I. Am. God.

Deuteronomy 31:8 – The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”

Tonight, I am going to see and love on my friend whom I wrote about yesterday at her home. God gave me this verse today – and I love it. He goes before us, and will never leave nor forsake us.

Thinking back, I have had friends and family who have passed away. But never someone that I have known was dying, and probably very soon. What do you do? What do you say?

I’m praying and contemplating this today. And God just keeps speaking “I am faithful. I am with her. I am there, in the midst of the tears and sadness. I. Am. God.”

A few days ago, I texted her husband. It was brief. One of the things I said, was “…there are no words…”.

Romans 8:26 says – In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.

When we have no words… His Spirit so beautifully fills in the blanks and intercedes on our behalf. Yet another way, God has EVERYTHING under the sun completely covered.

Prayers of intercession are powerful. Please know that. We may never know how those prayers have made a difference this side of Heaven, but they have and will continue to.

By praying on behalf of others, we have the amazing privilege and honor to be a part of something so much bigger than us. The prayers of the righteous are effective and powerful. Never stop praying.

God is good. All the time.

Peace,
Allison

Why, God?

I’m sorry I’ve been so ‘quiet’ this week…

Let me clue you in a bit on what’s been going on. A dear friend of mine entered hospice this week. She has been battling cancer for over 5 years. She has been brave. She has been strong. She has been a courageous fighter. She has looked so “good.” But appearances can be so deceiving can’t they?

When I heard the news, I was actually shocked. Even though I knew it was ‘bad’ I truly believed she would beat it. Maybe that’s the optimist in me.

As I’ve been praying endless prayers for her, her husband and family and friends. Yesterday, I began my journaling entry with, “Why, God?” Maybe you have a similar entry into your journal over the years, or even your mental journal.

God is so faithful. When we seek Him, He answers. He boldly told me, and I believe it was His voice without a doubt: “Allison, I have never promised you a life without pain, or heartache. But I have promised to be with you through it all. Through the valleys in life, my promises remain steadfast. I am HERE. I will never leave you, nor forsake you.”

Although circumstances may not change even though we beg for better outcomes for ourselves, and those we love. His love never changes. His character is faithfulness. He can be nothing else.

My heart aches for this family. I pray for a supernatural presence of God’s Holy Spirit to fill their hearts, and their home. For the physical pain my friend may be going through – to be UNFELT. For PEACE. For an undeniable understanding that God is God, and He is always good, no matter the circumstance. His grace covers us.

Isaiah 43:2 says: When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.

Whatever you are going through, whenever you hurt for those you love, when you see or experience pain and suffering – cling to these promises. I know without a shadow of a doubt, that God works through the valleys just as much (if not more) than the mountain tops. I’ve lived it, and experienced it.

The gifts He has given me through the hard times, I would never replace or give up. They are precious to me. And with every fiber of my being, I know that He sustains you and I, with those gifts of faithfulness, peace, love, and even joy amidst the darkness. Look for those gifts. They are there. Every time.

I’m humbly asking that we, as a group, lift up this family in prayer. It has been said her days here on earth may be only a week, or so… Only God knows.

God is good. All the time. And I’m so thankful.

“You can have all this world…… but give me (us) Jesus.”

Love to you all –

Allison

Joy-Full

Happy Tuesday friends!
 
Anyone need a dose of *JOY* today?
 
Joy is something that I have focused on in my life for awhile now. Somedays are easier than others. Some days I am just naturally joy-FULL, and other days, I have to make an effort and dig deep to find joy. Can you relate at all?
 
Jesus came to us to give us life abundant! A life filled with JOY that comes only from Him, that others will crave that same type of joy. People who don’t know Jesus personally can live ‘happily’ but I truly believe that JOY comes only through Him.
 
I recently read this quote,
“Joy is the flag that flies above
the castle of our hearts indicating that
the King reigns within.”
~unknown
 
Joy comes from within. Happiness is based on circumstances.
There’s a big difference.
 
Paul was a great example of joy to us. And if you’ve read through the New Testament you will find that Paul actually had a lot of things and experiences in his life that you would not find joy in. Imprisonment, discouragement, persecution… But, he says,
“I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation,
whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.
I can do everything through Him who gives me strength!”
Philippians 4:12-13.
 
Paul’s lesson to us is this – no matter our circumstances, we have the ability and right to CHOOSE JOY.
And the opposite is also true, we have the ability to choose being downcast, and discouraged, even bitter or angry. (Oh our flesh can be so powerful sometimes! It’s a constant battle for me!).
 
Have you noticed, even with the recent tragedy in Las Vegas, that we cannot avoid pain and heartache. But, whatever circumstances come our way, we can choose to pursue joy with all of our hearts. By pursuing Jesus, we pursue joy.
 
I pray that for all of us, the pursuit of JOY {aka: JESUS} would be our top priority!
Take note of how your day changes… how do you treat people, react to people, work at your job, how does your perspective change on every aspect of your day…? Write it down. Journal it. Go back to it when you need to choose joy – when it doesn’t just come naturally.
 
You will be astounded and blessed!!
 
Thank you for showing up here… you don’t have to… But I hope and pray you are blessed as we walk this awesome, incredible journey of faith together!! One day at a time…
 
Peace and love,
 
Allison

Grow… in Grace

Lately, God has placed it on my heart that I really need to grow in the area of GRACE.
 
Romans 8:5 says – But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
 
His love is UNconditiional. What else in this world can you think of as “unconditional?” We can’t earn His grace. It’s given. It is the most precious of gifts.
 
I feel like I struggle with the same things over and over. 
One of the things I wrestle with is being gracious… When I look back on my life and relationships, I have a pretty good track record of being hurt by someone, and holding a grudge, or giving up and turning away from that person.
You got it – that is NOT grace.
 
God wants us to grow strong in grace. To live by His example of grace to us.
 

Colossians 3:13 – “Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.”

And…
 
The opposite is may be true as well. Sometimes when we’re being apologized to we say, “It’s ok.” When it’s really not. If someone is apologizing to us, something happened that needed apologizing for. And, it’s actually NOT ok. But, that is where forgiveness, and grace comes in. Jesus showed us His perfect example of grace and forgiveness. When He died on the cross for our sins, He wasn’t just saying “it’s fine.” He was saying, “I forgive you. I love you. I am wiping the slate clean.” For ALL time…
 
And now He asks us, “Will you accept my forgiveness? Will you accept my grace? Will you humble yourself to offer the same to others?”
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Before you answer an enthusiastic “YES! Yes of course!” Take a moment to really think about your yes… My yes, and your yes comes with responsibility. Growing in grace is serious business, not to be taken lightly. Accepting and extending grace is something we grow in. Something we strive for, and must live out probably daily… 
 
When we fail to grow in grace, we face lost relationships, and opportunities. And the one who hurts the most in this – is ourselves. When we allow the root of bitterness to grow, it doesn’t destroy the other person – it destroys us.
 
Here’s the GOOD news (I have to keep reminding myself!): It’s not impossible to grow in grace! We have to remember, and constantly remind ourselves that Christ forgave us – and we must forgive others in the same way. If we are intentional in growing in grace, we will. God will be faithful in our pursuit. He will give us strength and guidance in that area.
 
The stakes are high! We can choose grace, or choose heartbreak.
 
My prayer is that you, and I – choose well…
 
God bless us all!
~Allison

Ill Equipped and Unworthy, Yet; Called

• Jeremiah 1-5 • (2)I am starting to read the book of Jeremiah. Jeremiah was one of the greatest of prophets that God used to communicate with His people. Through him, we see how God uses the most unlikely people in His kingdom! When Jeremiah spoke, nobody listened! But he consistently and passionately urged the people of Judah to LISTEN. He didn’t give up! He was obedient to God’s calling on His life. Jeremiah had to speak unpopular words. Words of warning to a people who had greatly fallen away from God. {Sound familiar?}

When I read the first chapter, and read a little history on the book of Jeremiah, I was struck by Jeremiah’s courage. By his faithfulness and obedience to God, even when it was uncomfortable, or he didn’t feel equipped to take on the role of prophet.

Friends, we have the absolute best message in the world to share. We have the message of absolute freedom, peace, love, and joy. Why, then, is it so hard to share?

Have you ever felt ill equipped, or too unworthy to share your faith with someone you know? So did Jeremiah! We’re all in good company. The difference between Jeremiah, and myself is he was obedient to His call, and so often, I am so disobedient to God’s calling. I am pretty good at coming up with excuses like, “Well, it just wasn’t the right time…” or “When I know my Bible better I will…” or, “I feel so unworthy… I’ve made too many mistakes in my life…”.

There are a thousand excuses.

But, here are God’s words of promise to each of us today –

“Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations….Do not be afraid, for I am with you,” declares the Lord. “I have put my words in your mouth. See today I appoint you over nations and kingdoms to uproot and tear down, to destroy and overthrow, to build and to plant.”

{Jeremiah 1:5-10}.

He has appointed YOU, and I to go to the nations and share His life saving and life giving message of restoration and freedom in and through Him. When He gives us a job to do, you can be sure that He will also provide the strength, wisdom and provisiion to do it! IF we are obedient to His calling.

“Get yourself ready! Stand up and say to them whatever I command you. Do not be terrified by them… Today I have made you a fortified city, an iron pillar and a bronze wall to stand against the whole land… they will fight against you but will not overcome you, for I am with you and will rescue you,”declares the Lord.

{Jeremiah 1:17-19}

YES! THAT has got to stir something within you today, right? Doesn’t that make you stand a little taller and straighter? Does that promise give you a little more confidence, and a little more passion? The time is now!

We CAN do this! We’ve got the best message in the world. It’s just WAY too good to keep to ourselves! Today, share that love with at least ONE person!! I dare ya!

Blessing’s and strength and joy to you today!! You got this!

~Allison

Invade My Space, Oh God

“Fall Afresh”

Bethel Worship

Awaken my soul, come awake
To hunger, to seek, to thirst
Awaken first love, come awake
And do as you did, at first 

Spirit of the living God come fall afresh on me

Come wake me from my sleep
Blow through the caverns of my soul
Pour in me to overflow

Come and fill this place
Let Your glory now invade
Spirit come and fill this place
Let your glory now invade

This morning, as I sat at my desk in my office at my shop, this song came on over my shop speakers. It constantly amazes me at how God gives us just what we need at the very moment we need it.

I woke up feeling pretty good this morning! I had some sweet time in the Word, and as I got ready for work, ran an errand and drove to work, a cloud started to form. A heaviness. I could feel it. There was a darkness and dreariness that settled into my heart, and I could literally feel the physical weight on my shoulders.

Why, you ask? I don’t really know.

What I DO know is that we live in a constant spiritual battlefield. As I’ve grown in my faith, and relationship with the Lord over the years, the spiritual war going on around me has become so evident there is absolutely no denying its presence.

When we have faith – we have the LIGHT of Christ in us. And, just as real as His light is, we have the DARKNESS of Satan and the forces of evil all around us. We are hard pressed on every side it seems. Pressures, stresses, big decisions, demands on our time, our resources and our bodies.

And we find ourselves in a position of BATTLE.

“…for our battle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.”

~Ephesians 6:12

Ephesians 6:12 is my #1 life perspective changer. What if we saw our lives, and our world through the lens of Ephesians 6:12? How would our attitudes, our motives, how we react to situations, our prayers, and our every breath CHANGE?

Just rest on that for a moment… our battle is not with our spouse, or our children. It’s not with our boss, or co-workers. It’s not with our friends, or family. It is with the present darkness that surrounds us and seeks to devour our very souls.

So now that we know that. What do we do about it? Are we left alone to fight this ever present battle on our own? Absolutely NOT! I’m going to let you in on a little secret. Are you ready?

God wins. He has won. He will win. Every. Single. Time. It’s a done deal. It’s the only thing in this world we can count on as TRUTH. 

As I sat at my desk, staring at my computer, and this worship song came on over the speakers, His Spirit reminded me that God wants to fill even THIS space with His glory, and His Spirit. He was saying to me: “Allison, allow ME to INVADE this space, allow me to fill your heart, your mind, and your soul with MY Spirit. Not the spirit of darkness, and heaviness. I want to refresh you from the inside out with MY presence. For where MY Spirit is – Satan cannot dwell. At the very mention of MY name, Satan MUST flee. Allow me to invade and dwell at this very moment. I will never fail You. I will never leave you. You are my child, and I am your God. Trust me for I am faithful, and I love you.”

Today, please join me in inviting the Spirit of the Lord to dwell within all of our hearts, in our work places, our homes, in our decisions, in our moods, and our souls. Allow the invasion of His glory to fill every single space in our day.

Take a moment, and just pray to be awakened from our spiritual slumber that we can so easily become accustomed to. It’s an unsettling place to be, isn’t it? I need this today… I need a Godly perspective instead of a ME perspective. Do you? He will be faithful in providing the refreshing. All He needs is our permission.

God bless your day! 

Allison

Take a Peek!

This morning, as I was having my quiet time, I came across some verses on prayer.

I Thessalonians 5:17 – Pray without ceasing.
Romans 12:12 – Always be prayerful…
Ephians 6:18 – Pray at all times and on every occasion.

As Christians, we hear a lot about prayer. Many of us were taught to pray as young children. And some are probably pretty new to prayer.

Prayer is a really broad topic in Christian circles. There is just SO much to discuss, and learn. Right?

For me, this morning, as I tried to apply them to myself, right then and there – my focus was directed toward my every day, every moment CONVERSATIONS with God.

Living in a constant attitude of prayer.

after_the_rain

I read a wonderful quote by one of my favorite authors, Max Lucado –

“Think of prayer less as an activity FOR God,

and more as an awareness OF God.”

I love that! Sometimes, I admit, prayer can become one of those “to do’s” and something to check off my list for the day. Which, now when I t hink of it in light of that quote – is more FOR God. I love thinking of being more AWARE OF God.

How does that play out for us as we go about our day? Well, it’s acknowledging His presence in and around you, at all times. It’s praising and worshipping Him as you stand in line at the grocery store – thanking Him for His presence with you at that moment. It’s lifting up the co-worker who’s in the next office or cubicle in prayer. It’s blessing the gal who waits on you at the coffee shop. It’s asking God for His protection of our kids throughout the day. It’s thanking Him for the blessing of the car you’re driving to work. Catch my drift?

It’s DWELLING with Him, and allowing Him to transform even the every day – mundane aspects of our lives.

When we do that – every day, and every opportunity and activity we have throughout our day is an adventure, don’t you think? It sure makes things more exciting when we live in the expectancy that God can and will show up in every small and big way throughout our days on this earth. I want to live in that type of expectancy! It’s refreshing, and exciting! Living in a way where we are anticipating a God moment right around the corner is a pretty cool way to live. Yes?

“The time of business does not with me differ from the time of prayer,

and in the noise and clatter of my kitchen while several persons

are at the same time calling for different things,

I possess God in as great a tranquility as if I were upon

my knees at the blessed sacrament.”

– Brother Lawrence, “The Practice of the Presence of God”.

God BLESS your day!

Take a peek around the corner… what’s there?  Have fun!

~Allison