teach us to come.
If you have received Morning Glory via email, please visit the Morning Glory page to view a powerful music video by Casting Crowns. Sweet blessings to you, my friend.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Just As I Am

"It wasn't long before the younger son packed his bags and left for a distant country. There, undisciplined and dissipated, he wasted everything he had. After he had gone through all his money, there was a bad famine all through that country and he began to hurt. He signed on with a citizen there who assigned him to his fields to slop the pigs. The son was so hungry he would have eaten the corncobs in the pig slop, but no one would give him any.

"That brought him to his senses. He said, 'All those farmhands working for my father sit down to three meals a day, and here I am starving to death. I'm going back to my father. I'll say to him, "Father, I've sinned against God, I've sinned before you; I don't deserve to be called your son. Take me on as a hired hand."'

"He got right up and went home to his father. When he was still a long way off, his father saw him. His heart pounding, the father ran out, embraced him, and kissed him. The son started his speech: 'Father, I've sinned against God, I've sinned before you' I don't deserve to be called your son ever again.'

"But the father wasn't listening. He was calling to his servants, 'Quick. Bring a clean set of clothes and dress him. Put the family ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Then get a grain-fed heifer and roast it. We're going to feast! We're going to have a wonderful time!'" ~ Luke 15:13-23, The Message

The story of the Prodigal Son. Did you know "prodigal" means "wasted"? Me either. When I hear the term prodigal, I know what or who it is referring to. My goodness, we have a prodigal son that is prayed for every day. But.

But I didn't realize that the word prodigal meant wasted.

Wasted life. Wasted talents. Wasted God-given dreams...the list could go on.

Sort of changes the perspective, doesn't it?

How easily we place this label of...what - Pity? Condemnation? Frustration? on those we know and love who have walked away from the Lord. But perhaps, the word prodigal applies to us, as well. Perhaps, at times, we allow the world to consume a part of our heart in a way that pushes God aside - not totally, but just enough. Perhaps we waste the gift God has given us because it takes us too far out of our comfort zones. Perhaps we just don't want to count the cost of discipleship any longer and we become complacent with studying the Word and prayer. Perhaps.

What does verse twenty say? "When the son was still a long way off, his father saw him. His heart pounding, the father ran out, embraced him and kissed him." The father was so excited that his child had returned, he RAN to embrace him and covered him with kisses and hugs. I love what the next couple of verses say, "The son started his speech....But the father wasn't listening. He was calling to his servants..." The father was so excited that his child had returned home, he didn't want the son to explain everything. The father just wanted to restore him to the family and celebrate.

God is like that, you know. He knows our hearts long before we return to Him. He knows our struggles when we wrestle with the demons of fear and complacency. He knows...He knows.

And yet He loves us.

Whatever is keeping you from God, it could never be enough to keep Him from you.

Father, Our only hope is Your love for us; our comfort is Your grace poured out so abundantly. Thank You, Lord. Thank You that You respond to us even before we recognize our need for You. We reach out our hand to You as You run to embrace us. Father, Your love is amazing. Restore Your children today. Open our eyes to see the wasted places in our lives. Awaken our hearts to love You more. Praise you, Lord.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

She Did All That She Could

"Meanwhile, Jesus was in Bethany at the home of Simon, a man who had previously had leprosy. While He was eating, a woman came in with a beautiful alabaster jar of expensive perfume made from essence of nard. She broke open the jar and poured the perfume over His head.

"Some of those at the table were indignant. 'Why waste such expensive perfume?' they asked. 'It could have been sold for a year's wages and the money given to the poor!' So they scolded her harshly.

"But Jesus replied, 'Leave her alone. Why criticize her for doing such a good thing to Me? You will always have the poor among you, and you can help them whenever you want to. But you will not always have Me. She has done what she could and has anointed My body for burial ahead of time.'" ~ Mark 14:3-8, NLT

The woman hastened down the narrow alley. Her gold and turquoise jewelry flashed in the sunlight, crying out its condemnation to the observers who glanced her way with furrowed brow. Her veil's ornate red beading framed her face and cast hues of crimson onto the alabaster jar she held close to her breast.

Looking over her shoulder, the outcast rapped on Simon's door. "I want to see the Rabbi," she said. Before Simon could respond she slipped past him, clutching the precious perfume, her gift for her Redeemer. Her eyes met the stunningly dark eyes of the Rabbi. She held her gaze intently, knowing that she beheld the face of God.

Without a word, the woman broke open her alabaster jar. Trembling, she tenderly poured out its contents upon the head of her Lord. Sweet aroma filled the room, wafting up towards heaven as tears escaped her mahogany eyes. The woman, once broken herself, gave all that she could. She poured out her pain, her shame, her years of separation from Elohim. Her tears mixed with the perfume, anointing her Redeemer with adoration, with honor - immersing Him in glory. Scowls covered the faces of the religious leaders, but love cast its reward from her Savior's eyes.

In sweet abandon, the scorned woman poured out her heart of gratitude. She did all that she could. She gave her best because she loved Jesus.

Father, I feel so emotional at the moment. I sense Your Presence, I feel your enormous pain. May I never take You for granted. May I always be willing to do all that is within my power to do for You, not out of obligation, but out of gratitude. Thank You Lord. Thank You for setting me free, for taking my brokenness and using it for Your glory. I love You, Lord.
If you received Morning Glory via email, please go to the Morning Glory page to be blessed beyond measure with a music video by Steve Green.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Daddy's Arms Are Just Fine

"Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for your brothers, love one another deeply, from the heart." ~ 1 Peter 1:22, NIV

My seven year old grandson sat on the sidelines, nestled in his father's arms. The soccer game had been in play for at least fifteen or twenty minutes. But there Jamison sat.

Competition can be tough for a seven year old, especially when you've only begun to play this new game and you want to do your best, but you have no idea what it is you are supposed to be doing. Adults are screaming, kids are running, whistles are screeching and...there you sit because it is all a little too much.

Daddy's arms are just fine, thank you very much.

But, daddy continued to encourage Jamison, reminding him how precious he is and how much his team needs him. Daddy reminded him that the others would help him learn and that no job on the field was too small. Every position was important. Every position played a part in the whole of the team.

With the noonday sun beating down, daddy wiped Jamison's tears and kissed his sweaty forehead. Jamison looked in his daddy's eyes and found his confidence there. He stood up and walked to the sideline and tugged on his coach's jersey. "I'm ready to go in," he said.

Daddy hustled up to the bleachers where we sat as a family. Jamison stood on the sidelines waiting for the whistle to announce his substitution. And there, just like a kiss from heaven, appeared a little Hispanic boy, a teammate of Jamison. He stood proudly by my grandson and wrapped his cinnamon colored arm around my grandson's waist. Jamison responded in like manner.

There they stood arm in arm, teammates trying to learn the ropes of a new journey in their young lives. There they stood supporting each other, leaning on each other, understanding each others insecurities. There they stood, unashamedly expressing pure love and friendship for one another.

I couldn't help but think of the Body of Christ. God calls us to step out of our comfort zones. We much prefer to remain nestled in Daddy's arms, thank you very much. In our Father's arms we are safe, we are secure, and we are very comfortable. But our Father has called us to a work. He has called us to share His love with a lost and hurting world. We want to please our Father, but, let's face it, it's a little bit scary outside the security of those strong arms. My goodness, chaos abounds, adults scream, kids run, whistles screech and we don't have a clue how to play this new game.

But we trust our Father.

With all the courage we can muster we look deep into His eyes. We stand up, thrusting our shoulders back, with head held high and step to the sidelines. Surely no one will notice how fast our hearts are beating. The conflict of fear and faith battles in our minds and, just when we think we might have to back out, we feel the embrace of a comrade, a brother or sister who knows our fears, who understands our insecurities and loves us anyway.

The Body of Christ. Unashamedly expressing pure love and friendship for one another.

Now that's what I'm talkin' about.
I believe that's what Jesus had in mind, too.

Father, Thank You for fitting us together as a Body, a Body that needs one another, that completes one another...loves one another. Open our eyes that we might see. We love You, Lord.

If you received this Morning Glory via email, please go to the Morning Glory page to watch a beautiful music video by Casting Crowns. And while you're there, leave a comment. I'd love to hear from you. Just click on the word comment at the bottom of the post. Bless you, sweet friend!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Goosebumps, Anyone?

"So Aaron shall bear the names of the sons of Israel on the breastplate of judgment over his heart, when he goes into the holy place, as a memorial before the Lord continually." ~Exodus 28:29, NKJV

"Then those who feared the Lord spoke to one another, and the Lord listened and heard them; So a book of remembrance was written before Him for those who fear the Lord and who meditate on His Name. 'They shall be Mine,' says the Lord of hosts, 'on the day that I make them My jewels. And I will spare them as a man spares his own son who serves him.'" ~ Malachi 3:16,17, NKJV

I had the most beautiful image in my mind this morning as I studied these verses. Please know that I am taking some liberty with this - it's a thought, an insight - so please, treat it as such.

My imagery had to do with the jewels. Now, technically, the original meaning for jewels in this verse from Malachi means, "special possession or peculiar treasure". That in itself, is a beautiful image. The Lord was saying, "On the day I make them My special possession or treasure, I will spare them." But let's consider how this imagery of the jewels could relate to the Tabernacle in the wilderness, the place of dwelling for the Lord.

God gave very specific instructions for the Tabernacle. Aaron was chosen by God to minister to Him in the Holy of Holies, that inner court of the Tabernacle that housed God's Presence behind the veil (yes, THAT veil). Aaron was the High Priest, a type of Christ in the Old Testament. His priestly garments were amazing. On the outside of his robe he wore an ephod. This was constructed of gold, blue, purple, and scarlet thread, and made of fine woven linen. It was coupled together with shoulder straps. On top of the ephod, Aaron wore a breastplate. Ask the Lord to help you see this picture in your mind as you read the following description found in Exodus 39:8,10-14:

"And he made the breastplate, artistically woven like the workmanship of the ephod, of gold, blue, purple, and scarlet thread, and made of fine woven linen. And they set in it four rows of stones: a row with a sardius, a topaz, and an emerald was the first row; the second row, a turquoise, a sapphire, and a diamond; the third row, a jacinth, an agate, and an amethyst; the fourth row, a beryl, an onyx, and a jasper. They were enclosed in settings of gold in their mountings. There were twelve stones according to the names of the sons of Israel: according to their names, engraved like a signet, each one with its own name according to the twelve tribes."

Can you see it? These stones were like jewels. Each jewel had the name of one of the tribes of Israel engraved upon it so that as Aaron went before God, he carried Israel over his heart before El Shaddai, Almighty God. Think about it: Judah, Rueben, Simeon, Issachar, Ephraim, Benjamin, Zebulun, Joseph, Dan, Asher, Naphtali, and Gad. These engraved jewels were a reminder to the Lord God of His covenant with His children: "I will be your God and you will be My people."

Now fast-forward to the end of the Old Testament, the book of Malachi. We learn that God made up a book of remembrance where those who think of Him often are listed and will be spared on the Day of judgment. The commentary in my Spirit Filled Life Study Bible says, "Those listed in the book of remembrance will someday be like the jewels over Aaron's heart."

I pictured Jesus, our High Priest, going before the Father, carrying our names upon his heart engraved on jewels mounted to His breastplate of righteousness. They were names like, Nan, David, Jamie, Jake, Gladys, Tee-Tee, Mid, Jewel, Barbara, Luke, Judy, Teena, Brenda, Angie, Karl, Robin, Poonam...

Can you feel the goosebumps? Isn't that beautiful?

Revelation 3:5 reads, "He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments, and I will not blot out his name from the Book of Life: but I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels."

That was Jesus talking. Jesus, our High Priest, the One with our names engraved upon the jewels mounted on His breastplate over His heart as a reminder to our God that we belong to Him.

Oh. My. Goodness.

Father, I love it when You do this! What an awesome picture You have given me. You know how much it thrills me when I can pinpoint very specific threads that weave in and out of Your Word. I love that! Thank You for stitching this together for us. You are so incredible. We love You, Lord. Bless Your Holy Name!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Life is Good and God is Great

"I'm about to burst with song; I can't keep quiet about you. God, my God, I can't thank you enough." ~ Psalm 30:12, The Message

I propped myself up with a pillow and stretched out on the porch swing. The gentle swaying moved in sweet rhythm to the creaking lullaby of the chain, settling me into a heavenly rest. Oh, how good it is to rest - to be still and know that He, and He alone, is God.

Stillness. That's a hard one, isn't it? Ceasing from our busyness, from our productivity, from our service - ceasing and resting in His Presence. But, oh the joy that is born of rest.

I turned my eyes heavenward and visually traced the thunderhead forming on the horizon. Its tower stretched like a pillar, billowing as power surged within, morphing the cloud into greater and greater strength. God whispered to me, "My power is like that: billowing, surging, morphing into what you need at any given moment. My power is within you, because My Spirit is within you. My strength is within you because My Spirit is within you. Open your eyes to see My beauty, My holiness. Awaken your heart to love Me more. Burst into song for you have been redeemed. Be glad in Me; rejoice in My love, for My love is from everlasting to everlasting. You are the apple of My eye, My sweet, sweet child. I love you."

King David was overcome with joy at the knowledge of God's love. He said, "I can't keep quiet about You (Lord). God, my God, I can't thank You enough."

His Presence does that to us doesn't it? It's hard to explain, but it's something we know in our knower. Something deep and eternal, something sure and sweet. His Presence is something that turns our sorrow into laughter, our weariness into strength and our sighs into song.

I closed my eyes and rocked in my Father's arms.
Life is good and God is great.

Father, You are beautiful beyond description, Your mercy floods my soul. Thank You for revealing Yourself to Your children. Thank You for Your Spirit that dwells within, comforting, guiding, and strengthening us. Thank You for Your Presence that brings us rest. We love You, Lord.

If you have received Morning Glory via email, please go to the Morning Glory page to view a powerful music video: Be Still and Know by Steven Curtis Chapman.