Not by Sight


I am (slowly) learning to walk by faith and NOT by sight. When I walk by sight, things can sometimes look discouraging, painful, and very, VERY frightening! Each step is unsteady. I sometimes pace with worry or stop right there in my tracks, looking around me at my circumstances, overwhelmed with confusion and fear; or looking back at painful events of the past.

When I walk by sight, focused on the troubles of life, I tend to view God through the clouded lens of my circumstances. 

When I walk by faith, I see my circumstances through the truth of God’s Word. Each step is taken with trust in Him and in His promises. I move forward with hope, resting in the assurance of His Faithfulness. When I walk by faith, focused on God, the Truth of His Word and the unshakeable Faithfulness of His love, His mercy and His grace, He gives me peace. He doesn’t offer just a short lived circumstantial peace. He offers His peace… peace that passes all understanding. My circumstances haven’t changed. I still have the same troubles as before. Only my outlook has changed. Sure, I still hurt. I still have questions and burdens; but when I walk by faith, I can move forward in peace and safety. For, even though I don’t know His plan; even though I don’t have all the answers; even though I don’t know what my future holds, I have faith in The One Who does! And this is His PROMISE to me, “… I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11

Trusting ONLY in Him,

~Shirley~

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Complete Surrender


From Strength to Strength

We all struggle with discouragement, suffer loss and feel grief. We are sometimes overtaken by fear and doubt. There have been, and will be again, times when we are fearful and feel our faith falter in the wake of some major crisis in our lives. Maybe, like me, you have fought a long hard battle with depression and you sometimes wonder if the fight will ever be over and if you really can endure until the end. Perhaps there have been times in your life when you were so exhausted from the fight that you even considered giving up. You have asked for guidance, for strength, for help from God, only to hear nothing and feel nothing but relentlessly deepening despair.

In those times, there is often a stream of well-meaning friends or family members who try to make it better, to lift you up and out of  the spiritual/emotional…

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A Love of My Own


This is a video that I recorded several years ago. This song has been on my heart for a while now. I LOVE the message. We so often look to the people in our lives to fulfill our need for love and to fill up our empty spaces. Over the years I have learned that only God can fill that emptiness. Only He can give us that perfect love that we are searching for.To try and find it in anything else or anyone else only ends up making us feel disappointed and more empty than ever.

I’m going to stop talking… the song says it all anyway. I hope you are blessed by it’s message!

Trusting in Him,

Shirley

 

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Don’t Settle For Ishmael….


It’s funny how we sometimes want something so badly that we try to make our own version of it. Sometimes it works. Like if you see a trendy new blouse but can’t afford to buy it… it is possible to make one that looks the same and can be just as good as the original. That doesn’t work with everything. Some things we just can’t do or make on our own.
I saw a quote this morning that fits my life so perfectly right now. I feel like it was advice straight from God. It said this, “Don’t settle for Ismael… when God has promised you Isaac.”
People have been trying to do God’s job and fulfill His promises in their own strength since the beginning of time. Abraham and Sarah are two of the most recognized for that very thing. They wanted a child so badly but they were way beyond their baby making days. Yet, God promised to make their descendants innumerable… just like the stars in the sky. They were tired of waiting for God to keep His promise so they decided to help Him out and try to make it work. Surely a child shared with her maid would be just as good and they would be one big happy family… right? So Ishmael was born and the drama came with him. Imagine their surprise when the true child of promise came along a while later. So much pain could have been avoided had they waited for God to fulfill His word.
The same is true today. Only heartache comes when we put ourselves in His place and try to do His job.
Today I encourage you to wait for your Isaac…
Trusting In Him,
Shirley

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Broken


Broken

by ShirleyWasham

I love how you hold
me together
Even when I am falling
Apart.

at my own end
You show me
A brand new place
To start

When nothing’s as real
As the pain that I feel
And the fear that I can’t
Keep at bay

everything inside
Begs me to hide
But You pull my disguise
Away

And I trust you enough
To let it fall down
To show you how
broken I am

You look straight through
And see the whole truth
In that way that
Only you can

You point at the ground
And when I look down
The pieces lay
There at our feet

You lift your eyes
And to my surprise
I see that you’re
Broken like me.

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Moments of Worship


What a mighty and amazing GOD we serve!
Do you ever have those moments that you have to just stop what you are doing and worship Him; worship Him because you are just so overcome, and so in awe of Him, all He is, and all He does for us?
His Grace is so amazing! And we are so undeserving. There is such a HUGE gap… On one side we have Him, His perfection, His righteousness, His holiness…
one the other side… way on the other side, there we stand… so stained with sin.
But thank God there is JESUS, standing in the gap! He’s bridging the distance. As we come to the foot of the cross, He brings us to the foot of the Throne; Right up to the foot of the Throne of Grace, where we find mercy. Sweet mercy. And when our perfect and Holy God looks down at us from His throne, He sees us completely covered in the righteousness of His Son. He doesn’t see our sins. They have been forever covered by the cleansing Blood of Jesus! Praise the LORD! He doesn’t see our brokenness! We have been made perfectly whole by the sacrifice of Christ! Alleluia!
Yes, sometimes I have to stop what I am doing and worship Him. I have to worship because in those moments when I am completely overcome by awe and wonder, I am able to do nothing else.
I live for those moments, and I pray that there will be more of them as I grow in grace.
What a mighty and amazing GOD we serve.

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Come and talk with Me…


come and talk with me…
Whom have I in heaven but you?
And earth has nothing I desire besides you.
26My flesh and my heart may fail,
but God is the strength of my heart
and my portion forever.
My heart has heard you say, “Come and talk with me.” And my heart responds, “LORD, I am coming.”
Psalm 73:25-26 NIV 27:8NLT

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Spiritual Body Building


Have you ever wondered why your muscles hurt when you exercise? Well okay, if you’re like me, maybe you don’t really exercise enough to wonder about that; but have you ever wondered why other people’s muscles hurt when they exercise? As silly as it may seem, I have wondered about it. So I turned to Google; and do you know what I learned? I learned that when you work a muscle beyond what it is comfortable with, it tears. So muscles get sore when you exercise because, all through each muscle are tiny little tears from being pushed beyond what it was previously comfortable doing. After a short time (about a week), the tears in the muscle have healed and the muscle has become a little stronger than it was before.
This made me think of how you and I grow spiritually and how each time we exercise a fruit of the Spirit, we get a little stronger in that area and are then able to endure more and more.
Think about that for a minute.
I’m sure you have heard the warning,”Don’t pray for patience or you will end up in situation after situation where patience is required of you!” Have you ever heard someone say something like that?
Well. I’ll be honest. That statement is true! When we need to grow stronger in a certain area of spiritual discipline, what better way to exercise that Spiritual muscle than to actually use it, to work it and push it beyond our comfort zone? The more often we are faced with situations in which we are forced to exercise each fruit of the Spirit, the easier it becomes to produce that fruit; and the more evident that fruit becomes in your life.
But you know what? Just like our physical muscles get sore when we work them, it is very often painful when we have to exercise our spiritual muscles. Growth and strength do not come without effort or without pain.
When I look at my life now; when I think about the many things that I deal with on a regular basis, I can see how I have become much stronger over the years. Had I been forced to deal with all of these issues as a brand new Christian with the spiritual muscles of a baby Christian, I have no doubt that I would have broken under the pressure. There is just no way that I would have had the strength to endure. God knew that too and He was merciful to me. He didn’t allow all of these things to bombard me at the same time or suddenly. Troubles came a little bit at a time. It wasn’t until I learned to deal with one problem and became stronger in the fruit I needed for that particular situation, that He allowed another problem to arise.
I am thankful for each opportunity that He has given me to cultivate the fruits of the Spirit in me and to continue to grow into the woman that He wants me to be, but I am grateful that those opportunities didn’t come all at one time!
Sometimes, when we are feeling particularly overwhelmed… and maybe even feeling a little sorry for ourselves… we take inventory of our past and present problems. We look at the lives of those we know and then we look back over our list of woes and we think, “Wow! It seems to be just one problem right after another for me! I scarcely make it through one trial before another begins! Why can’t I have an easier time of it?”
I know that feeling and those thoughts. I have even gone beyond merely thinking these things. I have said these things out loud. I have screamed them at heaven, demanding an answer that would satisfy my self pity.
You know what? God answered me. Of course He didn’t speak aloud or even speak in a voice inside my head, answering my question with just a few simple sentences. But in that way that He usually does, He sent the answer straight to my spirit and I just knew that there was a purpose for our constant struggles. He loves us way too much to allow needless suffering. You see, just as I said before, the more we use the fruits of the Spirit, the easier it becomes to use them and the stronger our spirit becomes. That is important because our spirit is constantly at war with our flesh. The stronger our spirit becomes, the weaker our flesh (our sinful nature) becomes. If God shelters us from trials to the point that we never exercise our spirit, the weaker we become spiritually. The fruits of the spirit will never be cultivated in our lives. They will never grow. Only our sinful nature will grow in power, to the point that we are completely ruled by it. Jesus said that those who believe in Him would be evident by the fruit that they bear (Matthew 7:16, 20). We can only bear one of two kinds of fruit. It will either be fruits born of the spirit or of the flesh. There is no in between. There is no middle ground. In Galatians, in speaking of the importance of walking in the spirit instead of the flesh, the apostle Paul had this to say, “16 But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. 17 For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. 19 Now the works of the flesh are evident:sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, 20 idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, 21 envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self- control; against such things there is no law. 24 And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.25 If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit.” (Galatians 5:16-25 ESV) You see? It is a matter of eternity. Paul warns us in verse 21 that those who live according to the flesh will not inherit the kingdom of God. If our Father didn’t allow us to exercise the fruits of the spirit as we make our way through the trials of this life; if these fruits didn’t grow in us… even though it can be painful… then we would be completely ruled by the sinful nature of the flesh and ultimately, instead of inheriting the kingdom of God, we would receive the end result of our sin. We would receive death. We would receive hell.
Do you know what this same apostle [Paul] had to say about the struggles and trials that we face here in this life? He said this, “Yet what we suffer now is nothing compared to the glory he will reveal to us later. 19For all creation is waiting eagerly for that future day when God will reveal who his children really are.” (Romans 8:18-19) How awesome is that!? The sufferings of this life here on earth… the worst we could ever go through here… isn’t even worthy to be compared with the glory that is coming to those who belong to Christ! Wow! Remember how we can tell who belongs to Him? Yep… by the fruits that are manifest in their lives. We either see the fruits of the flesh or the fruits of the spirit. The fruits that we will see are the ones that have been exercised the most and have grown the strongest. Remember what makes those fruits of the spirit grow stronger than the fruits of the flesh? USING them; EXCERCISING them. Yes it’s painful, but it is more than worth it!

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Waiting for the Sonrise


From Strength to Strength

Last night, as I was reading in Deuteronomy, the Lord revealed something to me about myself. Even though it was something that needed to be brought to my attention, it was not something that was easy to accept. But, as it always is when the Lord speaks, it was true. And like I almost always do when the Lord reveals something to me, I am going to share the message with you.

If you have read very many of my posts, you are no doubt aware that I have been going through a time of trial unlike any other that I have ever faced. I have experienced just about every emotion you can think of, but few emotions have occupied my heart more than, or even as much as fear, discouragement, disappointment and anger. I have battled these emotions so often that I find myself praying for relief from them…

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Psalm 116


 I love the Lord, for he heard my voice;I will call on him as long as I live. The cords of death entangled me,“Lord, save me!”our God is full of compassion.when I was brought low, he saved me.for the Lord has been good to you. For you, Lord, have delivered me from death,in the land of the living. I trusted in the Lord when I said,“Everyone is a liar.”for all his goodness to me? I will lift up the cup of salvation I will fulfill my vows to the Lord Precious in the sight of the Lordyou have freed me from my chains. I will sacrifice a thank offering to you I will fulfill my vows to the Lordin your midst, Jerusalem. – Psalm 116:1-19 http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Psalm116:1-19&version=NIV

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