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Archive for April, 2012

Before I formed you in the womb I knew you,

before you were born I set you apart;

I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.” Jer 1:5

I was at a conference recently and went up to the speaker to greet him as we have known each other for 13 years.  It was a thrill that he didn’t recognize me because I have changed so much physically over the past 7 years as God has brought healing to my body and alleviated many of the health challenges that kept me immobile in a wheelchair.  We laughed and caught up.  But, as I drove home that night, I couldn’t help reflect on the fact that I don’t have to re-introduce myself to my Heavenly Father or my Lord Jesus Christ.  I am known by God.

God made me and knew me before I was born (Psalm 139).  God made me (Isaiah 42:5).  Yet, the best part of that is God knows me better than I know myself—He knows the plans He has for me (Jer 29:11), He wants only the best for me and loves me despite of my imperfections and fails.

God knows all of the good, the bad and the ugly and loves me anyway.  God has poured out His grace so that I might know Him.

Today, I will spend time listening to His whispers of love from the beauty in the world He created for me to enjoy, in the laughter of my daughter and grandson and from His love letter to me—the Holy Bible.  May you join me in hearing today—God Loves You.

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As women, we often set high goals or have big dreams about what we want our life to look like.  For example, each New Year media and family encourage us to examine our lives and make resolutions for the year—what we want to do (lose weight), perhaps what goals we want to achieve (spend more time with family), or even to look at what we want our lives to look like in 5 years.  So often those occasions of self-examination cause us to see only our failings, our faults and short-comings.

This week, our writers are going to share some of their journeys of self-examination and the discoveries they made that lead them to Praise the Lord for His Grace.  Each writer shares a glimpse of her journey into discovering who she is in His love.  May you too discover that in Christ you are:

  1. A Child of God (Romans 8:16)
  2. Redeemed from the hand of the enemy (Psalm 106:10)
  3. Forgiven (Colossians 1:13 & 14)
  4. Saved by grace through faith (Ephesians 2:8)
  5. Justified (Romans 5:1)
  6. Sanctified (I Corinthians 6:11)
  7. A new creature (II Corinthians 5:17)
  8. Partaker of His divine nature (II Peter 1:4)
  9. Redeemed from the curse of the law (Galatians 3:13)
  10. Led by the Spirit of God (Romans 8:14)
  11. Delivered from the powers of darkness (Colossians 1:13)
  12. A Son/Daughter of God (Romans 8:14)
  13. Kept in safety wherever I go (Psalm 91:11)
  14. Getting all my needs met by Jesus (Philippians 4:19)
  15. Casting all my cares on Jesus (I Peter 5:7)
  16. Strong in the Lord and in the power of His might (Ephesians 6:10)
  17. Doing all things through Christ who strengthens me (Philippians 4:13)
  18. An heir of God and a joint heir with Jesus (Romans 8:17)
  19. Heir to the blessings of Abraham (Galatians 3:13 & 14)
  20. Observing and doing the Lord’s commandments (Deuteronomy 28:1&2)
  21. Blessed coming in and going out (Deuteronomy 28:6)
  22. An inheritor of eternal life (I John 5:11&12)
  23. Blessed with all spiritual blessings (Ephesians 1:3)
  24. Healed by His stripes (I Peter 2:24)
  25. Exercising my authority over the enemy (Luke 10:19)
  26. Above only and not beneath (Deuteronomy 28:13)
  27. More than a conqueror (Romans 8:37)
  28. Establishing God’s Word here on earth (Matthew 16:19)
  29. An over comer by the blood of the Lamb and the word of my testimony (Rev 12:11)
  30. Daily overcoming the devilt (I John 4:4)
  31. Not moved by what I see (II Corinthians 4:18)
  32. Walking by faith and not by sight (II Corinthians 5:7)
  33. Casting down vain imaginations (II Corinthians 10:4&5)
  34. Bring every thought into captivity (II Corinthians 10:5)
  35. Being transformed by a renewed mind (Romans 12:1&2)
  36. A laborer together with God (I Corinthians 3:9)
  37. The righteousness of God in Christ (II Corinthians 5:21)
  38. An imitator of Jesus (Ephesians 5:1)
  39. The light of the world (Matthew 5:14)

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Editor’s Note:  Through this month of April, Real Women have been sharing reasons that lead them to find time to praise the Lord during their daily activities.  This week, we continue this series as two of our writers share how God has used their times of praise to draw them closer to His heart and fill them with His love. 

I will be glad and rejoice in you;

I will sing praise to your name, O Most High.

Psalm 9:2

“I often praise God through worship.  I have learned to keep certain songs in a playlist, so when my thoughts turn to life’s concerns, or I become stressed or anxious, or the world bombards me with untruth, I turn on that playlist.  These reminders lead me to speak truth to myself and to praise our Mighty God.”

***

“As I study the Bible I am inspired to praise.  I always come away renewed and refreshed,  even if I have only read one verse.  I am reminded of the amazing spiritual gifts the Lord God gives to His children to use replenish our bodies and our minds.  I am reminded of the Fruits of the Spirit which He gives us because we are His children.  Equally, the glorious wording of the Psalms that put God’s attributes on display in poetry, the incredible stories of Jesus’ time here on earth, the truths from the New Testament writings to the early church that span from practical every-day stuff to philosophical mind puzzles, …the beauty of the beginning of this world, …the Truth of Christ’s coming return…All this and more from my time in the Bible, The Word of God, challenges me and leads me to praise His Greatness!”

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Editor’s Note:  Through this month of April, Real Women have been sharing reasons that lead them to find time to praise the Lord during their daily activities.  This week, we continue this series four women briefly share how God has used their times of praise to draw them closer to His heart and fill them with His love. 

 He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.

                                                                        Colossians 1:17

“As the dandelions are more and more visible this spring, I am reminded of a child once saying that they look like buttons holding the grass down on the earth.  It causes me to Praise the Lord for the laws of physics and how He holds all things together.”

***

“A beautiful sunset or a warm spring day while I am taking a walk will bring my thoughts to focus and helps me to praise the Lord.”

***

Sing to the LORD, all the earth; proclaim his salvation day after day. 

                                                                                                I Chron 16:23

“As I drive in my car, I love to praise God for the beautiful blue skies, the clouds, trees, flowers that He has made for me to enjoy.  So I tell Him how great He is for giving me these beautiful things to enjoy.”

***

“The beautiful weather and scenery allow me to praise God for His creation and for allowing me to be able to not only take the time to enjoy it as on vacation, but opening the eyes of my heart to recognize the beauty He has given us at all times.”

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Editor’s Note:  Through this month of April, Real Women have been sharing reasons that lead them to find time to praise the Lord during their daily activities.  This week, we continue this series as three more women share how God has used their times of praise to draw them closer to His heart and fill them with His love. 

Psalm 5:11

 But let all who take refuge in you be glad;

let them ever sing for joy.

Spread your protection over them

that those who love your name may rejoice in you. 

“I will praise you in the storm…”  One of my favorite songs is a vivid reminder to praise God in the difficult moments, in those weary days when the dark clouds come and I fear what they may bring…that I may remember His goodness and His promises that are with me before, during, and after the storm.

****

“When things are not going as expected, instead of getting angry I have been praising God for what HE has for me instead.  I remember that He has better plans for me.” Jer. 29:9-11

****

“When I struggle with the negative emotions or wrong thoughts, or if I am spending too much time on a situation in my mind, I will put on a song that prompts me to cry out to God and encourages me to see that Jesus is right in the room with me; He is my ever present help in times of trouble.  I picture Him face to face.  The song is called I Won’t Relent.

****

“I am inspired to praise the Lord God for His strength and protection when I observe someone remaining strong in their faith even in the midst of a difficult situation or when they choose to lean on the Lord Jesus rather than turn to despair.  I praise Him.  Sometimes it is someone I know personally and sometimes it is prompted by hearing or reading about how another stood strong in the faith through Facebook or an online blog like this one…testimonies are powerful tools that point to God and His glory and lead me to praise.”

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Editor’s Note:  Through this month of April, Real Women have been sharing reasons that lead them to find time to praise the Lord during their daily activities.  This week, we continue this series as three more women share how God has used their times of praise to draw them closer to His heart and fill them with His love. 

A psalm of David. When he was in the Desert of Judah.

Psalm 63 

O God, you are my God, earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you, my body longs for you, in a dry and weary land where there is no water.

I have seen you in the sanctuary and beheld your power and your glory.

Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you.

I will praise you as long as I live, and in your name I will lift up my hands.

My soul will be satisfied as with the richest of foods;

with singing lips my mouth will praise you.

On my bed I remember you; I think of you through the watches of the night.

Because you are my help, I sing in the shadow of your wings.

My soul clings to you; your right hand upholds me.

They who seek my life will be destroyed; they will go down to the depths of the earth.

They will be given over to the sword and become food for jackals.

But the king will rejoice in God; all who swear by God’s name will praise him, while the mouths of liars will be silenced. 

“I run in my neighborhood and I pray over the houses as I pass them.”

****

“God tells me to pursue Him and to seek Him.  If “wishful thinking” could make things happen, I would be skinny without working out.  I would have a beautiful flower bed without getting my hands dirty.  My house would clean itself while I watch television or read. My spiritual life would be effortless, and I would learn lessons without having to give it a second thought. But God wants me to pursue Him and to seek Him…action words that require me to be proactive.”

****

“When I see parents fighting, it reminds me to praise God for my husband and family.”

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Editor’s Note:  Through this month of April, Real Women have been sharing reasons that lead them to find time to praise the Lord during their daily activities.  This week, we continue this series as three writers share how God has used their times of praise to draw them closer to His heart and fill them with His love. 

Sing to him, sing praise to him; tell of all his wonderful acts.  I Chron 16:9

“My girls and I sing and dance throughout the day worshipping our Lord God and Jesus Christ who has risen from the dead, defeating death for our sins and all that because of His great love for us.”

 ****

“When I run, I usually listen to contemporary and upbeat Christian music.  Recently I have been more focused in on the words of the songs, turning them back to the Lord as personal praise instead of just allowing the music to go in one ear and out the other.  For example, when the song says, “you are my strong tower,” I repeat that in my head saying, “Yes, God, you are my strong tower” and so forth.  I actually look forward to my exercise time as a time of meditation and praise.”

****

“Music is very instrumental to me in praising God.  My children are now singing all the songs at the top of their lungs.  When my kids are singing at random times during the day, it helps me to stop and thank God for what he has done for me.”


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