Mountains unmovable

Like manna from Heaven, God provides for our needs, not for a lifetime, but for the day.

Wednesday and Thursday were pretty tough days for me this week. My friend’s mom called to tell me the hospital where he is called for a family meeting to discuss next step for him. Medically, he doesn’t need to be in a hospital anymore but mentally he is not able to be on his own. They must decide where to put him.

I woke up Thursday morning feeling pretty defeated, doubting my past decisions that I felt so strongly were guided by God. I really doubted my next steps, and began trying to think about how best to close the studio business we just started. I was an emotional wreck.

Those who love me gathered around me to pray and reminded me of all the ways God has taken care of His people through the years, from Biblical times through now. My mom reminded me that God has always provided what we needed, even after my father died and it seemed all Hope was lost.

The weight of the world weighed heavy on my shoulders and I couldn’t see a way out.

Photo credit for this amazing painting :N Floole at flookart.com

In the morning, I got up for work and found my mom watching Joseph Prince on tv. He was talking about immovable mountains in front of us… and how they are no problem for the God who created the universe out of nothing. I knew the message was for me, and I texted Rob’s mom to let her know I’d be praying about the meeting and went to work. I couldn’t concentrate all day and struggled to get done what I needed to. I texted my husband about my defeat.

For those who know my husband, you can see that this exchange, in and of itself, is a miracle!

In the evening, while I was teaching piano, my husband texted me a scripture.. it’s his life verse and one he repeats to himself often.

In the late evening after piano lessons, we went to the hospital to visit Rob. Before we went in, we prayed in the car that God would give us a good visit, and that Rob’s mind would be good. We signed the visitor’s log and headed for his room.

As we approached his room we could hear the nurse saying, “Rob! Rob! That’s not what you’re supposed to be doing!” I’m not sure what he was doing but I knew it was Rob. Lol.

Amazingly, Rob was very alert. He was standing by his bed when we came in and he hugged us. He knew our names and how we knew him. He knew about our studio and other details about our business that only he would know. We stayed and talked for a couple of hours. We prayed together and talked about possible next steps for him. I thanked God for hearing and answering my prayer for a good visit. It was enough for me to see He has a plan… and though I don’t know what it is yet, I know that God loves Rob and will continue to bring about His will in Rob’s life.

As I wake up this Friday morning, I feel refreshed and renewed, excited once again to see God use His people in ways we never thought possible for His glory.

All glory to You, Lord Jesus. You are, indeed, working all things together for good for those who love you and are called according to Your purpose. May Your will be done!

Thank you to all who are following this journey. As you can see, I don’t have it all together, but I know I love God and I know He is faithful to me. I pray He will use my story (and those in it) to bless others!

Blessings,

SB

Guide me, O thou great Jehovah

In my daily devotion, I’ve been reading Numbers, which is about the journey of the Israelites after deliverance from Egypt. My study, which is led by Pastor Stoper of the Christian and Missionary Alliance Church through an AP called Mission 119, has recently taken us through the story of Moses leading the Israelites out of Egypt’s… you’ll remember the crazy way in which God showed up to part the sea so they could cross on dry land when their enemies were right on their heals and it looked as if they had no way out?

Yesterday’s passage reminded me that the Israelites looked to God (Jehovah) to guide every step of their journey. They set up camp when and where He told them to, they broke camp and moved when He told them to. Literally every single step they took was directed by God.

There are those in my circle (including myself) who are faced with some pretty big life decisions… who are listening hard to hear God’s direction.

Lord, guide every step I make. I bend my ear to You to hear Your voice, I beg You to speak directly to me and tell me which which way to go, whether to move forward, or stay put, whether to consult with others, whether to be bold or meek, whether to go left or right. Let me hear Your voice above all others. I pray this in Your name.

Be blessed today, my friends!

SB

Give us today our daily bread

Good morning, friends! As you know, I have stepped way outside of my comfort zone and find myself in completely unchartered territory in many areas of my life. I believe God has called me to some of it, and the rest is… well, I don’t even know to be honest… perhaps the enemy doesn’t like my step of faith and is trying to get me down… but you know I’ve asked God to continue to show me signs that I’m doing what He’s asked… and I’m committed to sharing with you all so you can watch him move an immovable mountain. I’m excited and terrified at the same time.

This past Sunday, I was in our church kitchen getting coffee with our other worship leaders when a woman I’ve known for years came in carrying a music stand folded in a bag. Years ago, she was instrumental in our Vacation Bible School program and everyone adored her. Her husband developed cancer but is still with us today. They left our church for a while but returned a few years ago and I don’t really know all of the details of his medical journey. We exchanged some pleasantries and B said, “hey I was just thinking about M… how long ago was it that he had cancer?”

“Ten years,” she said.

“Wow. I didn’t realize it had been that long. Praise God!” I said.

“Yes and no,” she said. “Sometimes the cure is worse than the disease. Yes, we’re thankful that he is cancer free, but he lives with the aftermath caused by his radiation.” She shared with us some of the struggles that the goes through, and that, in fact, he hadn’t come with her that day because he was overwhelmed with all he has to do to overcome his obstacles. She started to cry and said, “B, your the 3rd person that asked about him today. God must’ve known I needed some encouragement” With that, we surrounded her and prayed for her. As we finished, she said how blessed she was and how God Gabe her just what she needed for that day.

“Like manna from Heaven,” I said. B said, “you know, it’s even in the Lord’s Prayer.. that He gives us THIS day our daily bread, that He doesn’t necessarily give us all we need for a lifetime… just what we need today… “

She was noticeably moved and said, “So here, I came to give you this music stand that belonged to my daughter who doesn’t need it anymore… and I think of you so often and that ministry you have going with music and pray for you and your students…and you guys just blessed me more than I can imagine”. And with that, I was noticeably moved and said, “you can’t possible realize how much YOU have blessed me in this.. to know you’re praying for me and the studio. THIS was MY man a from Heaven today!”

As I reflect on that blessing… to know people are praying for people… and people are going through hard things all over the place…I am reminded that we need to come to Him every single day and renew ourselves, and ever single day, He will give us just what we need.

Be blessed, my friends. The best is yet to come.

SB

I trace the rainbow through the rain

Love, that wilt not let me go,
I rest my weary soul in Thee;
I give Thee back the life I owe,
That in Thine ocean depths its flow
May richer, fuller be

Light, that followest all my way,
I yield my flickering torch to Thee;
My heart restores its borrowed ray,
That in Thy sunshine’s blaze its day
May brighter, fairer be.

Joy, that seekest me through pain,
I cannot close my heart to Thee;
I trace the rainbow through the rain,
And feel the promise is not vain
That morn shall tearless be.

Cross, that liftest up my head,
I dare not ask to fly from Thee;
I lay in dust life’s glory dead,
And from the ground there blossoms red
Life that shall endless be.

George Matheson

For the past month, since my friend and business partner Rob got sick, I have been praying to ask God to give me a glimpse of His plan. I have devoted myself to praying literally all day long. As the names of people in my circle pop into my head, I would pray for them right then… and I’ve been praying that God would open my eyes and ears and heart to Him and only Him, staring in His direction.

Sitting in church yesterday morning, this hymn popped into my head. I haven’t sung it in years, but I had to read the words immediately as I thought perhaps this is a message from God. The words are like a salve to my hurting soul this morning.

God’s love is so completely unfathomable … it’s so incredible to me that He loves us. There are a few lines in this hymn that speak particularly to me…

I rest my weary soul in Thee;

I yield my flickering torch to Thee;

I trace the rainbow through the rain

My soul is indeed weary as I try to hold together my day job, the responsibilities I have as a wife and mother, the responsibility of starting a new business and trying to manage all of that, let alone the burden of worrying about Rob’s health and how the studio could survive should I have to buy his half of the business. My burden is very heavy right now, heavier than I can ever recall… this hymn tells me I can rest my weary soul in Him, and if I can yield MY will to HIS will… listen for His word and following HIS direction, I can trace the rainbow through the rain because I KNOW who He is. I know HE is faithful. I know HE has a plan.

Lord, everything I have is Yours. I rest my weary soul in You and trust that You will bring me through the rain. I have felt so strongly that You brought Rob to my path for him to help me and me to help him. We felt so strongly this building and studio was YOUR will. If I’be mistaken and this studio is not Your will, I pray You will guide and direct me, and give me the courage to let it go. If it is Your will, I pray You will protect and bless it… bless the students and the instructors who enter its doors… that Your glory would shine and Yours alone…amen.

I’m still watching for miracles, praying that as people see them, God will be glorified.

Be blessed today, my friends!

Thanks so much for your love and support in this, my period of testing

SB

Faith like Moses

Crossing the Red Sea

14 Then the Lord said to Moses, 2 “Tell the Israelites to turn back and camp in front of Pi Hahiroth, between Migdol and the Red Sea, near Baal Zephon. 3 The king will think that the Israelites are wandering around in the country and are closed in by the desert. 4 I will make him stubborn, and he will pursue you, and my victory over the king and his army will bring me honor. Then the Egyptians will know that I am the Lord.” The Israelites did as they were told.

5 When the king of Egypt was told that the people had escaped, he and his officials changed their minds and said, “What have we done? We have let the Israelites escape, and we have lost them as our slaves!” 6 The king got his war chariot and his army ready. 7 He set out with all his chariots, including the six hundred finest, commanded by their officers. 8 The Lord made the king stubborn, and he pursued the Israelites, who were leaving triumphantly.[a]9 The Egyptian army, with all the horses, chariots, and drivers, pursued them and caught up with them where they were camped by the Red Sea near Pi Hahiroth and Baal Zephon.

10 When the Israelites saw the king and his army marching against them, they were terrified and cried out to the Lord for help. 11 They said to Moses, “Weren’t there any graves in Egypt? Did you have to bring us out here in the desert to die? Look what you have done by bringing us out of Egypt! 12 Didn’t we tell you before we left that this would happen? We told you to leave us alone and let us go on being slaves of the Egyptians. It would be better to be slaves there than to die here in the desert.”

13 Moses answered, “Don’t be afraid! Stand your ground, and you will see what the Lord will do to save you today; you will never see these Egyptians again. 14 The Lord will fight for you, and all you have to do is keep still.”

15 The Lord said to Moses, “Why are you crying out for help? Tell the people to move forward. 16 Lift up your walking stick and hold it out over the sea. The water will divide, and the Israelites will be able to walk through the sea on dry ground. 17 I will make the Egyptians so stubborn that they will go in after them, and I will gain honor by my victory over the king, his army, his chariots, and his drivers. 18 When I defeat them, the Egyptians will know that I am the Lord.”

19 The angel of God, who had been in front of the army of Israel, moved and went to the rear. The pillar of cloud also moved until it was 20 between the Egyptians and the Israelites. The cloud made it dark for the Egyptians, but gave light to the people of Israel,[b] and so the armies could not come near each other all night.

21 Moses held out his hand over the sea, and the Lord drove the sea back with a strong east wind. It blew all night and turned the sea into dry land. The water was divided, 22 and the Israelites went through the sea on dry ground, with walls of water on both sides. 23 The Egyptians pursued them and went after them into the sea with all their horses, chariots, and drivers. 24 Just before dawn the Lord looked down from the pillar of fire and cloud at the Egyptian army and threw them into a panic. 25 He made the wheels of their chariots get stuck, so that they moved with great difficulty. The Egyptians said, “The Lord is fighting for the Israelites against us. Let’s get out of here!”

26 The Lord said to Moses, “Hold out your hand over the sea, and the water will come back over the Egyptians and their chariots and drivers.” 27 So Moses held out his hand over the sea, and at daybreak the water returned to its normal level.

The Egyptians tried to escape from the water, but the Lord threw them into the sea. 28 The water returned and covered the chariots, the drivers, and all the Egyptian army that had followed the Israelites into the sea; not one of them was left. 29 But the Israelites walked through the sea on dry ground, with walls of water on both sides.

30 On that day the Lord saved the people of Israel from the Egyptians, and the Israelites saw them lying dead on the seashore. 31 When the Israelites saw the great power with which the Lord had defeated the Egyptians, they stood in awe of the Lord; and they had faith in the Lord and in his servant Moses.

When I asked my husband last week if he thought Moses ever questioned where God was leading him as he faced the Red Sea with the Egyptians got on his heals…. he said he didn’t know. I know he thinks I’m crazy, but so far, he’s willing to stay with me. 😂. I’ve been thinking a lot about Moses… mostly because the way in which God provided a way for them was so miraculous that it could have happened no other way than through God.

Common in Mark Batterson’s writing is the notion that God often shows up in a BIG way when we allow ourselves to be put in a place where there is literally NO way we can do something ourselves. As a fairly strong willed and capable woman, I find myself relying on my own skills often. I am, however, in present circumstances where I am absolutely powerless to do or change anything.

Not only with regard to my business partner’s health and well-being, but with regard to the business we’ve started (the business I feel absolutely was directed by God). I know absolutely nothing about healthcare with regard to His condition, nor how to help him. Never have I ever felt so helpless in my whole life. I can literally do nothin BUT pray. In the business, there are some things in trying to do to build clientele but and that’s going well… but facing a potential need to buy my partner’s half of the business due to his health issues puts everything we’ve started in jeopardy. I miss him being part of the business, someone to bounce ideas off of who will give me honest feedback and push back where needed. I can literally do nothing but pray.. good thing that’s my word of the year!

Trusting He will work all things together for good because I love Him

SB

I will look up

I will look up

Our students led worship at our church today. One of the songs they picked is this one. As I listen to it and read the lyrics, I realize it speaks directly to me in my present circumstances. I offer this prayer to Him:

All the worries of this world
I will lay them at Your feet
Surrender every anxious thought
For perfect peace, Your perfect peace

Lord, there are so many worries in the world… financial worries, health worries, relational worries, and more. The worries range from large scale worries that affect countries and governments to personal worries that affect each one of us. Anxiety runs rampant in a world devoid of Your peace. Help me to lay all of these worries at your feet, completely surrendering them to Your will. You know just what we need, Lord. Fill is with Your peace… the peace that passes understanding..

All the loved ones I hold dear
All my hopes and dreams and all my fears
I will choose to trust Your name
In everything, with everything

Lord, I think about those in my circle. I know some of their needs but not all. You know them all. You also know our hopes and dreams… and have given us dreams to pursue. I CHOOSE to trust that every good and perfect gift comes from You. I CHOOSE to trust You with every single thing in my life… my loved ones, my dreams, my finances, my relationships, my health and all of those things for all those in my circle. Everything is Yours.

I will look up for there is none above You
I will bow down to tell You that I need You
Jesus Lord of all, Jesus Lord of all

There is literally no one above God… I will stare in His direction, humbly bowing to acknowledge that I am completely unable to do these things on my own… I need His love and forgiveness… I need His grace, I need His wisdom… I need His power. I make Him Lord of my life…. seeking Him first above all else in my life.

I will take You at Your word
For Jesus, You have taken hold of me

All my life is in Your hands
You are my strength, You are my strength

Gods Word is full of promise, full of wisdom that He’s given us to learn to trust Him. Jesus has taken ahold of my life. I’ve been bought with a price, and give all I am an all I have to Him. My life is in His hands and I am completely weak apart from Him. May I not rely on my own strength and knowledge to do anything but acknowledge I am nothing apart from Him.

I will look up for there is none above You
I will bow down to tell You that I need You
Jesus Lord of all

I will look back and see that You are faithful
I look ahead believing You are able
Jesus Lord of all, Jesus Lord of allThe Lord, the Lord of all

I can look back over my life, Lord, and see where You have provided, even when I wasn’t being obedient to You. For some reason, You’ve called me to this place right now, and put certain people and circumstances in my life to bless and be blessed by. Because I know You’ve provided for me in the past, I know You are able to bring me through present circumstances… You alone are able.

Prince of Peace, Perfect Healer
All my life, all my cares on You
King of Kings, Mighty Savior
All my life, all my cares on You
Prince of Peace, Perfect Healer
All my life, all my cares on You
King of Kings, Mighty Savior
All my life, all my cares on You
all my cares are on You

Lord, You are the perfect Healer. You alone understand medically what’s happening in the bodies of those close to me who are struggling. You alone can heal. I ask You to put my cares on You. Bring healing to those who need it, to relationships that are broken, to lives that need rebuilt.

I will look up for there is none above You
I will bow down to tell You that I need You
Jesus Lord of all

I will look back and see that You are faithful
I’ll look ahead believing You are able
Jesus Lord of all, You’re Jesus Lord of all
Our God is Jesus Lord of all, You’re Jesus Lord of all

Lord, hear me as I pray. All I am is Yours. I wait expecting You to show up in a powerful way so that others may see Your glory. In You I rest…

Amen

Out of my control

Mark Batterson has become one of my very favorite author’s.  Since reading his book, “In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day”, I was hooked on his motivation and his message – to pursue our God-given dreams, especially if they terrify us.  One of his mantra’s is to allow God the opportunity to show up in our lives in spectacular ways…  and having a close enough relationship to Him that we have faith that He will.

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Over the past four months, situations have unfolded in my life to put me in a situation which I can not control at all. I am completely out of my element to offer any medical advice to those caring for Rob right now…. and even more out of my element to personally understand and help him address his addiction, if he’s given the chance through physical healing in his present circumstances. I am completely out of my element facing financial decisions with regard to our studio, should his present circumstances continue.

I asked my husband last night if he thought those following Moses, as he led the Israelites out of Egypt, ever doubted his leadership… and whether Moses himself ever doubted God’s calling, especially as they approached the Red Sea with soldiers fast on their heels. I wondered if, when Moses realized that God was literally parting the sea to make a way for them to cross, he may have thought to himself, “holy crap! Who would have ever guessed that God would answer our prayers like this!”

In my humanness, I am admittedly terrified. I am so very grateful for the relationship that I have with Jesus, though, that tells me that He will make a way for His will to be done.

I’m writing honestly, from my gut. I will tell you that I have moments of terror amidst moments of faith. I can’t see how God will provide… and yet I’m confident He will. After all, what He’s done in my life and the lives of those around me in the past fourteen months has been amazing. He has already provided so much more than I could have ever imagined…..

I will look up for there is none above you.

I look ahead believing You are able.

Jesus, I love you and am trusting You with all my heart! ❤️

Blessings,

SB