Author Archives: live2love4him4ever

2 Chronicles 7, 2 John 1, Habakkuk 2, Luke 21

2 Chronicles 7:3 “When all the people of Israel saw the fire coming down and the glorious presence of the Lord filling the Temple, they fell face down on the ground and worshiped and praised the Lord, saying, ‘He is so good!  His faithful love endures forever!'”

Love as defined in Websters dictionary is: “a feeling of strong or constant affection for a person.”   Love as God defines it in 2 John 1:6 says, “Love means, doing what God has commanded us, and He has commanded us to love one another, just as you heard from the beginning.”

In the beginning: God loved, so very much that He created the Heavens and the Earth.  God so loved that He gave His only son to die upon the cross for my sins. God loved me before there was any human knowledge of my ancestors or my entrance into this world.

I have fallen on the ground many times but it has not always been out of praise and worship!   Numerous times in my life my heart has been pricked during a sermon and I knew I was in need of taking that step forward to make a change in my life, yet I have chosen to remain still out of “peer fear” that someone would see my hand go up or would feel my body move from its’ seat going down front to pray with the pastor.

Luke 21:26 “The courage of many people will falter because of the fearful fate they see coming upon the earth, because the stability of the very heavens will be broken up.” 

I read my bible and pray daily, teach my children to love and find strength through their trials, yet there I sit struggling with the thought of someone seeing me step forward to make a positive change for Jesus’ name.   In Luke 22:42 Jesus prays, “Father, if you are willing, please take this cup of suffering away from me. Yet I want your will, not mine.”

Jesus went forward and endured the emotional and physical pain of suffering out of LOVE for me.  I am to be conforming towards His image and although this does not mean dying an agonizing death upon a cross myself, my faith should be that of willingness to do so if it meant taking a stand for Christ.

I want to love in the true meaning of love, be willing to suffer for Jesus’ name, but, until I put aside my fears and become fervently courageous, I will continue to be a stumbling block.

2 Chronicles 7:14 “Then, if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and heal their land.”

Father, I stumble and I fall, yet you are there each time to raise me back up.  You love me beyond anything I can fathom.  I ask that you humble my heart to be more open to your leading and that I would be willing to stand up for you no matter what the cost. I pray that I can love others as you love me and that I would wait patiently as Habakkuk did to have your visions and plans revealed and fulfilled in my life.  Help me Lord to fall on my face in adoration towards you and be so filled with your spirit that I can’t help but cry out, “You are good! Your faithful love endures forever!”  – Amen

Live2Love4Him4Ever

~Erica

 

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under 2 Chronicles, 2 John, Habakkuk, Luke

2 Kings 22, Hebrews 4, Joel 1, Psalms 140, 141

ACCESS- A means of approaching or entering a place.  To obtain, examine and retrieve.

I count 11 bibles on the bookshelf next to me, 7 of which are covered in dust. In my head I count many problems I have been struggling to resolve.  How do I let go of harbored bitterness?, Why are those close to me battling sicknesses beyond their control?, How do I present myself a godly role model for my children without inconsistencies?, Why do I brush important matters under a rug believing they will disappear?, How do I justify not completing a project due to procrastination addiction?

This past weekend I attended a Chris Tomlin concert where hundreds of people were gathered to worship.  As I began singing I suddenly was overcome with frustration that I had not brought my camera in and was missing out on amazing photographs.  My selfishness in “needing” to capture and impress others began to interfere with my own personal worship.  I turned to a friend in the midst of her worship and asked for her to have the people next to her take a photo of us.  She kindly looked at me and said, “all of these people are in a heart of worship right now, we should not interfere for a desire to be in a picture, we need to be worshiping and not becoming a distraction to those around us.”  I stood there crying, not from being filled with the spirit, but from my selfish anger and although I knew what she said was true, I battled accepting it.

In 2 Kings 22 a scroll was brought before King Josiah stating that their ancestors had not been abiding by the words written within.  Instantly the king tore his clothing and wept before God as a sign of remorse and repentance.  A realization of disobedience caused immediate change within his heart and kingdom.

I have complete access to God’s word, answers  and peace directly at my fingertips, yet continuing to choose to neglect necessary attitude changes I will lose out on complete harmony and fellowship of being in true alignment with His will.  I also deprive others of joyful godly insights and become a stumbling block instead of a stepping stone!

Psalms 141:4-5 “Don’t let me lust for evil things; don’t let me participate in acts of wickedness. Don’t let me share in the delicacies of those who do evil. Let the godly strike me! It will be a kindness! IF THEY REPROVE ME, IT IS SOOTHING MEDICINE. DON’T LET ME REFUSE IT.”

Hebrews 4:12 “For the word of God is full of living power. It is sharper than the sharpest knife, cutting deep into our innermost thoughts and desires. It exposes us for what we really are.”

Father, help me align my heart, thoughts and actions to your word and not my own. Give me an openness to receive godly criticism and instruction as you use others in my life to speak to me. Break down my walls of selfishness and disobedience and replace it with a restored heart of worship and desire to gain full access TO YOU, THROUGH YOU.  Give me strength to not just ask for change but to make those changes and follow through on them.  Thank you for your kindness, love, mercy and rest. Amen

Live 2Love4Him4Ever

~Erica

Leave a comment

Filed under 2 Kings, Hebrews, Psalms

2 Kings 7, 1 Timothy 4, Daniel 11, Psalms 119:25-48

2 Kings 7:1-2 “Hear this message from the Lord! This is what the Lord says: by this time tomorrow in the markets of Samaria, five quarts of fine flour will cost only half an ounce of silver, and ten quarts of barley grain will cost only half an ounce of silver. The officer assisting the king said to the man of God, ‘that couldn’t happen even if the LORD opened the windows of heaven!'”

Psalms 119:41-42 “Lord, give to me your unfailing love, the salvation that you promised me. then I will have an answer for those who taunt me, for I trust in your word. 44) I will keep on obeying your law forever and forever.”

I had the pedal to the medal as I headed to work one morning last week.  Believing I was going to be late, it occurred to me that I had wasted an entire hour playing silly online games instead of being fully prepared and punctual.  The red truck with a rusty bumper in front of me was doing 40 in a 50 and for a moment my thoughts drifted to, “Oh, this stupid driver, don’t they know THEY are going to cause me to not show up on time!”  Suddenly, my phone rang and noticing that it was my boss I contemplated not answering it. “Hello” I said,  “Erica, I just want you to know that these confounded morons out here on the road are %$##^&* me off and I’m going to be 20 minutes late because of idiotic stoplights and $#@%^ slow stupidity!” This cringing ranting went on for a few more moments and I suddenly knew God wasn’t going to knock any louder on my heart and voice, so I interrupted him and said, “Sir, perhaps your morning drive to work could be more pleasant if you were to look at the situations of the vehicles around you and stoplights you are encountering not as a negative, but one in which you believe that each second you are sitting at it is possibly God’s way of saving you from an actual accident up ahead.”  His response was, “Your God could care less about me or else He would not have allowed me to have numerous traffic tickets and fines along with other problems in my life.  if you want to be positive you go right ahead, but be sure that there is only so much of it and then it is gone, and not even God can undo the bad all around us.”

The call ended and I sat in the parking lot and spoke this prayer, “Father, thank you for amazing me yet again with pricking my heart and mind to the negative I was dwelling on and in turn using that to be a tool to reach out to my boss.  I pray that you will overflow me with continued daily positives that can ward off any negatives that are placed in front of me.  Soften his heart, Lord to see the good around him and keep my faith strong allowing me to not be wavered by his taunts of unbeliefs.  Move his heart the way you move mountains!

At the time I had not yet read my passages for this entry, and I had somewhat set that incident to the side of my brain with a penciled in sticky note reminder to be on guard and keep praying for him, and so I went back to my normal routine of day to day.   God knew that the #2 lead would easily fade though if He did not provide me with a permanent sharpie marker to rewrite it with!  I love you Lord for knowing what I need when I need it and I ask that you will continue to provide me with your unfailing love and that as your word says, “I will keep on obeying you forever and forever.” Amen

Live2Love4Him4Ever

~Erica

Leave a comment

Filed under 1 Timothy, 2 Kings, 66 Books, Daniel, Psalms

I Kings 15, Colossians 2, Ezekiel 45, Psalms 99-101

Dear readers,

For I would that ye know withersoever thou goest, that I will be in prayer for you.  My purpose in writing to you is so ye may be comforted in the assurance that our faithful God is always there strengthening thee along the way.  For it is written in Colossians 2:9-10 “For in Christ the fullness of God lives in a human body, and you are complete through your union with Christ.  He is the Lord over every ruler and authority in the universe.”

He hast shown me through His words in Col 2:14, that the charges against me have been blotted out and nailed to the cross thus forgiving me of all my trespasses.  I am strengthened all the more because of his never-ending love and FORGIVENESS!

It gives me great joy to speak of King Asa in I Kings 15.   For it was he who changed the course of the path from the wicked one of which his father, King Abijam had been upon.  King Asa banished immoral idols and dethroned his grandmother, Maachah from being queen, while burning her obscene Asherah pole she had built.  I rejoice in being aware of the fact that Asa did what was pleasing in God’s eyes.  I pray that I also will remove unclean and wrongful things that are set before me and would continue to have the Lord look upon me with loving favor.

Amidst my scripture reading in the book of Ezekiel, the 45th chapter, it was revealed to me  how many intricate measurement instructions were placed upon the portion division of the land, along with the guidelines placed upon the princes which ruled there.  In verse 4 it says, “This area will be a holy land, set aside for the priests who minister to the LORD in the sanctuary.”   I believe that my God highly desires my praise and my devoted holy worship in every place that I step foot into.  There is a nail that hitteth directly over my head when I read v.9 “Enough, you princes of Israel! Stop all your violence and oppression and do what is JUST AND RIGHT.” It is often that I findeth myself seeing verses such as this and pondering the thought of, “for this is but a sentence in a story telling others what needeth to be done in their lives”.  The message that shone through  upon me in this instance was, ‘simply because I am not a prince does NOT remove my obligation and command to also JUST STOPPETH THE WRONG AND DOETH THE RIGHT!!

Throughout the history of my time upon this earth I am giving faithful witness to the truth that God delights when I do what is right and pleasing in his sight and He filleth my cup with an overflowing joy that causes me to want to give Him praise and stay within those holy boundaries!

Psalms 99:3 “Let them praise your GREAT and AWESOME name.  Your name is holy!” Psalms 100:1-2, 4-5 “Shout with joy to the Lord, O earth!~ Worship the Lord with gladness!!  Come before Him, singing with joy. Enter his gates with thanksgiving, go into his courts with praise. Give thanks to him and bless his name.  For the Lord is good. His unfailing love continues FOREVER and his faithfulness continues to each generation.”

This peace I leave with you, that after having read this amongst yourselves that ye will likewise greet one another with the same joy and forgiveness that Christ has shown upon myself and each of you dear brethren!

May the grace of God be with you.  Amen.

Live2Love4Him4Ever

~Erica~

Leave a comment

Filed under 1 Kings, 66 Books, Colossians, Ezekiel, Psalms, Uncategorized

2 Samuel 24, Galatians 4, Ezekiel 31, Psalms 79

Writers block, Distractions?  NO, I do NOT have any of those.  My brain is constantly spinning and life is going on around me, people are moving by at fast paces, children are laughing in the background, families are arguing in the stores, men are begging for food on sidewalks, I am on the side of the road taking photos of a car bumper  lying in the middle of the highway all while cars are zooming by,   I am waking up late/missing the bus for the kids  thus finding myself smack dab in the hallway of the school still in my pajamas searching for my child’s folder that his brother had taken by accident; and all the while..LIFE GOES ON…I whirl right by as soon as those moments are past.  I HAVE to get to my appointment and then to the store to get the stuff to make the things so family can eat so they will go to bed and then I can have quiet and rest.  This week has been a whirlwind of events ranging from : 1)having yet ANOTHER birthday , 2) receiving a very hard to swallow pill of a phone call regarding my child, 3) having someone from my past (whom I thought had been left there) confront me trying to cause  temptation to resurface within me, 4) hearing that another friend whom had fallen deep into sin was now wanting to make changes in their life and was asking for my family’s insights and prayers. 5)having to explain to someone the reasons behind a firm decision I had made knowing it was none of their business but if I did not share it they would not stop asking me “why, why, why?”  THE NOISE, THE VIVID SCENES carved deep into my heart and brain.  Where do I find solitude and peace???

I was invited two days ago to attend a celebrate recovery event to listen and support a friend whom had been asked to share her  testimony of God’s working in her life.  I found myself still there after she was done speaking and decided to go into one of the smaller groups because another friend was there so I figured I could support her because why else would I go in?  I DO NOT have ANY issues.  I’m involved in church, I write for a Christian Bible blog, I sing on a worship team, I have a lot of good friends and am “on the right track.”  My past has some ups and down, sure, but that is over and done with now.  As I sat listening to others share, something happened within me that for the first time in 33, YES COUNT THEM, 33 years, God completely knocked me over the head, brought me to my knees in a moment of complete vulnerability and I confronted some very deep things that had been thrown to the wayside and overlooked because of my deep rooted PRIDE that I had forgotten about!  I had chosen to not admit that I was struggling in these areas, but somehow believed I could mask it for so long and it would magically not weigh me down.  There were no alter calls or any pressure to share by any of the others who were there, but I felt God’s pricking on my heart.   As I obeyed, I released guilt, sorrow, pain, pride, envy, anger, stressors, thoughts of “what will others think of a,b, or c”.  There I sat  in one breath feeling completely renewed and suddenly in my human state was  fearing that the direct acknowledgement of  these issues would surely reveal that I was a hypocrite in some manner of speaking and could never be used by God again.

I do not have an astounding across the board theme and story depiction for these four chapters I am writing about today, but there is ONE thought and 3 verses that stood out to me!

  Psalms 79:8-9 “Oh, do not hold us guilty for our former sins! Let your tender-hearted mercies quickly meet our needs. For we are brought low to the dust.  Help us, O God of our salvation! Help us for the honor of your name.  Oh, save us and forgive our sins for the sake of your name.”  2 Samuel 24:25 “David built an altar there to the Lord and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings.  And the Lord answered his prayer, and the plague was stopped.” 

My “plague” that has burdened me for so many years and eaten away at my inner being HAS BEEN STOPPED.  God can and will continue to use me just as he used David amidst his wrongs and JESUS is the answer to “Where I find my solitude and peace”.  No more whirlwinds and scurrying by missing out on the heart of the matter just to ensure that the surface of it is “completed”.

Precious Father, I am unworthy of your mercy and grace, yet here I sit being surrounded by it and your never-ending love.  You have taught me that eloquence and “perfectionism” is not a requirement to be used for your glory.  You simply desire me, in my brokenness.  For that I am eternally grateful.  Use me, lead me, guide me and slow me down so that I do not find myself having to scrape off a mask  again just to see what I am missing around me.  Amen.

Live2Love4Him4Ever

~Erica

Although I’ve known of this song for years, it speaks direct louder volumes to me today!

 

1 Comment

Filed under 2 Samuel, Ezekiel, Galatians, Psalms

2 Samuel 10, 2 Corinthians 3, Ezekiel 17, Psalms 60,61

MIRROR, MIRROR ON THE WALL, WHOSE REFLECTION IS SHINING THROUGH TO ALL? I have always enjoyed going to the carnivals and entering the fun house only to be surrounded by the goofy mirrors! Each one shows a completely different distorted appearance causing laughter accompanied with a twinge of embarrassment, thus forcing me to quickly find the “normal” mirror to ensure that my true image has not been altered.

32562_441480423975_1895679_n

2 Corinthians 3:18 “And all of us have had that veil removed so that we can be mirrors that brightly reflect the glory of the Lord.  And as the spirit of the Lord works within us, we become more and more like him and reflect his glory even more.”

COURAGE:  Confronting Opposition Under Restraint Accepting God’s Endurance

In 2 Samuel 10, Joab is confronted with having to fight not only the Arameans, but also the Ammonites.  he spoke to his brother, Abishai and in verse 11 he says, “If the Arameans are too strong for me, then come over and help me. and if the Ammonites are too strong for you, I will come and help you.” 12) “Be courageous!  Let us fight bravely to save our people and the cities of our God.  May the Lord’s will be done.” 

Joab knew that the final outcome was in God’s hands, yet he stepped up in obedience and used the strengths and intelligence that had been given him to fulfill the Lord’s will.

Up until a couple of years ago I was extremely nervous to pray in public places for fear of what someone might think.  I had raised my boys to pray before meals and bedtime, yet when out and about I realized I was not being consistent.  It was then that I began in more confidence praying aloud at restaurants, at the bus stop asking God to give them a good day, in the car when passing an accident, and even in the stores when we encountered an argument! (Which, because I raised such awesome kids that last part rarely ever occurred.  HA HA!)

One Sunday, shortly after I began implementing this outward prayer into our lives, a man approached me at our church and said, “I was at the pizza place the other day and I did not know who you were but when I watched you and your children bow your heads and give thanks for your meal it brought me to tears.   I have been undergoing some rough times lately and your action caused me to seek out a church to begin finding deeper connection with God.  It wasn’t until I saw you here today that I realized you were that woman.”  He went on to thank me for standing up for Jesus by that simple action and shared that He believed I was used  to bring about God’s will in his life.  I am still in contact with him to this day and he has an amazing walk with the Lord and has been used in great ways to bring others to Christ!

I was not called to fight an enormous battle in the desert to exemplify bravery, but I have been called to draw closer to God and stay courageous throughout the attacks.  I also must remember that HE is in control and has a victorious plan in sight.

Psalms 60:6-9

“God has promised this by His holiness: ‘I will divide up Shechem with joy.  I will measure out the valley of Succoth.  Gilead is mine, and Manasseh is mine.  Ephraim will produce my warriors, and Judah will produce my kings.  Moab will become my lowly servant and Edom will be my slave.  I will shout in triumph over the Philistines.'” 12) “With GOD’S help we WILL do mighty things, for He will trample down our foes!”

Father, thank you for the gift of freedom in which I can come to you anytime, anywhere and fellowship directly with you.  I pray that if that freedom were ever to be taken away, that I would remain courageous in speaking and praising your name regardless of what outcome I humanly feel may occur.  Allow me to rest in you and obey your word so that all distortions of the truth that may surround me will be deflected as I stand and solely reflect upon you.  Please, open up the eyes of others to reveal to them the answer to the question of ‘whose reflection is shining through to all!’  May it always be yours and not my own.  Giving you thanks and praise God, in your precious name, Amen.

Live2love4Him4ever

Erica~

2 Comments

Filed under 2 Corinthians, 2 Samuel, Ezekiel, Psalms

I Samuel 24, I Corinthians 5, Ezekiel 3, Psalm 39

There are times in my life when it’s pouring down rain and I pick up the phone to call someone and complain.  I talk about my problems and how nothing’s working out and share with them how it makes me yell and shout.  In the back of my mind I think that this is the solution, when all I’m really doing is spreading verbal pollution.  In Psalms 39 David had many reasons to be blue, but only spoke his cries to God whom he knew could see him through.   He kept his tongue from sin and from spreading it around and in turn allowed the Lord to turn his frown upside down!  People often come to me and ask me for advice and more often than not I throw my two cents out and don’t think twice.  It’s interesting to me that in Ezekiel  3:26 the Lord causes Ezekiel’s  tongue to on the roof of his mouth stick.  It goes on to say in verse 27 that the Sovereign Lord will loosen it when He delivers His message from heaven.    Once the words were revealed it was evidently clear that what  came from Ezekiel’s mouth was the Authoritative Truth people needed to hear!  I have a wonderful friend who is a pastor’s wife, who has always taken time to pray and seek God’s word before giving me advice on my strife.  At first I did not like this and wanted immediate response , but the more she showed patience in replying I saw many ‘IN HIS WILL’  answers from God.

A couple weeks ago I got a text from an old friend, she was sharing with me about some sin she had just gotten in.  She didn’t act remorseful, rather tried to get me on her side and where years ago I would have gone along, this time I made the choice to not compromise.  I Samuel 24 shows David’s refusal to go with the crowd, rather to stand up with courage, do what’s right and not take the easy way out.  Peer pressure is all around us every single day and we will fall to the ground if we do not consciously place ourselves there to pray.  It saddens me that this friend is straying from the Lord, and as hard it may be I Corinthians 5 talks about the need to “cut the cord”.  It doesn’t mean I put her on my enemies list, but I lift her up to Jesus and pray for restoration and godly fellowship.

I can lead a horse to water  and even teach it how to drink, but if it chooses to thirst to death, judgmental is not the way I need to think.  Verse 13 of I Corinthians 5 says, “God will judge those on the outside.”

Just the other day I saw a note from a friend  “Please, can you help me, there’s a snake here on my end”.  I rushed to her house to remove it from her shed, and once I got it down  we chose to keep it alive instead of causing it to become dead! It was long, black and slimy and smelled disgusting too, but we chose to take it into the woods, release it and pray that no more visits there it would do. We both discussed how it reminded us of Satan and how he tries to hide, but also the way he tries to slither and throw us off stride.  It made me more aware of how quickly he can make his way in and if I don’t remove him when he’s there there will be a stench that grows within.

After having read all these passages and taking them to heart, I’ve learned more about how God wants me to play my part.   I’m thankful for God’s word, and the reminders I am given,  and my prayer from here on out is that I truly seek Him for my soul livin.

Live2love4Him4Ever

~Erica

3 Comments

Filed under 1 Corinthians, 1 Samuel, Ezekiel, Psalms