My Hope is You ~ Music Monday

“How are you today?”

How many times have you answered that question with “good” when you really wanted to reply with this – “I’m just terrible!  I haven’t been feeling well lately and I have a whole lot of stuff going on in life that’s really hard to deal with!”

Sometimes as Christians I think we have this idea in our heads that just because we have Jesus we should be feeling happy all the time. I also think that when a prayer goes seemingly unanswered that makes things even harder.

Our God is supposed to answer every prayer…right?? But what happens when he doesn’t?

Unfortunately, we don’t get everything we ask for.

I do know that God hears every single one of my prayers, but the truth is he hasn’t answered every single one of my prayers in the way that I asked him to, and some I have been praying and waiting for a really long time, still with no answer.

I have quite a few prayers that I’m glad he didn’t answer my way because His way came out way better than mine. But then there are those other prayers like when my brother died or when my friend’s cancer got worse and she died too that I was not happy with his way. Those kinds of prayers do seem to happen a lot.

I know there are reasons as to why they died and others live or why one person suffers more than another. I’m not sure if I will ever get to know any of those reasons but I can tell you one thing I do know… I saw my friend cling to Jesus as she went through her last days and she seemed at peace and also through it all she was encouraging others and bringing them to Him!

Sometimes I’ve found that some of the biggest encouragers I know have some pretty bad ‘stuff’ going on in their lives but not all of them share that they are struggling with others.

Why are we like this when the truth is bad stuff just happens and we can’t be feeling good all the time!

I heard the following song on the radio recently and I loved it because the singer is talking about his job of standing on the stage night after night reminding broken people that it will be alright… when he himself isn’t doing very well.

This song encourages me because I have felt this way.

‘I know your able and I know you can, save through the fire with your mighty hand. But even if you don’t, My hopes is you alone’ (lyrics by Mercyme)

Haven’t we all felt this way at one time or another?

One thing to remember is this – no matter what you are going through Jesus is faithful and he will walk through it with you. He will even carry you if needed. ALWAYS.

My hope is Jesus alone.

Great are You Lord – Music Monday

As I cross through the valley of the shadows you never leave me to cross alone.

You are by my side with each step,

holding me steady,

helping me make my way through the shadow days.

You are a lamp burning bright,

my guiding light that I must always keep in sight.

You are my strength,

my comfort,

the breath in my lungs.

The only way I can ever make it through is when I walk with you.

You are my refuge,

Great are You Lord.


The Lord is my shepherd;
I shall not want.
He makes me to lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside the still waters.
He restores my soul;
He leads me in the paths of righteousness
For His name’s sake.

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil;
For You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
You anoint my head with oil;
My cup runs over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
All the days of my life;
And I will dwell in the house of the Lord Forever.   Psalm 23

I Believe I Can Fly

I believe I can fly

The cute little guys in the picture above have been living under the front awning at our church for about a week now.

I’ve been watching their mom sitting on her eggs for several weeks and just last Friday as I was leaving the church I noticed that they had hatched and were peeking their little heads out of the nest.  Today they were all standing on the edge as if considering taking a step off and flying.

I couldn’t help but imagine what must have been going through their little minds as they were thinking about flying for the first time. Were they are afraid to jump or do they just take off with no fear?

After watching them for a while I have come to the conclusion that they must thoroughly assess the situation before actually making the big leap because I never saw any of them actually step off the edge and fly.

I imagined them running it by each other, saying things like, ‘Wow we sure are really high up… do you think its really true that we can fly?….you go first…no you go ahead…”

The cool thing is that whether they believe they can fly or not, God already had flying planned for their lives before they were even born. And once they make the decision to take that first step off that ledge flying is for sure going to happen.

It’s the same for us too.

Before we were born God already had a plan for each one of our lives

We can choose to stay perched where we feel safe or we can bravely take the first step off the edge and fly into what he has planned for our lives.

What does God have planned for your life?

Will you fly?

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11

Passing through the Storm only to Find Another Cloud

psalm

I’m not usually a quitter but by the end of the day yesterday that’s exactly where I was…ready to quit!

I woke up yesterday morning to the sound of my alarm at 6 am. I was exhausted from a long night of tossing and turning and my heart had been racing all night.

I have been having an irregular heartbeat on and off for a couple of weeks now and during these episodes my heart beats erratically and I get light headed.  Sometimes feel like I’m going to pass out. I really haven’t been feeling very well at all lately and the racing was really starting to frighten me a whole lot.  Last week I had lab testing done by my doctor and now I was going to see her for my lab results and so she could check me out some more.

Other than the crazy heartbeat it was a pretty routine morning of me getting ready to leave the house but then suddenly as I was walking down the hall  my knee just seemed to come out from under me sending me face first into the floor.

Ten minutes later I sat on my couch with ice bags on my face and both knees assessing the damage… I had a bloody nose, a small cut inside my top lip, a very swollen top lip and nose, a massive headache and both knees hurting and beginning to swell. Thankfully though I had no major injuries.

A couple of hours later I made it my doctor’s appointment where I received the news that my heart isn’t getting enough oxygen to my body and that I am diabetic and my blood pressure is high.

I left the doctor’s office as the owner of a new diet, a prescription for high blood pressure medicine, and an order to turn in for my very own heart monitor :'(

So like I said in the beginning of this post… I am not usually a quitter but by the end of the day yesterday that’s exactly where I was.

Ready to quit…

I felt like I needed a break from the day, or maybe it was the world.  Either way all I wanted to do was crawl in my bed, close my eyes, and hide under the covers forever. I seem to be having an overabundance of hard stuff anymore. I usually try my best to keep my head up and look to the good stuff, but today it was hard to see through the tears. I don’t mean to sound like I am complaining… seriously there is a whole lot that is good in my life…But…I do have to say though that in the middle of all that good stuff there also seems to be one hard thing right after another. When one thing stops it seems like something else always starts up. I’ve had one illness right after another for almost 5 years now. People around me are sick too and a whole lot of stuff is always happening in my family. If this is just a season it’s been way too long of a season and I’m ready to get on with a new one. I can’t begin to count how many times I’ve passed through the storm and came out on the other side only to see the sun quickly being covered by another cloud.

Last night I think I may have finally hit my breaking point, crawled under the covers put my headphones on and lay there listening to Pandora hoping to fall asleep.

I heard two songs, both had words that just seemed picked out perfectly for me.
Praise you in This Storm and Eye of the Storm

Coincidence?

I think not.

After hearing those songs I felt at peace and went right to sleep. I finally got some rest last night and I woke up today in a way better mood.

Life isn’t always easy; the truth is sometimes it’s just plain hard.

I still have the same problems this morning when I woke up that I went to sleep with.

But I am so glad I got up and faced the day today, because today things seemed to not be as bad as they felt when I went to sleep last night.

I felt at peace and now I can see all that is good again.

Actually today was a really good day.

Oh and by the way since the fall yesterday I have not had any irregular heartbeats. When the doctor was checking me out yesterday and I told her that since I had fallen it hadn’t happened anymore she said that it is actually possible that the adrenaline rush shocked my heart back into a regular rhythm… Sounds crazy but its been over 24 hours and so far so good! Thank you God!

Before you leave today check out this song by Ryan Stevenson – Eye of the Storm

A Hand Reaching Out

I was sitting on a beach enjoying the sunshine when suddenly the clouds that had been puffy white suddenly turned an odd shade of brown and started going together into a long roll. I stopped what I was doing and stood up watching, mesmerized as they rolled quickly across the sky coming to a stop over the water.

The clouds kept getting bigger and bigger and they started dipping down close to the water. The people around me started to panic and someone said, “oh my God it’s a tornado!” and then everyone started running.

Everyone was screaming and running but I couldn’t move because my feet were suddenly frozen to the ground. Everyone around me was panicking but I wasn’t scared at all. It was like I had this feeling of peace and a knowing that I was safe and I just stood there watching the clouds.

Chaos was everywhere and then in an instant it was if the world around me just stopped. All the people were all standing frozen in place now and there was no wind or rain to go along with the darkness. The ocean waves had stopped leaving the surface of the water still and dark black like a giant pool of ink. It felt as if the air went silent too. It was so quiet I imagine this is what deafness must feel like. 

I should have been scared but I wasn’t scared at all. It was like the hush I felt around me was also inside of me filling me to the depths of my entire soul with a perfect feeling of peace.

Suddenly out of the deafness there came a loud clap of thunder and the clouds began parting with rays of the most magnificent beams of bright light I’d ever seen shining through them and then a giant hand came out of the opening in the sky. The hand came down just above the water and opened turning palm upward. It began moving closer to us with beautiful colored light shining all around it.

Someone shouted, “it’s the hand of God!”  By then I was already crying and feeling in awe of his presence because I knew those words were true…Yes! This was the hand of God!  So many feelings were going through me now, feelings of joy and love and an unexplainable feeling of peace like I have never known. The hand moved around as if offering itself to all who wanted to grasp it but nobody moved. After a while it went back up into the clouds and the sky immediately went back to normal.

I was wrecked, falling to my knees to pray thinking those around me would join in…but it didn’t happen. Instead, the people just went back to their business as if nothing out of the ordinary had happened. It was as if nobody even cared what they had just been a part of.

I turned to a woman standing next to me and said, “wow the hand of…”  but she cut me off and said, “the hand of God, ya right, who cares!” and then she rolled her eyes!

God’s hand had been there, right in front of us, offering for each one of us to just reach out and take what he had to offer. It couldn’t possibly be true that nobody cared! They were all right there so close to being in in the palm of his hand, how they could pass that up it just made no sense!!! I started crying….

And then I woke up.

It had only been a dream!

Even though it was only a dream my heart was still pounding and I felt sick to my stomach and my face was wet with tears because I had been crying in my sleep.

I know it was only a dream but it felt so real!

It’s been a day and a half and I still can’t shake it that dream. In the dream, it made me sad that God was right in front of us in such a spectacular display and nobody cared and nobody would take what he had to offer. This has me thinking about how there used to be a time in my life that God’s hand was right in front of my face and I didn’t see it. I also have to admit that there are still some days that go by and I miss him.

Years ago I didn’t see him because I didn’t want to see Him. I used to think he wasn’t real and now it’s hard for me to believe that I could have ever felt that way. How could I have gotten up in the morning to see a sunrise and never wonder how something so magnificent could have gotten there? How could I have had 3 children and never once questioned how something so perfect as a newborn baby could have formed without help from something more than just magically happening? I could go on but I know you know what I mean… flowers, animals, air, water, LIFE. It’s all because of Him.

God is real and God is always here in each and every second of every day. We may not see him as a big giant hand reaching out of the sky like in my dream but He is all around us in each and every single thing in each and every single day.

I don’t want to miss him, and I don’t want anyone to miss what he has to offer!

Open my eyes Lord.

Open our eyes, let us see your hand reaching out to us!

I know to someone who doesn’t believe in Him this may sound strange. I know because I have been there. I used to live my life without God in it. I also remember a time in my life that I felt that I was too bad and that there was no way he could ever want or love me. But that wasn’t true and even though I totally gave up on him and also on myself, he still never gave up on me. He has shown me time and time again that he wants me, and now that he is in my life He has been right here holding my hand for every single step I take. If you are reading this and in need of a hand to help lift you up, all you have to do is want Him in your life. Just tell him you want him and then grab on to his hand. He sent Jesus to save us and all we have to do is ask him in and he will come.

It’s truly that simple.

If He is what you want and you don’t know what to say, you can say this prayer –  Dear Jesus, I know you are the son of God, I know you came for me, I know you died for me. I ask you to come into my life right now. I ask you to forgive me for my sin because I want to make a fresh start. I want to live the rest of my life with you and for you. Amen

If you said that prayer for the first time or maybe you are just deciding to come back from a separation of some sort, know that now he has you in the palm of his hand. If you are there you will never be alone.

 “Can a mother forget the baby at her breast
    and have no compassion on the child she has borne?
Though she may forget,
    I will not forget you!
 See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands;
    your walls are ever before me. Isaiah 49:15-26

Have a great weekend!

Terri Siebert