Category Archives: God

DO NOT WEEP. BEHOLD, THE LION

The situation seemed hopeless.

No one could be found. No one.

No one who could do the one thing that needed to be done. The one thing that would set things in motion…that would set all things right.

So he wept.

And wept.

But then…

Someone said to him the simple but powerful words that would change everything. The good news that would dry up his tears and make him rejoice. The powerful proclamation that said it all.

“Do not weep. Behold, the Lion…”

————————-

As we approach 2022, I keep going back to this scene described in Revelation chapter 5.

All of heaven is waiting to read God’s will. To see what He has in store for the end of the ages. To see His will carried out. But no one is worthy to open the scroll. A scroll that is held tightly closed with God’s seals. And it brings John to tears.

But then…

John is reminded of a profound truth that I want to remember in the coming year, and always.

If a situation looks grim. If I feel defeated. If all hope seems lost. If I am tempted to despair.

I don’t have to weep, or worry, or wonder.

This simple reminder tells me: Don’t look at the situation. Don’t focus on the trials. Don’t fix my eyes on anything else. No matter what is going on in the world around me…

“Do not weep. Behold, the Lion.”

The quote continues, describing Jesus further. But these first six words form a phrase that has pierced my heart. It’s this simple instruction that I want to keep in my mind in every moment.

When I feel like weeping, I can look to the Lion…for answers…for comfort…for encouragement…for hope.

The Lion, who has triumphed. The Lion, who is worthy. The Lion, who takes away the sin of the world. The Lion, who loves me. The Lion, who is always with me.

I can always look to the Lion. He has everything I need. He is everything I need.

He’s right there.

He’s right here.

I just need to behold Him.

And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Hebrews 12:2

Lord, as I enter a new year, I don’t know what’s in store. But you do. Please keep my gaze fixed firmly on you.

“Behold, the Lion.”

Holly or Holy?

I originally posted this Christmas 2011. I shared it again in 2014, but I thought I needed another reminder, so I am reposting it again this year.
Thanks for visiting me at NennPen. Have a blessed and merry Christmas!
-Kerry

This season, will I…

be surrounded by presents
or be surrounded by His presence?

have childlike wonder at the magic of Christmas
or wonder at the child – the meaning of Christmas?

watch a Christmas movie
or watch Christmas move me?

see snow fall
or His kingdom reign?

take my wishes to Father Christmas
or my prayers to the Heavenly Father?

sit by the crackling fire
or have a Holy Fire within me?

shop ’til I drop
or drop everything for Him?

enjoy a sleigh ride
or remember Jesus slain?

sing Christmas carols at people
or actually care for people?

have a piece of pie, good desserts
or know peace on earth, good will to men?

sit in awe of the Christmas tree
or stand in awe of Calvary’s tree?

wish all a Merry Christmas
or think of Mary’s Christmas?

hang beautiful lights,
or see the light of the world?

manage my time
or spend time at the manger?

attach a bow
or bow my knee?

Such an amazing gift,
this season, this reason.

This Christmas, Lord,
may I be wrapped up in you.

Thirst

Didn’t make it to the well today.
Too much to do.
Busy, busy. Later, yes, later.
Didn’t make it to the well today.
Feeling thirsty,
but don’t have the time.
Didn’t make it to the well today.
Supplies running low.
Maybe tomorrow. Yes, tomorrow.
Didn’t make it to the well today.
Don’t think I need to.
Probably I don’t need to.
Didn’t make it to the well today.
Throat is dry, but I’m ok.
Don’t want to make the time.
Didn’t make it to the well today.
But I’m well supplied
With other things.
Didn’t make it to the well today.
Unsatisfied, feeling dry.
Dehydration taking hold.
Did you make it to the well today?
Loved ones start to ask.
No. Not needed. I am fine.
Didn’t make it to the well today.
Now I’m wondering why.
Body aching with longing.
Didn’t make it to the well today.
Feeling parched and empty.
Oh but for a sip, but no.
Didn’t make it to the well today.
The drought in me goes on.
My heart a desert land.
Didn’t make it to the well today.
I am afraid I’ll never go.
Do I remember the way?
Didn’t make it to the well today.
But how I long for just a drink.
Brittle bones, cracked skin.
Didn’t make it to the well today.
Not sure I could make the journey.
Too far. I’m too far.
Didn’t make it to the well today.
Is there hope left for me?
So dried out and weak.
Didn’t make it to the well today.
But now I know I must go
To satisfy this thirst.
Trying to make it to the well today.
But, too feeble. Too frail.
Faint,
fragile,
falling.
Can’t make it to the well today.
Through cracked, parched lips, I cry
“Lord, have mercy on this dry and weary soul!”
And it begins to rain.

 Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again,
but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst.
Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water
welling up to eternal life.”
John 4:13-14

GOD’S PROMISES ARE BEAUTIFUL

My husband called from the other room, “Look out back! There’s a rainbow!”

Since I enjoy rainbow sightings immensely, I rushed to the window.

Here’s what I saw:

It was beautiful, so I stepped outside to get a better look. And I’m so glad I did!

What a blessing from God to walk into my yard at just the right time to catch a glimpse of this:

I had the perfect view of a full rainbow painted right over my neighborhood.

I texted my neighbors to let them know their house was “somewhere under the rainbow.”

It was glorious!

Thank you God, for that moment. Not only was the rainbow beautiful, but it reminded me of how beautiful God’s promises are.

The rainbow itself is one of his promises:

I have set my rainbow in the clouds,

and it will be the sign of the covenant

between me and the earth. 

Whenever I bring clouds over the earth

and the rainbow appears in the clouds, 

I will remember my covenant between me and you

and all living creatures of every kind.

Never again will the waters become a flood to destroy all life. 

Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds,

I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant

between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth.”

Genesis 9:13-16

And gazing at the rainbow’s array of colors made me think of many other beautiful promises of God:

Red: Jesus’ blood, spilled for us – the promise that we can be forgiven and washed clean

But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.

1 John 1:7

Orange: The sun – the promise to be our light

When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

John 8:12

Yellow: The flowers of the field – the promise that God will meet our needs

“And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

Matthew 6:28-33

Green: Growth – the promise to flourish

“But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord,

    whose confidence is in him.

They will be like a tree planted by the water

    that sends out its roots by the stream.

It does not fear when heat comes;

    its leaves are always green.

It has no worries in a year of drought

    and never fails to bear fruit.”

Jeremiah 17:7-8

Blue: Water – the promise to quench our thirst with living water

“But whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”

John 4:14

Indigo: Royalty – the promise of the King to adopt us into his family

See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!

1 John 3:1

Violet: The King – the promise to return and reign forever

 The seventh angel sounded his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, which said:

“The kingdom of the world has become
    the kingdom of our Lord and of his Messiah,
    and he will reign for ever and ever.”

Revelation 11:15

WE NEED BETTER WEAPONS

The battle is fierce. The strongholds, formidable. Daily, we face terror from without…and within.

We walk into this battle with self-control, resolve, desire, strategy, innovation. We hope to see victory in our lives, our hearts, our relationships. We stare into the face of pain and struggle and dig in our heels in hopes of achieving growth, peace, healing.

But we’re going into this battle basically…unarmed.

We need better weapons.

We need weapons that shatter strongholds. That are fiercer than the battle. That will truly allow us to claim victory in those areas of our lives where defeat has been the norm.

The battle can be won. But we need better weapons.

We need the following truth to be true in our lives:

The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.

2 Corinthians 10:4-5

And…we must remember that the armory is open. The arsenal is fully funded and well supplied. We just need to open the door and suit up.

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 

Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand

Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.

Ephesians 6:10-18

With these weapons, we can and will have victory. Natalie Grant says it well. The lyrics to her song, My Weapon, are a powerful prayer to wield. Make them your own, and go into battle equipped with better weapons…the best weapons…to live the abundant, hope-filled, victorious life in Christ.

Let every lie be silenced
And all depression cease
Let every dark assignment
Bow down at Jesus’ feet

Let every curse be broken
Let every storm be tamed
And all that come against us
Be bound in Jesus’ name

Your presence is my greatest weapon
Pushing back the darkness
Breaking every chain
My worship opens up the heavens
Crushing every stronghold
When I speak Your name
‘Cause Your presence is my weapon
Your presence is my weapon

Your strength will not be shaken
Your love will not back down
Death has been defeated
What can stop me now?

I hold on to what You’ve spoken
You said that I am free
You’ve given me Your promise
And You are my victory

Your word and a melody
Are making a way for me
You defeat the enemy
This prison is shaking now
And these walls are coming down
Your presence makes me free
I am free

Your presence is my greatest weapon
Pushing back the darkness
Breaking every chain
My worship opens up the heavens
Crushing every stronghold
When I speak Your name
‘Cause Your presence is my weapon
Your presence is my weapon

Amen!

Here’s Your Rock Solid Playlist for 2021

As I step into 2021, a year of unknowns, I can take that step with confidence. How?

Because no matter what happens, there’s Another In the Fire, standing next to me. No matter what comes my way, His presence is My Weapon, so I have nothing to fear. Because no matter what others say or do, Lord, I am Who You Say I Am. I am a child of the Good, Good Father. No matter what mistakes I make, God, I’m Still Yours. Because I Am Redeemed by the ultimate Chain Breaker.

And each day, your new mercies are a Blessing Song sung over me, because you are FOR me. And no matter what the future holds, you can Keep Me in the Moment. And in each of those moments, I can taste and see the Goodness of God. Because no matter what trials, terrors, or temptations come, I can rest knowing that Christ Is Enough.

And with these truths playing in my mind, I pray that nothing that comes my way in 2021 will be able to drown out that Old Church Choir singing in my soul.

Rock Solid Playlist for 2021
  1. “Another in the Fire” – Hillsong
  2. “My Weapon” – Natalie Grant
  3. “Who You Say I Am” – Hillsong
  4. “Good, Good Father” – Chris Tomlin
  5. “I’m Still Yours” – Kutless
  6. “Redeemed” – Big Daddy Wave
  7. “Chain Breaker” – Zach Williams
  8. “Blessing Song” – Cody Carnes (NY version)
  9. “Keep Me in the Moment” – Jeremy Camp
  10. “Goodness of God” – Bethel Music & Jenn Johnson
  11. “Christ Is Enough” – Hillsong
  12. “Old Church Choir” – Zach Williams

What if I craved Jesus more than sugar?

 

I wonder what my life would look like if I craved Jesus as much as I crave sugar – or even more.

How much more would my desire be for Him?

How much more effort would I make to know Him?

How much more of each day would be focused on Him?

I’d crave Him after every dinner, when the meal doesn’t feel complete without something sweet.

I’d crave Him late at night, when midnight munchies hit.

I’d crave Him at 3 pm, when nothing sounds better than a chocolate chip cookie.

I’d crave Him when I wake, when Fruity Pebbles or a Poptart sound good for breakfast.

I’d crave Him when I watch a movie, when candy and slushie are close at hand.

I’d crave Him when I haven’t eaten in four hours, and it feels like forty.

I’d crave Him after an afternoon of swimming, when a Little Debbie hits the spot.

I’d crave Him on cold winter nights, when a hot cocoa sounds heavenly.

I’d crave Him when I gather with friends, when munching on junk food is always fun.

I’d crave Him when I play a game, when snacking seems like the natural thing to do.

I’d crave Him at the grocery store, when the shelves are stocked with seasonal treats.

I’d crave Him after a long day, when my energy is zapped and I need a rush.

I’d crave Him when I’m having an afternoon slump and want a pick-me-up.

I’d crave Him when I’m lonely and want some companionship.

I’d crave Him when I’m sad and need comfort.

I’d crave Him when I’m hungry,

or tired,

or frustrated,

or happy.

I’d crave Him when nothing else satisfies.

Because…truly…nothing else does.

 


 

‘Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus,
Just to take Him at His Word
Just to rest upon His promise,
Just to know, “Thus saith the Lord!”

Yes, ’tis sweet to trust in Jesus,
Just from sin and self to cease
Just from Jesus simply taking
Life and rest, and joy and peace.

 

‘Tis So Sweet to Trust in Jesus lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group, Essential Music Publishing, Capitol Christian Music Group

 

The Right Words

As a writer, I’m always trying to find the right words. I guess that’s why the following words hit home. I heard this performed at church this morning and knew right away I wanted to share it with you.

Read these powerful lyrics, then hear them in the Kari Jobe video below.

 

The Word

by Isaac Wimberley

 

If there are words for Him then I don’t have them.

You see my brain has not yet reached the point

where it could form a thought that could

adequately describe the greatness of my God.

And my lungs have not yet developed the ability to

release a breath with enough agility to

breathe out the greatness of His Love.

And my voice,

you see my voice is so inhibited,

restrained by human limits,

that it’s hard to even sing the praise up.

You see, if there are words for Him, then I don’t have them.

My God, His Grace is remarkable,

mercies are innumerable,

strength is impenetrable,

He is honorable, accountable, favorable,

He’s unsearchable, yet knowable,

indefinable, yet approachable,

indescribable, yet personal.

He is beyond comprehension,

further than imagination,

constant through generations,

King of every nation,

but if there are words for Him, then I don’t have them.

You see, my words are few,

and to try and capture the ONE TRUE GOD,

using my vocabulary will never do,

but I use words as an expression,

an expression of worship to a Savior,

a Savior who is both worthy and deserving of my praise,

so I use words.

My heart extols the Lord, blesses His Name forever.

He has won my heart,

captured my mind,

and has bound them both together.

He has defeated me in my rebellion,

conquered me in my sin,

He has welcomed me into His presence,

completely invited me in.

He has made Himself the object of my sight,

flooding me with mercies in the morning,

drowning me with grace in the night,

but if there are words for Him, then I don’t have them.

But what I do have is GOOD NEWS,

for my God knew that man-made words would never do,

for words are just tools that we use to point to the truth.

So He sent His Son Jesus Christ as THE WORD,

Living proof,

He is the image of the invisible God,

the firstborn of all creation,

for by Him all things were created,

giving nothingness, formation.

And by His word He sustains in the power of His name,

for He is before all things and over all things He reigns.

Holy is His name!

So praise Him for His life!

The way He persevered in strife,

the humble son of God

becoming the perfect sacrifice.

Praise Him for His death!

That He willingly stood in our place,

that he lovingly endured the grave,

that He battled our enemy and on the third day rose in victory.

He is everything that was promised.

Praise Him as the risen King.

Life your voice and sing,

for one day He will return for us,

and we will finally be

united with our Savior for eternity! Eternity!

So it’s not just words that I proclaim,

for my words point to THE Word,

and THE Word has a name,

Hope has a name,

Joy has a name,

Peace has a name,

Love has a name,

and that name is Jesus Christ!

Praise. His. Name. Forever!!!

 

What Does This Mean?

I was probably about 12 years old. We were on our way home from church, and my cousin, who was visiting from out of town, had attended the service with us. Her church background was very different from mine, so the question she posed during our car ride home should not have surprised me, but it did. Sitting in the back seat next to me, she asked, “What does THIS mean?” and raised her hand.

Having grown up in a church where hand-raising during worship was a common occurrence, I didn’t understand her confusion. I hadn’t realized that the sight of people with their hands in the air during service was a new experience for her.

I wonder how many others have the same question, but they’ve never asked. Not just children, either. How many adults aren’t really sure what all this hand-raising is about? Maybe you’ve heard of it, seen others in church doing it, or even tried it yourself – but aren’t sure what the point is.

If you’ve ever pondered my cousin’s question, let me try to shed some light on the answer – with some more questions to consider:

  • What does a person look like when they surrender?
  • What do people often do when they are excited about something?
  • If I hold out a gift for you, what must you do to receive it?
  • What do people often do when they experience a victory?
  • What do children do when they want to be held?

Humility. Praise. Celebration. Connection. Surrender. Worship. Excitement. Victory. Adoration.

There are many meanings to this simple act of raising one’s hands. It helps us express a variety of emotions and thoughts in a physical way.

The same is true when we use this posture to communicate with the Lord.

Do you want to surrender to God? Are you celebrating the victory you have in Christ? Do you simply need to be held by your Father? Is your heart filled to the measure with all the fullness of God, and you simply need to do SOMETHING physical to express it?

Lift up your hands in the sanctuary and praise the Lord. Psalm 134:2

Hear my cry for mercy as I call to you for help, as I lift up my hands toward your Most Holy Place. Psalm 28:2

Therefore I want the men everywhere to pray, lifting up holy hands without anger or disputing. 1 Timothy 2:8

My prayer is set before you like incense; may the lifting up of my hands be like the evening sacrifice. Psalm 141:2

I will praise you as long as I live, and in your name I will lift up my hands. Psalm 63:4

 

 

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