Thursday, August 28, 2014

The Quandary of Unbelief

Today I briefly shared encouragements with one of Daddy's kids who was exasperated by the unbelief of a man visiting their Facebook page and arguing the existence of God.  The man lacked any real proof to substantiate his claims of God's non-existence (mainly because there isn't any) and was bent on pounding a written fist carrying one accusation after another on how Christians "force" their children to believe only one way, denying them freedom of choice, etc.

Long-story-short, the child of God I spoke with expressed they were "dumbfounded" over those who choose not to believe that Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are alive and well, lovingly Sovereign over all of creation, and mighty to save even the so-called "worst" of sinners at the faintest sign of true repentance.

I definitely understand that frustration, and our conversation put me in mind of a Daddy's Girl post I shared nearly two years ago in testimony about my own struggles with siblings who have rejected faith in Jesus Christ. Their unbelief (along with that of resolutely unbelieving souls everywhere) is not something God wants us to wrestle with or allow to hinder our continuing witness.  Holy Spirit said Abba has a name for the tragic predilection to staunchly reject Christ; please read the post called "Not Understandable" to find out what it is and what Abba says we should do about it.

My heart aches for every child of God reading this today who has unbelieving friends and loved ones in their life they've tried repeatedly to reach with God's light.  Please know that - God keeping me - I'll be praying for all of you.

DADDY'S GIRL

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

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Belt It Out for Jesus!



When's the last time you belted one out for the Lord? Singing is powerful, beloved; especially the tones of a child of God.  Whether you believe "you can sing" or not doesn't matter.  Remember, God is a heart watcher, and the intonations of our hearts enrapture Him - believe me.

A sincere heart trained on adulation for God in song is abhorrent to the enemy and weakens demons (don't you just love it?), but that's a mere byproduct of the actual harvest of love generated between us and King Jesus when we surrender our lungs and vocal cords to thanksgiving and abundant PRAISE!

So let one loose for Jesus, even if somebody's looking!  It doesn't matter what they think, does it? (If it does, that's a topic for a different blog post.) Perk up the ears of the angels of God commissioned all around you, and bring change to the atmosphere with the mighty praises of the Godhead in song.  Most of all, bless Daddy right down to His socks (you know what I mean, y'all) by lifting your voice in the face of your trials and extolling the Lord with JOY through song!  HALLELUJAH!

Sing Praise to the Father, Praise to the Son, Praise to the Spirit - the Three in One!

Thank You, Jesus!

DADDY'S GIRL

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

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Why Did You Doubt?



"But when he saw that the wind was boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink he cried out saying, 'Lord, save me!' And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him and said to him, 'O, you of little faith, why did you doubt?' " (Matt. 14:30-31)

I love Peter; he was so real, especially in his - um - humanity.  The common man's apostle is what I call him, and I look forward to meeting him some day.  I identify with his boldness AND his mistakes, and I bless the Lord for this particular scene in Pete's life.

I Can Relate

Lord, have mercy... how many times have I sat before the Lord and confessed to doubt?! And how many times has God - in boundless mercy - reached out His hand to save me from condemnation and just plain giving up.  He looks at me, much like today's depiction, with eyes that say... "Sharon, please don't ever believe that I haven't got you. Don't ever believe that I am not faithful, for I AM."

Merciful God.

The same God Who has me has each and every one of you, dear ones.  Peter's boldness - were it completely supported by faith believing - would have carried him upon the water all the way to Jesus. All the way to Jesus... that's the part I must remember... I want to get to Jesus and to His perfect will and plan for me, victoriously.  I want to please Him, and without faith it is impossible to do so.

Therefore, I will not doubt.  When I fall, I will not hide away from Jesus; I will let Him catch me, look at me, and say - "No doubt, no fear, beloved - only FAITH."  I pray you will, too.

From My Heart to His...

Thank You, merciful, merciful God, for never hesitating to catch me no matter how many times I fall. Thank You, Holy Spirit, for sitting me down before the Father in repentance and humility.  Thank You for reminding me that Abba is able to keep me from falling, according to the scriptures; I need only have faith!  Thank You, Jesus, for paying every price it took to clear the way for me to be exonerated and positioned within the Beloved as Your accepted daughter.  HALLELUJAH!  :0)

Holy Father, Abba, Daddy, My Lord and My God... what would I do without You continually catching me, forgiving me, and washing me clean in Your precious blood?  I love the Blood so much, my dear Father.  I am abounding in thanksgiving today and every day, salvation today and every day, and blessing today and every day because of the Blood.  From this day forward, I will not doubt its saving power over me. I resolve to ever cling to faith believing and give thanks for Your everlasting arms stretched out immediately to save.

Extending this declaration and prayer to the Body of Christ, worldwide...
DADDY'S GIRL

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

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Don't Fear Browning Trees

photo credit: Nicholas_T via photopin cc
The other day I noticed one tree turning brown amid a cluster of green outside my living room window.  It wasn't dead, but just beginning to fade.  That observation started a chain reaction of thoughts within me regarding the end of summer and fairly early onset of autumn.  After all, God's creation obeys His will and not the Gregorian calendar.

The next opportunity I had to view wildflowers and weeds alongside the road, sure enough, I spotted the brilliant yellow tips of spindly golden rod swaying back and forth in creamy warm winds that still felt like summer.  However, as I watched them I couldn't help hearing my mother's words from long ago, interpretive of the changing of seasons.  "When golden rod is yellow, the leaves are turning brown," she'd say, adding that no matter what the calendar might say, "when you see golden rod, Sharon, summer is over."

Aw, man... !

So, as I kicked a can all the way home, I thought to myself, Beautiful summer is over already? What a gyp!

But it's not really a gyp, I know.  It's simply the obedience of nature following the command of Almighty God.  My mother went on to tell me, "He puts the trees to sleep in fall and wakes them up again in springtime."  She always brought God's marvelous ways to life for me; I couldn't help being absolutely fascinated by Him.

She also taught me that - in all things - God must be obeyed.  I believe that to this day.  So, when I see God-ordained changes taking effect in my life much like one season yielding to another, I don't fume or fuss (anymore)... I yield to His perfect ways.  I trust and obey, knowing that the season to come holds promises yet to be fulfilled, joy yet to be realized, and the strengthening showcase of God's unfailing love and faithfulness.

Don't fear the browning trees, beloved, because they are continual proof of God's plan for you unfolding to the place of His rest until covenant promises burst forth from His hand in springtime.

Rejoicing in God's Sovereign plans for us all,
DADDY'S GIRL


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


Wednesday, August 20, 2014

God Never Stops Being Good


Folks who step on you - or make a daily practice of trying to - have problems of their own to which we should always be sympathetic.  It's simply God's way to lean towards seeing and understanding "the good" in others, as He defines it, for - in and of ourselves - there is no good thing. All of God's plans and destiny for everyone are good - that's why we need to feast on His definitions only.

God is good and merciful every day and night; the light of His goodness shines far after our patience has been exhausted.  We need God's light and patience and overall character to show us the way, always.  God never stops being good.  These are simple truths, I know... probably what we would naturally call "no-brainers", right?

But where do these simple truths go when we get riled beyond our ability to conceal? What happens when our "uglies" of doubt, fear, unbelief, manipulation, anger, word-twisting, blame-shifting, and control are starkly exposed? Even now, occasionally, all of God's abiding, persevering truth floating in our mind's surficial seas sinks straight to the bottom - yielding to the fear, excuses, immaturity, and double-talk of the flesh.

When we encounter ungodly opposition, we are to extinguish it with Daddy's heart of understanding.  When folks try to wriggle out of yielding to God's truths in humble obedience, the answer is not for us to throw our hands up and be done with them... rather, we ourselves must yield to God's merciful handling of these realizations and pray for His light to reach them in the dark places their very own words and behaviors expose.  That may be considered a tall order for us, my friends... but not for God.

God is good, all the time, and God dwells within us through Holy Spirit.  His resting place within us is a sweet promise of eternal victory over the wiles of the devil as long as we are unwilling to give place to the knee-jerk, sinful reactions of the flesh and - instead - ask Abba to "show us the good" in our circumstance.  He always will, beloved.  Always.

He is good to all who call upon Him for rescue by His mercy and love.  Let's pray...

[Merciful Father, in the Name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth Who came in the flesh, I thank You for Your hiding place of mercy and tenderness which You have settled in my heart. I release, relinquish, and abandon my way to Yours in all things.  Father, please teach me to draw on Your character like I draw breath, no matter the circumstance... daily multiplying Your goodness in my heart to overflow into the hearts and lives of others, in Jesus' Name.  Cause me, dear Father, to draw on Your wisdom instead of my emotions when I've been wronged or hurt. If You did not condemn, Lord - but rather forgave - please enable me not to condemn either, but be filled with Your heart of forgiveness towards others to Your eternal praise, honor, and glory. I yield my heart to Your ongoing, merciful change in Christ's Holy Name I pray and thank You.  Amen.]

God bless you.
DADDY'S GIRL

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

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Need It? Want It? God's Got It!

Daddy will quench the thirst of your heart and feed the hunger at the exact place of your longings. That's what He's done for me.

Ever get before God and just pour out your heart in tears telling Him exactly how you feel about a certain thing, and then have Him send you the answer in obvious, beautiful response to what you were articulating through Holy Spirit's power? I have, and I believe so have many of you... tell me what's even remotely close to bathing your soul in such satisfaction and fulfillment?

Yep, I know... nothing.

He is the water for our thirst, the food for our hunger, the scratch for our itch, the cool to fevered brows, and the thawing warmth to hardened hearts.  Daddy is our everything.  Only Jesus can satisfy your soul, and I don't mean for just a little while - I mean eternally.

Feel like you're missing something in your life, or the main thing your soul wants to do for God is eluding you? Ask the Lord to guide you, to put your hand on His circumstance for your life and define it within your heart, His way.  He will; and all you'll be able to do before His Throne in thanksgiving is cry and say, How great and mighty You are, O, God, my Father!  For You know all things - including the destiny most gratifying to my heart.  I thank You that I belong to You forevermore, for You alone have made my heart to sing!  Hallelujah!

Don't know your purpose? Ask God to show you.  He has one for you, you know.  He has one - a great and mighty one - for us all, if we are only willing to pursue it according to His purpose.  The tailor-made answer for your soul's satisfaction awaits you in the comforting arms of Jesus.  The Godhead ARE everything you need to live a life of Godliness and strength and joy everlasting.

Pour the pitcher of Their Love for you over your head TODAY, and be blessed!

DADDY'S GIRL

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

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Bow Now!


This has been one of my favorite Bible verses for a long time.  I love its power and promise.  I adore Daddy's assurance that this marvelous day is coming for everybody (including the devil), and none of us have to worry or fret about our God's Sovereignty being proclaimed in obedience throughout the universe, on the tongues of every living creature, forever.  Just as surely as the Lord lives, y'all - it's going to happen!

So, my heartfelt outcry to the unsaved is this:  Don't wait until Judgment Day, ladies and gentlemen; bow now!  Enter the Ark of Safety through faith in Jesus Christ while there is yet time.  See and know the Lord's beautiful face and countenance in peace - for when it is too late, that's exactly what it will be, eternally.

I have decided to bow now... I prostrate my life before the Lord God Almighty Who is King of my being.  I have never been sorry about it because I realize that, without Him, I am nothing. I lovingly urge you to receive the same truth and do likewise.  That's all I can say except:

"Even so, come, Lord Jesus." (Rev. 22:20b)

Praying God's mercy on all the unsaved,
DADDY'S GIRL


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

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Easy As Pie

Photo by Sharon J. Gramling
That's my twin sister Lynette's peach pie. It is every bit as crunchy, cinnamon-sweet, and stuffed with flavorful peaches as it looks - believe me.

But eating another piece of it today made me think of God's love. Yes, you heard me... the pleasure of pie put my thoughts on Daddy's heart of love.

Think about it, y'all - accepting His love is as easy as pie.  His plan of salvation is attractive and aromatic; when we cut a slice and bring a piece of it to our lips, it tastes great.  God's full, fruitful flavors of promise recline on our tongues and, when we realize its true richness and benefit, our eyes roll back into our heads and we say, "Yes, Lord! Your plan is sooo good!"  Just like peach pie.

Then, when we swallow it down, the supernatural power and sweetness (much like the citrusy energy and sugary goodness of pie) gives us such strength, vigor, and satisfaction all we want to do is pass it on and tell others about His awesome plan.

Now tell me that's not just like our fantastic God! Receiving His love is as easy as pie.  =0)

Be blessed, everyone.
DADDY'S GIRL

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

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Don't Be Afraid of Patience



The perfect will of the Lord was for Israel to be freed from bondage, and they were.

But before Moses even set foot back into Egypt, God let him know Pharaoh was going to be stupid, and he was!

But did the foolish king's obstinate idiocy keep God's perfect will from coming to pass? Absolutely not.

Beloved, just because the plans God has approved for your life aren't progressing at the speed and temper you prefer doesn't mean that God has jumped ship or even stepped away from His Throne...

... that will never happen.

Remember that, with every trial, your faith is being stretched and strengthened also, and God is adding the precious gift of patience to your coffers.  What develops patience?  "... the trying of your faith..." (James 1:3).  Patience is the first attribute of love as God defines love in 1 Cor. 13.  We must have patience in our lives, and trial and testing is how we get it.  Period.  As trials increase (and they will), so must our faith; God WILL add to our arsenal of patience for our certain good; it's inevitable.

Take heart, Saints - Daddy knows your enemies are going to be ridiculous, rebellious, and rambunctious just like Pharaoh was.  Jesus told us so even before He left earth in victory. But He also let us know He's got this!
"... in the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world." (John 16:33b)
furthermore...
"For whatever is born of God has overcome the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world - our faith." (1 John 5:4)
See the marvelous pattern?

Friends, as the scriptures command, "... let patience have her perfect (maturing) work... " (James 1:4a) Don't let fear erode the transforming growth of God in you.  Our faith must be stretched by trial and testing so that patient confidence will be built stalwartly within us.  Trust God to carry you through every trial; and when His work is accomplished, we will yawn in the face of the enemy's puny plans and laugh him heartily to scorn! We will praise Christ within us, Who has caused our faith to overcome! HALLELUJAH!

Hold on and press on, y'all... God's got it ALL under control, and as long as we His children stand in obedient faith believing - patiently beholding His will on our behalf - we will never fall to the hand of the wicked.  Never!

You need only be still and let the Lord fight the battle on your behalf.  Will you?

Praying your encouragement in obedient faith in Christ Jesus,
DADDY'S GIRL

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

Thursday, August 7, 2014

MILESTONES: Salvation's Journey

I have been saved for 40 years. Like it or not, I believe everyone reaches a certain point in life, at whatever age, where they look back on what God has done and stand in awe of the journey.  Recently, I've done that.

Am I Methuselah? Certainly not.  But I am old enough not to be considered a "novice" Christian; God has made me a grateful elder in Christ's Body, and the journey stretching behind me has been one of which I stand in awe... not of me, but of God.

Daddy has been good to me, y'all.  I trust there are many who can say the same of their course in Him, for He is Faithful.  I still recall the promise He told me He made to my mother when she left earth and asked Him to please take care of me...

tears...

Well, Saints, I can tell you with salty tears in my throat that my Father has taken good care of me these 40 years since I received Him and, especially, in the 22 years since Ma's passing.

Looking back over four decades resulting in Christ's ultimate triumph over sin and satan in my life makes me smile, cry, scream, and laugh almost simultaneously. Never have I experienced such a wide range of emotion, miracles, and overhaul (spiritual and physical) as I have in this adventure called life! One thing is for certain, my friends: A life lived for Jesus is NEVER boring! LOL! What an absurd notion that it could possibly be!

Forty years of things like prophecy, witness, discipline, instruction in righteousness; then heartbreak, anger, hatred, perversion, backsliding, conviction, tears, correction, loss, blessing, giftings, angels, demons, hypocrisy, separation, estrangement, forgiveness, challenge, faithfulness, reunion, truth, betrayal, denial, acceptance, revelation, visions, visitations, choices, pride, fear, determination, healing, restoration, power giftings, travel, yielding, faith believing, mega-deliverance, pursuance, intimacy, unconditional love, learning, promotion, humility-humility-humility, endurance, perseverance, and VICTORY...

... the list goes on and on.

I'm filled with gratitude to the Godhead this week (every day, really), because 40 years is a long time; a pivotal (even scriptural) period of deliverance, healing, and growth in wisdom, knowledge, understanding and humility. Through it all Daddy has revealed Himself to me on ever-deepening levels of love and eternal appreciation of His absolute sovereignty over every life, especially mine!  I can't help personalizing it even though it applies to us all; but that's how He is, isn't He? He's such a personal God; He gives each of us everything of His being, simultaneously. Now that's miraculous!

Daddy loves the saved and unsaved equally, my friends.  But those who are saved through faith in Jesus Christ enjoy greater access to His love, because they have stepped through "the Door" and into the Father's loving embrace.  The saved have legal access to the full power of God's love, where those outside "the Door" do not.  Changing the negative impact of this truth for the unsaved is as easy as accepting Christ. I did it when I was only nine years old, 40 long years ago, and my life was changed for the good in ways only Holy Spirit can adequately describe.

Salvation will cost you everything of the flesh, beloved, but it is of priceless, eternal value and precious worth.  Its offerings were bought by love-soaked blood, that all who enter in will have a right to the Tree of Life. Hallelujah! Amen.

If you haven't begun your journey in Christ Jesus, you can easily embark upon it today...

"... the word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart... that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus, and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation." (Romans 10:8a-10)

Blessing God for life's journey,
DADDY'S GIRL

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

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Gratitude

To the Father of my soul and spirit, and the Creator of all:

When I'm in the air, You carry me upon the breath exhaled from Your mighty lungs.  Dear God, You cover me, You protect me, and You don't mind that I sometimes take things for granted day by day.  I don't mean to take them lightly, but I'm fragile and forgetful... and human.  You take these things into account and never forsake Your post of Divine Husband watching over my soul.

Make me fruitful in all of thanksgiving to You, my Father - for without You I would have tumbled down to the earth from 40,000 feet to meet my appointed end on earth.  But You with Your unfailing Love have held me - upon earth and air - with Your faithfulness and precious word to me, saying... "I will never leave you, nor forsake you."  And I believe.

Father, I thank You for Your stalwart faithfulness unto me.

As for the angels You revealed on the journey - their existence is true and encouraging, their countenance and loyalty is beautiful - their focused, obedient love of You is immaculate. You know my heart, O, God.  I thank YOU for being their Source eternal as well as mine; for YOU are the Source of all things.  As the Sovereign King, Your choice to grant us glimpses of messengers and their assignments on Your behalf I welcome entirely, for You alone are GOD, and beside You there is no other.  Selah.

Father, Your love to me is wonderful - passing the love of men or women, boys or girls, or any other person, place, entity, or possession.  I love You.

Thank You for Your faithful protection of me and my best friend as we traversed the entire country held safely within the palm of Your hand... Your gentle, fun, forgiving, passionately loving, and all-merciful hand.  Indeed and Amen it is true that "safety is of the Lord"!

I love You.

DADDY'S GIRL

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

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

"... strengthen your brethren."

Lynette and I returned last week from a blessed vacation/ministry trip to Idaho.  We visited her dear parents, Jack and Kathaleen Palmer, for the first time since 2007.

Lynette's folks have been married 57 years... can you imagine that? Yep, there are couples married longer, but not in my circle of friends and loved ones.  Indeed, this faithful couple I've known for 20 years have presented a marvelously powerful example of what God can do with two willing hearts committed to Him and each other.

In Jesus, marriage can and does last a lifetime.  Amen.

Majestic, pine-laced mountains line the highways
It's also a cool thing for me that these are the parents of my best friend and spiritual twin.  I haven't experienced the longevity associated with having parents alive and well for nearly eight decades as has Lynette.  What a blessing...

During our surprise visit (which delighted them, btw) we ate Jack's garden-fresh tomatoes, enjoyed sitting around singing hymns (which I loved), had long talks, and shared laughter, prayer, tears, and memories. Lynette took me sight-seeing, and we attended services with her folks on Sunday where we met their Pastor and much of their church family. It was a great week!

Lynette's parents are splendid children of God, and they've raised her well.  Seeing all three of them together gratified me intensely; she's the "apple", and they are the "trees" - if you get my meaning. I found that very cool!

This couple is a walking blessing; lives lived for Jesus always are.  Here are a few more pictures for your enjoyment, y'all...



Jack and Kathaleen Palmer
 (Jack's t-shirt reads, "Doolittle & Loafmore Retirement Planning")
 
Jack and his baby girl, Lynette
Clear water and gorgeous pines elevated our enjoyment
The state offers breathtaking displays of the creative power of God.  This is still our Father's world, and our souls were also strengthened and blessed by encouraging our brethren in Him.  God bless all of you.

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