“ This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope. It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.”~ Lamentations 3:21-23 (KJV)
Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for Thy mercies You shower upon each of us every morning and all throughout the day, though we so often miss them as we go about our hours focusing more on trying to complete our tasks in a race to get to the next one.
Please forgive us for so often taking this beautiful gift of life you gave us and Thy wondrous treasures for granted.
May You help us to take a moment to pause, to look up, and say thank You for some blessing You gave us today.
May You help us to thank You for someone You have brought into our lives who is precious to us. May You help us to take a moment to whisper a prayer of gratitude, peace, love, and mercy for that soul.
May You help us take the time to say thank You for my life, Lord, I love You, in Jesus’ name, amen.
Psalm 89:9 You rule the raging of the sea; when its waves rise, you still them.
Psalm 107:29 He made the storm be still, and the waves of the sea were hushed.
Matthew 10:29-31 What is the price of two sparrows—one copper coin? But not a single sparrow can fall to the ground without your Father knowing it. And the very hairs on your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are more valuable to God than a whole flock of sparrows.
Heavenly Father, thank You for Your beautiful Rainbow Promise that extends to Your whole creation. May You be with all who are suffering through any type of storms in their life today; hold them firmly beneath Your everlasting arms, give them Your peace and the assurance that through the dark clouds there will be a glorious rainbow awaiting them. May they know that their storm will pass and that You will restore them, thank You, Lord, In Jesus name, amen.
Heavenly Father, thank You for the assurance that You are always in control of all things. Thy word says in Psalm 103:19, “The Lord has prepared His throne in the heavens; and His kingdom rules over all,” and in Hebrews 1:3 that You “uphold all things by the word of Your power.”Romans 8:8 assures me that every detail of my life is being orchestrated by You into something grand and beautiful and for my ultimate good because You care very much about each one of us. Psalm 138:8 promises that You will “fulfill Your plans for my life.” So I don’t need to worry about whether or not I am going to accomplish Your will for me. You will get me on the path I need to be on. And all I need to do is Trust You.
Lord, though this is often so hard to do, please help each of us to trust You when we cannot see past the bend in the road, when we cannot fathom Your purposes for us on the path You have chosen for us. Help us to trust You when nothing makes sense. Help us to keep our eyes on You anyway; to know that You are in control and that You cherish each of us beyond what we can imagine.
May the sense of Your abiding presence sustain every person praying this prayer. May they feel You with them as they never have before. May You renew their faith, fill them with new hope, and give them joy.
Thank You, dear Lord, I love You, In Jesus’ name. Amen.
*If you would like to listen to the Instrumental Music for my Prayer Song “Savior of My Soul” please follow the link to my Music Website where you will find the song at the top of the playlist in the music player at the bottom of the page.
http://www.peacefulprayersongs.com “Savior of My Soul” is one of the first instrumental pieces of music the Lord gave me for the piano and on my music blog I have written a message about my recording entitled “Not Perfect.” 🙂 I pray the music and my message will bless and inspire you~God bless! love and blessings, Suzanne 🙂
Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for loving us so much that Your word promises that You will never leave or forsake us. You watch over us everywhere we go; You are with us in every moment of our lives, sharing in all our joys and suffering with us through all our sorrows and pain.
When we stumble on our path, You are there to lift us up, dust us off and help us to our feet again, ever ready to forgive knowing that we are not perfect. You cherish us for we are Your masterpieces, made in Your own image and You long for us to know how much You value us.
Help us to come close to You, to hear Your voice, to see Your face in the face of Your beloved Son Jesus Christ who died on the cross that we might be saved from our sins and be given eternal life.
Thank You for the wonder of Thy grace and of Thy measureless love for us. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Lana Lynn Higginbotham is one of the most gifted Authors writing today.
She has written Christian fiction and nonfiction books for both adults and young adults.
The following is a re-post of an interview with Lana Lynn by another excellent author, Ann Malley, from her Writer’s Blog https://annmalleybooks.com
You will find links to Lana’s books at the end of her article. All of Lana’s books would be great for summer reading!
Ann Malley has graciously given her permission to re-post her wonderful interview with Lana on Angelsong.
Check out Ann’s blog site for her other interesting posts about different authors, books, and the world of writing.
Thank you so much, Ann
Hey guys. I hope everyone is enjoying the shift in seasons and that nasty weather is on the decline. (We had a corker lightning storm Saturday night. Full on cracking, white light flashing in the wee hours. Lovely. But I’m weird that way.)
Meanwhile, I’m back with another author interview. Why do I do them? Because learning keeps us fresh. And the best way to learn is to glean wisdom from those who have gone before. Those who are doing what we want to do — keep writing. (Reading, too!)
So who is Lana Higginbotham? And why WRITING?
Firstly, I am Lana “Lynne” Higginbotham (Did you all catch that middle name? It’s important, but we’ll get there.) As a…
~ King Solomon wrote “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens…” Ecclesiastes 3:1 (NIV)
The Lord led me to call the new album of songs He inspired after this famous verse back in December when I’d originally planned to publish it.
The night before I had a dream that sent me to my knees for more guidance.
Indeed, though everything was finished and ready, the Lord wanted me to wait to publish that album. He would let me know when it was time.
I have learned in my walk with the Lord to listen to His Holy Spirit and wait on His perfect timing~ even if it does not make sense.
“The true children of God are those who let God’s Spirit lead them. The Spirit that we received is not a spirit that makes us slaves again and causes us to fear. The Spirit that we have makes us God’s chosen children. And with that Spirit we cry out, “ Abba, Father.” Romans 8:14-15 (ERV)
The Lord has led me to create other albums of beautiful music and then asked me to set them aside for a future date. He expects that I will obey Him without needing to know why.
“The path we walk is charted by faith, not by what we see with our eyes. 2 Corinthians 5:7 – (The Voice Bible)
But how do I know it’s God and not me? That is a very good question!
Our walk with Christ is a training ground in walking humbly with the Lord and living by faith and obedience to His Holy Spirit’s guidance within us.
“He has told you, O man, what is good; And what does the Lord require of you Except to be just, and to love [and to diligently practice] kindness (compassion), And to walk humbly with your God [setting aside any overblown sense of importance or self-righteousness]?” Micah 6:8 – Amplified Bible
We will stumble and fall many times because we are human.
I have missed the Lord very often because of more faults in me than the hairs on my head!
The wonder is that He still chooses to use someone so broken and inept at trying to accomplish what He’s given me to do.
The Lord does not expect perfection from His children. He only asks that we trust and obey Him.
“We have this treasure from God, but we are only like clay jars that hold the treasure. This is to show that the amazing power we have is from God, not from us.” 2 Corinthians 4:7 (ERV)
Not one of us is perfect nor will we ever be this side of Heaven. God has no perfect children.
Only His Son Jesus Christ was perfect and He died to save us from our sins, and that we might be forgiven when we stumble.
God knew we would not be able to do everything He wanted us to perfectly. He forgives our mistakes.
He asks us to please get up again and be about His work.
Don’t let failures make you quit. Don’t let others make you quit either. Don’t let persecution or sickness or pain or troubles or anything in this world keep you from doing what God has asked you to do for His glory.
Right after my dream in December that warned me not to publish my album, I suffered a severe life threatening illness. How grateful I was to the Holy Spirit for His guidance!
Today I’m so thankful to be alive and praising my beautiful Lord and Savior Jesus Christ for His mercy and grace towards me, a sinner He saved through His death on the cross. I praise my Holy Abba Father for raising His Son Jesus Christ from the dead to redeem my soul and give me the righteousness of Christ.
I’m made right in His eyes by the spotless blood of Jesus! He forgives me for all my sins as far as the east is from the west, and He expects that I will forgive others just as He has forgiven me.
The Lord Jesus Christ died to save every person who had ever lived or would live because of God’s measureless love for every soul He created.
“For God chose to save us through our Lord Jesus Christ, not to pour out His anger on us.” 1 Thessalonians 5:9 GW
And this beautiful gift is available to all who will ask Jesus Christ to be their Lord and Savior. “We have been saved by grace because we believed. We did not save ourselves. It was a gift from God. We are not saved by the things we have done, so there is nothing to boast about. God has made us what we are. In Christ Jesus, God has made us new people so that we would spend our lives doing the good things He had already planned for us to do.” ~ Ephesians 2:8-10
May our Heavenly Father bless and encourage all who read this message today and fill each soul with His peace that passes all understanding and an abiding assurance of His measureless love for each one of them, in Jesus’ name amen.
Love always and forever in Christ,
*To preview the songs on my new Instrumental Album, “To Everything A Season,” Follow the link below to my HearNow Music Preview Website where you can listen to audio clips from each of the Album’s 17 Tracks. You will also find links to Spotify, Amazon, ITunes and other streaming services, as well as to cdbaby, where you should be able to stream the full version of all my songs any time.
I want to thank all of you who have been praying for me during the past several months.
You can’t imagine how much your prayers have meant to me during my recent illness.
The Lord knows who you are and I pray that He will give you a crown of glory someday for your faithful intercession.
One of my medical team remarked when he saw the level of pain I was enduring each day, “Either you must pray a lot or there are a lot of people praying for you.”
“A lot of both!” I told him.
This medical professional witnessed your faithfulness in prayer and gave glory to God!
I want you to know that your lives are beautiful blessings to me, to the Lord Jesus Christ, and to all whose lives you touch each day.
May you know that you have continued to be in my prayers daily. Even though I have not been able to post or visit you for many months now, you have always been in my heart.
Just before I became so ill with a severe flare up of the auto-immune illnesses that I suffer from, the Lord had given me a beautiful song, “Eye Has Not Seen.”
It was inspired by a beautiful scripture: “But as it is written, eye has not seen, nor ear heard, neither has it entered into the heart of man, the things that God has prepared for those who love Him.” (1 Corinthians 2:9)
The song is about what the Word Of God promises.
Not long before I’d recorded it, a person had written to me that I should not “quote platitudes that were not true.”
A platitude is a beautiful, usually moral statement, that has been quoted so often it has lost its meaning.
How could I tell this person that the promises in the Bible were not platitudes~that all of the promises of God in Christ Jesus were true.
I believed this because the Bible said so and I had experienced God’s faithfulness to His Word many times throughout my life. Yet I had no way of convincing anyone of what it takes faith to believe.
The Word of God reveals that all faith, if it is genuine, must be tested.
“So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you must endure many trials for a little while. These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold—though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world.” 1 Peter 1:6-7 -NLT
These Scriptures along with many others, teach us that God tests our faith through trials and suffering.
“Dear friends, don’t be surprised at the fiery trials you are going through, as if something strange were happening to you. Instead, be very glad—for these trials make you partners with Christ in his suffering, so that you will have the wonderful joy of seeing his glory when it is revealed to all the world.” 1 Peter 4:12-13 NLT
Our suffering and trials also bond us together with our Lord Jesus in a special way, so we should rejoice in them, Peter wrote.
Not long after I had written “Eye Has Not Seen” and all of the songs for my Easter Album “Paths Of Grace,” it was as if the Lord took me to “God’s School of Affliction,” and then I literally felt like I had died and gone to hell. 😦
Many times I felt like Jesus crying out on the cross, “My God, my God, Why hast Thou forsaken me!”
The good news is, despite my long dark sojourn in the worst pit of my life (so far) ~ Jesus never failed to comfort me in my pain and agony.
And I have every confidence that He will be with me no matter what nightmare I have yet to endure. God truly IS in control!
For He has taught me through my trials and suffering, that as long as I have Jesus, though I might lose everything else, I have everything when I have Him.
To have Jesus Christ is to have Heaven right here on earth. Though I may lose my health, possess no wealth, no prosperity, lose my ability to work, live in chronic pain day and night, my Jesus is still with me and He won’t ever leave me. He won’t give up on me.
Though I may be able to do nothing for Him, He still loves me and He will go on loving me because He suffered and died on the cross to ransom me to become His very own. And when I suffer, I am sharing a bond with Him that I would never have known otherwise.
This is why the Apostle Paul wrote:
“For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake.” Philippians 1:29
Again, I can’t thank all who prayed for me enough. You will never know this side of eternity what you mean to me.
May God bless you all with a thousand reminders of His immeasurable love for you, and meet your every need, in Jesus’ name, amen.
Thank you, thank you, thank you again for your prayers!!!
Love Always & Forever in Christ,
Here is the Music Video “Eye Has Not Seen” May the Lord use this song and video to bless and encourage you today!
My prayer song ” The Angel of the Lord Encircles Me” was inspired by Psalm 34:7 “The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear Him and delivers them.”
According to the Strong’s Bible Concordance, the “angel of the Lord” often referred to the “theophanic angel” ~ a divine visitation of God appearing in the form of an angel.
Many bible scholars believe that the theophanic angel was the pre-incarnate Christ.The word means, “messenger of God, an angel, prophet, priest, or teacher.“
The words “encamp about” mean to “dwell in, or all around as in a circuit, on every side.”
The words in the definition convey the idea that the angel(the messenger from God who is a teacher, priest, and prophet) is building a strong fortress all around the person he is guarding.
If a person fears the Lord, (by fear, the Psalmist means, honors, is morally reverent, and afraid to dishonor or offend the Lord), and if they abide in God’s strong fortress with the angel, and if that Angel is the Lord Jesus Christ, then something truly wonderful is going to happen.
That Angel is going to deliver them.
According to the Strong’s Bible Concordance, the word deliver means: “to remove, to draw out, equip for war, rescue, be armed, to make strong, to brace, to be saved.”
What are we going to be delivered from?
Jesus is going to deliver us from whatever overwhelms, overcomes, or oppresses us.
Jesus is going to remove whatever hinders us from advancing toward fulfilling His purpose in our life.
First, Jesus saves our souls and forgives all our sins, washing them away as far as the east is from the west when we invite him into our heart to be our Lord and Savior.
“Therefore Jesus is able, once and forever, to save those who come to God through him. He lives forever to intercede with God on their behalf.” Hebrews 7:25
Jesus is going to heal us from whatever soul sickness that blinds us and keeps us from knowing and growing in Him.
“He sent out his word and healed them, snatching them from the door of death.” Psalm 107:20
Jesus is committed to equipping us for spiritual battle; God is on our side~ He wants us to succeed:
“God arms me with strength, and he makes my way perfect.He makes me as surefooted as a deer, enabling me to stand on mountain heights.He trains my hands for battle; he strengthens my arm to draw a bronze bow.” Psalm 18:32-34
Jesus make us strong through helping us to read and understand His word, and giving us the grace and power to obey it:
“For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him.” ~Philippians 2:13
Jesus delivers us so that we can overcome temptation.
“And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure.” 1 Corinthians 10:13 (NLT)
Jesus is going to give us victory over what had formerly overcome us:
“For this is the victory that overcomes the world, even our faith.” 1 John 5:4
Finally, Jesus delivers us from our enemies when we put our trust in Him. He is committed to making us strong and whole.
“To them that have no might He increases strength.” Isaiah 40:29
Thank You for sending Thy Son Jesus Christ to by my Protector and Guardian, Savior, Redeemer, and Friend, who ever guards me night and day through His Holy Spirit who lives inside my heart. May You help me to truly understand all of the wonderful things my Lord Jesus does for all who trust Him as their Savior and Lord, in Jesus holy name, amen.
“The Angel of The Lord Encircles Me” is a comforting, inspirational 2 minute 45 second Video featuring my prayer poem and original piano solo, “The Angel of the Lord Encircles Me,” from my Album and Prayer Song Book, “Paths of Love.”
A couple of years ago the Lord inspired me to create an Encouraging Scripture Promise Wall Calendar based on my Encouraging Card Collection. I loved my calendar for it would encourage me each morning with a promise from God’s word.
Whenever I was discouraged all I had to do was look up at the scripture on my calendar; somehow the Lord always used the bible verse to speak to my heart.
The promises in the Bible give us hope. And no wonder, for our God is “The God of hope.”(Romans 15:13)
The next year, I had three calendars printed.
I hung one in my kitchen, one at my work chair, and one beside my bed.
Anytime I felt sad or discouraged I would look up at one of my calendars, depending on which room I was in, read the bible promise, and be filled with fresh courage.
This year the Lord inspired me to create a new Wall Calendar featuring twelve comforting Bible Promises, one for each month of the year illustrated with my scripture paintings and collages.
He impressed upon me the importance of meditating upon His word every day, reminding me of Jesus’ words in Matthew 4:4 when tempted by the devil to turn stones into bread during His wilderness Temptations. Jesus fought the temptation with scripture:
“It is written, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” Matthew 4:4
In rebuking the devil with scripture, the Lord Jesus was teaching us how to fight the enemy: with His word. In Ephesians 6:17 Paul wrote “to take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God” as a vital part of our spiritual armor against the deadly attacks of our unseen spiritual foe who is out to destroy our soul.
Knowledge of God’s word is not only vital to our survival as believers in spiritual warfare, but the Psalmist said, “Thy word have I hid in my heart that I might not sin against Thee.” Psalm 119:11
The promises of God comfort and give us hope, keep us from going astray, aid us in defeating our spiritual enemies, and they also guide us in the Lord’s paths of righteousness.
“Thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.” Psalm 119:105
“Every word of God proves true…” Proverbs 30:5
The Apostle Paul wrote that we grow our faith by nourishing ourselves with a steady diet of God’s Holy Word. For it is our spiritual food, that will help us grow closer to our God if we will make it our daily habit to read it and obey it.
In this way we will learn to understand the Lord’s will for us, to discern His voice in our hearts, and find out what pleases and displeases Him.
This year the Lord has inspired me to study and meditate on the bible promises on my calendars each month in a new way.
Each morning I plan to meditate on the bible promise for the month and pray about how it applies to me and where I am on my life’s journey with the Lord.
I’m going to ask the Holy Spirit to teach me new insights as I study the scripture more in depth along with other bible study tools, like the Strong’s concordance, the Matthew Henry Bible Commentary, and my Study Bible.
I plan to pray over the scripture throughout the month and ask the Lord to teach me new things about that promise each day. I have learned that we can never exhaust all of the riches to be found in God’s holy word!
“In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.” Colossians 2:3
I hope by studying God’s promises in this way, that by the end of each month I will have memorized each of the bible promises featured on the calendar.
By the year’s end, if I meditate on these verses daily, then I will make them all my very own, for the Lord has shown me that this is one very good way to hide His word in my heart and make it my treasure.
I would be so honored if you would get one of my scripture calendars and join me in studying God’s promises each day.
May the Lord bless you!
Help me to hide Thy word in my heart every day. Please use Thy word to help me become more like Thy Son Jesus Christ. Help me to always obey everything that You teach me from Your word, so that it doesn’t just go in one ear and out the other. I ask that You let Your word be my treasure now and for always. Thank you, Lord, I love you, In Jesus mighty name, amen.
For more information about my Bible Promise Calendar and Encouraging Scripture Promise Calendar see my Etsy Shop Listings below: (Links will take you to my Etsy Shop.)
If someone had said to me back in 2008 that in the next nine years I would publish nineteen music albums of original music I would have told them that they were insane.
Yet unbelievably I have just published my nineteenth music album.
“Where Angels Dance,” features vibrant worship instrumentals that were all inspired by the Holy Spirit.
Music was never one of my gifts growing up, nor did I ever want anything to do with any of the performance arts.
I was passionate about Art. I never sat down without a pen and sketchpad.
I had taught art, worked as a freelance artist, written and illustrated my own books, and earned my college degree in art & writing. I was certain that God had called me to be a children’s book author and Illustrator.
One day I fell asleep after taking my dog for a walk.
I dreamed I went to Heaven.
There I saw angels and saints dancing before Christ’s Throne.
They were joyfully worshiping the Lord.
Beautiful music was playing in the background as they danced.
When I awoke from my dream, the music was echoing in my mind.
The Lord spoke to my heart, “You can play that song.”
The keyboard that my sister had given us was in front of me.
I felt compelled to try even though there was no reason I should have any hopes of playing that beautiful song from my dream.
Except that the Lord had said I could. And if God said I could, it must be true since He can’t lie.
But what if I was just imagining that God said it?
The only way to find out would be to try…
I sat down and played that song. It was amazing but somehow, I just knew how to do it.
My version wasn’t as lovely as what I had heard in the dream, but it sounded similar.
When the Lord taught me how to play the piano, it was purely by faith. All He asked of me was that I believed His word to me, “You can play that song.”
After I played that one song, He said, “From now on you can play any song I teach you. Just believe.”
“He spoke and it was done, He commanded and it stood fast.” Psalm 33:9
Though I had never wanted to be a musician before, suddenly, I loved worshiping God with this beautiful new gift.
Then the Lord asked me to SHARE the praise music He’d taught me to play.
I froze. It was one thing to play these songs that sounded amazing to me just for the Lord in my worship time, but quite another to make them public.
FEAR & DOUBT reared their ugly heads and whispered, “You know absolutely nothing! These songs only sound good to you because you don’t know anything at all about music. You are only an artist, you aren’t really a musician. No one will listen to this music from God and everyone will make fun of you.”
It was then that I decided, “Maybe the Lord wants me to take piano lessons.”
However, after going through three piano teachers and never being able to quite finish even one beginner book because reading notes was such a challenge for me, I finally realized it was not what the Lord wanted for me.
“For we walk by faith and not by sight.” (2 Corinthians 5:7)
One teacher looked at a printed musical score from an original composition from the Lord and just shook her head, mystified. “This is way beyond you.”
“But I created it, I mean, God created it through me,” I said.
One great thing did come of my piano lessons though. I loved learning the music scales! Somehow that is the one thing that I could master and the Lord helped me use this knowledge to compose many prayer songs.
Yet my music from the Lord sounded very different from other contemporary Christian music.
I had to come to terms with the fact that its true Creator, the risen Lord Jesus Christ who lives in my heart, was composing His music through me just the way He wanted it.
I had to trust Him that it was good enough.
This was going to take a significant leap of faith and courage.
When I had been working as a professional artist, I would never submit anything unless it rose to my “perfectionist” standards.
To me, my piano prayers were a beautiful gift from the Lord that I played back to Him in worship. They did not have to measure up to any human standard of musical taste or preference for I knew that Jesus had made them, loved them, and accepted them.
Now the Lord was asking me to share His songs with the public who did measure its music to a standard. I had no idea what those musical standards or preferences were. I had absolutely no musical knowledge. It was not something the Lord told me to study or learn about. He just asked me to play His songs~then share them.
“Oh Lord, I’m just an artist, not a real musician. Do You really want me to share Your songs?”
Suddenly I realized I could say, “Yes or no, Lord,” to His beautiful gift.
But then, He had laid down His life for me. He had said to His Father when faced with a humiliating, agonizing death on the cross just to bear all my sins, to be made a curse for me so that I might have eternal life with Him, “Father, not My will but Thy will.”
He knew people would make fun of Him, scorn Him, reject Him, that He would even have to face the cold dark waters of death, the stench of hell where His beloved Father, from whom He had never been separated could not come. He faced all of this to pay the ransom for my soul.
How could I, if I truly loved my Savior, not lay down my life, my will for Him? How could I not share His songs, come what may?
True love lays down its life for Jesus.
I realized then, it’s not about me, or my will, but what God wants to do through me, even if I end up looking like a fool.
Love obeys her Lord and Savior no matter what He asks her to do for Him.
The most amazing thing I’ve learned through this experience is that God would choose an ordinary sinful woman like me, saved only by the almighty grace of her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and say, “Here is a gift. All you need to do is receive it by faith.”
Just like the gift of salvation He offers each of us in Christ.
And then it terrified me that He would take that same ordinary Christian woman, and say, “Now use that gift for My glory!”
I’m not perfect, far from it, nor is any of my music.
But God uses imperfect vessels.
God up and turned me into a musician for HIS glory-not mine.
He put in me a gift I knew absolutely NOTHING about.
How I thank the Lord for the way He has used the gift of music to lovingly humble me in all of my other gifts.
“God can do anything, you know—far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, his Spirit deeply and gently within us.” Ephesians 3:20-21(The Message Bible)
Most of the music the Lord gives me is inspired by the Bible.
The songs all begin as prayers, and I will praise the Lord forever for giving me this wonderful way to worship Him.
This music is very special for it truly is a gift from God. It never ceases to amaze and humble me how He plays His music through me.
My fervent prayer is that many people will be blessed and encouraged by this gift of God’s music. For all of the songs are essentially prayers ascending to heaven in a musical form breathed into life by the God who lives in me.
Heavenly Father, may You use this music and story to bless and encourage someone today to step out in faith to trust You and believe that with God all things are truly possible, and that when we walk by faith, we honor and glorify You, even as Abraham did so long ago, who, “staggered not at the promises of God…” Thank You, Lord, In Jesus name, amen.
Matthew 3:4-6 Now John wore a garment of camel’s hair and a leather belt around his waist, and his food was locusts and wild honey. Then Jerusalem and all Judea and all the region about the Jordan were going out to him, and they were baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins. Matthew 3:11 “I baptize you with water for repentance, but he who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.
John 1:29-30 The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! He is the one I was talking about when I said, ‘A man is coming after me who is far greater than I am, for he existed long before me.’ Matthew 3:13-16 Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to John, to be baptized by him. John would have prevented him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?” But Jesus answered him, “Let it be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.”
Then he consented. And when Jesus was baptized, immediately he went up from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened to him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming to rest on him; Matthew 3:17 and behold, a voice from heaven said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.” John 3:16-17 “For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him. Isaiah 53:4-6 Yet it was our weaknesses he carried; it was our sorrows that weighed him down. And we thought his troubles were a punishment from God, a punishment for his own sins! But he was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins. He was beaten so we could be whole. He was whipped so we could be healed. All of us, like sheep, have strayed away. We have left God’s paths to follow our own. Yet the Lord laid on him the sins of us all. John 11:25-26 Jesus told her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Anyone who believes in me will live, even after dying. Everyone who lives in me and believes in me will never ever die.
He leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul:
He leadeth 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 Thou art with me…” ~Psalm 23:1-4
Several years ago I came down with a simple virus. I thought it would go away in a few days, for I had always been a very healthy person. But after a week my symptoms only grew more alarming and by the end of the month they became debilitating.
I went from a healthy active person who walked 6 miles a day, to a person who could no longer walk, use my hands, or even see to read, write or draw, for my eye muscles would go into spasms if I tried to read anything. I had to stay still in a dark room and be quiet.
This was unbearable to me for I had been so used to being active.
As a working visual artist who drew almost constantly, being unable to use my hands was like being imprisoned in my body.
I was terrified for I did not know if the illness was permanent, or even what the illness was.
Nor did my doctors. They ran numerous tests on me for every horrible disease they could think of.
I was filled with fear and anxiety.
“Lord, why is this happening? Did I grieve you somehow?”
I prayed constantly and confessed every sin I could think of –and then some, because I was certain I had done some terrible thing to make God mad at me for allowing me to become so ill and lose so many abilities. All I had ever wanted to do was glorify Him.
Now all I could do was sit in silence before Him and weep. My head hurt constantly from migraines.
I listened to audio bibles and sermons and this comforted me tremendously.
The Psalmist wrote in Psalm 119:92 “Lord, unless Your law had been my delight, I would then have perished in my affliction.”
During my time alone with the Lord, I grew very close to Him. There is nothing like suffering and affliction to draw you closer to God. He spoke to my heart. He promised to heal me. I clung to His promise.
God’s word promises that “all things work together for good to those who love God” in Romans 8:28. I treasured all of the promises in His word trusting that all would be well, for God had never failed me.
All my life I had known Him to be faithful, just as His word says in Psalm 36:5 “Thy mercy, O Lord, is in the heavens; and thy faithfulness reacheth unto the clouds.”
After many tests the doctors determined that I had Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia~ auto-immune illnesses caused by the Epstein Barre virus.
It took 4 months of physical therapy before I could use my hands again to draw, paint, and write. After about a year I was able to walk almost a mile.
The second painting I did after I regained the use of my hands was a watercolor inspired by Psalm 23, “The Lord is My Shepherd.”
The painting shows the Good Shepherd, Jesus, His face strong and steady in the
midst of a dark, blinding storm. His glowing clothes are billowing all about Him as He presses forward with nothing and no one able to stop Him or His purpose for the little one He has charge over. His frightened little child is crouching close behind Him to escape the blast of the stormy tempest.
The Lord is the child’s Shield, his Shelter, and Defender. The child clings to the Lord, as Christ leads Him through the Dark Valley of the Shadow; they are as one, they are so close together.
This image truly reflects my experience with my Lord Jesus ~ He was my Good Shepherd throughout my illness and never once failed me through my crisis of fear, worry, doubt, anxiety, weakness, and pain. He led me all the way through that horrible storm and encouraged me with His word, His love, and His presence.
The Gospel of John says that Jesus is the true light and “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it.” ~John 1:5
I experienced the truth of that scripture through my affliction. And the painting is my expression of its truth.
I had my painting printed and made into an Encouraging Card, which I sell in our Etsy Shop.
The card is like a mini version of my painting. On the front of this card is the verse, “The Lord is my Shepherd…I will fear no evil, for You are with me.” Psalm 23:1,4(Updated King James Version Bible) On the back of the card, Psalm 23 is printed along with a vignette of the cover illustration.
This card has comforted many people through many trials. So I am thankful that the Lord allowed me to experience the terrible affliction that led me to be able to paint the picture. For I would never have been able to paint it had I not experienced the suffering, fear, comfort and faith all found in that image.
The Apostle Paul wrote to the Corinthian Church:
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.” ~2 Corinthians 1:3-4
Heavenly Father, thank You for sending Your Son Jesus Christ to be our Good Shepherd to guide us down the path of righteousness, truth, and grace that we might live with You in peace forever. We love You, In Jesus’ name we pray, amen.