Heavenly Reality

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If I may, I’d like to be quite candid today 🙂 I have not written since September, due to lack of time, so I’d like to take a cue from my friend, Tannis, and take a more mini-blog style approach and simply share a few quick thoughts of what God has been speaking to my heart lately 🙂

I was just telling a friend this morning that life with Jesus isn’t JUST about eternity; it’s a reality that we can experience right in the here and now! But the question is: How do we get to that point – the place where we LIVE like Heaven is real and all around us? (Matt. 10:7)

There are many answers to this question.  This is supposed to be a mini-blog, so I will attempt to keep it short-and-sweet 😉

Word Time

First of all, we need to spend quality (vs. quantity) time in God’s Word daily.  In January, I was inspired to begin reading through the Bible in a year.  I am really having fun doing this via the YouVersion Bible app!  I am excited because not only do they have a chronological reading plan, but they also have an audio option! Now I can read with my eyes and hear the Word with my ears simultaneously!  Let me just insert a little side note here that if you want to increase your reading speed, this is an excellent tool!  I was beginning to feel really proud of myself for how quickly I was able to get through several passages, as you are also able to increase the speed of the audio.  BUT, the Lord began to convict me about quality versus quantity.  The key with consistency in the Word is to keep it from becoming religious. Long story short, I turned off my audio Bible, read the Word with my own eyes with the help of the Holy Spirit, and turned up the worship music.  Let me just tell you that in that moment, Hebrews 4:12 became a reality for me! Yes! The Word of God is NOT just a Book, it it the living Word from God Himself to us!  My response to His undeniable presence, was to stop reading, get down on my knees, and worship the King of kings!!!

Prayer & Worship

That brings me to another way we stay connected to Heaven on earth, which is through prayer and worship.  Prayer doesn’t have to be fancy.  It can be simple.  It doesn’t necessarily matter what words you use – it’s more about the posture of your heart.  Just speak from your heart, and then listen to what He says! It’s the times I’ve remembered to invite the Holy Spirit into my study and reading time that He’s given me so much revelation!  As illustrated above – when this happens, I just can’t help but stop and worship Him! He loves answering us when we ask Him wondering questions about His Word! On the other hand, I’ve learned that I can be in the Word and be studying the Word of God daily, but if I’m not taking the time to listen to what His Spirit is speaking to me through His Word, and applying it to my life, then I will not be bearing lasting fruit – my life will remain unchanged.

Heavenly Reality

The more quality time we spend with God in His Word, in prayer, and in worship, the more He grows us and assures us that this Kingdom of His is real! Then we will begin to see the Kingdom of Heaven all around us, and we will begin to walk and live in the reality of Heaven!

Elise, you are amazing! I love your take on this controversial song! Beautiful! Thank you for sharing your heart! 💞

Brotherly Love

Reckless is a word that many people now days shy away from as a word with a good meaning. We often see reckless as a bad thing, irresponsible, dangerous, childish. Have you ever seen a teenage girl and guy “in love”? And then the guy breaks the girl’s heart over and over and he doesn’t respect her and doesn’t show her love but she keeps on loving him every time he comes crawling back from his mistakes? We would tell this girl that she is being reckless with her heart and feelings. We would tell this girl to let that guy go, that she deserves better. Which she does. But the point I am making is that this is the same thing with God. Over and over and over we disrespect, ignore and break God’s heart. But every single time that we make a mistake, every single time that we…

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The One who leads us into the new year

Hearing the Heartbeat just keeps getting better and better! She puts my feelings and experiences into words in such a beautiful way!

Hearing The Heartbeat

As we climb into the car I’m awed by the delicate ferns hand-drawn on the windshield. New every morning. God strews new beauty across the world each night. Does he do it for the sheer joy of creating? Or for the joy of surprising his beloved with never-fading, never-stale love? Does he smile when I sit in awe, letting the marvel of his unfailing kindness sink deep?

We run at the park and as the sun finally peeps her face above the horizon I pause. I have to. The tiniest lights are sprinkled across the grassy field, strung up and down each blackberry vine, draped on each twig of each bush. Winter’s barrenness has been transformed into a delicate, magical fairyland, only better because it’s real. It’s as though God’s joy could no longer be contained and he poured it all out like a child with a bottle of…

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When you need to remember the bigger story

You will enjoy this post from HearingtheHeartbeat as you experience Handel’s Messiah like never before. 🙂

Hearing The Heartbeat

There are those moments when the fog lifts and light peeks through and I see again the Grand Story in which we all live.

One of those moments happened for me ten days ago as I sat watching a small choir and orchestra play Handel’s Messiah. I’ve seen it performed live at least ten or fifteen times. I’ve listened to it hundreds of times, singing along with it as I wash dishes. It always points me back to the Grand Story, to the place where light breaks into the darkness. But this night was different. More.

For one thing, it was being performed in a small theatre—the same size as the room in which it was first performed in 1742. The orchestra was smaller than I’m used to—only four first violins. The instruments were different too: the eighteenth-century trumpet was double the length of a modern trumpet, and have you…

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The Throne Room

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There I was, sitting still, minding my own business, not expecting anything life-changing whatsoever. That’s when it happened….

In a matter of minutes, I experienced a transformation.  You see, my Father began to reveal things to my heart.  The very same heart that I thought was whole and healed. Many times that’s my problem – I think – I assume and presume that I know my own heart.  It’s in these very times of knowing that I’ve been so wrong…

Somewhere along the way, I had allowed lies to creep in.  Lies like, I’m not good enough, I’m ugly, I’m worthless, I’m unlovable…Where the lies came from, I’m not exactly sure.  From the enemy? Maybe.  Someone in my past? Possibly.  I think a more probable source might be my very own mind.  A mind that is an amazing gift from God, but as it seems, has not yet been completely perfected.

The source of the lies isn’t my point here.  My point is that my Father had His own thoughts about those lies, and He had a plan to share them with me that day.

As my tears began to fall, I began to really feel the lies.  I started to feel extremely worthless and ugly and unlovable.  Then I closed my eyes, and my surroundings completely changed.

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I was suddenly in Heaven, in the throne room, to be exact.  I was quite a ways from the throne of God, but I could see it.  I immediately fell on my face, in my state of utter shame.  I thought, God – in all of His holiness – would not possibly allow someone like me to enter into His throne room, unless it was to sentence them to death.

And yet, there was the tiniest flicker of hope… Maybe, just maybe, He might allow me to approach Him and beg for mercy…

I very hesitantly began to lift my gaze to the throne, and I humbly dared to ask if I could come just a bit closer…

To my complete and utter astonishment, God Himself opened His arms to me, and told me to not only approach the throne, but He actually called me Child, and He wanted me to come sit on His lap – on His throne – with HIM!!!

I ran to Him, and in an instant, perfect Love had melted all my fears away, and He introduced me to the Truth…

As He scooped me up into His arms, He held me close, and He began to hug and laugh and talk with me!

He told me that I had nothing to fear, and that He had adopted me as His very own daughter, and that He was now my Dad! He told me that I was welcome to sit on His lap anytime!  He told me that just like the father in the parable of the prodigal son (Luke 15:11-32), He had been waiting for me to turn to Him, for me to run into His waiting arms.  He told me that all of this was possible because of His Son, Jesus.

“You see, you have not received a spirit that returns you to slavery, so you have nothing to fear. The Spirit you have received adopts you and welcomes you into God’s own family. That’s why we call out to Him, ‘Abba! Father!’ as we would address a loving daddy.” ~ Romans 8:15, The Voice

“Now that we know what we have—Jesus, this great High Priest with ready access to God—let’s not let it slip through our fingers. We don’t have a priest who is out of touch with our reality. He’s been through weakness and testing, experienced it all—all but the sin. So let’s walk right up to him and get what he is so ready to give. Take the mercy, accept the help.” ~ Hebrews 4:14-16, The Message

This all happened about 6 months ago…but I believe the time has come for me to begin sharing my experience with others. I want to share with you that I’m on this amazing journey of discovering Who God is and who I am in Him.  He is giving me glimpses of Heaven and an awareness of Heaven around me, and changing the way that I think which changes who I am.  At this point, I do not know the fullness of what is available to me, but I do know that I will know more tomorrow than I do today, and more the day after that. It’s all because of what Jesus did for me on the cross!

Jesus died so that we could be fully restored to right relationship with (God) Himself, and receive the presence of His Holy Spirit – a gift received by faith (John 3:16; Col. 1:19-20; Tit. 3:5; Eph. 2:8; Col. 2:13-15).

You see, the same God that has done all these things for me wants to the same for you, and MORE!  God is so good and He’s NOT angry with you.  He fiercely loves you and wants to restore you – body, soul and spirit!  He offers you FREEDOM and a brand new start!  The choice is yours, and yours alone.

Have you ever made Jesus the Lord and Savior of your life?  Would you like to? Then simply pray this prayer and start a new life in Christ:

“Dear God, I come to You in the Name of Jesus. I admit that I am not right with You, and I want to be right with You. I ask You to forgive me of all my sins. The Bible says if I confess with my mouth that ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in my heart that God raised Him from the dead, I will be saved (Rom. 10:9). I believe with my heart and I confess with my mouth that Jesus is the Lord and Savior of my life. Thank You for saving me!

In Jesus’ Name I pray. Amen.”

If you prayed that prayer for the first time and meant it from your heart, then CONGRATULATIONS!  You are now a brand NEW creation in Christ!!!

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Friend, if you’re still not quite ready to take that step, just know that He is waiting patiently for you to come home…But don’t wait too long!!!  Our time on this earth, as you well know, is short…

“…While the [lost child] was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt… [compassion] for his [child]. So the father ran to him [an undignified act for a family patriarch; evidence of his unrestrained love] and hugged and kissed him.” ~ Luke 15:20, Expanded Bible

 

Come to Jesus…He wants to see you free!

 

The truth that can bring joy to every moment

As I’ve been taking a bit of a break, not from writing, but just from writing on the blog, I’ve been taking everything in, and savoring ALL of the MOMENTS… I quite enjoyed this post from HearingtheHeartbeat, and I hope you do too! 🙂

Hearing The Heartbeat

I step out the back door. I can’t see him, but a robin is singing somewhere under the clouded sky. This moment is a gift from the One who loves me.

The wind pushes and presses against me as I run face-first into it. This moment is a gift from the One who loves me.

The reminder has been echoing through my days, inviting me to slow and savor the reality beneath the surface. This moment is a gift from the One who loves me.

As I drift off to sleep, this moment is a gift, a good gift from the One who delights to refresh me.

As I lie awake in the wee hours, this moment is a gift, a good gift from the One who is inviting me to snuggle closer, to know myself held, to share with him and let him lift whatever is weighing on…

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Where God just might come nearest

I really, really like this post by Hearing the Heartbeat. “for me the early morning moments suspended between sleep and rising are a thin time when my heart often understands something that my mind hasn’t yet been able to grasp.”

Hearing The Heartbeat

Is there a place you’ve experienced as a “thin place,” a place where heaven seems especially close to earth, and God, though everywhere present, somehow seems nearer? Most often I’ve heard the term used for bits of land where pilgrims have walked and worshipped and sought God for centuries. Iona, for instance. But the chair where I regularly curl up to spend time alone with God, a particular painting, a beach, a bench—I’ve known each of these as a thin place.

People can be thin places too. As Ann Voskamp observes, “Every child’s a thin place.”

I’ve been wondering: what if we experience children most easily as thin places simply because they haven’t yet learned to hide their hearts?

What if beneath all the masks every human being is a thin place, or contains thin places?

And what if . . . what if the wounds and cracks and…

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Loved in our frailty

This is really speaking to me today…

Hearing The Heartbeat

I’ve just returned from ten days in the Rockies—ten days of feeling small. Majestic mountains towered over the towns where we stayed and lined both sides of the highway. A road was closed because of an avalanche.

I loved the mountains, loved running up the mountain trails in the early morning and discovering the vista at the top. But as much as I’ve thought and written about smallness, there were moments on this trip when the exterior landscape imaging my interior one left me unsettled by my smallness.

The trip took place just after graduation. I’ve been slowly working away at my Master’s for eight years—the last few of those spent writing a book. I’ve learned many things, chief among which is my smallness, and my lovedness in my smallness. And now? This is where that learning gets tested, here where I step out of studies and into the real world…

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Callin’ All Wanna Be Dreamers

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Remember when you were a little kid,

When the air was sweet and your dreams were big?

You’d run through the fields and look to the sky,

You used to imagine that you could fly.

How you would find the tallest of trees,

And see how close you could get to the top!

You’d splash your feet in the creek;

And be amazed at the way toads hopped.

You’d catch grasshoppers and let them go;

You’d make snow-angels in the snow.

When, My Child, did you begin

Losing sight of the dream that you’re in?

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Somewhere along the way

Hurtful things began to weigh

Upon your heart, so full of dreams,

You began to think, “What does this all mean?

Is God still good? Is this His plan for me?

This hurts so bad, I can hardly breathe.”

Oh, My Child, I know your pain,

I walk with you in the sun or rain.

When the sky seems dark, I’m by your side.

Do not fear – I AM The Light.

Remember those dreams that you used to dream.

You looked to the sky and hoped to fly.

Those weren’t just illusions of a wide-eyed child.

Those dreams were meant to spark something wild.

It was I Who placed those dreams in you,

And I promise to make all things new!

You are My beloved child;

I delight in you and who you are.

You make My heart sing for joy,

Sweet child of the bright Morning Star!

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When I conceived you, Child,

I knew this day would come.

I saw before you all of your days,

Every. Single. One.

Don’t lose heart, I’m giving you strength

To face whatever comes.

Know that you are never alone –

You’re empowered by My Son!

You were born to be a mighty warrior,

And mighty you’ve become.

Fighting battles in My Name,

You’ll sound the great war drum.

Tearing down strongholds – obtaining victory –

You are a part of The Grandest Story.

You belong to the King of kings,

You’re fighting in His Name.

What you thought was once a dream

Is your reality – they’re the same.

It’s time to let the dreamers dream,

For My vision has come to redeem.

I will restore what you thought had been lost

Don’t even think twice, I’ve covered the cost.

Keep looking to Me, I’ll show you how

To exercise those dreams – starting right now!

The dream I began I will complete,

All you need to do is rest in Me.

Dare to believe what you perceive,

And let the dreamers dream.

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The too-good-to-miss news of where Jesus was born

“Jesus is no stranger to mess. He is not afraid of my brokenness, not ashamed of my sin. He has breathed it in, carried it inside himself all the way to death, then come out the other side having left sin and its consequences gasping their final death-rattling breaths in the grave.”

Thank You, Lord, for making Your home inside of THIS filthy stable, and washing it as white as snow…

Hearing The Heartbeat

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It was two nights before Christmas and I’d slipped into my common refrain of wishing I had a better self to offer Jesus—less fearful, less selfish, better able to trust. I didn’t sing that refrain long, though, because I let the thoughts become a conversation with Jesus, and he has a way of speaking into these conversations exactly what I need to hear.

So I told Jesus that I wished I had a better self to offer him, but I didn’t have a better self, and I couldn’t seem to make the self I do have better, so I was offering him again the only thing I have to offer (which just happens to be the thing he really wants)—my real self. I told him that even though I sometimes hold back in fear or selfishness or pride, the deeper part of me longs for him to be at home in me and…

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