Dreaming

Standard

I don’t dream of a white picket fence.
I don’t dream of a manicured lawn,
A Martha Stewart house,
A suit-and-tie husband
and 2.5 children who look just like me.
I don’t dream of a nest egg,
Of lazing through retirement.
I don’t dream of smart watches,
vacations, and big screen TVs.
Maybe that’s your dream, and that’s fine.
But it isn’t mine.
My dream is a life poured out,
A heart surrendered.
My dream is a life lived to the fullest
for the glory of my King.
My dream is a partner in this holy adventure
who will raise the children with me
that others threw aside.
My dream is to always be ready with my yes to answer God’s next question,
to be a cheerful giver of everything I am.
My dream is to love the Lord
with all my heart, mind, soul, and strength,
and pray for his love in me for my neighbor.
Go ahead, call me crazy.
But I’m living for eternity.
Will you dream with me?

November 17, 2018

Advertisements

Your Name

Standard

Your name is strong and mighty.
Your name alone can save.
Your name is lifting me above,
You call me from the grave.
Your name is the strongest tower,
and You call the righteous home.
Your name has authority o’er heaven and earth,
It thunders from Your throne.

I will proclaim the mighty name You’ve spoken over me,
With shouts of joy I’ll sing its praise
for all eternity.
I build my altar in Your name,
My everlasting Lord.
The Loving Father, Holy One,
the True and Living Word.

All glory rises to the King of Kings,
Resounding through the earth.
Those who gaze upon Your name
all marvel at Your worth.
So lofty, yet so very near,
Your whisper soft and low.
Your name so mighty, yet so dear.
To whom else could I go?

Your name is good, forever true –
Your name is strong and sure.
In stormy seas and shifting sand,
Only Your name endures.
Your name alone my steadfast love,
My comfort and saving grace,
I put Your name upon my lips
and see Your glorious face.

10/20 – 11/25

Stanza 1: Jesus/Yeshua means “God saves”, Pro 18:10, Zeph 3:12, Psa 124:8, Mic 5:4

Stanza 2: Deut 32:3, 28:10, Isa 62:2, Acts 15:17, Psa 7:17, 96:2, 105:13, 1 Kin 18:32, Gen 21:33

Stanza 3: 1 Chr 16:29, Psa 29:2, 115:1, 148:13, Isa 54:5, Lam 3:57

Stanza 4: Ps 20:7, Acts 2:21, Isa 51:15, Ps 116:4, 50:10

This was written over the course of a couple weeks – first the research of where “the name of the Lord” shows up in the Bible, then writing the first few stanzas. A lot more came to me in prayer set last week, and finally this morning I was able to sit down with Him and finish the meditation. My heart is to provoke your heart to wonder, to the praise of His glory.

So come! Magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt his name together!

All of My Heart

Standard
I trust You with all of my heart.
Not just the pretty parts.
Not just the part with a fresh coat of paint.
Not just the part with doilies and dust-free knick-knacks nestled in cozy cubbies.
Not just the part that smells like vanilla and pumpkin spice.
I trust You with the cobweb corners,
the hole in the wall where the door flew open just a little too hard.
I trust You with stained tablecloths
and that one room that smells like something died.
Because maybe it did.
I trust You with all of my heart.
All of the time.
Not just on pot roast and fresh green bean Sundays.
Not just on the weekends when the bed got made,
the dishes got washed,
and the carpet got vacuumed.
Not just when the toilet got scrubbed
and the laundry got put away.
I trust You on leftover cold pizza Sundays,
when the blankets are on the floor,
the crusty dishes are piled in the sink,
and there’s a stain the size of Australia
in the middle of the living room floor.
I trust You even then. I let you in.
I let You open the closet doors
that hide my darkest secrets,
pull up my sleeves
to show You my deepest scars.
I trust You. With ALL of my heart.

Because You didn’t just pay for part of me,
You didn’t sacrifice for a facade.
You didn’t hang naked for me to keep hiding
or pour out your blood for what was already clean.
You died for the doilies and the deepest of darkness,
the stains in the carpet and the fresh coat of paint.
You don’t bat an eye when the roaches run scrambling,
there’s no hidden hallway that could catch You off guard.
You are Redeemer, You are Resurrection,
there’s nothing beyond Your power to restore.
So I give You my heart, complete, unreserved.
I trust You. With all of my heart.

The Abundance of Your Love

Standard

My fear doesn’t stand a chance

when I stand in your love.

Your love is enough.

It is abundant.

It satisfies me.

And when I am satisfied in you,

I have no fear of lack.

No fear of loss.

No fear of abandonment,

loneliness,

or hunger.

No fear of death or disaster.

I am completely satisfied,

and I overflow in generosity.

I recognize

that nothing is mine but you,

and so I have nothing to lose but you,

and you say you’ll never leave me.

So I stand in your love

and suddenly find joy bubbling up

from wells I thought were long dry.

And my roots reach down deep

to soak up Your joy

as drooping branches straighten

and withered leaves revive.

Blossoms turn to fruit,

and I raise the first to heaven,

reaching out to offer the rest

to the weary travelers passing by,

that they may taste the abundance

of joy sprung up from love.

Thank you Jesus.

Only you satisfy.

Magnify the Lord with Me

Standard

This evening, we sang a song at church about magnifying Jesus, and I started wondering what that really means.

The verb “to magnify” has two main meanings. One, that we often think of in worship, is to extol or praise. But what about the other? When we sing, “Jesus Christ, we magnify your life,” what does that really mean?

The other primary definition is to “enlarge in fact or appearance.” Obviously, there is no way of increasing Jesus in fact – He is beyond all imagining. But for many, His appearance is small. This is what we magnify. This is what we cause to be seen more clearly.

So how do we magnify Jesus? First, through purity – body (sexual), heart (motive / intention), and mind (thoughts). Purity leads to clarity – showing Him through a clean magnifying glass. Sanctification is found when we are “cleansed by the washing of water with the word.” (Eph 5:26)

The second way is found in Psalm 69:30. “I will praise the name of God with a song; I will magnify Him with thanksgiving.” I magnify who God is by giving him thanks for it. This verse doesn’t show up in one of the “happy psalms,” where everyone is dancing around with tambourines. The previous verse describes David’s current agony (But I am afflicted and in pain; let your salvation, O God, set me on high!), but as so often happens in David’s psalms, he snaps out of his downward spiral and back to the reality of God’s power and faithfulness. And if he can do it when he literally had a ton of people out to kill him, I think I can do it when my circumstances look a little bleak.

We are always magnifying something. David had the choice, and so do we, whether to focus your glass on the truth of Jesus or on the troubles and lies of the world.

So my challenge to you is this. Are you magnifying the Lord in your “speech, conduct, love, faith, and purity” (1 Tim 4:12)? Do you focus on God’s faithfulness and power in what you are speaking over your life and others’ lives? If not, what small step could you make today to start magnifying the Lord with a clean heart and clean lips?

As always, preaching to myself,

Bethany Nicole 💗

River of Adoption

Standard

Curtain torn to make a way,
that is, the flesh of God.
Blood flows out to fill my veins,
New birth, new life, new race.

Red river of adoption
washes clean myself of self,
and burdens fall away,
along with everything
I tried to hide –
my shame and pride,
my doubt and insecurity –
it didn’t stand a chance
in the flood of love,
and now I’m free to run
into the heart of Abba,
from whom every family
in heaven and on Earth is named.

The riches of his glory
are for sons and daughters only,
so it is boldly by the blood I come,
and step into the realm
of life and liberty.

– Rom 6:22, Eph 3:16, Heb 10:19-20, 12:1

My Identity in Christ

Standard

I am a child of light, without shame, transformed into perfect righteousness. I am holy, blameless, and above reproach before him. I am free from all condemnation and fear. I am a minister of reconciliation for those who have felt abandoned or rejected. I have been transferred, through my death, burial, and resurrection, from darkness to a kingdom of marvelous light, and I am a full-blooded child of glory. I am a Truth Seeker, a light bringer, an asker of questions that bring revelation. I am fully known, and I seek to give others a safe place to be known.

I am a song, an offering of praise to the Lord. I am a Worshipper in spirit and in truth. I worship with a purity that inspires others. I sparkle with a child’s innocence and remind God’s people to delight in Him. I am the deep, calling out for the depths of God, and the Spirit hovers over me. I give forth my voice and lift my hands on high when I see the splendor of the Almighty. My eye is opened, I hear the words of God, I see the vision of the Almighty, and I speak the oracles of God. I write the vision on tablets so that those who read it may run to the arms of the Father.

I am crucified with Christ, dead, and buried, a sacrificial offering. This dead man tells no tales of yesterday, for the old has passed and behold! The new has come. I have struggled out of the chrysalis and am basking in the warmth of God’s love until my wings are dry. This new creation is getting ready to fly!