Sunshinelittleone's Blog

All about my love for the Lord

Happy Re-Birthday….

There is a break in the clouds that allows for a gentle streaming of light.  Enough light to illuminate the entire sky.  The sun. A white sun too grand to fathom; yet tiny enough to fit into the Makers hands.  The Hands that so tenderly created life.  The Hands that usher us into the Throne Room of heaven.

The Hands that hold us eternally.

The sky made way for a celebration.  A jubilee.  An invitation from Heaven to delight in the joy and miracle of life.  There is goodness in that which is of the Father.  In the tempest of life there is pure and perfect goodness.  In sorrow there is beauty…abundant. The sky magnified the beauty.

Perhaps it’s child-like delusion or fascination…but the sky that is illuminated in white surely must be opening to Heaven above.  It had to have been.  It was far too perfect to not be God’s presence upon this gathering…the Body.  The Body of Christ.

The Lord of Lords is so masterful.  He creates in us a yearning to be one with each other.  He gives us an innate desire to belong to someone.  Tonight a family gathered.  Threaded together by the LOVE of Christ.

As parents we spend many of our days encouraging and rebuking our children.  Lavishing them in LOVE and commitment…we do this as we touch and hug and hold our beloved child.  We do this in their presence here…on Earth.  We take this for granted.  Only is it through the divine grace of God that a father can stand on the earth that holds his son’s body and speak of the greatness of life and beauty in pain.  He is able to speak of God’s abundance and faithfulness.  He is able to smile with the light of Christ shining brightly from his eyes.  A mother stands in the glow of Jesus.  Her tears give way to peace…a peace that surpasses understanding.  The days of his tender life tell a story known only by her and Jesus and her baby.  She grieves and as she does; the Spirit of God lights on her as a swallow lighting on a willow.  She is full of His abundant strength and courage and LOVE.  She holds in her heart the unique privilege of birthing this miracle.

A baby who in more than a quarter of a year, humbly and obediently wore the love of Christ so well that he changed the spiritual legacy of generations to come.  He offered the stillness and silence we all long to give. He waited on the LORD.  He obeyed…Be still and know that I AM God.  A child created with distinct and perfect purpose.

The year has passed and their strength in the Lord is steadfast and solid and palpable.  Tonight they shared in the joy of the deeply profound journey they have forded…the joy is of Jesus Christ and His unchangeable faithfulness.

With joy comes an opportunity to celebrate the unique abundance of God’s undeserved blessings.

Celebrations give us opportunity to delight in the gift of life.

Joy weaves through the air.  Balloons…orange-as the brightest evening sun take flight to bring the prayers of six siblings who smile toward heaven, resting in the promise of life eternal, looking through the clouds…to a little boy perfect in God’s kingdom, a little boy who will breathe in Jesus for eternity.

The evening sun met a night brisk with the smell of sugar and orchids. The laughter of children burst in the bubbles riding the gentle breeze.

The JOY of the Lord was upon this family…this Body.  The Holy Spirit filled the air.  The presence of God filled the horizon as the sun tucked silently beyond the trees.

It is in moments of great sorrow that the Lord bestows upon us the beauty of His mighty goodness.  He will never forsake us.

He will make everything new.

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Drink from His goodness…

“Put your sword away!  Shall I not drink the cup the Father has given me?” John 18:11

 

We often think that the ‘cup’ from the Father is full of joyous blessing. The ‘cup’ contains the very essence of what our lives hold.

When I think about the contents of my cup I am encouraged by the Father because He has filled it.  The contents make up the life I live.  There are times my cup overflows with sweetness and joy and I am filled with delight.  Other times my cup is brimming with the trials of this world.  The Lord allows it all.  He pours into us what we are capable, in His strength, of handling.  There is not one moment in my life that I do not trust that the Lord is perfect and sovereign.  I may stumble in my thinking…I may pause in my trust.  But, when it is all said and done, I trust the Lord.

He filled the cup of Jesus with the suffering and sacrifice of the Cross. He prepared His Son.  Jesus accepted the Will of God.  Jesus knew that the contents of His ‘cup’ would bring eternal life to the world…if we believe.

Whether your ‘cup’ is abundant with sweetness or bitter with trial; give thanks at all times to the Lord, Jesus Christ.  The Father has prepared away for you.  He has opened the gates of Heaven that you may rest in eternal bliss.  Take your ‘cup’ and drink in the sovereignty of Christ.

 

Father, thank you for the cup of my life.

Thank you for filling me to overflowing to empty me again and again in Your perfect will.

In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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Take this bread and eat…

“While they were eating, Jesus took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying “Take and eat; this is my body.”
Then he took the cup, gave thanks and offered it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you.  This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.  I tell you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until the day when I drink it anew with you in my Father’s kingdom.”  Matthew 26:26-29

Unlike the church I grew up in, the church home I belong to now only serves communion on the first weekend of the month, as opposed to every week.  At first this bothered me.  I don’t know why, when I received communion for the first time at my church it had been years since I had received communion anywhere, so, to be annoyed was totally unfounded.  I guess I was just falling back on tradition.  But, over the course of the past four years, I have come to not only look forward to communion once a month, but appreciate its rarity.  I am always humbled on that first Sunday.

 I am a sinner. Each day I wake to prayers to my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  We commune all day.  I speak to Him as I wash dishes, get little ones off to school, think of my husband at work, chat with friends, I thank God for His mighty provision…etc.  I spend my days talking to God.  Although I try in earnest to “pray continually”, I am not free of sin.  In the midst of prayer and thanksgiving, I sin.  I yell at the same sweet little ones who I tenderly pray for and see off to school.  I roll my eyes at the husband who willfully gets up each morning to earn a living for our family.  I bemoan the clothes I have instead of praising God for rainbow of textiles lining my closet.   I spend my days not on my knees, but with my hands on my hips; tapping my foot in very human contempt for the world around me.  I don’t even realize I do this day in and day out.  I don’t realize it until that first Sunday.  Sure, I ask forgiveness and repent daily.  I ask the Lord to fill me with the Fruit of the Spirit.  I ask that I am a suitable helpmate to my husband and that He would forgive my eye rolls and sighs…but I don’t think I realize the magnitude of what I am asking for until share the broken bread with my church family.

The symbol of the bread and wine at the beginning of each month humbles me to tears.  I become acutely aware of my very fallen sin-nature.  I am reminded of my callousness and my profound inability to honor Christ the way He desires.  Each day, while in prayer, I turn from the One who turned to my sin.  I am in desperate need of a savior.

So, while the bread and wine don’t necessarily wash my sins away, the Body they come from does.  Jesus took it all.  He took my past, present and future transgressions.  He called out to the Father, forgiveness for those who persecute Him…”they do not know what they have done”.  I count myself among those who secured the nails.  I am shameful in my sin.  There is hope.  There is always hope.  Each time I share the sacraments with fellow sinners, I am gently and lovingly reminded that He is perfect and sinless and that His grace and mercy alone are sufficient.  I will live under that umbrella of security.  I will repent for my human condition and embrace that His blood “…Which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins…” is washing me clean each day.

 

Father,

Forgive me for my sins.  Please wash me clean. I am humbled at Your feet.  I am awed by Your agape love for me.  You never forsake me or turn from me.  Please forgive me when I am not strong enough to bare the weight of what I have done.  Help me to turn to seek Your face, asking in the midst of my transgressions for your perfect peace and forgiveness.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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Turn turn turn…

“There is a time for everything and a season for every activity under heaven.” Ecclesiastes 3:1

 

God’s timing is perfect.  I mustn’t ever forget this.  I must hold fast to the fact that HE is perfect and sovereign and He reigns to bring us hope.  His hope is eternal and while we wait this side of heaven to see His majestic face…we need to be content in the order of our moments here on Earth.  We must understand that when we wait on Him, we are waiting for Him to move in our lives as He sees fit.  If we could stand above our lives and cast our eyes on the future, would we be too afraid to keep living?    What would our reaction be if we saw the events of our lives unfold?

I must trust that His timing is perfect.

We are all faced with decisions and choices.  When we come to the Lord in prayer and offer our petition to Him, we must be still and wait.  I am really, really bad at this.  I offer my prayers to Him, and then I take them right back.  He cannot do anything with my prayers when I don’t fully release them.  I need to trust that when I call on Him, He will answer me in His perfect timing and in His will.  I needn’t forget that either…He answers in HIS will, not mine!   I confess that I am impatient and unruly when I wait on Him.  This in turn makes for more prayer and petition and I start to feel like a hamster on a wheel…running and running in the same chaotic circle.  A circle of distrust, and frustration, and impatience (but certainly not impatience and distrust in Him, but myself for falling into the same selfish pattern).  Alas…I turn to His word.  When I feel myself stepping into the mire of lost hope, I find relief in His WORD.

The WORD of God is perfect.  It is a perfect guide for our lives…teaching us to be steadfast in our trust in the Lord.  He promises us HOPE and not harm.  He loves each and every one of us as we love our own children…more…He loves us more.  I will not lose faith.  The prayers I have given Him are not forgotten or lost.  He is bringing answers in His perfect timing, the timing that will encourage me to wait on Him and trust Him to direct my life so that it brings Him abundant glory.

 

Dear Father,
You are perfect and sovereign.  You delight in us and give us the desires of our hearts…when we pray in Your will.

Lord, please forgive me when I am prone to frustration and distrust. Please forgive me when I impatient and anxious.  I will rely on You to guide my path.

Thank You Lord that you deliver us from temptation and evil and that You hold us firm in the palm of Your hand.  Thank you that you refine us as we wait on You.  Thank you for your Word that is a perfect roadmap…Thank you Lord for my life!

In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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His peace is perfect…

“You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you.  Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord, the Lord, is the Rock eternal.” Isaiah 26:3-4

My trust is in the Lord.  I know this.  I am acutely aware of His perfect peace and how I must trust Him with my whole life.  And, in knowing this, I still have difficulty completely trusting…yes, trouble trusting God.  I have trouble submitting my life to Him and trusting that He knows what is best.  Father knows best

 I tend to hover in a perpetual state of anxiety.  I am not fearful, but anxious.  By nature (sin-nature) I am a worrier.  I can conjure up just about any worry or fear imaginable.  You may even consider me to be a professional worrier.  It’s usually about little things.  The big things I trust God with. Probably because the real big stuff, the important stuff is too big for me to conquer, so I leave it to Him to handle.  I should be letting Him handle everything.  He is after all in control of everything.  But, I just can’t seem to shake my obsessive need to be obsessive.  I can’t let go of control.  I am a control freak. I am learning that most moms are.  We have an inherent need to make sure that everything is in order.  We put on the persona that we have it all under control.  WE DON’T!  Only God has it all under control!

I am learning when I carry the burden and weight of all that consumes me and gives me anxiety; He is unable to do anything with it all.  I must submit my worry to Him.  I must offer up…with PRAYER and PETITION all that weighs heavy on my heart.  Even…the little stuff.  I must give it all to Him. He will make beauty out of it all.  Some may say that the Lord is TOO busy to take on all that stifles me, but He is NOT!  He wants it all.  His desire is that we live PURE and BLAMELESS lives.  This means unpacking all that binds us.  HE wants to be a part of every decision.  Really…EVERYTHING!  As I write this I am feeling a sense of PEACE in my Spirit.  I am starting to feel the shroud of inadequacy lifted.  After all, I believe that anxiety and worry are just manifestations of our perceived inadequacy.  When He calls us; He equips us.  So, BE ANXIOUS FOR NOTHING!  He is sovereign.  There is NOTHING that He will allow in our lives that He won’t be right there carrying us or holding our hands.  He is the perfect parent.  The desire to protect and shield our children pales in comparison to HIS perfect desire for our life.  TRUST GOD…with EVERYTHING!

 

Dear Father,
You are sovereign and perfect.  Your peace and strength are sufficient. You are EXALTED in all of my trials.  I must trust you always and completely.  Please forgive me when I carry the weight of the chains that bind me.  Please forgive me when my fears and anxiety consume me and turn my attention from your PERFECT PEACE.  Lord, please calm the storm that seems to rage inside of me.  I trust you to equip me and guide me and never forsake me.
Thank you, Lord.  In Jesus’ name, amen.

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Eve, Eve, Eve…

“Wives, in the same way submit yourselves to your own husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, when they see the purity and reverence of your lives.  Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.  For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to adorn themselves. They submitted themselves to their own husbands, like Sarah, who obeyed Abraham and called him her lord. You are her daughters if you do what is right and do not give way to fear.
Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers.”  1Peter3:1-7

 

I need to commit this passage of scripture to memory and to my life.  I have come to realize that I am not always a fine 1Peter3 wife.  I am REALLY inept at following authority.  I AM A REBEL.  The moment my sweet husband starts to offer direction for our lives, I come at him as though he is taking my world away.  I have such a difficult time submitting to his authority.  I think my greatest challenge is listening.  Perhaps I should apply the “Be still and know that I am” practice to my marriage.  Not only being still to listen to the Lord, but also to my husband.  I need to resist the urge to dominate every conversation, idea and thought that my husband has.  I need to stop being obstinate.  I need to yield to the God-given authority of my husband.

Here’s the break down…I am married to a man who cherishes me and the life we have together.  He honors our marriage with grace.  He is generous, stable, loving and without a doubt one of the wisest men I know.  Then why do I have such a difficult time yielding to his authority?  It was Eve.  She set the precedent for us to follow…she ate the Fruit.  She found out what we never should have known.  She brought the wrath of God down on all of us…she was NOT a 1Peter3 wife.  She encouraged her husband to disobey God.   I would venture to guess that Eve was like me.  She was probably kind and loving to Adam.  She most likely was a great helpmate…as she was created to be.  However, she was rebellious by nature (like me) and she, like me, thought she knew better than her husband and well, even God.  Oh, Eve!

So, as I was heading to bed last night and my wise  husband encouraged me to read 1Peter3 (really to highlight the struggles of a friend), it dawned on me that I have some work to do!  I have said it before: I would follow this man to the ends of the earth, then why not follow his lead through life?

Here is my prayer (for myself and all those other wives striving to be a 1Peter3 woman)…

Dear Lord,

You have given me life.  You are fully aware of my sin nature and the difficulty I have submitting to my husband.  But that is the glory of You, Lord.  You know this about me and you love me all the same.  Just as Rick loves me.  I give you praise and thanksgiving for a Godly husband.  I thank you that all I have to do is ask and you will change my heart.   You will create in me a Spirit of Godly submission, to You and Rick.  Thank you, God.  I pray that all the days of my life I grow into the wife you desire for Rick.  I am confident that you created us for each other.  I am blessed by our union.  In Jesus’ name, amen.

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I have all I need…

“Lord, you have assigned me my portion and my cup; you have made my lot secure.  The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance.” Psalm 16:5-6

“Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior.” Habakkuk 3:17-18

 

It is right to give thanks and praise to the Lord in all circumstances, even in times of want (and plenty). Everything I have comes from the Lord.

I remember years ago, before I was living for Christ, I brought a tray of desserts to a neighbor.  I had hosted a play date at my home for my children and realized that I had an abundance of sweets.  I called my neighbor to ask her if she would like them for her family.  She immediately praised the Lord.  She called out to God in thanksgiving.  She told me that her grocery budget had been spent and that she was hoping to have dessert for her family that night, however, her cupboards were bear and her trip to the store wasn’t until much later that week.   She praised God for answering her prayer.  I stood dumbfounded.  Why would God care if a family had dessert…doesn’t He have greater things to do than worry about dessert?  No.  He doesn’t worry about dessert, but He does care about His children.

He blesses those who bless Him and live in His glory.  His blessings are an opportunity for us to exalt Him and sing His praises.  He blesses us so that we may share His magnificence with others.  He is faithful in showering us in expected favor.

We live in a society that is obese in its abundance.  We want more and more.  We fill our homes, our bodies, our schedules with stuff.  Filling us up so much that we are starving.  I have lived that life…wanting more, never being satiated.  I have lived blinded by the glut.  As my walk with the Lord matures I am realizing the importance of being satisfied with Him and all that He pours into me.  He gives me my portion. He gives me what He feels I am able to carry and care for.  I will rejoice in His favor and blessings.  I am learning to seek Him when I feel that I need to be filled.  I am learning to seek Him when I want to indulge the desire to have more things, food, money.  I am learning that the only way to be truly full and satisfied is to live abundantly in Him, asking Him to fill me to empty again so that I may be a steward of His goodness and provision.

Will you chose to let go of all that binds you and live abundantly in Him?

Lord,
Please show me your mercy that I may turn my desires to the temporal things of this world and live for all that is eternal.  Please help me to not be defined by what I have but by Who I serve.

In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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Hello Friend…

“You know how we lived among you for your sake.  You became imitators of us and of the Lord…” 1Thessalonians5-6

The importance of fellowship and relationships is essential to mature faith.  It is imperative that we all have accountability in our lives as we walk with the Lord.  As humans we are prone to stray. Having brothers and sisters in Christ keeps our hearts set on the essentials of our faith.  We are called to keep our brothers (or sisters) from stumbling.  We need to spend time in the word with others.  Reaching out in fellowship increases our awareness of the importance of sharing our assurance of salvation through Christ Jesus with one another. Christianity is not a solitary faith.  We need others to keep us firmly planted in Christ.  There is liberty in knowing that we are lifted to the Lord in prayer by those who know and trust the depth of God’s goodness. Fellowship blankets us in His mercies; the weight of our trials and tribulations is distributed among fellow believers, making our burden even lighter.

If you are seeking fellow believers or a church, trust God with your search.  He will lead you to a place of love.   Put your HOPE in the Lord that He will honor your desire to be IMITATORS OF HIM.  He will gently set you in the arms of a loving Christian family.  Be patient and wait on Him.  He is the master of great design and His plans are always to give us HOPE and not to harm us.  He is sovereign and perfect and the Lord of compassion…He wants you to feel loved and a sense of belonging.  He delights in us when we seek greater ways to exalt Him and bring Him glory.  Immersing ourselves in fellowship with others increases our joy in Him.  Be blessed and be hopeful that there is a perfectly suited place for you to grow in your faith among other Children of God.

 

Dear Father,

You created us to be social and to lavish each other in the hope of Your promises.  Guide us to believers who will bring joy and delight in fellowship to You.  Thank you for creating us to LOVE.

In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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Take your mat and walk…

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“Why do you entertain evil thoughts in your hearts?  Which is easier: to say ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up and walk”? But so that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on the earth to forgive sins …” Then he said to the paralytic, “Get up, take your mat and go home.” Matthew 9:4-6

 

Get up and walk…He has given you authority to walk out our days without the guilt and shame of sin.  WE ARE NOT SINLESS but WE ARE FORGIVEN.  By His authority we are washed clean of our transgressions.  He gives us authority over that which keeps us from His hand.  He took our sins as He anguished on the Cross.  He called out to His Father in heaven, “Forgive them for they know not what they have done.”  He blessed those who persecuted Him.  He gave them dominion over their sin. But, they stood in disbelief and fear of the One who came to save the world. Are we standing in disbelief?  Are we denying ourselves the gift that gives eternal reward?

I spent last evening at my church in prayer.  The pastoral staff and elders have elected this weekend a weekend of prayer.  In the sanctuary for 24 hours people are praying.  I was one of those on my knees.  As the Lord filled the church I felt His presence in my core.  He showed me visions of the Cross.  He took my heart to the very moment His mother watched as his body perished.  He showed me the anguish consuming those who watched as He let out His final breath.  What a gift.  I stood there watching in my Spirit the moments that define my life as a Christian.  I am forgiven…I am free from the bondage of sin.  The chains are broken.  I lay my sins at His feet.  I give to Him all that binds me and keeps me from being alive…without Him I am merely living.

I encourage us all to take time to pray the prayer of repentance.  To ask our Father in heaven to fill us with His mighty Spirit.  To accept and believe the sacrifice.  To be washed clean in the blood of the Lamb.  My life is a LIFE when I am immersed in His goodness and peace.  When I LOVE like He does.  When I accept that I am fallen and broken and He is pure and whole.  I want to live in Him.  I want to GET UP AND WALK.  I want to walk in the Light of Christ.  I want to be washed in His grace; delighting in His presence all the days of my life.
Dear Jesus,

Please wash me clean of my sins.  Fill me to overflowing to empty me again.  Help me to live in Your peace.  Show me how to follow…

Thank you for forgiving me…always.

In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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He is our Mighty Shield…

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“Continue your love to those who know you, your righteousness to the upright in heart.  May the foot of the proud not come against me, nor the hand of the wicked drive me away.  See how the evildoers lie fallen-thrown down, not able to rise.” Psalm 36:10-12

“Do not fret because of evil men or be envious of those who do wrong; for like the grass they will soon wither, like green plants they will soon die away.” Psalm 37:1-2

 

There is no doubt about it, we will be attacked.  The Lord prepares us with His word.  He gives us armor and Fruit to defeat the enemy.  He is our ROCK.  When we trust His gospel message of Salvation and forgiveness we accept His protection.  He is the greatest security we can put our hope in.  He delivers us from the hands of the wicked.  Will we live a life unscathed?  Will we be immune from persecution?  No!  But, as Children of God, we are shielded under His wing.

God is just.

We serve a Lord who watches our every step.  He sets our path.  He will allow for trial and tribulation…but He does not allow it without safe provision.  He is always with us. (Matthew 28:20).

The Lord wants us to live abundantly full lives.  He wants us to live in His glory.  Sometimes that means facing the temptations of this world…but never alone.  He is always a breath…a whisper away.  The mere mention of Jesus from your lips will cause the enemy to flee.  Remain prayerful and in constant communication with the Creator and He will set your feet right and keep you from stumbling!

Dear Father God,
Praise you Lord for you are our GREAT PROTECTOR.  You keep me well protected.  You keep the enemy far from me.  Thank you Father for arming me in Your righteousness and grace and mercy.  You save me from temptation.

Lord, forgive me when I am enticed.  Please forgive me when I am tempted.  Thank you for forgiving me and setting my feet on solid ground.

I will sing a song of praise to You.  I will share Your message with the nations!  You are sovereign!  Come Lord Jesus come!!!  In His mighty name, Amen!

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