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Psalm 22 and From Despair to Praise

I was reading Psalm 22 this morning and it seriously brought me to tears this morning. I know that recently in my life I have made the decision to fight for my relationship with the Lord – to be desperate for Him every day instead of having to fall into a pit or reach a rock bottom to remember that I need Him every moment. You know what I mean? Anyone been there? I don’t want to be complacent or become apathetic ever again and I really pray for fresh oil from the Lord and for Him to be at work in me to will and act according to His purposes, every day. I still get distracted and am definitely NOT perfect. But He is so faithful.

So, reading Psalm 22 this morning – David, whom we all think of as this great man of God except for his own rock bottom when he committed adultery, conspiracy to murder, etc… and then he repented and God heard him and restored him. What a great reminder of how God loves us no matter what! And in Psalm 22, David starts out with some really sad words. He feels so down and alone but He cries out to God in all honesty and asks why has He forsaken him. I wanna tell you. By the end of the psalm, David is praising the Lord and speaking of hope and victory!

Isn’t that the way God is? Sometimes when we are down and we want to complain, if we will just honestly cry out to God and turn our hearts to Him – He will lift our spirits and He will speak to us and He will renew our hope and set our feet on the Rock and we will end up praising the Lord and shouting hallelujah! Yes. That is the God that we love and we serve! Give Him a shout of praise this morning God bless you and keep you!

Text for Psalm 22 (found on http://www.mit.edu)

Psalm 22

1
Psalm 22 For the director of music. To [the tune of] “The Doe of the Morning.” A psalm of David.
1
My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me, so far from the words of my groaning?
2
O my God, I cry out by day, but you do not answer, by night, and am not silent.
3
Yet you are enthroned as the Holy One; you are the praise of Israel. [1]
4
In you our fathers put their trust; they trusted and you delivered them.
5
They cried to you and were saved; in you they trusted and were not disappointed.
6
But I am a worm and not a man, scorned by men and despised by the people.
7
All who see me mock me; they hurl insults, shaking their heads:
8
“He trusts in the LORD; let the LORD rescue him. Let him deliver him, since he delights in him.”
9
Yet you brought me out of the womb; you made me trust in you even at my mother’s breast.
10
From birth I was cast upon you; from my mother’s womb you have been my God.
11
Do not be far from me, for trouble is near and there is no one to help.
12
Many bulls surround me; strong bulls of Bashan encircle me.
13
Roaring lions tearing their prey open their mouths wide against me.
14
I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint. My heart has turned to wax; it has melted away within me.
15
My strength is dried up like a potsherd, and my tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth; you lay me [2] in the dust of death.
16
Dogs have surrounded me; a band of evil men has encircled me, they have pierced [3] my hands and my feet.
17
I can count all my bones; people stare and gloat over me.
18
They divide my garments among them and cast lots for my clothing.
19
But you, O LORD, be not far off; O my Strength, come quickly to help me.
20
Deliver my life from the sword, my precious life from the power of the dogs.
21
Rescue me from the mouth of the lions; save [4] me from the horns of the wild oxen.
22
I will declare your name to my brothers; in the congregation I will praise you.
23
You who fear the LORD, praise him! All you descendants of Jacob, honor him! Revere him, all you descendants of Israel!
24
For he has not despised or disdained the suffering of the afflicted one; he has not hidden his face from him but has listened to his cry for help.
25
From you comes the theme of my praise in the great assembly; before those who fear you [5] will I fulfill my vows.
26
The poor will eat and be satisfied; they who seek the LORD will praise him– may your hearts live forever!
27
All the ends of the earth will remember and turn to the LORD, and all the families of the nations will bow down before him,
28
for dominion belongs to the LORD and he rules over the nations.
29
All the rich of the earth will feast and worship; all who go down to the dust will kneel before him– those who cannot keep themselves alive.
30
Posterity will serve him; future generations will be told about the Lord.
31
They will proclaim his righteousness to a people yet unborn– for he has done it.

 

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Glorious Sunrise and a Rainbow on 5/29/14

The LORD awakened me early this morning. I had a strange dream that I’ll post about later – no computer right now… But the dream was about God’s glory covering the earth.
I went outside just before dawn and immediately noticed how beautiful the sunrise would be and that God was up to something beautiful!
I took a couple of pictures and the birds were singing such a loud symphony of praise that I took a video and joined them in praising the LORD.
I turned around and in the western sky was a huge and vividly gorgeous rainbow!
God’s promises are forever! Forever He is faithful, forever He is true!
I am so thankful for my LORD JESUS CHRIST, my Heavenly Father who is Almighty and who’s love is unfailing! I am so thankful for my Comforter, God’s Holy Spirit, who leads me into His Truth. God bless you! I pray that you know my Jesus.

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*NEW* Jerry Writes from Jail on 4/21/14 “Random Thoughts and Ramblings for My Lord Jesus Christ”

Philippians 4:6-7 KJV

“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication and 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.”

I claim these verses for me and my family as we go through our trial. God is going to keep us as long as we keep our Redeemer in first place. The world of people that don’t know Jesus just think this is all crazy fairy tales but I know that God is real. Because I can pray to my God and He answers me. No, He doesn’t always give me what I want but He always gives me what I need.

Luke 6:27-28 tells us to love our enemies and do good to them that hate you. Bless those that curse you and pray for them which despitefully use you.

Does this sound like a god that hates people? He is love and wants everyone to believe in Him.

Luke 6:35 is also a good verse: “But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked.”

Luke 9:56 is also a good verse. It says “For the Son of Man is not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them.” Jesus doesn’t want to condemn anyone but He wants to give everyone life to the full.

I can tell you from experience and I’m really trying to drive this home so I’m not going to quit saying it:

There is no better high than serving our Lord and being filled with His Holy Spirit [or being in His presence].

When you are in the world the people that you thought were your friends will be gone in a minute, but not the Lord. He will stick closer to you than a brother. He will never leave you nor forsake you. When times are tough for us and it looks like all there is, is darkness, that’s when Jesus shines the brightest. He shows up and shows out for His people. He is not some weak God like the world thinks He is. He is a mighty warrior ready to go to war to save the lost and hurting to give them hope.

So let’s get the word out that the war against the devil and his minions is on and we are going to win because we serve a Living God that loves people and doesn’t want any to go to hell. We all have the Great Commission, now don’t get me wrong, you have to know that the time is right, that the Spirit is leading, and then have no fear about talking about our Jesus.

We love Jesus. He is always to be the main focus of anything that we say or do. he is always the Head. Amen.

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A New Level of Pain – A New Level of Faith

A new level of pain – bringing a new level of faith and strength from the Lord and more rejoicing and more hope!

Half the day is gone and I have mostly cried it away – crying with the pain of missing my husband and not knowing when he will be able to return to me and our babies, not knowing how I will provide for us while he is away, crying out for comfort and peace and in faith knowing that Jehovah, Rapha will heal us all, He is Jehovah Shalom, our peace, and Jehovah Jireh will provide! Also crying with thanksgiving for the spiritual growth and sweet presence of Jesus that we are experiencing. Praising Him with tears because I know that He is good! And I trust Him! And this is answered prayers from me and Jerry. To be in this place of complete surrender.

Crying? Yes. Hurting? Yes. But this reminds me of something that Paul wrote:

2 Corinthians 4:7 But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. 8 We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; 9 persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. 10 We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. 11 For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may also be revealed in our mortal body. 12 So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you.

13 It is written: “I believed; therefore I have spoken.”[b] Since we have that same spirit of[c] faith, we also believe and therefore speak, 14 because we know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus from the dead will also raise us with Jesus and present us with you to himself. 15 All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God.

16 Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. 17 For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 18 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

I wrote in my journal recently about having this treasure, this all- surpassing power that is at work in us from God and not from us – and that it in us, jars of clay…. molded and shaped by the Potter.

Who are we the clay to question the Potter. He made some us weaker. I praise the Lord that He loves jars of clay. I praise the Lord that He comes to the poor and the needy. I praise You Lord that You love me and Jerry and that You picked us up out of the miry clay and set our feet on the Rock! I thank You Lord for Your presence and power that is getting us through this and with strength and the power of Your might and not our own. We may be down, but we’re not out. We may face consequences on earth for past mistakes but You are our Judge and our faith is worth far more than anything on this earth and we mean this with all of our hearts! May Your will be done and I praise You and trust You to lead and guide and direct us through this time. I know You will provide for every emotional, spiritual, physical and financial need. I thank You for my faith.

I have prayed and Jerry has prayed the words to two very bold songs. I am going to link to them in this post.

We invite you to join us in our brokenness in the sweetness of His presence and His healing and peace and power. There is no love like the love of Jesus! There is no life without abiding in Christ! May you be blessed to be as desperate for Jesus as we are. I trust Him with my death, eternity AND my life.

Did I realize in those verses above exactly what dying daily meant? Do Christians today understand this? Is Jesus truly Lord of your life? Examine your heart today. If you want more of God, more of His presence, are you willing to be pruned, go through the refining fire and the cleansing flood? I tell you it is worth it! I testify that Jesus is worth it!

Not just meeting Him in heaven…. we are told in His Word that a faith that perseveres to the end will be rewarded. I wanted a real and genuine faith. I asked for it. I prayed for it. I never wanted another rock bottom experience. I now realize that the rock bottom is what got me to the mountain top. His presence is sweet in the rock bottom. No, I do not want rock bottoms that come because of my mistakes or my husband’s mistakes. But I am thankful for the experiences that have caused me to taste and see that God is good. I am thankful for the times that have made me run to my Father God through Jesus shed blood and accept His forgiveness and rest in Him.

Hallelujah! God bless you. Thank you for taking the time to read my blog and may God richly bless you with more of Him.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1m_sWJQm2fs <- Link to Hillsong United “Oceans”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UI1obeb3A9c <-Link to Sidewalk Prophets “Keep Making Me”

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Jerry from Jail Writes “Praise and Faith and Random Thoughts and Ramblings April 17, 2014”

Are we as Christians just to praise God when everything is going our way? There are many examples in the Bible for us to go by. When we are broken is when God is ready to reveal His plan for us. When we have tears coming down our face with our hearts broken saying, “I love you God! I praise You.” I have really been in that situation lately. I don’t know what God is doing but I know that I trust Him and love Him no matter what. He has been too good to me and my family for me to turn from Him. I love God more each and every day and can’t wait to wake up and serve Him and praise His name, again.

Even though the situation I am in is of my own doing, it didn’t catch God by surprise. God knows our situations and He is always with us no matter where we are. He knows what we need and don’t need. He is an awesome God. At the core of everything God is love. He created us in His image, His children, to love and to talk to and for us to talk to and listen to Him. I love praying to the Father because I know He loves me unconditionally.

He knew us and everything that we were going to do in our life before the creation of the world. He knew that we were going to need Him to save us. Let’s think about it this way: before we, as parents, had our children if we would have thought about it, we knew that our children were going to be imperfect and that they were going to make mistakes. But, that didn’t stop us with God’s helping hand from having them. That’s why I want to urge everyone to embrace God because He loves you and wants the best for all of us. Does it involve pain? Sometimes, yes, but it’s a pain that is not for nothing.It’s to teach us, grow us or show us something. We will live a lifetime and never be perfect. But if we “acknowledge Him in all of our ways then He will make our paths straight.”

The main thing is to keep God first no matter what the situation looks like. Just trust Him and listen for the small, still voice. Even though we aren’t perfect it isn’t a license for us to do what we want to do. We are to get closer and be growing closer to God each and every day, month and year that goes by. If we aren’t growing then we are getting stagnant and going backwards and I want to tell you that neither of those are good. All we have to do to grow is read the Bible and read slow enough that we hear from God and understand what we are reading, pray, and before that we have to acknowledge that Jesus is the Son of God and turn from our sins.

My faith a lot of times is tested on a daily basis, not so much in jail, and my faith is tested in a lot of different ways. I don’t always pass. Sometimes I fail and it ends up making me stronger and makes me love God more and more because He keeps helping me get back up out of the mire. I have messed up a large portion of my life but I am now growing in Christ daily and getting stronger and ready to do what He wants me to do.

God will never give up on you. We are going to go through trials in this life and I want to tell everyone that it’s better to have God than not have Him when we face the trials and storms of this life. That’s what the whole human race really needs is Jesus. This life that we are living on earth is just a blip on the radar (if that much) compared to eternity. Without the mercy of God, people that are walking around lost are walking on eggshells. I was doing it for over 30 years and God kept me until I did surrender to Jesus. Jesus tells us to put our burdens on Him and to take His yoke because it is light.

I have a story about my life that I want to share. I was sitting in the Etowah County Jail in December 2002. I would go to church because I was thinking that it got me out of my cell for an hour or so but God was working on my heart. I was saved in there in December and I took a look at my life and saw that up to that point I had really wasted every bit of it. I was on my way to prison for the 3rd time. I had no one to write or come and see me and I cried out to my  God and said I wanted a family – I wanted someone that cared about me.

In 2004 I got out with nowhere to stay so the probation officer told me that I had to stay at the Salvation Army. I ended up walking to my aunt’s house and living with her, really in a small apartment we called rooms. I ended up meeting my wife while I lived there but I also started backsliding. I was having pre-marital sex and I was starting to drink again. I ended up running from God and getting into trouble for D.U.I. in 2005. My soon to be wife was pregnant with our son. I ended up doing 60 days on the D.U.I. and our son was born on Dec. 25th. Me and my wife got married in Jan. 2006.

I just wanted everyone to know that God loves us. He isn’t just sitting up there waiting to zap us. Jesus went through the same things that we go through. I have messed up a lot in my life and I tell everyone when I give my testimony that if God can and did save me after all that I have done in my life, then He can save anyone that is willing to accept Him. Even after I accepted Him I still did things like drinking that I know I shouldn’t be doing. But I really re-dedicated my life to Him, again, and He has kept me strong ever since then. I do love the Lord and if it is meant for me to go into the ministry I am willing and ready. For now I am a jailhouse preacher and will do what I feel like God wants me to do while I am here.

I really think that we as Christians need to put God first in everything that we do. That is what I have been trying to do. We, or at least, I need more Jesus and less of the world. Like John said, “He must increase, I must decrease.” That is my goal for the rest of my life. More of Jesus shining out of me each and every day. I have been put into a situation to where I can’t read the Bible because I don’t have my reading glasses, and my beautiful wife in her wisdom told me to meditate on what I already knew, that’s what I’ve been doing.

Just keep God in first place and everything else will fall into place. If you do accept Christ please don’t be ashamed of Him because it is in Him that we have hope; not in this world and it’s fleeting pleasures.

Let’s all rise up like mighty warriors and say, “I love Jesus!” with no shame or guilt but with pride on our face and in our hearts because of who He is. We don’t need to hide in the shadows afraid to say or do something because our Father is the Father of Light. Let’s knock the god-haters out of the spotlight and take it back and let our voice be heard.

Let’s speak with the boldness of the Holy Spirit. Let’s shout! “I love God! I praise God!”

I’m not ashamed of it and if you don’t want to do the same or do, I’ll pray for you. Praise the Lord!