If I Could See What You See…..

A couple of years ago, the company I worked for wanted to provide a community of prayer for our readers.  Once a month they would make available downloads of worshipful songs.  As the site developed, they added videos to go with the songs.  While the site didn’t really work the way they had wanted, the music was a hit.

I added this song to my personal playlist and when I lose focus of where I need to be, I play it over and over.  It has a calming and uplifting effect on me.  The words remind me that God sees us differently than we see ourselves.  We need to learn to see what He sees.

Enjoy the worship video for “If You Could See What I See” from Maribeth Johnson.

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Free to Praise

Wrote this post exactly three years ago on my old blog Crown Laid Down…today I wanted to repost it in light of the great and awesome things God has and is and will be doing in my dear friend Joanne’s life.  I praise YOU, Father…for you are setting her arms free to praise You.  Thank You, Jesus!

When all about me seems unstable, I look to the LORD for help. When every reliable pathway comes to a dead end, I call out to the LORD for direction. When it is dark all ’round about me, I cry out to the LORD in a loud voice–telling Him that I need Him.

Imagine with me the scene: three siblings, who are greatly favored and loved by Jesus, are going through a very great trial. One lay on his bed, very sick. One tends to him and does every single thing she can think of to make her brother well. She works tirelessly, even in prayer. Another sister, fasts and prays and begs God to send Jesus to them. Both sisters had already sent word to Jesus to come quickly, their brother was dying.

But Jesus did not come. Their brother, Lazarus, died. He was wrapped in grave clothes and put to rest in a tomb covered by a stone. His body lay in the tomb four days. Then Jesus came to Bethany.

Martha, the taskmaster, comes to Jesus to ask why he delayed. Her statement of faith is two-part: I know you can change this circumstance, and I know you are the Christ, the Son of God, who was to come.

Jesus then reveals to Martha a name that describes His character: I am the resurrection and the life, whoever believes in me will live. Ah, now a taskmaster likes to know the solution to every problem, she longs to know the answers. Jesus told Martha, I am the solution and the answer.

Then there’s Mary, who is sitting still at home. She is the gentle worshipper, who is nearly afraid to ask the question–not sure she wants to hear the answer. Timid, but obedient, Mary comes with haste when Jesus calls to her. She comes and falls at His feet, saying I know if you had been here this would not have happened. She wept in pain.

Now, focus on this part with me: Jesus prays to God and thanks Him for hearing Him. Then in a loud voice (like using a megaphone) he calls for Lazarus to come out. Can you feel the rumble in the ground, as Jesus spoke?

“And he that was dead came forth, bound hand and foot with grave clothes, and his face was bound about with a napkin. Jesus said unto them ‘Loose him and let him go.’ ” John 11:44
Lazarus is bound from his grave clothes. Mary is bound from her sorrow. Martha is finally unbound from her need to take charge with her statement of faith in the One who came to take charge.

Now tell me, what has you bound? Think about it a moment. What has your hands firmly tied? What keeps them entirely unmovable? In service on Sunday morning, what keeps your heart in chains, your spirit unable to worship Him? What is holding your hands firmly to your side? For Jesus is worthy of praise, friends. Are you bound or unbound?

This weekend, I was very sick in bed. My head could barely lift. My arms could barely move. When I had to walk, it was very slow. But my mind was alert. So I pulled out my Bible and Strongs with KJV and began a little word study.
I was reading Psalm 142. David was in the cave, hiding from King Saul, and he wrote from a troubled heart.

David is crying out loud to his God, like with a megaphone. “I’m in trouble, God. I’m trapped. I’m overwhelmed. I’m alone. No one regards me. BUT you are my refuge, my food, my deliverer, and my strength.”

Then David gives his statement of faith: “Bring my soul out of prison, so that I may give thanks to Your name; The righteous will surround me, For You will deal bountifully with me.” Psalm 142:7

The word for prison here was surprising to me. For not only did it mean an enclosure or dungeon, but it is derived from a word that reminded me of a strait jacket–to be shut in, so that your hands cannot be raised. David says from the inmost part of himself, “LORD, I ask that you would speak over my tied, imprisoned and bound hands, so that I may throw them up in praise to You.”

From his prison of a life, David declares that the LORD will encircle him ’round about with righteous men and cause his life to ripen and bear fruit. He knows that his strength is in the LORD–the Just One, who has purposed his life to be full, rich and fruitful.

Now let’s go back to my question to you. Are you bound or unbound? If you are bound, cry out to Jesus in a loud voice…pour out your need to Him. So the Logos, Jesus, may speak (lego) life back into you. Then you may shoot your hands up in praise to Him. If you are unbound, speak in faith about what Jesus has done in your life. Praise Him!

When we praise Him and tell of all His works in our life to those around us, we call back to the ones who LONG to be unbound. It is the fragrance of Christ completely covering the smell of death in this world.

2 Corinthians 2:14
But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumphal procession in Christ and through us spreads everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of him.

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Heart Prompt #4

“For to us a child is born,
   to us a son is given,
   and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
   Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
   Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”
Isaiah 9:6

Today, decide to be deliberate this holiday season. Choose to not let the hustle get you. Make time to decorate, small as it may be.  Make the time to bake cookies, by yourself or with family and friends.  Choose to put in a Christmas CD. Sing carols. Look at lights. Be purposeful. Above all, remember the One who was sent for a purpose.

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Heart Prompt #2

“Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.” Isaiah 7:14 NIV

The Bible tells us that God inhabits the praises of His people.  Take moments each day to vocalize your praise of the Lord.  Sing a song, pray, speak His word out loud, share with your loved ones all the reasons why you praise Him.  Praising the Lord with you!

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An Ordinary Day

I ask for no spectacular occurrence, no high drama to come my way
No heart-racing momentum, but just an ordinary day.

An ordinary day when the sun rises high
When the clouds drift by or the snowflakes fly

A good cup of coffee in preheated mug
A promise to keep, a kind word, a hug

God’s Word to guide me, someone to need
A small hand in mine, a good book to read

Bright lights and candle light, the sweet smell of pine
And thanks to the Savior for making them mine

A tall Christmas tree with child-made angel on top
Sitting around the table – mopping up spilled pop

Laughter and  stories of “Remember when?’’
(things that seemed like such huge problems then)

Places to walk, good friends to greet
A flag to salute, church where we meet

To comfort a baby, bring cheer to the old
Flowers to plant, clean laundry to fold

A job to do, a sweet song to sing
A goal to be met, a small gift to bring

So I  will walk and sometimes run
And lift my face up to the sun
Sing and dance, raise hands in praise
To Him Who is the Truth, the Way
For the simple, extraordinary pleasure of…..

An ordinary day

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