Remembering the Promised Land

The Wailing Wall
The Wailing Wall in Jerusalem

Yesterday I did something that I had gotten out of the practice of doing. I opened up the Intercessors for Israel prayer e-mail and prayed along.

Every time that I pray along with these weekly prayer prompts, I feel so strengthened and connected to the Father. It keeps me up to date on current events in Israel, and also fills me with hope that the Father is hearing our prayers.

If I want to be so committed to this, why don’t I pray along more often?

Any excuse I come up with isn’t good enough.

I’ve always struggled with praying consistently for Israel for years. I’m not proud of that, but it’s the truth.

When I came back from the Feast of Tabernacles in Jerusalem last year, I told myself that I would pray for Israel more. And I did. Then I got distracted again.

Distraction is often zapping our time, efforts, and prayer life.

But if we open up the Word of Life, and quiet our soul to hear His still small voice, we will know His heart. We will know His will. We will know how to pray.

Sometimes there are many prayer requests on our hearts. We have family, friends, communities, and worldwide issues to pray for. And we need to focus on these important things. But we also need to remember to always “pray for the peace of Jerusalem” (Psalm 122:6).

... from Israel::
photo from pinterest

That small strip of land, about the size of New Jersey, is unlike anywhere else in the world. All the earth is His, but Israel is His special treasure.

For the YHVH has chosen Zion,
    he has desired it for his dwelling, saying,
“This is my resting place for ever and ever;
   here I will sit enthroned, for I have desired it.
I will bless her with abundant provisions;
   her poor I will satisfy with food.
I will clothe her priests with salvation,
and her faithful people will ever sing for joy.
“Here I will make a horn grow for David
   and set up a lamp for my anointed one.
I will clothe his enemies with shame,
   but his head will be adorned with a radiant crown.”
(Psalm 132:13-18)

Daily Bible Verse and Devotion on the Faithfulness of God:

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His heart is for Israel.

With so many people in the world standing against Israel today, we must stand up for this Promised Land.

Re-Pin to say AMEN:

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photo from pinterest.com

Let’s pray for the peace of Jerusalem.

As the Season Changes…

little terrapin creek

Here’s some beautiful things that “find me grateful”:

Endings, beginnings

The full moon shining through the silhouetted treetops

When people work hard together
{there’s something to be said about people from different backgrounds all coming together to serve}

My brother saying “I do” to his beautiful bride

A home overflowing with laughter and chatter with family and friends from out-of-town

This beautiful sunset one evening

stunning sunset

Prayer times with sisters in Messiah

♫ It is Well (Oh My Soul) ♫

Random “I love you’s”

Quiet morning walks with Kiley

Time spent alone outside with my Maker

Autumn breeze

Apple trees at sunset

john 1:5

Finding a sky full of stars while walking out to the tent at night

Hospitality

Precious souls sharing about adoption, how to outreach in a messy world, and redemption from the past

Conversations that stay nestled in my heart

A growing family

Smiles from the ones I love

So many hugs

This song

What are you thankful for during this season of life?

Prepare for the Rain

photo from thoughtcatalog.com
photo from thoughtcatalog.com

The other day a dear friend of mine reminded me of this conversation from the movie Facing the Giants:

Pray for Rain

Since I haven’t watched the movie in years, I had forgotten this little story.

It caused me to ask myself some questions.

Do I pray with faith?

 Do I take action, knowing that God will supply all my needs?

Faith is trust.

But it’s also the works that are done because of that trust. It’s stepping out on those waves because we see Him walking towards us with His hands outstretched, and that is enough to make us risk the impossible.

“So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.”
{James 2:17}

Big God Trust God Love God Godly Quotes Encourage Inspiration Blessings Motivation Jesus Christ Bible:

May His Words sink deep.

John 15: 5-17

I am the vine, you are the branches;
he who abides in Me and I in him,
he bears much fruit,
for apart from Me you can do nothing.
If anyone does not abide in Me, he is thrown away as a branch and dries up; and they gather them, and cast them into the fire and they are burned.
If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you,
ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.
My Father is glorified by this,
that you bear much fruit,
and so prove to be My disciples.
Just as the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you; abide in My love.
If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love;
just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love.
These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you
and that your joy may be made full.
This is My commandment,
that you love one another, just as I have loved you.
Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends. You are My friends if you do what I command you.
No longer do I call you slaves,
for the slave does not know what his master is doing;
but I have called you friends,
for all things that I have heard from My Father I have made known to you.
You did not choose Me but I chose you,
and appointed you that you would go and bear fruit,
and that your fruit would remain,
so that whatever you ask of the Father in My name
He may give to you.
This I command you, that you love one another.

Image result for hosea 10:12

Let’s prepare for the rain.

Making Room

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photo from teachingliteracy.tumblr.com

I want to make room for God in my life.

I want to open my heart and let His Word speak truth.

Psalm 139:1-18

  O יהוה, you have searched me and known me!
You know when I sit down and when I rise up;
You discern my thoughts from afar.
You search out my path and my lying down
and are acquainted with all my ways.
Even before a word is on my tongue,
behold, O יהוה, you know it altogether.
You hem me in, behind and before,
and lay your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
it is high; I cannot attain it.
Where shall I go from your Spirit?
Or where shall I flee from your presence?
If I ascend to heaven, you are there!
If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there!
If I take the wings of the morning
and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
even there your hand shall lead me,
and your right hand shall hold me.
If I say “Surely the darkness shall cover me,
and the light about me be night,”
even the darkness is not dark to you;
the night is bright as the day,
for darkness is as light with you.
For you formed my inward parts;
you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works;
my soul knows it very well.
My frame was not hidden from you,
when I was being made in secret,
intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed substance;
in your book were written, every one of them,
the days that were formed for me,
when as yet there was none of them.
How precious to me are your thoughts, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!
If I would count them, they are more than the sand.
I awake, and I am still with you.

Inline image 1

May this be our life’s prayer.

Let’s make room for Him.

Make room for Him to interrupt our schedule. Make room for Him to change our dreams for the future. Make room for Him to be our sweetest love.

Give God room to show Himself faithful:

Let’s not just “go through life,” let’s grow through it, becoming more dependent upon Him, more trusting of His goodness.

It’s a life-long journey–learning to say “Thy will be done.”

Learning to let go.

Learning to live.

Keeping a Prayer Journal

Keeping a Prayer Journal

A little while back I shared about the power of prayer, and some scriptural reasons to pray. The Father has been showing me, over and over this year, how important prayer is. He’s been convicting me to pray about more aspects of my life, and to “not be anxious in anything, but in everything through prayer and supplication, let your requests be made known to God.” (Philippians 4:7)

Psalm 116:2 painting:
photo from pinterest.com

Keeping a prayer journal is a wonderful way to remember prayer requests and to build a prayer strategy.

As far as choosing a notebook, I’ve found that a three-ring binder is a great option. I’ve used a regular notebook for a prayer journal if it’s only focused on one subject, but when it comes to a book with multiple prayer requests, a three-ring binder is excellent for organization.

Three-ring Binder

Benefits of using a three-ring binder:

  1. You can rearrange the pages as desired. (If I fill a sheet of paper with prayers for a certain person, I can move a blank page to the next spot and keep writing.)
  2. You can add prayer guides that you’ve printed online. Simply hole-punch them.
  3. You can store pictures of people to pray for in the pockets on the inside of the binder.

Writing down prayers definitely has it’s benefits. Sometimes I forget what I’ve prayed for people in the past, and then I’m not as likely to see how Yahweh answered those prayers. But when they’re written down, I can see exactly what I prayed and how He answered.

Here is a fictional sample that I’ve written as an example to get your creativity flowing:

Sample Prayer Journal Page

Philippians 4:6-7 bible journaling #illustratedfaith #erinjournalsthebible:
photo from pinterest.com

"Through prayer you will truly experience God's peace that surpasses all understanding." -Philippians 4:7:

P.S. If you would like some more resources and inspiration, here a Pinterest board that I’ve started on Prayer.

Hope’s a Powerful Thing

photo from crosswalk.com
photo from crosswalk.com

There’s a lot of hurt in this world right now. There always has been, but at times it hits our hearts more fiercely, like it has worldwide this month.

This world is plain-old messed-up. 

Most everyone agrees with this statement (though most everyone has a different idea about what is “messed up”). But how we respond to this truth is crucial.

There are only two options–stand on the sidelines or take action.

With darkness growing thicker around us, we often feel the desire to shrink back and lose hope. This is exactly how Satan wants us to respond. He wants us to become discouraged. He wants us to feel like there’s nothing we can do to make a difference when it comes to these worldwide problems. He wants us to stop praying, interceding, resting upon the Father’s promises, etc.

But if we quiet out souls even while the world is swirling in chaos, we can hear that still small voice. If we open our Bible and cling to every word He has spoken, and rest our souls upon Him alone, then we can have hope.

Our Creator has called us to be courageous. He knew our names before we were born. He has a special calling for each of our lives that will bring Him glory. He has a reason for why we are living in this century and not some previous one. He has set us free from the sting of death. His perfect love casts out fear. He is the God of hope, and He has called us to abound in hope (Romans 15:13).

When we reach the end of our optimism, that’s when His Words are the sweetest comfort. No matter what we’re feeling, His Words are true, eternal, and worth staking our entire lives upon. When our hope is built upon the sand, we can be sure that the storms will drown it, but when it’s built upon the rock–Yeshua (Jesus)–then the peace that passes all understanding can guard our hearts and minds (Philippians 4:7).

JOHN 16:33; I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world." JOHN 16:33; Light shines in the darkness for the godly. They are generous, compassionate, and righteous. ... 7 They do not fear bad news; they confidently trust the LORD to care for them.:
photo from pinterest.com

What is our response to terror, the darkness of sin, and rampant rebellion against the Creator of heaven and earth?

Let’s pour our hearts out in prayer and lift up those who are hurting. Let’s confess our sins. Let’s intercede for the lost.

Let’s put our hope upon our God and His eternal kingdom.

Let’s encourage one another to keep walking the straight and narrow path.

By His strength and for His glory, let’s strive to be the difference that we long to see in this world.

Hope's a Powerful Thing

P.S. Yesterday a friend and I had a time of prayer for our country. (We don’t live in the same state, so a phone call was the only option). It was amazing to feel the peace that flooded our hearts after lifting up our cares to our heavenly Father. Perhaps there is someone who wants to join you in prayer today.

Let Me Carry You

photo from pinterest.com
photo from pinterest.com

One of the greatest mysteries of life is that our Creator speaks to us in the simple things.

The other day I was touched by one of those little things. I spent the weekend with my brother and his wife and children. We spent the first day with dear friends of ours, and the next day we went on a shopping trip. My niece was tuckered out after such full and exciting days, and when we arrived back at their home, she was mostly asleep. She didn’t want to walk, she couldn’t keep her eyes open,  and she started to cry. That’s when her daddy reached out and said, “Let me carry you.”

And then it hit me.

My heavenly Father is longing to do the same thing for me. When I’m exhausted (physically or spiritually), he wants to carry me. When I’ve reached the end of my strength, he’s more than willing to be the shoulder to rest my weary, confused, aching head upon.

When I rest in that childlike faith, realizing that Yahweh is my Father, and I am his daughter, that’s when perfect love casts out fear.

My heart might try to convince me otherwise, yet there’s a sweet whisper of love and truth…

“Let me carry you.”

Me: But I’ve failed you again. I don’t deserve your love. I’m so flawed and frustrated at myself. Why would you love me?

 “Let me carry you.”

Me: But I’m afraid. I can’t let go.

“Let me carry you.”

Me: I want to know you for real. I want to let go of every fear, and walk in your perfect love. I want to be filled from the inside out with your living waters. I want to walk in the power of your resurrection. I want to glorify you with everything that I am. I need you every hour. I need your grace more than ever. I love you. I want to serve you. I offer my life to you.

He carries me

“Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.” {Matthew 11:28}

Little Things ♡

Sometimes it’s the “little things” that mean the most…

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kind words:

there is no charm equal to tenderness of heart - Jane Austen:

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photos from Pinterest.com

“Enjoy the little things in life because one day you`ll look back and realize they were the big things.”–Kurt Vonnegut

What’s a “little thing” that has blessed you lately?

DIY Musical Border

DIY Musical Border

I love music.

So it’s only fitting that I have my room decorated with sheet music, right? :)

The idea came to me one day to have a musical border on the long wall in my room. I could only find one option for sale online though, and it was pricey.

It was time to get creative.

I found some songs that I’d printed out years ago and haven’t played in a long time (and didn’t know when I’d play them again), so I chose to “re-purpose” them. This border takes only a few supplies and not much time, and adds a lot of personality to a room (it would also be neat for a music room).

before and after

So without further adieu, here’s the tutorial:

Supplies:

Sheet music
Command Strips
Glue Stick

Directions:

Command Stips

Cut the Command Strips into sixths as shown in the picture. (Since these strips are quite strong, they can be cut into sixths and still hold the paper quite well.)

Cut the Command Strips into sixths

Arrange 5-6 sheets of music as desired and glue the pieces together where they overlap with a glue stick. Continue making these sections of wallpaper until you have as many as needed for the length of your wall.Arrange the Sheet Music

Glue

Turn the sections of wallpaper over and adhere the pieces of command strips on every other sheet of music (or as needed).

Adhere the Command Strips

Adhere to the wall, section by section. (My sister stood at a distance and made sure it all lined up properly.) Glue the sections together where they overlap. Add additional pieces of Command Strip if needed.

DIY: Sheet Music Border

DIY: Sheet Music Border

DIY: Sheet Music Border

And…ta-da, you’ve made a musical border! :)

Do you enjoy making DIY decorations? What is your favorite project that you’ve made?

Mighty is Our God in Zion (Israel Pictures & Promises)

the Jezreal Valley

Every trip to Israel is a new experience.

I set off on this past trip without knowing exactly what to expect, yet I knew that it was His trip and I was excited to see what He had in store. The Father had His hand upon this trip from the beginning (in fact, He started aligning circumstances many years ago…but that’s a whole ‘nother amazing story).

Mount Tabor in the distance

This was my first time to fly by myself, but I would connect with friends once I arrived at the airport in Tel Aviv. First, I had to fly from Atlanta to Newark. The thought of  being in the Newark airport, surrounded by thousands of people, and yet being quite alone, made me nervous. One night, as I was feeling overwhelmed at the thought of flying by myself, I felt the Father lay Malachi 3:1 on my heart:

“I will send My messenger before you, who will prepare the way before you.”

It filled me with courage. I wasn’t alone.  He was going before me. My parents were encouraging me in this trip. They would be praying for me. My friends would be praying too. I would be praying. I had nothing to fear.

My travel went smoothly, and I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised that the Father answered that verse directly by sending someone to accompany me on the flight over the Atlantic. I sat next to a believer in Yeshua, and we talked for hours about prayer and faith.

so much history here...

This was only the beginning of the many instances where the Father “prepared the way before me.” Every day He showered His love and faithfulness upon me. When I came to Israel  I was thirsting for more of Him, and He filled me with living waters. I came not knowing quite what to expect, and He blew me away with His plans. I came wanting to serve, and He allowed me to sweat under the Golan sun, plucking out weeds in the gardens and singing (I worked alongside an amazing woman of faith who also had a passion for prayer and praise).

It was hard to leave. It’s always hard. But this trip was harder. I connected to Israel on a deeper level. I also got to visit some places that I’d never been before (like “Samaria”–the heartland of Israel).

lavender

This land is special in Yahweh’s eyes.

Every promise written in Yahweh’s word will come true. No matter what the news predicts. No matter what the future looks like from our human point-of-view, we can look to the Word of God and know that Israel will be restored (physically and spiritually). We know that there will be (and is!) an ingathering from the North and the South, the East and the West, back to the Land of Israel (Isaiah 43:6). We know that the desert will blossom like a rose (Isaiah 35:1). We can see it happening. We know that salvation (Yeshua) will shine forth out of Zion (Isaiah 62:1).

Ophel Gardens

Mount Hermon

I’ve shared many of my pictures from this trip on Flickr: Israel 2016

I hope that these pictures will bring Israel closer to you today. If you love Israel, then no matter how far away you are from it today, no ocean can separate you. You can still pray. Pray for the peace of Jerusalem. Pray for the leaders. Pray for the believers and the non-believers. Pray about how you can bless Israel personally. (FYI: Here is a wonderful newsletter that sends out prayer points for Israel every week: Intercessors for Israel).

the lady's side of the Wailing Wall

We live in the days when the “dry bones are coming to life” (Ezekiel 37). We live in the days when the tribes are gathering in Jerusalem once again (Psalm 122).

Our God does not lie.

His promises are true.

Mighty is our God in Zion.

Isaiah 51