2016

“Jesus often whispers for us to come and sit at his feet. When we take time to disconnect from our flurry of daily activities, we can hear God’s voice much more clearly.” From Upper Room Daily Devotionals…I hope to make this my daily retreat in 2016! I send warm thoughts and prayers to each of you as you reach out to goal spiritually in the New Year! 💞2⃣0⃣1⃣6⃣ 🎼
Praise the LORD! Praise the LORD from the heavens; praise him in the heights! Psalm 148:1, NRSV….Praise🎧

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26 thoughts on “2016

  1. What a great idea!! There are so many wonderful devotions to choose from and each of us has a special one…..or maybe a special one for the season of life that we’re in. And it is grand to hear the Lord speak to our hearts from the words and revelations that He has given to others and published for our edification.
    But it is so lovely to read, allow the Holy Spirit to speak to our hearts….that Still Small Voice of the Lord. [And if He has allowed us to share what He has given us, whispered in our ear ]….to be able to share with others is such a blessings.
    I would love to hear what others have received from the Lord and to share what He has put on my heart.
    This will be a specially touching project in 2016,

    1. MG sounds like you have found your stride for 2016. So glad you have found those to hitch your wagon to as you share your related whispers with one another. I seem to hear another song, ‘So glad…” Was this an Ivan Parker song?

  2. Thank you for your “warm thoughts and prayers “, Sara. That is truly a gift.

    After reading this blog tonight, I read my devotionals and the message above “…come and sit at his feet” echoed from each.
    A portion of Sarah Young’s said “I am preparing you for what is on the road ahead, just around the bend. Take time to be still in My Presence so that I can strengthen you.The busier you become, the more you need this time apart with Me”. One scripture noted at the bottom of hers was John 15:5: “Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing.”
    Oswald Chambers used Jeremiah 4:1 and said ” The battle is lost or won in the secret places of the will before God, never first in the external world. The Spirit of god apprehends me and I am obliged to get alone with God and fight the battle out before Him.”

    1. Thanks Debi, it is like a drink of fresh spring water to stop by here and find the fruit of abiding showing in others’ creative sharing. Your connective devotionals from Oswald Chambers and Sarah Young, some of my favorites, connecting with The Upper Room builds a sanctuary of praise.

      I can see and hear a visual image of your guitar playing and singing from years ago in spiritual retreats, “As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul longeth after thee, my God.” (Psalm 42:1)

      When the branch from the vine is healthy fruit flows and shows. When we are connected as in devotionals written by saints of different eras and cultures that have been tried and proven we find fruit that nourishes our soul and praise of God pursues and not praise of self which only depletes the well of my soul. Then partakers of our spiritual fruit connects the ligaments that serve to connect bones and hold organs in place.

      Another song eruptes from within as I write, “Lord prepare me to be a sanctuary, pure and holy, tried and true.” Jessie Dixon sang this song in our presence before our eyes and now as he interprets his song from the Eternal side of Glory we can go on singing and learning from one another that are sitting at the feet of Jesus! Whoa! What a Savior!

      1. Sara, your comment above “When the branch from the vine is healthy fruit flows and shows. When we are connected as in devotionals written by saints of different eras and cultures that have been tried and proven we find fruit that nourishes our soul and praise of God pursues and not praise of self which only depletes the well of my soul. Then partakers of our spiritual fruit connects the ligaments that serve to connect bones and hold organs in place.” contained a word “organ” which reverberated in me when I read the following from a saint of a different era, A.W. Tozer, in his book, The Divine Conquest”: God made man in His own image and placed within him an organ by means of which he could know spiritual things. When man sinned that organ died. “Dead in sin” is a description not of the body nor yet of the intellect, but of the organ of God-knowledge within the human soul. Now men are forced to depend upon another and inferior organ and one furthermore which is wholly inadequate to the purpose. I mean of course, the mind as the seat of powers of reason and understanding. Man by reason cannot know God; he can only know about God…” (he goes on to say)…”When the Spirit illuminates the heart, then the part of man sees which never saw before, a part of him knows which never knew before, and that with a kind of knowing which the most acute thinker cannot imitate”….”The inability of human reason as an organ of divine knowledge arises not from its own weakness but from its unfittedness for the task by its own nature. It was not given as an organ by which to know God.”
        I think I understand in what you write above that there can be no spiritual fruit, partakers of it or ‘organs in place’ unless we receive from and connect in the Vine.

  3. Since I have been sharing my heart of words this am with you Lilies my inner soul continues to sing as I hear music and song bursting from within. Do you remember another song some of us would often sing, Spring up O well within my soul…?

    I read an interesting article yesterday that I would like to share for those interested in music as part of sitting at the feet of Jesus, washing feet and other symbolic thoughts.

    As some of you know April 2015 my brother and good friend passed away. It left an awful void in my heart as well as a lot of hurt surrounding his last days from family members. As I was comforted by many and often would sit as Jesus’ feet only an old hymn would ease the pain and dry the tears. As I began to heal I felt to share hymns online with many others that were hurting. For the last few months each Sunday am, I would start the choir by posted the first line of an old hymn. People surprises me by adding their lines and at times their stories. The sounds of heavenly glory rings through this online choir each week. I am healing day by day from voices singing silently but loudly with me and saints from 100’s of years back. As I was contemplating on should I continue leading this choir in 2016 this article was offered to me. We have read parts of this before most likely. It gave me more creative ideas. Hope you enjoy. http://www.nydailynews.com/life-style/health/daily-checkup-music-therapy-shows-results-article-1.2469025

    1. Adding to my own thoughts on singing, praise, music, feet, and other a friend shared this with me from an article or page they read.

      “You are not consciously aware of the vast majority of your brain’s ongoing activities, nor would you want to be — it would interfere with the brain’s well-oiled processes. The best way to mess up your piano piece is to concentrate on your fingers; the best way to get out of breath is to think about your breathing; the best way to miss the golf ball is to analyze your swing.” And sharing another’s thoughts on quote; “It seems clearly a confirmation that a busy mind (i.e., too much thinking) will be the surefire way to mess us up in so many ways.”

      I’m doing a lot of soul searching to make ready to enter 2016 with newness of praise!

      1. ” “It seems clearly a confirmation that a busy mind (i.e., too much thinking) will be the surefire way to mess us up in so many ways.”…

        I wonder form comment above if the quality of our thinking as well as the quantity can ‘mess us up’ as well?
        I don’t think God designed the mind to be a garbage dump.
        “And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.” Philippians 4:8

    2. “Do you remember another song some of us would often sing, Spring up O well within my soul…?”
      Yes, I do Sara…I think these words follow yours…
      “Spring up o well and make me whole, spring up O well and give to me…that Life abundantly…”. It sure describes your online choir and relates so to the music therapy article you shared. Thanks for the inspiring.

      1. Debi, interrsting thought on your ” mind mess up”…let me review and see if I understand your point. 1) busy mind ie too much thinking might afford a mess up 2) what you think on might do likewise

        Now, maybe I’m not thinking clearly in trying to understand this…but, just purposely thinking what might be the opposite of virtue, etc.might mess up mind

        That might be controversial since we might not agree on virtuous,etc. thoughts

        Do you get my point?

    3. Sara, you wrote above regarding your ‘online choir’: “I am healing day by day from voices singing silently but loudly with me and saints from 100’s of years back. ”

      Reading from Tozer’s “The Divine Conquest” a couple of nights ago, I found that he, also, found “heavenly glory” as he sang hymns with “saints from 100’s of years back.” He comments on one such hymn writer from the 1800’s and the importance of such hymns.

      “In the poetical works of Frederick Faber I have found a hymn to the Holy Spirit that I would rank among the finest ever written, but so far as I know it has not been set to music, or if it has, it is not sung today in any church with which I am acquainted. Could the reason be that it embodies personal experience of the Holy Spirit so deep, so intimate, so fiery hot that it corresponds to nothing in the hearts of the worshipers in present-day evangelicalism?
      I quote three stanzas:
      Fountain of Love! Thyself true God!
      Who through eternal days
      From Father and from Son hast flowed
      In uncreated ways!

      I dread Thee, Unbegotten Love!
      True God! sole Fount of Grace!
      And now before Thy blessed throne
      My sinful self abase.

      O Light! O Love! O very God
      I dare no longer gaze
      Upon Thy wondrous attributes
      And their mysterious ways.

      These lines have everything to make a great hymn, sound theology, smooth structure, lyric beauty, high compression of profound ideas and a full charge of lofty religious feeling. Yet they are in complete neglect. I believe that a mighty resurgence of the Spirit’s power among us will open again wells of hymnody long forgotten. For song can never bring the Holy Spirit, but the Holy Spirit does invariably bring song.”

      1. Thanks Debi, another Tozer light on a hill not hide (spiritual illumination or awareness; enlightenment.) I feel Tozer knew to make us aware and enlighten our minds to sing when The Holy Spirit brings song. I found this truth glowing in action this past Sunday when The Holy Spirit brought the song, Whispering Prayer, to support, Lynn, as she just found out she had cancer. Many joined in song, testimony, offers of help and love. How glorious when we all move to the sound of The Holy Spirit’s voice.

      2. Luke 11:33, 34 gives us reason to show and sing… “No one, after lighting a lamp, puts it away in a cellar nor under a basket, but on the lampstand, so that those who enter may see the light. 34) The eye is the lamp of your body; when your eye is clear, your whole body also is full of light; but when it is bad, your body also is full of darkness.…”

        I have noticed that a choir that sings in perfect harmony brings Holy Spirit results. Get a member singing or playing off key showing their darkness of disunity, love of self, show off, rebellious spirit and the list of dark only grows darker and spreads like a setting sun where dark will ultimately prevail. He hangs the stars and sets the moon to enlighten man to use their enlighten minds to invent a light bulb, create the workings of a computer, etc. For the good of all. But, dark yells, me, me,me my skill, my life, my way no unity except for deeds preformed in darkness.

        I have taken my thoughts from this verse Tozer gave me to learn.
        “O Light! O Love! O very God
        I dare no longer gaze
        Upon Thy wondrous attributes
        And their mysterious ways.”

      3. Sara, it looks like you understand my points now let me see if I understand yours re: “That might be controversial since we might not agree on virtuous,etc. thoughts.Do you get my point?”

        If my understanding of what you are saying is correct, I can see that peoples’ opinions on what constitutes a virtuous thought or what we should think on may differ greatly. And I can see that we are all at different places in our understanding and in our perspectives, etc.

        I kept thinking about something you wrote in your “Designs of One’s Heart” book…”words from the Chinese philosopher who said, ‘Renew thyself each day. Do it again and again and forever, again.”
        That speaks to me of a mind renewal. And in your same chapter on Winter you asked, “Are you brooding over a hurt or an offense? Have you given another your disease, allowing a bitter root to spread? Roots of bitterness follow us; anger, hostility and bad attitudes. They have come to rob us of our peace.”

        Brooding starts in the thoughts of the mind. And if these lead to where you state, then could not most agree that this kind of thinking is not virtuous?

      4. Debi, thinking is interesting, wouldn’t you say! Lol

        I was thinking (lol) that on some issues, we might think each other has a ‘messed up mind’ so busy or not, wouldn’t help. I read where a lady wrote last night on a public page, speaking of a political religious figure, named Sarah “she is weird”. I thought and commented, “weird” and then the writer used the word, unique as being me. I was thinking The Word of God calls people that believe the Word, peculiar! So here we have differences, weird-unique-peculiar.

        If, I’m getting my thoughts straight, I guess the original writer, in this dialogue was speaking from my point of view whatever your mind set is don’t let it get off course with being too busy. What say you?

  4. Whoa….Sara!! You have given us a whole year of thoughts and ideas to cultivate and digest……and it isn’t even 2016 YET! Praise the Lord.
    First, let me way I was delighted by the new look on this channel. Beautiful….striking….it struck me, anyway. Is that a rainbow I see passing thru the Cross? The promise of the Rainbow and its promise answered in the Cross. Beautiful signs from the Beloved. Thank you.
    The devotional I want to share is from GOD CALLING and speaks to one segment of the ministry to which I am connected in thedailylily.com. And that is benevolence which is on Jesus’ heart as He constantly spoke and taught about GIVING…..time, money, food, clothing, shelter. The segment of the devotional reads as such,
    “Live in the joy of My constant Presence. Yield every moment to Me. Perform ever task however humble, as at My gentle bidding…..and for Me….and for love of Me. So live, so love, so work! YOU ARE THE APOSTLES OF THE LITTLE SERVICES”
    I thrilled to that phrase. What an assignment of the Lord.
    And the song that keeps repeating as I pray the Prayer one from the Psalm that I love
    comes from Psalm 91′
    ”She” Who Dwells in the Secret Place of the Most High’
    Oh to get out of the secret place of my own heart and into the Secret Place of the Most High God Who covers me with His feathers and under His wings do I trust.

    1. “If, I’m getting my thoughts straight, I guess the original writer, in this dialogue was speaking from my point of view whatever your mind set is don’t let it get off course with being too busy. What say you?”

      Sara, I guess I will answer you with your own quote, “Haste is an enemy of Reflection”.

  5. My Devotional for today is one I wish to share with my thedailylily.com family. One of my favorite authors is Joe Stowell. Maybe not many Christians have heard of him or at least know very little about him. But I am not here to canonize Dr. Stowell. His stuff really speaks to me. For example, in his devotional book on ”Why It’s Hard to Love Jesus” comes this short paragraph in the chapter entitled ‘Simonized Saints’ [symptoms of a loveless life] Dr. Stowell writes, “Seeing ourselves as we really are is difficult. We rationalize and excuse our weaknesses and sins, We quickly forget the conviction of the Word. We resist the accurate ‘critiquing’ of our spouses and/or friends. We tend to wrap our lives in a shroud of self-deception that keeps us feeling good about ourselves. In effect we become ‘simonized’ saints.”
    Wow!! this is quite an accurate description of the church of today….our Laodicean Church from the Book of Revelation. We love God but we love Him, OUR way. Some of us have acquiesced to Grace…so we think….that everything we do is covered by His Grace and favor and we can jolly well adjust our lives to our own comfort zones and go through the motions of “CHRISTIANISM”, which seems to be a man-made religion….and religious it surely is and Grace covers it ALL. Our love-life…that is the love of the brethren and one another is woefully wanting, as the subtitle mentions above. However, these are really NOT a symptom of the loveless life, in actuality… Dr. Stowell….Our lives are full of love….love of money, love of our special idols which include our children and grand children, sports heroes, movie & TV stars…love of luxury, love of food….LOVE OF SELF.!!
    Oh yes, Dr. Stowell…you so hit the nail on the head….Love of the Father is not in us whether we protest or not. HE can’t get through the ‘shroud’ of self-deception, Thank you for your insight. The rest of the devotional is excellent in exposing ”simonized”saints but this much already has a powerful impact on my soul.
    Oh! And by the way….Why is it hard to love JESUS {as the title reads]?..Sara will love this one…
    BECAUSE IT’S WORK!!! Jeremiah 6: 28-9
    Happy New Year to all lovers of the Lord Jesus Christ.

  6. The new Blog photo by Jon of the rainbow promise & cross is an excellent herald of the New Year, 2016! This new year brings promise, hope, peace, joy and love in the Lord God Almighty, “Who stands between the years, casting His light forward upon the New Year.” [God Calling 1/1]
    Happy and blessed New Year to the Lilies and lovers of Jesus Christ. It will be a good year because GOD is in charge and GOD is GOOD!
    Blessings…

    1. I agree, MG. I seem to learn by visual means. Therefore, I love and cherish photos showing images impossible for man to create! Like unto a Rainbow!

      1. I heard a minister just preach that the rainbow originates inside of Father God and He releases the rainbow which exudes from the gemstones of variegated hues and colors within Father God. When He releases it, it rises above and around HIS Throne and actually there are other colors emanated from the Green rainbow around the Throne of God. So then, according to that teacher, that rainbow that Father God presented in the Heavens above the little church penetrating the cross in the photo above is a present, a gift of the Father for Jon record, for us with his camera…. a veritable miracle especially for those of us who believe in the Promise, the prophets and the CROSS. An amazing gift of God and we thank Him…..and Jon… that he captured it at the right moment.!!!!

  7. “When we take time to disconnect from our flurry of daily activities, we can hear God’s voice much more clearly.” Hum…” Take time to disconnect…… So ” we can hear God’s voice much more clearly” . A scripture that comes to mind is “be still and know that I am God”. I believe Sara used this scripture at one of our retreats, maybe “the dance of healing”? And I played a part in her quoting this scripture to me. Do I remember this correctly Sara?

    1. Tammy, you are right and as we read those encouraging words (Psalms 46:10) that are power because God is speaking giving us great assurance that we are to “stand down” because He is going to be Honored by every nation and throughout the world.
      “Be still, and know that I am God! I will be honored by every nation. I will be honored throughout the world.” Psalms 46:10 NLT

      You, Tammy, played a major part in ‘scripture drama,’ from The Dance of Healing, showing each of us how we look when we try to be God and take things into our own hands. Memories, help, and hope still linger from the healing scriptures shared with one another in The Dance of Healing retreat. Years later some of us still weave like our spirit levels are higher than should be keeping us from walking uprightly before the Lord. Taken from Psalm 84:10b-11 “No good thing does he withhold from those who walk uprightly. O LORD of hosts, blessed is the one who trusts in you!”

      1. Thinking on my post above in response to Tammy’s, “Be still and know that I Am God.” Relating to a retreat we attending where she dramatized this thought. I want to add another thought, Retreat…Steal away with the Lord… “as we disconnect from the flurry of our daily activities” taken from our blog post…I find retreat summons my mind to war. I used above, for re-treat, stand down…we could say re-boot, restart your computer so if will run without glitches, maybe! Psalm 119:114 ESV says, “You are my hiding place (quiet retreat) and my shield; I hope in your word” we could use take a refresher course in our healing process as we dance once again. As some of you know and maybe some just catching on to my thrieving on words, symbolism, art, and joy of finding secrets in Bibical research and spirit guidance.

        So thankful for our blog spot of interacting and finding retreat!

  8. Retreat…..stand-down. ” A thousand may fall at my right side and ten thousand and my right hand BUT it will not come near me. Only with my eye will I regard the reward of the wicked.
    Retreat…..stand-down. He will cover me with His feathers and under His wing shall I trust”
    Retreat…..stand-down. Because I have made Him my habitation no calamity shall befall me or plague come near my dwelling place for He gives His angels charge over me to keep me in all ways They shall bear me up in their hands lest I dash my food against a stone.
    Charge…..Go forth. I shall tread on the lion and the adder and trample the young lions and the serpent.
    Retreat…..stand-down. With long life will He satisfy me and show me His salvation”

    Sar, This is what I ‘saw’ when I read your comment above. I see how we ”retreat/ stand down and how we go forth to the fray. Amen!!

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