Mothers for Prodigals

Sunday, September 25, 2016

I Need You Daily, Lord

 Rest evades me physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually, and yet I need it desperately. Not until I take my eyes off of situations that surround me and meditate solely on God’s greatness can I experience any of the Lord’s peaceful strength. I need to soak in His powerful love and heed His comforting words, but I haven’t taken the time to sit still before Him. Now my strength drains while grumblings pour out before you and God. Maybe my honesty will help you to be open and frank with the Lord as well, allowing Him to work in all of our lives.

Lord God, I’m sick and tired of a multitude of things happening in my life, my community, and the world. I’m personally tired of raging hot flashes that make me drip sweat like a man and cause me to huff and puff as if I just ran a 100 yard dash. I’m sick and tired of night sweats waking me up three or four times a night and causing my body to experience exhaustion everyday. Why Lord?

I’m sick and tired of the amount of time my husband puts into his job, only to daily face frustration and little support from his superiors. I’m sick and tired of him being sick and tired of working for people who seem to care little for him. Why Lord?

I’m sick and tired of cancer bombarding my mom’s health at every turn. I’m sick and tired of watching her fight this disease to no avail. I’m sick and tired of facing death and its horrible sting. Why Lord, why?

I’m sick and tired of praying for all the heartbroken parents whose children make bad choices and nothing seems to change. I’m sick and tired of hearing about people who are enslaved by sex trafficking, drugs, and/or alcohol. I’m sick and tired of hearing about heroin overdoses, especially the ones in my community where I recognize the names of the dead young adults. Why Lord, why is this happening?

I’m sick and tired of people walking blindly in this world, rushing to judge other people and their situations. I’m sick and tired of growing racism, riots, and disrespect for others. I’m sick and tired of people abandoning Your truth for the misconceptions offered by Satan. I’m sick and tired of the church playing like a cruise ship instead of daily going to war with You in the battleship. Why Lord, why? When will we wake up?

I’m sick and tired of leaders in office who abuse their power and lie to the people they are to serve. I’m sick and tired of political correctness that serves to only weaken people’s character and increase fearful minds. I’m sick and tired of declining morals, where right is wrong and wrong is right. I’m sick and tired of people being silent in the face of evil. I’M JUST PLAIN SICK AND TIRED, GOD! Why do the wicked seem to prosper? When will You right all wrongs, Lord?

I may be sick and tired of many things in my life, but thanks be to God I have hope in a faithful God. Even though perfection on earth isn’t a guarantee, His faithfulness to us is a promise. His life’s sacrifice and resurrection from the dead gives us hope for a better future and life everlasting when we believe in His Name Jesus. He will right the wrongs of the world. He will make things beautiful in His time.

And yes, God listens to my complaining with open ears and arms, gently whispering reassurance of His presence, passion, and power. When I am still before Him with His Holy Word before me, I hear Him say, “I am here for you (Isaiah 58:8-10). I will never leave you (Hebrews 13:5). Don’t worry (Matthew 6:25-34). Look to me instead of your circumstances (Isaiah 31:1). I can be trusted (Psalm 56:4), after all I died for you (Romans 5:8). I love you (John 3:16).”   


Have you lost hope in God? Do you find yourself grumbling because of your life’s circumstances? Open up to the Lord and pour out your feelings. Be still before Him and receive strength from His Holy Word. Praise Him for His faithfulness. 

Why are you in despair, O my soul? And why have you become disturbed within me? Hope in God, for I shall again praise Him for the help of His presence. Psalm 42:5 (NASB)

He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;
    I will be exalted among the nations,
    I will be exalted in the earth.” Psalm 46:10 (NIV)

Be strong and let your heart take courage, All you who hope in the Lord. Psalm 31:24 (NASB)

For I hope in You, O Lord; You will answer, O Lord my God. Psalm 38:15 (NASB)

But as for me, I will hope continually, And will praise You yet more and more. Psalm 71:14 (NASB)

"I Need Thee Every Hour" by Fernando Ortega...

"My Hope is in You" by Aaron Shust...

"Hope Now" by Addison Road...

Sunday, September 18, 2016

He is My Helper

I will lift up my eyes to the mountains;
From where shall my help come?
My help comes from the Lord,
Who made heaven and earth.
He will not allow your foot to slip;
He who keeps you will not slumber.
Behold, He who keeps Israel
Will neither slumber nor sleep.

The Lord is your keeper;
The Lord is your shade on your right hand.
The sun will not smite you by day,
Nor the moon by night.
The Lord will protect you from all evil;
He will keep your soul.
The Lord will guard your going out and your coming in
From this time forth and forever. Psalm 121 (NASB)

Lord God, Heavenly Father, Jesus, my Jesus,
I need You, I need Your arms around me, 
Holding me, keeping me from falling,
You are my help. I trust You. 

Even as anxious thoughts prevent my rest, 
I know You are there.

Lord, forgive my wandering mind.
Calm my soul. 

You who requires no sleep, stay close by my side…..always. 
You are ever present, never absent.
Draw me closer to Your promises. 
I hold them in my heart as life swirls around me.

I believe you will secure my coming and going now and forever.
You are my help. I trust You!

This psalm is one of many songs of ascent (Psalms 120-134) that the Hebrew priests recited as they approached the Temple and climbed the stairs to worship the LORD. Reciting the powerful words of Scripture remind us of our Holy God, who we are, and where our help comes from. 

Be encouraged by God’s Holy Words. Worship the One who created and redeemed you. Know that He loves you. Believe and receive God’s peace.

Shall I look to the mountain gods for help? No! My help is from Jehovah who made the mountains! And the heavens too! He will never let me stumble, slip, or fall. For he is always watching, never sleeping.

Jehovah himself is caring for you! He is your defender. He protects you day and night. He keeps you from all evil and preserves your life. He keeps his eye upon you as you come and go and always guards you. Psalm 121 (TLB)

for King & Country sings "Shoulders"

Sunday, September 11, 2016

The Holiness of God

Rap, rap, rap. “I am here,” a voice says on the other side of the door. Do you answer the caller or simply walk away, ignoring the guest?

John answered the caller and walked through the open door to a heavenly experience. Before him stood a mighty throne with the majestic One sitting on it. Bursts of light glittered about Him as if through a crystal clear diamond and a blood red ruby. Even though flashes of lightning and peals of thunder emanated from the throne, an emerald-hued rainbow arched around it (Revelation 4). Peaceful assurance filled John’s spirit.

An outer ring of twenty-four smaller thrones 
surrounded the predominant Throne. On each of the smaller thrones sat elders clothed in white, wearing golden crowns upon their heads. Nearby the throne of the glorious One were four living creatures, each with bodies covered in eyes and having six wings. Three of the creatures resembled a lion, a calf, and a flying eagle. One creature’s face looked like a man. Even though these creatures appeared mythical, they certainly recognized the Holy God before them. Unceasingly they praised the Holy One saying,

“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God, the Almighty, who was and who is and who is to come” (Revelation 4:8).

The awesome Presence of the Holy God caused the twenty-four elders to fall down before Him casting their crowns and proclaiming,

“Worthy are You, our Lord and our God, to receive glory and honor and power; for You created all things, and because of Your will they existed, and were created” (Revelation 4:11).

What a scene to witness! The holiness of God revealed once again to one of God’s servants, this time to John the apostle. Scripture says nothing about John feeling unworthy and fearful as Isaiah did when he witnessed the Lord in the temple (Isaiah 6). Why? 

Isaiah’s firsthand witness of the absolute holiness of God caused him to recognize his own sin and shame. He was undone and despaired over his wretched life until an angel placed a hot coal from the altar of the temple upon his lips absolving him from sins. 

John had already seen this Holy One after he arrived on the island of Patmos. While many of his companions had been executed for their faith in Jesus Christ, he was exiled to this island because of his belief and testimony about the risen Lord Jesus. 

Soon after his arrival, he heard a Mighty Voice commissioning him to write what he saw and suddenly he fell like a dead man before the vision in front of his eyes. He encountered the Mighty One, the risen Christ Jesus. Christ placed His right hand upon John and said, “Don’t be afraid! Though I am the First and Last, the Living One who died, who is now alive forevermore, who has the keys of hell and death—don’t be afraid! (Revelation 1)

This experience confirmed his faith in Jesus, the faith that landed him on Patmos. For three years he and the other disciples followed Jesus, learning about the kingdom of God. John saw Jesus die on a cross and then witnessed His resurrected body before He ascended into heaven. Now here he stood before his Friend and Savior, Jesus Christ, and he understood the pardoning of sins by a righteous God. 

So when John encountered the Holy One upon that glorious throne, he stood in reverent awe before his Mighty Savior. Even though he observed an incredible scene, almost more than a human could bear, he confidently stood with firm faith before the One he believed in. Why? What made it possible for John to approach this resplendent throne of glory with confidence? How could he, a sinner, stand before this holy, holy, holy God? The answer—God’s mercy through the righteousness of Jesus Christ. 

John knew the Hebrew Scriptures. Even as he looked upon the One on the throne of judgment, John recognized God’s rainbow of mercy encircling it. Because he believed in the salvation of Jesus Christ, his sins were forgiven. The blood of his righteous Savior made him worthy. He had nothing to fear. God’s grace allowed him to stand with courageous reverence before this holy and awesome Spirit of the Living God. 

John lived on the finished side of the cross, as we do today. John received forgiveness of sins through God’s Son, the mighty One on the throne, the Savior Jesus Christ, as we can today. John answered the guest at the door, allowing Jesus to enter his heart, receiving deliverance from sin and shame. Have you answered the Caller knocking at your door?

The Caller stands at the door of your heart and knocks (Revelation 3:20). He is Jesus Christ. If you let Him in, He will exchange His righteous for your filthiness. The judgment you deserve will be replaced with His gracious mercy when you believe in the saving power of His Name. And like John, you’ll be able to stand with confident boldness before the holy Presence of God, rendering praises for His powerful salvation. 

Go ahead—grab the doorknob, open the door, and let Him in. Receive His salvation and join the throng of worshipers who offer continuous praises to a holy, holy, holy God. 

Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. Hebrews 4:16 (NASB)

"When I Look into Your Holiness" by Maranatha

 I Worship You, Almighty God (There is none like you)- Sondra Corbett with Lyrics

Sunday, September 4, 2016

A Holy, Holy, Holy God

words of defeat and doom 

This feeling of disgrace suppresses any feeling of personal goodness. In order to save face, a cover up transpires with one’s own intellect and beauty, talents and abilities, and/or success (real or imagined). Until…..

…a revelation in the GRAND design of life where humans realize their own sin and shame. 

Isaiah served God as a righteous prophet, attempting to call back the Israelites into God’s will. Almighty God desired His people to return to Him and He chose Isaiah as one of His messengers. Even the meaning of his name spoke volumes about God’s intentions for His people. “Jehovah Saves” or “Salvation of Jehovah”  expressed the name of Isaiah. And with God’s help, Isaiah set out to proclaim God’s salvation to the Jews. Until…..

…he saw the Lord sitting on a towering throne, reverently worshiped in the temple (Isaiah 6).

Angelic beings called seraphim hovered around the presence of the Lord God with covered faces and feet, singing, “Holy, Holy, Holy, is the Lord of hosts, the whole earth is full of His glory” (Isaiah 6:3).

Suddenly the foundations of the doorways shuddered at the mighty voices glorifying the Holy One, God Almighty. Smoke filled the temple. In the majesty of that moment Isaiah became aware of his own wretchedness. Shattered by shame and sin, he uttered his unworthiness before the Lord of Hosts, the King of all kings, the Holy One of Israel, saying, 

“Woe is me, for I am undone!
Because I am a man of unclean lips,
And I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips;
For my eyes have seen the King,
The Lord of hosts,” declared Isaiah (Isaiah 6:5) until…..

…a seraphim touched Isaiah’s mouth with a burning coal from the altar of the temple, saying,

“Now that this has touched your lips,
your wickedness is removed
and your sin is atoned for” (Isaiah 6:7).

Words of deliverance, grace, and mercy!

A soul released from human transgression. Restored to serve his Lord and Savior. On a mission to testify to the salvation of Jehovah.

Immediately the voice of the Lord said, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?”

And Isaiah responded with courageous conviction. He said, “Here am I. Send me!” (Isaiah 6:8)

Humbled and forgiven, against all odds, Isaiah readied himself to go and tell others about the Holy One of Israel. 

We are all underserving offenders before a holy God until…..

...Someone offers His own righteousness to us, granting us boldness to bow before His mighty throne. How is it possible that we can approach a HOLY GOD? 

Discover the answer and more next week when we stand beside John as he too encounters a Holy, Holy, Holy God.

Worship with the traditional hymn, 
Holy, Holy, Holy Lord God Almighty

Worship with Gateway Worship's song,
Holy Holy Holy Savior and King

NOTE: This worship of a HOLY, HOLY, HOLY God is not to be confused with the worship of a H.O.L.Y, H.O.L.Y, H.O.L.Y (a new song sung by a country music duo) idolatrous god. Please please please don’t be deceived. Our Holy Lord says, "I am the Lord your shall have no other gods before me." (Exodus 20:2-3)