Tag Archives: courage

Wake Up O Sleeper, Awaken

Have you ever had a word jump out at you … just one single word?  That happens to me from time to time, usually when I’m reading my Bible or when I’m journaling and then BAM… a word captures my attention and just won’t let go!  Does that ever happen to you?

As I’ve shared in previous posts, I have been having a bit of a hard time the last few years. An unexpected ending to a new romance, some medical challenges in the family, strained relationships thanks to some carelessly spoken words, oh … and let’s not forget a global pandemic.  I have been feeling stuck and depressed for a long time now. 

Needing to make a change, I purchased a new journal and committed to resume my morning devotions and journaling routines.  Around that time my Pastor was teaching a series called “AWAKEN”, and one particular morning I started my journaling with this phrase:

“I am awakening”

And that’s when the Lord took me on a little excursion, all compliments of one single word that stood up off the page and demanded to be considered more deeply.

First, I looked the word up in the dictionary:

AWAKEN … Waking up, Arise, Stir up, Rise up

View from the French King Bridge, Erving MA. (www.puttinghopetowork.com)

Next, I got to wondering what Scriptures reference “awaken” or “awakening”.

Isaiah 50:4                 the Lord awakens me

Zechariah 4:1             an angel awakened me

Isaiah 14:9                 the dead/devil stirs up to meet you

Isaiah 45:13               awakened (raised up) in righteousness

Acts 12:7                    arise quickly

And as I looked at my side notes for each Scripture, I marveled at the pattern of words I’d just recorded:

The Lord awakens me,

ministering angels sent to awaken me.

The demonic also awaken, plotting my demise.

But God awakens me to righteousness and life,

and charges me to arise and do His plans for me!

http://www.puttinghopetowork.com
From my fall 2020 adventures exploring the French King Bridge in Erving, MA (www.puttinghopetowork.com)

And in response, I wrote down the words I felt were being whispered to my spirit:

“Awaken Jenny!  Stir yourself up and awaken your spirit!  The enemy schemes, but My plans will not be thwarted … I am calling you … arise and get moving!  There is work to be done and you are needed for its fulfillment!  Awaken and Rise Up!”

Austin French – Wake Up Sleeper (Official Lyric Video) – YouTube

The year 2020 has been challenging for all of us, and brutally cruel for some. 

Wherever you live and in whatever emotional or spiritual state you are currently in – my prayer is that we (you and I) will respond to the voice of the Holy Spirit inviting us to stir ourselves up and “Awaken!   Awaken and Rise Up!”

“This is why it is said:
‘Wake up, you people who are asleep!  Rise up from among the dead people!  Then Christ will shine his light on you.’”   (Ephesians 5:14 EasyEnglish Bible)

Up a creek? No paddle? (update)

ME:  Lord, I feel like I’ve followed you out into DEEP and STILL WATERS, and now here I sit … in a teeny little boat, without a paddle, and with absolutely no way to get myself to shore.   If you don’t rescue me somehow, I’m lost!

Lake Dennison
Early morning kayaking on Lake Dennison http://www.puttinghopetowork.com

The above is a quote from my last blog post (Up a creek? No Paddle?), which was way back in April 2020. Doesn’t that seem like a million years ago?

In that post, I shared a little about a health challenge with my oldest granddaughter. Let me give you an update regarding her condition.

By age two, this precious little one was diagnosed with Tuberous Sclerosis and Autism. And while we stand in faith for her full and complete healing by the Blood of Jesus, we daily celebrate her joyful exuberance and loving heart, every new skill learned, and every new vocalization. She is a marvelous treasure and just turned 10 this summer. During the end of 2019 she began suddenly and unexpectedly began experiencing falling down seizures. Eventually, she was put on a new medication to help with this but the Rx was to be short term as it has some pretty nasty side effects. That proved true, because while the falling down seizures lessened, the Rx altered her personality significantly. Well before the 6-month trial ended, her parents removed her from the Rx and what happened next is (in this Nana’s opinion) nothing short of a miracle.

The falling-down seizures never returned!!!

And the pausing seizures she has been troubled by since age two returned at a much reduced rate …. instead of having multiple pausing seizures a day, she now may only have a few a week!!! Glory to God!

If that weren’t enough, she continues to learn new skills, is more affectionate and demonstrative than ever before, and is one of the happiest little girls I’ve ever met!! Praise God for His goodness and kindness, His faithfulness to bless and protect this little one! All the glory goes to Him alone!!

In truth, 2020 started out hard for me and my family. It’s been a hard year for everyone, and in fact brutally cruel for some!

Hebrews 6:19
“Tethered to Hope” http://www.puttinghopetowork.com

And while I had been feeling “stuck out in deep waters without a paddle”, in hind sight I can see that through it all, God did not leave me stuck out there in the misty waters with no way of getting to shore. I have remained teathered to hope while He has been breathing on my back the entire time … helping me, calming my fears, moving me closer and closer to shore and to my destiny.

And He will do the same for you my friend, because He loves you!

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All sketches and watercolors posted on this website are the sole property of the author and are for exclusive display on the website PuttingHopeToWork.com.

Up a creek? No paddle?

Friends, it truly was/is my intention to post a minimum of twice a month – but there was a lot going on the beginning of the year and in particular in February.  And by the time I recuperated, well … here we are living through COVID-19.  What a different world it is since my last post!

What was going on, you ask?

One of my precious grandchildren was diagnosed with something as a small child (you can probably tell by the way that I’m writing this, that we are all standing in faith for her healing) and late last year she began to experience a new challenge in her health.  Back and forth for testing, starting new medications and experiencing new complication, then taking her off them again.  All the while fervently praying for God to show Himself strong and deliver her from the sudden attack from an enemy who came out of nowhere.

Take heart – the end of the story (this particular story) is good. Very good, in fact!  But at the time, it was emotionally-spiritually-physically challenging, to put it mildly.

Hmmm.  As I’m writing, something about that sounds very familiar to what we all are experiencing around the globe with the sudden attack from an unexpected enemy – COVID-19.

“I am the BREATH on your back….”

In hind sight, it is easy to see that while things looked chaotic and quite frightening at the time, just out of the range of our eyesight, God was carefully putting all the pieces of the puzzle together – exactly the right piece, at precisely the right time – so that in the end, it all worked together for her (my granddaughter) good as well as the good of her entire family.

But back in January and February, there was some scary stuff going on.  It was heart wrenching to see my granddaughter suffering so.  And as a mom, it pained me to see my daughter and her husband strain under the weight they were carrying as parents, trying to navigate the unknown with faith instead of giving in to the fear that stalked us all daily.

But what comforted me then, and what gives me comfort in this new season of “COVID-19 Chaos” is a word the Lord whispered to me while I was crying out to Him one morning.

ME:  Lord, I feel like I’ve followed you out into DEEP and STILL WATERS, and now here I sit … in a teeny little boat, without a paddle, and with absolutely no way to get myself to shore.   If you don’t rescue me somehow, I’m lost!

Lake Dennison
Early morning kayaking on Lake Dennison http://www.puttinghopetowork.com

HIM:  I am the BREATH on your back, moving you forward.

Isn’t that a powerful word!?!  It strengthens my heart and gives me courage that even though things look bleak at this precise moment in time, He is still moving me forward!  Always!   Even when my senses don’t register the movement or progress being made, He is still moving me forward!!

 

“I am the BREATH on your back, moving you forward into your destiny”

 

I’m working on a new piece of art (I haven’t painted in over a year!!) inspired by this Word.  I hope to have it ready on my next post.    Until then, take courage my friend.  He is present in our times of trial, no matter how lonely we might be feeling.  And He is still breathing!  He will see us through to the other side ❤

 

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All sketches and watercolors posted on this website are the sole property of the author and are for exclusive display on the website PuttingHopeToWork.com.

The wisdom of a 2-year old: “Put you glasses on.”

Pure Love!Recently, while visiting my oldest daughter and her two little girls, I had taken my glasses off so that I could better rough house with them a little.

One of my favorite things to do with these little munchkins is to swoop them up in my arms, swing them around a bit, and then bury my face in the crook of their neck and kiss them until they squeal with delight.  And as you can imagine, that kind of playing has bent my glasses out of shape on more than one occasion – and so I’m getting a little better at taking them off first.

But this particular Saturday, as I was drawing near to the two-year old (a miniature of her momma at that age) to gobble her up, she gave me a funny look, stuck her arm out pointing her little finger squarely at my face, and slowly issued to me a very specific instruction:   “Put you glasses on.”

 

Now maybe it’s one of those things that you just had to be there to appreciate, but it really was quite hysterical and had me chuckling for many days afterwards.  What a precious little darling she is!

But then as the days went by, her words began to ring in my ear for another reason.  Let me explain.

I have been leading a ‘small group’ through my church for almost 2 years now, the general theme of which is ‘the inherent power of the Word of God (as contained in the Bible) to address/satisfy every need and overcome every circumstance we face here on earth’.   And as one might suspect, we are continually referring to the Word of God (the Bible) for insight as to what God has to say about any particular matter of life.

We have studied ‘prosperity’ and provision.  We have studied ‘health’ and healing.  We have studied ‘wisdom’.  But whatever the subject of study, one thing is required in order to hear and comprehend so that you can experience change … that you ‘change your focus/perspective’ from that of the reader (i.e. the one stuck in the quagmire of a particular circumstance) to that of the Ruler (.e. the one who reigns over all).

 A change of perspective.   A change of vision.

 

And isn’t that what eye-glasses do?  They heighten and improve your focus so that what was once blurry is now easily recognizable and identifiable.  And with that empowerment (to recognize and identify) comes the ability to execute with wisdom and authority (where once was doubt and confusion).

Thankfully, when I take my glasses off to play with my grandchildren, I can still see well enough without do most things with competence.  I can still see and recognize people.  I can still drive.  I can still read … well, sort of.  But all those things require a lot more effort and eye-strain to do them as opposed to when I’m wearing my glasses.

It’s the same when facing the circumstances of life.  Natural reasoning can work, sometimes.  We’ve all experienced a certain level of success grunting through life on our own wisdom and strength.  But how exhausting!

What I really need when facing the circumstances of life – be it sickness, challenges at work,  relationship issues, or whatever – is a higher perspective.

“I don’t think the way you think.
    The way you work isn’t the way I work.”
        God’s Decree.
“For as the sky soars high above earth,
    so the way I work surpasses the way you work,
    and the way I think is beyond the way you think.
Just as rain and snow descend from the skies
    and don’t go back until they’ve watered the earth,
Doing their work of making things grow and blossom,
    producing seed for farmers and food for the hungry,
So will the words that come out of my mouth
    not come back empty-handed.
They’ll do the work I sent them to do,
    they’ll complete the assignment I gave them.
So you’ll go out in joy,
    you’ll be led into a whole and complete life.   (Isaiah 55:8-13, The Message)

And in order to obtain that higher perspective described in Isaiah 55, I need to exchange my thinking for His thinking.  For He sees future events as though they already were, and He is always leading and guiding me into His best … if I will just trust Him enough to follow His leading.   And it is far easier to trust and follow the leader (Leader) when you have confidence in their (His) vision, right?  (Especially when where He appears to be leading exactly where you don’t want to go!  Lots of stories to tell there!)

So here’s to putting on my “God glasses” (and keeping them on!) so that I can see things more closely to the way that He sees them.  And from that higher perspective, may I daily be empowered by faith to trust and follow Him into the “whole and complete life” that He has planned for me!!

Blessings,
Jenny

 

 

 

 

Battle weary? ADP!

This has been on my heart for a while now.  Perhaps like me, there are things you have been praying for – but as yet have not received your breakthrough.  Promises you’re standing on, but manifestation hasn’t shown up yet.   Declarations of faith that are beginning to sound a little hollow – even to your own ears.

For those who know me, I am pretty passionate about the Word of God.    Through teachings of trusted Pastors and my own personal studies, I have come to understand the power and authority placed into our hands as joint-heirs with Jesus Christ, Ambassadors of the King of Kings.  Most days, my feet are firmly planted on the Word of God and I am a force to be reckoned with.   My philosophy is simply.  If the devil wants to mess with me on this or that area of life – He’s going to hear what Jesus has to say about it!

But in spite of my knowing that the Word of God is the power of God, there are days when I’m weary.  Or as I’ve shared before, a bit “wobbly“.   The last several weeks have been like that for me.  I’ve been pressing.  I’ve been declaring.  I’ve been believing.  And I’m still waiting.

I’m not discouraged, per se.  Or at least not discouraged in the way that one feels when they decide to ‘give up hoping’ and resign themselves to the situation.  No, I’m a bit too far gone for that.  I’ve walked long enough with God to know that He will always move on my behalf and deliver on His Word – even if it’s not within my desired timeframe.   Abraham waited 25 years for the promised heir.  Noah waited (while building the arc) 120 years before the flood came.  God does always not operate on our time tables.   But He IS faithful to His covenant promise – and I have His Word on what I’m praying/believing for – so I know if I stay in faith I will eventually get my breakthrough.   But the waiting is harder some days than others.  Right?

That’s why I’m so grateful that I’ve the Holy Spirit living inside me to speak to me on wobbly days.  And what I’m hearing loud and clear in my spirit is to “Apply Direct Pressure!”  Now that may not mean much to you – but to me it resonates very deeply and speaks clearly of two critical actions that are required on my part, and yours if you want to get your victory.

“Apply Direct Pressure!”

ACTION #1:  Keep putting pressure on the Word of God:  study the Word of God, read and memorize God’s promises as related to my circumstance or trial, speak them over myself and my situation, make a demand upon the promises of God by calling those things that be not as though they were … until they are!   In other words, don’t get discouraged and worn down by my situation – but instead keep my faith stirred up and keep putting pressure on the Word of God for my deliverance and breakthrough.  God’s Word is sure and my enemy will fall!

Yes, the fight of faith can be wearing at times – but it is a battle that has already been won by Jesus Christ!  You and I have got to remember that, or the devil will dupe us into thinking that the victory belt is still up for grabs.   It is not!

Pressure Gauge

More dangerous still is the temptation to think that the winning or loosing is somehow dependent on us … our fortitude, our strength, our skill.  Again, it is not!  The fight has already been won, and it is our job to put on the full armor of God and enforce the victory won by Jesus Christ!

ACTION #2:  Keep putting pressure on the enemy:  open my mouth and speak the promises of God to my adversary, refuse to sit down and shut up, man the battle stations and be ready morning/noon/night to enforce his defeat.  In other words, don’t be a passive opponent but rise up in the power of the Holy Spirit living within me, and remind the enemy at every turn that He is a defeated foe and is subject to the Name of Jesus – and Jesus left me (and you) His Name!    He is a defeated foe, but his defeat has to be enforced – not in my strength or authority, but by the authority of Jesus Christ!

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his great power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can fight against the devil’s evil tricks.  Our fight is not against people on earth but against the rulers and authorities and the powers of this world’s darkness, against the spiritual powers of evil in the heavenly world.  That is why you need to put on God’s full armor. Then on the day of evil you will be able to stand strong. And when you have finished the whole fight, you will still be standing.   (Ephesians 6:10-13)

Thank you Lord, that’s just what I needed.  I’ve got my “grrr” back, how about you?

Let us not grow weary, but get back at the business of fighting the good fight of faith so that we can lay hold of all that God has provided for us through His Word!

In Him,
Jenny