Monday, July 25, 2016

We all need to let it settle deep within our hearts how God sees us as individuals. Having been granted permission to repost "God's Love Letter To You," written by writer and friend, Julie Boles, this letter is a beautiful reminder of our Heavenly Father's extraordinary and abiding love, shown to us through His Word. 

The Word of God is powerful. "So shall My Word be which goes forth from My mouth; it shall not return to Me empty, without accomplishing what I desire, and without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it" (Isaiah 55:11). For that very reason, during my prayer time, I periodically read aloud this letter in its orginal form. I then personalize His Words and say them as a prayer in acknowledgment of His Word to me. Those truths then settle within my soul and spirit. 

As an example, I have taken the first paragraph and personalized it as God's truth over my life:  "I am unique, extraordinary, and created by You in love. You knew and loved me before I was created, because there was intent and purpose in making me who I am. You created me in Your image and that's why I'm accepted, chosen, dearly loved, and Your beloved child. My identity is found in You alone."

I hope this letter is as meaningful and encouraging to you as it is to me each time that I meditate on it. (Please note the numbers correlate with the numbered scriptures that follow the letter.)

GOD'S LOVE LETTER TO YOU

My Precious Child,

You are unique, extraordinary, and created by Me in love. I knew and loved you even before you were created, because there was intent and purpose in making you who you are. This is why I created you in My image and why you are accepted (1), chosen and dearly loved (2), and my very own beloved child (3). Your true identity is found in Me, alone.

You are forgiven and redeemed (4) and complete in Me (5). I have freed you from all condemnation (6) and have established, anointed, and sealed you for all eternity (7). Of all the peoples in the earth, I have chosen you to represent Me and bear much fruit of who I am.

You have been given exceedingly great and precious promises by Me (9) and I am forever faithful to you. I have given you a spirit of love, power, and a sound mind (10) and I have provided you with continual access to Me. I have told you to ask for wisdom anytime and anywhere, and I will give you what you need (12).

Because of all I have given, you are now alive in Me (13), free from the law of sin and death (14), and removed from all oppression and fear (15). You have received My righteousness (16) and are holy and without blame in My eyes (17). You are renewed (18), delivered (19), and redeemed from all curses (20).

You are a new creation (21), and the fruit of My workmanship so that you can do good works in the earth (22). This is so that you can be a doer of My Word and blessed in what you do (23). Since you believe, the light of the Gospel shines forth in your mind (24).

Seek out My purpose and My perspective in all the circumstances of your life. Do not come into agreement with anything or anyone who is contrary to My Word or My ways. Singularity in your thoughts will enable you to see the things that are unseen (25) and walk in My peace, which surpasses all understanding (26).

Remember, it is your thoughts that produce your beliefs. It is your beliefs that will form your habits. Repetitive habits will shape your character. Ultimately, your character will shape your destiny. It is My desire that your destiny coincides with the purpose and plan I have established for you since before the foundation of the earth (27).

You have received power from Me (28) so that you can do all things through Me (29). In My power you are an overcomer (30) and a partaker of My divine nature (31) to be My ambassador in the earth (32). With your shield of faith, you can quench all the fiery darts of the enemy (33).

Now, go and be the light of the world (34) and the voice of My praise (35). Know that you are strengthened with all might according to My power (36) and that I will never leave you or forsake you (37). I will work in you to do the things I have called you to do (38).

Be thankful at all times because this will synchronize you with My will for your life (39). It will also enable you to hear the voice of heaven so that you can echo the "amen" on earth. Use your words to rule and reign - not to grumble and complain.

I have placed you on this earth for such a time as this (40) so that My will can be accomplished. Tune in to Me and I will direct your steps (41). Be strong and courageous and I will be with you wherever you go (42).

You are a part of a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, and one of My chosen people (43). You are My elect, filled with mercy, kindness, humility, and longsuffering (44). You are firmly rooted, built up, established in faith and overflowing with gratitude (45). Your eyes of understanding are enlightened, you know the hope of My calling, the riches of the glory of My inheritance, and the resurrection power that raised Christ from the dead (46). Because of these things, and oh, so much more, know that I love you like crazy and nothing could EVER separate you from My love (47)!

Love,
Your Heavenly Father

  1. Ephesians 1:6                                          
  2. Colossians 3:12
  3. John 1:12
  4. Colossians 1:14
  5. Colossians 2:10
  6. Romans 8:1
  7. 2 Corinthians 1:21
  8. John 15:16
  9. 2 Peter 1:4
10. 2 Timothy 1:7
11. Ephesians 2:18
12. James 1:5
13. Ephesians 2:5
14.  Romans 8:2
15. Isaiah 54:14
16. Romans 5:17
17. Ephesians 1:4; 1 Peter 1:16
18. Colossians 3:9-10
19. Colossians 1:13
20. Galatians 3:13
21. 2 Corinthians 5:17
22. Ephesians 2:10
23. James 1:22; 25
24. 2 Corinthians 4:4
25. 2 Corinthians 4:18
26. Philippians 4:7
27. Isaiah 48:13
28. Mark 6:17-18
29. Philippians 4:13
30. Revelation 12:11
31. 2 Peter 1:3-4
32. 2 Corinthians 5:20
33. Ephesians 6:16
34. Matthew 5:14
35. Psalm 66:8
36. Colossians 1:11
37. Hebrews 13:5
38. Philippians 2:13
39. 1 Thessalonians 5:18
40. Esther 4:14
41. Psalm 37:23
42. Joshua 1:9
43. 1 Peter 2:9
44. Romans 8:33
45. Colossians 2:7
46. Ephesians 1:18-21
47. Romans 8:38-39

Monday, July 18, 2016

THE UNIQUENESS OF YOU

For we are His workmanship, 
Created in Christ Jesus for good works,
Which God prepared beforehand, 
That we should walk in them.
(Ephesians 2:10)

My dear friend, Kelly Hall, who is a teacher, speaker, and author, recently wrote a blog entitled, "What is so special about me?" In the blog she made a very profound statement that resonated deep within my soul, "God created each of you with a purpose so unique that only you can fulfill it.” It was as if a light went on and I had a sudden epiphany: God created me with a purpose so unique that only I can fulfill it!” That is a revelation that we should all grasp. Only you can fulfill the purposes that God has for your life.

Do you realize the impact of those words? You have been created for a distinct, individualized, and special purpose. No one else can do what you can do! Science has clearly proven the uniqueness of you through your DNA. Even your fingerprints and handwriting are unique to you. Interestingly, identical twins have the same genetics, but they have different handwriting.

God created each person to have skills and talents to do something fulfilling and meaningful for His Kingdom. Those skills might be in creating something with our hands, building, writing, singing, drawing, painting, baking, sewing, crafting, ministering, or being a doctor, veterinarian, lawyer, fireman, fisherman, teacher, policeman, nurse, electrician, plumber, or simply encouraging others and volunteering. The list of occupations, skills, and talents is endless.

Many of us, when we were children, stated, "When I grow up, I'm going to be..." Then life interrupted those dreams, which eventually faded to vague memories. However, some have followed their childhood dreams.

The unflappable Dolly Parton, born and raised with her ten brothers and sisters in a one-room cabin in the Smokey Mountains of Tennessee, was a child filled with dreams of becoming a famous country singer and entertainer. As unrealistic and improbable as those dreams may have seemed, she believed that God had given her talents, and she was determined to pursue them.

It has taken me 40 years to have the courage to pursue my dream of serving God through my writing. Fortunately, it is never too late for those who trust in the Lord to pursue that dream, for He is able to do abuntantly more than all that we dare ask or think beyond our prayers, hopes, and dreams, according to His power that works in and through us (Ephesians 3:20). His Word assures us that if we put Him first in everything we do, then He will direct us and crown our efforts with success (Proverbs 3:6). 

Kelly's words caused me to refocus on the fact that God made me with a distinct personality and temperament. He gifted me with abilities unique to me and to my personality. He has done that for each person, that we may fulfill a specific purpose assigned to us before birth. That is why we must never compare ourselves with others. God's Word says, "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you..." (Jeremiah 1:5). What a marvelous and glorious thought...that God knew us before we were formed in our mother's womb.

I often become frustrated with my take-control, analytical, A-type personality. But those traits drive me and give me focus in prayer, teaching, mentoring, and in writing all that God places within me. When God corrects me, I work to correct the problem. When things need to get done, I dig in and get them done. As a child, I showed leadership skills that would eventually be used in school, church, and business.

Having a "get-it-done-now," perfectionist personality to compensate for negative feedback as a child, I have had to work at not only finding balance in my life but also realizing that whatever I do, I must work at it with my whole being for the Lord, and not for man's approval (Colossians 3:23). 

Discouragement can be destructive but when we trust in God, we can use that negative criticism as a driving force to overcome and accomplish great things, for we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us (Philippians 4:13). Therefore, we keep pressing forward, knowing that in everything we do, if we put Him first, He will direct and crown our efforts with success (Proverbs 3:2).

I am constantly reminded of the great men and women in the Bible who were considered by others as average and/or incapable of the task at hand. A great example of this is David, a shepherd boy, who would eventually become King David of Israel.

Guided by God, the Prophet Samuel journeyed to Bethlehem to see Jesse, the father of David and his seven brothers, among whom Samuel would find the next king.  However, Jesse presented only seven of his sons, leaving young David tending the flock. Samuel saw one son that stood out to him, but God told Samuel, "Do not look at his countenance and at his tall stature, for I have rejected him. For it is not as a man perceives it; a man sees what is visible to the eyes, but God sees into the heart" (I Samuel 16:7). Samuel then inquired of Jesse if he had more sons. Jesse quickly answered that his youngest son was tending the sheep. Samuel then demanded that the boy be immediately brought to him. As soon as David appeared, Samuel knew that he was the one to be anointed.

God knows each person inside and out. He knows our strengths, our weaknesses, and our capabilities. Although we may doubt our abilities, or others may have said that we could never succeed, God is aware of our limitations, but most importantly, He knows our potential, because He placed that potential within us.

There is a Sunday morning show called "Game Changers," which highlights young professional atheletes who use their occupation to bless others. Many of these atheletes have come from impossible situations with some having been raised in violent neighborhoods, some were homeless, and many were fatherless. Fortunately, their circimstances didn't define them. Instead, they were motivated to study and work hard, which resulted in grateful attitudes and successful careers. The difference between them and other atheletes is that they return to their communities to use their talents and skills to teach and mentor young children.  

You may ask, "How do I know my full potential and what God has gifted me to do?" The answer: Those things that you have a passion for, that make you happy, and that give you a sense of accomplishment are usually the skills and talents that God imparted to you before you were born. It saddens Him when we waste or don't use our skills and talents to bless others, for those giftings are a reflection of God's nature, which then connects us to Him and to others.

When we pursue God and His will, He leads us along a path that opens doors of opportunity to use our talents and gifts. One day we will all stand before the LORD. My fervent prayer has always been, that as I stand before the Creator of the universe, He will say, "Well done, good and faithful servant. Well done."  

You saw me before I was born. 
Every day of my life was recorded in Your Book.
 Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed.

(Psalm 139:16)

Monday, July 11, 2016

MY SONG TO YOU

June 28, 2016, I awoke, dressed, poured a cup of hot coffee, and decided to take advantage of the quiet early morning hours before Michael's afternoon testing. Enjoying the comfort of a lounge chair on our friends' beautiful patio, I leaned back, closed my eyes, and prayed. I quickly became distracted by the intriguingly beautiful and varied lilting sounds of multiple birds. As their chorus rhythmically ebbed and flowed across the morning air, God gently spoke to my spirit, "Just like the melodic songs that birds make in the early morning hours, My Word is My song to you." Those who seek Him early will find Him (Proverbs 8:17).

There is such joy in knowing that God desires to fellowship with us, for "The Lord our God is in our midst. He is The Mighty One who saves and rejoices over us with gladness. He quiets us with His unending love and rejoices over us with singing" (Zephaniah 3:17 NKJV). Can you imagine? God not only sings over us, but He brings peace to our hearts and pursues us with His unfailing love (Psalm 23:6).

God greatest song of love is His Word, for Jesus is the Word. "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God" (John 1:1). "And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth" (John 1:14). When we read God's Word we are reading the very heart of God.

"All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work" (2 Timothy 3:16-17) "Every Word of God is pure; He is a shield to those who put their trust in Him" (Proverbs 30:5).  "For whatever God says to us is full of living power: it is sharper than the sharpest dagger, cutting swift and deep into our innermost thoughts and desires with all their parts, exposing us for what we really are" (Hebrews 4:12 LB).

[His] Word is a lamp to [our] feet and a light to [our] path (Psalm 119:105). "His way is perfect; the Word of the Lord is proven; He is a shield to all who trust in Him (Psalm 18:30). For the Word of the Lord is right, and all His work is done in truth" (Psalm 33:4).  We can trust His Word, because "God is not a man, that He should lie, nor a son of man, that He should repent. Has He said, and will He not do? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?" (Numbers 23:19)


God's pursuit of mankind began in the Garden as He walked in the cool of the day and fellowshipped with Adam and Eve (Genesis 3:8). That morning, in the my friend's little "garden" of bright, colorful flora, I may not have physically seen the Lord walking, but His presence surrounded me with the beauty of His creation as He gently whispered a deep truth into my spirit..."My Word is my song to you."