encouraging god’s people

Broken Vessels (Amazing Grace)

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This week’s Poetry Tuesday feature is Broken Vessels by Hillsong. I thought it went well with my last blog post about brokenness. I love these lyrics. We are set free, mended and whole, and we are his treasure set inside a jar of clay. Beautiful song. Hope you enjoy! Be Blessed my friends.

Broken Vessels (Amazing Grace)

All these pieces
Broken and scattered
In mercy gathered
Mended and whole
Empty handed
But not forsaken
I’ve been set free
I’ve been set free

Amazing grace
How sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me
I once was lost
But now I’m found
Was blind but now I see

Oh I can see it now
Oh I can see the love in Your eyes
Laying yourself down
Raising up the broken to life

You take our failure
You take our weakness
You set Your treasure
In jars of clay
So take this heart, Lord
I’ll be Your vessel
The world to see
Your love in me

Amazing grace
How sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me
I once was lost
But now I’m found
Was blind but now I see

Oh I can see it now
Oh I can see the love in Your eyes
Laying yourself down
Raising up the broken to life

Amazing grace
How sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me
I once was lost
But now I’m found
Was blind but now I see

Oh I can see it now
Oh I can see the love in Your eyes
Laying yourself down
Raising up the broken to life

Amazing grace
How sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me
I once was lost
But now I’m found
Was blind but now I see

Oh I can see it now
Oh I can see the love in Your eyes
Laying yourself down
Raising up the broken to life

The Beauty in Brokenness

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Many times in life we work so hard to be perfect. We try time after time to be good enough, to be accepted, to achieve success and great things. We often hide our flaws and weaknesses. We try to conceal the fact that we are broken. We live a lie that we can achieve the good life or even a great life in our own power. We live the lie that we are okay and that we can take care of ourselves. Many times all this works for us until it doesn’t. My life was like that for a long time, and then, over time, my flaws, my shortcomings, and my weaknesses became to hard to hide. I looked at myself one day and said it out loud. I am broken. I need help. In my brokenness I discovered just how much I needed Christ and how very lost I am without him. I also discovered that it’s ok to need him and to need others. I discovered it’s okay to not be perfect, to make mistakes, and to have weaknesses. I discovered that admitting that I am flawed and broken set me free. But for me, the biggest truth of all was that being broken can be beautiful.

-I looked at myself one day and said it out loud. I am broken. I need help

Brokenness is beautiful in the Kingdom. We will never be perfect but God’s strength is made perfect in our weakness. We all are broken in some way. We all have weaknesses and messiness in our lives. That is why we need each other and more importantly, why we need God. When I bring the broken pieces of myself and my life to him, He puts me back together. He sets me next to others and their brokenness. You see, we all are broken. Only Jesus is perfect. It’s Christ who can put us back together if we let him. The Lord restores us and puts our broken pieces together with his power, his love, and his strength. Then we become his masterpiece. God shines through our brokenness and together we are beautiful like a mosaic or stained glass window. He shines through our lives and we become a living, breathing testimony of God’s goodness, faithfulness, and power.

 –The Lord restores us and puts our broken pieces together
with his power, his love, and his strength.

 Brokenness is beautiful. Its relatable. It’s love in a unworthy vessel. It’s God’s masterpiece waiting to happen. It’s being his hands and feet. It’s knowing that we are nothing without him, and everything with him. Brokenness is what enables us to be His workmanship. If you’re broken, know that you’re not alone. If you feel like you have no value then I am glad you are reading this. If you feel like you are beyond repair, let me tell you that is a lie. I have messed up things in my life so badly, that God’s grace is the only thing that saved me. He saved me in my darkest times. He saved my marriage. He helped me be a good mom. He kept me going. He healed my heart. We are never beyond repair. God doesn’t give up on us. He restore us and uses us. If you’re falling apart. Let the pieces fall and hold on to God. He will put you back together and his workmanship is beautiful. He will restore what you thought could never be fixed. He will set you free. He will use your life as a living testimony and for the Kingdom. He will take your brokenness and make you beautiful. My friends, I want to  leave you with this simple prayer.

Lord I choose to let you fill in the gaps of my brokenness
and ask that you let your light shine through me. Amen.

Be Blessed my friends.

 

Psalm 147:3 He heals the brokenhearted And binds up their wounds

Luke 4:18-19 The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, Because He has anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives And recovery of sight to the blind, To set at liberty those who are oppressed. To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.

Ephesians 10:2 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.

Isaiah 64:8 But now, O LORD, you are our father; we are the clay, and you our potter; and we all are the work of your hand

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Beautiful Places, Beautiful Faces

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Been a few weeks since I posted. I hoped you missed me. 🙂  Here is something that I wrote a few weeks ago on my last day on the Betel England Mission Trip.

Tea House View

I am here today at Warwick Castle having tea at the tea house in the conservatory. England is beautiful. This place is beautiful. I hear the lovely sound of the fountain in front of me, the sound of peacocks, and the sound of happy families enjoying their Saturday adventures. Ahead of me are beautiful gardens and the Avon River. It’s a bit chilly, but I wanted to sit outside. Two peacocks walk by and the whole scene is like something out of a Shakespeare sonnet. The only thing missing is my kids and hubby.

IMG_0128

Today I just wanted to reflect on my week in Betel and on this leg of my journey in life. I have always wanted to travel. For as long as I can remember I have wanted to travel. I have always wanted to walk in the places where great people have walked and England has been on my list since I was a teenager. As I sit here today, I think, wow, I am here, but I could never have imagined it would be like this.

Better than a holiday, I have spent the week with truly great people. Beautiful people. People who carry something that I want to carry. They carry brokenness, transparency, humility, and an incredible hunger for God. They carry His love and His grace. This place that I am sitting is beautiful, but not nearly as beautiful as the people that I have spent my week with. They have left me full and transformed. I know that I will never be the same. For as much as I served them and ministered to them, they have returned tenfold, ministry and servitude to me. Words cannot begin to describe my gratitude.

As I sit here, I think about the journey of life. I think about how what we want and ask for are often not nearly God’s best for us. What he has for us is so much more than anything we can imagine. The scripture in Jeremiah comes to mind. It has been spoken many times this week, but today it has a fresh new meaning to me. It means trust Gods plans, because he knows me. He knows my heart. His thoughts of me are good ones. He wants to touch me in such a way that I a left wanting nothing more, but still have hope for the future. His plan is beautiful.

Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord,
thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.

As a young girl, when I dreamed of traveling and coming to England, I never could have imagined that I would come to minister to people. I also never could have imagined that I would be the one who was truly ministered to. Life’s a funny thing. I often wonder how often God smiles at us and says oh my child, if you only knew… I’m grateful that he has those plans for me. I’m grateful he has taught me to trust him. I’m grateful for this place. I’m grateful to be used for his kingdom. But above all else I am grateful to be his child and to have his journey for my life laid before me.

So thank you Betel, thank you England, and most of all thank you God for the plans you have for me.

Restored sign

My friends I want to encourage you. If you are in a leg of your journey that is hard and you don’t know what lies ahead, just keep on trusting God. Let him lead the way. And though you may not be able to see it right now, in the not too distant future you will look back and it will all make sense. So hold on and know that Gods plans are good ones. Be blessed my friends.

Peacock

It’s Just One of Those Days

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Ever have one of those days? You know. The kind where nothing seems to go right? Where you are just trying to make it from one hour to the next. Or maybe minute to minute. You may even say that to yourself, “Yep, it’s just one of those days”. I want to encourage you, that you are not the only one who has days like this.

When I was a young mom, with three toddlers, I had lots of days like this. Days that the house was cluttered with kid stuff everywhere, dirty laundry, dirty dishes, and messy babies. I would wait for hubby to come through the door so I could have a break. Sometimes that worked, sometimes it didn’t. He may have had a bad day too and now we both needed a break. At the end of these days, I would go to bed feeling like a complete failure. I use to think that as I got older everything would change and that life would get easier. In some ways, life has changed and become easier. In some ways, life hasn’t changed at all and has become harder. I have come to realize that as much as some things change, some things stay the same. Even though my days look different and are filled with new challenges, like being the parent of young adults, the dirty dishes and laundry still seem to find ways to multiply. No matter how much time goes by, I am still me and I still have bad days. I still get overwhelmed. I still get frustrated. I still get a really bad attitude. However, along the way I have learned a valuable lesson. God never changes.  No matter how much time goes by, God is still God. Along the way is when I realized it.

-My bad days don’t surprise God.

God already knew about my bad days. The dirty laundry, piles of bills and endless parenting doesn’t surprise him. Neither does my bad attitude. He knows exactly where I am and he is there with me. He chose to give me this life. That’s right. He knew about my weaknesses and failures and he still gave me my husband. My kids. My friends and family. He knew I would have bad days. He knew I would yell at my kids and my husband, and sometimes kick the dog. Yes. I confess. I have kicked my dog.

-I am not defined by my bad days… I am not defined by my good ones either…

But he also gave me a way out of my bad days. He gave me his shoulder to cry on. He gave me his arms wrapped around me. He gave me his truth spoken to me. His truth. His truth is that I am not defined by my bad days. I’m not defined by my good ones either. I am defined by being a child of God. I am defined by His love for me. He also gave me the promise “I will be with you”. I can pour out my heart and tell God exactly what I am thinking and feeling. My feelings don’t surprise God. I can yell, scream and cry and he will not leave me. In fact, I just need to speak his name and he helps me. He helps me from minute to minute, hour to hour, day to day. He helps me, he cares for me and he changes me.

Now when I have a bad day, I think about the fact that this day will not define me or my family. It doesn’t mean that I am a big fat failure. It simple means I am human and in need of a savior. It will simply be one of those days that I need to lean even more on God. He has given me tools for these days. He has given me scriptures, affirmation statements, prayers to pray, and friends to call. But even if I don’t use those tools and let the bad day get the best of me, He also gives me forgiveness. He has given me the power to ask for forgiveness, to ask others to forgive me and the power to forgive myself. He gives second chances and brand new days. He gives me love and the assurance that it’s okay when I fall short. After all, God is the only one who is perfect and the only one with no bad days. Be blessed my friends.

Deuteronomy 31:8 – And the LORD, he it is that does go before you; he will be with you, he will not fail you, neither forsake you: fear not, neither be dismayed.

Hebrews 13: 5-6, 8 – Let your conduct be without covetousness; and be content with such things as you have: for he has said, I will never leave you, nor forsake you. So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me. Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and forever.

I Peter 5:7 – Casting all your care upon him; for he cares for you.

One Minute Reason Why

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This weeks Poetry Tuesday’s feature is the One Minute Sermon. Really good spoken word.

Preparing Our Hearts

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This is a great video by Randy Clark. It is long, but well worth watching.

 

No Longer Slaves

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This week’s Poetry Tuesday’s feature is “No Longer Slaves” by Bethel Music. Such an incredible song of freedom and deliverance.  Be Blessed my friends.

No Longer Slaves

You unravel me, with a melody
You surround me with a song
Of deliverance, from my enemies
Till all my fears are gone

I’m no longer a slave to fear
I am a child of God

From my mothers womb
You have chosen me
Love has called my name
I’ve been born again, into your family
Your blood flows through my veins

You split the sea
So I could walk right through it
All my fears were drowned in perfect love
You rescued me
So I could stand and sing
I am child of God

I am surrounded
By the arms of the Father
I am surrounded
With songs of deliverance

We’ve been liberated
From our bondage
We’re the sons and the daughters
Let us sing our freedom!