Bible Study, faith, kingdom living

I Swear it Was Written Just for Me

Just now, based on a whisper, I picked up my Jesus Calling devotional by Sarah Young.  If you don’t have this great little devotional, stop by your nearest Christian bookstore, Barnes and Noble or buy it online at Amazon, Barnes & Noble or CBD or get the iPhone or Android app. You won’t be sorry.

Here’s today’s entry which was written just for me.

February 29

YOU ARE ON THE RIGHT PATH. Listen more to Me, and less to your doubts. I am leading you along the way I designed just for you. Therefore, it is a lonely way, humanly speaking. But I go before you as well as alongside you, so you are never alone. Do not expect anyone to understand fully My ways with you, any more than you can comprehend My dealings with others. I am revealing to you the path of Life day by day, and moment by moment. As I said to My disciple Peter, so I repeat to you: Follow Me.  Psalm 119:105 and John 21:22

This day’s entry just provides further confirmation that I am following Him. 

I am thankful that because of Jesus, I am able to relate to my God as a daughter does to a loving father and hear Him calling.

 

adoption, Bible Study, faith, kingdom living, spiritual warfare, worshipping

Waiting and Worshipping

As I wait on the Lord, I am worshipping. I thought I’d share some of the great worship songs I’m using.

Natalie Grant – Greatness of Our God

Hillsong United – You

I’m heading to Haiti on March 18 to be available to jump hurdles that can only be jumped there.  Brian will join me later in the week.

Please continue to pray the hurdles down! Please pray for our children here in the states too, that they would be safe from the fowler’s snare and the arrows that the enemy loves to shoot.

We so appreciate all of you who are praying with us!

 

Bible Study, kingdom living, spiritual warfare

How Could I Forget So Easily?

The fierce warrior spirit of last Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday fell apart over the weekend and the seeds of doubt started to sprout.

But I’ve been weeding the garden of my faith tonight, forcefully ripping out anything that doesn’t remind me of the God of the Angel Armies whom I choose to serve with my whole heart.

This was the sound track playing in my head as I wrote this post:

But I’ve been weeding in the garden of my faith plucking

Bible Study, faith, kingdom living, spiritual warfare

Faith Without a Doubt

It’s been a fascinating 10 days since I published my post, “A Call to Prayer.  You can find it here. There have been many skirmishes and one major all out attack, but the overarching strategy is to get me to doubt.  Here are some examples:

  • Why would God talk to you?
  • Your reputation is on the line.  Don’t you think you should back down a little?
  • You were praying for a specific date before, and look what happened then.
  • You can’t trust the people you’re dealing with. How do you know the birth mother won’t change her mind?
  • Your husband’s reputation is on the line.  You’re both going to end up looking like fools.
  • Isn’t your blog just really an attempt to get attention?
  • You can’t trust God.

Really the list of lies swimming through my head could go on and on and on and on. And it’s difficult sometimes not to listen, to remind myself that lies are what they really are.

The past two days God has used scripture to remind me that He is faithful, that He is able, that He is trustworthy and that He is mighty in power. To my amusement, He had me finding all of this in the book of Numbers. Why was I amused? I usually pass over this book since in my head, it’s about numbering all the people in Israel and usually that bores (full-blown honesty here) me to tears.

But I read Numbers 10 and 11 yesterday and 12 and 13 today. And here’s what God taught me:

Lesson #1 from Numbers 11:18-23 – God brought each person 60 bushels of quail that day.  Is the LORD’s arm too short?  I don’t think so…..

Lesson #2 from Numbers 13:26-33 – If God says the land is flowing with milk and honey, trust Him, it is….

Lesson #3 from Numbers 14:26-38 – Faith is rewarded – Joshua and Caleb would live to see the day that the Israelites entered the Promised Land because they believed God. Doubt is not rewarded….

Lesson #4 from Matthew 15:21-28, Mark 2:1-12,  Mark 5:25-34, Mark 10:46-52 and Luke 18:35-43 – Bold requests are answered when they are made with absolute faith!

Lesson #5 from Mark 9:14-25

Lord, I believe, help me overcome my unbelief!!!!!

Bible Study, faith, kingdom living, spiritual warfare

Wait for the Lord

So I have been following the Life Journal Reading Plan through youversion.com for a little more than a year now.  Today’s reading came from Numbers 10 and 11, Psalm 27 and Mark 1.

Today, these verses spoke to my heart.

Numbers 11:23 The Lord answered Moses, “Is the Lord’s arm too short? You will now see whether or not what I say will come true for you.”

Psalm 27:14 Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.

When I am tempted to doubt (which I freely admit happens daily and sometimes multiple times in the day) these verses and those that I have posted earlier are what I will be turning to.

I am still standing firm that we will be on a plane back from Haiti with our sons on March 25.

Today, Lord, even today let us receive the needed presidential dispensation. But, not my will, Your will be done, Father.

Bible Study, faith, kingdom living

Praying with Tears

Some friends of ours, a couple great in faith and who love and serve the Lord, recently received word that something they, we and others had been praying for would not take place.  In other words, the answer was no.  I was reminded this morning of two devotionals that the wife of this couple and I had read recently.

The first, from the Experiencing God Day-by-Day devotional, I felt needed to be shared so that others may know why sometimes God says no.

January 26 – Praying with Tears – Hebrews 5:7

The life of Jesus provides the model for our prayer lives. God is seeking to mold us into the image of His Son (Col 1:27-28). If we are to act like Christ, our prayer lives must be conformed to His. Many Christians are unwilling to pay the price that Jesus paid when it comes to interceding with God. Jesus’ prayers came with vehement cries and tears and, “because of His godly fear,” He was heard by the Father.

Why, then, did the Father refuse His request? It was not due to any sin in Jesus’ life, nor was it because the Father did not love His Son. The Father said no, despite the unfathomable love He had for His Son, because He knew He could not spare His Son and save a world. Likewise, the Lord cannot always spare you and your family and complete His redemptive work in those around you.

Are you willing for God to deny your pleadings? Will you intercede with the Father so deeply and intimately that even in the midst of your tears you are able to say, “Nevertheless, not my will but thine be done?” The Father will always relate to you out of the context of His love for a lost world. Has God said no to one of your requests recently? Accept His answer. Have you been learning obedience through what you have been suffering (Heb 5:8) If you have, God may choose to make you a source of salvation to others even as He did with His Son.

While they and those who have been faithfully praying with them grieve the answer, it’s been interesting to note that our friends’ reaction has been to prayerfully seek how they can show God’s love to others involved in that situation.  Would they have that opportunity to show Jesus without that answer?

Likewise, the Lord cannot always spare you and your family and complete His redemptive work in those around you.

Please pray for my friends, that their lives will clearly reflect the Father’s love for a lost world and that God may make them a source of salvation to those involved.

adoption, Bible Study, faith, kingdom living, spiritual warfare

Storming the Gate

When I wrote the post “A Call to Prayer” on Monday, I was reminded of a scene from a movie Brian and I recently watched. It’s a perfect visual of what happens when a stronghold, such as a castle, or a stronghold in the spiritual sense comes under attack. Here it is, albeit missing the battering ram which follows on the heels of this.

We, and our prayers, are that attack on the castle.

Whenever a castle was attacked in medieval times, those attacking could expect archers on the ramparts, a hail of arrows and vats of boiling oil poured out as they approached. There’s a desperate defense that’s deadly.

I knew when I wrote that post that there would be a desperate defense, an attack from the ramparts, that there would be a pitched battle. But we, we will not relent. Though we are attacked, we will continue to pray for the fall of the strongholds.

If you’re praying with us, be sure to gird yourself for battle, because you’re in it.

Ephesians 6:10-18

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. Stand firm therefore, having girded your loans with truth and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints

The first arrows have already been shot at us. There have already been counterattacks from the enemy. Put on your spiritual armor and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition.

Pray for protection and against discouragement and despair:

  • for the orphanage and the missionaries who serve there –  Jasmine, Greg, Laura, Ayla and Betsy
  • for adoptive families all over the US who are discouraged and anxious over their adoptions
  • for our prayer warriors, of whom there are many.

I will keep you up to date with how you can be praying.

Thank you for your faithful remembrance! Keep praying for the day when the gate is in flames and the files come flying out…..

Bible Study, faith, kingdom living, spiritual warfare

At War

There is no war is the subtle-but pervasive-lie sown by an enemy so familiar to us we don’t even see him. For too long he has infiltrated the ranks of the church, and we haven’t even recognized him. (John Eldredge. Waking the Dead: The Glory of a Heart Fully Alive (Kindle Locations 1730-1731). Kindle Edition.)

By the way, if you haven’t read John Eldredge’s book referenced above, run don’t walk to the nearest bookstore, or download it immediately onto your Kindle. As a matter of fact, click here for a link to it. If you’re a Nook owner, here’s your link.

Shortly after the location of the quote above, Eldredge discusses the use of the phrase, “The Lord Almighty” and his research of the meaning of it in Hebrew.

“The Hebrew means “the God of angel armies,” “the God of the armies who fights for his people.” The God who is at war. Does “Lord Almighty” convey “the God who is at war”? Not to me, it doesn’t. Not to anyone I’ve asked. It sounds like “the God who is up there but still in charge.” Powerful, in control. The God of angel armies sounds like the one who would roll up his sleeves, take up sword and shield to break down gates of bronze, and cut through bars of iron to rescue me. Compare “Joe is a good man who is in control” to “Joe is a Navy Seal.” It changes the way you think about Joe and what he’s up to. Why don’t “most readers today” understand about the God of angel armies? Could it be because we have abandoned a warfare worldview? Who sold us that crock of sanctimonious puff-and-fluff?” (John Eldredge. Waking the Dead: The Glory of a Heart Fully Alive (Kindle Locations 1736-1742). Kindle Edition.)

We are at war with an enemy who is out to destroy us. But most of us don’t believe it. Whenever I need a reminder of that, I have only to think of my friends Jasmine and Greg Martinson who live on the front lines of the spiritual battlefield in Haiti or look at my two teenage sons who battle the demons of their past every day or recognize the voice of the thief in my own head trying to get me to agree with him that I’m no good or his favorite lie for me, “You didn’t hear God speaking to you, Satan’s trying to tempt you into believing you’re hearing God speak. Why would YOU think that God would speak to YOU?”

When I am tempted to make an agreement and believe those lies, I listen to a great song by Tye Tribbett & G.A. called “Stand Out”

When I’m in the midst of an attack, I listen to another great song by Donald Lawrence and the Tri-City Singers called Giants.

But we serve a mighty God-the God of the Angel Armies-and we need not fear the attack, but we do need help to stand. Ecclesiastes 4:12 – And if one prevail against him, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken. So, when I’m under attack, I call some friends to pray for me and stand with me. And then I listen to songs that remind me the God of the Angel Armies will rescue me. Here a couple great ones. The first is my current favorite – Northpoint Alive’s No One Higher/The Stand

or JJ Hairston’s Lord You’re Mighty

Don’t stand on your own, you’ll fall. Call some friends, email me, but most importantly seek the face of the God of the Angel Armies and call on His name.

Bible Study, faith

A Call to Prayer

Dear Prayer Warriors,

Believing in faith that what God has purposed He will bring to pass, Brian and I are commissioning you “to ask, to seek, to knock, and to plead that the realities of heaven be made reality down here on Earth.”1 

In heaven, in the place where time is eternal, Lowenski and Daveson are already ours.  We are asking you to plead that that reality in heaven is made the reality here on Earth to God’s everlasting glory!!  To that end, please intercede and pray for us and with us according to the pattern of the following scriptures: 

19 “Again, I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven. 20 For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them.” – Matthew 18:19-20

21 Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, if you have faith and do not doubt, not only can you do what was done to the fig tree, but also you can say to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and it will be done. – Matthew 21:21

23“‘If you can’?” said Jesus. “Everything is possible for him who believes.” – Mark 9:23

12 “I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. 13 And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father.” – John 14:12-13

15 And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up. If he has sinned, he will be forgiven. 16 Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective. – James 5:15-16

As I was studying this tonight, I was impressed to look at my calendar and pick the date, the very specific date, that we want to be on the plane back to Miami with Lowensky and Daveson.  That date is March 25, 2012.

God knows each step that has to happen in order for this date to be met, and ultimately the timing of each one of those is His to order, so I have not lined out the specific steps with dates next to them.  Since we are the first from this orphanage to go through, we’re really not sure on the timeline anyway.  I just know that I know that I know that I was told to go sit with Brian, look at our calendars and pick the date.

I can’t emphasize enough how much we covet your prayers to this end. I have been thinking all weekend that the “gate” has to come down before the flood of files will exit the social welfare office.  The only way to get that “gate” down is to pray it down with the prayers of the righteous.

In accordance with James 5:16, I’m confessing now that I’ve been struggling with doubt, with pride and with self-pity in relation to this, but no longer. I’ve cast aside my flesh and my sin, been washed clean and stand ready to do battle to get that gate down.

We pray you’ll join us in this battle.  If you’ll stand with us in the prayer that we will be on a plane on March 25, we ask that you’ll press the like button on the post that took you to this blog or if you received this by email, please shoot me a reply that simply says, “I’m praying with you!”

Humbly your sister,

Natalie

 

 1Ludy, Leslie (2009-07-01). Wrestling Prayer: A Passionate Communion with God (p. 58). Harvest House Publishers. Kindle Edition. 

Bible Study, faith

There’s always hope!

A good friend of mine, Ray Washington, posted a blog today about embracing and unity. As part of that blog, he included this video. Take a minute and view it, then come back and let’s chat.

What a great lesson in not giving up. When things seemed most dark, the crocodiles were trying to get the calf’s leg, the lions had it by the throat, then here came the buffalo. And not just one, but the whole herd.

Together we can fight great spiritual battles that seem hopeless when we are on our own. The body of Christ working together can bring His hope, His light and His resolution to any situation.

Galatians 6:9
Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.

I love you much, my brothers and sisters!