Sunshinelittleone's Blog

All about my love for the Lord

Go ahead…ask

Fruit Platter

“But the Fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.” Galatians 5:22

 

My sweet Aunt Joan makes a point to pray for patience every day of her life.  She is my inspiration for doing the same.  I used to approach that Fruit with trepidation.   The fear of temptation,  if I were bold enough to pray for calm in the fury of life, kept me from asking in God’s will for patience.  But, then I listened to what my Aunt has to say.  And perhaps it’s more the wisdom of the words than the words themselves.

She prays for the patience to be a daughter, a wife, a mother.  She realizes that the temptation to rush through life is always there.  She realizes that life is all consuming.  But she also realizes that the Fruit of God’s Holy Spirit is always abundant and ready for our asking.  He tells us in His word to be filled with the Fruit of the Spirit.  Patience is not exempt.

I seek to be filled with each and all of these life giving Fruits.  But the filling is not of my own will.  It’s is the indwelling of the Holy Spirit in our lives that fills us with His Fruit.  He is the wine that fills our wineskins.  Without His strength and Fruit, we are powerless.  We are incapable of sustaining joy and peace and patience and LOVE when we are without the Lord and relying fully on our own in capabilities.

So, today, as I have many days, I will follow in the fabulous shoes of my Aunt Joan.  I will pray for patience.  I will ask the Lord to fill me with His patience.  The patience that listens to the detailed play of my son; the patience that doesn’t erupt when my Sweet Caroline choses to be anything but obedient; patience for my husband to do things in his timing and not my desire to rush through life!  I will ask for the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.  Will I be tempted? Probably.  I will dig deep into the heart of Jesus and rely on Him to see me through.  He is bigger than anything of the world.

Father,
I thank you for your Fruit.  Thank you that we may ask and receive in Your will the Fruit of Your Spirit.  I pray that I may cling to You always, relying on Your complete perfection. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Advertisements
Leave a comment »

How will you thank Him?

The Lord is my Good Shepherd

The Lord is my Good Shepherd (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

 

“Know that the Lord is God.  It is He, who made us, and we are His; we are His people, the sheep of His pasture.” Psalm 100:3

 

I am prone to wander.  I stray more often than I should.  I leave the flock to explore and adventure in the desires of my imperfect heart.  I am like a child chasing a ball into the street.  On my own I am capable of putting myself in situations that are far from the plan of the Lord.  Yet, in all my meandering, the Lord gently guides me back to Him.  His rod and staff they comfort me.

When I stray I feel the pains of loneliness and discontent.  When I live my life outside of the realm of God, I am overwhelmed by the temptations of this world.  When I chose to let go of the Lord’s hand I am living outside of His perfect peace and plan for my life. I am left feeling less than loved, but, He leads me back to His heart.  He leads me in His grace and mercy.

The Lord knew before I entered this world that I would stray and that I would wander.  He knew that I would fall short of His glory.  He knew that on my own I would be fallible and fallen.  He knew that without Him I would be left to die in my own sin nature.  The sin of Eve.  The sin of want and desire.  He knew this from the beginning.  He sent His Son to wash me clean as snow.  Wash me from the error of my sin so that I would live eternally with Him in the Throne Room.  He sent the ultimate sin offering when He sent Christ to take the sin of the world.

How can I ever thank Him?  How can I, in my sinful desires, thank Him for His unconditional love?  The LOVE that comes only from the Father?  How can I show Him that my gratitude for His sacrifice is worthy?  I am to accept Jesus as my Lord and Savior.  Through this acceptance I am free to enter the gates of Heaven in the blameless, perfect image of Christ.  Thank you LORD!  Accepting the Cross; I show complete, trusting gratitude.

“What can wash away my sins…nothing but the blood of Jesus?”

So, the Great Shepherd leads me back to His pastures of righteousness and grace and LOVE. He sets me in the center of a flock of believers and those who are confident in the promise of eternal life.  He surrounds me in a blanket of His forgiveness. He is mighty to save even when we are mighty to stray.

Father,
Your mercies are new and bright each morning. You are the almighty savior through whom we will live eternally in Your light.  Forgive me when I stray, lead me to Your heart.  Lead me to Your lap so that I may languish in Your sweet love.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Leave a comment »

Please pray for the children of Latvia.

penickadventures

Latvia is an amazing country.  It is beautiful.  It is old.  The architecture is fabulous.  The people are friendly.  Riga, the capital, is safe.  It is also good to its orphans, at least so far as I can tell.

But it is also worldly.  Our kids had a bus/tram/train pass that took them anywhere they wanted to go.  They had lots to do, but also lots of freedom.  They had to grow up without spiritual covering.  Very mushy boundaries.  They were not street kids, but they had some of the same opportunities and hazards as street children do.  There are bars and discos everywhere.  Alcohol and cigarettes flow freely.  We saw many adult entertainment establishments.  The world and the enemy wants these kids.

Scene 2.

Viktorija is 13 or 14 years old.  She is funny.  She is pretty.  She will steal your heart.  She has no siblings, and she has…

View original post 249 more words

3 Comments »

I will wait…

“If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.” Matthew 21:22

English: Baptism of Christ

English: Baptism of Christ (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Asking in His name motivates me to pray prayers that are greater than I can comprehend.  I pray for what seems impossible to me, but completely possible in Him.  Christ is bigger than what I perceive as impossible.  I am a witness to His mercy and grace and the answering of really big prayers.

My friend Melinda has a desire to lead people distant from Christ directly into His lap.  She prays in earnest for those who are seeking (without knowing) something greater.  She enlists friends to join her in prayer.  She is delighted in the impossibilities of God.  She trusts that God is sovereign in His promise to draw us close to His heart.  Her trust encourages me.  As believers we need encouragement.  We need friends who believe with blind faith. Friends who will trust God in times that seem impossible.  God is bigger than anything we can imagine.

It is essential to our walk with the Lord that we trust and ask in His name things that are out of our realm of comprehension.  The Lord encourages us to seek out things that seem humanly impossible to achieve. He gives us to pray for, loved ones who are desperate for His love.  I think it is most impossible to believe that those distant from Christ will ever rest in their lap. I mean to say I want my loved ones seated in the throne room at the feet of Jesus with us.  But, there are moments when that seems impossible and my heart grieves.  My heart grieves because I want to spend eternity in the Kingdom of Heaven with all of the people I have loved in my life.

God does everything in His complete and perfect timing.  He creates miracles with His breath.  He breathed life into the Spirit of a dear loved one of my sweet friend Melinda.  At the final moments on this journey of life; the Spirit of one who seemed so distant was washed in His eternal mercy.  Melinda’s loved one was baptized in the grace of Christ as she entered into the Kingdom of Heaven.  Melinda witnessed a miracle.  We all did.  We had prayed in earnest for a change of heart…we prayed in the Lord’s will.  He is magnificent.

My call on this earth is simple.  I am here to live humbly in the Spirit of Christ.  I am to recognize that I am merely human and completely fallen.  But, I am saved by grace. Ephesians 2:8-9.  I am loved beyond imagination by the One who created the universe.

I am not called to convert.  The Holy Spirit breathes the life of Jesus into those who are distance.  I am called to love and pray and hope for those who don’t know Christ to seek Him and His face.

Dear Lord,
I am eternally blessed in your sacrifice.  I am humbled by the Cross.  Thank you for the eternal hope in Heaven.  Please guide my path to those who do not know you.  I ask that I may continue to be a beacon of hope.  I pray that I am always clothed in Your love, mercy and grace.  I pray that my words will encourage and edify.  I thank you for my life.  In Jesus’ mighty name. Amen.

Leave a comment »

Mirror mirror…

“Those who look to Him are radiant; their faces are never covered in shame.” Psalm62:8

When was the last time you looked in the mirror?  Did you see the light of Christ shining back at you?  Or were you captured by thoughts of inadequacy…of not measuring up to what you wish you saw in the mirror?  Stop.  Look again. The image you see was created by the One who created the universe.  He made you perfect in His sight.

When we live in Christ, we are clothed in His righteousness.  We are beautiful beyond beautiful in the eyes of the Lord.  He sees us in the light of His perfection.  That’s what happened at Calvary. The Lord, Jesus Christ, was crucified to make us beautiful in the sight of the Lord.  We are all created to be purposeful for the Lord.  The gift of the cross washed us free of all blemish and tarnish.  When we live fully in the Lord, we are seen by God in Christ’s righteousness.

So, I look in the mirror.  I look in the mirror not to see my human condition, but rather the glow of Christ.  When I am looking to see Jesus, I miss all the imperfections that keep me from being fully purposeful.  I see beauty.  I see strong arms and legs that carry children and walk them through this world.  I see a smile that comforts, with Christ’s joy, those who are sad.  I see eyes that view this world from Christ’s perspective.  I see a face that weathers the everyday of life.  When I a look in the mirror and seek Christ, I see beauty.  The converse is to see myself the way I have been programmed to without Christ…the way the world conditions us to see ourselves.  I allow for the world to tarnish Christ’s view of me, I become jaded and hardened to the delight of Christ. I see myself anything but beautiful.  This is not the Lord’s desire.

I am going to seek the beauty in the mirror.  I am purposing to see myself as Christ sees me, a creation in His image.  Will you?

Father God,
Thank you for creating me to be exactly who you need to be in this world.  I am grateful beyond words for your love and mercy.  In Jesus’ name, Amen!

POTD - window, wall and mirror

Leave a comment »

Awaken sleeping bones…

Clouds

Clouds (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The ache of exhaustion rattles an entire being.  The heavy and hallow feeling in the very marrow of my bones.  Pining for relief and respite and renewal.  The promise of a lightened, fuller being is comforting warmth to cold aching bones.  Oh, the spring of the Lord is the absolute only way to relieve the wearing down of spirit.  The Father of all things good and pure breathes life over us and in us.  He wraps us in His brilliant white wings.  He gives us protection and provision.  He pours out rest abundantly…rest in Him and His perfection.  Hope in eternal bliss.

Exhaustion can disguise so much…

True physical empty.
True mental empty.
True spiritual empty.

Exhaustion can keep us from being full in the moment.  Keep us from being present, not only for ourselves, but, for those we are called to love. I have come from under the blanket of fatigue to a fresh and bright energy. Through the power of the Holy Spirit I am full in the arms of the Lord.  I am filled to overflowing in the abundance of His peace and calm.  I have been led to still waters.  I am blessed as I lay in green pastures of His goodness. The same pastures that seemed so distant from where I was.

My vulnerabilities lay prey to an enemy who is relentless in attack.  When I am worn and lifeless, I am a prime target. My ears become open to the words of failure and inability.  I am serenaded in a symphony of regret and indecision.  I lose my focus on the One who loves me.  He, the Lord,  allows for the attack.  His purpose is to draw me near…He succeeds.  He draws me close to His heart.  The Heart that beats for nations and humanity and me.  I am part of the beat…the pulse of the Lord.  I am part of the body.  The body of who gives the Cross such meaning…Christ. The God-man, who, in an instant took the spark out of the enemy’s fire, He vanquished death so that I may not stand lifeless in a realm of vulnerability.  He spoke life into the world at the very moment it took Him away.  God sent us the key to seeking joy and love in the imperfection of our human condition.  The key to salvation and eternal ecstasy in Christ Jesus.

I am free from the chains that bind.  I am free in the blood of Christ.  I have rebuked the Jezebel of self-reliance and loathing.  I am free from the binding desire to relegate every moment of my life to something other than the Lord.  I am free to rest and be still in Christ.  I am free to live outside of my need to do everything to perfection…the yearn keeps me from doing anything at all.  I am me.  I am who God created in His image to be fully me.  I am not you are her or him.  You are not anyone other than the delightful creation of God.

Each moment is of God. His grace fills the nanoseconds of time.  He is present in everything we do.  I am challenged to seek Him in everything.  I am faced with abundant pouring out of divine blessing and I must seek to soak in His goodness.  I must purpose to live presently and learn from each moment not skipping ahead to what may or may not come.

I give thanks and praise to the One who gives me rest.

Leave a comment »

Free at last…

Jesus Moses Elijah

Jesus Moses Elijah (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I will walk in freedom, for I have devoted myself to your commandments.

~ Psalm 119:45

 

I have spent the better part of my life trying to live up to the standards of others.  I have compared myself to my friends, family, strangers. Constant need to be like others is like being bound by chains without a key to open the lock of oppression.  It is stifling and suffocating.  It leaves your bones feeling dry and crushed.  Striving to be what you aren’t is akin to wearing a mask…all of the time.

I was raised to compare.  I learned from an early age to compare my ‘behind the scenes’ to the ‘highlight reel’ of others.  In church my mom would point out the ‘fantasy family’.  The family whose father attended church with his brood; the mother-daughter pair perfectly coiffed in complimentary outfits.  Sons sitting at attention with hair perfectly placed.  I longed for that family.  Had my mother not pointed them out, perhaps I would have never noticed.  But, as I longed for their family…was someone longing to be part of mine?    We do that; we take ourselves out of our own families; placing ourselves (if even for a moment) in someone else’s life.  We dream and fantasize about what it would be to be someone other than who we are.  I still do that.  I think it’s less about wanting to be somewhere else, but rather being anyone but me.  It’s a reality I run from daily.

The idea of pictures posted in social media fills me with anxiety…what if I am judged for the tummy that never seems to shrink…or the hair that always seems frizzy? What if they see that we don’t have ipods and ipads and a Pottery Barn life?  What if the pictures reveal the struggles we have endured?  What if I am rejected because I am not ‘her’ but just ‘me’? What is the fantasy?  What are we trying to achieve? What are we striving for, if not for Christ?

Christ could care less what we wear or sit on.  He doesn’t care if the house if filled with technology and fancy things…He wants it filled with love.  He doesn’t care if the tummy hasn’t shrunk…He cares that it has tenderly carried two healthy babies.  The frizzy hair?  Doesn’t make my thoughts of Him any less.  He sees me as beautiful.  All the technology in the world doesn’t draw me closer to Him.  Paul and Elijah and Moses didn’t have Apple this or that…they were wired with Christ long before the world was wired by Steve Jobs.  He doesn’t need fancy or fantasy.  He needs open hearts and minds.

I am learning when I compare myself to others; I draw away from the Lord.  I make those things idols.  I set my heart on what I will never be…or have.  What a shame!  Christ must weep at my desires.  He must grieve when He sees me rejecting who He created…me.

So, I read this verse…”I will walk in freedom, for I have devoted myself to your commandments.” When I am walking in the freedom of Christ I am liberated from the chains that bind.  I am free to look at myself, my family, our condition and see the hand of God working to make us vessels of His abundant love.  I am able to be grateful for what others have separate from who I am.  The Lord’s blessings are just those…blessings.  He blesses us all differently.  He encourages us to use what we have and what we are to further His kingdom.  I rest in that freedom.

Father,
I repent of my idol-istic tendencies.  I give You all of me…I thank You for who I am.  I thank you for the person You created me to be.  The ipads and ipods may just be distractions.  The matching outfits and perfect hair are lovely ideas…but I am more a frizzy hair, bohemian kind of girl.  You made me in Your image.  You created me for a time such as this.  I pray that I may see me as You do.  I am beyond grateful for the life you have given me…help me to live it fully.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Leave a comment »

How will you love?

How will you love?.

Leave a comment »

How will you love?

“Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.” Ephesians 5:1

Love ? I love love love you.

When I think of Calvary and the Cross, I am humbled.  I am awed and overwhelmed by the loving sacrifice of the Lord.  A sacrifice none had made before or since.  The Cross is a moment in time that brought all the sins of the world to the Father and those present and those to come may rest in the promise of eternal life….because of the LOVE of Jesus!

Sacrificial-AGAPE-love is unconditional, true, peace-seeking love.  It is a love that is eternal…everlasting.  Agape love is Christ love.  It is a love that sees past the barriers and boundaries and prejudice of this world.  It is love that gives unconditionally of time and effort.  It is love that covers sins…forgiving with the heart of Christ.

I belong to a church family.  I had never belonged to a church family until I arrived at KPC (www.kpc.org)

 

.  I had never felt agape love until I arrived at KPC. My church’s mission is to reach those distant from Christ.  I believe this to be true.  A body of believers so willing and capable (in the love of Christ) of carrying and caring for those who need abundant, sacrificial love.  When you encounter sacrificial love, you feel the presence of Christ filling your hallow veins.  Recently a family of ours met the damage of a summer thunderstorm. Their backyard filled with debris and trees.  Crushed cars.  Pool filled with branches, limbs.  Powerless…waterless.  This occurred Saturday night.  Sunday morning and all day Sunday, families and friends from church rallied to clear the mess.  Care for children. Pray and Love…unconditionally…AGAPE love.  There is beauty in ashes when Christ is the motivation.  He is so good all the time and all the time He is so good!

I am beyond grateful that the Lord fills us when we are parched and empty.  I am grateful that He shows us how to love fully and completely.  He is abundant in His LOVE.  He wants us to love like He does.  Can we?

Dear Lord God,
Your love is never-ending.  Your sacrifice of Calvary humbles me to my knees.  I am not worthy of such love, but I am grateful that You pour it into my heart and spirit.  You lavish me in Your goodness.  I pray that I may be an example of Your love.  Thank you Jesus for Your amazing example.  In Your mighty name, Amen!

 

Leave a comment »

He is all I need…

“As a mother comforts her child, so I will comfort you…” Isaiah 66:13

How sweet is this promise?  The Lord will comfort us as a mother comforts her child, but even more so!  He is the perfect comforter.  He gives us peace that surpasses understanding.  There is no circumstance greater than the comfort of God.

It is through the trials of life that we see the grace and mercy of the Lord.  We will not always be comfortable.  We will encounter times of sadness.  Times of lost hope.  Times that leave us anything but comfortable…but God is sovereign and always with us.  Turn to Him.

I think there is a prevalent misconception among believers and non-believers alike; God is a god of happy and easy.  But that is not the case.  God allows trial in our lives. He allows for difficult, uncomfortable times in our lives.  He allows the uncomfortable so that we may seek Him and His goodness and righteousness.  He allows for frustration and lack so that we may seek His peace and provision.  His comfort.

Rick once reminded me that comfort and provision from the Lord may be far from what we fathom.  While we want warm homes and substantial bank accounts, the Lord’s plan may be different.  Our life has changed 180 degrees in the past 3 years.  For nearly two of those years we were living on a part-time substitute teacher pay while Rick went to school to become a teacher…God provided in ways I would have never imagined.  He took a very uncomfortable time and made it livable.  We learned that what used to make us comfortable were strictly desires of the flesh…of our human condition.  Fancy housewares, clothes, restaurants became a thing of the past.  We realized that we had all we needed…a roof over our heads, reliable cars, food in the pantry and working utilities. We learned to live far below our means.  He filled us with comfort in Him, and His promise of a future and hope.  The things that we find comfort in of this world are fleeting and perishable.  The Lord remains forever.

He is comfort, pure and simple.  Find refuge in the Living God.  Fall into the arms of Jesus.  Let the Lord, Father of the God Man, to ease your discomfort.  Seek Him to meet your needs.  Seek Jesus.

Father God,
Thank you that I may ALWAYS depend on you…even in the fire of life…to comfort me and guide my steps.  I pray for all of those who are going through change and discomfort that they would seek Your sovereign grace and mercy. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Comfort

Comfort (Photo credit: clumsy_jim)

Leave a comment »

%d bloggers like this: