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Praising God for Who He is …


Blue Skies

‘The LORD said, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the LORD, for the LORD is about to pass by.” Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake.”‘ 1 Kings 19:11

This was so apropos for the last week here on the Jersey Shore and all of the Eastern Seaboard; but in reverse. As you know we had the earthquake before the Irene’s winds ripped up the coastline!

Those who have suffered loss of loved ones and property may be thinking, “what is God doing?!” “Why is God doing this?!’

Well I am here to testify that God was not in the shaking, nor was He in the winds; and prayer prevailed through this storm!

Multitudes of people began praying before Hurricane Irene started her trek up the Eastern Seaboard. We prayed her weakened and out to sea. We prayed that there would be no harm to person or property … we prayed God’s sovereign protection. We PRAYED!

The overwhelming prayer for me, and I saw for others, on various social networking sites, was from the Book of Mark chapter 4:

37 And a great windstorm arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that it was already filling. 38 But He was in the stern, asleep on a pillow. And they awoke Him and said to Him, “Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?”   
39 Then He arose and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Peace, be still!” And the wind ceased and there was a great calm.

Many quoted and prayed this before and throughout the hurricane; I know I did. Funny how God has people all over doing the same thing everywhere, isn’t it? Our pastor, my husband and I were discussing this just last Wednesday.

Did God know these possibly catastrophic events were going to occur? Yes, God knows the end from the beginning! However …

He moved His hand of protection before anything began to shake or the breezes whipped into winds! He set His people to prayer … and He set them to praying exactly His word, simultaneously!

Amazing … here we see Romans 8:28 in action! “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”

Many were called to His purpose … many obeyed and in all the events of the week God worked for the good of those who loved Him!

Jesus said: If you love me you will obey the commands I have given you this day. John 14:15

And I have been blessed to see the Mighty hand of God in these things! Prayer and obedience work!

The proof is in the after storm cleanup and the joyous affirmations we give one another that we not only survived the earthquakes and storms, but that we weathered the storms with little discomfort … no loss and no harm!

I can honestly say I have a completely different view on the power of prayer today … one I didn’t have just two days ago. Oh I knew it worked, without a doubt.

Yet, I had not seen so clearly God’s love and hand as I have these last three days! I know now if I obey the call of the day and I pray in preparation and continually in my day to day I will know the tangible presence of the LORD in my life, in my home EVERYDAY!

I feel I have been awakened! I feel more alive!

 I FEEL SAVED! I KNOW SALVATION AND LOVE!

So today when I see over and over again the scripture I began with 1 Kings 19:11 I know that there is a calling here. That this scripture is telling us this …

God did not cause the shaking or the wind or the rain … He was NOT in them or their wrath … but listen, if you will … LISTEN …

12 and after the earthquake a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire; and after the fire a still small voice … 18 Yet I have reserved seven thousand in Israel, all whose knees have not bowed to Baal, and every mouth that has not kissed him.” 1 Kings 19:12&18

God IS in that still small voice, the one our fear of shaking, winds and rain sometimes drown out … but if we listen …

 “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 will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14

I believe we did this successfully … I believe if we pray the scripture given today 1 Kings 19: 11-12 and believe that God is NOT in the troubles of our lives but in the solution; then I believe we will all come into the next level of intimacy with God the Father, our proven protector and provider!

We all weathered the storms this week, by perseverance and obedience in prayer and the Grace of God!

I would be remiss in all of this if I did not say this:

By the Glory and Grace of God I have weathered this storm! I am grateful to my God, He is MY God, who called me to prayer … who brought me first to a place of obedience and who allowed me to know and see His Mighty Hand of protection and provision. Not only in my life and house; but in the lives of so many loved ones and acquaintances lives and homes through these storms! Bringing us to the blue skies of today …

The Storm Weathered Blue Skies

Praising God for Who He is … Blessings Loves ♥


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I will think about OLD … tomorrow. ~ FMF Post


This has been a 5 minute post!

Happy Friday. Once again I am joining Lisa-Jo and the Five Minute Writers over at The Gypsy Mama.

We put aside all the rules of grammer and sentence format and just write our hearts on the provided prompt! No worries … just heart words!

The rules can be found by following the 3 minute button; in short…

Write for 5 minutes only … no worries, no edits.

Then link up over on Lisa-Jo’s blog.

Then jump on  over to the blog before (& the one after…) yours, or more, and encourage one another.  Enjoy yourselves!

The Prompt is: OLD …

Go…

As I look in the mirror I wonder at the lines at the corners of these bright green eyes. I wonder because I feel all of 16 years at heart.

Mirror Image

They say you are only as old as you feel. Funny how that changes day to day now!

The bible says:  “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come:The old has gone, the new is here!”

 The old has gone and the new smile and laugh lines have immurged! No furrowed brows or frown lines in this face! Just signs of a life lived well and peaceful, most of the time.

I lean toward the mirror, as I squint just a bit with these 40 something eyes, and relish the twinkle of that 16 year old spirit as I apply the mascara to start the day.

I lean back and glance over this face once more and realize … I am more beautiful and as full of life, or more, than I was at 16. I no longer anticipate the “when I am old enough” or the coming weekend. I no longer look to a future, better day.

It is “IN” today that I live to the fullest … I cannot live fully looking forward into the unknown. This is the day the LORD has made, I will be glad and rejoice in it…I will think about getting old, maybe, tomorrow.

OLD? Nahhhh … just the beginning of a New Day!

STOP!

Blessings Loves! 🙂


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New: Bloom Where You’re Planted … 5 Minute Friday


 Welcome to 5 Minute Friday.

Here’s how it goes. We are all writers and always think about writing; but we also compare and question if we are “real” writers. So Lisa-Jo so creatively decided on the five minute writing prompt: imperfect posts, nothing particularly profound, simply five minutes of focused writing.

No true editing, no worry in regard to grammar, font or punctuation … just a concentrated truth from the heart on the prompt provided!

So join me and pour out what is on your heart today!

Today‘s prompt: NEW … Lisa-Jo pooled us all on facebook and this gem won!

Remember … set the timer for 5 and … GO! 

Bloom Where You Are Planted

I am not who I was yesterday … God‘s mercies were new this morning when the sun rose and I get to be whomever I choose today. I get to be the Andrea God made today! Let’s hope I don’t alter that vision of beauty and perfection! 🙂

Life has been a trial of late … but I am finding in the newness of this overcast morning, sun hiding behind the cloudy haze, that life is the trial. I am running a race and the finish line is in a new place each day, but at the end I get a shiny new trophy of God’s acceptance and adoration.

New … I have a new opportunity each day to be positive … to change my perspective … to polish the tarnish off of my silver lining.

Each sunrise is a new watercolor to entice the new me to perfection, though God does not require this …

Each evening sunset eases the feeling of old to calm, and prepares me for the new day … where I can again decide to strive for God’s path …

What’s new today? Me … Wonderful to meet you here!

STOP!

This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old
life is gone; a new life has begun! 2 Corinthians 5:17

This has been a 5 minute post!

Now you … Link up with all of us at Lisa-Jo’s the gypsymama!

** Scripture and picture added after the five minutes; though both were intended before the writing began. 🙂


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Testing … Testing … 123 … Testing {with a new linky tool!}


Good Thursday Morning Loves! ♥

Here at HOPEannFAITH we celebrate A Few Words…together.
A bit of thought and a little converstation…quick and to the point.
No real WORD COUNT applies…just say it as concisely as you can…make us think…inspire us to write.
Let My Words Be Few is a Writing Prompt.
It is a whispered prayer.
It is a kind word and a hand up…Thursday is for encouragement, friendship and love…so write with me. Make me ponder my life in reference to your perspective!
Once you have written your blog post…you can now link up with the linky below! Yea for me I figured it out!
We look forward to your joining us! Blessings Loves
♥ ♥ ♥

Perseverance …

 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. James 1:4

Why do we have trials? Trials are tests that God allows so that we will grow mature in Him.

Christians love the Scripture Jeremiah 29:11 …

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

Yet when the trails roll in we forget that God has plans for us … we question, we doubt and then we make the dire mistake of attempting to handle the trials of this life on our own. I know I do … I completely forget there is a plan.

And YES! this is the plan … all of it …

Consider it pure joy whenever you face trials (the testing of your faith) of many kinds…because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. James 1:2-3 

Trial = A Testing of Faith = The Developement of Perseverance = Perseverence Developes Character = Character Builds Hope!

There are going to be trials in our lives, we know this. God allows trials (which are different from temptation, btw) so that we can be victorious.

My trials are a testing of my faith. The testing of my faith developes perseverance. And if God has allowed this test in my life then God has already given me the ability, and the tools, to pass this test.

I firmly believe that God has all the circumstances of my life in hand … todays trials and the tests to come tomorrow … and if I know that then I must … I MUST … I must believe without doubting.

Am I being tested in my life? My yes! I am! Then aren’t you too?

Does God have this? My yes! He does! And He has yours too!

So my friends I am going to consider these trials all joy, as I walk in the will of my God as best I can. And as I face these trials in this life of mine I am going to ask for the wisdom to handle the trials in the way God intended me to handle them.

He gives me no more than I can handle in this life! He knows what I (YOU) are going through right now.

I am perfect for that which God has called me.

The testing of my faith causes me to persevere and grow in maturity which grows to completeness in Christ.

What trials are you enduring today? Stop, if you will, and say this prayer with me …

Thank You Father God that you have given me all that I need to succeed in this circumstance in my life today. I humbly ask you now for the wisdom needed to come through this trial victoriously, glorifying the work that you do in me this day. Amen.

Blessings Loves ♥




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Everything Beautiful in Its Time … a little edit – not content!


He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the
hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end. ~Ecclesiastes 3:11

Good morning Loves  ♥ I am hooking up with Lisa-Jo and the 5 Minute Writers again this morning. Jump on over to GypsyMama, check it out, and join us!

Todays topic is: Beauty in 5 Minutes … no editing, no second guessing.

Go!

God has made everything beautiful in its time. That is EVERY thing. You … Me … the trash can … the withered flower …

The beauty of life …

I’ve never felt ugly … though I don’t like pictures of me. I see what I precieve as flaws. I see my heaviness and age.

Me ...

I see the reflection of my mother and my grandmother … now those are not flaws … but… I want to be me … I want to see the me God made.

I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Psalm 139:14.

I am blessed, I say often. My childhood, oddly enough, did not leave me feeling ugly. Dirty, unworthy, neglected and even abused; but not ugly. Though I must say I’ve never felt beautiful either. Odd, I never think of it that way!

I find beauty outside of myself. God shows me beauty everywhere. I often think of the age old question:

“Who can not believe in a loving creator when they behold the beauty before their eyes?”

Seriously. There is a story in every picture … beauty to be found in the day to day life, as described by so many by this prompt today.

STOP!

UPDATE: I went to a meeting after posting this and on my heart was the video posted at the top; in my Spirit I knew it needed to be added! Thanks for forgiving me this indulgence, but there is at least one heart that needs to listen … You are beautiful! ❤

(photos added after the five!)  and…

Forgive me an aside here, I believe this sums up our responsiblity concerning beauty … after all we are God’s Children!

 “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest
fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness,that frightens us most.

We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous,
talented, and famous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God.Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that people won’t feel insecure around you. We were born to make
manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in all of us. And when we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” ~ Maryanne Williamson

This has been a 5 minute post!

Blessings Loves ♥


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Few Words Thursday …


Few Words Thursday ~ Summer

My FWTh post is over on A.Hutchinson Photography today! And it is only 65 words!

How you ask?

Light

Short answer 😉 because the subject is The LIGHT and the concept and magnitude of the LIGHT leaves me …

well ….

Speechless! I know, unheard of, right! But true!

Go and check it out. Comment with your FWTh post link and I will add you to my posts!

Blessings Loves! ♥

 


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My Life ~ Loosely Based on a True Story!


Few Words Thursday ~ Summer

HAPPY THURSDAY LOVES!

✿}~~ If you’ve been here before you know what to do ~~{✿

✿}~~ If you’re visiting for the first time … WELCOME … and click-through my summer FWTh photo {above} and join us! ~~{✿

✿}~~ AND NOW … MY LIFE IN A FEW WORDS ~~{✿

 At a gathering of the like-minded this week I heard many things that caught me. But this one I heard yesterday morning …

” My life is loosely based on a true story.” ~ Anonymous by Choice

The person who said it will remain anonymous, but I believe it was her’s originally. And I know she meant it differently than how it struck me.

It struck me deep within my Spirit.

All of our lives are LOOSELY based on a true story. How loosely is determined by us and our understanding of the Original Story.

I have been captivated by the verses in John 1:1-5 for several years. I go back and again to soak in the revelation of it … There is so very much there to be searched and studied and soak in!

John 1

The Eternal Word

1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. 4 In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. 5 And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend[a] it.

And then I realized it is one of four verses in the bible that have “In the beginning” as it’s timing. The verse that I continually go back to in reflection to John 1 is Genesis 1.

Genesis 1

The History of Creation

1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 2 The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was[a] on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.

3 Then God said, “Let there be light“; and there was light. 4 And God saw the light, that it was good; and God divided the light from the darkness. 5 God called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night. So the evening and the morning were the first day.

And in the beginning … and all things [including us!] were made … and nothing was made without Him … and Light … Light divided from the darkness … and life that was the light of men that shone in the darkness … the light that has mastered darkness … and darkness could not comprehend!

You see our lives were determined before the foundations of this earth! We were planned and a plan was made of us. And know it or not we follow that plan! While we have “Free Will” our Spirit is on autopilot. Our free will only delays the inevitable!

In the beginning I was created by our Father Creator … then I  decided I didn’t need a parent (stemming from my upbringing; I didn’t realize until after the wandering that I was denying God his parenthood) and allowed myself to be led into temptation and into a dying society … a dying world. In this world I wandered ( and I found if I check my timing it was incredibly close to 40 years of wandering!) and then  I heard a Still Small Voice!

Incase you don’t know, of didn’t notice the above is a very, very loose version of some of the Old Testament.

I should be apologizing for the fact that I summed up many hundreds of year of the early Christian in three sentences; but this is Few Words Thursday.

So after my wandering and hearing that Small (really it wasn’t so small at the time) Voice I began to live my life … loosely … according to the life of Christ.

I say LOOSELY because I am human and it’s a lifestyle of practice and discipline and I don’t always succeed.

I was graced with Salvation … there is nothing I can do to increase or decrease this gift. However, each step I take in the Imitation of God counts as righteousness in His eyes.

Why?

Because when He sees me, He sees His Son; the Word.

Because before the foundation of the earth … and In the beginning God chose me and YOU…

Deuteronomy 7:6-8

6 “For you are a holy people to the LORD your God; the LORD your God has chosen you to be a people for Himself, a special treasure above all the peoples on the face of the earth. 7 The LORD did not set His love on you nor choose you because you were more in number than any other people, for you were the least of all peoples; 8 but because the LORD loves you, and because He would keep the oath which He swore to your fathers, the LORD has brought you out with a mighty hand, and redeemed you from the house of bondage, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt.   

John 17:24

24 “Father, I desire that they also whom You gave Me may be with Me where I am, that they may behold My glory which You have given Me; for You loved Me before the foundation of the world

Ephesians 1:4

4 just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love,

1 Peter 1:20

20 He indeed was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you

By the grace of God the Father, Creator of ALL things,  I live my life in an effort to Imitate Christ as best I can; day to day.

This is all why I resonate to the concept of my life being loosely based on a True Story, my life is loosely based on the Truth of Salvation, which some call a story … but I call His Story

Let me share with you one more quote; written by a new friend of mine. Profound in its meaning and I think it is apropos:

✿Mom & Dad are our Producers…
Society is our Editor…
God, is of course, our Director…
but You are your own Playwright & YOU ultimately write your life story.
~~{✿Leticia A. Torres ✿}~~

{ I love meeting new like-minded friends! ♥}

What is your life based on? How do you define it? Are you ready to submit to a better Story and better Inheritance.

Follow me and I will introduce you to my Friend and Brother … Jesus; as best I can.

You are invited to share with us right here. We would love to share this space with you!

Blessings Loves ♥

{ Sans the scriptures and quotes; which were copied and pasted, this post remains my average 650 wordcount. Ah well … there is always next Thursday.}