The Missing Piece Of The Puzzle

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Psalm 33:6 says, “By the Word of the Lord the heavens were made, and all the host of them by the breath of His mouth.”

God spoke and the earth was formed out of nothing. How much more do you think God can put the pieces of your life back together?  if He can create the universe from nothing?

In the past several months I have been dealing with cancer, surgery and it’s treatments.  I have been on bed-rest and frankly, had way to much alone time.  Time to think about the last couple years since my divorce.  I found myself stuck things just did not make sense to me.  There was a span of about a month that went from talking reconciliation, proclamations of love to I want a divorce by email.  The explanation given (no face to face or talking on the phone) did not make any sense to me, why? because I knew it was not true. He has always been a person who avoids confrontation and maybe this was just to painful to explain or face.  I realize we cannot expect things from people they cannot give.   But, one of my biggest challenges has always been that I have an analytical mind, therefore, everything needs to make sense for me to move on.

This got me thinking about my youngest child.

She has always loved puzzle-working and she knows the best puzzles are the ones with lots of small pieces with similar colors, making it a big challenge. Watching her work her puzzles, I have often thought over the course of the last two years how very much like a puzzle our lives are. God fitting each piece of our story together perfectly.  The problem was, the pieces of this story did not seem to fit. There was a huge piece missing.  It wasn’t so much about moving on from the person as it was making sense of the whole situation and being blindsided.  To be fair, We had been struggling since I chose to separate.  Making sure I was fully in God’s will.  Ever the obedient child who leans to much towards legalism, aww…yet another hurdle in my life. Check!

From my point of view (which is sometimes dangerous), the pieces just didn’t seem to fit.  I could not see the completed picture on the outside of the box so I was not sure how these pieces all fit together.  But Jesus knows. He has a reason for each one.  He is not only a great puzzle maker but he is the best at putting puzzles together even the ones that seem to have no color or life and to us don’t fit.  I just love how He causes things to happen, people to meet that HAVE to be in place so some future piece of our puzzle will fit together perfectly..

That is what happened to me, a couple days ago, I thought ok, this is ridiculous I was being inundated with emails from his family criticizing me and saying really hurtful things.  I cried, prayed and reached out to a pastor that knows the situation well, in our correspondence the Lord gave me a really precious gift, unbeknownst to him he gave me that missing piece.  Suddenly everything made sense, as much as it could anyway.  I felt immediately a sense of peace that truly did pass all understanding.  Pro 3:5,6  Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him,And He shall direct[a] your paths.  Would I have liked the outcome to be different, absolutely, I believe every marriage can be restored if both hearts are open.  Only problem was that was not our case.  Instead the proverbial easy way was taken.  But I now had  the answers I needed to move on and commit this person and my life to the Lord, and to forgive and ask forgiveness for the part I played.

Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow.  James 1:17
There have been many of these “divine appointments” or “Gifts”  over the last couple years. He has thankfully been so active in my life and journey that I sometimes feel like I am —well, that my life is like a story in a book.  It is a kind of paradox really. We are all already a piece of a God sized puzzle but at the same time…. everything shapes us.  All the emotions, the joy, the tragedies, the accomplishments, the mistakes, the good days, the hard days, the mundane days all working together for good.  Shaping us into what the Lord desires. Romans 8:28

28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.

The last couple of years has been quite an education, like being in school with God,  He taught me each step of the way, not only what I needed to know but what would help me through at each point along the journey. These lessons were deep and profound. Opening my eyes and heart. Changing me from the inside out.  Quieting my soul. Healing me, and not just emotionally, but physically as well.

I am human (and at times neurotic) and though I have learned valuable lessons that have reshaped me, and stretched me, there were times when “the enemy” attacks. There have been weeks, months on end, when he drags my mind through the mire and muck.  It is in these times of attack that my past baggage starts resurfacing, hopelessness tries to creep in and present stresses pound in the back of my mind.

It is at these times of difficulty that we acknowledge what it means that He is God. This is all about Him. This is His story. It is about obedience.  He is in control and sitting on His throne.  I needed to Let Him do his job, completely surrendered to His will no matter what.

Having confidence that the pieces of our lives are slowly all fitting together to create a beautiful picture. Even though we won’t see the completed picture this side of Heaven, we can know the Creator is creating a beautiful picture from the pieces of our one ordinary, messy, beautiful life.

I am so thankful to the Lord who used this pastor to put that last piece of the puzzle together that fit perfectly in my puzzle of life.  A pastor that has been patient with me when he did not need to.  That spoke the truth with love, that sometimes can be a hard pill to swallow, but is just what we need to hear at just the right time. After all, I am not even part of his flock, although I once was, but I guess I am because we are all brothers and sisters in Christ a family of believers. Hallelujah

You see God was saying all along, “I have the missing piece. It’s a surrendered relationship with me. That is what you have been missing. That is what you have been searching for and didn’t realize it.”  All I needed to do was ask and have faith that he would show me the way and heal my brokenheart.  But, the Lord, being gracious knew I needed the assurance of that last earthly piece.
David said to the Lord, “My times are in Your hand; deliver me from the hands of my enemies” (Psalm 31:15). I have to remind myself that I have a Creator who designed me, and my life is in His hands. Only He knows where every piece belongs.

The Bible provides a wonderful message to the brokenhearted. Psalm 34:18 says,“The Lord is near to the broken hearted and saves the crushed in spirit.”

Psalm 147:3, “He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.”

The Apostle Peter said something that really resonates with all of this: “Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator.” (1 Peter 4:19). Sometimes it is God’s will that we are broken for a time, as it was in Job’s case. We must entrust ourselves to Him, believing that He is faithful in every good thing, in His good time. When we leave this earthly tent and enter into God’s presence, we will be completely whole.

Revelation 21:1-5, the greatest promise for God’s beloved is this:

Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,” for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!”

The final promise from Revelation 22:20,

He who testifies to these things says, ‘Yes, I am coming soon.’ Amen. Come, Lord Jesus!”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Trusting God

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Trusting God when the miracle does not come, when the urgent prayer gets no answer when there is only darkness – this is the kind of faith God values perhaps most of all.

Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.  In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.”

When we learn to trust the Lord completely, we begin to have a sense of rest in Him.  You begin to realize that God has everything under control even when life appears to be out of control.  Trusting God when you don’t understand brings you to a point where you decide to trust God and NOT in your own understanding.

As Christians, we must make a decision to trust God regardless of how scary the situation may seem.  Trusting God doesn’t prevent you from being in uncomfortable situations but it does allow you to be placed in a position where you seek the Lord’s presence, provisions, guidance, and promises.

Give Me Courage To Be Brave

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“Immediately he spoke to them and said, ‘Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.’” Mark 6:50

I have stepped out in faith this week and need prayer that His will be done in my life.  I am awaiting a decision that will be made tomorrow, it is my steadfast prayer for healing and restoration.  I pray the Lord will speak to the hearts of all involved and the Lord will go before me preparing the way.

The past few weeks, during my quiet times with the Lord, one subject keeps coming up.  Are you brave enough?  I realized He was prompting me to step out, to stretch me.

Bravery is something I do not possess.  I always seem to take the safest option in my life.  It made me reflect, am I brave enough in my Christian life?  The words the Lord spoke to me “are you brave enough” kindled a fire in my soul as I began to think about all the ways I wanted to be brave enough: brave enough to speak up, brave enough to be graceful, brave enough to step out in faith, brave enough to ask for help.

What I have learned was I do not have enough courage/bravery on my own to face life without fear. I needed a courage that came from outside myself. My human bravery always fell short.

No matter what you need to be brave enough for today, Jesus offers to meet you there with what only He can do. He offers you forgiveness when you fail and grace that energizes you to try again. He offers you healing when you hurt and strength that replaces your weakness. He offers you his presence, giving confidence that comes fully from who He is — not who you are.

If we have any desire to see God move in a miraculous way in your life, we must be prepared to step out of the boat, as Peter did. God’s power is always there for the taking. Sometimes, though, the Lord requires us to take the first step of faith and then the bravery will be provided.

He wants to expand our borders to maybe try new things. It can be really scary. We may even start to sink as Peter did. But if we don’t ever get out of the boat, we will never know the new things God wants to do in and through us. He has so much in store for us, more than we could ever dream of.

Are you brave enough in your Christian life?

Has God placed something in your heart that you feel you should be doing? Are you holding back for fear of the unknown or a fear of rejection? What small steps can you take in pursuing it?

Commit these things to the Lord.

When you have Jesus, you have all the courage/bravery you need, for whatever you may face.

Heavenly Father, I want to believe that in You I have all I need. As I begin today, would You help me be brave enough for whatever You have for me? Give me the courage to forgive generously, love fully and shine brightly in the place You’ve placed me to grow. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Please pray for me regarding tomorrow’s decision, that His will be done in my life.  And that He moves in a miraculous way.  Preparing all the hearts involved and preparing the way.

Thank you all and God Bless!

Cheryl

Undivided Heart

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Teach me your way, LORD, that I may rely on your faithfulness; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name. Psalm 86:11

An Undivided Heart

Lord, put in me a new spirit
Remove my heart of stone
And give to me a heart of flesh
That trusts in You alone
Oh, That I may fear Your name
Each day right from the start
Oh, Lord, please give to me
An undivided heart.

I want a gaze that never waivers
Or loses sight of the goal
To keep it’s focus on obeying You
With mind and body and soul
Help me to walk in submission to Christ
In whole and not in part
Oh, Lord, please give to me
An undivided heart.

I want Your joy to be my greatest strength
Your salvation my impassioned praise
Your holiness to be my way of living
For all the rest of my days
Keep me steadfast in doing Your work
And following the course that You chart
Oh, Lord, please give to me
An undivided heart.

Teach me to daily die to self
And to spend much time in prayer
That I may be discerning of those around me
And treat them with genuine care
I want to be totally true to You
To wear your righteousness as my mark
Oh, Lord, please give to me
An undivided heart.

I want to live the time You’ve given me
Committed fully to Your purpose and call
Lord, consume me with Your awesome presence
Cause me on my knees to fall
And bow to Your desire for my life
Let no circumstance keep us apart
Oh, Lord, please give to me
An undivided heart.

 Crystal C. Godfrey

Righteous God and Holy Father, please help me to have an undivided heart, one that seeks you as the first priority in my life. Forgive me, dear Lord, for letting other things distract my focus from you and interfere with my service to your Kingdom. Fill me with a holy passion and a consuming fire for you Lord, that I may be worthy of your calling. Help me Lord to serve you and others above all other concerns and interests. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.

Divine Appointments

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Divine Appointments

Have you ever had a coincidence, which was so special that it seemed like God was in it? A divine appointment is ‘a meeting’ which was inspired and God led. God is sovereign; He is all-knowing and all-powerful.

Sometimes God wants to bless us and other people. The possibilities of divine appointments are endless! If we are willing to be led by the Holy Spirit, great things are possible.

The possibilities of divine appointments are endless! If we are willing to be led by the Holy Spirit, great things are possible.

The Scriptures say, “The steps of a righteous man are ordered by the Lord.” After decades of walking (off and on, but mostly on) with God, I can tell you that seeing God set up these “appointments” is a thrill that is beyond comparison.

Throughout the Bible, there are many examples of divine appointments. Time after time God leads the faithful to cross another person’s path and great things happen!

Several years ago, I was running in the park one morning and felt God was giving me a prophecy for my friend JD. I began to pray on how the Lord wanted me to proceed.  I felt the Lord calling me to minister to him, so the next day I walked up to him and said “I don’t know what is wrong, but I know you are struggling if you ever need anything I am here” he looked at me with a look of shock, but said nothing.  The next day, I received a call from him saying “how did you know, I have not told anyone? I told him the Lord spoke to me.  He told me he had been struggling with the feeling that he had gone too far away from God and his sin was far too great for forgiveness.  He explained how he was being tormented night and day, but was too ashamed to tell anyone.  I was able to get him the help he needed and later realized he had not been eating in weeks and had signed everything he owned over to me.  If I had not intervened the doctor said he may have ended his life.

He was totally amazed that God would speak to me about him. It turned out to be a great encouragement to us both.  We were later married.  I know without a doubt this WAS a divine appointment.  I was thankful that the Lord used me and I heard His call.

Be open to God!  We just have to be open to what God is doing today and every day.
Pray and ask God to lead you into divine appointments. Many say a prayer like this, “Holy Spirit whatever you are doing today, let me be a part of it, I want to glorify Jesus and advance the kingdom”.

After praying be prepared if God has anything for you; He can do the impossible and the unexpected.

Throughout the Bible, there are many examples of divine appointments. Time after time God leads the faithful to cross another person’s path and great things happen!

My Divine appointment – Divine Intervention

Several years ago, One morning as I was running in the park I felt God was giving me a prophecy for my friend JD. I was resistant at first, but the Lord continued to nudge me. So, I began to pray on how the Lord wanted me to proceed.  I felt the Lord calling me to minister to him, so the next day I ran into him and said “I don’t know what is wrong, but I know you are struggling if you ever need anything I am here” he looked at me with a look of shock, but said nothing.  The next day, I received a call from him saying “how did you know, I have not told anyone? I told him the Lord spoke to me with a word of knowledge.  He told me he had been struggling with the feeling that he had gone too far away from God and his sin was far too great for forgiveness.  He explained how he was being tormented night and day, but was too ashamed to tell anyone.  I was able to get him the help he needed and assure him that God was able to forgive every sin he had committed.  He was able to rededicate his life to the Lord and attend bible college. I later realized he had not been eating in weeks and had signed everything he owned over to me.  The reality was If I had not intervened the doctor said he may have ended his life.

He was totally amazed that God would speak to me about him. It turned out to be a great encouragement to us both.  We were later married.  I know without a doubt this WAS a divine appointment.  I was thankful that the Lord used me and I heard His call.

Maybe you’re anything like me—I’ve been nudged by the Holy Spirit, but I rationalize away my responsibility to say anything. I wonder if the reason we see so little of the supernatural occurring in our lives is because we are unwilling to take the risks that come with walking and living by faith. We fear the rejection of man more than displeasing God.

Be open to God!  We just have to be open to what God is doing today and every day.
Pray and ask God to lead you into divine appointments. Many say a prayer like this, “Holy Spirit whatever you are doing today, let me be a part of it, I want to glorify Jesus and advance the kingdom”.

After praying be prepared if God has anything for you; He can do the impossible and the unexpected.

Dear Heavenly Father, open my eyes to see the people whom I pass today who need a word of encouragement, a word of acknowledgment, or a word of thanks. Help me to slow down enough to see the needs standing right in front of me. Thank You for giving Jesus as our example of how to care for a hurting world.

In Jesus’ Name,

Amen.

Taste Thy Goodness

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Aiden Wilson Tozer (1897–1963) is widely regarded as one of the deepest theological thinkers of the 20th century. He is known worldwide for his prayer-bathed way of speaking pithy truth and introducing people to God. Tozer was a man of integrity. He lived simply, committed himself to lifelong learning, and drank deep from God’s Word. Tozer’s poignant writings typically lead people to worship and weep in conviction.

This is the opening sentence in Tozer’s  The Knowledge of the Holy. Is one of the most important, profound sentences that I have ever read. “What I believe about God is the most important thing about me.”  Tozer is telling us a great truth that everything we believe, everything we do, every sin with which we struggle, every attempt to understand who we are and what it means to be a Christian is rooted in our thoughts about God.

Here’s a beautiful prayer from AW Tozer’s book “Following Hard After God”.

O God, I have tasted Your goodness, and it has both satisfied me and made me thirsty for more. I am painfully conscious of my need of further grace. I am ashamed of my lack of desire. O God, the Triune God, I want to want You; I long to be filled with longing; I thirst to be made more thirsty still. Show me Your glory, I pray, that so I may know You indeed. Begin in mercy a new work of love within me. Say to my soul, ‘Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away.’ Then give me grace to rise and follow You up from this misty lowland where I have wandered so long.
 In Jesus name.
 Amen

May this be our prayer daily!  May we yearn and drink deeply from God’s word.  Thank you, Jesus

The Love Of Jesus Is Deep

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…that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height—to know the love of Christ that passes knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.—Ephesians 3:17-19

Love Can…

Love can surely rescue
A heart in deep despair,
A heart that has given up
And no longer feels God near

Love can breathe new meaning
When there’s nothing left inside,
When there’s no feeling or emotion
Just dryness in our lives

Love can restore new hope
After it’s withered and died,
For hope is what will get us through
And love can be its guide

Love can run and embrace
The prodigal returning home
And the one that has come to the end,
Those hurting lost and alone

For God’s love is the answer
To our broken, empty lives,
As we come with an open heart,
He can dispel all the hurt inside

And He will heal our brokenness
And lovingly, He will bind
The wounds that have left us scarred
And bring soundness to our minds

So give it over to God’s love,
Our lives, and all that we are
Then we will know and walk in His love,
For His love shall dwell in our hearts.