Bethany's BlogWords of Encouragement

Let's Dance

 

 

Let them praise His name with the dance; Let them sing praises to Him with the timbrel and harp. For the Lord takes pleasure in His people; He will beautify the humble with salvation. Let the saints be joyful in glory; Let them sing aloud on their beds. Let the praises of God be in their mouth, and a two- edged sword in their hand, to execute vengeance on the nations and punishments on the peoples; to bind their kings with chains, and their nobles with fetters of iron; to execute on them the written judgment--this honor have all His saints. Praise the Lord.

Psalms 149:3-9

Okay, so as I've mentioned many times, I'm not a big fan of exercise; it's boring. I've been pretty limited in my choices: biking and walking. The month of July has been different, as I set a goal to do cardio every single day for no less than 30 minutes.  As I was mulling this idea over and talking to God about my very limited love of excercise, He gave me this thought: "Let's dance." 

"Dance?" I answered. "I don't really know how to dance!" 

"Yes, my dear, you do. Just dance with me with your feet!" He teased.

So, I popped on my headphones, put on some of my favorite praise music, and I danced. Every. Single. Day.  It's been amazing. I can't wait to hit the floor everyday; it's been the best mood booster ever! "Why?" You may be asking. I've discovered for myself that waging war by doing things that do not look like fighting is a true blessing! My dancing and praises silence the enemy of my soul, and I feel empowered to bring justice wherever I go. To dance and sing in highest praise, which is HIS word spoken back to Him, Iautomatically gives me the sword in my hand to bind the enemy. YES!

In our dining room we have a big old window on our wall. It says, COME AS YOU ARE AND WORSHIP. I painted it for one of our retreats. Now, when I'm happily dancing about in my house I pass by this window and thank God for reminding me that even though I am not the greatest dancer, or singer---I will come as I am before Him and dance with my feet!

Anybody else want to commit to dancing with Him---and me? Set a goal, let me know what you are doing. 

 

Imagine this

Don't you know anything? Haven't you been listening? GOD doesn't come and go. God lasts. He's Creator of all you can see or imagine. He doesn't get tired out, doesn't pause to catch His breath. And he knows everything, inside and out. 

Isaiah 40:28

Sometimes I come across a verse in the Bible that makes me laugh, like the one above. "Dont you know anything?" Well, sometimes it feels like I don't know a single thing. "Haven't you been listening?" probably not enough!  I have those days when I start to tell myself that I can't do it or whatever I do won't work.  "Don't I know anything?" This is NOT the way God talks to me, so why on earth am I saying it to myself? Maybe because I haven't been listening enough!! 

I've noticed that when I begin to talk to myself in a negative way I'm feeling blocked, uncreative, and afraid. I forget that God is active, He's a verb in my life, willing and able to bring all things to a creative state of beauty. He will take action in my life to be exactly who He has created me to be--Creative!  Creativity is my true nature, because I am created, and so are you! 

God doesn't come and go, He resides. I love that, God resides in my heart, therefore I am exactly what He created me to be.  And you? Do you ever feel like a lump on a log?! Do you have those days where nothing is happeing, you are not feeling it? What is blocking you? What are you telling yourself? 

I grew up believing it was wrong to use my imagination. But, as I have learned more about who God is I see how that is a lie. He created my imagination, and it is beautiful. As we grow, we forget about that part of us, consequently we block a part of who God created. God loves to see me create, and I do it for Him. He sees it all and I imagine when I bring my creations and imagination before Him, there is rejoicing in heaven. 

"Look" He may say, "She is reflecting my image! She is creating."

Today is your day to create, imagine, explore, and reflect the Creator that lives within you.

HAVE FUN!

A Billion Thoughts and More

Your thoughts--how rare, how beautiful! God, I'll never comprehend them! I couldn't even begin to count them--any more than I could count the sand of the sea. Oh, let me rise in  the morning and live always with you!

Psalms 139:17-18

Did you know that there are over a quintillion grains of sand? It looks like this: 1,000,000,000,000,000,000; that's a lot of zero's!

If each person on earth had a giant bucket for the amount of sand that represented God's good thoughts towards them, they would have over a billion grains of sand in their bucket. Yes, over a billion! 

When I think of this, I am overwhelmed with gratitude and love for my loving Father. Truely, it's hard to grasp that He has over a billion thoughts for each of us, and the thoughts He has are all good thoughts, amazing, loving, kind thoughts. God is always on the watch for each of us, always speaking life over us, always loving us.

When I think of having over a billion good thoughts towards someone, it feels impossible. And, trusting that God's thoughts are all good, it is a tough one to comprehend. 

I have often prayed that God would open my ears to His thoughts towards me, and then enable me to voice those loving thoughts towards others. When I believe and trust that His thoughts are true, and that He is the One that teaches me to see others as He does. It is a beautiful process.

What are the thoughts He has towards you? Do you see that they are endlessly good? They are thoughts that give you life, hope, courage, boldness, and strength. They bring peace and love. His thoughts draw you towards Him, and your bucket overflows!

Authentic Faith

 

 

 

Let my prayer come before You and enter into Your presence; Incline Your ear to my cry! For my soul is full of troubles, and my life draws near the grave. I am counted among those who go down to the pit. I am like a man who has no strength, cast away and abandoned among the dead, like the slain who lie in a grave, whom You no longer remember, and they are cut off from Your hand.

Psalms 88:2-5

One thing I admire most about the Psalms is how real it is. In Psalms 88-89, Heman the Ezrahite and Ethan the Ezrahite  pour out their hearts to God in song. Heman was a gifted wise man, first identified in 1Kings 4:31 and in 1Chronicles 15:16-19. He was a Levite, and he was musically gifted. His ministry was worship during the time of David. I love how Heman, even when he is feeling great despair confesses his faith in God. He is trusting that God will stand beside him no matter the circumstances. He also is not afraid to voice his pain before God, he is not pretending that everything is okay. It's not okay, and expressing that to God strengthens him.

How long, O Lord? Will You hide Yourself forever? Will Your wrath burn like fire? Remember how fleeting my lifetime is: for what vanity, You have created all the sons of men! What man can live and not see death? Can he rescue his soul from the hand of Sheol? O Lord, where are Your former lovingkindnesses, which You swore to David in Your faithfullness?

Psalms 89:46-49

Ethan the Ezrahite does not hesitate to bring God into question. He believes that God has given promises, yet none of those promises have come to fruition. He reminds God that He has not been keeping the promises given to David, consequently, His people are living through harsh abuse from their enemies. Everyone is in distress--the psalmist, the people, and the king! Still, through it all, he is praising God! How can this be?

When your life is full of dashed promises, how can we still praise the name of God?

TRUST

In my life there have been many days of distress and broken promises. Days that I have felt like Heman and Ethan, only able to see the unfulfilled portions of my life and spewing out distress. God hears it all, yet still brings me back to a place of needing to trust that He has it all under control. Even through the pain, He has a plan. He has proven to me that though I cannot see a way out, trusting Him is the answer to the way. Pressing into a life of daily trust will open doors that my distress does not see. 

Where does your trust abide? Is God asking you to move your perspective of what He is not doing to trusting Him through the not?

Trusting God's people has always been a struggle for me. Yet, I have found that when my trust is founded in my Jesus, I can trust that He will lead me to trusting His people as well, because He brings trustworthy people into my life. He chooses them, not me. And, if I feel reason to distrust, He will walk through that with me.

This, is authentic faith in the God that is not afraid or insulted to hear my heart. All of it, I have to trust that!

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