Nancy Turner is a new friend of mine from Moody Radio. I had the privilege of being on her show, This IsThe Day, a number of times last year. During one of her shows she shared with her listeners what her “word for the year” was. She chose a word to focus on that represented an area she wanted to grow in throughout the year. I thought that was very interesting, so I decided to pick a word for 2012: Trust. I wanted to learn to trust God in a deeper way than ever before. When I look back I can see so many different events that occurred that gave me an opportunity to develop my level of trust. Some were extremely difficult, but I’m grateful. I’m definitely still a work in progress in this area!
As I’m journeying through 2013 I realize there is another word that is coming to the forefront for the year: Surrender. What does it truly mean to surrender every single part of my will and being to Christ? And I mean EVERY part. There are things that I easily surrender, but I’ve been asking Him to reveal to me the things I still hold too closely. What do I still want to control in my own life? Do you know what happens when you ask God that kind of question? He answers! It’s funny how that works. 🙂 And the answers have been VERY revealing. I have some work to do in this area for sure.
So the year 2013 will be known as my year of surrender just like the year 2012 was known as my year to go to the next level of trusting Him.
What’s your word?
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This morning I’ve had the new Chris Tomlin song, “Whom Shall I Fear,” playing over and over again in my home as I work. What an amazing reminder that the One true God is all powerful. In fact, He is the Commander of the angel armies! Just stop and think about the sheer magnitude of that statement for a moment.
Depending on what translation you read, there are many times throughout the Old Testament that God is referred to as the Lord of hosts or Lord Almighty, in other words, the God of the angel armies. He is the Great Warrior who battles for us! The God that fought for the Israelites as they were being pursued by the Egyptians, is the same God that fights for us in the battles we face each day in our own lives. “The Lord will fight for you, you need only to be still” -Exodus 14:14. Is there a battle raging in your life today?
You crush the enemy
underneath my feet
You are my Sword and Shield
though troubles linger still
Whom shall I fear?
I know who goes before me
I know who stands behind
The God of angel armies is always by my side
The One who reigns forever
He is a Friend of mine
The God of angel armies is always by my side
Jeremiah 29:11 says “For I know the plans I have you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
Isn’t it comforting to know that God has plans for you? And they’re not plans to harm you, but plans for you to prosper in Him! He has your best in mind. So many of His children are barely hanging on by a thread, but you don’t have to live that way. He doesn’t just want you surviving this life. He wants you to flourish! No matter what you are facing today, I hope you will take a moment and remind yourself of this eternal truth. Life can be hard and painful at times, yes, but God wants you to live your life as one who knows and understands that you have hope in each moment and a beautiful future in Him and with Him. That’s a life worth living!
Remember: “If the Son sets you free, you are truly free.”
Many of you know that I have lost some friends over the past few years to terrible diseases. I know those women are experiencing more joy, life and freedom than they have ever known before, now that they are in their Heavenly home.
Once in a while I come across something that reminds me of them and that brings a smile to my face. My sweet friend, Sherri, went home to the Lord this past October. This is one of the last things she posted on Facebook 2 weeks before her death. She knew her time on earth was being measured in days or weeks at this point and this is what she wrote:
“LIVE EVERY DAY YOU have breath! LIVE IT and APPRECIATE that GOD ALLOWED YOU THE day in which to live. Thanks to my honey for taking me out for some of the best seafood this gal has encountered. THANK you God!”
When Sherri wrote these words she was very ill and only able to leave the house occasionally for very quick trips. She knew there was no possibility of healing this side of Heaven. She told me she knew her race here on earth was done. In one of my last conversations with her I asked her what she wanted people to remember. She said, “I want people to remember to be grateful in ALL things.”
When I read that Facebook post, I see someone who was still filled with joy, someone who was still grateful for every breath she was allowed even in the face of death. In those moments Sherri was teaching all of us how to live and how to die.
What a precious reminder for me today. Each day is a gift and I can choose how I will live it. Today I choose to live being grateful for all God has done for me and appreciating the fact that He even allowed me to wake up.
Thank you, Sherri, for being such a powerful teacher in this life! I’m looking forward to celebrating with you again in eternity!