Tuesday, October 3, 2017

God is still God

God is God when the sun is shining 
God is God when the rain is falling 
God is God in the dark of the night
God is God in the heat of the fight

God is God when I don’t understand 
God is God I must trust His loving hand 
God is God when the valley is long
God is God when He gives a joyous song

I may not fully comprehend His way
But He is still God each night and day
I owe Him praise for Who He is
His mighty power will be displayed in this

Even if no better lot becomes mine
I still can praise Him for His grace devine
For salvation, and eternal life is enough 
I will praise Him even when the way is tough

God is God, I know it is true
He made me and knows me through and through 
There is no problem that I could face 
That out limits His high grace 

His love is so deep, I cannot know
Just how and why He loves me so
His mercy is unending, rich, and free
His presence is reliable and strengthens me

When I am faced with something unreal
And I can't see Him or His comfort feel
I must then step out in faith, His throne approach 
For at His feet I bow without reproach 

His cleansing flood washes away my doubt
His word renews my mind as I read about
The way He healed the blind man's eyes
And resisted all of Satan's lies

The lepers He cleansed, the little boy's lunch
Give my faith food to munch
And as I feed my soul on Him
I feel renewed and strengthened within

The storm He calmed out on the sea
The water to wine, the promises He gave to me
The woman at the well, He changed forever
The fact that He cannot fail ever

All these and many more give me hope
That He is here to help me cope
He may not take the storm away just yet
But my hope in His mighty power is set

He has a plan that's working out right now
So to His will I humbly bow
I need no other but Him alone
For He is still God and sits on the throne

All things work together for good He said
I claim His promise, and on it I pillow my head
For He cannot fail, God is still God
I can be victorious through His blood

~Em Kennedy~

Thursday, September 14, 2017

When My Spirit Was Overwhelmed

“When my spirit was overwhelmed within me, then thou knewest my path.” Psalm 142:3a

If you have ever reached that low point in your life when all you could do was look up, then you can relate to the words found in Psalm 142. David wrote this prayer unto God when he was in the cave, hiding from Saul. No doubt his soul was in turmoil as he fled for his life. He was in a bad situation that was not brought on by a bad decision, but merely in the perfect will of God for David’s life. David sought to please God with his whole heart. His life revolved around God and the house of God. He found comfort and guidance in the word of God. He walked in sweet fellowship with God, and was called a man after God’s own heart. This man who loved God and sought to please God was facing a dark time in his life. He was surrounded with those who were not necessarily of good character. He was on the run. He faced fears, discouragement, hunger, loneliness, and many other battles as he was within the fining pot, so to speak, of God’s will for his life. Does any of this sound familiar?
Sometimes as Christians, we find ourselves in the fining pot of God’s will for our life. Sometimes it feels as if the walls are closing in on us. We find ourselves knocked down, desperate, and fearful. Doubt has slipped into our weary minds blurring out the truth of who God is and how powerful His word can be. We frantically seek help from those around us, only to find that they are helpless as well. We look around, trying to find God, trying to seek His face only to find we are all alone….or so it seems. All we can find is the help the world tries to offer…but none of those things are really a solution, but merely a way to treat the symptoms. You know the problem lies within your heart, and the solution in God, but because of the darkness you struggle to find what you search for. Desperate and distraught you fall on your knees before God, begging for His help and intervention. Admitting your weakness, admitting His power, you beg for His strength. You find yourself weeping bitter tears of frustration and agony. You search your heart yet once again for anything that would be between you and God. Finding the doubt, you confess it. Finding the fear, you ask for peace. Yet, still your mind is in turmoil. You pray to God to bring your soul out of prison that you may once again praise His name (vs.7) Than the light begins to shine…you remember that you are commanded to rejoice in the Lord always (Philippians 4:4) not only when the way is clear. You remember that you are to trust when the way is dark, just as you would in the light (Proverbs 3:5-6). You remember that the power of God is found in utilizing His word to resist the devil. You remember that He does indeed indwell your heart, and that He is right there with you continually.
As you let these truths sink into your soul, you feel that sense of relief that you have been searching for. The answer was already there, you had seen it before, but forgotten. Searching deeper into His word you find yet more grace, yet more strength, yet more refreshing to help you go on. The valley was dark, and dry, but the light of His presence did shine once again. The water of the Word has bathed your weary mind in the refreshing, revitalizing moisture your soul needed for survival. The trial of your faith was not brought for your destruction, but for your instruction. The struggles of the way have brought you to the place where you once again can see a mighty display of the power of God. The thirsting of your soul became so intense that you find a renewed appreciation for the Word of God. Yes, certainly this trial was in the will of God, and Romans 8:28 has shown more meaning than ever before. God is still in control! God is still on the throne! God still loves you! God still has a plan to make you into His image! Just trust. Just wait. Just drink from His word. Just accept His peace. Just rely on His love for you! The end is in sight. The valley is not permanent. The sun will shine again, when you have passed the test.
“I cried unto the LORD with my voice; with my voice unto the LORD did I make my supplication. I poured out my complaint before him; I shewed before him my trouble. When my spirit was overwhelmed within me, then thou knewest my path. In the way wherein I walked have they privily laid a snare for me. I looked on my right hand, and beheld, but there was no man that would know me: refuge failed me; no man cared for my soul. I cried unto thee, O LORD: I said, Thou art my refuge and my portion in the land of the living. Attend unto my cry; for I am brought very low: deliver me from my persecutors; for they are stronger than I. Bring my soul out of prison, that I may praise thy name: the righteous shall compass me about; for thou shalt deal bountifully with me.” Psalm 142
“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28

“Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice. Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand. Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:4-7

Thank You, LORD

Thank You, Lord, for a mind that thinks
For I love to meditate upon Your word
It brings such pleasure and such peace
It cleanses and defends like a sword

Thank You, Lord, for eyes that see
For the ability to observe life around me
For natures beauty and colors bright
And words to read that uplift me

Thank You, Lord, for ears that hear
For notes of music which sweetly blend
For the voices of loved ones near me
For the relaxing sounds of nature You send

Thank You, Lord, for hands that move
To serve my family with each day
To be able to write, and to play music
To feel textures and temperatures, and the thoughts relay

Thank You for legs and feet that walk
For the blessing of mobility
Thank You for allowing me to move about
Thank You for how You have blessed me

Thank You, Lord, for godly friends
Who encourage and comfort me through life’s hard part
Thank You for sending a kind smile to cheer me
A listening ear and an understanding heart

Thank You for life, both physically and spiritually
You have made me, You have saved me
Your presence is so wonderful and refreshing

I don’t deserve You, but I thank You wholeheartedly

Called Unto Holiness

“For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness.” 1 Thessalonians 4:7

Such a simple but serious fact this is. We are not saved from the consequences of our sins; we are saved from our sins! God wants us to be like Him, and in order to be so, we must live holy. He never intended for us to continue living in sin, but to live in a holy, Christ-like manner.
As a born again believer, I can testify to the fact that since He now dwells within my heart, I don’t want to sin. I feel the convicting of His Spirit when I sin. I find that when I sin the fellowship between me and my Lord is broken. I find that I desire to get it right. I find that if I don’t get it right, He chastises me as a Father. I find when I do come to Him with a repentant heart, confessing my sin, that He eagerly forgives and restores the relationship. (1 John 1:9) The scars from the sin remain, but the relationship is repaired.
Oh, how I wish that sinless perfection were indeed achievable! However, it is not possible when made of sinful clay. Life on earth consists of mistakes and failures, but life one day in Eternal Glory will be sinless and perfect! I long for the day when I shall be able to stand before my Lord, and display a sinless perfect heart like unto His. Heaven will make it a reality!
Although we are prone to sin, we do not have to live a slave to sin. We will slip up from time to time, but we do not have to dwell in daily sin. We do not have to feel bound by sins fetters, when our triumphant Lord has broken those chains for us. His death, burial, and resurrection for our atonement has given us sinful human beings an opportunity to break free from the natural tendency to live in constant sin. We do not have to continue in sin, we can live a triumphant life through faith in Jesus Christ! He paid the price; all we must do is accept it by faith through a repentant heart. For those of us who are already saved, living in the daily mindset that He has freed us, can help us to have the power to refrain from sin.
Are you living a life of holiness, or are you still unclean? “For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness.”

A Well Dug and Left Behind

“Blessed are they that dwell in thy house: they will be still praising thee. Selah. Blessed is the man whose strength is in thee; in whose heart are the ways of them. Who passing through the valley of Baca make it a well; the rain also filleth the pools.” Psalm 84:4-6

The darkness of the night
Has broken with the dawn
The valley cold and dark
Is beginning to warm

The sun comes up and thirst it brings
With sorrows of the way
The valley is not pleasant
The dry and barren day

Where the soul longs for comfort
And the weary one seeks rest
Where the tired traveler seeks
A break from life’s test

A desperate effort made
To quench the thirsting soul
Has ended with a well now dug
And waters sweet which make one whole

For the weary soul found searching
Has given place to tears
Using every tool he has
To calm his nagging fears

Digging deep into God’s word
Searching for some help
He finds within the pages there
A never ending fount

Just passing through
He does not intend to stay
He presses onward with new-found strength
Towards a better day

But yet, the well of water remains
For others passing by
So they can drink and be renewed
In this valley hot and dry

A desperate soul found seeking
What only calms the soul
Has left behind this well
So others can drink and be made whole

The Water of the Word
Brings hope and help to those
Who seek it with the whole heart
Gaining victory o’er their foes

**The word Baca means weeping. The valley of weeping is a place we have all been through a time or two in our lives. The trial of our faith being much more precious than that of gold that perishes usually brings us through this valley. Yet in the valley, the Lilly can be found! The hot, dry valley can become a valley of rejoicing if we take the time to find refreshment in the water of the Word. Sometimes that means we must make the effort to dig a well. Dig deep into the Scriptures to find the Living Water that refreshes and strengthens the soul. Spend time with Jesus there in prayer and Bible study, until you find the strength to move onward. The valley is temporary, so why dig a well? For your own refreshment, and the refreshment of other weary travelers who will also pass this way, and can drink from your well and find strength. (**These are not my original thoughts, but those I heard preached by my Pastor on September 13th, 2017.)

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

The Inward Battle

My heart is prone to sin
My mind a wanderer by nature
So shall I continue to sin
And of His grace wager?

God forbid that I should think
My sin is free of pain
Or should I venture to guess
His grace will come again

For sin is against Him
Of Whom I claim to love and know
And if I bear His name
No wild oats should I dare to sow

For sin hath no more dominion
I know that it is true
For in His word He proclaims this
It happened the moment His grace I knew

His Spirit came to abide
Within my sinful heart
Changing my desires
And cleansing every part

Yes, I’m still tempted to sin
For the old man lives there, too
There is a constant battle inside
Between the old and new

But I reckon my old man is dead
Because Christ lives inside
I do not have to obey the flesh
I am not a slave to it, it died

I must obey what His word commands
To renew my mind each day
Feeding the new man on things of God
And starving the flesh away

For if I give in and feed my flesh
Yet, one crumb of what it begs
I am falling into its grip of temptation
That will trap me in ruins dregs

For sin is a monster
It traps and deceives
It woos you with pleasures
And sorrow it leaves

It may seem fulfilling
For a moment or two
But in the end it brings death
In the inward part of you

Scars and regrets, torments and fears
Guilt and complaints it brings
Yet, on the outside, it is attractive
So be careful not to give in to its flings

We all can remember the tormenting past
When sin had us chained in its merciless grasp
When we were a slave to our passions and lusts
And nothing seemed to release its clasp

Our heart was ashamed, our mind corrupt
Our body racked with sin’s side affects
No, I would not want to ever return
To the enslaving way of death it elects

Through Christ I found freedom
A glorious release
He washed me clean and helps me
From sin now to cease

I have no desire to return
So I will obey His command
To die daily to self
And submit to God’s hand

I thank Him often
For what He has done
My heart He has freed
The victory He won

Yes, the battle still rages
And temptations I feel
But I have His presence to guide
And His mercy and grace are real

Inspired by the words found in Romans chapter 6.
~Em Kennedy~

Psalm 16:11

Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.