Saturday, November 30, 2013

The Interview ~ Continued

Usually when I write it is like God gives me pearls on a string and I see it from start to finish.  Now I am writing and I can't see the end … well maybe.

We had some friends over.  Danny was steaming oysters.  It was cold.  The three ladies snuggled in blankets even in the house.  Two of Danny's friends, my son and his friend, and my grandson added six more.

After one of the ladies left, it was just a distant friend and I sitting inside.  Breaking the ice, I said, “You may not know that I relapsed?”  She was great—so understanding.  She said, “I have heard being a coach's wife is hard.”  I had never admitted that to myself.  “Clemson was so good to us and I knew the blessings of not having to move my family around a lot like most others,” I told her.

I began to remember our move to Arkansas.  I thought about when we moved out of the University House and stored all our things in the barn at the farm.  We then moved to our fairly small lake house.  We bought a sectional teal-colored sofa that filled the one great room with a beautiful rock fireplace.  We still had some of our first furniture pieces also which were very special to me. 

But when Danny got the coaching job in Arkansas, he bought a house and most of the previous owner's furniture before I got there.  He sold our lake home and all the furniture.  So I walked out of our home with all my treasured memories into a house I had never seen.  It may seem silly thinking like that, because we did have a job—I know, I know.  Still I left family in Alabama, moved twelve hours away from everything I knew—my dear church and friends—to what was to be a harder situation that would only get even harder.  I did love my new church and friends there.  I met some great people.  I think I have let that keep me from feeling the loss I had all those years ago until now.

I talked to Danny and my youngest daughter who is getting her Christian Counselor degree about all this.  They both said to move on.  This was a hard time for us, but there were also good times.  I am now deciding that I am one who can learn from my past, but that I cannot dwell there.  God was with us and kept us, and I press on, releasing what lies behind me forevermore.  It is not wrong to visit the past but we cannot live there.

When I return to writing online, I will write a conclusion to the “The Interview,” but I am letting the past go.  Working through those old memories was what caused me to spiral after having such a great year or remission.  I am refusing to live in the past any more.  I'm mailing this to Martha to type and post because I don't want to re-read.  It will be several days past when you read it—so no worries, I am doing good.

I don't have to grieve all the events I have stuffed away all these years.  I can acknowledge that it was hard when it comes to mind, but now in faith, move on.  I'm so thankful for this season especially.

I am still learning to stay well and trust.  My daughter, Elizabeth is going to make a great counselor.  Danny is pretty wise too.  Thanks to all of you for your prayers and love.  It has carried me through. 

I will trust in You, Lord, and not be shaken.  “When doubts filled my mind, Your comfort gave me renewed hope and cheer.”  Psalms 94:19

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Like That River's Swollen Waters ...

Today on Facebook, I've seen a friend's prayer request for homeless living by a swollen river. The blood-bruised back of a Christian captured by Islamists in Iran. The face of a nephew I have never met who looks so much like my birth brother I met only twice. Another friend than...king God that school is closed so she can attend to Thanksgiving preparations.

Emotions tangle, and I think, "Lord God, where is Your heart?" Then I think to myself that it is where it always is--with each of His children, in each unique situation. He does not slumber nor sleep. Neither is He like the shifting shadow. He is the same--true-to-our-hearts--right where we are God of all comforts. He feels both our joys and our sadnesses.

It is not so much that one of us is in a loving family gathering while another is in suffering. God is not partial. He is not unjust. His heart is always looking at the heart. He looks for our faith turned towards His face, trusting Him. Daring to believe that He is more satisfying than earth's abundance. More real and healing than earth's sufferings. He outrageously amens even our mustard seed faith. He is unmistakably, infallibly present and proactive in the lives of all those He loves who love Him. If we could but see through His eyes, thanksgivings would flow like that river's swollen waters 
~ martha langley

Monday, November 25, 2013

Living with My Eyes Open

"No, Christian brothers, I do not have that life yet. But I do one thing. I forget everything that is behind me and look forward to that which is ahead of me. My eyes are on the crown. I want to win the race and get the crown of God’s call from heaven through Christ Jesus."  Philippians 3:13-14

One of God's gifts to us is the present.  I am learning to live each day as if it were my last.  We cannot change the past nor do we have any guarantees about our future.  We can learn from the past and plan for the future.  My friend, David, said, "We have no power in the past or future, only the present."

My friend, Rose Marie Miller, said something like, "Satan will try to get you to live in the failures and regrets of the past and the fear of tomorrow.  Jesus wants us to live in the present."

The present is not only God's gift to us, but my gift to others.  I pray, "Lord, reveal Yourself to me today.  May I live today like You want to be with me in making a difference.  What I do today does matter.  Give me Your love and may it overflow to others mightily and powerfully.  I promise to not sleep my day away, or stare into space as I have before mulling over the past.  I will press on."

My friend, Kathy, says to live in the moment.  Right now--this moment is all I have.  I choose to live it fully and masterfully whether I rest, work, or play.  Jesus, You are with me in the moment.  (Now if I can finally get this!) 

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Secure in God's Good Hands ...

"The gracious hand of his God was on him...."  (Ezra 7:9)

Have you ever heard someone say, "God's hand is off my life"?  The sense that for some reason, God is distant.  His blessings or answers to prayer seem birthed stillborn. 
We tend to feel more secure when the ecstatic God-moments come. They often leave us with a vivid sense that God's hand is at work.  Like my young grandson who asked God for a sign that Jesus was really in his little-boy heart.  He said when he looked to the sky he saw a cloud in the shape of his first initial, "N." Then like Gideon, he asked for confirmation of his confirmation. Looking up again, he saw a cloud in the shape of a check mark.

Our pastor told us about a young woman who was finding it impossible to forgive the person who had molested her.  But as she lashed out her accusing question to God, "Where were You?" she was given a mental image of Jesus standing beside her with His hand on her.  His tears were streaming and there were sweat droplets like blood.  Then to her surprise, she realized Jesus' other hand was on the person she couldn't forgive.

In my early battle with RA (Rheumatoid Arthritis) before medicines were found to help and the pain was severe, I had set aside a time one evening to pray for others.  But without thinking, my wrists throbbing from inflammation made me ask instead for God to stop the pain.  Suddenly in my mind, I saw Jesus' hands outstretched, nailed to the cross. Feeling humbled that His pain was so much greater, I then prayed, "Father, forgive me for asking You to do something for me that You couldn't do for Your own Son."  My pain ceased immediately.

When God answers quickly to give insight or understanding, or He immediately heals emotionally or physically, we have no doubt of His nearness or earnestness to work in our lives. But in the times when loss looms like an unwelcome heart guest refusing to leave. When pain or sickness find no ease. When answers to our questions are left to Eternity's unfolding, we may feel God's hand has left us.  But it has not.  He is actually holding us more tightly. 
It's in those "Where is God?" times, His compassion anchors and His heart throbs with empathy for us.  In perfect love that is not willing to leave us stunted or leave us behind, His Spirit is doing a sanctifying work.  Severing Self and sin.  Implanting a sweeter, deeper, more gripping trust.  Strengthening us past what our eyes see, or our minds reason.  Faith-ing us past whatever would betray the truth that we have a Good Father.  It is in those times that a radical contentment arises to acknowledge that all that we are and have are most secure when held in God's Good Hands. ~ martha langley

Thursday, November 21, 2013

No Need to Shrink Back ...

"Live a holy life. No one will see the Lord without having holiness."  Hebrews 12:14

Honestly, the words "holy," or "holiness" in regard to who I am to be in my spiritual life have never felt warm and fuzzy to me.  It's more like the fearsome feeling that Isaiah described when he saw the Lord high and lifted up, unclean and unworthy.

So when I saw the verse above in my reading the other day, I wanted to take time to really think it through.  I concluded: Holy or holiness means the absence of evil.  That's what heaven is all about.

I think because I know my faults and my flaws and that I often say "Yes" to Self, and "No" to God's Spirit, that this makes me shrink back from thinking of myself as holy. 

Those are my feelings.  What is true?  The truth is that because of Jesus' agony on the cross to pay my sin debt, I was freed from sin and death, made new--alive to God.  This means that Jesus' life in me has made me:  "Holy to the Lord."

Just remember that Jesus=holy.  And if you are a believer, Jesus is living in you.  This does not make me want to shrink back.  It makes me worship and adore.

"...God gave you His Holy Spirit. Now you belong to God. You do not belong to yourselves. God bought you with a great price."  1 Corinthians 6:19-20  ~  ml

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Gift Giver

One of Deborah's writings from the past:

The Gift Giver

Many people are born with natural talent while others try to develop talents.  When my children were little I looked for what they enjoyed and were good at doing so I could point them in that direction.  It has been interesting to see God reveal the true loves and gifts He has given them.  He was preparing them for the way they should go.

I used to say, "I have no gifts."  I am not a great artist or painter or writer.  I don't sing or dance (although I sure tried).  Raising four children with my husband often away, I didn't take time to develop outside hobbies.  I thought when the children left home I would have a huge empty space of time.  That is not the case.  God uses our past and present circumstances along with the people in our lives.  Even our weaknesses and our struggles can become part of our gifts.

The more time I spend in unbroken communion in God's love, the more things I find myself enjoying.  God is the Creator.  He is creative.  When we ease into the things He begins to reveal in us, we start to enjoy the gifts we have been given.  We not only experience Him, but learn something about Him in the process.  It is Him expressing Himself through us.

One of my friends gives away her flowers and bakes for people.  Another one is a prayer warrior, never hesitating to give a smile and encourage.  Another friend shares photography on a blog. I have a friend who writes for a local paper and does prison ministry.  One friend, a single in her 50's, delights in three young sons she has adopted.  Really struggling in her health, another speaks of doing well because God has a plan for her.  I see my friends passing on their God-given talent, love, and wisdom.

Sometimes we may feel like we are in a barren land, perhaps stripped of all we have done in the past.  We feel useless.  Without purpose.  This is the furthest thing from the truth.  God is really wanting to do a mighty work.  Use this time to be alone with God.  His first concern is our relationship with Him.  When I have been in that situation (several times), afterward, I came away with a deeper, fuller relationship with God than I had known before.

Be patient.  Enjoy God.  Worship.  Rest.  Wait.  You'll be amazed.  These are gifts in themselves.  God is the Gift Giver.  He is the Gift!

God, You have given us such an abundant life.  May we seek You in the things and people we enjoy.  Lord, if we are not enjoying life in You right now, will You meet us there also?   Teach us all to enjoy You more.

Friday, November 15, 2013


From Whispers of God Facebook Post Today:

"Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow." (James 4:14)

When news comes unexpectedly
A dream long-planned, dissolved
Sadness' spiny fingers close
Around my heart--tears fall

Emotions rising over
Faith trying to make its stand
Questions scream--whys demand
"Where was heaven's hand?"

I speak the words I know are true
"God is good, He's in control"
But as they escape my lips
Loss still tears across my soul

I cry out, "Father! Why?
How could You hurt me so?
Do You not understand
How deeply this pain goes?"

But before His answer whispers
Calvary's cross comes into mind
And suddenly I realize
My cries have been unkind

For that one act of love was proof
Of my value in God's eyes
His "nos" are still His words of love
Meant to make me wise

Let me not give myself to things
Count them for me to use
But lay all things at Jesus' feet
Keep or cast away--You choose

Let me champion Your Sovereignty
Each time there comes a test
Then I will know I'm resting in
Whatever You've decided best
~martha langley

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Created for Worship

"But the time is coming-it has, in fact, come--when what you're called will not matter and where you go to worship will not matter.  It's who you are and the way you live that count before God.  Your worship must engage your spirit in the pursuit of truth.  That's the kind of people the Father is out looking for:  those who are simply and honestly themselves before him in their worship.”  God is sheer being itself-Spirit.  Those who worship him must do it out of their very being, their spirits, their true selves, in adoration."    (John 4:21-24, The Message)

We are going to worship something. Our hearts and minds and souls were created to worship God.  The reason we struggle is because of our bent to worship someone or something other than God.  Like cobwebs, these other things trap us, each strand pulling us in opposite directions.  They are illusions that promise us enjoyment or peace, or that our every need will be met.  That once we have that person or that thing which we desire, we will be satisfied.  So we work to that end and offer our worship.

The counterfeit, the idol, the false god, grabs our immediate attention.  Then it demands more and more of our loyalty.  It sucks the very life from us because, in the end, it does not give what it has promised.  It does not have the power to give, and it can never be enough.  It is a false gospel.

At a young age, I became preoccupied with approval and beauty.  First I think, as a small child performing, and later entering pageants. Then over the years, the honors I achieved were very important, because I wanted others' approval.  My last year in high school, I was voted "Queen of the School."  I don't know why, but I felt embarrassed by the honor.  I asked my mom and dad not to come see me crowned.

Since that time, I've continued to be embarrassed by attention paid to me.  The public lifestyle we have lived because of my husband's career has made made it very hard for me to take a back seat.  But that is where I have chosen to be whenever possible because my focus changed from getting approval by honors, to wanting to be good.  A good wife.  A good mother.  And a good Christian . . .

When I realized I could no longer balance all the plates, and that what I was doing was too much for me, I came out of denial.  I was no longer a beauty queen, or the great wife of a successful man.  I was a woman with a mental disorder, locked behind closed doors, singing amazing grace with my inmates.

With everything I had taken pride in taken away, my focus was all about God.  I could be honest about who I was and who God was, and who He had been to me.  I learned what it was to worship from my heart, all the time, not just in the traditional way at church, although I loved that worship also.  I started taking steps towards simply being myself.

For so long, I had hidden behind walls of protection for fear of rejection.  I had pretended to be someone I wasn't and could never be: perfect. I came to understand that I could only be perfect by the gift of Christ's righteousness.  I was already loved and accepted by Him and the Father.  I was beautiful to Him no matter what my appearance.  I also realized that Christ came for the sick and that I needed a Savior, even more.  No one or no thing could meet my need besides Him.  I was free in the gospel.

The Lord is changing me to see that it's not about whether the attention is on me or not on me, but it's about the attention being on God and on loving others with the love He gives me.  I still forget at times, but when I do, the Spirit is so gentle in showing me.  I confess it to Him, and to others, and He brings me to repentance and faith.  It is a gift from God and from others, to point me to Him.

God is seeking those who will worship Him.  Since we were created to worship Him, He helps us by stripping us of our idols.  It's not that we will never go there again, but we can pray, "O Lord, search my heart," and hopefully, we will begin to recognize our idol(s) more quickly each time.

God always desires us.  The Spirit will give us the longing for God.  We can respond with worship in Spirit and in Truth.  He is the truth and the way.  

Let's go to Christ and the Father and their affection for us.  Let us be changed, fulfilled, reassured of who we are to Him, and who He is, and rest in that truth.  Let us rest and receive God's love.  Lord, this is my prayer. 

Monday, November 11, 2013

True Freedom

One of Deborah's writings from the past ...

"More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ, and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith." (Philippians 3:8-9)

I remember my grandchildren lying on their backs looking up to the sky. They yelled and pointed at the clouds taking on different shapes, floating freely across the sky.  You could see the wind shape and move the clouds. The children laughed, calling out, "A puppy!" "A snow man!" A fish or bird or angel.

Do you ever say, "I just want to be free"?  We take on the shape of our beliefs in God, our new heart, and receiving God's love. We are even influenced by our environment and past. But we are not left to that end.

I have thought my freedom would come by being perfect. I longed for peace. Sounds like a good thing, doesn't it?  The Spirit has shown me the dangers in this over the years.   Trying to keep the peace at all cost determined what I said and what I did. I sought things to bring me peace and appear perfect.  I hid and denied my failures.  I pleased men over God.  I lived in fear and would not speak truth. It was most deceptive.  I now see that the only true peace, perfection, and freedom, is in Christ Himself.

Ephesians talks about who we are in Christ.  We are new men and women.  We are brought near to God by the blood of Christ. His Spirit lives in us, and we live in relationship with the Father, Son, and Spirit.

Our freedom was bought for us at the cross.  Christ bought us out of darkness to light. We are forgiven. We have Christ's righteousness. His perfect record and life is ours.  We are co-heirs with Christ. We have an inheritance from God. We have eternal life.  There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. God is no longer angry with us.  His wrath on sin that was due to us was taken out on His Son on the cross. He was the perfect sacrifice.  We can serve the Living God with a clear conscience. Christ satisfied our holy God's demand for righteousness. So now we can enter the throne of grace in freedom and confidence.  We are children of the King! We are seated with Him in the heavenlies. We are totally free.

When Paul explained this freedom, men questioned: "So does that mean we are free to sin?" Paul says, "Heaven forbid. You understand nothing."  In the Greek it says, "May it never be." (See Romans 6:15)

When this freedom and love of the gospel takes hold of our hearts, it changes us from the inside out.  We begin to live in the freedom of who we truly are.  We take on new beauty. New love.  New hope.  New life.   New joy.  New Peace. Our striving to be something we are not is over.  We are honest about our sin, but our focus is on Christ.  Our relationship with God, and the truth of the gospel sustains us. It is His righteousness not ours.  Nothing we do can commend us to God. Freedom is in the struggle against sin.  Then finding rest is in Him, you finally come to the conclusion that no matter what happens in your life, "God is good."   This brings a new obedience from the heart that you had never thought possible. An incredible longing for God to fill your whole heart.

Thank you Lord for setting our hearts free in you. May all glory and honor and praise be to You.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Life-Changing Words

One of my most memorable words from God came at a time when I was so broken I didn't think I could ever be mended. My sense of being a "good Christian" was waning, my health was weakening, my marriage seemed to be more difficult than I could face, the reputation for godliness I had tried sooooooooo hard to build by appearance, talent, perfecting, hard work, serious study, raising godly kids, and keeping the peace, was crumbling at my feet.

In a moment of "I give up," on life, and even on God, He spoke a Scripture reference in my heart. With the tiniest speck of hope, I looked it up. It said that Jesus was able to save to the uttermost.

Suddenly, God shifted the responsibility from me about being a godly person to Jesus. For the first time I understood from the inside out that Jesus didn't save me and then expect me to live the Christian life by my own grit.  My failures were just as saved as my "good."  I didn't have to try and try, I could trust and trust.

Literally, that verse brought me from the dark deeps of depression to a spiritual jubilation.  My spirituality is held in Jesus' heart for all time. He loves it out. He lives it out. He lauds it before my Father. He is my uttermost saving, keeping, all in all forever and ever.  ~  martha langley

"[Jesus Christ] is able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them." Hebrews 7:25

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Words of Life ~ Guest Blog

I had been writing out prayers for children. Thought I was finished, but the next morning several more prayers came to mind about different topics.  One was regarding anger: That when we have angry words forming, to quickly give them to God so He can replace them with His words of life. 
To me that is such a free-ing prayer because I remember years past when another person's criticism or angry words toward me could send me reeling.  Unfortunately, the wound would end up taking me to the same place--anger.  My temperament, though, wasn't as prone to express it verbally.  I stuffed it away, feeling that by doing this, I was being the peacemaker. But eventually all the repressed anger was smothering, like grave clothes.  Like gauze wrappings which have been left and grown into the wound.  So when God began to remove them it was very painful. I was losing my method of self-protection.  
But when God begins to move in an area of our lives that needs His truth and freedom, He gives us courage to rely on Him in those temptation moments.  It feels kind of like going down an unmarked path.  You are not certain what you will encounter or find at the end.  But as God gave me heart to immediately pray in the face of angry words for His wisdom, I found that those flaming arrows which normally pierced me, were now glancing off. I was focused on knowing how God wanted me to respond.

Sometimes God would reveal a truth I needed to heart that was hidden within the anger. Sometimes He would help me understand that it was an attack of the enemy and I needed to be still and let Him be my Defender. Sometimes it was to test my willingness to partner in Christ's sufferings.  But most often, it was for me to go against my "peace at any cost" personality, and calmly confront by asking the hard questions:

Why are you angry?  Is what you said really true?  Are you trying to help or to control?  Why do you feel you need to yell or threaten?

Even if my questions were met with more anger, the times that I stopped to listen to what God wanted me to hear from Him, and responded in His will, resulted in the heart peace I had unsuccessfully tried to create on my own. 
Jesus went through many harsh encounters. Sometimes He responded with gentle revelation.  Sometimes commanding.  Sometimes hard-to-hear truth.  But always following the Father's leading.  Always offering words of life.  Even the abuse shouted at Him while suffering on the cross was met with, "Father forgive...."

Any unrighteous anger--whether expressed because of lack of wisdom (James 3:15) or lack of self-control, or repressed because of a false sense of self-control--is extremely destructive, allowing Satan a foothold in our lives. (Ephesians 4:26-27)  Only as the unrighteous anger is given over to God, again and again if needed, can we be Spirit controlled.  Only then does His Spirit empower God's words of life through us. 
~  martha langley

Monday, November 4, 2013

Thanks for your prayers ... One of Deborah's writings from the past: Become Like a Child

"I tell you the truth. You must change and become like little children [in your hearts]. If you don’t do this, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 18:3)

Most of the time I find myself taking life too seriously. I put up walls of protection, tighten my shoulders, and grit my teeth. Why do I find it so hard to become like a little child? Is it the fear of rejection? The need to be loved? What did Jesus mean by this verse?

Many years ago, my family and I went to a friend’s mountain cottage for a few days vacation. It was a warm, glowing, full-of-personality place. After unpacking the car we decided to take a little walk. Although it was dark, the snow was so bright we didn’t even take a light. As we walked down the hill, I plopped myself down in the snow. Then lying flat on my back, I began to laugh, swinging my arms and legs up and down. When I stood up to shake off the snow, I saw the beautiful imprint of a snow angel. “I have always wanted to do that,” I said. It made me feel like a little child.

When I went to the dermatologist for a precancerous spot on my nose, treatment meant going through some awful looking stages. One day in the Dollar Store, a little girl said, “You gotta bobo on your nose?” I said, “Yes, I do.” When she looked at me with great concern and compassion, I told her, “It doesn’t hurt. It will go away soon.” She smiled and said, “Oh.” While most adults seemed to feel awkward about it, the little girl was open and honest. Why can’t we be like a little child? Children just set their hearts out there.

My grandchildren have taught me a good deal about being a child. They love to laugh and create. One summer afternoon we made biscuits together. Soon the flour was all over the floor, the counter, and us. When we finished, one of them wanted to decorate with sprinkles and birthday candles. I said, “Hon, we are not making cake, we are making biscuits.” The children didn’t care. I gave each one a ball of dough to create his masterpiece. We even lit the candles and sang “Happy Birthday” to each one of us.

Time with my father when he was older and very sick made me think more about the idea of child-like. Both he and my grandchildren being similar in many ways: very dependent. Open and honest. No walls between them and you. No reputation to try to uphold. They share love boldly. They share their hearts freely. In thinking about my dad and my grandchildren, I wonder if God intended for us to enter this world as a child and leave it as a child? The question is, “How do we, during the time in the middle, live our daily lives, when needing to be so much like them?”

Brennan Manning says in “Souvenirs of Solitude,” that the “child” represents our authentic self. He says, “I am a unique and radiant center of personal thought and feeling. Rather than living a routine existence in mere conformity with the crowd, the emerging child reminds me I have a face of my own, gives me the courage to be myself, protects me against being like everybody else, and calls for that living, vibrant, magnificent image of Jesus Christ that is within me, waiting only to unfold and be expressed.” He also says that you don't really share yourself until you share your feelings. That this is the secret of love.

Father, Son, and Spirit, Your love makes me want to be a little child again. I want to laugh and sing and dance and run with You. Please give me a child-like faith with enjoyment, dependence, and confidence in Your love. Believing it, receiving it, and giving it away. Help me not be guarded, but love openly and freely. Teach me again, I pray.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Update on Deborah Ford:

The doctor is reluctant to allow Deborah's return to technology now. She's doing really well, been having few afternoons at the farm, but his observation is that it's better to keep the wellness intact--not risk a setback. So she is contenting herself to give more prayer attention to family and look forward to Thanksgiving and Christmas family gatherings. Hoping to do some... special gifts of her own making. She sends her thank-you for your prayers and love, and for continuing to read her past writings.

If the Lord gives you time to pray--please remember her recovery. For her to know the Lord's leadership one day at a time, as well as to receive His healing.

Prayer for you: Father God, let this be a day when Your beauty shines through to the hearts of Your people. When all that is heavy or hurtful is taken into Your good hands, and You touch each worn or wounded place with Your love and wisdom, and transformation power.

Whatever is disappointment--make into new vision or an open door.

Whatever the enemy has meant for accusation or to bring anger--translate into words of life.

Whatever is bringing feelings of "just want to come Home"--refill with Your strength and courage to keep keeping on, for Jesus' namesake, until Your plan to make much of Him through their lives here is complete.

Now, Lord, bless in the deepest reaches of each heart as only You can
... ml