Feeling lost, lied to and defeated? Together we will search God's Word for HOPE.
Bringing Glory to Jesus
IAMHIZ·THURSDAY, APRIL 25, 2019
Life is complicated and I can get weary. When all seems lost and I don’t know where to turn, I turn to Jesus. He is my Strength & my Deliverer. In Him I trust. I enjoy each moment because it will not come again.
My name is Tami. I am an ordinary wife, mother, mother-in-law, sister, friend and now a Grammy! This is my grandson Kaleb telling me a story! I have no special abilities. I laugh, I cry, I hurt, I see joy. Well, actually I do have a super power...
My Super Power is JESUS living within me. I AM HIZ. He is mine.
As we journey together, I hope I can cheer you on, inspire you and tell you about Him who gives me Hope & Joy, JESUS.
There is joy in the little things, the warm sun on my face, dancing in the rain, a butterfly fluttering by, smelling Kaleb’s sweet baby head (oh that sweet Baby Magic smell!), holding my husband’s hand, a hot cup of coffee with my Bud, a gentle breeze, a flower opening.
There is joy in the big things, loving Jesus and allowing Him to guide my life, the love and protection of my husband, spending time with my sons, Ricky & Benjamin and their beautiful wives, Colleen & Molly, snuggling my precious grandson Kaleb, spending time with my brothers & their families, enjoying fellowship with my Bible study girl friends.
Life needs to be put in the right perspective. Things will not be perfect and life hurts us...but we can choose joy. We can choose to look for the good. Be careful not to miss out on the moment while you are worrying about tomorrow or wishing things were different.
I try to keep my focus on Jesus. When I do, my trials don’t seem as overwhelming, the storms don’t rage as strong . I know He is working in and through the trials. I can get through this. You can too.
Oh come, let us sing to the LORD! Let us shout joyfully to the Rock of our salvation. Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving; Let us shout joyfully to Him with psalms. For the LORD is the great God, and the great King above all gods.” Psalm 95:1-3
I was sitting outside in my front yard very early this morning. I was working on a Bible study and enjoying some quiet time with God. I could hear many sounds…sounds of the birds waking up and getting breakfast from the feeders, the hummingbirds fighting over territories with the clashing of their beaks against each other, and the bees buzzing among the flowers. I even had a Momma Monarch butterfly come through to deposit some eggs on my milkweed plants…such a menagerie of God’s creation. I could not help but give our Creator God, the praise He deserves!
Out here in my garden you would not know I am less than 100 feet from a busy road. It is my oasis, my sanctuary.
I am thankful, content to just be…to be still and sit in the Presence of Majesty. His Majesty…as He is all around me, all around us. His fingerprints are everywhere. Remember that song? It is true.
When I am giving Him praise and shouting joyfully to His Name…the darkness runs. The forces of darkness have no place here.
We are called to worship Him. We cannot allow anyone or anything to silence us. Especially in these times of uncertainty & chaos. It is a time to praise The LORD, to lift the Name of YAHWEH ELOHIM!
Yesterday marked the 33rd anniversary of my beautiful and kind Mom leaving earth and entering Heaven. She left way too soon, at just 56. I miss her as much now as the day she left. She loved the Lord and it has taken me many years to understand her devotion to Jesus Christ. A devotion I now share. She used to sing a song to us, especially to her grandchildren…at least the ones who got to know her. The words echo in my memory but it wasn’t until recently that I thought about the meaning.
“What a Friend We Have in Jesus” is a Christian hymn originally written by preacher Joseph M. Scriven as a poem in 1855 to comfort his mother, who was living in Ireland while he was in Canada. These are the words, look at them closely, read them slowly and let the impact of the HOPE in these words penetrate your heart:
“What a friend we have in Jesus, All our sins and grief to bear. And what a privilege to carry Everything to God in prayer
Jesus bore not only our sin, but He will bear our grief.
Oh, what peace we often forfeit, Oh, what needless pain we bear All because we do not carry, Everything to God in prayer
How much peace of mind have you forfeited? I know I have sometimes worried too much and gave up His peace. Oh, the needless pain we bear. Are you bearing too much? Life can give us a heavy load. Jesus offers to share the bulk of the load.
Have we trials and temptations?Is there trouble anywhere? We should never be discouraged, Take it to the Lord in prayer
Are you in a trial or temptation? Who isn’t, right?! Is there trouble anywhere? Oh Yes, there is trouble everywhere I look. Are you discouraged? Life just isn’t what you thought it would be? Don’t give up. Jesus is Hope.
Can we find a friend so faithful, Who will all our sorrows share? Jesus knows our every weakness, Take it to the Lord in prayer.”
You will never find another friend so faithful. Won’t you give Him a chance?
Jesus Christ was fully God, yet fully man. Feeling emotions, thirst, and hunger. He was tempted as we are. He came to earth and lived as a man, yet He did NOT sin. He understands human pain, grief and suffering.
“For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.”Hebrews 4:15 (ESV)
He is waiting to become your Savior. He is faithful to listen, and available to help. You need not be discouraged, He is here. He is only a prayer away.
A very good friend of mine recently gave me a coffee mug with Hebrews 11:1 on the side. I love coffee mugs! I have several and almost every one has a story attached to it.
The word HOPE stands out for me. It is a favorite word of mine. A word that encourages me to hold on.
What is the definition of the word, hope? I found this definition in an article written in 1952 called, “The Christian Hope.” “Hope is commonly used to mean a wish : its strength is the strength of the person’s desire.” 1
What do I hope for? What do you hope for? Perhaps…Calm in this chaos, healing of a marriage, healing from a disease, a reconciled relationship, for your prodigal to come home, for things to be better, to see the light at the end of the tunnel (And have it not be a freight train!)
“Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” Hebrews 11:1
Let us look a little closer at this verse. Hope is part of the picture, but faith is a bigger piece. How can you and I be sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see? Faith in God and believing and accepting salvation through Jesus is our Hope. We cannot see faith. How can we be certain of what we cannot see with our human eyes?
We can read God’s Word and believe what He says. As we study His Word, the Holy Spirit opens our spiritual eyes to the truth. Truth that one day, things will be resolved. Not always on earth, but one day in Heaven.
Another thought I had on this verse was that you and I can have hope that God is with us through each tear and trial, each heartache and disappointment. Our faith in who He is gives us hope, gives us encouragement to go on. To be able to face another day, even though things aren’t all nice and tidy in our lives…we can go on. We can have the courage to not give up.
When I am nearing my limit to what I can bear, my faith reminds me that I have hope.
Let us look at another definition of hope.”In the Bible hope is the confident expectation of what God has promised and its strength is in His faithfulness.” 2
I realized that I cannot have hope without faith. I am a person of hope, but really, I am a person of faith. The hope comes from knowing and having faith in Jesus as my Savior.
For me, and maybe you too, life continues to be messy, unpredictable and hard… however, it is also joyful, rewarding and oh so worth it! All because of our confident expectation of what God has promised and the proof is in His character of faithfulness.
He is who He says He is and He will do what He says He will do. He gives us faith and faith gives us hope. If your hope hinges on faith in God, you hope is not in vain.
Have you ever come to a place in your life where you did not know what to do, what action to take, or what direction to follow? Voices demanding a response from many directions. Perhaps you are there today? Caught in the grip of fear, sadness, disillusionment or maybe even anger. Our emotions are so complicated.
Oh, if we could just have some true guidance from Someone who has our best interest at heart.
I have Good News! You and I have a Father in Heaven. If you and I profess Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior…you and I are a child of The God Most High!
This is what God promises in Psalm 32:8 (NASB)
“I will instruct you and teach you in the way which you should go; I will counsel you with My eye upon you.”
God, your Father, will instruct you, guide you, teach in the way you should go and as He instructs, guides, and teaches…He is watching with the loving eyes of a father. To get us back on track when we fall or when we fail or even when we are tripped up by another. No condemnation from God, just a lift back onto the RIGHT path, the BEST path for each of us. The path to LIFE.
How encouraging! I pray for you right now…Dear Lord…that whatever you are facing, that you, His precious child will feel Your Father’s love.
Open His Word and bask in the beauty of His Glorious Presence and drink in His love. He will give you direction on what to do next!
Words, once spoken (or written) can not be taken back. We must be very careful what we say. Are they harming or hurting? Building up or tearing down?
Proverbs 16:24 (NIV) says,
“GRACIOUS WORDS ARE A HONEYCOMB, SWEET TO THE SOUL AND HEALING TO THE BONES”
What a beautiful verse! My words and your words should be sweet like honey to the soul of those we are talking to, pouring into them a healthy dose of inspiration, mercy and compassion. It is like a healing emotional balm right into the very bones of a person. Soothing, uplifting, building up, nourishing. That is what I want to be remembered for.
A difference of opinion with someone does NOT give us the right to attack their character. It is even more critical, I think to those who don’t see as we see. We do not know what is going on in their lives or what is in their heart. God says He is the Only One who knows the heart. Who are we to judge?.
“… For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7 (ESV)
We all live in this world together. Let’s us choose kindness. Let us not attack a person who sees things differently. Let us agree to disagree.
The real enemy, the prince of darkness, Satan delights in strife and division. Petty arguments steal our time from more pressing matters, like showing the light of Jesus to a dark and hurting world.
This is my prayer for myself, from Psalm 19:14 NASB, “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my rock and my Redeemer.”
To unite (a shoot or bud) with a growing plant by insertion or by placing in close contact. To join (a plant or plants) by such union. To join or unite closely: graft new customs onto old.
I have a weeping cherry tree in my back yard. It is so beautiful. The branches heavy with sweet scented blossoms cascades with “arms” stretched down toward the ground in sweeping pink beauty! A pollinators dream plant.
Did you know that weeping cherry is a grafted tree and how it is grafted? I did not know to the extent what this tree has gone through to became what it is…
It is actually a tree made up of two (or sometimes 3) completely different parts. The weeping (top) part of the tree is ‘grafted’ to the trunk of a standard upright cherry. “Grafting is a horticultural technique used to join parts from two or more plants usually of the same species (or a relative that is compatible) so that they appear to grow as a single plant.” The upper part (or the scion) of one plant grows on the root stock (or root system) of another plant. Weeping cherries are propagated this way to take advantage of the weeping branch shape at the top and the root strength of a cherry variety with hearty root stock. Weeping cherries are most commonly grafted 5 feet above the ground where the trunk of the base tree is sawed off and the weeping branches are attached into intentionally created cracks in the trunk. The cracks are covered with grafting compound. They are all fed from the one “main root” source
To keep the “weeping” habit of the tree, after the graft heals, any branches that grow straight up out of the base need to be trimmed off.
Some grafted weeping cherry trees are called a “reverted” weeping cherry. The upright growth is the host tree of the base growing through the graft of the weeping upper branches. The original tree is trying to revert back to its “usual” habit of growing upright instead of the weeping habit that is desired
Grafted in. What does that mean as a believer in Jesus? For myself and many others, as a Gentile or as a person of non Jewish descent, I could have no part in Salvation through the redemptive work of Jesus Christ on the cross…however, similar to the grafting process of the weeping cherry, I have been “grafted” in.
How, you might ask? Because I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior, now I am part of God’s ‘chosen” people and His family.
Romans 11:17-20 (ESV) tells us, “But if some of the branches were broken off, and you, although a wild olive shoot, were grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing root of the olive tree, do not be arrogant toward the branches. If you are, remember it is not you who support the root, but the root that supports you. Then you will say, “Branches were broken off so that I might be grafted in.” That is true. They were broken off because of their unbelief, but you stand fast through faith. So do not become proud, but fear.”
God has given us the opportunity to be part of His chosen people. We have ALL the benefits, provision, guidance, and protection as the Israelite’s. This is Not something to brag about, but something to be thankful for. Our strength and life comes from the “Root” source, Jesus Christ. I am humbled to be part of God’s chosen family, to be called His child. How about you? Are you part of this “Root” system?
All you have to do is believe in Jesus and His redemptive work on the cross for your sin. (John 3:16). That is what I did and I am “grafted in” and part of God’s family! I am thankful.
God says in Joshua 1:5, “…I will not leave you nor forsake you.” He was talking to His people, to those who believe in Him, call him their LORD and follow His ways. Those of the “world” are on their own unless they accept what Jesus did to pay for their sin, repent and turn to God.
If Jesus Christ is not your LORD and Savior, then you are not operating under the Guidance and Truth of the Holy Spirit. You are under the influence of another spirit. The spirit of darkness that is permeating, confusing and polluting the minds of people and destroying our land by pitting us against each other. Like I said in part 1, we are NOT each other’s enemies.
Sat this next sentence out loud. We are not enemies of each other. The enemy is invisible… although as believers, we can smell the stench of him and his evil entourage. The enemy is Satan. He is a formidable foe to us, HOWEVER by the POWER of JESUS CHRIST, the enemy is DEFEATED. We have the power of Jesus within us. Resurrection POWER!
“And [so that you can know and understand] what is the immeasurable and unlimited and surpassing greatness of His power in and for us who believe, as demonstrated in the working of His mighty strength, Which He exerted in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His [own] right hand in the heavenly [places]” Ephesians 1:19-20 (AMPC)
“You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.” 1 John 4:4 NKJV
This battle is of a momentous proportion and cannot be fought in our human strength. We NEED JESUS, we NEED the HOLY SPIRIT!
God said, He will not leave us, but I do you think He has turned His eyes away from the sinful, disobedient mass we have become.
“For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers , against the rulers of darkness of this age, against spiritual host of wickedness in heavenly places.” Ephesians 6:12 NKJV
We have the armor to not only protect us but to give us the strength, endurance and wisdom to fight and to know what to do.
“Finally, my brethren, be strong in the LORD and in the power of His might.” Ephesians 6:10
We have the armor to do our part in this battle, but we have to put it on and know what each piece does. Read Ephesians 6:10-18 to know the full gear available to believers!
Suit up my friends, be strong in the LORD, He has not left us to battle alone or unprotected. Victory is in the POWER of HIS MIGHT.
We cannot be gathered with more than 10 people, but we can protest with up to 100. Come on people. We need to WAKE UP!
I will be the first person to say that I have been a lukewarm Christina. I liked the comfy seat at church. Loved Jesus and proclaimed His name when it was convenient to me. When I got push back, I went silent. I am ashamed of myself and my inaction.
I know that one day the final battle will take place and I will be gone before that happens, thank You JESUS!
I am concerned right now for the path this country seems to be heading down. It is a path of destruction. I am concerned for my children and grandchildren, my nephews & nieces. I am concerned for you and your children and grandchildren, those who are just getting started with life, new babies and generations to come.
What will America look like to them if I remain silent?
We are in such crazy times right now. I cannot believe the totally unimaginable, never in a million years would I believe if you told me this would happen here…is happening right now or new “laws” are being enacted that are ridiculous and a detriment to society and life as we know it in this God-blessed USA.
We need to band together as believers in Jesus, in believers of His Hope. We are not each other’s enemies! What can we do to save our country?
2 Chronicles 7:14 & 15 says, “If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sins and heal their land. Now My eyes will be open and My ears attentive to prayer made in this place.”
God says, “if My people…” His people. Those who call Him LORD. Those who are “Called by My name” those who profess belonging to Jesus. “Will humble themselves” Admit we are wrong and disobedient. “Pray and seek My face” Look away from self and toward God and His ways. “and turn from their wicked ways” Turn from our sin and repent from our reckless disregard for our Creator and lack of love for each other. “Then I will hear from heaven and heal their land.” He will hear our repentant cries, and with God as our guide, He will heal our land, bring it back to its former glory…I like this definition, “to become sound or healthy again.”
Also, look at verse 15. I never really paid much notice to it before. Today it stopped me.
“Now My eyes (The LORD’S eyes) will be open and My ears attentive to prayer made in this place.” Pray right where I am, right where you are and for where you and I are. In this country we love and perhaps, have taken for granted. We are the last stronghold for democracy in the world. If America goes own, we all go down. There is NO place to escape to.
Isaiah 55:6 says, “Seek the LORD while He may be found. Call upon Him while He is near.”
The way we have been treating God in this country is shameful. We have pushed Him out of our schools, our government, and our homes. We have even allowed the “state” to keep us from assembling as a body in church. Is in no surprise to see that He has turned His head away and left us to our own evil devises.
Join me in my next blog post to see what else we can do as His people.
To set the stage…7:30 a.m. Starting today, I have the privilege of watching my grand babies, a 17 month old grandson and a 3 month old granddaughter…as our daughter-in-law Colleen went back to work.
It would be this morning, of all the days that have gone before…This morning that it happened. I was just 1 minute from my house. Two squirrels playing and chasing each other, as I was right there upon them…they run from the safety of side of the road to…directly in front of me. Oh course I hit my brakes, but not so much as to upset my precious cargo in the back seat of my car. There was not much else for me to do as they ran under my car.
One of them crossed to safety and I heard that sickening thud of something hitting under my car. I looked in my rear view mirror and sure enough, one was lying in the road. I didn’t know the extent of the damage, so I pulled into my driveway and turned around. Maybe he was okay and maybe he wasn’t still lying in the road. Maybe he got up and ran away, in the span of 2 minutes. My heart was beating so fast as tears streamed down my face, thinking what I had done.
Now if you know me, you know that I am the type of girl that catches hornets, bugs, and spiders that have gotten into houses (and even one time at church) and let’s them go to be free outside. I would never do any harm. Why did these silly squirrels have to run out in front of me?!
I came back upon the scene of the accident and there he (or she) was, lying in the road. I pulled over into a safe spot. Remember, I have my grand babies with me and their safety is my priority.
The least I could do for this squirrel was get him out of the road. You can imagine my surprise and joy when I could see he was moving. But he could still be minutes away from death if he was hurt badly.
By the Grace of God, there was no traffic, so I got out of my car, still standing on the side of the road.
I walked closer and he was moving!
Getting even closer, I look down and this little guy is looking up at me, trying to sit up, turning his head. He most likely bumped his head as he jumped under my car. I had to get him out of the way of more harm in the oncoming traffic.
I just happened to have a clean, heavy blanket on the front seat of my car. I scooped him up into the blanket and held him in my lap as I made the one minute drive back to my house.
I knew I had a dog crate in my garage. I pulled up close to the garage, so I could keep and eye on my grand babies while I checked out the injuries on the squirrel.
Now you may think I am crazy, but just ask my husband, Michael about my nature loving, creature saving, tender heart, and how I save everything! And many of you will understand. I was on my knees, praying and crying for God to save this beautiful creation. I opened the wire cage and gently laid him on the floor of the crate. He was dazed and just looked at me. While he was quiet and recovering, I quickly & carefully checked his head, back and feet for signs of damage. He had some blood on one of his hind leg from a scrap, but otherwise looked okay. Could it be?!
I put a few sunflower seeds in the cage, closed the door and let him be. I brought my grandson & granddaughter in the house and got them settled. When they were napping, I would quickly sneak outside and see how Mr. Squirrel was doing.
Around 11:15, while the little ones were napping. I cautiously looked in on my new friend. He was sitting up , peering at me and probalbly wondering what happened.
I pulled on the cage and he started jumping around. He seemed good to let go. I pulled the cage outside and he continued to jump around. I got him near the woods and opened the door. Out he bolted, ran across our lawn and into a grove of maple trees and headed toward his home.
What an experience! It could have ended in a very different way. I give praise to God that it had a happy ending. I know to some this was “just a squirrel”, but to me, he is a beautiful creation of God’s…if I had been the cause of his death, I would have been heart broken. I am thankful for all that God has created. Life is so precious and can be changed in an instant. Thanks be to God for saving him. I shall not forget this day.
It was a beautiful mid spring day in New Hampshire, a totally different atmosphere from the snow of just a week ago. I was itching to get to my flower beds as it looked like weeds were taking over. I got my gloves and pruning shears and started to work.
On my hands and knees, I began pulling up plants and grasses that I did not want in my garden. Some came out with very little effort, while others I struggled to remove.
One vine in particular gave me a lot of grief. It seemed the more I pulled on it, the harder it held on and the root system went several inches under the soil and ran in more than one direction.
As I continued to pull, I noticed the vine had several off-shoots that I was eliminating as I pulled on this main root.
I’m not sure if the vine is bittersweet or Japanese hops, but I do know that it grows over everything, creating a barrier so sunlight cannot get through to the plants trying to grow in its’ shadow. It intertwines with other plants, climbing up their branches, and choking the life out of them.
After several hours, I had removed most of the plants I did not want to grow. I was amazed at how that one main vine looked like individual plants, but the root system underneath was actually attached to many plants growing on the surface.
Sin in our life is like that, a thought or group of thoughts within us that leads us to say or do things contrary to God and His Word. Groups of thoughts or behavior that stem from one main sin. They may look like it is only one “problem” area, but others are attached to it. We think they are helping us grow, but they are strangling us.
I think of how God must feel when He is pulling the roots out of the sins I am carrying, thoughts about myself & feelings that I don’t want to let go of.
I am sometimes uncomfortable when God is pulling the weeds out of my heart. I think I need them, and what harm can a little weed here or there do?
They are strangling the Kingdom fruit He wants to produce in and through my life.
Some of the roots of continued sin in our lives can be very deep, similar to the vine I was describing.
Let’s look at pride as an example. The dictionary definition of pride is “a feeling or deep pleasure or satisfaction derived from one’s own achievements, or from qualities or possessions that are widely admired.”
“The Bible defines pride as arrogance, haughtiness and conceit. Pride emphasizes self over others, and it rejects God’s greatness. It leads to destruction.
Proverbs 16:18 says, “Pride leads to destruction and arrogance to downfall.”
Pride is a big “weed” with deep roots that sprawl across our lives and grow other weeds on the surface. It is hard to uproot and does not like to be disturbed or pulled out. If we are to walk in the ways of Jesus, pride has to go and take along with it, the off -shoots that hide within its root system.
What other weeds grow along or stem from pride, you may ask? How about lack of empathy or indifference, wanting control or manipulating others, stubbornness (just like those weeds I was trying to pull out) and defiance, to name a few.
When God starts His “weeding” process, it can be quite painful. sometimes when He starts with one sin, He pulls out others that grow from it. But it is worth it, He is shaping us to be like Jesus, our perfect example.
When I was done with my weeding, my plants were standing tall, unencumbered, and free from the life-choking tentacles that were killing them. Just like you and I, as God continues to weed away our sin, we can be free to grow as He leads, and bear fruit.