What is it like to live in a desert? Without modern advances? It’s a fight for resources, a search for water, shade, and food. You feel empty and without provision. You feel alone, like the closest town is 200 miles away across barren land.
Have you ever felt like you were in a spiritual desert?
Have you ever felt that no matter how much you reached out and asked for God, He seemed so distant? That there was an impassible desert between the two of you? Nothing but mirages and tumbleweeds?
I’ve been there ladies, and let me be honest: it hardened my heart. I felt abandoned. Alone. Forgotten. It was as if someone had dropped me off without my consent and no one felt concerned enough to come looking for me. I asked if God loved me. If He was good. If He even existed. I spiraled down in the midst of my thirst for Him.
As Christians, we hear a lot about the promises of God. We’re told how He is great and always there and loving and merciful and gracious and everything else. The thing a lot of Christians don’t want to talk about is that sometimes none of that feels true. Sometimes it feels like our God has abandoned us, doesn’t love us, and doesn’t seek our good. The Bible tells us we will experience these feelings: God’s people have felt these things from the beginning of time. But what else does the Bible tell us? That their feelings were based on fear, not on truth. That God was with them, working for them, and loving them through everything they faced.
Can you imagine living in Egypt as a Jew in the Old Testament? Say you were the second or third generation. You’ve never been to Israel. All you know of your God is the myths people talk about, but you’ve never seen this glorious God act in your life. After all, if your God was so powerful, why were you still a slave to the Egyptians? Wouldn’t you think that maybe your parents were crazy and that the Egyptian gods were greater and more powerful than the Israelite God? Or that if the Israelite God really was the greatest, maybe He had just forgotten about you? Maybe He didn’t love you that much after all?
Life is hard. Fear and doubt creep in even when we don’t notice and can easily take over our thoughts until the one thing we are supposed to know for certain becomes questionable. Even if you aren’t in servitude, it is easy to find yourself in a situation that makes you question God’s love and promise of provision, but I promise you this, ladies: He has not forgotten about you.
He will never forget about you.
When we’re in seasons like this, it is hard to find the motivation to pray to God and praise Him. We’re angry. We don’t want to wait for our situations to change or for something good to happen. We want action now and when God doesn’t provide it, we turn against him. Ladies, please resist this urge. It’s easier to be angry than to be patient, but the pay off of your patience and faith in God is so much greater. That’s why today, I chose the song “Desert Song” by Hillsong United
“This is my prayer in the desert When all that’s within me feels dry This is my prayer in my hunger and need My God is the God who provides And this my prayer in the fire In weakness or trial or pain There is a faith provided Of more worth than gold so refine me, Lord, through the flame. And I will bring praiseI will bring praise No weapon formed against me shall remain I will rejoiceI will declare God is my victory and He is here” Sometimes when I am at my worst, it is hard for me to come up with the right words for God. I know He knows my heart, but I know that I still need to reach out to Him. That’s often when I turn to song. I’m the kind of person that will listen to a song on repeat for hours if its expressing the feelings I can’t put to words. This song does that for me when I’m in an awful place. I sing it out to God and it does work in my heart. I remember that no matter how I feel right now, I know, deep down, that my God is the God who provides. I know that no matter what is happening in my life, I must praise Him for what He has done, is doing, and has promised to do. My God has never failed to deliver me through fire before, why would this time be any different?
“And this is my prayer in the battle When triumph is still on its way I am conqueror and co-heir with Christ So firm on His promise I’ll stand.” Sometimes you’re in the desert in quiet desperation. Sometimes you’re in the midst of the battle. No matter where you are in the journey of your trial, know this: Triumph is coming. Our God has already secured victory for us. It’s not that you have been forgotten. It’s that God is fighting for you, right this very second.
“All my lifeIn every season You are still God I have a reason to sing I have a reason to worship” No matter how horrible you feel in this moment, know this: God is still God. Even if you are in the depth’s of sorrow, remember that and you will have something to lift your spirits. You will have something to praise. For many of us who have been immune to the worst kind of suffering don’t really understand this yet, but God will often take people through suffering to bring them closer to Him. Imagine how close you would feel to God if there was no a single idol left between the two of you? If you had truly lost everything and turned to Him? How desperately would you cling to Him?
Praise God for He opens His arms to us no matter where we are spiritually, emotionally, or physically. God will love you no matter what. You must only turn to Him and dedicate your life to Him.
“This is my prayer int harvest When favor and providence flow I know I’m filled to be emptied again The seed I’ve received I will sow” And one day, you will feel God’s provision and blessing again. Don’t turn away from Him in this time. Remember even at the best, that God was the one who loved you at your worst. He is the only one responsible for your rise.
Shhhhhhh….God Longs to Quiet You With His Love (#wtsdevo love)
“The LORD your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.” (ESV) Zeph. 3:17
“Shhhhh…….there’s a baby sleeping in here.”
Leaning out of her room and turning toward us, you could see that this woman was trying to keep a baby asleep in a lodge filled with people coming and going down a very busy hallway.
Suddenly our laughter turned to giggles and our talking turned to whispers. The loudness of the event we had just left transformed into the quietness of a world where babies sleep in just a matter of seconds. A life of hustle and bustle became a life of serenity and silence with one very powerful sound……….”Shhhh….”.
When I think back on that moment, it reminds me of what happens to a city right after a freshly fallen snow. Voices and footsteps become quieter as pedestrians make their way down sidewalks freshly covered with powdered pavement. Streets, once filled with bumper-to-bumper cars and trucks and buses, suddenly look more like abandoned alleys………….inviting only the brave to enter. Even the horns of taxis seem muted by the white magic falling from the sky. Snow has the power to silence the loudest cities.
Zeph. 3:17 says that God quiets us with His love.
This statement speaks to me in a very powerful way, because my life seems very noisy at times. From responsibilities at work to a long list of things to do at home, I often feel that my life is lived in the fast lane. When I take time to be still and truly reflect on how much God loves me, though, all the crazy, hectic things about my life seem to matter less. Like a freshly fallen snow, God covers me in a layer of peace. He mutes the noises of this world and smooths all the rough places with a coating of comfort and protection and then simply says, “Shhhhh.”
Elijah thought God would speak through thunder or a mighty wind, but God did not choose to communicate with him in a personal way until he was able to hear God’s whispering voice.
How busy is your life today? How loud are all the things clamoring for your attention? Could you hear God if He spoke to you right this minute?
I challenge you to take a few minutes. Stop scrolling through social media. Stop thinking of what you need to do next. Stop trying so hard to be all things to all people. Be still.
Allow God to cover you with a layer of His perfect, spotless love. Close your eyes and soak in the silence of knowing Him and being unconditionally loved by Him. Breathe in the beauty of just being……….. Not doing.
The Lord is in your midst, and He longs to quiet you with His perfect love. Will you give Him a chance today?
I think I was a “bad father” for Vatul (not everyone is @flavoracle) because I put it on hiatus instead of trying to overocme the obstacles that I encountered along the way. So, today, to make up for it, I’m going to share with you the first mythic I designed for Vatul, Blossoming Titan, which showcases one of the main mechanics of the plane, Essence.
I fantasize about a simple life. Whatever image you’ve constructed– take them and simplify it even more. My generation, and definitely the ones after mine, can’t even fathom existence so simple. Okay, okay– if you’re picturing the stone age, you’ve gone too far. I’m talking no social media. I’m talking if people want to talk to you they have to come knock of your door. Nobody comes having just baked a pie simply to chat and share anymore, except grandmothers– which I love.
In this new life, I would write, paint and sing songs just for me. I’d share it with the few people who bounced in and out, but that’s it. There would be no cameras so when something was super beautiful, or not shocking, you really had to spend a good while looking at it in hopes of remembering.
Television is nonexistent. If you wanted entertainment, you made up the stories yourself. You wrote them down with a pen and paper and told them over and over again until someone wrote down a new story.
Today has been a simply fantastic day for electronic music, with the likes of Jack Garratt dropping new tracks but I think one of the highlights of the day for me has to be this debut track from Dune, a solo project from one of the members of Saje. The track is called Devotion and is just so incredibly calming and chilled out that its the perfect thing to listen to when you’re majorly stressed out. I’ve had what can be defined a stressful and maddening week to say the least but this track just makes me feel so chilled out about it all and I think I hit ultimate relaxation levels when the sound of water falling was featured in the track. A brilliant debut that I am sure I will be listening to a lot over the next few days - Jakk
Once I learn to drive, and am comfortable going out and about by
myself, I’ve decided that I’m getting back into my Bellydancing classes
again. Not only as part of my devotional activity to best cat-mom
Bastet. But also to help garner my self-esteem and body confidence
issues. It really helped the last time that I was enrolled in them. But
due to severe hand flareup near the end of the course, and severe
depression from both myself and my husband, I had to stop. The place was
just too far away for me.
But once I’m driving I plan on finding a place closer to me, and getting back into it. Whether it takes me a year or two I’m doing it.
#WISE WORD WEDNESDAY Pastor Francis Chan “We Are Church - Church Together ”
We decided to began posting sermons for a few reasons:
1. One sermon a week just is not enough for some of us. 2. Some of us may not have had the opportunity to attend church this weekend. 3. An easy way to share faith. 4. It may be just what you need right now.
PLEASE WATCH AND SHARE. IT MAY BE JUST WHAT YOU, OR SOMEONE ELSE NEEDS.
“The Lord is my chosen portion and my cup; you hold my lot. The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance. I bless the Lord who gives me counsel; in the night also my heart instructs me. I have set the Lord always before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken. Therefore my heart is glad, and my whole being rejoices; my flesh also dwells secure. For you will not abandon my soul to Sheol, or let your holy one see corruption. You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” Psalms 16:5-11
Lord, let these hindrances not be of abandon, but of reminders of what You can do for me - through me. Allow me to trust in You through the hindrances, and allow me to face the truth of the after. Give me a quiet heart, one that only seeks you, one that does not stray, one that forever trusts You. Hold me in the quiet and allow me to find rest in Your will. “My portion” is for my eternal good, assigned by You. I accept, my portion is enough, these hindrances are not for nothing, for “You assigned my portion and my cup.”
Pain and pleasure - toil and peace - Your heart is kind - and You are for me.
This prayer litany can be done all at once or over nineteen nights. You can offer one prayer each night or do it “Twelve Days of Christmas” style: on the first night, offer Flame 1′s prayer, on the second night offer the prayers for Flames 1 and 2, and so on until on the last night you offer all nineteen. However you get there, when you’ve lit that final flame, remember that Brigid holds the twentieth flame, which is eternal.
Flame 1: Wisdom
Brigid of brightness, I bid thee welcome, Brigid of blessing, come thou in. Brigid of strength, I bid thee welcome, This night and every night, this day and every day.
Flame 2: Hearth and Household
Brigid of the threshold, come thou in, Brigid of the hearthfire, take your ease, Brigid of the cook-pot, sup with us, Brigid of all comforts, live in our hearts.
Flame 3: Ancestors
Ancestors all, I embody your legacy, Ancestors all, I ask for your blessing, Ancestors all, I offer Brigid’s flame To light the needfires of deep memory.
Flame 4: Flamekeeper
Brigid of the timeless flame, bless your [children]: Those who keep the circle bright, Those whose faith has never failed, Those who keep your name ablaze.
Flame 5: Healing
Brigid of the holy waters, Brigid of the soothing hand, Brigid of the miracles, Touch me with healing.
Flame 6: Poetry
Brigid of lore, deepen my understanding, Brigid of bards, increase my eloquence, Brigid of poetry, lead me to beauty, Brigid of word and beauty of thought.
Flame 7: Courage
Brigid of the golden shield, Brigid of courage, Brigid of the sunbeam, Increase thou my trust.
Flame 8: Righteous Causes
Brigid, lend your righteous sword To those who work for justice, To those who speak the truth, To those who seek a better world.
Flame 9: The Oppressed
In the name of Brigid, who empowers the oppressed, In the name of Brigid, who released the enslaved, In the name of Brigid, who lifts up the downtrodden, May all her people be honored and free.
Flame 10: Children
Brigid the midwife, bless every birth, Brigid foster mother, protect every child, Brigid of springtime, bestow on each childhood The innocence of wonder and the magic of joy.
Flame 11: Women’s Causes
Mighty Brigid, your keening women call to you: Strengthen our voice, Strengthen our resolve, Strengthen our sisterhood.
Flame 12: The Earth
Brigid, preserve this planet, The stones and the seas and the skies. Brigid, spread your green mantle For the greening of the earth.
Flame 13: Animals
Brigid, protect the earth’s animals, The fish and the beasts and the bird. Brigid, shelter your creatures As your sheep shelter lambs from the wind.
Flame 14: Water
Brigid of the clear dewdrop, Brigid of the pure wellspring, Brigid of the pool of knowledge, Teach us to honor the gift of water.
Flame 15: Creativity
Bright Brigid, flame of creation, Kindle my enthusiasm, Fire up my passion, Ignite my imagination.
Flame 16: Nourishment
Brigid of the overflowing milk, Brigid of the good brown loaf, Brigid of the endless butter, May all beings be nourished.
Flame 17: Peace
Peace of the swan and peace of the [cattle], Peace of the hearth and peace of the open door, Peace between neighbors and peace between nations, The deep peace of Brigid within.
Flame 18: Gratefulness
Brigid, I thank thee three-times-three: For my birth, my body, my spirit, For my kin, my clan, my tribe, For my home, my work, my knowledge of thee.
Flame 19: The Three Flames of Brigid
May the hearthfire of welcome warm me, May the temple fire of faith sustain me, May the forge fire of change strengthen me, And Brigid’s love encompass me, now and evermore.
Access to God for the Old Testament Jews was a cause for fear. At Mt. Sinai, the people feared approaching Him. And when access to God was granted through the high priest, specific instructions had to be followed (Lev. 16:1-34). Accidentally touching the ark of the covenant, would result in death (2 Sam. 6:7-8). But because of Jesus’ death and resurrection, we can now approach God without fear. God’s penalty for sin has been satisfied, and we are invited into God’s presence: “Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.“ (Hebrews. 4:16). Because of Jesus we can come to God through prayer anywhere, anytime. Prayer: My time spent in prayer with You, dear Lord Jesus, is the highlight of my day. To know You are waiting to have this communion humbles me. Yet You say I can come boldly—this I do now, knowing You hear me!