I'm so honored to welcome Nan Jones, Author and Blogger, as my Guest this week! I know you will be as inspired by her writing as I have been. Thank you Nan, for sharing what God has put on your heart. - Nancy
And My Restless Heart Stilled....
by Nan Jones
I lay crumpled beneath my blanket. Still. Worn. Depleted. My
spirit sighed with the agony of burdens, with the sorrow of
brokenness. In my stillness I silently screamed to the Lord, Oh
my God! Help me...help me, Lord.
I opened my eyes to face the window. Dawn burst forth with its
glory. Magenta and tangerine ribbons waltzed across the sky
proclaiming God's faithfulness. A cardinal's song broke through
my silence, bringing remembrance that God is good and worthy
to be praised.
From deep in my spirit arose a well-loved psalm. With tears
sliding down my cheeks and dripping onto my pillow I spoke
"Oh God, You are my God; Early will I seek You; My soul thirsts
for You; My flesh longs for You in a dry and thirsty land where
there is no water."
I began to praise my Redeemer, to thank Him for who He is. I
thanked Him for His mercy and faithfulness. I thanked Him for
His precious Spirit that enfolds me and shelters me in my pain.
And my restless heart stilled.
Psalm 63 goes on to say, "Because Your lovingkindness is
better than life, my lips shall praise You. Thus I will bless
You while I live; I will lift up my hands in Your name ...
When I remember You on my bed, I meditate on You in
the night watches, because You have been my help.
Therefore in the shadow of Your wings I will rejoice. My
soul follows close behind You; Your right hand upholds
me." ~ Psalm 63: 3,4,6-8
The Hebrew word for praise as used in this text is shabach (shah-
vahch) meaning, not only to adore or to glory in something, but
shabach means to still or to quiet. I love that! In Psalms 65:7
and 89:9, the Lord used shabach to calm the tumultuous seas. In
Proverbs 29:11, the word shabach is used to refer to hushing
things stirring within someone's heart.
When I choose to give the Lord praise, regardless of my
circumstances, His peace settles upon me and calms my fears.
Praising Him reminds me who He is and who I am not. Praising
Him ushers me into His Presence where I am comforted and
sheltered beneath the shadow of His wings.
Will you praise Him with me? Will you glory in the Lord your God,
thanking Him and cherishing His magnificent love? His love never
fails. His mercy endures forever.
I'm learning that when it seems my life has been cast onto a
tumultuous sea that threatens to destroy me - I'm learning that
if I will but praise the One who tells that sea how far it can go, I
will find peace.
My restless heart will be stilled.
Blessed be the Name of the Lord.
Nan Jones is an author/speaker who uses the words of her heart to assist fellow Christians in discovering the Presence of God in their darkest hour. Her devotional blog, Morning Glory, has become a place of community for Christians to find encouragement in God’s Word and comfort n His Presence. She has been published in several anthologies as well as the online inspirational sites Christian Devotions, and Inspire a Fire. Nan has also had the honor of being featured as a guest blogger on several sites. She is thrilled to announce her debut book, "The Perils of a Pastor's Wife" which is slated to be released June 30, 2015 by Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas. When Nan is not writing, she enjoys leading prayer retreats, bible studies or sharing God’s love as keynote speaker for special events. She is becoming known by her brand: "Even so, I walk in the Presence of the Lord" as she teaches her audience to go beyond the veil to find God's Presence.
You many visit Nan at her website: www.NanJones.com or her blog, Morning Glory: http://morningglorylights.blogspot.com/.
God is Always There
Hold Onto Hope
The LORD delights in those who trust him, who put their hope in his unfailing love. Psalm 147:11
Have you noticed lately an increase in the prayer requests you’re receiving? And not just the number, but the intensifying gravity of situations as well? Recently I’ve found myself interceding and sobbing over urgent text messages and emails like never before. Life is serious at times. I was going to describe to you some of my heart wrenching stories from the past two weeks, which included even my own family, but then I changed my mind. I think that if you are hurting and struggling over something painful, hearing other stories probably won’t make you feel better. But just know that you are not alone.
As I prayed about sharing a message of hope today, I was reminded that the Bible teaches us that in the world we will have trouble. Jesus said “take heart, I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33) He has overcome the world! We haven’t quite gotten it yet. We struggle and battle through the painful attacks that hit us. The enemy of our soul is relentless. He kicks us when we’re down, shooting those flaming arrows right into an already bleeding wound---in short, he plays dirty. Many times we never see it coming. The other night I was awake and praying at 3 a.m., feeling a bit sorry for myself and asking God why certain things are hitting so hard. He reminded me that I teach about spiritual warfare and then I forget that I’m a target too!
God is our Abba (Daddy) Father. He loves us so much. He is always with us. He walks with us through the fires. He is our Comforter and our Strength in times of trouble. Often He allows certain situations in order to refine us, mature us or develop our faith because that’s what a good Father does. We don’t usually enjoy those times of discipline or teaching. We just want a happy, safe little world where nothing goes wrong.
The Bible teaches us that evil will abound in the last days. We are headed that direction and things will escalate as time goes on until the day Jesus returns for us. As believers, we must learn to be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. (Ephesians 6:10) We are in training for harder times coming. As we endure these difficult days, we are building strength and learning how to minister to others who are struggling. We are also learning how to stand strong regardless of what is happening around us. There was never a plan for life to be fun and easy all the time. If it was we would be shallow, immature, spoiled brats. He says He will never leave us nor forsake us. If we are His, and submit ourselves to Him, He will protect us, provide for us, shield us from the enemy, and lead us to victory over the darkness. He’s done it for me time and time again.
We must get up every morning alert and discerning, praying on the whole armor of God, pleading the blood of Jesus over ourselves and our families, feeding on the Word to build our faith, and then going out into the world armed and ready for the onslaught. (Ephesians 6:10-18) If and when we do all that, we are in a stronger position to face the things that come, and many times to ward them off, with His help. We lower the risk of being blind-sided or feeling hopeless.
The Lord sees your tears, hears your cries and is compassionate. Never doubt that. He is here for you. His arms are out to you, wanting you to trust Him and believe that He is faithful. Tell Him everything---your fears, your anger, your pleas for what seems right. He is listening and He loves you deeply. And, He is a rewarder of those who earnestly seek Him. (Hebrews 11:6) Expect good things; expect answers to your prayers. Expect His Presence to flood your soul with peace even when the issue is not yet resolved. That is worth so much!
If you need prayer and would like me to lift your needs to the Lord, please leave me a message on the “contact Nancy” link on this home page of my website. I will be honored to pray for you. You are not alone.
Dancing in Circles
Tribute to Miss Daisy
Grieving takes a lot of energy, draining me for sure. Last night we buried our precious little Daisy dog. Holding her for days as she was fading away took a lot out of my husband and me. We loved her so much. She had been our baby for over fourteen years. What a joy she was! From the time she was only a few weeks old, she was a happy, loving little thing. She absolutely adored everyone she met. Many times I’ve heard people say their dogs are the best examples of unconditional love there is, and Daisy was no exception. She made us laugh and warmed our hearts daily. But, dogs get old, just like people do, and at some point you have no choice but to say goodbye. Sure is hard.
Today I’m thinking about how we love our pets and treasure the joy they bring to our lives. To me, they are gifts from God. He uses their loving ways to soften our hard hearts. On the worst of days when we’re angry or down, here comes that little furry gem to wag it’s tail, give us a kiss or to do something funny to make us laugh. How many times did I come home after a long day and there she was, dancing in circles, deliriously happy to see me, as though it had been days instead of hours.
I wonder why we don’t treat the people we love in the same manner? Of course it’s because people fail us, have their faults, and so on. We just don’t see anything in our pets that’s unforgivable. They occasionally misbehave or disobey, but there’s never any malice. It’s just so much easier to love animals!
So this little message today is for myself. I realize that all the beautiful qualities I can list in my dear little Daisy should be those others could list about me. That will take some effort on my part, where I don’t think it did for Daisy. It came natural to her. I am praying that God will help me to be a person who loves unconditionally, who cheers others up with my joy, and one who never holds a grudge. Maybe I’ll spare my loved ones from me dancing in circles when they arrive at my door, but my attitude can surely convey the same message. Rest in peace, my precious Daisy Joy.
Voting in the Bookbzz Writer's Competition!
MASKED IN DECEIT by Nancy LaPointe
Voting in the Bookbzz.com Prize Writer Competition
The judges have announced the 10 finalists from each category in the writer's competition! My mystery suspense novel, Masked in Deceit, is in the ten finalists! Now it is open to public vote. PLEASE go to the site and vote for my book. It's quick and easy to do. I appreciate it SO much! If you want to review my book page first, the link to that is: http://bookbzz.com/masked-deceit-nancy-lapointe/
Scroll down to the "Mystery, Detective and Crime" Category. Click on that and it will give you the list of books. Click on "Masked in Deceit" and it will take you to the ballot box to submit.
Can't thank you enough! Winners will be announced on March 5, 2015.
Hugs to all!
Welcome to my website!
"Living in God's Rest...At Peace in a Chaotic World" and "Masked in Deceit," are both available now. Living in God's Rest can be purchased from any of your favorite booksellers online or in stores. Masked in Deceit, a novel, is available from Amazon. Both books are offered in ebook versions as well. I always appreciate reviews on the seller's sites. Just click the books below and you will find links to purchase.
Have a blessed day!