his eye is on the sparrow

I Sing Because I’m Happy and Free

This post was prompted by the gang at Five Minute Friday Each Friday we take five minutes to write on the same prompt. It’s a lot of fun to see what others are inspired to write from the same prompt. Give it a try or click and do a bit of fun reading.

So we’re not giving up. How could we! Even though on the outside it often looks like things are falling apart on us, on the inside, where God is making new life, not a day goes by without his unfolding grace. These hard times are small potatoes compared to the coming good times, the lavish celebration prepared for us. There’s far more here than meets the eye. The things we see now are here today, gone tomorrow. But the things we can’t see now will last forever.

2 Corinthians 4:16-18

Music is my life.

There was a day when you would always find me singing. But lately, I find it hard to sing. It’s like there is a lump in my throat. And I feel kind of sad. So what’s a girl to do?

Always a Reason to Sing

2 Corinthians reminds me that our Christian life is not about being happy but about serving Christ.  We are indeed jars of clay, cracked and broken but shining out the love of Christ. It’s those cracks and breaks that show the world we are His and that life can be fulfilling even in the valleys.

We are not promised a good life. We are not promised a bed of roses. Though if we were, I remind you the roses have thorns. 

These scriptures remind us that even when we feel we cannot sing, we should look back at what God as done for us. If nothing else, He has saved us from our sin and promised us life eternal! This should be enough to give us His joy. 

I’m reminded of the beautiful hymn, His Eye is on the Sparrow.

Why should I feel discouraged,
Why should the shadows come,
Why should my heart be lonely,
And long for heaven, heaven and home,
When, when Jesus is my portion,
My constant Friend is He;
Oh, oh-oh, his eye is on the sparrow,
And I know He watched, watched it over me.

I sing because I’m happy (happy)
I sing because I’m free (free free free)
For His eye, his eye is on the sparrow,
And I know, I know He watches over me.

He is my Constant Friend

God is watching over us. He cares about every detail of our lives. God sees us as His treasured possession! We can sing in this reality.

So don’t give up. Keep Singing.

Keep your eyes looking up. Be faithful to Him.

Allow His light to shine through you so that when you arrive at heaven’s gates, you will be bringing along a whole host of believers that found Christ because of your perseverance.

I will sing to the LORD as long as I live. I will praise my God to my last breath!

Psalm 104:33

Sing to the Lord!

Mandy Signature
Savannah, GA
marching to zion

It’s Time to Send out the Choir

How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever?

    How long will you hide your face from me?

.

But I have trusted in your steadfast love;

    my heart shall rejoice in your salvation.

 I will sing to the Lord,

    because he has dealt bountifully with me.

Psalm 13

How Long, oh Lord?

I woke this morning, crying out to God, “How long, oh Lord? How long must our enemies win over us?

Then God replied, remember how many times King David said these very words. In his Psalms, he cried out to God but ended up praising him.

Several years ago, I wrote a series of devotions on perseverance. Read one here and sign up to receive them once a week for 30 weeks.

What did King Hezekiah do?

Then I remembered how King Hezekiah faced a great army. He wondered how he could defeat them.

But God said “I’ve got this. You won’t even have to fight.”

So Hezekiah, sent the choir out in front of the army singing praise to God. The enemy turned on themselves killing each other.

FMF: Time

MY CHALLENGE FOR US

Let’s fill social media with praises to God. Fill it with lyrics or YouTube videos of praise to God. Do it all day long, all week long, and see what God will do. I’ll be doing it. If you want you can go to my social media and share from there.

#projectProclaimHisPraises

Here’s one to start with…

This post was prompted by the gang at Five Minute Friday Each Friday we take five minutes to write on the same prompt. It’s a lot of fun to see what others are inspired to write from the same prompt. Give it a try or click and do a bit of fun reading.

Becoming a Woman of God

Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,

Hebrews 12:1

This scripture reminds me of my younger days, cheering on the team of whatever season it was. From the time I was small, we rushed about on Friday nights to get to the ballgame. It was just part of life. My brother was 5 years my senior. So, of course, we cheered him on often as well as our favorite teams.

More importantly, this scripture follows the great Hall of Faith in Hebrews 11 which lists many of the great men and women of God that have gone on before. They lived great lives as an example for us. And there have been many more since that we could add to the list.

Who are you following?

I’ve been thinking lately of the women in my life who have lived godly lives. They left examples for me to follow.

  • Elaine, my mother, demonstrated motherhood, a good marriage, and hospitality.
  • Ruth, Leona, Birdie – my grandmothers who were godly servants. Women I wanted to be just like.
  • Miss Gale – a Sunday School teacher who prayed the sinner’s prayer with me and encouraged me to be confident in my faith.
  • The Hesses, missionaries to Haiti
  • Evelyn – a neighboring farmer’s wife who taught me homemaking skills through 4-H.
  • Mrs. Crouse – a university professor who taught me the importance of health and godliness.
  • Mrs. Charlotte – my pastor’s wife who lives a life of joy and how to be the perfect pastor’s wife. (She introduced me to my husband!)
  • And so many other church ladies who displayed godliness in their own ways. There were other women that I missed getting to know as well.
  • Women whose works I am reading now such as Lysa Terkhurst & Susie Larson

Women I Read About

How many women are there whom I wish that I could know, or at least sit down for a few hours with a cup of coffee and pick their brains?

The woman who really challenged me the most has to be Elisabeth Elliot. I first read her words in my early twenties. I thought she was a little too strict for me. No one needed to live that holy of a life. However, by the end of the book, I was dumbfounded and a great believer in what she had to say.

I regret not taking her words to heart sooner in my life. I am thankful that God protected me from a lot of mistakes I could have made along the way. Looking back, I see how immature I really was.

Becoming Elisabeth Elliot

I recently picked up a new biography of Elisabeth Elliot by Ellen Vaughn. Oh, how I have been soaking up the words. Still, pricked in the heart by the commitment of a young college girl, but knowing it is never too late to become a godly woman. Indeed,

” being crucified with Christ, as the scriptures say, was not morbid but in fact the very gateway to life itself.”

Elisabath Elliot

Those who Guided Elisabeth

elisabeth Elliot Becoming Elisabeth

Ellen Vaughn has helped me know Elisabeth better by introducing me to the women who impacted Elisabeth’s life. This book is not just a biography of Elisabeth but also a glimpse into the lives of many other amazing men and women. Here are a few just to pique your interest…

  • her own parents, Thomas and Katherine Howard
  • Amy Carmichael
  • Betty Scott Stam, a martyred family friend, and missionary
  • Katherine Morgan, an “icon of what a missionary should be”
  • and, of course, her dear husband Jim Elliot

She was fortunate to meet and know some wonderfully godly men and women, but she also soaked up the words of earlier greats such as Deitrich Bonheoffer & Jonathan Edwards.

The Challenge to be a Godly Woman

And so, I now am considering the people that have impacted my life for good. What have a learned from them and what can I still learn from them? Are there women still living that I need to be spending time with and soaking up wisdom and spirituality?

Journaling May Help

Ellen was able to discern a lot about who Elisabeth learned from because Elisabeth had journaled nearly all her life. I was often encouraged to journal but never stuck to it. Thus, I am now trying to catch up and remember all the events in my life. What things had importance to me? Did those things matter and how did it make me the woman of God I am today?

Where are you on this road toward godliness? Are you the woman of God whom you desire to be? the woman God wants you to be? I believe this book Becoming Elisabeth Elliot may help you on your journey.

Let’s Encourage One Another Toward Godliness,

Mandy

I would like to thank Net Galley for giving me the opportunity to read and review this book. I have given my review freely and with honesty.


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One Day ~ Hymn Study

What a Difference a Day Makes

one Day Hymn Study
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This hymn, One Day was introduced to me in my teen years. We had moved from Ohio to Wisconsin and being in the middle school Sunday School class, I was required to take part in the Easter program. This hymn was the theme of the program.

At the time, I didn’t particularly like the song mainly because it was a bit slow for my tastes. But over the years the song stuck in my heart and mind because it tells the story of Jesus from beginning to end; from the virgin birth to the cross and resurrection and on to the day still coming… His return… Oh, Glorious Day!

Hymn Writer ~ J. Wilbur Chapman

Full Name: John Wilber Chapman, 1859-1918
Birth Year: 1859
Death Year: 1918

A Presbyterian evangelist. He served in several local churches before becoming an evangelist, preaching with the infamous D.L. Moody, as well as preaching many evangelistic events on his own. He had many preachers who were trained under him including Rev. Billy Sunday.

He wrote this hymn as well as two others

“Jesus, What a Friend for Sinners”  (another favorite of mine)
“‘Tis Jesus”


Hymn Studies at Gracefully Truthful

The writers at Gracefully Truthful are doing a series of hymn studies this month. Click on over to read my contribution to the study on One Day.

gracefully truthful
Worship VII Day 13 One Day – Gracefully Truthful

Hymn of the Week ~ One Day

Source: Sing to the Lord, #210

1 One day when Heaven was filled with His praises,
One day when sin was As black as could be,
Jesus came forth To be born of a virgin,
Dwelt among men, my example is He!

Chorus:
Living, He loved me; dying, He saved me;
Buried, He carried My sins far away;
Rising He justified freely forever:
One day He’s coming– O glorious day!

2 One day they led Him Up Calvary’s mountain,
One day they nailed Him To die on the tree;
Suffering anguish, despised and rejected:
Bearing our sins, my Redeemer is He![Chorus]

3 One day they left Him Alone in the garden,
One day He rested, from suffering free;
Angels came down o’er His tomb to keep vigil;
Hope of the hopeless, my Savior is He![Chorus]

4 One day the grave Could conceal Him no longer,
One day the stone rolled away from the door;
Then He arose, over death He had conquered;
Now is ascended, my Lord evermore![Chorus]

5 One day the trumpet Will sound for His coming,
One day the skies With His glory will shine;
Wonderful day, my beloved One bringing;
Glorious Savior, this Jesus is mine![Chorus]

I was thrilled when I heard that Casting Crowns had placed the lyrics into a new contemporary song, Oh! Glorious Day. What a beautiful rendition.

Source: Hymnary.org

The Updated Version by Casting Crowns

 

Casting Crowns Story Behind the Song

 

Mandy Farmer

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Coming Next Week

on our way back
Next week begin my 7 week series for Advent … God With Us!

King of Kings ~ Hymn Study

This worship song is new to me but what a message. The Apostle John wrote about the King of Kings in his gospel. Read the prequel devotion at Gracefully Truthful about the prophecy and coming of the Messiah.

I had the privilege of writing the digging deeper portion of this study on John 1. Have you ever wondered why John chose to use “The Word” when speaking of Jesus? I wrote about it at Gracefully Truthful. Here’s a taste of the study.

John’s depiction of Jesus’ Second Coming.

Then I saw heaven opened, and there was a white horse. Its rider is called Faithful and True, and with justice, he judges and makes war. His eyes were like a fiery flame, and many crowns were on his head. He had a name written that no one knows except himself. He wore a robe dipped in blood, and his name is called the Word of God. The armies that were in heaven followed him on white horses, wearing pure white linen. A sharp sword came from his mouth so that he might strike the nations with it. He will rule them with an iron rod. He will also trample the winepress of the fierce anger of God, the Almighty. And he has a name written on his robe and on his thigh: King of Kings and Lord of Lords. (Revelation 19:11-20)

The True King of Kings

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David Guzik explains that in Bible times, most soldiers were foot soldiers. To own “a horse spoke of honor, of power, and of speed. The color of the horse depicted victory.” The title, “Faithful and True”, shows Jesus as the Keeper of Promises, including His promise to judge the nations. Jesus will arrive in glory and sit for the final judgment of man. The many crowns on his head indicate He is the ultimate in power and authority.

It is a visible manifestation of what we mean when we say Kings of Kings, an expression of unlimited authority. (Guzik) As King of Kings, he is not just leveling all world governments; but rather, He will totally displace all this world’s sovereigns and governments, taking all dominion and authority out of their hands and putting it in the hands of Christ, as the true and only King of the world.” (Seiss)

There’s so much more to unpack here, but in just these few sentences we can discern that when John spoke of “The Word”, he was speaking of the Messiah, Jesus Christ, who will one day return as King of Kings and Lord of Lords to set up His eternal Kingdom.

And every knee shall bow to worship Him as Lord.

(Philippians 2:10)

Every Knee Shall Bow to the King of Kings

This universal homage to The Kings of Kings does not indicate a universal salvation, but rather an enforced homage. Only those who have repented and claimed Jesus as Lord before His return will be saved. As Paul implores his readers,

See! Now is the day of salvation!”

(2 Corinthians 6:2)

One day, however, even those who have rejected Christ will be forced to kneel and confess that He is Lord. There will be no other option. The Apostle Paul continues to write to the Christians in Philippi…

“Therefore, my dear friends, (…) work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God who is working in you both to will and to work according to his good purpose. Do everything without grumbling and arguing, so that you may be blameless and pure, children of God who are faultless in a crooked world and perverted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, by holding firm to the Word of Life.(Philippians 2:12-16)

God and His Holy Spirit work within us to do good works that reflect His character, these works make us “shine as lights” as He created believers to do. As we live and serve our Lord here on Earth, we are in awe of God, wanting to bring glory to Him in everything we do. We strive to live our lives as a reflection of Christ to glorify Him. We thank Him continually for all He did for us and praise Him as King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

Prayer

My Jesus, You came in humility to redeem me. You did it all for me. I worship You as King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Help me to shine as a light, reflecting Your image, and drawing others to You. I give You my highest praise and my heartfelt worship. Amen.

Click for more on this study of King of Kings at Gracefully Truthful.

gracefully truthful
Worship VII Day 10 King Of Kings: Digging Deeper – Gracefully Truthful
This universal homage to The Kings of Kings does not indicate universal salvation, but rather an enforced homage. Only those who have claimed Jesus as Lord before His return will be saved. As Paul implores his readers, “See! Now is the day… Click To Tweet

Sabbath is like a Touch of Heaven

I Sure Miss Going to Church

As we move into the 9th month of COVID-19, I realize that I haven’t physically been in church for over 7 months. I never would have thought I would find this to be true for me. Sunday Worship (Sabbath) has always been highly important to me. Now I am finding out why.

Worship services have always been the highlight of my week. Beautiful music drawing me up close to the breast of God. And teaching and preaching that enlightens my mind and heart. Friends and family. Hugs and kisses.

Family Reunions are the Best

My mind goes back to my childhood days and our yearly family reunions. What a joy! Aunts and uncles, cousins, and grandparents everywhere on Aunt Julia’s farm. Tons of hugs and kisses.

And food! Long tables of the best homemade food you have ever seen including a huge pot of Aunt Mildred’s dumplings. Towards the end of the day ice cream cones. Oh my goodness! What a day!

Church Homecomings are a Close Second

Mostly a tradition in the south, church homecomings in the churches Mike and I served had a homecoming every fall. Again, EVERYONE came out for a day of remembrance and celebration.

We started with a time of fellowship as people arrived. Maybe some breakfast food! Then the preaching! We usually invited a pastor emeritus to come and preach and reminisce. We would also bring in a gospel quartet to sing through the afternoon. Of course, this was after we ate way too much good southern cooking. My Goodness!

Sabbath is like a Taste of Heaven

taste of heaven

These reunions are just a smidgen of what heaven will be like. Think of the joy and celebration there will be! Friends and family old and new… and then all the patriarchs that we have been looking up to all our lives. We will finally have made it HOME.

I have heard that a poll was taken that found that people had a really off-skewed vision of what heaven is or what it will be like. If you want to know the truth you can read Revelation 21 for a description. It will be anything but boring. It won’t be a long boring church service. Actually, the truth is that our Sunday Services ought to be a picture of heaven that increases our desire to find our way to heaven.

Heaven will not be a long boring church service! #sabbath #heaven Click To Tweet

Beautiful Resistance an Irresistible Read

I recently was given Jon Tyson’s book, Beautiful Resistance, to read and review. It is another of those books where I found myself highlighting every page. While Jon covers a myriad of other disciplines in our lives, his chapter on the Sabbath made me realize that every Sunday should be like a taste of heaven. Just a little practice for what is to come. Never a drudgery but something we always look forward to. Here’s his taste of what heaven will be and what the Sabbath should be:

We are called to feast on beauty. To fill our hearts with painting and photography and poetry and literature and nature. We are called to feast on friendship. To enjoy the company of friends and family and drink deeply from the well of belonging. We are called to feast on God, to again “Taste and see that the Lord is good” (Psalm 34:8)

The Sabbath is filled with sensory delight and wonder that remind us, if even for a moment, that Jesus is making all things new. (Revelation 21:5)

Beautiful Resistance, Jon Tyson

I would like to thank Net Galley for giving me the opportunity to read and review this book. I have given my review freely and with honesty.

I also give my my thanks to Jon Tyson and Multnomah Publishers.



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Open my Eyes

Open Our Hearts and Lives For a Better View of God’s Plan

I thought I would share another hymn with you. Maybe you have never heard this one. It’s a beautiful prayer for us to meditate upon, asking God to open our eyes, ears, mouth, and heart to His ways. 

It is easy to get blinded from the Truth. Barbara Harper recently wrote about this blindness and shared it on our Legacy Linkup. It had the highest number of clicks in August so I wanted to feature here today, in case you missed it before.

Open My Eyes That I May See

Open my eyes, that I may see

glimpses of truth thou hast for me;

place in my hand the wonderful key

that shall unclasp and set me free.

Silently now I wait for thee,

ready my God, thy will to see.

Open my eyes, ears, and heart,

illumine me, Spirit divine!

Written by Clara Scott; UMC Discipleship Ministries, https://www.umcdiscipleship.org/resources/history-of-hymns-open-my-eyes-that-i-may-see

Opening Eyes for a View of God’s Plan

I thought to write a short devotion but when I found a beautiful one through the United Methodist Church Discipleship Ministries, I thought it best to share theirs. Here is a short snippet to draw you in.

Closed ears become a metaphor for a lack of understanding: “For this people’s heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them” (Matthew 13:15).

Dr Haun, director of the sacred music program at Perkins School of Theology.

Now Listen in Acapella


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pain and suffering

Pain and Suffering: An Indication of God’s Love

This is Going to Hurt me More than it hurts you

Have you ever heard your parents say this to you? I can remember a time or too when it was said to me. However, it wasn’t until I had children of my own that I saw the truth in that statement. We never had to discipline our children much but when the need arose, it broke our hearts.

It’s the same with God.

pain and suffering

He loves us so much and He wants to keep us on the right path. And as we know there are times that the only way to keep us on the straight and narrow is to apply the rod of discipline.

I learned this lesson when I was hit with chronic pain in 2011. It was excruciating. But as time went by I realized that God was trying to get my attention. I was “working for the Lord” … very busy with children’s ministry and other things that draw the attention of a pastor’s wife. But in retrospect, God was saying to me, ‘Hey, you going out on your own and forgetting to rely on Me.” It was then that I turned my attention back to God. I got serious about studying His Word. And I found this statement from David.

It was good for me to be afflicted

so that I could learn your statutes.

Psalm 119:71

God Allows Pain and Suffering for Many Reasons

Certainly, God allows pain and suffering because He loves us. But there are other reasons as well. C.S. Lewis states in The Problem of Pain,

“We can ignore even pleasure. But pain insists upon being attended to. God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks to us in our conscience, but shouts to us in our pains: it is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world.”

C.S. Lewis, The Problem of Pain

Have you ever noticed that when tragedy comes, this is when people turn back to God? (At least for a while). And this is God’s purpose. .. to draw us back to Him. He did it time and again in the Old Testament. We may need to repent of sin or just develop our faith. You see, He doesn’t want us to stay infants in Christ. He wants to bring us to maturity.

Like a Shepherd, He gently guides

We, humans, are like sheep. dumb and ignorant. God places us in a green pasture and we start gobbling up the grass, never looking to the right or the left. Until that moment, when we look up and we are nowhere near the rest of the flock and now we don’t know how to get back.

So we need a shepherd to guide us and correct our paths. Just as David said in the 23rd Psalm. He allows us to go through the shadows of death, but He is right there to guide us and comfort us. He never leaves us alone.

Not long after my illness began, a friend reminded me of a wonderful book, Hannah Hurnard’s Hinds’ Feet in High Places.

a timeless allegory dramatizing the yearning of God’s children to be led to new heights of love, joy, and victory. In this moving tale, follow Much-Afraid on her spiritual journey as she overcomes many dangers and mounts at last to the High Places. There she gains a new name and is transformed by her union with the loving Shepherd.

Hind’s Feet in High Places, Hannah Hurnard

One surprising element in the book was that the Shepherd gave her a guide named, Suffering. Why would she want this guide? But the Shepherd assured her that Suffering was the best guide she could have. I have found it true as well. My pain and suffering has kept me at the feet of Jesus and caused my faith to continue to grow.

Even Years of Pain and Suffering are for our advantage

I just reached year 9 of chronic pain. LIke Paul I have talked with God about taking the pain away. But God and I have come to an understanding.

Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me.

2 Corinthians 12:9
2 corinthians 12:9  My Grace is all you need

You see, I have found that through my pain I have many blessings.

  • I am maturing in Christ daily.
  • Writing and blogging have been my new ministry.
  • Friendships around the globe have been cultivated.
  • I have more empathy for those who suffer.
  • Becoming an advocate for others who suffer.

I previously wrote about these things and came to one conclusion, If pain is what it takes to keep me in the center of God’s will, then …

BRING ON THE PAIN!

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Savannah, GA


I would like to thank Net Galley for giving me the opportunity to read and review this book. I have given my review freely and with honesty.

I agreed to review this book because of my own journey with pain. What a great reminder of the reasons God allows pain and suffering in our lives. Just as we discipline our children when the veer off the path of righteousness, God also loves us enough to direct our path on the straight and narrow.

All of us will at some time, experience a bit of pain and suffering. That is when it is time to remember that God is with us in the Furnace of Affliction and it is for our good.

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feast of shelters

Finding Christ in the Feast of Shelters or Booths (Sukkot)

This week is the Jewish Feast of Shelters (Sukkot)

For thousands of years Jews have observed the Torah commandment to leave the comfort and security of our homes and eat in a specially constructed hut we call a sukkah.

.

All who ascend to Jerusalem on Sukkot after the Redemption, to bow before God and to celebrate together with the Jewish people, will merit great blessing – and be spared the horror of plague.

https://www.aish.com/ci/s/Sukkot-and-Corona-Three-Major-Messages.html?s=mm

It’s somewhat ironic in this year of Coronavirus that to observe the Feast of Tabernacles is to guarantee blessing from God in part to avoid plague. And no so strange to be eating out of doors.

Feast of Shelters Reminds me of our American Thanksgiving

However, I see that we privileged Americans take this day very lightly. The Jews observe this feast for 8 days. The first and last days are specifically for praise God. We barely give it a day. And most of us squawk at going around the table sharing what we are thankful for. We have pretty much forgotten the holiday other than a day off from work to watch football games and start getting ready for Christmas.

The Point is Thankfulness

The Air we Breathe

As Americans I would say that even the poorest among us have much to be thankful for; however, we have become so privileged that we take nearly everything for granted. We need to stop and remember that God is our Source of Shelter (and everything else)

The Home we Live in

The tradition of Feast of Shelters is to go out of your home, into the country, and set up tents for the week. It’s about getting out of our comfort zone and remembering all the blessings of God. Now some people enjoy camping, but not this girl. At one point I would have been willing to experience this time of worship. Now with my health issues, I’m not so willing to get out of my comfort zone. I am pricked in the heart when I consider what am I willing to give to God in return for His providence.

As we can see in this year 2020, MIllion Dollar HOmes can be turned into nothing as we see millions of acres burned up in California or homes washed away by a hurricane. We can also lose house and home just as quickly due to job loss or ruined crops. Indeed, we depend solely on God

What We Really Need

Sukkot asks us to temporarily go outside, look around at God’s creations, “dine out doors” with your family, your children and perhaps even your grandchildren, in a sukkah from which you can gaze up, see heaven above and be reminded of God as well as your blessings.

I wonder, if we decided to stop and take the time to get out of our comfort zone and be still long enough to look into the heavens, would we realize how blessed we truly are.

Stopping to think;

Mandy Signature
Savannah, GA

Here’s a song to meditate on

SOURCES

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7 Feasts – Finding Christ in the Sacred Celelbrations of the O.T.

This Bible study is exciting and moving, even for a seasoned Christian as myself. I get so blessed connecting the traditions set forth by God in the Old Testament to the Death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ. Like the A-Team said at the end of each episode, “I love it when a plan comes together!”


start your prayers

Entering Into the Presence of God


My heart is being pricked of late because I seem to forget to start my prayers in adoration towards God. I am afraid that too often I jump right into the “Give me” part which should be the last thing we do.

I learned an acronym years ago that leads us into prayer and reminds us of the four major parts of prayers.

It’s called A.C.T.S.

  • A – Adoration – just plain praise for the Father. It’s what He is looking for. It’s why we were created.
  • C – Confession – We need to come to Him daily confessing our sins, asking forgiveness for where we blunder, mess up, outright sin against Him. We’ll talk more about confession at another time.
  • T – Thanksgiving – Oh, never forget to thank God for all He has done. If the only thing He did for us was to save us from sin and death, we should be thanking Him over and over again.
  • S – Supplication – Finally, in the last position, our requests. I’m afraid that all too often we go straight to this part of prayer.

Start Your Prayers with Adoration

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Consider this: When we pray, first approach God’s throne with humility and in awe of how great our God is; how worthy He is of our praise. We can do this through the singing of hymns or even just meditating on hymns of praise. We can also adore him by quoting scriptures, such as this prayer in 1 Chronicles when Solomon was dedicating the Temple to God.

23 Let the whole earth sing to the Lord!
    Each day proclaim the good news that he saves.
24 Publish his glorious deeds among the nations.
    Tell everyone about the amazing things he does.
25 Great is the Lord! He is most worthy of praise!
    He is to be feared above all gods.
26 The gods of other nations are mere idols,
    but the Lord made the heavens!
27 Honor and majesty surround him;
    strength and joy fill his dwelling.

28 O nations of the world, recognize the Lord,
    recognize that the Lord is glorious and strong.
29 Give to the Lord the glory he deserves!
    Bring your offering and come into his presence.
Worship the Lord in all his holy splendor.
30     Let all the earth tremble before him.
    The world stands firm and cannot be shaken.

31 Let the heavens be glad, and the earth rejoice!
    Tell all the nations, “The Lord reigns!”

1 Chronicles 16:23-31 NLT

Here’s A Thought

You know, I’m thinking, Why not just wake up each morning with scriptures like this one. Memorize it so that you can speak it out to Him in praise every morning to get your day started. Then sing the Doxology or another hymn of praise. I would bet that your days will go a lot better if you started this practice.

Need Even More Help Adoring our God?

I have always loved the prayers of Anne Graham Lotz. She knows how to bring us into the presence of God. Some of her prayers series are on You Version and you can actually listen to her prayer. What a great friend to enter His presence with!

Now she has published a book with about a month’s worth of prayers. She uses scripture, as I have suggested above. She offers repentance which we all need to be doing, personally and collectively. I’m trying to get into the habit of using this book to start off my quiet time each morning.

Praising God with you,

Mandy Signature
Savannah, GA

P.S. Examples of this type of prayer

I have always loved the prayers of Anne Graham Lotz. She is releasing a new book of prayers in October. I am honored to receive a copy of The Light of His Presence: Prayers to Draw You Near to the Heart of God to review for her. While I am only three days into it, these are beautiful prayers. Go pre-order your copy today!

Watch the REPLAY of THE RETURN simulcast this weekend.