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.