Sing a New Song

As we go through the motions of this song on repeat in our head, it loses its appeal or affect after a while. Well, lets pretend you painted a cute, little birdhouse and placed it in your yard to admire and a pretty birdie takes up residence. She comes out every morning, sits on her perch and sings her familiar song in the morning light. Every morning…Like clockwork, she goes through the motions of what she is created to do. Nothing wrong with that I suppose, but when you walk outside you hear her birdie songs, but don’t necessarily stop to enjoy them. You’ve heard them before. It’s lost its appeal and seems to have little affect on your day.

Now, think about this…

What if you came outside one day and that pretty birdie wasn’t on her perch. She was standing on the roof of her house with a new song. A glorious song that sounded nothing like the other songs she has ever sang before! I am sure you would take notice, right? She’s in a different place and she has a different song! Isaiah 42:10 says, “Sing a new song unto the Lord…” There are several other places in Psalms that say the same thing, but in Isaiah it has a profound appeal. You see, in previous chapters we read of Israel going through the motions with outward rituals, but their hearts were far from God and couldn’t understand why their prayers were not answered. In Chapter 42, we see the Messiah and because of His work, we will sing a new song! All will praise Him to the ends of the earth!

Now, I pose this question to myself and believers in the finished work of Calvary…why aren’t we singing a new song because of the work He has done in us? Why are we going through the motions? No one is going to pay attention to Jesus if we mumble the same song under our breath with no appeal. We must be willing to jump from the perch of our homes to rooftops and sing a new song that gets the attention of those around us…that makes them see Jesus and stop to take notice. We can’t be afraid of what someone may say when our song doesn’t sound the same, but we must sing louder and prouder for what He is doing in our life! Your song may be what someone needs to have a fresh encounter with the King of Kings!

Just because God is constant, doesn’t mean He is stagnant. He is a God of new beginnings, so start this week with a NEW song and watch Him do something NEW for you!

Preserved

My reading tonight put me in Psalm 16. I honestly couldn’t get past the first verse.

“Preserve me, O God: for in thee do I put my trust.”

“Preserve” just jumped out at me…so I went to the dictionary. I know what it means to preserve something, but i wanted to see what Webster said. Here’s what I found:

 to keep safe from injury, harm, or destruction; protect

: to keep alive, intact, or free from decay

: to keep or save from decomposition

: prepare for future use

:to keep up and reserve for personal or special use

I don’t know about you, but as I read those words off my phone screen I couldn’t help but say, “That’s God!

Because of the empty tomb that we just celebrated a few days ago, I am safe from harm. I will be kept from decay. The best part…I am being prepared for future use! If you want to say I am “pickled” or “preserved” for the Lord’s special use…I would say that’s a good way to put it! As a child of God, you have a purpose and a plan…here and now AND into eternity!

When we trust the Lord and walk in faith, He is faithful to preserve us. We can be like David and sing that our refuge is in Him. When you have been sealed with the Holy Spirit, you are preserved, kept, saved and prepared for the Kingdom!

Rest on the pantry shelf that is the peace of God and know that you’re kept, my friend. You are safe when you have been preserved by the Master. Take hold of the truth of Psalm 16:1 tonight and rest easy.

Training

I’ve been putting off going to the bank for a few days and this morning I almost forgot to turn left instead of right to go make my deposit. I said to myself, “Ashlee, if you don’t do it right now, you will ride around with these checks for another week.” So, I made my deposit and was listening to the radio. I don’t know what was on there honestly, but I just whispered, “speak to me today, Lord”, as I took my debit card out of the ATM and pulled out to go to work.
Just a few seconds before I left the ATM, it started to rain as I was waiting on my receipt to print. I didn’t want to leave my window down too long and get wet, ‘cause I’m so sweet and might melt 🤣. Kidding, kidding. As I hit the button to roll up my window, I heard a man’s voice yell…as giving a command. I look up and see these JROTC/ROTC students walking through town.
Immediately, I got out my phone and took a picture.

If I would have turned right to go to work this morning…I might would have missed this, because I would have been driving. As soon as I pulled up to the studio just a few minutes later, I am still sitting in my car typing these words because I KNOW someone needs to hear this. Then again, maybe it could be me that needs the reminder. 😉

We have two ways to go in life. Right or Left. Wrong or Right. How do we know which way to go? We listen for the voice of our Shepherd. He is our Commander. Our guide. We must listen before we take a step and remember, that one wrong turn or misstep can cost someone their life. Maybe not physically, but spiritually. It takes discipline and training to walk by faith…it just doesn’t happen. Training comes in sunshine and sometimes it comes by walking in the rain. But, just because you are having to walk through stormy weather, doesn’t mean you forget your training. Keep pushing forward and trusting your God with each step. He will guide your steps. He is a lamp unto your feet and a light unto your path.

Disciplining ourselves for a life devoted to Christ takes courage. You are on the front line for this lost and dying world. I don’t know where the discipline of these young men will take them in this world, but I know that when you follow and trust Christ each day and lean on His understanding, you won’t misstep or fall out of line. You can fight any battle that you are thrown into, friend!

Open your physical and spiritual eyes and allow God to speak to you in unconvential ways today…HE WILL!
Why?…cause He is good and so very faithful, y’all!

Have a terrific Thursday!

All in All

Philippians 4:13-“I can do ALL things through Christ which strengtheneth me.”

Mark 10:27-“And Jesus looking upon them saith, With men [it is] impossible, but not with God: for with God ALL things are possible.”

Philippians 4:19-But my God shall supply ALL your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.”

Jeremiah 32:27 – Behold, I [am] the LORD, the God of ALL flesh: is there any thing too hard for me?

Proverbs 3:6-“In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.”

John 3:16-“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever(ALL who) believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

Jesus…my ALL in ALL!

Clay Jar

You see that little cracked jar. That’s how I’m feeling this morning. I won’t go into detail, but yesterday evening was an interesting one. It ended up with me telling a thief that I would put a bullet in his face if I seen him messing around my stuff again. Now I’m from Mayo, so the redneck runs deep. 🤦‍♀️ The sad part is that yesterday morning I’m talking about being the reflection of Jesus and a mere eight hours later I am chasing a thief like “Pistol Annie”. Oh, I wish I was joking. As I laid in bed last night rethinking my actions and this morning reading 2 Corinthians 4:7-18 and being moved to tears. The first line I read says:
“Now we have this treasure in clay jars, so that they extraordinary power may be from God and not from us.”
Now here I am thinking…I thought I was pretty powerful last night in my own rights, but instead of yelling at this man, I should have relied on the greatness with me and shared Jesus with Him. I know what you are thinking…yeah right, Ashlee…in the moment, that is the last thing most Christians would ever think about in this day when you feel threatened or violated, but I can’t help but think of what a great opportunity to show the love of Jesus that I completely passed over.

I cracked my jar.

If I’m being honest, it hurts deep. I missed an opportunity to shed light into darkness. I ignored a chance to tell someone there is a better way. Listen, God knows I’m not perfect. I know that, too. That’s why I need Jesus. We have the amazing opportunity to house the great glory of God in a simple earthen vessel (clay jar). He uses us, because we have the uncanny ability to show the power of God through a cracked, clay pot.
I read a little further to verse 16-18 and I have hope in my cracked jar….
“Therefore we do not give up. Even though our outer person is being destroyed, our inner person is being renewed day by day. For our momentary light affliction is producing for us an absolutely incomparable eternal weight of glory. So we do not focus on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, it what is unseen is eternal.”

Maybe my cracked jar this morning will help you…but if not, it will remind me to not give up. I may see cracks and chips in this clay jar, but it is temporary. God is renewing me by His mercy and grace each and every day and preparing me for eternity with Him. I may have not been able to show Jesus last night, but I pray that through my cracked jar, someone reading this today will see the beauty, power and greatness of Jesus.

The Reflection

If you are a believer in the finished work of Jesus Christ, you have a hope…a hope far greater than anything in this world. Because of this hope, you can have boldness. In reality, you may look into the mirror and see a tiny kitten, unable to do accomplish much for the kingdom of God. In ourselves, we are nothing. But because of Jesus, we are royalty.
Royalty with a roar.
Do not mistake the power that lies within you. As a believer, we must allow ourselves to the surrendering of God’s purpose for us. The same power that rose Jesus from the grace is the same power living inside of you! Do not quench that power by trying to be the manufacturer of every move you make today. Allow the Holy Spirit to guide you and walk with the confidence of a lion…because someone needs to see Jesus in you. They need to see you haven’t given up. You are proclaiming Jesus.

You have a hope…so share it.
You have a story…so tell it.
You have a light…so shine it.

Someone is looking at you to see what you reflect. When they look upon your face, let them see the Lion of Judah…the soon coming King. Let His glory shine so brightly that they are transformed because you did not give up.

Read 2 Corinthians 3:7-4:6

Imaginations

Meet my Mermicorn. Half unicorn…half mermaid. She’s quite an interesting invention of my imagination. Rides the rainbows on high, yet can dive to the deepest depths and swim with schools of other mermicorns in turquoise blue waters.

I know that mermaids aren’t real and neither are unicorns, but with our imagination we can create whatever we want in our minds. Sometimes it’s good stuff (like my mermicorn), but most of the time we allow our imagination to get the best of us and create scenarios and situations in our head that are so far from what we know to be true, causing us to be sick with worry.

2 Corinthians 10:5 says, “Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;”

As believers in Christ who choose to walk by faith and live a life of devotion and trust in Christ, we aren’t to spend our time imagining things that may never come to fruition. We know what God’s Word says, yet we continue to beat ourselves up in our mind with things that completely contradict what we KNOW to be true.

We worry.

God’s Word says, “Do not be anxious about anything…” Philippians 4:6-7

We get scared.

God’s Word says, “Do not fear…” Isaiah 43:1

We lean on our own understanding too much.

God’s Word says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.” Proverbs 3:5-6

We seem to be troubled so easily.

God’s Word says, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you.” John 14:27

The Words you find from Genesis to Revelation are there for a purpose. It is a love story written to you, inspired by God, . He loves you more than anything…so much that He sent His Son to die for you. Cast down all the thoughts inside your head of everything that does not line up with what God’s Word tells you. You do not have to live defeated, depressed and doubtful of who you are in Christ.

The heights of rainbows or the depths of the sea cannot separate you from the love of Christ. He says so in His Word. Leave your imagination to create and explore, not to go chasing after things in your mind that do not line up with what you know to be true as a believer in Christ. Those who walk by faith should not have thoughts held captive with worry, doubt, fear and the flesh.

Let your thoughts be on whatever is lovely, pure, honorable to God and of good report…in doing so, you will find that God is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that you could truly ever imagine! You will be blessed beyond your wildest imagination, friend!

Washing the Feet of our Foes

At our wedding, Kevin and I washed each other’s feet in an attempt to display a heart to serve each other with love, humility and grace. I’m not always gracious, but it was easy to wash his feet that evening…
He loves me.
I trust him completely.
And, I love him.

As I was reading in John 13 about Jesus washing the disciples feet, I was almost moved to tears thinking about my Lord washing the feet of His betrayer. He took off his robe, wrapped a towel around Him and in a humble act of service washed the feet of each one of His disciples. I can’t fathom what would have been going through the mind of The Savior as He is cleansing the dirty feet of Judas.
Not only did Jesus wash his feet, but just a short while later, He allowed him to sit at the table with Him.

Jesus said Himself that we should do just as He did, when talking with the disciples. Wait a minute….Seriously? I can’t imagine washing someone’s feet that has done me wrong!
You mean to tell me…
We are supposed to break bread with our betrayers?
Wash the feet of our foes?
Share a table with a traitor?

Why?
I don’t really understand, honestly. But after reading it over and over numerous times and meditating on the scriptures, I can only come to the conclusion that if it was good enough for Jesus, it is certainly good enough for me.
He loves me.
I trust Him completely.
And, I love Him.

Oh how many times have I missed an opportunity to show grace? How many times should have I laid aside my pride, knelt down before someone who hurt me and do something nice for them?

Lord, help me to display my trust and love for You to those who betray me. Help me to show others Your love through my service to them.
I know that You are perfect and it would have been out of Your character to not do unto Judas as You did to the other disciples. Help me love those that won’t love me back as much as I love the ones who are always showing me love. Let me be willing to wash the feet of not only my family and friends, but also my foes.

As a follower of Christ, it MUST be out of our character to not show humble service to those who don’t deserve it. In the dirty water of your wash basin, the love of Jesus is reflected ever-so clearly.

Donut Worry

Have you noticed we have become a people that worry about everything? We stress and fret over our lives…everything from money, marriages, weight and wardrobe. We spend our days constantly looking at the evil in this world, shaking our head and trying to make sense of it all. We don’t understand how it seems the evil prosper and the good ones are suffering and starving.

Did you realize that worry directly contradicts the word of God? I was reading in Psalms 37 this morning and I couldn’t get past the first four verses:

“Fret not thyself because of evildoers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity. For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb. Trust in the Lord, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed. Delight thyself also in the Lord: and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.”

It’s meant to be funny, but look at my little piggy. He’s got his donut and he is happy. He’s already fat. He ain’t worried about eating that donut and all it’s calories. He’s just enjoying the satisfaction that the donut brings. It’s sweet and makes him feel good as he chews all that deliciousness! He’s actually being faithful to his “figure”, ‘cause that’s what pigs are for…to be fat, right? You ever seen a skinny pig?

Well, guess what? That pig and that donut can be you! Stay with me…it’s a good parallel between our relationship with the Lord. When we trust in Him through faith, we aren’t worrying. We are satisfied with the sweetness that comes in knowing Him! It feels good to trust in Him and not worry about every little thing that is put on our plate! Verse 3 in one translation I read said to “dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness”. We are to be faithful to our God, whether you believe it or not, that is what we are created to do…give glory to God! If we are worrying over everything, we aren’t being faithful to our purpose! There’s no such thing as a skinny pig, but there sure are a lot of believers walking around with unfulfilled purpose and worrying themselves sick!

“Donut” worry and be happy in the Lord! He’s faithful, filling and will never forsake you!

And…go get yourself a donut!