Monday, November 11, 2019

Peace...

I am the Lord of Peace.  I give you Peace at all times and in every way.  There is a deep, gaping hole within you that can be filled only by My peaceful Presence.  People who don't know Me try to fill that emptiness in many different ways, or they simply pretend it isn't there.  Even My children often fail to recognize the full extent of their need: at all times and in every situation.  But recognizing your neediness is only half the battle.  The other half is to believe I can-and will-supply all you need.

Shortly before My death, I promised Peace to My disciples-and to all who would become My followers.  I made it clear that this is a gift:  something I provide freely and lovingly.  So your responsibility is to receive this glorious gift, acknowledging to Me not only your need but also your desire.

Then wait expectantly in My Presence, ready to receive My Peace in full measure.  If you like, you can express your openness by saying, "Jesus, I receive Your Peace."
Taken from Jesus Today
Enjoying Hope
through
His Presence
by
Sarah Young

*Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way. The Lord be with all of you.( 2 Thessalonians 3:16.)
*My God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.( Philippians 4:19.)
*Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives.  Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. ( John 14:27.)

For years we've tried to fill that big hole in our hearts with the things of this life....relationships, drugs, alcohol, money, careers, STUFF!!!
None of it brought joy, or peace.
Not until I dropped to my knees in total surrender to the One that offered total, and unconditional LOVE,  did I understand what the peace that transcends all understanding truly meant.
I was set free from the longing for acceptance.
God knit me together in the womb....just the way He saw fit!
He already knew the choices I would make in my life.....yet He sent His only Son to be crucified for me, with that Hope that I would choose LIFE, eternal LIFE found in the shed blood of Jesus Christ. 
Praise God for His Grace and Mercy! For His undeserved favor in my life....for the trials that drew me closer to the Truth! Those circumstances that opened my eyes to my need for God in my life. Without His Power, I am nothing! He is my Peace, and my Joy, and my Strength. I rejoice and am glad that He filled that hole in my heart that NOTHING in this world could ever fill!!! Amen, and Amen!
Debbie
xoxo

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Discernment

The decisions we make not only affect us, they affect others, as well.
Before making a decision, we try to distinguish, and examine the reasons behind our choices. We pray for discernment...the ability to properly discriminate and make determinations.  It's related to wisdom.  The Word of God itself is said to discern the thoughts and intentions of one's heart (Hebrews 4:12).

The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.  We have to consciously surrender our mind, will, and emotions (soul) to God.  What we think, and what we feel must line up with God's Word.  A discerning mind demonstrates wisdom and insight that go beyond what is seen and heard.  For example, God's Word is "spiritually discerned".  To the human mind without the Spirit, the things of God are "foolishness" (1 Corinthians 2:14).  The Spirit, then, gives us spiritual discernment.

Paul prayed for believers "to discern what is best...until the day of Christ" (Phil. 1:10).
A discerning person will acknowledge the worth of God's Word: "all the words of my mouth are just; none of them is crooked or perverse.  To the discerning all of them are right; they are faultless to those who have knowledge" (Prov. 8:8-9).  Seeking discernment is a goal for all who desire to walk righteously: "Who is wise? He will realize these things. Who is discerning? He will understand them.  The ways of the LORD are right; the righteous walk in them, but the rebellious stumble in them". (Hosea 14:9).
We are commanded to "hate what is evil; cling to what is good" (Romans 12:9). Discernment helps us determine what is evil and what is good.  Wisdom also guides us to discriminate between what is "best" and what is merely "good".
Just as Solomon sought discernment and wisdom (Prov. 1:2; 1 Kings 3:9-12) to explore the handiwork of God (Eccless 1:13) and seek the meaning of life (Eccless. 12:13), so should believers seek "the wisdom that comes from heaven" (James 3:17). We must study the Scriptures which are "able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus" (2 Tim. 3:15).
"I am your servant, give me discernment that I may understand your statutes". (Ps. 119:125)
It is our hope, as believers,  that we understand that what is laid on our hearts is meant for blessing.  We desire to be used as vessels to share the Good News, and help others in their walk with Jesus Christ.
Blessings.
Debbie

Thursday, October 24, 2019

Forgiveness

Forgiveness.
Something we all struggle with at some time in our lives.
There are things that happen to us that are so painful, we find it almost impossible to forget about, or forgive.

As we grow in our relationship with Jesus, we gain wisdom, and knowledge by the power of the Holy Spirit.
We come to the understanding that forgiveness is not a feeling....it's a decision.
We make a conscious decision to forgive.
When the feelings of unforgiveness start to creep in, we go back to that decision we made to forgive.

As we continue our walk with Jesus, we continue to grow and become more and more like Him.
Being transformed into the likeness of Christ is a process. 
Stay focused on eternity, and remember....He will never leave you, nor forsake you.
Debbie
xo

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Renewing your relationship......

Have you ever walked so far off the path you were traveling on that you got yourself feeling lost, and closed in on all sides?
Everything was so overgrown, and thick you could barely find your way out?
The situation you'd gotten yourself in was a process that happened over time: complacency.
Gradually your prayer life ended.
You stopped reading your Bible.
Church attendance dropped off.
No more Bible studies.
You cut off your relationship with God.

Your life was falling apart.
You were overwhelmed by circumstances, and had no where, and no one to turn to.
You knew, in your heart, what to do....but were afraid....because you had walked away.
*If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9.
Sometimes it's a matter of pride. We must humble ourselves before the Lord, and proclaim our need for Him.
The knowledge that He is with us keeps us out of the pit of despair.
Confessing our need for God in our lives puts us back on the path that He has chosen for us.

Renewing your relationship with the Lord takes commitment, and time.....nonetheless is the path of Life!!
It is where you encounter God's luminous Presence---radiating Peace that transcends all understanding.

Wait quietly in His presence. Don't rush through prayer, and meditation time. Let His thoughts form silently in the depths of your being. Hurrying keeps your heart earthbound. 
Ask the Holy Spirit to quiet your mind so you can hear Him speak within you.
Let the Creator of the Universe make His home in your heart.
*My voice shalt thou hear in the morning, O Lord; in the morning will I direct my prayer unto thee, and will look up.
*And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:7.
Though the journey you are on seems to be one of faltering steps, and ongoing weaknesses.....those steps keep your dependence on God.  They are links to His Presence, and spiritual blessings.
In His Love.  Debbie  xo

Saturday, January 26, 2019

Stay steadfast in prayer.

Have you ever felt you were at the mercy of circumstances that were beyond your control?
Do you find yourself clinging to loved ones, possessions, or even your reputation to no avail?
Where do you go in the midst of life's storms?

There is One that never leaves you, or forsakes you.
*Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7
During times of stress, our prayers might not be as eloquent as we might think they should be....as long as we are in constant communication with God...that's what matters. Trusting Him in all of our circumstances, knowing He hears us, we will be able to stay steadfast and patient through the trials.
*Rejoice and exult in hope; be steadfast and patient in suffering and tribulation; be constant in prayer. Romans 12:12.
God doesn't always remove the problems we deal with living in a fallen world, but He will always be with us as we go through them.
Satan continually tempts and tests us to see if we will abandon our faith, and turn from God.
*Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love Him. James 1:12.
Debbie
xo

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

God's Timing......

This old computer has been down for six months.
We put our house on the market last June, and I honestly thought we would be living far away from this cottage we've been living in for the past 18 years.
I imagined us living downstate, close to my girls, retired, and living our lives different from what they are now.

I have been praying,  for a very long time,  for God to give me a purpose. I have felt depressed, and longing to get back to "My First Love-Jesus" for so long.....years.

Our friends, from back home, moved up here just this past Summer. They started attending the same church that we were attending. Sue had heard, through the church, that the newly opened drug rehabilitation mission needed Bible study teachers.
The mission is solely funded by the community, and volunteers.
I volunteered to teach. It turned out to be twice a week!!!
Also bringing in suppers, and cookies for night time snacks.

Going to the mission has become "church" for me.
The overseer is also the worship leader, along with his wife....both recovering addicts, and trained facilitators. 
When I am there, it feels like a group of disciples gathering together to worship, pray, and learn about Jesus.
The head facilitator is a pastor, and his wife....so rehabilitation is all Bible based.
The people that come in have been incarcerated, sometimes more than once.

I had been sad and depressed that our house wasn't selling, especially when ALL of the other homes in this sub-division sold over the Summer.
I had prayed for a purpose....
Then, God's plan was set in motion...His timing is always right!!!
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, shall guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philip. 4:6,7.
Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your anxiety upon Him, because He cares for you. 1 Peter 5:6,7.
God answers our prayers.....maybe we will move closer to my girls some day....but for now....I have a purpose. I have returned to my First Love.  
We are never to old to learn to place ourselves totally in God's Hands and allow Him to be the ruler of our life.
Debbie
xo

Monday, April 2, 2018

What am I supposed to be doing?

Where does God want me to be?
What am I supposed to be doing?
Do you ever wonder where you are supposed to be serving, or what ministry you should be fulfilling?
Why do others know their place in the church, but I don't?

Other people seem to be so gifted, and they are serving exactly where they belong!!
I don't have talents, or gifts useful for the kingdom!
How can I be of use to the Lord?

Do you go through dry spells, when it's difficult to focus on Scripture, or even pray effectively?
You try to be still, and hear from God.....but it's just not happening!!
There seems to be clamour interfering with your devotional time.

Is there a stumbling block in the way?
Unconfessed sin? has the world taken hold of your mind, will and emotions (soul)?
Are you in need of a priority check?


Sit down, and get things right with God. 
Clean house, and you will be surprised how much more focused you will be while fellowshipping with Him!
You will be able to see more clearly where you are as far as His plan for your life.

We aren't all meant to serve in major ministries in the church....up front....preacher, teacher, music, administrator, etc.
Sometimes the most important job is the one "teaching" your very own children the basics: how to pray, who Jesus is, that He loves them, and died for them.
Maybe it's being that example of Christ for others.
How about walking in Love?

My youngest daughter and I discussed this just the other day.
By the middle of the afternoon she realized that praying with her six year old little girl was exactly where God needs her to be!!
Melissa(my daughter) called me and said, Olivia is going to be a prayer warrior!!!
I said....."and you wondered where God needed you to be".....

Sometimes the last place we would think...... ends up being the first, and most important place/job we need to be working in.
We need to stay focused, listen, and follow where He leads us.
I trust you had a Blessed Easter.
Happy Spring to you!
In His Love.
Debbie
xo

Saturday, March 24, 2018

What are you looking for?

What are you looking for?
Peace, love, kindness, understanding, forgiveness, rest, comfort, acceptance?
Anything in particular, or all of the above?

What is it that your relationships with others is lacking?
Honesty, openness, time?

Let's start with being honest.
Do you admit when you are wrong? Have you lied about things in the past? Are you trustworthy? Do you show your true self, or do you wear a mask?

Are you open with your feelings, or do you hold back, pretend, say what other's want to hear?
Are you afraid to truly open your heart, and say what you are feeling?

Do you "make" the time it takes to build relationships? Or do you put it off for another day?

You can pretend, and keep things neat and pretty all you want.....but there is no denying, we all need at least one honest relationship to survive.
A relationship that is honest. You can say what needs to be said, good or bad, big or small, happy or sad. If you need forgiveness....be honest about what you've done, and ask to be forgiven. 1 John 1:9 says: If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

You need a relationship of openness.
You should be able to cry when you are sad, and rejoice when you are happy....without feeling embarrassed, or intimidated. 
You should be able to talk about ANYTHING and everything that is on your mind, and in your heart.
You should also have the freedom of time to communicate these things whenever, and where ever you are!!

The only relationship I have found that gives me the peace that transcends all understanding, unconditional love, hope, forgiveness, rest in this troubled world, and strength is the one I have with Jesus.
His words in Matthew 28:20 are what I trust in....and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. 

Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: Not as the world giveth, give I unto you, let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. John 14:27.
If you are looking for that "someone" to open up to. If you need a relationship that is honest, forgiving, loving, full of peace, and available anytime of night or day.....Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. John 15:13.  May I suggest Jesus?
In Christ Jesus.
Debbie
xo 

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Be still, and know that He is God.

Be Still, and Know That I Am God. Ps.46:10
Sometimes it's difficult to hear Him with all of the "noise" that's going on around me. 
Finding a place to focus on HIM is a conscious decision for me. A place where there are no distractions....no phone, no t.v., no people; nothing to compete with my time with HIM.
HE speaks to me in different ways.
The waves....a reminder of His majestic creation....puts me in a place of worship, and the realization of His supreme Glory.
The sights and sounds of the waves pounding at the shore is enough to cause tears to well up in my eyes.
 Finding places of quiet...after a storm. Being able to take a minibreak from the world. Turning my ear to His voice. Letting Him soothe my soul(mind, will, and emotions). Refreshing my spirit with His Presence.

 God pours out blessings everyday...but sometimes we have to actively seek them out...like going out to see the sunset. It's there, but we have to make the effort to go out and see it!!! It's the same thing with blessings. They are there....sometimes we have to open our hearts, and seek Him to receive what He has for us. Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. Matt.7:7

 The Lord thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; He will save, He will rejoice over thee with joy; He will rest in His love, He will joy over thee with singing. Zeph.3:17  Think about how joyful you are when you hear the voice of a loved one. When one of your family members walks into the room and opens their arms to give you a welcome hug.  Our Father feels that way when we talk to HIM!! HE loves hearing our voice! I LOVE hearing from HIM, as well!! In the quiet, in the waves, in the thunder....in peaceful times, during turbulent times, and storms of life when I seek His face. HE speaks to my heart...my spirit.

Find your quiet place.....turn your ear to our Father. He longs to speak to you. Be still, and know that HE is GOD!!
In Christ Jesus.
Debbie
xo

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Hope


Good Saturday afternoon.
It's been so long since I've posted here at Seashells and Lavender.
So many changes going on around us.

Some of us have experienced so much in our lives over this past year...health issues, job situations, selling our homes, buying new ones, losing loved ones, welcoming new ones into our lives, weddings, graduations, etc.
Good news, and bad news.

More fierce weather threatens thousands of communities.
Situations bringing us to our knees.

The one "constant" in our lives is HOPE.
What are we hoping for?
Realistically.....

Hope.....fervent expectation.
My "hope" is that I can accept what His plan is for my life.
My "plan" is to enjoy life to the fullest. Realize that each day is a gift....not to be wasted on "what if", and "if only".  When you hear...."I never promised you a rose garden"....plant some of your own!!!  Don't wait for life to come to you.....reach out and grab it for yourself!!!!  
The song at church says...."You are the Potter, I am the clay" He creates us to live, love and be loved.....but He's not going to do all the work for us!  
Yes....there are bumps in the road....some are BIG bumps....but keep going! It might take some time to get over those mounds, but with grace and mercy....it can be done.
I am NOT trying to make light of what is going on with the storms from the hurricane....or any other storm in life. I am trying to encourage you. There is "hope".
Hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.
Love to you.
Debbie
xo

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Watch and Pray....

It's been a while since I've posted here at Seashells and Lavender.
It's time I pull my head out of the sand, and write down what's been laid on my heart.

I'm not a dooms dayer....but I DO believe in biblical prophecy.
I don't pick and choose parts of the Bible that suit me....I believe the whole book....from beginning to end.
If God does not change, then we've got some splainin' to do real soon.
I live by the sayings of "watch, and pray....no one knows the hour, and know one knows the day."
"He comes as a thief in the night."

The weather patterns have been bizarre, to say the least.
The cloud formations this past summer were amazing! We witnessed wall clouds that were so close to the ground, they were almost super-natural. The lightening storms were scary...and they didn't produce thunder!  When did we ever have such storms in cold weather? Lake Superior just had a huge water spout on Saturday during cold weather!
This past weekend a weatherman joked about the bizarre weather, and said if he sees locust, he knows what's coming next...LOL.

In difficult times, it's easy to become discouraged, and afraid.
What keeps us going?
Why do we push ourselves to get out of bed in the morning?
For me....it's my family.
But what about those overwhelming times when I need someone to lean on?
Who do I have that keeps me going when all seems hopeless?
God.
But He's not a physical being that can hold you, or speak to you...you might say.
His Word is a physical manifestation that I can hold in my two hands. I can read what is written, and receive it into my heart and be comforted and encouraged, and loved.
I am assured of what will be.
No matter what happens here.
There is truth, and power, and light in His Word.
If you want to know what's happening in these days.....read your Bible....it's in there!!!
The weather is just the tip of the iceberg.
then.....watch and pray.....
xoxoxoxoxoxo