Tuesday, August 13, 2013


One of my top ten stories in His Word is the story of King Hezekiah and Jerusalem's triumph over the Assyrians! Though it is full of kings, armies, contenders and mighty men of valor, I stand in awe of just one thing.  The power behind the heart and prayer of Hezekiah and the prophet Isaiah as they prayed for his kingdom and his people!

Making a very eloquent, pointed and wicked speech delivered in Hebrew outside the walls of Jerusalem via his commander, the king of Assyria made it clear they were about to destroy everything Hezekiah held dear. (2 Kings 18:28-35)  Yet, rather than assemble his armies and fortify his walls as would most in his position, Hezekiah sought counsel from the man of God and bowed low before his Creator.

Annals of Sennacherib

King Hezekiah sought the Lord through wise counsel:

So the servants of King Hezekiah came to Isaiah.  And Isaiah said to them, “Thus you shall say to your master, ‘Thus says the Lord: “Do not be afraid of the words which you have heard, with which the servants of the king of Assyria have blasphemed Me. Surely I will send a spirit upon him, and he shall hear a rumor and return to his own land; and I will cause him to fall by the sword in his own land.”’” 2 Kings 19:5-7

King Hezekiah sought the Lord through prayer and humility:

And Hezekiah received the letter from the hand of the messengers, and read it; and Hezekiah went up to the house of the Lord, and spread it before the LordThen Hezekiah prayed before the Lord, and said: “O Lord God of Israel, the One who dwells between the cherubim, You are God, You alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth. You have made heaven and earth.  Incline Your ear, O Lord, and hear; open Your eyes, O Lord, and see; and hear the words of Sennacherib, which he has sent to reproach the living God.  Truly, Lord, the kings of Assyria have laid waste the nations and their lands, and have cast their gods into the fire; for they were not gods, but the work of men’s hands—wood and stone. Therefore they destroyed them. Now therefore, O Lord our God, I pray, save us from his hand, that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that You are the Lord God, You alone.” 2 Kings 19:14-19

And God answered:

“Therefore thus says the Lord concerning the king of Assyria:
‘He shall not come into this city,
Nor shoot an arrow there,
Nor come before it with shield,
Nor build a siege mound against it. By the way that he came,
By the same shall he return;
And he shall not come into this city,’
Says the Lord.‘For I will defend this city, to save it
For My own sake and for My servant David’s sake.’” 2 Kings 19:32-34

Now because of this King Hezekiah and the prophet Isaiah, the son of Amoz, prayed and cried out to heaven.  Then the Lord sent an angel who cut down every mighty man of valor, leader, and captain in the camp of the king of Assyria. So he returned shamefaced to his own land. And when he had gone into the temple of his god, some of his own offspring struck him down with the sword there.  Thus the Lord saved Hezekiah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem from the hand of Sennacherib the king of Assyria, and from the hand of all others, and guided them on every side.  And many brought gifts to the Lord at Jerusalem, and presents to Hezekiah king of Judah, so that he was exalted in the sight of all nations thereafter. 2 Chron 32:20-23

Hezekiah sought the Lord with all his mind, heart, soul and strength.

God answered.

I am deeply moved by the humility and surrender Hezekiah displayed as he petitioned the King of the Universe. I amazed at his unfailing trust in the Lord as he faced what seemed impossible to overcome. Unlike so many others before him, Hezekiah looked up and remained steadfast in the face of tremendous obstacles. And, he knew that his people were looking to him.  And, God was watching.

Hezekiah sought the Lord for wisdom, with humility, surrender, trust, and faith. On bended knee.

Was there power in the prayer?  No, not in the prayer itself but in the heart and character behind it. Was there purpose in the prayer? Yes, by His will and His providence, God elected to deliver Judah for His name's sake. He provided a way out of a hopeless situation to bring glory to Him alone. In front of all nations, in witness to all those that called themselves by His name.

God answered Hezekiah with favor, love and deliverance.

Is there power in your prayers....?  As we pray, may we remember to come to Him penitent, to humble ourselves and bring ourselves in line with His perfect will.  May we seek wise counsel and His counsel most of all. May we give testimony through every answered prayer as to His providence, provision and power.

To Him be the glory!

Monday, August 12, 2013


Do you ever reflect on days gone by, times past, younger years?  Do you every reminisce and ponder the 'what ifs' of having made different choices? Where you'd be today and how your life would be different?

I do. Even more so as I grow older. Not with regret. With curiosity. Especially during those years when I walked apart from the Breath of Life. When I tried to fly solo and crashed and burned so many times.

Do you ever wonder, during those solo flights, where He was when you hadn't yet called His name? I did.

Who has performed and done it, Calling the generations from the beginning? ‘I, the Lord, am the first; And with the last I am He.’” Isaiah 41:4

Now I know. He was right there watching, waiting, loving, calling.  But I didn't yet have ears to hear Him, a heart to know Him. And, He knew.  Yet He stayed right there in the midst of my chaos and confusion, my struggle, my hurts, my pain. Just watching and waiting for me to learn my lessons. He never left, never stopped calling. Not for a moment. I did have a choice to make...

 The Lord has appeared of old to me, saying:
“Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love;
Therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you. Jeremiah 31:3

He is still waiting and watching. But He is oh so much closer than ever before. He has his fingers in my painting of blues, yellows, pinks, and grays and, yes, sometimes black. Because I've called His name, come into His presence with humility and repentance, with awe and wonder, with childlike faith, with heart and love surrendered. I've invited Him in and accepted His invitation to create a wonderful work of art together.

But He was always there. So much beauty in that past, in that presence, that persistence, that parent to child. He has loved me all the while. A matchless, timeless love. I am so very thankful for His presence even while I was unaware.  A comfort, a sense of belonging and purpose, of eternal meaning.

He was always there. I AM WAS and IS and WILL BE there. No matter what. And, He is LIFE, LOVE and LIGHT. Sometimes the road is rough and rocky, sometimes I don't know if I'll survive the storm. But, what more could I possibly ask for?  I know that I'm right where He wants me and I always have been.... I was on the road to Damascus. He was waiting to reveal Himself fully at the right moment. I once was blind but now....... I SEE!

But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved),  and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. Ephesians 2:4-7

In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 1 John 4:10

Monday, August 5, 2013


Not long ago, our pastor gave a sermon on a particular topic of which I now cannot remember...  Not highly unusual for me these days (which is why I take notes)! Nevertheless, one thing that he mentioned during the course of his talk was 'the beauty of holiness.' THE beauty of holiness.  I instantly had a mental picture of hundreds of men in priestly garments standing in the temple of God in Jerusalem singing praises and making offerings to our Great God!

It really did strike a cord with me causing me to wonder what exactly is this beauty, this holiness, and how is it is manifested in our lives today...?  As I started to dig into His Word to find out more, I began to understand just how deep and how important it is to understand the mystery of this beauty.  His definition of beauty, as with most things, is not our definition of beauty. It is a true reflection of His beauty and holiness.

I'll just touch the surface of this beauty in today's post and continue on as His Spirit leads....

The first scripture I came to:

"Give to the Lord the glory due His name; Bring an offering, and come before Him. Oh, worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness!" 1 Chron. 16:29

1) Give to the Lord the GLORY DUE His name.  What does that look like?!

We are to give Him the glory due His name. To give glory to Him in all things, whether we are in good times or in bad. Whether we are suffering or celebrating. He gets the glory ALL OF THE TIME as "we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose." (Romans 8:28.) It is not always easy. We must remember that He reigns; Let the earth rejoice; Let the multitude of isles be glad! (Psalm 97:1) Even when we don't feel like it!

2) Bring an OFFERING, and COME BEFORE Him. What does that look like?!

Here is the dictionary definition of offering:  

1. something offered in worship or devotion, as to a deity; an obligation or sacrifice.
2. a contribution given to or through the church for a particular purpose, as at a religious service.
3. anything offered as a gift.
Okay, so I wasn't far off with the offering part! A sacrifice, a gift. Something we give Him, for Him, that He desires with no expectation of receiving anything in return. Our service, our time, our money, our desires, our plans, our resources, our lives. Something that doesn't come easy to us to give and feels contrary to the desires of our flesh. Something that is, yes, difficult for us to give and should, in fact, make us feel a bit uncomfortable. It is not about us but solely about Him.

His beauty. His holiness. Your beauty. Your holiness. It is the way He sees you now through the looking glass of righteousness and sanctification through our Savior, Lord and King Jesus the Christ. He wants us to look in the mirror and see Him rather than ourselves. He wants us to manifest this beauty and holiness in our lives today so that others can see Him in you. So that you can lead others to Him!  

It is a slow process of surrender and conversion of the heart, mind and spirit. With each step taken, the road becomes a little easier. Remember that bag of carrots? To be continued...

Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:1-2