I Bless You

For my precious friend, I pray and bless you

I bless you with faith that rises
Faith that burns brighter
In the darkness of trials

I bless you with faith like a jewel
A multifaceted diamond
Sparkling and reflecting the Light of God

I bless you with faith that takes God at His Word
“All things are possible to him who believes.”
A responsive heart that confesses, “I believe.  Help me with my unbelief.”

I bless you with faith that remembers
Your Savior suffered and was tempted
And is able to help and strengthen you today

I bless you with faith that trusts God
When all others tell you to abandon ship
You will remember that God still calms the stormy seas

I bless you to remember your Savior’s compassion
He stands ready to wipe away your tears
With His nail scarred hands

I bless you to praise God,
Unapologetic, out loud and with boldness
Though others may tell you to curse God

I bless you to know with confident assurance
That God is perfectly weaving your trials and pain
Into a beautiful tapestry of your life

I bless you to recognize
That God will never waste your trials
Be confident that He will use them to help others

I bless you to remember book by book
Who God has revealed Himself to be
In holy and inerrant Scripture

I bless you to recall the names of God
Reflect and remember
How He has proven Himself over and over in your life

I bless you to rejoice always
Pray without ceasing
In everything and for everything give thanks

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Rising Faith

I pray that your faith will stand strong, even in times of trials and tribulation or in the doldrums of life.  I pray that your faith will rise and be strengthened on the Solid Rock of Scripture.  In those times when God seems to be silent, that you will turn to God’s Word and remind yourself about who God is, see what He has revealed about Himself in Scripture.  I pray that you will hide God’s Word in your heart so that you may not sin against Him.  That when other’s faith fails them, praises of God will come forth from your lips, strengthening your heart and mind and the faith of other believers.  I pray for you to have a heart and mind that desires to know God more and to be obedient.  I pray that you will be open and teachable, bendable and yielded unto the Lord God Almighty.  I pray that you will fear God, not man.  That you will turn to the Bible, holy and inerrant Scripture, daily to know who you are in Christ.  That you will be bold, confident and unapologetic in your proclamation of the Gospel, knowing that it is the power of God for salvation of all who believe, first the Jew and then the Greek.  I pray that you will desire to bless the Lord each day with how you live, what you say and think, even down to the desires and thoughts and intentions of your heart.  I pray for you to hunger and thirst after righteousness, to desire to be washed by the water of God’s Word daily.  It is in the incomparable, blessed and holy name of Jesus Christ I pray.   Amen and amen!

Thoughts & Reflections on Fear, Worry and Anxiety

Yesterday I felt worried upon hearing and reflecting about some sad and bad news.  Last night before bed, I read Ana Dagarin’s post at “Ramble On” for Five Minute Friday, and I’ve been meditating on something she said about fear...here’s what I jotted down. 
Fear crowds out faith
Anxiety leaves no room for peace
Worry takes away the option to trust God
Self-focus obscures my ability to see God
Fear is a sin
Anxiety steals peace from my heart and mind  
Worry is a waste of time
Self-focus is boring
Lord, I take comfort in knowing that nothing takes You by surprise.
You are never anxious.
You don’t wring Your hands in worry.
There is not a path worn out before Your throne as You pace back and forth with worry
You alone know the future
You have perfect vision, un-obscured by sin
You will make wrong things right
Justice will be served in Your perfect timing
Evil and sin will be punished
All things are under Your control and firmly held in Your grasp
I can only be fearful, anxious and worried when I take my eyes off of God.
Despite reading God’s word each day and praying, I’ve felt like lately there has been silence from God.  Here are some thoughts and reflections of why I’m silent towards someone.  I’m not saying this is why God seems silent, but perhaps I need to ask the Lord why I feel as though He seems silent to me. 
I’m silent when someone isn’t listening.
I don’t want to waste my time and words on someone who doesn’t seem to care or pay attention to what I have to say.
I’m silent when I feel hurt by someone.
Lord are You quiet because I haven’t obeyed Your last instructions to me?  Please help me to obey, just follow through and not make excuses but make the time, not find the time, to do what You are calling me to do.
Perhaps I have too many other voices and noise competing for my attention.  Help me to listen clearly and incline my ear towards You Lord Jesus.

Five Minute Friday – Empty Prayers

Today the Lord convicted me that I was praying empty prayers devoid of faith when praying for God to intervene in circumstances in my life.
My prayers have been passionate and my feelings have been laid bare before the Lord.  Each day, I’m praying for God to move in the circumstances and intervene on my behalf.  While I was praying the Lord helped me to see that I was being double minded.  I was asking for the Lord to be at work in my situation and immediately following that prayer I was planning how to handle it if or when the Lord did not answer my prayer as I had asked.
I’m wrestling about praying with faith and accepting God’s will.  I desire to pray with confidence in God and be assured that He is able to handle what concerns me.  Nothing is too hard for God.  
Then the doubt creeps in…I need to be practical, after all what I’m praying may not be God’s will for my circumstance?  
Erring on the side of faith, when I’m praying within the will of God as revealed in the Bible, I can pray with a confident expectation that God will act. 
The fine line is praying with expectation and a confident assurance in God, but not demanding my way when God chooses to act differently.  I need to remember that when God chooses to answer my prayers differently, it doesn’t change one iota who He is and what He is able to do.  I can trust the plan He is working out.  I will only know God’s will as He works out the circumstances in my life. 
Lord, may I err on the side of faith, of believing that You are well able to handle all that concerns me today.  Help me to pray Lord with unwavering faith and trust You in all circumstances.  May I not be double minded and remember that You are pleased with those who walk by faith. 
 
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. – Heb 11:1
But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. – Heb 11:6
7 For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; 8 he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways. – James 1:7-8
This post is being linked to 5-Minute Friday courtesy of The Gypsy Mama, where you simply write for 5 minutes without worrying if it’s right or not.  Head on over and take the challenge today.

Grace Filled Bloggers

They are grace filled bloggers
Blessing their readers
Sharing what they’ve learned in this journey called life
They share from their heart
What the Lord is teaching them today
Dare to reveal their hopes and dreams about tomorrow
They openly share about trials and temptations
Failures and what they’ve learned
Praising God for their victories in Christ
They share with photographs
Too beautiful for words
Of God’s abundant blessings in their lives
They give a picture into their lives
Telling of family and friends
Even their heartfelt passionate prayers
They encourage readers to stand firm in their faith
Never waver or doubt
But only believe
Some old friends, some new
Some whom I know personally
Some I will one day meet in heaven
They bless me as I read what they share
In their journey of life
Lord, for this I give You thanks
By Susan Wachtel
March 3, 2012
Thank you to the many bloggers who have blessed, challenged and encouraged me.  Truly there have been day’s the Lord has used your word and pictures to bring me much needed encouragement.  Abundant blessings to you in Christ!

Just Thinking…Trials & Tribulations

It’s easy to love the Lord when things are going good in our lives.  But I find out if I really love the Him during difficult times and trials and tribulations. 

Fear is unbelief in action.  It reveals who my focus is on, is it on the Lord or is it on me?  Do I depend upon the Lord or rely on my strength? 

Trials and tribulations are instruments God uses for good in our lives.  If I trust God during hard times my faith is strengthened.  My love for Christ Jesus grows.

Do I really believe, do my thoughts and actions reflect the truth of Scripture that He is the Potter and I am the clay?  Clay being molded doesn’t get off the Potter’s wheel and protest, whine and complain.  Instead the clay submits to the skillful hands of the Potter.

But now, O LORD,
You are our Father;
We are the clay, and You our potter;
And all we are the work of Your hand.
Isaiah 64:8

If I Really Believed

If I really believed that God hears my prayers would that change how I prayed?  If I really believed that God cares and that He answers prayers…how would I pray?  If I was confident that God is who the Bible says He is and can do what He says He can do…what would I pray for? 
 
The first thing that comes to mind is that I would pray more often.
 
I would pray about everything.
 
I would pray with boldness and confidence. 
 
I would be more faithful in prayer for family, friend, strangers and even my enemies. 
 
I would pray with a sense of peace and assurance that my heavenly Father hears me.
 
I would pray more personally. 
 
I could hardly wait to pray…to run to the throne of my Abba Father who cares for me.
 
I would pray with trust and know that no matter what, God is doing a good work in the situation and my character.
 
I would be certain that His “No” is because he is working out a greater good.
 
My prayers would have an eternal vision…not only looking for answers this side of heaven. 
 
I would care less about what people thought about me and more about what my heavenly Father has to say.
 
I would desire to have more time with my Abba Father.
 
I would be excited to share with others the wonderful news about the Gospel message so that they too can be saved and have their sin debt paid in full by Jesus Christ.
 
I wouldn’t give a hoot or holler what unbeliever or doubters had to day…because I would believe God.
 
When attacked by the enemy…I would run to the throne of grace.
 
I would desire to be sanctified, set apart so that nothing would interfere with my prayer life and relationship with God.
 
I would pray more fervently. 
 
Salvation, salvation, salvation would be my primary prayer because I know that God desires that no one would perish but all would come to repentance…and there is nothing more important in life.
 
I would have the joy of the Lord even during the hard times.
 
I wouldn’t try to get through life and difficult circumstances on my own strength.