Sunshinelittleone's Blog

All about my love for the Lord

A prayer for Max and Caroline…

“My son {and daughter}, pay attention to what I say; listen closely to my words. Do not let them out of your sight, keep them within your heart; for they are life to those who find them and health to a whole man’s body. Above all else, guard your heart for it is the wellspring of life. Put away perversity from your mouth; keep corrupt talk from your lips. Let your eyes look straight ahead, fix your gaze directly before you. Make level paths for your feet and take only ways that are firm. Do not swerve to the right or the left; keep your foot from evil.” Proverbs 4:20-27

I pray this prayer for my children. I ask the Lord to guard their hearts, minds, Spirits. I ask that He shields their eyes and ears from things that will leave lasting, unforgettable impressions…things that perhaps I witnessed as a child…things that drew me away from God. I want for my children a life that is life-giving. I want them to experience the world with a Biblical view. I want them to set their sights on things that are good and pleasing. When tested (because they will be), I want them to cling to the Lord and His perfect strength. I want for them a deeply rooted love of God. I want them to turn to Him long before they turn to me or their dad. I want them to know that they always have a Father in heaven who is sovereign and mighty. I want these things and I believe the Lord wants them too. I trust that when I pray and ask in HIS will He is right there in the mix of my requests. I also want for my children to be bolder than I am in sharing the message of Salvation. I pray that on their journey they encounter ears and hearts that are open and yearning for the Good News of Christ. I pray that they would serve as heralds of God’s grace. I pray these things in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Advertisements
Leave a comment »

Hello friends…

I have had two breath-taking moments in the last few days.

Actually, there have been, what seem like infinite ways the Lord has taken my breath away over the last three weeks. I have been “Immersed in God.” I have spent hours in contemplative prayer and consideration over the course of 21 days. The Lord has given me insight about my life I never imagined understanding.

I love having people around me and I love being with people-I love friends. But, as I am enjoying and reaping the delight of friendship…I get scared. I flee. Not always, and not now (Glory to the Lord, He has graciously shown me the security in lasting friendships and commitment to another person.) But…I had fled from two very special friends.
The encounter with both of them was like stepping into the sun after days of winter gray. Our reunions were days apart yet so thoughtfully planned.

That first sight of a long lost friend is like seeing them for the first time all over again. There was a moment when time seemed to stop…God does that, His hand is the hand of time, He controls it all. I had to catch my breath. That’s what true heart based friendship is- someone who knows you and has loved you and cared for you and set you to wander away-always welcoming you home with open arms.

For years we had spent, what seemed like, days together…consecutive days-for a long time. Then we didn’t. It wasn’t anyone’s fault…or maybe it was all three, but it doesn’t matter. What matters is that in all the absence, our hearts grew stronger and fonder of one another. That’s what takes your breath away. Chokes you up. Makes you weep-joyfully.

Our laughter filled the ordinary places of our designed encounters. My friend said that “eyes never change.” Her words seemed to linger and dive into my heart. That’s exactly it. Our eyes are significant to our Spirit. We reveal the world…our world. Seeing the eyes of a friend is like returning to a memory. It’s comfort greater than a worn and loved quilt. It is kindred-spirits relieved to reunite.

My friends know who they are…they are two who will forever be part of my glorious life puzzle. They are pieces that form shapes of beauty. I am blessed. They are blessings.

Leave a comment »

The board in my eye…

“Do not judge and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.” Luke 6:37

I have been that person. Judgmental. Condemning.
I have looked down my nose at people. I have thought thoughts that were displeasing toward others.
I have done this with full expectation that I will not be judged.

We do this…cast stones; find the plank in our brother’s eye; JUDGE. But, we are not judged…if we are in Christ Jesus. Who are we to condemn our brothers and sisters? How can we expect that they will not judge us when we condemn them? I think learning to refrain from judgment and condemnation is a very difficult task; especially when we feel like we have been wronged our hurt by someone. Or, when we feel like those we love are being condemned. But! This is not of God. We are to love and not judge. We are commanded to LOVE ONE ANOTHER…loving does not mean judging. We cannot receive the blood of Christ and continue to look down on others. We must love like Christ. The Lord asks us to KEEP OUR BROTHER FROM STUMBLING…not judge him because of his sin. We are taught to CORRECT and REBUKE…not condemn.

Father God,
I am all too good at casting stones. I need to be better at sharing LOVE. Thank you, sweet and precious Friend that you whisper into my heart when I am being less than honorable with your word…your love…your blood.
Lord, help me to love and shine for YOU! Teach me to rebuke the Spirit of judgment.
Thank you, Jesus, for bearing my sin. Thank you for washing me white as snow when my hands were stained in your blood. Thank you Lord for not judging me, but gently rebuking and correcting me.
In the name of Jesus. Amen.

3 Comments »

Follow that baby…

“Surely you will summon nations you know not, and nations that do not know you will hasten to you, because the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, for he has endowed you with splendor. Seek the Lord while he may be found; call on him while he is near.” Isaiah 55:5-6

I have to remember not to take the life God has given me for granted or to think that my life doesn’t have an impact. God uses us all to further His kingdom. Christianity, in a basic form, is much like a game of dominos. God sets us up in His perfect alignment watching and waiting for us to tip over and move the person next to us. The first domino to fall affects the outcome of the last to land. Such is the life of a Christian. We are constantly witnessing the goodness of God…even when we are unaware. Maybe that’s the time our testimonies are really loud…when we aren’t paying attention. I have a friend whose son lived his faith out loud while quietly laying in a bassinet in a NICU. He never spoke a word or prayed a prayer (that we know of, that mystery is for God’s own delight). He never professed his faith or waved banners over his fellow believers. This child-a baby-preached the gospel the way St. Francis encouraged us…without speaking a word. This child touched the lives of SEVERAL people…personally and profoundly. The Lord took this courageous disciple home to dwell among the angels…sit at the Throne…prayerfully watch over his mother and father and siblings-all six of them. It will almost be a year since his homegoing. He made a difference, greater than I can imagine making. He dared…without being aware of the impact, to live his faith out loud. His parents do that daily. They make an effort to love the way Christ loves. They live their faith at the top of their voices…spilling into the lives of all they meet.

Dear Father,
You know the number of our days…the lives we will touch. Thank you that we cannot comprehend the purpose you have for our lives, it would make us crumble. You know the impact we will have on the lives we encounter. Help us Lord to live our faith in a manner pleasing to You…spilling and bubbling over to everyone we meet.
Lord, forgive me when I deny myself the opportunity to share the gift you have so graciously poured over me…the gift of SALVATION. Help me, O Lord, that I may be like the child in the bassinet…wearing your banner of love so humbly.
In Jesus’ name. Amen

2 Comments »

The sweet aroma of prayer…

Worship was amazing. The sermon was amazing. The message IS amazing.

I share with you the notes I took from my pastor as he preached today’s sermon on prayer. Our church is celebrating 40 days of prayer during Lent. Through the word of God and Pastor’s amazing obedience to listen very close to what the Lord tells him, I offer to you what the Spirit taught me.
I have spent the better part of my prayer life reciting the prayers I memorized as a child. They are the prayers that many have prayed.
About three years ago I started sharing with the Lord that I wanted to pray His way. I was blessed by many who offered their concise “ways of praying”.
Making sure to touch on every essential…
A.C.T.S. is what I have always felt suited my petition to the Lord. Adoration; Contrition; Thanksgiving; Supplication.
I will continue to pray in this fashion, however, I will no longer consider it a means to touch on the ‘essentials’ of prayer. Today I learned about ‘essential’ prayer.

Praying the prayers of scripture is essential…of God.

Pastor shared with us today essential prayers.
*John 17-Jesus’ prayer for Himself.
*The Lord’s Prayer
*Ephesians 1:16-19
*Ephesians 3:14-19
*Philippians 1:9-11
*Colossians 1:9-12

(These are my notes…I pray you are able to glean something from them and that the perspective you have about prayer changes.)

Petition for children:
-Ephesians 3-break it down for kids.
-Establish in them/with them intercession for others.
-Raise up kids who pray and pray with depth and insight.

Essential praying:
*Prayer is seeking fullness of joy in His presence.
*Paul prayed the kingdom not of self.
*There are approved ingredients to prayer “SELF” is not an ingredient.
*Praying the kingdom is praying LIFE.
*Learn to be small and fully dependent on God.
*Carry the fragrance of Christ
*”May my prayer be before you like incense.”
*God wants us like we are, in the honesty and brokenness of our lives.

I hope that you are blessed by these notes.

And for you I offer…
Prayer fills us with the sweet fragrance of God-fill your soul, your family, home, church, friends, community and drive out the enemy.
Prayer is incense to the Lord. It is the fragrance of worship and thanksgiving and Love for the Father. Love for our Lord and Savior. Let your life be a pleasing aroma to the Lord.
Be blessed…be a blessing!

3 Comments »

He will provide…always!

“As he looked up, Jesus saw the rich putting their gifts into the temple treasury. He also saw a poor widow put in two very small cooper coins. “I tell you the truth,” he said, “this poor widow has put in more than all the others. All these people gave their gifts out of their wealth; but she gave out of her poverty put in all she has to live on.” Luke 21:1-4
What will you bring to the altar? Will you trust the Lord to provide? Tithing is part of a three stringed cord. When we pray, give and fast sacrificially the Lord honors and blesses our obedience. Our money is not ours-it is ALL God’s. Everything under Heaven is His. When we tithe on Sunday mornings we are giving back to God what He has blessed us with. He calls us to be good stewards of His resources. Never think that you don’t have enough to give. The Lord will bless your sacrificial offerings. He will multiply your submission. He will use it to further His kingdom. Take a leap of faith…You will be amazed at what the Lord will do with your “copper coins”. He is Jehovah Jireh, the Lord who provides. So, if you are in a season of challenge and feel like you just can’t share a dime…He will bless your surrender. Take a leap of faith…give your fears and doubt to the Lord. He will bless your offering!

Dear God,
I praise You for everything You bless me with. The money in my account; the house that I live in; the clothes I wear; the food I eat is not mine…it is ALL YOURS! Thank You for the blessings You pour into me that I may give them back to you…and your Kingdom!
Forgive me Lord, please, when I do not acknowledge that all my resources flow from Your mighty hand. You are the GREAT PROVIDER!
I pray that you take my small offering and multiply it for your cause, Lord.
In the name of Jesus. Amen

Leave a comment »

Come let us sing Him praise…

“Come, let us bow down in worship, kneel before the Lord our Maker; for he is our God and we are the people of His pasture, the flock under His care.” Psalm 95:6-7
“Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart.” Psalm 37:4

We should delight in the Lord that delights in us. We should sing songs of praise continually. Thanking the maker of heaven and earth for the lives we live. We are made to worship. But, what are we worshiping? If we are not spending our days prayerfully exalting the Lord, we are falling short of God’s glory. He deserves our praise. When praise does not rest on our tongues, our hearts become hardened. How are we living our faith? Are we resting on the idols of our every day or are we lifting the Lord in praise. Many of us spend our days finding worth in things other than our God. Jesus Christ sacrificed His life on the cross to change our crimson stained clothes to white. He took our sin. When we set idols in our midst…jobs, clothes, vanity (the list is endless)…we are taking the Lord’s sacrifice for granted. Tarnishing the Light of Christ should never be our desire…we should be boldly singing His praise and lifting Him high. We must spend each day entering into the realm of the Lord. When we do our lives are transformed and we are made new. He has created in us a spirit of worship…what will you chose to exalt?

Dear Lord,
Thank you for filling my mouth with praise. Thank you for putting a spirit of thanksgiving in my heart. Thank you for your Word and its power to heal and soothe and LOVE.
Please forgive me Father when I place objects and people on Your throne. Please forgive me when I spend time worshiping anything but you. Please remind me when I stray.
I praise you Lord for you are MIGHTY and STRONG. You are BEAUTIFUL and GENTLE. Thank you for loving me in spite of my stains…to You be the GLORY! In Jesus’ name. Amen.

4 Comments »

With this ring….

“Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, as also wives should submit to their husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.” Ephesians 5:22-28

I am not great at submitting to my husband…he is very good at loving me. I tend to be extremely willful; this does not make for harmony. I like my ideas and opinions…I tend rest in them, even when they go against the opinions of my husband-the ones that perhaps at times I should yield to. When I am submissive our life has a cadence of righteousness…we are following God’s plan for marriage. I get embroiled in my own self-righteousness and have trouble following my husband’s lead. To be submissive is not letting your husband lead you into danger or harm or anything ungodly…but rather to yield to his God-given authority and dominion over the family. God created men and women so very different. He created us to be compliments to one another. Both lives play very important roles in the marriage. Just as Christ loves the church…so should a husband love his wife and a wife should yield and submit to the authority of her husband. When we go against the design, our married lives can become entangled in frustration and discontent. Today…this second day of lent, I will make a prayerful commitment to follow my husband’s lead, acting as his helpmate…loving him with God’s heart, for the Lord created us to love each other!
Dear God,
Thank you so much for your design to love and honor one another. Thank you for the gift of marriage.
I pray that you would forgive me as you forgave Eve. Forgive me when my heart is hardened to my husband’s desires. Forgive us both when we do not live up to Your word.
Thank you, Lord for my dear husband. Thank you for creating us for each other. Time of trial bring us closer together…allowing us to love with Your heart and not our own. I pray that I am able to be like Sarah and submit to You first and then to my husband. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

2 Comments »

Read your Bible and pray everyday and you’ll grow…grow…grow!

“Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1Thessalonians5:16-18

Be joyful always…that’s a tall order. But joy is not happy. Happy is an emotion we feel; joy is a state of being. In Christ we can always be joyful. He took our sins and washed them clean away. He fills us with His joy. Pray continually…always without stopping. The name of my Savior should always be on my tongue. I should spend my day, in every circumstance, praising and thanking and asking my Savior to receive my prayers. I should be dwelling in Him as I walk through my day. But do I? My church (I call it mine, because it is home, if you are seeking ask the Lord to give you not just a church…but a church home.) is celebrating 40 days of prayer. Our hearts’ desire is to fill the alter with thousands of prayer requests from all over our community…my heart’s desire is to fill my mouth with prayer requests-to the Lord; continually. I need to speak to Him and listen to Him all day, every day. He asks me to do this…pray continually. I will oblige. I serve a God of compassion and forgiveness. In this big world we live in; under the stars and sky; amidst all He created-He desires to hear my heart-continually. Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus…He wants us to thank Him, because He is ALWAYS present, in everything we do, God is with us!

Dear Father God,
I am so grateful to you, you are the mighty KING! You reign over heaven and earth…yet, you see me. You hear me. You love me…greater than I can fathom.
Forgive me Father when I don’t offer to You my prayers and thanksgiving and praise. Forgive me when I feel that I can handle my life better than You can…Lord I am so fallen! Thank you for lifting me up and giving me strength…Your strength!
Today, Lord, I will walk hand in hand with You. I will seek Your face in all circumstances…singing songs of praise and thanksgiving. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

1 Comment »

For my sister Mindy…

“So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.” Colossians 2:6-7

In the midst of our trials it is right to give thanks and praise to the Lord. He allows things to happen that are displeasing and unsettling. He does this to secure our faith in Him. When we are struck by affliction, we have to be prudent in our thanksgiving to the Lord. He will see us through every trial. He gives us a secure place to rest. He creates in us a spirit of calm and peace. Casting our cares on Him releases the burden from our heart allowing us to live fully in His promise to never harm us but to bring us HOPE. Cast your cares unto the Lord. Take His yoke…it is light. He wants us to rely completely on His sovereign grace. He is greater than the one in the world. He created time and space and He reigns over it all. He knows every obstacle you face…yesterday, today and tomorrow. You are His precious child; He will not let you suffer without Him. Turn your face to Him and bask in His greatness. Lean in close to hear His heart rejoicing in your songs of praise…even in the wilderness, be still and know that He is always with you.
Father,
To you goes the glory. You are mighty to protect your children. We praise you for the trials…they refine our character and bring us closer to You.
Please forgive me when I turn from you. Please forgive me when I forget that you are sovereign and perfect and You know my heart and what breaks it. Please forgive me when I try to rely on my own strength and not Yours.
Lord, thank you so much holding my heart in your hands…tenderly. Thank you for watching over me in the darkness, keeping me safe. Thank you for revealing Yourself to me in the midst of my heartache. I will rejoice in You always. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Leave a comment »