May 10, 2015

What’s Hidden in a Mother’s Heart

How thankful I am for each one of you. Although we cannot see each other face-to-face, your friendships bless me more than you know. Your words of encouragement, words of wisdom, and prayers have carried me through some of my hardest times as a mom. A few days ago, my baby girl graduated from the University of Georgia. It doesn’t seem possible that Lauren is now a college graduate, preparing to start her first job.

A few weeks ago as I was reflecting on God closing one chapter of Lauren’s life and opening another, I read these lovely words from one of YOU … words that came at just the perfect time and spoke words my heart needed to hear. I asked my friend if I could share them with you, and thankfully she said “yes.” I pray they will bless you as much as they have blessed me.

Mother's Day graphic.Luke2.19

 

From the heart of my friend Jeffery  Lynn  Pulley Denton

What’s Hidden in A Mothers Heart

Remember seeing those little toes and fingers for the first time?? Remember that first smile, the first word, the first catch of a ball, the first fish caught? How ‘bout the first time I went to wash his little jeans and there in his pocket was a collection of rocks, dead flowers and even bugs. The first date, the first time his heart was broken, and then when you see him take his wife, and know you have to let him go.

Being a Mother to sons has been my greatest accomplishment in this world. Watching them play ball, fly kites, slide in the mud, jump over and in a puddle of water. Watching their faces when their baby girls were born, and seeing the look of pure love written in their eyes.Yesterday they were just little boys with knees out of their jeans from sliding in the grass, and now they are grown men with jobs, and homes, and girls of their own.

Today is all there is, yesterday flew away, and tomorrow may never come. I have the peace of knowing my boys have accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior; I have the peace of knowing I will spend eternity with them in Heaven. Little boys who once kicked the ball in the house, hid candy wrappers under the bed, picked weeds for flowers and brought them to me with big smiles on their faces. Young men who got their first jobs, one at a grocery store, the other at a car wash. But they worked. Both of them have always had good work ethics. Young men who got their hearts broken in high school, and this Momma wanted to go and wring the girls’ necks. Not much later they broke girls’ hearts, and I wanted to wring their necks!  Watching them earn their high school diplomas. Teaching them to drive, which made me one nervous Mom, then watching them drive away on their own that first time … all the while praying for God to take care of them and bring them safely back.I have been there to see the hurt in their hearts when experiencing death for the first time and to see them cry over losing their favorite pet.

No one can prepare you for, or explain to you all that happens in a Mothers heart. It just happens! It happens much faster than you think it will.  One day they’re in diapers, and the next, they’re in their first tux heading to prom. Leaving one at college, and watching the other move into his first apartment broke my heart. But, oh, the joy of seeing Scotty’s face when Chere came down that isle to marry him! Seeing the tears he shed because he loves her so much. Seeing them both play with their girls, laugh with them, and cry with them. My boys are great Daddies, with big ole hearts who love big. I am one proud lady. God gave them to me. God had me to raise them to love Him. This is just what my husband and I have strived to do.

Lisapraying.no words

Oh, these boys did things that worried me and broke my heart on occasion. My heart wanted to ask why, but I know all works for the good of those who love the Lord. I pray for my boys every day. I ask for their protection, for them to be broken for Jesus, and to love Jesus like He loves them. I pray for them to be daddies who will take their girls to church and teach them about God.

My cup runneth over with thanksgiving to God for giving me the honor of being Scotty Denton and Toby Denton’s mother.

Thank you to my sweet friend for giving us a glimpse into a mother’s heart.

Blessings,

April 21, 2015

Don’t Let Anyone Steal Your Peace

PEACE

 “state of tranquility or serenity, cessation or freedom from strife and dissension”

Sounds wonderful, doesn’t it?

But are we ever truly at peace?

Oh, how I want to be. But it’s so easy for circumstances and people to steal my peace.  Some days their actions, or lack thereof, make me grumble and complain. Other days their words cause me to scowl and roll my eyes. And sometimes I completely lose it.

Notice my word choice: “they make me.” I blame my husband, my sassy teenager, the irritating people on the highway, the rude clerk at the store, the demanding boss for stealing my peace. It feels better that way. Justified.

Yet after the looks flash across my face or the words spew forth from my lips, I hate it! I wished I hadn’t. I want to stop, to be kind, to be patient. But I can’t. I just can’t. Something in me just can’t stop myself! My heart cries, What is wrong with me??

Can you identify?

My comfort comes; my hope for peace returns when I read Paul’s words in Romans 7:15,

Listen, I can’t explain my actions. Here’s why: I am not able to do the things I want; and at the same time, I do the things I despise. (NIV)

Wow! Even Paul felt this way. The greatest evangelist that ever lived struggled with walking fully in God’s peace. He got angry. He lost his temper. People irritated him.

It’s called sin!

It’s our natural bent. Without Jesus we would live this way every day, every hour, every minute.

To overcome that natural bent, we must feed our spirit.

We forget that as saved children of God, we have two natures. Physical AND spiritual.

Without Jesus, we walk in the physical. We respond in the physical. We allow our sin nature to lead us.

When I lose my patience easily; when my tongue lets loose quickly, when I feel devoid of peace, it’s because I am allowing my physical self to control my thoughts, emotions and speech. And looking back, it’s those times that I’m not sitting at the feet of my Father … really spending time reading and absorbing His Word. Consequently, my peace dissipates, and I end up  angry. Restless. Impatient. Intolerant.

Jesus, our Great Shepherd, did not live a divided life. His physical and spirit united as one. And His Spirit controlled His physical. He allowed it to lead in all He said and did. He offered His total life to His Father. Scripture tells us

I have come down from heaven not to pursue My own agenda but to do what He desires. I am here on behalf of the Father who sent Me. John 6:38 (The Voice)

Jesus did His Father’s will … always.

Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 10:31

Whatever you do—whether you eat or drink or not—do it all to the glory of God! (The Voice)

Jesus desired to glorify God in everything He said and did. And so should we. Really, every act of our lives should reflect His peace, His love, and His character.

Friend, let’s pray together with one heart to unite our natural self  with our spiritual self so that God’s peace and His presence will permeate our every word and deed.

Not perfectly. But consistently.

So when we lose it, and we will, our hearts are more prepared and open to repenting and asking forgiveness, thereby modeling again our Father’s character.

We must PRACTICE living a life of peace.

We must invite God into our every day. It’s when we include Him in our daily activities that peace will permeate our hearts and homes.

Isaiah26.3.PerfectPeace

IN CHRIST WE CAN DO THIS!! Not in our own strength, but in the strength of the Holy Spirit.

Do you have days like mine? Times where you can’t explain the lack of peace? Share them with us today and share how you find your peace again. It helps to know we are not alone!!

Sweet Blessings to you today!

April 2, 2015

An Easter Gift from My Heart to Yours

Easter Quiet Time

Guided Abiding Time with Jesus 

 

Easter is such a precious time in our faith. One of my favorite ways to celebrate is to simply sit and soak in God’s Word. Below please find a guided quite time that I pray tenderly leads you to a sacred meeting place with Jesus in the Holy of Holies tucked inside your heart. There are no rules…you can do it in one sitting or over several days.

Hear the Word of the Lord

Psalm 33:1-11

Donna'sCross

Praise our Abba Father…

a. Psalm 27:4

 

b. Psalm 84

 

c. Psalm 90:1-2

 

d. Psalm 145, especially 14, 17-20

 

e. Isaiah 43:1-7

 

Do you know He has called you by name, created you for His glory? Do you know He and He alone is your dwelling place? Journal your thoughts.

 

See how great is the love of God…

a. Isaiah 1:18 and Isaiah 53:1-12

 

b. Psalm 51

 

c. Psalm 139

 

d. John 8:36

 

e. Romans 8:1

 

f. 2 Corinthians 5:17

 

g. 1 John 1:8-9

 

 Spend a few moments praising God and receive the unfailing love of our awesome God.  Journal your thoughts.

John 3.16image

Our Savior’s sacrifice…

Jesus Christ… the Son of God…the Author of Life…the Anointed, Chosen One, stepped out of heaven and into our earthly realm, choosing to leave His honored place in heaven.  He was born into poverty.  He learned obedience.  He was hated by His own people, ridiculed and persecuted.  His own creation arrested Him, stripped Him naked, and forced a crown of thorns into His head.  They beat Him and knelt before Him, mocking: “Hail, King of the Jews.”

When He was so weak He could barely stand, they forced Him to the ground and onto the cross.  They stretched out His arms and drove nails into His hands and feet.  His blood poured forth onto the ground.  Upon crucifying Him, they divided His clothes and kept watch over Him through the night. As He hang dying, many stood at the base of the cross hurling insults at Him, mocking Him.

After hours of agony, darkness fell over the land.  Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken Me!”  At that moment, the curtain of the Temple ripped in two from top to bottom.  The earth shook, rocks split.  Tombs broke open.  Jesus cried out again in a loud voice, “Father, into your hands, I commit my Spirit.”  Upon speaking these words, our Lord and Savior breathed His last breath.

God could have stopped this scene. Jesus could have lifted Himself off the cross, but He chose not to because He saw my name.  He saw your name.  He saw my sin.  He saw your sin.  He knew the only price to pay for that sin was death.

Jeremiah 31:3

 

Romans 8:38-39

 

Pray this prayer:  Lord, Your Word says the sacrifices You desire are a broken and contrite spirit, and a contrite heart You will not despise. Today, I confess my sin, especially _______________. Thank You that Your Word promises that when I confess my sin, You are faithful and just and will forgive my sin and purify me from all unrighteousness. Thank You that Your blood, the blood You shed on the cross sets me free and Your Word promises that when You set me free, I am free indeed! Thank You that according to Your Word there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. Thank You that You see me through the blood of Your Son Jesus. Thank You that all things old are gone and the new has come. Thank You that You have washed me white as snow and that my sins are as far away as the east is from the west! Today I receive Your forgiveness and cannot wait to live in the fullness of all You have to offer. AMEN.

Do you understand the depth of this love God has for you, the depth of the sacrifice He made for you and for me?  Tell Him so now.

 

The gift of new life…

As if forgiveness of sins was not enough, God gave us another gift.

The Resurrection

Three days later, an angel of the Lord came down from heaven, His appearance like lightning, His clothes white as snow.  He rolled back the stone at the tomb.  The tomb was empty!  The angel said, “Jesus of Nazarene, who was crucified.  He has risen!  He is not here.”  After Jesus appeared to His friends, He was taken up to heaven to sit at the right hand of God, His father.

Because of this gift, you and I receive the opportunity for new life and the gift of God’s Holy Spirit.

Read these powerful words from the Lord:

a. Ezekiel 36:26-27

 

b. John 14:16-21

 

c. John 16:13-15

 

d. Galatians 5:22-23

 

e. 2 Timothy 1:7

 

Do you know the joy of having the power and presence of the living God residing within you?  Speak to the Spirit and ask Him to fill you with the fullness of God at this moment, to receive all God has for you.

 

Spend time with the Lord and draw near to His heart…

DrawNeartoGod

a. Proverbs 2:1-15

 

b. Proverbs 4:20-27

 

c. Isaiah 55:1-3, 6

 

d. Hebrews 10:19-25

 

e. Phil 3:7-10

 

What do you need to consider loss, what do you cling to that keeps you from fully surrendering to Christ?  Ask Him to take it from you now.

 

Sit and soak in God’s presence…just you and His Word…

Scripture teaches that one day at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

a. Joshua 1:8-9

 

b. Psalm 1:1-6

 

c. Psalm 63:1-8

 

d. Isaiah 30:15-18

 

e. Isaiah 40:28-31

 

f. Exodus 33:14

 

Close in prayer…

 Thank you, Father, for this precious time to be still and know that You are God.  Father, take this time, bless it, take what I have offered to You, and continually remind me of what You have taught me and spoken to my heart.  To You alone I give all glory, majesty, power, and authority now and forevermore.  Amen

 

My heart fills with gratitude as I thank God for you! You are the most amazing community of women. Thank you for your prayers and your sweet words of encouragement through the years. I pray that each one of you will experience God in very deep, rich and personal ways as you sit at His feet during this Holy week.

If you feel led to share how the Lord speaks to you through your time alone with Him, I would love to hear from you!

Blessings,