Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Our Greatest Nurturer: Part Two

In Part One of this post I began sharing how God blessed me with a tremendous nurturer in my mother.  His greatest prayer for me, however, was that I come to know and fully embrace the Greatest Nurturer of all - Christ Jesus.  Today, we pick up where I left off, and God bless you.
 
*******

Eternal Caretakers

Though we are raised to love our parents dearly, the inevitability of the human form and circumstance is that, eventually, they will fail us.  Not necessarily in the sense of being “bad” parents or “evil” influences, but simply due to the truth that – because of sin dying is appointed to the flesh, and it must pass away from the earth - our parents will fall short of our needs.

However, flying high and fast over the decades, I see now how God has kept me and powerfully supplied my every need.  Since my mother’s passing, I’ve also come to understand how His Spirit is the True and Chief Nurturer in my life.  Thanks to Abba, still I can run into the arms of One willing to make every sacrifice for me and place His hand between my body and life’s imposing, ”hard places”.  Daddy is a mommy to me also; He nurtures and soothes me; He closes the door of the dreary world behind me and “ushers me in” to His comforts, delicacies, and delights.  God is really something.
In the confidence of my Eternal Caretakers Abba, Lord Jesus, and Holy Spirit I can do all things They’ve purposed and planned for me.  So can all of you.
I no longer view the new beginnings of life as dank departures from the familiar as I did that rainy, first day of school.  By His power, I allow my heart to burst with His bubbling wells of expectancy and JOYOUS strength!  After all, in Him, I’m forever shielded from any long-term effects of life’s “bitter springs” (which can bruise more harshly than those couched in old furniture).  In Him I have wisdom, knowledge, understanding, and a tendered heart towards all in the family of God.  In Him, I am never alone; I am guided, protected, and nurtured forever.
So are all of you.
Today and always, my prayer for you is that you come to realize in full strength, beauty, and holiness that our Heavenly Father is truly the Greatest Nurturer.  Amen.

Daddy’s Girl
"... fervent in spirit, serving the Lord."
(Romans 12:11b)

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Our Greatest Nurturer: Part One

It rained on my first-ever day of school.  The prospect of entering Kindergarten didn’t thrill me.  I wore a bright-yellow rain coat too big for me (falling prey to the back-to-school rush, local stores were sold-out of my size), which “delighted” me even more.

I had always been greatly nurtured by my mother during the preschool years.  The four glorious seasons prior to turning five consisted of the two of us watching cartoons after my older siblings left the house.  Our living room was warm and the atmosphere fragrant with my mother’s cooking of anything I wanted for breakfast.  From soft-scrambled eggs and bacon to quick stuff like ice-cold milk poured over sugary cereal I was treated like a princess, and I loved it.
There was a spot on the seat of our couch back then where the vinyl had worn through and revealed a stubborn spring lying beneath the fabric, and it often poked up into my back.  Though it’s 44 years later, I still remember my mom positioning her hand between my soft little bottom and the imposing piece of metal as I rested my head on her lap so that I could enjoy all the morning cartoons in comfort.  Now that’s a “nurturer”!  :0)
So, on school’s very first day way back then, I wasn’t concerned about God’s plan of new beginnings for my life, and I wasn’t focusing on the doors He’d opened to begin executing the fledgling phase of His Royal blueprint for me.  In truth, at age five, I wasn’t even saved; I only knew I despised the notion of attending school.  I missed my mommy, and I wanted desperately just to go home.

To me, back then, the tiny elementary school I joined was an imposing figure on a hillside, marring the slope of grassy mounds with hosts of hard-edged windows and the greenish glare of fluorescent bulbs.  Inside, everything smelled like glue; strange kids and grinning adults called “teachers” were players in a horror film from which there was no escape.  For me, on the first day of school, fear and disgust made fast friends.  I wasn’t enchanted; I wasn’t excited and glad to break free...  I wanted my mommy.
I was as intelligent as any five-year-old should be learning the concept of having to “go to school now”, but I didn’t like it because – at school - you had to suck it up and be on your own for four hours each day against a world of outsiders.  I also didn’t like it because I’ve never been a “morning person” (I’m still not, primarily), and waking up at 6:30 a.m. to be parted from my warm, soft mommy by 8:00 left me downright disgruntled for many days.  No sir, I didn’t like it.

In the classroom the first few weeks, I’d only sit quietly and watch for my mother’s face in the door window.  When I saw it there (shortly after naptime daily), I knew I was freed yet again and could forget about foreign smiles and awful smells for at least another day.  My loving nurturer had returned, and I was safely content in her arms.
Truly, I had many lessons to learn. . .

Join me tomorrow for Part Two of this post.  God bless you!
DADDY'S GIRL
 
"... fervent in spirit, serving the Lord."
(Romans 12:11b)

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Prayer of Thanks

Merciful Father,

Thank You so much for the answers to Your children's problems floating down to us like manna from above.  Thank You for the change of seasons - on the earth and in Your Spirit's realm - which flow through our lives bringing challenge and blessing.

Father, thank You for exposing the lies of the enemy sent to keep us bound; thank You for enabling us to seek release from their hold and grow older in the bountiful knowledge of Your Truth.

The Best of
Thank You for Your Son Jesus, Who Himself IS Truth.

Merciful God, as we grow into another year in Your service with "new beginnings" beckoning us forward, please ever enable us to reach for Your loving hand of guidance and direction in all we do.  Father, the years go by so quickly and, without You, we can do nothing; so we need Your outstretched hand going ever before us to grant us the strength necessary to greet each new day in Obedience and JOY.

Dear God, we give each day to You.  Past, present, and future we owe all things of glory (personal, intimate experience), power, and mercy to the wellsprings of LOVE pouring forth from Your hands.

THANKS BE TO YOU, LORD GOD ALMIGHTY, MAKER AND CREATOR OF HEAVEN AND EARTH, FOR ALL THE ABUNDANCE SHOWERED UPON US FROM YOUR FOUNTAINS IN PLANS AND PURPOSES ON OUR BEHALF.  FOR ALL YOUR PLANS ARE GOOD, AND ALL YOUR WORDS ARE FAITHFUL.

We love You, Merciful God, our Heavenly Father... our eternal, everlasting Source, Strength, and Daddy forever.  Amen.

Daddy's Girl

"... fervent in spirit, serving the Lord."
(Romans 12:11b)

Sunday, November 10, 2013

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, Daddy's Girl!

A special note to mark the 1st Anniversary of the Daddy's Girl blog, my friends!

The Lord started this blog one year ago today with the post titled, "Why Daddy's Girl?" introducing everyone to the splendid work of His hands in praise, honor, and glory to the Godhead and their amazing, tender heart for all of us.

I AM SO GRATEFUL.
I AM SO JOYOUS.
I AM SO AMAZED at what Daddy has done!

This is the blog through which Abba started it all.  The Glory Shield Ministries vision of God's heart started with Daddy's Girl and grew into many more blogs, websites, and online offerings of encouragement and teaching to multiplied thousands.

God has spoken it over my life, and it is vastly coming to pass!

My utmost THANKS to the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit for communicating the inner workings of their heart to the masses.  In just one year, Daddy's Girl has been blessed with nearly 9,000 visitors worldwide, all hearing of the love of God for their lives and being encouraged four times weekly by the truth that intimate relationship IS possible with the God of the universe.

BLESS HIS HOLY NAME.

Here's to another year going deeper and deeper into His Coffers, sharing more of His bounty with the multitudes, and being blessed by the very best that is to come!

With heartfelt love in Christ Jesus,
Pastor Sharon Joy Gramling
a.k.a., DADDY'S GIRL

"... fervent in spirit, serving the Lord."
(Romans 12:11b)

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Celebrating New Life

Again today, I woke with some lovely verse on my heart that I want to share with all of you.  Daddy has me writing way more poetry of late, I believe, because He knows it's my favorite expression of love.  Words truly can paint a thousand pictures and I've always enjoyed that more than drawing many words from pictures - just my preference.

This is the 201th post of this blog; somehow, it's fitting that it features a poem to express my love for Abba.  I feel so much closer to all who are reading with sincere hearts searching to know Him. I also I feel closer to those who already know Him and just want to bask in His holiness; there's nothing like it.

Friends, thank you for your abiding faithfulness to our Father.  He loves us all so mercifully.  There's not one of us He doesn't set in the path of His new beginnings in the midst of our walk with Him.  I'm reveling in that today, and in the fruitfulness of His mercy and love.  I'm expressing it with a poem, and I pray, in Christ, that it blesses your hearts.

 
"NEW LIFE"
 
Today, I feel like a kitten;
I feel like an innocent child.
 
The mysteries of life had been hidden
from my sight and my hearing a while.
 
But now, I vividly see them
and I hear their voice in me!
 
My Heavenly Father controls me;
I'm loved by the One Who's the Three.
 
No earthly trials can harm my gates
nor steal His dominion and grace
 
abundantly shining, in purpose defining
the smile bursting forth from my face.
 
So I humbly submit and obey Him
and relish His New Life in me.
 
Today, I feel like an innocent child,
delivered, at rest, and set free!

(Copyright © 2013 by Sharon Joy Gramling. All Rights Reserved.)

DADDY'S GIRL

"... fervent in spirit, serving the Lord."
(Romans 12:11b)

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Open Your Heart in Faith

When God sees us approaching His Throne, His heart fills with expression of love for us.  The doors of all the storehouses of emotion He feels for His Beloved (us) fly open, and He welcomes us at this sacred place.  His Throne is sacred, beloved.

Then, as we continue to approach and draw nearer, my favorite part happens...

As Abba's tender eyes and heart look upon us and receive us, and the communication of our hearts to His anoints His head like fragrant oil and honey, He lifts His jewel-encrusted Scepter, holds it out to us, and bids us enter by uttering in soft, yet Fatherly, regal tones, "Approach."

He can barely wait to receive us into His Bosom and to hold us close to His breast and breathe His breath upon us as He kisses us and welcomes us to His Love in Holy and all-encompassing embrace.

For Abba, it's always an event when His beloved approach Him to love on Him in praise and worship.  It's special to His Holy Heart, and it always will be.  HE LOVES US SO MUCH, y'all.

His Royal Scepter held out to us means Favor.  HALLELUJAH!  His Favor is more precious than life.  It's the registry of His heart towards us, dear friends.  God's Favor is what we should seek more than anything, for the alignment of our hearts, minds, and wills towards Him.  The Favor of the Lord encompasses obedience, faith, and all the things that most please Him.  Good will and character everlasting in the storehouses of His holiness is what we should be seeking after every day of our lives.  His character manifested in us in holiness and righteousness and soft-hearted love towards the masses (indicative of those who are His children, His blessed seed) is what we should be praying for and what we should give Holy Spirit total auspices over in our hearts, minds, wills, and desires.  Amen.

Christ Jesus, I want to be more like You.  You are totally thrilled and enthralled with Abba, and I want to be, too, in every inch and every way of me.  Always.

Do you feel like that, friends?  Daddy knows it if you do, and He will honor your desires by bringing you increasingly closer to Him.  All you have to do is... "approach".  By His power, He will hold out the Scepter to you and give you Favor... pour His Favor on your life.  I believe that is what you want, and I am here to bear living witness that the Father wants you, too.  Believe me.  He wants you.  You all are so worth wanting, or you would not have been created.  Period.

God loves you and He wants you.  Seek His Favor more than anything else in your life and He will change you in every way.  He will love you and purpose you and bless you and transform you into the image of His Son Jesus the Christ; and He will shower you in His "true and living way".

Who doesn't want that?

The Father is waiting to see you approaching His Throne.  When your heart is determined and sincere and urgent in its intent to become one with Him in fellowship and intimate worship (just loving Him and expressing love for Him from the depths of your heart) He will know.  When He knows this, never fear, He will hold out the Scepter to you.

Here's to your next visit to His Throne in Love and Faith Believing...

DADDY'S GIRL

"... fervent in spirit, serving the Lord."
(Romans 12:11b)

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Only Christ Makes Us Complete

Last weekend God sent me a manifest encouragement via Twitter which blew me away.  It was a tweet from Joyce Meyer that said:

Single? You are complete in Christ. Don't have children? You are complete in Christ. Spouse walked out on you?  You are complete in Christ.

I couldn't get over it for quite a while (obviously, I'm still not over it) because it so bulls-eyed the place of encouragement I needed that day.  It was 100% accurate and, undeniably, sent by God.

Don't you just LOVE things like that?  Daddy knows we do.  As always when God speaks encouragement to my heart, it got me thinking about things I didn't truly realize or genuinely understand.

For instance, I didn't really know or understand that it is Christ Who makes any person complete - not a spouse or children.  Unsaved couples married for 30, 40, years or more with several children and grandchildren are, in themselves, incomplete because they have no acknowledgement or realization of the one true reason they were brought into existence.

So what makes any person truly complete?  An earnest knowledge of and love relationship with the Creator of Heaven and Earth and all of humankind - our God, and the Father of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  We were expressly created for fellowship with Almighty God.

Everything else is gravy.

Now, do I want a God-defined, successful marriage?  Yes.  Do I want children?  Yes.  But do I want either of those things more than my continuingly super-saturated oneness with the Godhead?  Unequivocally, resoundingly, and with all of my heart before God - no.

Why?  Because without Christ, I am incomplete.  I don't know about any of you, my dear ones, but I have had enough of incompleteness.  No more of that for me.  In Jesus, I have found He Who my soul loves...  and I will not look around me any longer for substitutes. Husbands and wives and offspring are meant to be of singular blessing to one another, that's for sure, but neither holds the key to complete the soul; only Jesus holds that.

Beloved, I pray in Christ's Name you receive the truth that God alive in you is what makes you complete.  Resolve to allow Daddy to bring you into further agreement with His truth so that you can behold His good and perfect plans for your life.

May God's encouragements and fullness in revelatory power rest upon you all each day in the knowledge of your inheritance in His Kingdom, and that - in Christ - you are complete!

God bless you.
DADDY'S GIRL

"... fervent in spirit, serving the Lord."
(Romans 12:11b)

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Daddy has Complete Jurisdiction

There's no such thing as anything truly "out of God's jurisdiction", though not everyone believes that.

Jurisdiction is an interesting word, and the portion of its definition Holy Spirit brought my attentions to is simply this:

"Power; Authority; Control."

Though people who've rejected salvation through faith in Christ are not Daddy's responsibility, their lives (their going in and their coming out) are definitely within His jurisdiction, and they should be glad.

It brings to mind how, when David was chastised for numbering Israel against God's command, he chose to have penalty enforced by God instead of by man, because God is genuinely merciful.  God is LOVE, God is MERCY, God is KINDNESS, causing refreshing rain to fall on the just and the unjust as scripture says.  God's got it all together in every area, and there's absolutely no place He doesn't belong.

I've heard it said that God has no place in business.  That's absurd.

America became the dominating superpower and icon of the world in commerce, charity, and free enterprise because of the hearts and minds of forefathers dedicated to God in service and worship.  When God-fearing businessmen of old started their businesses, to Whom do you think they dedicated them?  Into Whose hands do you think they put their enterprises, with all of their hearts?  Who ran and prospered this country back in the day when men and women had sense enough to bow their knees in prayer and turn their backs on any semblance of the enemy?  Jehovah God - that's Who.

Let's face it, folks - our country was founded on the Gospel of Jesus the Christ.  Period.  It was DADDY'S purposes, plans, and abilities that allowed America to rise like an island in the sea in the face of her enemies - throughout nearly the entire 20th century - as an economic power and societal beacon of safety, security, and missions to the masses worldwide.

GOD in business powered America to the heights of economic and social dominance and favor throughout my upbringing.  GOD definitely BELONGS in business.

The bottom line is there is nothing beyond Abba's power, authority, and control; to believe otherwise is ludicrous and depraved.  I'm laughing out loud and crying simultaneously to think anyone raised in this country and acquainted with its history would ever truly believe the most powerful governing force in existence "has no place" here.  Wow.

I'll tell you what, my friends, the Lord God Almighty has and always will have complete and total jurisdiction over all aspects of my life for as long as I live.  Since Jesus lives within me and I have eternal life, the Godhead's jurisdiction over every part of me is forever.

Do you say the same?  In Jesus' Name, I truly hope so.

Blessing His Holy & All-Powerful, Righteous Name...
DADDY'S GIRL

"... fervent in spirit, serving the Lord."
(Romans 12:11b)

Saturday, November 2, 2013

What Makes Relationships Work?

My twin sister Lynette and I "prefer" one another constantly, in Christ.  That's what makes our relationship successful by God's definition.  Even when preferring one another brings momentary anguish, it's been our choice - mutually and individually - to do so before God, and the payoff's been monumental.

We jovially refer to one another as "Chip and Dale" (remember those cute cartoon best buds from Disney?).  Well, although their almost musical camaraderie voiced in comedic expressions like, "after you! no, after you!" is often viewed as whimsical and impossible - it's not for Lynette and I.  Indeed, such spiritual and emotional preference and deference is a major part of why, after 18 years, our friendship in Jesus is stronger and embodies more personal understanding than ever.  It's the Lord's doing.

 "Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honor preferring one another..." (Romans 12:10)

As sisters in Christ, Lynette and I have taken this literal command before the Lord and allowed Him to enact it and appropriate it in our relationship.  As often as possible, we try to see situations from each other's viewpoint, not entering with a mind to either dodge blame or deny the need for personal review, exposure, and change.  We don't fear accountability to God, and we truly try to welcome it.  I say "truly try" because we haven't stopped being human, my friends; sometimes accountability to God is difficult because, once welcomed, it makes one... well, accountable.

In other words, once you know and admit you're messing up, it becomes your decision to repent and change, or not.  That can be difficult - especially when issues of pride and fear and rejection are crowding your emotions.

Over the years, Lynette and I have decided to do what we all must do if we are to please God in relationships -

cry out to Jesus in repentance and humility, no matter what it costs or what it looks like.  Period.

We've allowed our utmost desire to please God to override our desire to "look good" in front of ourselves, others, or each other.  We've vowed to yield to and embrace personal change whenever and wherever the Lord has called for it, and we've trusted in His love to uphold us in relationship and right-standing with Him and each other.  It's worked

Turning your back on pride, fear, and the fallacy that "the other person is always to blame" is all that will ever work.  (There are always two HUGE sides to every coin.)

God has taught Lynette and I to listen to Holy Spirit whenever we talk to one another, even in casual conversation, so that Daddy can lead us into deeper understanding and appreciation of each other as people, and as His daughters, and as friends working shoulder to shoulder in His vineyards.

Yep, we make mistakes at times... but that's when the decision to give place to the humility and love of God-defined relationship shines its brightest, because we BOTH back up the truck (even if we have to cry) and sincerely submit to Daddy's heartbeat of "preferring one another".  We both truly listen to the other - not with judgmental, self-righteous, defensive, or accusatory ears - and then we allow Abba's response to come out of us through the heart and lips of Christ Jesus.  It takes WILLINGNESS, practice, and determination, but God is Faithful.

Eighteen years of friendship growing more and more Christ-embodied, day by day, is irrefutable proof of God's word of promise and blessing blossoming within our relationship when we are willing to renounce "excuse" and "blame-shifting", and humbly own our own stuff.  Beloved - exoneration, restoration, and healthy relationships await us when, in genuine honor, we prefer one another.

Amen.
Daddy's Girl

"... fervent in spirit, serving the Lord."
(Romans 12:11b)