Reign

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Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you. Philippians 4:8

Have you ever had a situation arise out of no where? One you were not expecting. On that completely blind sided you?  I’ll spare you the details, but last week I was reminded of many things through a chain of events that flew in out of no where. Side swiped me and thankfully for just a brief moment, knocked me off my feet. Although it was challenging, I praised God for it because it made me realize how much I have grown in His love. I don’t think I am being to bold when I say over a year ago, I wouldn’t have found the glory in the challenge. The anger might have overtaken me and the resentment may have festered. I am FAR from perfect, but studying God’s word and working daily on my relationship with our Heavenly Father has helped me in ways I could have never imagined. The situation also awakened me to acknowledge once again that:

Nothing stays the same except for Christ.  He is perfect and will not change. Malachi 3:6-7, Psalm 106:48

We are to praise God in all things. James 1:2-5

We are called to put aside anger and forgive.  Luke 6:37

God has the power to bring abundant blessings in the midst of uncertainly. Philippians 4:7

God provides people in our path to help us when we are in need. Proverbs 19:20, Proverbs 1:5

God promises us more immeasurably more than we could ever imagine and boy does He come through!  Ephesians 3:20

I prayed for God to reign over my thoughts, my tongue, my actions and my heart. He answered those prayers and blessed me in ways I would have never imagined. Mostly, with His abundant peace.

That said, I would like to announce my new website ~ www.allisonTcain.com ~ It speaks more to who I am in Christ. The “T” not only for my middle name, but symbolizing the cross. Reminding us all to live at the foot of the cross, with God in the middle of all we think, do and say, dying to self and handing it all over to Him every day!

When we are obedient to His laws and abiding in His word ~ He offers us protection and blessings.

If you listen obediently to the Voice of God, your God, and heartily obey all his commandments that I command you today, God, your God, will place you on high, high above all the nations of the world. All these blessings will come down on you and spread out beyond you because you have responded to the Voice of God, your God:  God will defeat your enemies who attack you. They’ll come at you on one road and run away on seven roads. God will order a blessing on your barns and workplaces; he’ll bless you in the land that God, your God, is giving you. Deuteronomy 28:1-2, 7-8 (The Message)

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Delight

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Trust in the LORD and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture. Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart.Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him and he will do this: Psalm 37:3-5

Delight! That is the word that God has placed on my heart for 2012. Delight! What a wonderful word.

Delight is defined as: “a fundamental feeling that is hard to define but that people desire to experience, to give or to take great pleasure in, a high degree of gratification, extreme satisfaction, something that gives great pleasure.” Isn’t that a beautiful definition? Just like the feeling of delight, our relationship with the heavenly father is hard to define, but when others see the peace, love, grace and mercy He produces for us, in us and through us they desire to experience it.

Have you ever known friends or family that find such extreme satisfaction in the Lord, that regardless of their situation they are able to delight in Him and the journey He has placed them on? It is easy to experience delight when things are going our way, prayers are being answered and life’s roads are smooth. What happens to our delight in the valleys of life? That depends on our faith. Faith that our Lord is merciful, faith His plan has a greater purpose, faith that He won’t leave our side . . . faith! Bold, daring, adventurous faith. This is when we touch the lives of those around us. The lives of those who know our Savior and the lives of those who have never given Him the time of day. Finding delight and joy in spite of it all. We don’t have to say a word, but that is when we do our greatest work for the Lord. When those around us wonder what we have that they don’t. They get a “feeling that is hard to define but that they desire to experience”.

Great are the works of the LORD; they are pondered by all who delight in them. Glorious and majestic are his deeds, and his righteousness endures forever. Psalm 111:2-3

Not only does God desire for us to delight in Him, trust Him and have faith in His ways and commands, but He wants us to know that He delights in us. Yes, us! He knows we will stumble, doubt and wonder why some times, but He delights in us when we seek His word for strength and clarity, when we use the process of overcoming a difficult time to grow closer to Him and experience Him in a new and mighty way. He delights in you!

I meditate on your precepts and consider your ways. I delight in your decrees; I will not neglect your word. Be good to your servant while I live, that I may obey your word. Psalm 119:15-17

Shelter Me

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For in the day of trouble he will keep me safe in his dwelling; he will hide me in the shelter of his sacred tent and set me high upon a rock. Psalm 27:5

Sometimes there are no words  . . . This is one of my favorite songs and it’s message is one I have clung to many times in my life.

Shelter Me Lyrics by Buddy Miller (Album:Universal United House of Prayer)

the earth can shake the sky come down
the mountains all fall to the ground
but I will fear none of these things
shelter me lord underneath your wings

dark waters rise and thunders pound
the wheels of war are going round
and all the walls are crumbling
shelter me lord underneath your wings

(shelter me lord)
hide me underneath you wings
hide me deep inside your heart
in your refuge – cover me
the world can shake
but lord I’m making you my hiding place

the wind can blow the rain can pour
the deluge breaks the tempest roars
but in the storm my spirit sings
(when you) shelter me lord underneath your wings

(shelter me lord)
hide me underneath you wings
hide me deep inside your heart
in your refuge – cover me
the world can shake
but lord I’m making you my hiding place

now on the day you call for me
someday when time – no more shall be
I’ll say oh death where is your sting
you shelter me lord underneath your wings

Listen on YouTube – Shelter Me

 

 

Where is God?

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When he reached a certain place, he stopped for the night because the sun had set. Taking one of the stones there, he put it under his head and lay down to sleep. He had a dream in which he saw a stairway resting on the earth, with its top reaching to heaven, and the angels of God were ascending and descending on it. There above it stood the LORD, and he said: “I am the LORD, the God of your father Abraham and the God of Isaac. I will give you and your descendants the land on which you are lying. Your descendants will be like the dust of the earth, and you will spread out to the west and to the east, to the north and to the south. All peoples on earth will be blessed through you and your offspring. I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go, and I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.” When Jacob awoke from his sleep, he thought, “Surely the LORD is in this place, and I was not aware of it.” Genesis 28:11-16

Ever reached that certain place? The place where the next step is a mystery. The place where it seems like nothing good can come of the situation. The place where you pray, “God, I know you are sovereign. I know you always come through in what feels like the last-minute to me, but this is it. Where are you? This feels like the last-minute.” I have been in that place and prayed that exact prayer.

Although I knew it wasn’t true, I felt abandoned. At the end of my hope. No more energy to spare. No more positives to focus on. And then, God reminded me over and over through His written Word and through my quiet time with Him of His promises. Reminding me through scripture that “He will not leave until He has done what He promised me”. Genesis 28

I was reminded that I am not alone, God plans to prosper me not to harm me and give me a hope and a future (Jeremiah 29:11), He never sleep nor slumbers (Psalm 121:3) and He will never leave me or forsake me (Deuteronomy 31:8). He is with me wherever I go (Genesis 28:15).

When I feel lost and broken. When I am weary and worn. When hope seems lost and the next step like it is an eternity away. When the future seems grim and cloudy. . . God reminds me of His mighty promises and my heart must sing “Surely the LORD is in this place, and I was not aware of it.”

I pray that God reveals Himself to all of us throughout this year in a new and powerful way. May our hearts be aware and take notice of  God’s presence in our daily lives.

“Surely the LORD is in this place, and I was not aware of it.” Genesis 28:16

**Live near Kinston, NC? Come to the grand-reopening of the Christian book store located in Vernon Park Mall next to Belk’s. I’ll be there reading and signing books on January 10th from 5-7 p.m.**

Year of prayer

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So what shall I do? I will pray with my spirit, but I will also pray with my understanding; I will sing with my spirit, but I will also sing with my understanding. 1 Corinthians 14:15

A year ago, I began taking prayer request at each speaking event. God placed it on my heart to ask for these at each event and pray for them over the year. I have done that. It has been a year of prayer over each individual card. Some gave their names and other didn’t. Some had personal prayer requests and others asked for prayers for loved ones and friends. As 2011 came to a close last weekend, I sat and prayed one last time over the cards and then threw each one into the fire. As I watched them burn,  I was reminded of how many prayers had been answered, wondered if others had been and accepted the reality that some were not.

Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” Mark 14:38

For those prayers that were answered – I gave praise. For those that were not – I prayed for understanding and peace. Sometimes, with time and reflection, it’s clear that unanswered prayers are a blessing and God’s plan was better than I had anticipated. And other times, I know I will never understand why some prayers go unanswered. At least, not in this life. But I pray for a strong faith that leads to growing trust in my Lord and Savior. Trust and faith that when I entrust all I have to Him, I will have  integrity, strength, ability and the confidence to remain reliant on Him despite the circumstances. Despite the answered and unanswered prayers. Despite the trials. Despite temptations.

Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up. Luke 18:1

I hope you will take time to read the parable of the persistent widow in Luke 18 during your quiet time this week. I pray that 2012 brings you a renewed and strengthened faith in our Heavenly Father.